There is an exciting new category of gut bacteria that has emerged from the current research in the gut microbiome. Find out more in my interview with Kiran Krishnan about gut commensal spore bacteria probiotics.
If you are as excited about the research in the microbiome as I am, you are going to love reading this interview with Kiran Krishnan (see his biography below).
Full disclosure – this is a sponsored post and I have received compensation from Just Thrive. However, I only support products I have used and found to be excellent, which I have with Just Thrive. As I have said before, due to Just Thrive and this tonic, my digestion is now excellent!
My questions and comments are in italics.
Can you please explain what gut commensal spore bacteria probiotics are.
Gut commensal organisms naturally live in the intestines. The gut is anaerobic (without oxygen) and devoid of any exposure to light.
Gut commensal spore bacteria (the strains used in Just Thrive) are in a whole new category.
These bacteria have a spore shell which they put on and off according to their environmental conditions. Because they are human commensal organisms, as soon as they enter the intestines, they remove their protective shell (desporulate) and begin to reproduce.
When gut commensal spores are found in soil, it is exclusively in their spore-protected, inactive form, because the soil is not their natural home.
The soil is a vector where they wait, hoping to hitch a ride on a plant which is then consumed by an animal.
Gut commensal spores do not reproduce until they enter their “home,” which is the gut. They can live in the gut for about 3 weeks.
Can you please speak about the safety of gut commensal spores.
The gut commensal spores found in Just Thrive consists of four very well defined strains with a long clinical history of use.
There has been exceptional characterization by Royal Holloway Lab at London University and considerable demonstration of safety and precise dosing of each strain to meet clinical efficacy.
All four proprietary strains in Just Thrive are pharmaceutical grade and DNA verified by an independent 3rd party lab. This ensures not only the highest quality and verified safety, but also that what is in the bottle, capsule by capsule and batch to batch, is 100% accurate.
Gut Commensal Spore Bacillus probiotics are uniquely designed by nature to:
Can you speak about how DNA analysis helps us understand which bacteria are in a product?
Only DNA analysis can guarantee that what is on the label is, in fact, found in the product.
For example, one study done in 2015 found that 15 out of 16 retail probiotic products with multiple strains failed to have accurate labeling.
The potencies were often less, but, much more concerning was that many contained bacterial strains that were not on the label at all and had never been studied for safety. (source)
I personally remember when this study was publicized and was quite disappointed and confused.
Here are More Reasons to Consider Taking the Commensal Spores in Just Thrive
Kiran, I know you have said that the lactobacillus probiotics are dead, but what about the fact that many people say the lactobacillis probiotics help them. There are studies that show efficacy in using them for certain conditions.
Lactobacillus do not cause a shift towards good bacteria. To explain this we can say that some exposure to bacteria, even dead bacteria can be beneficial.
There was a study published regarding lactobacillus GG, that shows when GG is heat-killed, it actually works better.
I have found, clinically, that lactobacillus GG does work well for some people.
That begs the question, what are they actually doing if they work better when dead?
It turns out that some strains contain micro RNA.
Micro RNA is a powerful tool that can change the epigenetics of both microbiome cells and human cells.
Micro RNA can turn genes on and off. In these cases they are not functioning as a live probiotic. They are being reclassified as metabolic or biological response modifiers.
Here is another study that has shown lactobacillus rhamnosus GG to work whether live or heat killed. (source)
Some of the dead bacteria can have a positive effect and fermented foods can have positive effects as well.
Fermented foods are fine when they are from wild fermentation. The microbes break down and help digest food and create metabolytes like organic acids, vitamins, and peptides from environmental bacteria. These are different then from conventional cultured foods which also contain lots of sugar and other additives.
Fermentation is a source of predigested nutritious food, good for the microbiome and immune system. However we don’t get live bacteria this way. The bacteria die in the stomach along with the fermented foods.
Our ancestors picked up environmental bacteria from food and fermentation as we do. These bacteria don’t necessarily colonize, but help in metabolic processes as they passed through. Some bacteria on wild fermented foods may still be in spore form.
That’s interesting! I always thought that by eating fermented foods, I was getting live bacteria. I guess when you think about it, they would die on the way through the digestive system. But they still have a beneficial effect.
