The Human Microbiome Project

Last time, we published a short post about human microbiomes. They are thought to have great influence on human body, particularly on its health status and development. This time, we will cover some information about the Human Microbiome Project, an initiative of the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The human body is home to a gigantic number and diversity of microbes. Inside the body of a healthy adult, microbial cells are thought to outnumber human cells 10 times. What’s more, the joined hereditary contributions of these microorganisms may give crucial characteristics not encoded in our own particular genome yet needed for normal development, physiology, immunity, and nourishment. The mission of the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) is to produce resources to depict these microbial groups and to investigate their parts in health and disease.

Essential parts of the Human Microbiome Project will be culture-independent strategies for microbial community characterization, for example, metagenomics, as well as extensive genome sequencing (which gives a “profound” genetic viewpoint on specific parts of a given microbial group, i.e. of individual bacterial species). The latter will serve as reference genomic successions — 3000 such groupings of individual bacterial isolates are presently planned — for examination purposes amid consequent metagenomic analysis. The microbiology of five body locales will be emphasized: oral, skin, vaginal, gut, and nasal/lung. The project also is financing profound sequencing of bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA groupings enhanced by polymerase chain response from human subjects.

The Goals of the Human Microbiome Project

According to the website of the National Institutes of Health:

The NIH Human Microbiome Project is one of several international efforts designed to take advantage of large scale, high through multi ‘omics analyses to study the microbiome in human health. As a community resource program, the HMP is a partner in an international collaboration to generate rich, comprehensive, and publicly available datasets of the microbiome. This information will be available worldwide for use by investigators and others in efforts to understand and improve human health.

The long-term objective of this initiative is to develop datasets and tools that the community can use to evaluate which biological properties of the microbiome and host will yield important new insights in understanding human health and disease. This initiative is also designed to stimulate the collection of multi ‘omics properties of the microbiome and the host by the research community.

So, what does that mean to you? Maybe there’s no direct impact for a regular guy but you’ll eventually notice that it has a significant effect in the field of medicine. Understanding more about microbiomes can answer many questions in the field of medicine.

Examining organisms inside their communities rather than independently assumes a key part in understanding the human microbiome. A real objective of the Human Microbiome Project is to help analysts focus the likenesses and contrasts among the microbiome of healthy and sick people. They can then portray these groups among groups of individuals, and figure out how they change in diverse health and sickness states.

Human Microbiomes – A Brief Introduction

The human microbiome is the population of inhabitants in more than 100 trillion microorganisms that live in our gut, mouth, skin and somewhere else in our bodies. These microbial groups have various useful capacities pertinent to supporting life. They are required to process nourishment, to avert ailment bringing bacteria from attacking the body, and to integrate fundamental supplements and vitamins.

The aggregate number of genes connected with the human microbiome surpasses the aggregate number of human genes by a factor of 100-to-one. With the progression of genomic technologies, the limit of this “second genome” to impact health can now be harnessed as a function of the whole community instead of as segregated bacterial species.

The human microbiome is composed of the microbes, and their genes and genomes, which live in and on the human body. Researchers are uncovering exactly how critical these inhabitant organisms are to our well-being and health, especially regarding the parts they play in keeping up our immune systems, contributing to the digestion of our food, and acting as a first line of defense against pathogens. There are numerous infections that may be the consequence of disturbed microbiomes; in any case, microbiome-based medicinal medications and applications are coming soon.

Our Other Genome – The Human Microbiome

Throughout mankind’s history, we have been at war with microbes. Bubonic plague, small pox, yellow fever, and typhoid are some of the few examples of historic agents of change. Modern day infectious disease includes malaria, tuberculosis, cholera and HIV/AIDS, to name a few.

In present comprehension, the human body is made up of about 10 times more microbial cells than human cells. Further, there may be millions more microbial genes than human genes in this human + microbiome system (which is regularly considered a human ‘super organism’), and it is the ways in which these microbial genes connect with the human host that depicts their extreme part in our health.

