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Monday 28 th January 2019
Headaches can be caused by certain foods when there is a predisposition to suffer neurological diseases, and also it can be due to bad life habits.
In this article we expose the main sources of headaches.

We can highlight as the most common causes of headaches the following agents:

* Tobacco, smoked meat and fish:
Consuming smoked products and swallow tobacco smoke can lead to headaches.
These products contain a harmful substance called PAH (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) that result from the incomplete combustion of food, tobacco and any kind of organic matter.
In addition to smoked food, other food that contain a high amount of PAH are food that has been cooked at very high temperatures, mainly barbecued, baked, fried, and roasted food. Boiling and steaming creates much less PAH. Here you will find more information about PAH concentrations in different cooking methods.
PAH are carcinogenic, and although in small doses, like the amount that can be normally found in the environment, it doesn’t signify a danger for most of the people; in more considerable amounts, like the intake of a smoked product or smoking tobacco, the effect begins to be significantly important enough to trigger a headache; and higher doses imply a significant risk of cancer.

* Alcoholic drinks and endogenous alcohol
It is known that the intake of an amount of alcoholic drinks that a person is not accustomed to, ends up in a hangover the following day.
But our body will suffer the consequences of the alcohol even without having any alcoholic drink, if we have a dysbiotic gut flora, such as for example, if there is an intestinal candidiasis or an intestinal overgrowth of any kind of mold or yeast. In this article you can read more about the endogenous alcohol production and its consequences. In this case, it’s necessary to find out which are the causes of that dysbiosis: a food intolerance, an excess of food consumption, stress, etc.

* Coffee addiction
The people who have coffee daily, experience migraine when they don’t have their daily dosis of coffee (caffeine).
Coffee is like a drug that creates addiction, so when the consumption is stopped or decreased, the related withdrawal syndrome appears, characterized mainly by headaches.
In order to abandone this addiction, it’s recommended to gradually reduce the amount of coffee every day, until stopping completely.

* Histamine intolerance
The people who have a histamine intolerance can suffer headaches, between other symptoms, when they have a certain amount of histamine in their food that exceeds their tolerance threshold.
The food that contains more histamine are all fermented food, such as dairy products, wine, vinager, soy products and fermented vegetables (sauerkraut, pickles, etc.). Other foods also high in histamine are: all processed meat and fish, such as charcuterie and canned fish; and shellfish.
Other food with a considerable amount of histamine are chocolate, coffee, tea, bread yeast, nuts, some fruits and any kind of food that is not fresh made.
Also, some food induce the release of our own histamine, such as some fruits, spices, egg yolk and additives.
To know more about histamine intolerance you can consult this article.

* Food intolerances
Eating food that you are intolerant to, such as gluten, eggs, dairy, nuts, etc., triggers an immune response caracterized by inflammation. The inflammation is shown as heat, redness, swelling, and pain. Depending on every person, the part of the body affected by the inflammation can differ. If the weak part of your body is the head, then food intolerances can lead to headaches.

* Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Some women suffer migraines before the period due to the hormonal changes and, headaches can start up to 14 days before the menstruation.
But PMS shouldn’t be considered as something “normal”. Improving nutrition and different aspects of life style PMS can be greatly decreased or even completely get rid of it.

* Electromagnetic sensitivity and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS)
The people with electromagnetic sensitivity can experience migraines and cephalea when exposed to electromagnetic fields (WIFI, mobile, etc.); and people with MCS have the same problem when come in contact with any kind of chemical substance (cleaning agents, pesticides, perfumes, smoke, paint, etc.)
This sensitivity can be reduced in large part to a lower sensitivity thanks to nutrition and life style. In this article I explain my personal experience with MCS and how I got rid of it.

* Dehydration
The lack of water in your organism decreases the blood flow in the brain, and this may cause headaches.
In order to know if your headache is caused by dehydration, you can observe the presence of other usual symptoms associated with dehydration: dry mouth and thirsty; tiredness or sleepiness; low volume of urine and darker coloured urine; dizziness; dry skin; and even rapid heart rate, fever, nausea and vomiting, etc.
Evidently, you must drink more water if you are dehydrated, or take more food with high water content (fruits and vegetables).

