Showing posts with label environmental health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label environmental health. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Rebuild your Health

There is increasing evidence that intestinal microbial dysbiosis has a role in the pathogenesis of systemic malodor conditions and other metabolic disorders. The most studied non-syndromic malodor condition Trimethylaminuria is usually inherited in an autosomal recessive fashion, which means that two mutations from both parents, both affecting abilities of FMO3 enzyme to catalyze the N-oxidation of trimethylamine into trimethylamine (eg, [Glu158Lys (rs2266782) and Glu308Gly (rs2266780)]), may be needed for a person to have symptoms. Yet genotype is not always predictive of phenotype, not even in this case.

Illustration by Monica Garwood

Studies have shown that the symptoms of metabolic inefficiencies, food intolerance and even allergies can be relieved by changing the composition of intestinal microbes and adjusting dietary components feeding these microbes - to encourage growth of microorganisms properly digesting problem ingredients. Lactose-digesting bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, for example, can help to digest lactose into useful compounds, instead of offensive gas. On the other hand, the low-FODMAP diet reduces gastrointestinal symptoms by reducing the food that bacteria ferment. For lactose-intolerance, however,  the "O" in FODMAPs - oligosacharides - can be beneficial as Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) are useful prebiotics promoting the growth of the right microorganisms. 

Rebuilding the network of microorganisms on and inside our bodies can help to improve the volatiles in the surrounding air, aka body and breath odor. Microbes associated with unpleasant odors include Anaerococcus, Corynebacterium, Campylobacter, and Propionibacterium [1], Gardnerella, Alloprevotella, Sutterella, and species of Candida. Microbes associated with improvements in odors include archaebiotic Methanomassiliicoccus luminyensis, Lactobacillus pentosus KCA1, and Lactobacillus salivarius, but there are more, working together and relying on each other. Our studies (see protocols of microbiome [2] and volatilome [3] trials published on Medrxiv)  identified several microbial strains and volatile compounds associated with improvement of malodor symptoms. We are currently summarizing our results and plan to publish it. Development of personalized protocols and defining the right compositions of probiotics and prebiotics is a long-term research endeavor. Meanwhile, be your own best medical researcher and take control of your wellbeing: 

Step 1: Pull out your fitness journal and create an action plan

  • Analyze your diet, everyday activities, exercise and sleep patterns to make initial guesses about things that could be triggering your flareups or making you feel better. Write out a list of these things. 
  • Break your goal into small steps and milestones. For example: if you have fructose as a potential trigger on your list, go fructose free for a week. An earlier survey of about 100 body odor and halitosis sufferers indicated stress (34%), food (25%) and environment, including the weather and perfumed products (15%) as main triggers of odors or PATM. Make sure you are not missing something in your diet - like Zinc, Vitamin C, or Vitamin D - insufficient amounts of these vitamins and minerals could also contribute to PATM. 
  • Develop metrics for evaluating progress. Some people can't objectively evaluate their malodor or PATM condition. Try to find a trust buddy or take note of how the people around you react when you’re in close proximity. For example, pay attention to the space people leave between you and themselves (assuming COVID-19 is behind us and the 6-feet rule no longer applies!)
Step 2: Change your diet, physical activity and behavior
  • Intestinal lining is regenerating every five to seven days, so you need to stick to your diet for at least a week to notice improvements in your symptoms. Most elimination diets are actually recommended for about 3–6 weeks, to allow the antibodies (negatively reacting to problem food components) dissipate. So if your diet seems to be helping, extend it to 3 or 6 weeks. 
  • If it is not helping, try the next thing on your list. It should not be just diet - one study showed that bad breath was associated with abnormal sleep patterns. Perhaps you need to reevaluate your clothing material, temperature an humidity or mycotoxins in the environment? Are you getting enough sunlight ? Does your home have a healthy microbiome? Try to eliminate the triggers one at a time. No need to reduce your overall food intake, many people observe malodor or PATM flareups when they are hungry & undernourished. Try to train your body to digest more fiber - but start adding them to your diet little at a time, on weekends when you can safely experiment.   

Step 3: Let go of past hurts

  • Stop dwelling on the past. You have the power to change your future. Learn how to express confidence with your body language. Pretend you are comfortable in presence of other people and they will learn to be comfortable in yours. 


RFRERENCES

1. Gabashvili IS. Cutaneous Bacteria in the Gut Microbiome as Biomarkers of Systemic Malodor and People Are Allergic to Me (PATM) Conditions: Insights From a Virtually Conducted Clinical Trial. JMIR Dermatology. 2020 Nov 4;3(1):e10508.