Scientists now accept that newborn children are sterile (which means they’re free of microorganisms) in the womb and get their first inoculum of organisms from the mother during regular labor. This inoculum happens to colonize the infant and start a progression of occasions leading to the development of the child’s own microbiome.

The vast majority of the organisms connected with humans gives off an impression of being not harmful whatsoever, but rather helps in keeping up a healthy body. An astonishing finding was that at particular sites on the body, an alternate set of organisms may perform the same function for different individuals. For example, on the tongues of two individuals two totally distinctive sets of life forms will break down sugars in the same way. This proposes that medical science may be compelled to forsake only one-microbe model of disease, and rather give careful consideration to the function of a group of microorganisms that has somehow gone away.

The Human Microbiome Project aims to identify and characterize microorganisms which are associated with both healthy and diseased humans. They wanted to understand how changes in human microbiome are associated with human health and disease.

Bacteria and Bad Breath

monsters2Everyone has had a moment where they don’t want to open their mouths because of their breath. The garlic-filled lunch or that cup of black coffee might have tasted delicious, but you know it always comes back to bite you in close quarters with you coworkers or friends. However, some people have to deal with bad breath without a clear and specific cause. An excess of anaerobic bacteria in the mouth causes this type of bad breath.

Bacteria consumes food and produces waste just as we do, and the waste produced by the bacteria living in your mouth is what causes bad breath. These are called volatile sulphur compounds, and they are always present in your mouth.

When you have an excess of bacteria in your mouth, you will have an excess of volatile sulphur compounds in your mouth, and will lead to bad breath. Your bad breath might smell different than someone else’s bad breath because the combination of bacteria is different in each person’s mouth. There are no exceptions – everyone has a combination of these volatile sulphur compounds in their mouths, even if they do not have bad breath.

The human nose cannot detect the smells put off by volatile sulphur compounds and low concentrations, but as concentrations grow, the more obvious and detectable the stench becomes. Bacteria thrive in oral environments with more plaque, and in people who eat more meat. The back side of the tongue houses much of the anaerobic bacteria that causes bad breath.

Combat Bad Breath

How do you control the amount of bacteria in your mouth to control bad breath? Make sure you brush you teeth every day to remove as much plaque as possible. Consider brushing your tongue or using a tongue scraper to remove the smelly bacteria that causes your to have bad breath. This is the most important step in ridding your mouth of bacteria and typically a dentist can also recommend some strategies to clean this type of bacteria. The use of anti-bacterial mouth washes also help control the amount of bacteria in your mouth.

Limit the food sources available to the anaerobic bacteria. Since bacteria lives off protein, try to brush you teeth after having a protein-heavy meal. Tiny particles of food stay in our mouth after you are finished eating, and if you do not brush after eating a meal with a good deal or protein, the bacteria in your mouth will have a feast and be able to multiple and produce excessive waste.

Another option is to talk to your dentist about minimizing bacteria build up in your mouth. A good dentist should know your mouth better than anyone and will be able to help you develop a strategy to combat bad breath. If you don’t have a dentist currently, try looking in a local directory. If in the SE Calgary area, Sunpark Dental is a great option.

The Battle Never Ends

Anaerobic bacteria will always be a part of your mouth, but keeping it under control by keeping a clean tongue and minimizing plaque in your mouth will prevent you from facing the embarrassing problem of bad breath.

How Gene’s Affect Your Workout

Genes & Your Body Type

We’re all put on this earth with certain strengths. A huge factor in how easy it is for you will be your genetics. There is no question, and anyone who tells you otherwise is flat out lying.

Does that mean you can’t build mass if you’re an ectomorph or you can’t get lean if you’re an endomorph? Hells no. It just means you have to be smarter about the process! You won’t be able to go to the gym a few times a weak, throw some weights around eat as you’ve been eating your whole life and expect any meaningful changes. It’s best if you have a solid fitness plan from a trainer.