* Other possible causes are: sleep depravation, extreme temperatures, strident noises, emotional problems, etc.



Monday 17 th December 2018
Alcohol, coffee, tea, chocolate, coke … are some of the stimulants that we consume on a daily basis.
We think that they are not harmful, and even some studies even claim they may be beneficial in small amounts. But what is really happening in the body of a person when he/she has these products? And what happens when he/she tries to stop having them?
Did you know that some foods containing sugar, dairy and gluten follow a similar process in the body?
This article is a review of Herbert Shelton’s teachings about stimulants, from his book “Human Life. Its Philosophy and Laws”.


Continue reading The effects of stimulants

One of the Laws of Life, the Law of Vital Accommodation, states “The response of the vital organism to external stimuli is an instinctive one, based upon a self-preservative instinct which adapts itself to whatever influence it cannot destroy or control”. This means that when a human is exposed to a stimulant, the organism will try to defend itself from these substances, but if the defense is not possible, then the body will try to accommodate to it.

The intake of a stimulant produces the following phases in the body:

1) Refusal: Reaction against the product by developing a more or less strong acute disease
2) Tolerance and accommodation: Ceasing of the acute reaction. Stimulation and craving for that substance. Desensitization to the substance with the subsequent need to increase the amount. Protective reaction.
3) Exhaustion: Development of the chronic disease and organ failure.

Dr. Shelton explains the process the body undergoes from a strong refusal of the toxic substance to a resignation and tolerance:
“The first effort of the living organism, in response to adverse influences, is to overcome and destroy these. Failing in this it attempts to accommodate itself to such conditions and influences. For, what it cannot overcome, it must learn to endure or perish.
The man who habitually indulges in stimulation would exhaust and destroy himself with but few indulgencies if the organism had no means of curbing its reactions against the stimulation and thereby lessening the expenditure of vital power. The first effect of stimulation is exaltation of function; if it is long continued, or often repeated, exhaustion with an almost total abolition of function results. The repeated use of stimulants would soon result in death. But their repeated use soon brings about a condition in which the organism ceases to respond so readily and violently to the stimulant. If the former amount of stimulation is to be received from the stimulant a larger amount of the stimulant must be used.
All normal individuals are possessed of a natural repugnance to poisonous and injurious substances. The instinctive aversion to any kind of poison may be perverted into an unnatural craving after that poison. Instinct is plastic. If the warnings of the organic instincts are unheeded, and the offending substance is again and again forced upon the body, nature, true to the law of self-preservation, seeks to prolong life by adapting the body to poison.
The first smoke usually occasions a very powerful reaction against it on the part of the organism. The young man or woman is made very sick; there is headache, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness, dizziness, muscular relaxation, tremor, weakness, etc. So long as the physiological powers and instincts are undepraved and unimpaired they instantly perceive the poisonous character of the tobacco and give the alarm to the whole system. A vigorous effort is made to destroy and eliminate it and the user is forced to throw away his tobacco. But if he continues to repeat the performance, the reaction against it grows less and less with each repetition until, finally, he is able to use many times the original amount without producing such results. His system learns to tolerate it and adapts itself to its use as far as possible. The system soon becomes depraved and its power impaired by the use of the tobacco, its poisonous character is no longer detected and no alarm is given; rather a craving for the substance is developed. However, the habitual use of any substance that is injurious in itself cannot in any way render it harmless or beneficial and the habitual presence of any such substance is injurious to life, even, though, no energetic effort is made to resist its action.
What is here said of tobacco is true of other poisonous substances. Ordinarily the user of drugs such as tobacco, opium, alcohol, cocaine, etc., becomes so accustomed to their use that he is able to take at one time enough of his favorite drug to kill several non-users outright, and yet, it only produces in him an apparent normal condition of comfort and strength.
If given time the body is able to adapt itself to all kinds of varying conditions. Only sudden and violent changes become immediately destructive of life. If we suddenly force upon the non-user the amount of alcohol, arsenic or opium used by the accustomed, it may cost his life.
Under natural living conditions, where enervating influences are removed and the organism is gradually strengthened, the body arouses itself to acute eliminating efforts or crises. These, too, occur, apparently, in accord with the law of periodicity and are similar to all other crises. Crises usually last until the disease producing factors have been reduced to the toleration point. this point varies with the individual and with the varying conditions of the individual. Thus the greater the amount of vitality one possesses, the less morbid matter will his system tolerate, and as the vitality of one with chronic disease is gradually raised, his toleration point also rises so that crises occur.
After toleration for any deleterious substance has been established, those acute reactions that followed its initial employment, arise only when one takes an unaccostumed amount of his accustomed poison. I will give a few examples from life to illustrate what I mean by this.
A man who suffers from constipation resorts to epsom salts to force his bowels to move. They work like a charm. He continues to use them until toleration is established and, then, finds that in order to secure the desired movement, he must increase the size of the dose. By using more slats than the body has learned to tolerate he secures bowel action. Similarly, physicians, in giving stimulants to their patients, find that they must continually increase the size of the dose, or, resort to another and unaccustomed poison, to secure the desired stimulation. The body is forced to accommodate itself to such substances, so that it no longer reacts violently against them, or else it will exhaust itself in the frequent reactions.
Arsenic may be taken with food as a seasoning; as freely as table salt, with as little immediate evidence of its poisonous character; and even prussic acid, which kills instantly like lightening, where the body is wholly unaccustomed to its action, may with proper care be gradually brought to act upon the human system, till it can be used with considerable freedom.
This wonderful capability of the living body to adapt itself by physiological depravity to the action of poisons of every kind, has not only led the human race to the excessive use of such substances as means of intoxication, but, almost as a necessary consequence, has also led them to the full belief that those substances are innocuous and salutary.
From an experience of this kind, the poisonous character of tea, coffee, tobacco, opium, alcohol, and all other narcotic substances, has been boldly and vehemently denied, by those who habitually use them as means of stimulation and intoxication.”

