There is sound science and published research that supports this concept.
Supporting your mycobiome, microbiome and digestive health
By supporting your Mycobiome,
Microbiome and digestive health
In partnership with our friends from BIOHM
Dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum is the scientist who named the mycobiome, the community of fungi that along with bacteria, viruses and other organisms make up our microbiome. There is evidence that fungi and bacteria that work together may be responsible for creating a persistent biofilm – he calls it digestive plaque – that contains guts in unwanted microbes. It also has research-based suggestions on how to nurture beneficial fungi and bacteria to promote digestive health.
Ghannoum is a professor and director of the Center for Medical Mycology at Case Western Reserve University. He and his son Afif Ghannoum were co-founders BIOHM, a research and data-driven company that can provide sophisticated analysis of your intestinal microbiome, including fungi. Their team also produces products that support healthy intestinal microflora and, ultimately, overall health.
Questions and answers with Dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum
Mycobiome refers to a community of fungi that lives on our skin, in our intestines and mouth, and throughout the body. Mycology is the study of fungi. We wanted to distinguish it from bacterioma, which refers to the bacterial community.
Candida is very important. People think of Candida because of oral thrush in babies. And when we use broad-spectrum antibiotics, like tetracyclines, they kill the good bacteria in our gut that keep Candida under control. This gives Candida a chance to grow and create problems. Everyone is afraid of Candida, but Candida is present in almost 70 percent of people. It is a normal part of the flora. The only time it causes the disease is when it grows. In fact, when Candida is present at a low level, it is useful. It helps break down food that can feed good bacteria.
S. cerevisiae, which we use in baking bread and beer, is a good yeast. We did research on patients with Crohn’s disease and found that they have a low level S. cerevisiaewhile in healthy people it is present at a high level. So I would think S. cerevisiae beneficial organism. In ours BIOHM probiotic blend, we included Saccharomyces boulardii, which is the substrate S. cerevisiae.
We have formulated products for capsules and powder that contain our probiotic blend. We’re excited to come out with something that’s not a capsule because some people don’t like to take capsules. Next to S. boulardii,, BIOHM’s Super Reds powder contains probiotics Bifidobacterium breve,, Lactobacillus acidophilus, i Lactobacillus rhamnosus. It also includes prebiotics, pomegranate and other red fruits and vegetables, mushrooms and amylase, a digestive enzyme. He’s vegan.
If you have an imbalance, for example, Candida, you may have pain, gastrointestinal problems and allergic reactions.
There are several ways you can determine this. At BIOHM, based on our research, we have developed a quiz where you can find guttesting.com. We collected stool samples from thousands of people and looked at the microbiome as well as metadata that tells us about diet, exercise, people’s health, and the use of antibiotics or other medications. We found that there are signs from the metadata that you may have Candida or an imbalance in your microbiome.
So, this is one way to do it, to do a quick test on guttesting.com, and it could give you an indication of whether your microbiome is probably unbalanced or not. If you want to know for sure if you have an imbalance, you can send a stool sample to BIOHM bowel test. This will tell you which bacteria and fungi exist and whether they are at the right level or not. We compare your profile with our data of thousands of healthy people. If people were on antibiotics or had any disease, we ruled them out. Healthy people defined a normal balance.
Our nutritionist reviews the report and based on that we make recommendations for diet, lifestyle and nutritional supplements, including probiotics and prebiotics. You can share your report with your doctor and talk to him about any suggested lifestyle and recommendations for supplementation.
Number one, at the top of the list, is diet. The Western diet contains elements that can stimulate the growth of bacteria that are pro-inflammatory. For example, people who eat a lot of refined sugar tend to have Candida. A vegetarian diet can be healthy, but it can contain a lot of sugar. Another important thing is to eat enough fiber. We don’t break it. It goes into the colon, and then beneficial microbes like lactobacilli and bifidobacteria break it down and produce small compounds, such as short-chain fatty acids, that can help our immunity and communication between the gut and the brain. Complex carbohydrates are also important for gut health, for example from potatoes and bananas, especially unripe bananas.
I think it’s okay if you have three glasses of red wine a week because it has been shown to have benefits. But excess alcohol can definitely affect our mycobiom and reduce its diversity.
We did a study to show how it changes the balance of the microbiome. We presented the data at a meeting of the American Society for Microbiology ASM Microbe, and are now writing a paper. People took a stool sample at the beginning, and then a stool sample after four weeks of taking the BIOHM probiotic capsule. We analyzed the microbiome at the beginning and compared it at the end of four weeks. We found that there was an increase in beneficial microbes such as Bifidobacterium. We noted a decrease in Candida and the bacterial species Firmicutes. Thus, the probiotic improved the composition of the microbiome. And now we will do a study to see how it affects gastrointestinal problems.
Sometimes when you start something new, you don’t know if you’re going to help people or not. To my satisfaction, a number of people approached me at the meetings and said that supporting their mycobiome changed their lives. It is a pleasure to hear this.
Scientist dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum, a researcher who has been funding NIH since 1993, has spent his career studying fungi in the body and their impact on the gut – and in general – on health. Ghannoum is a full professor and director of the Center for Medical Mycology at Case Western Reserve University and the Medical Center of University Hospitals. He is also a co-founder BIOHM, a company that conducts basic research on the human microbiome and has developed products to assess and support gut health.
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. To the extent that this article contains the advice of a physician or physicians, the views expressed are those of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of the goop.