2. Gabashvili I.S. Dynamics of the Gut Microbiota in MEBO and PATM conditions: Protocol of a fully remote clinical study. medRxiv. 2020 Aug.24. medRxiv 2020.08.21.20179242; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.08.21.20179242

3. Gabashvili I.S. Effects of diet, activities, environmental exposures and trimethylamine metabolism on alveolar breath compounds: protocol for a retrospective case-cohort observational study medRxiv 2021, Jan. 26 2021.01.25.21250101; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.01.25.21250101

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

On cancers and petroleum spills

Researchers have known for years that smell of cancer patients is chemically different from healthy individuals. One more study featured in British Journal of Cancer brings us a bit closer to an inexpensive, easy-to-use, portable device for home diagnostics. 

Exhaled breath collected from 177 volunteers (patients with lung, colon, breast, and prostate cancers and healthy controls) was examined by gold nanoparticle nanosensor arrays (GNPs) and gas chromatography linked to the mass spectrometry technique (GC-MS). 
GNP sensor resistance responses showed remarkable separation between cancer and healthy controls (Principal Component Analysis results are shown in the Figure: LC, lung cancer;  CC, colon cancer; BC, breast cancer; PC, prostate cancer).

Most of the VOCs reported in this study appear for the first time in the literature, adding to the wide spectrum of chemicals previously proposed as cancer biomarkers. Some of the chemicals -  predictive of  lung and prostate cancers -  are frequently released to the environment through petroleum spills. 

1-methyl-4-(1-methylethyl)-benzene - known as p-cymene  or p-isopropyltoluene -   is utilized by various species for chemical communication. It can be derived from the essential oils of herbs and spices and has biocidal properties against foodborne pathogens such as spoilage yeasts and E. coli O157:H7. p-cymene is the biological precursor of carvacrol that is also an antimicrobial agent (Kisk√≥ and Roller, 2005).  It's decreased with cancer, and is present at higher concentrations in healthy individuals.


Toluene, dodecane and other aromatic components of petroleum are among chemicals found in human breath.

Typical "octane booster" toluene  - present at higher concentrations in lung and prostate cancers - is toxic to living organisms although some bacteria (like P. putida that has toluene operon) are able to grow in its presence (Eaton 1997).

Dodecane, a biogasoline component, is higher in the breath of healthy individuals. It is decreased in lung cancer. One of its derivatives - 2,6,11-trimethyl-dodecane was found in 80% of the males, but in none of the females participating in the study. 

Another aromatic compound, 2-amino-5-isopropyl-8-methyl-1-azulenecarbonitrile, similar to carbonitriles used in manufacturing of fragrance agents, is present at higher concentrations in breast, colon and prostate cancers when compared to healthy controls.

An alcane 3,7-dimethyl-undecane was found to be indicative of allergies. It was previously found to be eliminated from mice odors when they enter reproductive cycle (Achiraman & Archunan, 2006) and proposed to be used in diagnostics of asthma (Dragonieri et al., 2007).

Chemicals in breath can tell not only about cancers, but also relate to other diseases, environmental exposures and dietary behavior. This might decrease discriminative power of  expensive metabolomics technologies and bioinformatics approaches not based on additional knowledge, yet custom-made sensor arrays show great promise.


References

ResearchBlogging.org
Peng G, Hakim M, Broza YY, Billan S, Abdah-Bortnyak R, Kuten A, Tisch U, & Haick H (2010). Detection of lung, breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers from exhaled breath using a single array of nanosensors. British journal of cancer, 103 (4), 542-51 PMID: 20648015



Gabriella Kiskó, Sibel Roller. (2005) Carvacrol and p-cymene inactivate Escherichia coli O157:H7 in apple juiceBMC Microbiol. 2005; 5: 36

Eaton RW.  (1997) p-Cymene catabolic pathway in Pseudomonas putida F1: cloning and characterization of DNA encoding conversion of p-cymene to p-cumate. J Bacteriol. 1997 May;179(10):3171-80.

Shanmugam Achiraman, Govindaraju Archunan (2006) 1-Iodo-2methylundecane, a putative estrus-specific urinary chemo-signal of female mouse (Mus musculus) Theriogenology 66, 1913–1920

Dragonieri S, Schot R, Mertens BJ, Le Cessie S, Gauw SA, Spanevello A, Resta O, Willard NP, Vink TJ, Rabe KF, Bel EH, Sterk PJ. (2007) An electronic nose in the discrimination of patients with asthma and controls. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 120(4):856-62. 
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