Regarding how to stop an addiction to these stimulants, Dr. Shelton says:
“Habits, gradually built and long established, cannot usually be suddenly broken. It is often the sudden breaking off of a habit, long practiced, it is often followed by one or more crises more or less severe as the organism seeks to accommodate itself to the changed conditions.
When a bad habit, like the tobacco habit or alcohol habit, is given up, the individual will lose weight and undergo crises and this will convince him that the abandonment of the bad habit was injurious. What was really happening was the tearing down and casting out of the system of the depraved tissues and substances and this is then followed by a renewal and regeneration of the body. The crises and loss of weight are beneficial measures and should be welcomed, not feared.
The headaches suffered by the coffee user when deprived of coffee, the pams suffered by the drug addict when deprived of his drug; the the unsteadiness of his nerves suffered by the tobacco user when deprived of his tobacco; the depression suffered by the stimulant user when deprived of his stimulant - these are not evidences of the beneficial influences of these substances but are evidences of their deleterious character. Outraged nerves and other tissues are simply coming out from under their influence and making their true condition known. Greater or less suffering and discomfort which are regarded by superficial and ignorant observers as indications of an adverse change, immediately result, but the sequel is a happy issue. “

In the presence of these substances, the body’s most important protective reaction is the hardening of tissues, as Dr. Shelton explains:
“The law of accommodation cushions the bottoms of the feet of bare-foot boys, girls and adults, and guards the hands of the manual laborer by a similar cushion. In the mouth, throat, stomach, intestine and bowel, a similar hardening and thickening takes place to guard the at first sensitive linings of these organs against the constant irritation to which they are ignorantly subjected by those who use tobacco, mouth washes and gargles, alcohol, coffee, tea, salt, pepper, mustard, horse-radish, spices, cathartics, mineral waters, etc. But this is an expensive business - this business of keeping the system accustomed to the action of irritants so that the sensibilities shall not be kept under torture by these. Such protection does not render them harmless.
A similar hardening and thickening must take place in the arteries and veins. Hardening of the arteries is due to irritation caused by toxins and irritants of all kinds.
Alcohol, whether ardent spirits, malt liquors, wines, cider or other alcoholic drinks, is a strong poison. It is highly irritating to every organ and tissue of the body and there is not one of them that is immune to its destructive influence. it coagulates the protoplasm of the cells of the body, just as it coagulates, or cooks, the white of an egg. This coagulation impairs and destroys the cells.
The normal cells are then replaced by a substitute of connective tissue cells forming what is called ´scan-tissue´. This may occur in the brain and spinal cord resulting in paresis, paralysis, insanity and other nervous disease; in the liver producing sclerosis; in the heart and arteries producing hardening and other troubles in these; or it may occur in the lungs, kidneys, muscles or any other organ of the body. The functioning powers of these organs are gradually destroyed and the individual’s resistance to other disease influences is lowered.
Moderate drinkers are not immune to these effects. They receive their full share of them. In fact, the habitual ´moderate´ drinker receives more injury from alcohol than the occasional drinker who gets drunk when he does drink. It is used as a stimulant to digestion, but finally wrecks digestion.”