Please explain your findings about the effects of saturated fat on the microbiome. Which exact fats were used in these studies? Were saturated fats from grassfed animals used or were conventional saturated used?
We found that saturated fats can be bad for the microbiome. We found that gram negative bacteria take saturated fats and build LPS – they actually built a more toxic version of LPS, but it isn’t an issue if it doesn’t leak into the gut.
When there is leaky gut, the endotoxins from the lumen of intestines leak into the blood. This won’t happen if the gut is not leaky.
If you found that the saturated fats disrupt the microbiome how do you explain the fact that they were eaten by indigenous cultures studied by Dr. Price and we know they are important for good health?
Our ancestors did not have leaky gut and so they could handle the amount of saturated fats they ate. It’s not about the fat being bad – but it can be when there is leaky gut present.
It’s important to fix the leaky gut and use the right bacteria.
Our published study (link above) used frozen pizza to induce leaky gut. We screened healthy college students -and we found that 55% had endotoxemia after the meal and 45% did not have a toxic response.
After taking commensal spore probiotics for 30 days, the leaky gut was fixed after being given the same toxic meal.
We also found that coconut oil caused a greater endotoxic response. Coconut oil can kill off bacteria and LPS will be released. Europeans did not historically eat coconut.
We also found that those with leaky gut would get the endotoxic response even with a healthy meal.
Wow! We really have to fix leaky gut!
Can you talk about how the spores can help regulate the immune system and may perhaps benefit those with autoimmunity?
The immune system is highly complex and multifactorial, which means the stimulation of one part causes a modulation of another.
The spores can modulate the immune response by pushing the cell-mediated immune response of T-cells from Th2 to Th1 when the system becomes Th2 “stuck”. This is a modulation via cytokines and not a non-specific stimulation of all T-cell responses.
Additionally, the spores help balance the immune response so that one particular route is not exclusively favored.
With regards to autoimmune issues, its clear that an autoimmune attack arises from expression of T-cells that mistakenly recognize “self” as “non-self” and thus cause damage to self-tissue. This is a T-cell response and can occur when T-cell responses are induced by an incoming pathogen or antigen.
The body has its own regulatory mechanisms in place to reduce autoimmune T-cells from proliferation when T-cells in general are being stimulated to respond to an incoming threat.
These are called T-Regulatory Cells or Tregs.
Tregs are responsible for suppressing the activity of autoimmune T-cells while T-cells designed to fight pathogens are up-regulated.
Tregs are the key to reducing the incidence and symptoms of autoimmune disease.
The interesting part is that Tregs are induced by and controlled by (to some degree), the commensal gut bacteria.
In particular, scientists found and published in 2010 that the bacteria that had the most potent stimulation of Tregs were spore-forming, gram-positive bacteria. (source)
Bacillus species (found in Megaspore and Just Thrive) are in fact spore-forming, gram positive bacteria.
Thus, Megaspore and Just Thrive may help induce the proliferation and up-regulation of Tregs, thereby supporting the suppression of an autoimmune attack.
In addition, studies have shown that some pathogenic organisms such as helicobacter can induce a gut inflammatory response that can lead to autoimmune attacks. The spores in Megaspore and Just Thrive do help control the population of these types of pathogenic organisms. (source)
Megaspore and Just Thrive also supports the growth of beneficial lactobacillus and bifidobacterium species in the GI tract, which also helps reduce inflammation and auto-reactive immune cells.
What is your opinion about healing diets such as GAPS, Paleo, AIP, Keto?
These diets can help, but most should be temporary. The patient would also need to take the right probiotic in order to get a healing effect. The microbiome must have diversity to prevent disease.
Diversity is dictated by diet, so a very restricted diet will cause the patient to lose diversity in their microbiome.
It’s good to clean up diet, but once they start to feel better they should start to expand what they eat. If you eliminate certain foods for too long, that can then cause them to become allergenic. The immune system can forget the oral tolerance to that specific food and can induce IgE intolerance.
Our ancestors ate 400 – 600 different foods and this supported a highly diverse microbiome. They also ate seasonally and this created diversity as well.
Typically people eat only 15 different foods. This does not support diversity.
Adding tubers and resistant starch into the diet will help.
Intermittent fasting is all the rage right now. How does intermittent fasting affect the microbiome?