Next time you’re at the gym look around and observe for a few minutes. Why is it that 90% of the folks in the gym are working out exactly the same way? Yet there are at least 3, I would argue more general body compositions.

Ectomorph’s shouldn’t be lifting the same that way. Ectomorph’s program should look far different from a mesomorph.

What Is Your Body Composition?

There are three general types of body compositions. Basically a string of genes tell us which ones we’ll end up with.

Ectomorph

The primary characteristics of endomorph are long limbs, thin, smaller wrists and ankles and of course very lean. Ectomorph’s will have no problem losing weight, however putting it on is an entirely different animal. Personally, I am an ectomorph I’m also 6’6″ so putting on weight is an immense challenge.

Ectomorph’s are often great long distance runners, however they probably don’t perform as well in the weight room.

Mesomorph

These are the guys and gals who seems to look fit even if they’re not entirely fit. A lot of times they CAN go to the gym and throw weights around for an hour a few times a week and continue to look strong. Generally, they’ll have slim waists yet broad shoulders.

Endomorph

“He’s built like a truck” is a common description of an Endomorph who is in shape. Of course, the flip side of that coin is Endomorph’s can easily put on weight. They have wide hips and an overall boxy build. Losing weight for an endomorph will be an immense challenge.

Of course, most folks lie somewhere between the two. For instance I’m an ectomorph but I have some mesomorph characteristics such as broad shoulders. The key is identifying which build you are and then building a workout plan that caters to your particular body type.

Genes will play a huge role in determining how effective you can be at the gym, however they shouldn’t be a limiting factor. You will have to work harder if you’re given a certain body but it doesn’t mean you can’t get cut and lean or put muscle on. Those are just excuses for not wanting to put the work in.

The Science Behind Runner’s High

Runners High

Almost every serious runner I know has experienced runner’s high to some degree. It’s one of the most glorious feelings in the world and I suspect it’s largely responsible for men and women deciding to get into ultra running. If you’re not familiar with ultra running, it’s basically long distance running taken to the extreme. The shortest distance that is considered ultrarunning is 50km.

Now, you don’t need to be an ultrarunner to experience the runners high, although I suspect they experience it on an entirely different level then the average runner. 

Let me briefly explain how I perceive runner’s high and then I’ll jump into the science behind it.

I can’t remember the first time I experienced it, but it was probably when I was fairly young. I have been running on and off from the time I was a kid. It really is the most amazing feeling, and it doesn’t always happen. I’ve never experienced it running anything less then 8km. It basically happens when I haven’t run so far that I’m completely exhausted but I’ve run far enough and long enough that the oxygen is pumping. Long enough that all you want do is come home drink a glass of water and roll out your hamstrings for 10 minutes.

Now according to many studies most haven’t actually experienced true runners high. However, after long intense exercise your pain tolerance goes up, anxiety decreases and you may experience short term euphoria. So perhaps, I’ve never experienced true runners high, however I know 70% of the time if I’m feeling shitty or moody and I go for a run I’ll probably feel a lot better. I’m writing this article sitting on my deck, fairly content. Yet a short hour ago I was in a mood and was ready to come unglued. A quick 10k run quickly fixed that.

What Is Runners High?

The idea is chemicals are released into your brain as a result of higher then regular heart rates and elevated breathing. The result is a short term blast of happiness (okay so that may not be the scientific term). This short term feeling is usually fleeting, and it can be incredibly addicting. Just like drugs or sex the release of chemicals into your brain makes your body want it again and again.

Generally speaking, I get my runners high between 8k and 12k. It’s incredible your run is so wonderful once you get it and you honestly believe you’re never going to stop running. Of course it’s not just runners who experience this, all types of endurance athletes experience it.

Unfortunately the science behind it is still murky at best. Until then, just keep running.