Don’t forget that a person can have alcohol in their body even if he/she doesn’t drink alcohol at all, if he/she presents some yeasts in his/her gut flora that produce alcohol from the ingested carbohydrates. This results in the same damage as drinking alcohol.

"Tea, coffee, coca-cola cocoa and chocolate shall all be considered together because they all contain very much the same active principles and have very much the same effects. Neither of them have the slightest excuse for existences as beverages. Tea and coffee contain no food value, while the unaltered flavors of all of them are obnoxious to every unperverted taste.
They act primarily as stimulants and secondarily as depressants, or sedatives. Like tobacco, opium, and alcohol they are habit forming, and they are habit forming to exactly the degree in which they are stimulating. And they are stimulating in the degree to which they are poisonous and unfitted for the real needs of the body. The bitter, nauseous tastes of all these substances require the addition of sugar or other substances before they can be used by the undepraved taste.”

Finally, the toxicity of these products leads to exhaustion and chronic diseases:
“Give a stimulant to a man of full-resistance and he reacts to it with increased activity and an increased feeling of well-being. When the period of increased activity ends there sets in, due to the excessive expenditure of energy and substance, a period of depression.
All stimulants enable one to work beyond one’s normal strength. That is, they enable to keep on working long after nature has called for rest. They do this, not by adding to the powers of the body, but by calling out the powers held in reserve. They act in the same way a spur does on a tired horse. Slowly but surely, the reserve powers of the body are consumed under the influence of stimulants and physical bankruptcy follows.
Coffee, tea, coca-cola, cocoa and chocolate, because of their almost universal use, are great offenders in this respect. They produce enervation and sleeplessness in proportion to their use. Those who use them become coffee and tea or cocoa inebriates. They are addicts as truly as the opium user. the habitual user of tea or coffee is tired, irritable and suffers with headache and other discomforts when deprived of his habitual cup. Nervous diseases result from the employment of such nervines.
The body accommodates itself to the habitual use of tobacco, alcohol, opium, etc., to the extent of its ability to do so, but this does not prevent these substances from slowly and gradually undermining the constitution and finally resulting in disease and death.
Likewise, the unnatural and morbid conditions which have been imposed upon the system, which it has not been able to overcome but has been compelled to accommodate itself to, also, gradually and insidiously undermine the system, resulting in disease. If the body is able by the means of a crisis to overcome the disease influence then health is the result of disease. But if it is unable to overcome such influences and is not destroyed by them, it is forced to settle back into its accustomed quiet and make the condition as bearable as possible, This gives us chronic disease.”

Even if sugar, gluten and dairy products are not exactly stimulants, they have addictive properties and it has been suggested in several studies that they may be considered as “drugs”, at least for some persons, i.e. those who have difficulty digesting these products.
The following are some important studies that reveal the addictive character of sugar, which is even stronger than cocaine:
"Evidence for sugar addiction: Behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake"
"Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward"
And here you can read more about the opioid effect of gluten and dairy products.
Tolerance to sugar, gluten and dairy products is developed in the organism the same way that tolerance to stimulants or any kind of drugs.