Intermittent fasting is one of the best things you can do for longevity!
It seems to increase diversity of the microbiome. Certain species thrive well when NO FOOD comes through.
When you stop eating, you reduce the numbers of bacteria that eat the primary food. In a fasted state, the secondary and tertiary metabolites (of the primary food) feed the bacteria that can’t digest the primary food source. This is beneficial because it increases diversity by supporting the bacteria that can only survive on the secondary and tertiary metabolites of the primary food.
Wow, I didn’t know this about intermittent fasting! I am so glad to hear you say this as I have been practicing this for years!
The microbiome has a circadian system and it is supposed to go through fed and fasted states. Fasting increases autophagy and increases growth hormone . It is a method of housekeeping, of sweeping and cleaning the intestines, by the migrating motor complexes while in a fasted state.
Intermittent fasting dictates the biologic clock and balances the microbiome.
What is your opinion about FMT?
Studies show that FMT works well for C. diff. but it has limited functionality in the small bowel.
For those who practice DIY FMT, donor selection is an issue. This must be done with great care because, donated stool can not only transfer pathogens, it can also transfer other emotional, mood or anxiety issues to the recipient.
Based on what you know about the microbiome, what is a healthy transit time?
This may be very individual, because all microbiomes are completely different.
There may be 70% differences between people’s microbiomes. The normal range is usually 12 – 24 hours. Some people can go 2 -3 times a day. Others once a day.
What is your opinion on the use of enema and what are the effects on microbiome?
Enema is unnatural, but when used sparingly it can have a positive effect, Particularly when using a retention enema and you are putting in nutrients.
However, if it is done too often, it can have a sloughing off of the mucosal layer and bacteria in the colon.
Maybe once or twice a month is OK.
This is similar to the effects of a sinus rinse, which can wash out good bacteria and subsequently blowing the nose can cause bacteria to go deeper into the sinus.
How do the commensal spores benefit people with inflammatory bowel disease in particular and other digestive conditions in general?
The epithelial cells are one cell thick. On top of the epithelial layer is the mucosa, which has different parts:
The top part of the mucosa (mucin 1) is liquidy and this is where bacteria live. Mucin 2 is thick and dense and impenetrable to bacteria. In IBD the thicker part of the mucosa (mucin 2) breaks down. Dysbiotic flora allows the bacteria to break down the mucus layer – and this destroys the physical part of the mucosa.
One of the biggest causes of IBD is the translocation of bacteria from the top part of the mucosa to the lower part of the mucosa. When this happens, an inflammatory response occurs. In IBD, it is your own commensal bacteria that is in the wrong place.
So you must improve the structure of the mucosal layer.
Buyrate, made by commensal spore bacteria, creates a physical barrier between gut bacteria, protecting the mucosal layer.
People with IBD need short chain fatty acids (butyrate) and can get them by adding more roots, tubers and resistant starch – (sweet potatoes, parsnips, rutabaga, yucca, etc.).
What is the difference between Megaspore and Just Thrive?
Megaspore is the product that contains the additional spore, B. lichenformis as well as the four other species that are also in Just Thrive. Megaspore has 35-40% more potency than Just Thrive. Megaspore may be purchased through a health care provider.
This has been so instructive! Thank you Kiran Krishnan for taking the time to answer my questions!
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Kiran Krishnan is a research microbiologist whose focus is the human microbiome and wellness. With his particular expertise in the newest frontier in microbiology – gut commensal spore bacteria – Kiran is a frequent lecturer, largely to national and international medical audiences, but also as an expert speaker at conferences for the public as well as on live radio and satellite podcasts. Coming from a strict research background in molecular medicine and microbiology, since 2001 Kiran has conducted dozens of human clinical trials in human nutrition through the Clinical Research Organization he established. In addition to his ground-breaking leaky gut study published in 2017 showing “significant” healing of gut enteropathy within thirty days, Kiran is currently involved in eight other ongoing clinical trials testing the effect of gut commensal spore bacillus on: Thyroid/Hashimoto’s, Clostridium Difficile, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Weight Loss/Grehlin production, Triglyceride reduction, Insulin Resistance improvement, Gingivitis in addition to a second, but longer (90-day) Leaky Gut trial.