Supporting Your Mycobiome, Microbiome, and Digestive Well being

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There is solid scientific and published research to support this concept.

Support your mycobioma, microbiome and your digestive health

Support of your mycobioma,
Microbiome and digestive health

In collaboration with our friends from BIOHM

Mahmoud Ghannoum, PhD

Mahmoud Ghannoum, PhD, is the scientist who named the mycobioma, the community of fungi that, along with bacteria, viruses, and other organisms, make up our microbiome. He has evidence that working together fungi and bacteria can be responsible for creating a persistent biofilm – he calls it digestive plaque – that harbor unwanted microbes in the gut. And he has research-based suggestions on how to feed beneficial fungi and bacteria to promote digestive health.

Ghannoum is Professor and Director of the Center for Medical Mycology at Case Western Reserve University. He and his son Afif Ghannoum co-founded BIOHM, a research and data-driven company that can perform an ingenious analysis of your gut microbiome, including fungi. Her team also makes products that support healthy intestinal flora and ultimately overall health.

A Q&A with Mahmoud Ghannoum, PhD

Q What is the mycobioma? A

The mycobioma refers to the community of fungi that live on our skin, in our intestines and mouth, and throughout our bodies. Mycology is the study of mushrooms. We wanted to distinguish it from the bacteriome, which refers to the bacterial community.

Q When people think of a fungus in their body, they likely think of candida. Is Candida a Common Problem? A

Candida is very important. People think of candida because of oral thrush in babies. And when we use broad spectrum antibiotics like tetracycline, they kill the good bacteria in our gut that keep candida under control. This gives candida an opportunity to grow and cause trouble. Everyone is scared of candida, but candida is present in nearly 70 percent of people. It is a normal part of the flora. It only causes disease when it overgrows. In fact, having candida present at low levels is beneficial. It helps break down food that good bacteria can feed on.

Q We’ve heard of bread dough yeast colonizing the intestines. Is It Safe to Consume Live Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast from unfiltered beer or uncooked bread dough? A

S. cerevisiae, which we use for baking bread and in beer, is a good yeast. We did a study of Crohn’s disease patients and found that they had low levels of S. cerevisiae while it was present at high levels in healthy people. That is why I would call S. cerevisiae a beneficial insect. We have included Saccharomyces boulardii, a sub-strain of S. cerevisiae, in our probiotic BIOHM mixture.

Q Can you tell us more about your probiotics? A

We have formulated capsule and powder products that contain our probiotic blend. We’re happy we brought out something that isn’t a capsule as some people don’t take capsules. In addition to S. boulardii, the Super Reds powder from BIOHM contains the probiotics Bifidobacterium breve, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus rhamnosus. It also contains prebiotics, pomegranate and other red fruits and vegetables, mushrooms, and amylase, a digestive enzyme. It’s vegan.

BIOHM's Super Reds

Q What are the symptoms of an unbalanced mycobioma? A

For example, if you have an imbalance in Candida, you can experience pain, gastrointestinal problems, and allergic reactions.

Q How does someone know if their mycobioma is balanced? A

There are several ways to determine this. At BIOHM we have developed a quiz based on our research, which you can find on guttesting.com. We collected stool samples from thousands of people and looked at the microbiome and metadata that tell us about diet, exercise, health, and the use of antibiotics or other drugs. We found that the metadata had tell-tale signs that you might have candida or some imbalance in your microbiome in general.

So this is one way to do the quick test on guttesting.com and that could give you an indication of whether or not your microbiome is likely to be imbalanced. If you want to know more clearly whether you have an imbalance, you can send in a stool sample for the BIOHM intestinal test. That will tell you what bacteria and fungi are there and whether or not they have the correct levels. We compare your profile with our data from thousands of healthy people. When people were given antibiotics or had an illness, we excluded them. Healthy people define normal equilibrium.

We let our nutritionist look at the report and, based on this, make recommendations for diet, lifestyle and dietary supplements, including probiotics and prebiotics. You can share your report with your doctor and discuss any suggested lifestyle and dietary supplement recommendations with them.

{“Sizes”: {“Mobile”:[[300,250]],”Tablet”:[[300,250]]”Desktop”:[]}, “targeting”: {“pos”: “rightrail”}, “adUnit”: ” / 55303442 / ros”} Q What are the most important lifestyle factors that you found in the data set that are associated with myco- or microbiome- Imbalance? A

Number one, at the top of the list, is diet. The western diet contains elements that can encourage the growth of inflammatory bacteria. For example, people who eat a lot of refined sugar are prone to have candida. A vegetarian diet can be healthy, but it can be high in sugar. The other important thing is to eat enough fiber. We don’t disassemble it. It gets into the colon, and then it breaks down beneficial microbes like lactobacilli and bifidobacteria and produces small compounds, such as short chain fatty acids, that can aid our immunity and communication between our intestines and our brain. Complex carbohydrates are also important for intestinal health, for example from potatoes and bananas, especially from unripe bananas.

Q How does alcohol affect mycobioma? A

I think it’s okay if you drink three glasses of red wine a week because it has been shown to have benefits. But excessive alcohol can definitely affect our mycobioma and reduce its diversity.

Q Can you tell us about your research on the BIOHM probiotic dietary supplement? A

We did a study to show how it changes the balance of the microbiome. We presented the data at the American Society for Microbiology’s ASM-Microbe meeting and are now writing the paper. We had people take a stool sample at the beginning and then a stool sample after four weeks of taking the probiotic BIOHM capsule. We analyzed the microbiome at the start of the study and compared it at the end of the four weeks. We found that there was an increase in beneficial microbes like Bifidobacterium. We saw a decrease in Candida and the Firmicutes bacterial strain. So the probiotic improved the composition of the microbiome. And now we’re going to do a study to see how it affects gastrointestinal problems.

When you start something new, you sometimes don’t know whether you want to help people or not. To my delight, some people came up to me at meetings and said that helping their mycobioma changed their lives. It is a pleasure to hear this.

Scientist Mahmoud Ghannoum, PhD, an NIH-funded researcher since 1993, has spent his career studying fungi in the body and their effects on gut and general health. Ghannoum is a lifetime professor and director of the Center for Medical Mycology at Case Western Reserve University and the University Hospitals Medical Center. He is also a co-founder of 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 a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied on for specific medical advice. To the extent that this article contains the advice of a doctor or alternative practitioner, the views expressed are the views of the expert quoted and do not necessarily reflect the views of goop.