In infancy, from 4 months old, babies are gradually introduced to different grains or cereals, animal dairy products and other food. The organism of most of the babies refuse these foods showing up in different ways: vomiting, regurgitations, diarrhoea, eczema, mucus, etc. But we, parents, believe blindly in our doctors, who never link these diseases with food, and then we persevere giving these foods in increasing amounts and unhealthier forms, until child’s body finally gives up and stops the refusal, an inaction that we interpret as a “tolerance”. But in the same way as stimulants, what really happens in the long term is an exhaustion of the system, damages in body organs, development of chronic diseases, etc.
Later on, as teenagers, the process starts again with other more harmful substances: alcohol, tobacco, and sometimes also drugs. First there’s a rejection, second a tolerance, and finally exhaustion.
And in adulthood, if not before, we need the use of even stronger neurolytic substances, because the softer ones don’t have an effect on us anymore - we tolerate them - , and the real causes of our problems (physical, psychological or spiritual) and diseases have never been addressed.

Desensitisation treatment (Immunotherapy) uses the same accustomation or tolerance process, by "exposing people to larger and larger amounts of allergen in an attempt to change the immune system's response" (Wikipedia). This means that your immune system, your organism, doesn’t refuse anymore the estranger substance (allergen) and doesn’t try to eliminate it anymore. What could be the consequences of suppressing the immune system and avoiding it to do his task of cleaning the body…?


Friday 9 th November 2018
Has you ever felt a little bit sleepy after eating a salad? Or lightly constipated when you eat a very large salad?
Lettuce contains a substance called lactucarium that “is known as lettuce opium because of its curative sedative and analgesic properties”, although it’s not an opium derivative.
“The chemical constituents of lactucarium that have been investigated for biological activity include lactucin and its derivatives lactucopicrin and 11β13-dihydrolactucin. Lactucin and lactucropicrin were found to have sedative activity in measurements of spontaneous movements of the mice.” (Wikipedia)
Not every person will feel the sedative effect of this substance; the sensitivity of every person is very different. But if you are a hyper sensitive person, and you react to food-drugs such as coffee, chocolate, tea, coke, spices, herbs, etc., then I recommend you to be careful with lettuce. Have salads preferably in the evening meals, and avoid lettuce if you have tendency to have  constipation. But also, if you are highly sensitive, you may use it as a medicine as an analgesic!



Sunday 16 th September 2018
A food intolerance or allergy is a rejection of a certain food that can manifest itself in one or several of many ways, though principally in the form of gastrointestinal and dermatological problems.
We perceive these as illnesses, given that the body rejects foods that we consider to be healthy. This happens because the body considers these foods to be harmful. But according to the Natural Hygiene perspective, the human body is wise, and it always generates the most adequate responses towards survival. In that case, why is it that it reacts in such an exaggerated way to regular foods?
A possible answer to this question is that perhaps these foods that people develop intolerances/allergies to are not as healthy as we thought. But why do only some people reject these foods, and not others?
When a harmful food product is ingested, a two-stage elimination process begins to take place. The first is an attempt to neutralize the harmful substances, and the second is through excretion: feces, urine, expired air and transpiration. But, what happens if these elimination routes are overloaded, for example, due to an excess in the amount of food eaten? The way the human body deals with this problem depends on several factors: genetics, the amount of food eaten, the general health of the individual, their personal history with that particular food, etc.
Genetically, we are programmed to deal with inadequate foods in one of two ways: using ‘extraordinary’ routes of elimination or storing harmful substances where they do not cause any immediate harm.
The ‘extraordinary’ route for elimination is the immune system. It cleans our body of the harmful substances that have entered our blood circulation due to overloaded or low-functional routes of elimination. This may be due, for example, to the leaky gut syndrome; constipation; an overloaded liver due to large quantities of ingested toxic products or toxins, stress, depression or any other emotional problem that reduces the energy of our organs; lack of sleep, or rest; etc.
But the immune system’s action creates inflammation, with its consequent effects: pain, mucus or pus, swelling and redness. These are the common symptoms of strong respiratory or dermatological allergies such as Quincke’s Edema.
And when we need urgent elimination due to the dangerousness of these products, the elimination process is accelerated with vomiting and diarrhea.
 In the case where the organism opts to store undesirable substances instead of eliminating them, we encounter an increase in weight. The advantage for these individuals is that they do not suffer from illnesses of elimination, but the transport of these substances until the point of storage is not without cost: that’s where cardiovascular diseases appear.
Subsequently, these substances will end up by dirtying the extracellular environment, and harming tissues and organs of the body, forming ulcers, cysts, and even cancer. 
In autistic children, for example, it seems their disorder may be due to a deficient detoxification system, which entails an accumulation of heavy metals in the brain.
Most people tend to be a mix of these two types (elimination and storage), such that under certain circumstances, they may suffer from acute or chronic inflammatory elimination illnesses, according to their energetic state and the food ingested, and under other circumstances will tend to store them where it is least harmful.

