Monday, June 10, 2013
Professor Simon Carding PhD.
“You can’t have a disease without a gut problem.”
“None of these other therapies will work unless you deal with the gut.”
Paul Cheney, M.D, 2009
Professor Simon Carding, from the University of East Anglia and the Institute of Food Research, gave a talk at the 2011 Invest in ME conference entitled : ‘A Gut-Brain Link for ME/CFS’. It can be viewed on the Invest in ME 2011 conference DVD. Prof. Carding studies the gastro-intestinal tract in an effort to understand the relationship between our immune response and gut function and, in particular, how the microbes that reside in the gut and environmental microbes cause disease. In his 2011 talk, Prof. Carding discussed a very interesting theory regarding the breakdown in tolerance of commensal gut bacteria and illnesses such as in inflammatory bowel disease, where the body’s immune system is activated because it can no longer ignore or tolerate these microbes. This work highlights the possibility of probiotic treatment for those with ME/CFS who are found to have this intolerance.
Dr. Carding regular attends the Invest in ME conference. He was present at the conference last week as part of the one-day invitational discussion on "Infections and Immunity in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis". He also was a contributor to the 2012 roundtable discussion on "Autoimmunity in ME/CFS".
Dr. Carding, along with Tom Wileman, Amolak Bansal and others, is conducting a study of gut ecology in ME/CFS. Information on the study can be found here. "This project will determine if alterations in intestinal barrier function and/or microbiota exist in ME/CFS patients, and whether microbe-driven inflammatory responses can provide an explanatation for the pathophysiology of ME." The study hopes to reveal dysregulation in the gut ecology of ME/CFS, perhaps an overabundance or underabundance of some bacteria - or perhaps something completely missing. It is a three-year study and will involve potential interventions as the study unfolds and things are learned. So one will not necessarily have to wait until the end of the study to find out what might be helpful or potentially helpful.
Here is a youtube video entitled A Journey through Simon Carding. We will watch with interest the work of Professor Carding.
Among other things, it is understood that many ME/CFS patients have low Bifidobacteria. They also show a major disruption between Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. Additionally often ME/CFS patients have low secretory IgA. The question is, can these items be augmented, can they be increased or balanced using prebiotics or probiotics? Testing can be done at Metametrix or Redlabs BE. The time to start investigating this on an individual basis is now.
The gut microbiome is an area of intense scientific study. On June 12, 20013 researchers from around the world are gathering at the New York Academy of Sciences on this very subject. The conference is entitled "Prebiotics, Probiotics and the Host Microbiome: The Science of Translation". Information can be found here. Gregor Reid will be making a presentation.