The Microbiome

Integrative neurology incorporates
western allopathic medicine
(history, physical, lab tests,
neuroimaging, medications and
therapies (OT, PT, ST, vision therapy
and neurophysiologic studies) with
the benefits of additional treatment
tools including, bioidentical hormone
replacement therapy, essential oils,
herbs, homeopathy and nutrition.


  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Attention Deficit
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Behavioral Disorders
  • Conduct Disorders/ Delinquency
  • Cognitive Dysfunction
  • Developmental Delay
  • Epilepsy
  • Fatigue
  • Food & Environmental allergies/
    delayed hypersensitivity
  • Genetic disorders
  • Headaches
  • Hearing loss
         Sensorineural and/or conductive
  • Hypotonia
  • Infections
  • Inflammation
  • Learning Disabilities: Dyslexia, Right
    Hemisphere Syndrome, Nonverbal
    Learning Disorders
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Neurodevelopmental delay
  • Neuroimmune disease
  • Pain
  • Seizures
  • Sinusitis (bacterial and fungal)
  • Toxicant exposure (heavy metal,
    pesticides, solvents etc).
  • Traumatic Brain injury and post
    concussive syndrome
  • Weakness

Julie Anne Griffith, M.D., M.S., B.C.I.P.
Pediatric and Adult Neurology
Integrative Pediatrics
IMPORTANT NOTE: Immunocompromised and immunodeficient patients as well as should
ask their doctor before beginning a probiotic/prebiotic treatment.

Certainly if you have immediate allergies or delayed hypersensitivities to foods, then you may need to
modify the recommendations below.  Please discuss dietary change with your health care practitioner,
to be sure the recommendations are in alignment to support your health given any medical problems.

Did you know that 99% of the genes in our organism are not human? This fraction of genes is referred
to as the microbiome. All the microorganisms-and their genes that form part of our body, have a very
important role in the prevention and treatment of disease. The microbiota is defined as the microbes
that collectively inhabit any given ecosystem (Lynch, 2016); in this case, you are that ecosystem! The
microbiota weighs about 3 pounds of our body weight and acts as an organ due to its ability to produce
hormones and nutrients, reproduce, modulate metabolism and even communicate with several systems
and organs in our body-including the brain!

These microorganisms have formed part of our evolution and have been on Earth a long time before
us, about 4.5 billion years ago! However it hasn't been long since scientists began to analyze all the
benefits a healthy microbiome could have on our health.

These wonderful group of microorganisms, mainly bacteria and fungi, can produce vitamins essential
for brain health such as B complex vitamins, neurotransmitters such as serotonin, acetylcholine and
gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which are essential for normal brain function.

So how can I promote a healthy microbiome?

First off we have to define 2 essential terms: probiotics and prebiotics.

According to the WHO, probiotics are live microorganisms that when administered in adequate amounts
confer a health benefit for the host- i.e you!

You have probably seen them in the nutrition supplement aisle as well as in yogurts, drinks and
fermented foods.

These bacteria have been proved to aid in gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn's disease, Celiac
disease, diarrhea in  ulcerative colitis and IBS. Also, they play an essential role in immunity, by
producing short chain fatty acids such as butyrate, which dampens inflammation and promotes gut and
immune health.

A study has shown that a bacteria from the genus Lactobacillus might decrease the symptoms present
in food allergies.

Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that can stimulate selectively the growth of probiotic-like
bacteria normally present in the gut.

Good sources of prebiotics include:

*Inulin containing foods such as artichokes, onions, garlic, unripe bananas, asparagus and agave.

*Soluble fiber containing foods as oatmeal, flax seed, muesli and nuts,

and not soluble fiber foods such as that present in fruits and vegetables.

*Complex sugars present in breast milk called galactooligosaccharides (GOS), which have been seen
to prevent infant GI disturbances like diarrhea and constipation,  also promote a healthy gut

Prebiotics will feed your gut bacteria and provide them the adequate medium to thrive and reproduce
so it's essential to ingest a good amount of fiber. The DRI (daily recommended intake) is about 28g a
day for an average male adult and 25g for women. This will not only keep your bacteria happy, but will
also stimulate digestion and keep you satiated for longer, which might promote a healthy weight and
has been proven to prevent colon cancer.

Let's say you want to have a good probiotic diet today. Firstly, my main suggestion would be to add
vegetables in every meal in order to feed the healthy gut bacteria. Try to choose veggies and fruits of
different colors-remember that every color has a different health benefit!

To give a boost to the effect of veggies try eating them fermented, then you'll be eating both a prebiotic
and a probiotic at the same time. Sauerkraut or coleslaw and pickles are good examples of a good
source of probiotics and prebiotics.

Also, one may try, as tolerated, to replace animal protein for plant based protein fermented products
like tempeh. Drinks such as kombucha, lassi, calpis and kefir are also good sources of live bacteria.

People often wonder about which yogurt to choose, due to all the varieties in the market. However
choosing a good yogurt is relatively easy:

Check the ingredient list. They come from higher to lower concentration in the product, so if sugar is
among the first 5 ingredients that's not good.

Make sure your yogurt has live cultures. That will normally be indicated in the end

of the ingredient list.

Try to choose natural flavor. Flavored and sweetened yogurt are usually packed with sugar so try to
get unsweetened yogurt and add some fruit or honey to it. Honey is also a nutritious prebiotic which will
be much better for your gut bacteria than artificial sweeteners!

Alice Lara

BS Nutrition student ITESM

Dr. Griffith whole heartedly approves this interesting and useful information on The Microbiome. Thank
you, Ms. Lara!
As of Jan. 2019