So to answer to the question of the title (Food Intolerances: do they only affect some people?): everyone has some type of intolerance and/or allergy. What is different is the way that it manifests itself, with gastroenterological, dermatological, respiratory, cardiovascular, or inflammatory illnesses.
In medical jargon, it is considered that those who do not react with elimination, as in, with allergies and/or intolerances, tolerate all foods. Simply, due to being overweight, they are recommended to eat less and do more exercise. But the problem is much more serious, and it must be treated in the same way as with a person who has intolerances/allergies; the solution is much more complex than simply reducing the food intake and doing more exercise.
If, in face of certain foods, the human body either tries to eliminate them or store them where they do not cause any issues, could it not be that certain foods are simply not as healthy as we thought? Instead of blaming the human body for rejecting certain foods, perhaps we should question whether the problem lies in the foods that we eat, and the circumstances that affect digestion, as in, our entire way of life, from exercise to our emotional and spiritual lifestyle.


Saturday 16 th June 2018
We already know about the gut microbiome or gut flora - the population of bacteria and other microbes that live in our gut. Recently, Dr. Marco Ruggiero has started to study the brain microbiome - the microbes that live in our brain, and the impact of those microbes on the function of the human brain.

Dr. Marco Ruggiero gave a very interesting webinar called “The Brain Microbiome” last February 2018. He introduced some very new ideas in the area of medicine; some of which I will explain to you in this post.

First of all he coined the concept of “The Fourth Brain” . The first brain is the one we all know about, which is located inside the skull. The second brain is the Enteric Nervous System, a network of neurons that lines the entire digestive track. It causes the sensation of nervous butterflies or a pit in your stomach for example, as well as performing very important digestive functions. The third brain is the Gut Microbiome, which is responsible for providing 90% of body’s serotonin and 50% of its dopamine. And this new Fourth Brain is the Brain Microbiome, the microbes in our brain.

Up to now, it was thought that our brain was sterile, that there was no kind of microbe inside. But in January 2013 an article was published that attracted the attention of Dr. Ruggiero: “Brain Microbial Populations in HIV/AIDS: α-Proteobacteria Predominate Independent of Host Immune Status” (1), a study of the susceptibility of people suffering from AIDS to develop infections in the brain due to their weakened immune system. In order to do this, the research team analyzed the microbes that were present in the brains of the people who had died from AIDS, and compared them with the microbes from people who had died for other reasons. To their surprise, they found that there were microbes in ALL the people, not only those suffering from AIDS! Of course, they verified that there was not a contamination.

The kind of microbes that were found in the brain are different to the ones that are present in other parts of the body. In the brain the predominant bacteria is α-Proteobacteria, while in the other body parts the ones that dominate are Firmicutes, Bacteriodetes and Actinobacteria.

They also analyzed the microbes in the brains of animals, and found that only the brain of primates contained some microbes, but not any other mammals.

It seems that some microbes that exist in the environment, i.e., soil and water, get into our body through oral consumption or inhalation and they are transported to the brain by our immune system: lymphocytes and macrophages that are trafficking into the brain; probably in purpose, hypothesizes Dr. Ruggiero. The reason why these microbes are transported to the brain would be because it represents an evolutionary advantage. Let’s explain the benefit of these microbes.

The first beneficial function of α-Proteobacteria is detoxification. Dr. Ruggiero says that some research indicates that they may help to keep the brain clean from harmful toxic products that could get into the brain.

The second benefit is the stimulation of neural connections. Dr. Ruggiero conducted an experiment where brain cells were cultivated in a petri-dish with brain microbes. He found that the number and complexity of connections were increased by the presence of microbes.  He concluded that “there is experimental evidence that the influence of the microbes on the neurons is immense”.

Dr. Ruggiero found in another research paper (2) that probiotic supplementation promotes calcification, through the stimulation of the expression of key genes involved in ossification. He then extrapolated that research to the time where the skull fontanelles are closed. In humans this time is delayed compared to the other primates, which allows the brain to grow more, and an increased cranial capacity allows the development of a more complex neural system.

He then concludes that “fermented foods (rich in probiotics) were the responsible of us to have a higher craneal capacity, more rich neural network and brain detoxification”.

All these discoveries are quite important in terms of how nutrition, especially fermented foods and probiotic supplementation, can impact the brain function. However, he must also consider:

1) In the first article on the brain microbiome in AIDS patients (1), living patients who had undergone brain surgery for epilepsy were also studied and considered within the control group. The rest of the control group included patients who had died from diseases other than AIDS. Interestingly, the bacteria count was much lower in these living patients than in dead patients (AIDS or control). No actinobacteria, beta-proteobacteria or gamma-proteobacteria were found in the surgical samples, while these was present in the rest of the brains from deceased patients. The amount of α-Proteobacteria was also considerably lower in the living patients.
In the next table, the exact counts of each bacterial class for each case are shown as published in the article (1) , where ‘HIV’ denotes the patients who died of AIDS, ‘SUR’ denotes the patients submitted to surgery for epilepsy, and “Others” are the patients who died for reasons other than AIDS.
Clase bacteriana HIV1 HIV2 HIV3 HIV4 SUR1 SUR2 Others1 Others2 Others3 Others4
α-Proteobacteria 41 49 37 17 3 19 168 39 98 27
Actinobacteria 17 9 24 4 0 0 13 8 6 7
ß-Proteobacteria 0 0 1 0 0 0 5 3 0 0
γ-Proteobacteria 0 4 1 0 0 0 2 0 2 20

This raises the question of whether the development of these microbes is a post-mortem effect (which would explain why the living patients have lower counts of bacteria, perhaps depending on their health). So in my humble point of view, perhaps the presence of microbes in the brain could be a sign of decay, that is, the development starts when there is some kind of disease, especially neurological diseases such as epilepsy, or after death in the case of a person with a healthy brain. It would be necessary to analyse the brain microbiome of a perfectly healthy, living person for this to be confirmed, however this has never been done, or at least published in a scientific journal.

2) Similarly, the experiment showing augmented neural connections when brain cells are in a proteobacteria-rich environment may be interpreted in a different way. It is known that slightly stressful situations, such as challenges, stimulate our intelligence. In nature, it is known that organisms who are submitted to some degree of defiant environment grow better. For example, fruit trees that grow in wild environments submitted to weather inclemencies such as strong winds give much richer fruits than the ones that grow in protected environments without wind. In the same way, an environment full of microbes constitutes a very important challenge for the survival of a cell, stimulating them to grow more and create more connections in order to solve this problem of microbial infection. Again, we cannot know for sure whether the presence of microbes is an advantage for the brain’s development or just a dangerous and stressful situation.

So I think that the conclusions that Dr. Ruggiero states concerning the brain microbiome must be taken with a little caution and more research is required.

One must also take into account the conflict of interests that he himself recognizes. He is the founder of a company dedicated to the development and production of advanced microbiome-based probiotics.


(1) Branton WG, Ellestad KK, Maingat F, Wheatley BM, Rud E, Warren RL, et al. (2013) Brain Microbial Populations in HIV/AIDS: α-Proteobacteria Predominate Independent of Host Immune Status. PLoS ONE 8(1): e54673. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0054673

(2) Maradonna F, Gioacchini G, Falcinelli S, Bertotto D, Radaelli G, Olivotto I, et al. (2013) Probiotic Supplementation Promotes Calcification in Danio rerio Larvae: A Molecular Study. PLoS ONE 8(12): e83155. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0083155


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