31 Comments Add yours

  1. Peggy says:

    This is a fantastic experiment to dig into the microbiol world and pick apart what is really going on in the microscopic world.

  2. Jennie Merovick says:

    What is “HMP”?

    1. Jeff Leach says:

      human microbiome project

    2. Danso says:

      Human Microbiome Project

  3. Brian Feldman says:

    Dr. Leach – great article in Eating Well! (Though the author did not mention what type of fats you ingested). The Hadza have a high fat and fiber intake along with low prevalence of western disease. Bottom line?
    Suggestion: Michael Pollen has a 2.5% sample Cdiff population. What is the significance of that for laymen?

    1. Jeff Leach says:

      Fat sources were bacon, steak, etc… Some oils – mainly olive. The Hadza diet fluctuates – sometimes high fat (like during a big kill), but most of the time I would characterize their diet as a lot less fat than one would think (but a work in progress). note also men likely consume a lot more animal fat than females – for a number of reasons. hard to say on michael’s cdiff levels – though i think they were after he took antibiotics.. Jeff

    2. kyle says:

      Clostridum live in our gut. And it is a healthy bacteria to have. C. Diff is a different story. Its a part of the clostridium genus but is pathogenic. The other bacteria are good. Id be more worried about his camplyobacter. One that is associated with raw meat.

  4. Lyndsay says:

    I was very intrigued by the article in eating well. Is there a page on here that goes more in depth about the foods that have the best fiber? Also, what does alcohol do to the gut microbes? Are some alcohols worse than others?

    1. Jeff Leach says:

      consume as many different kind of fibers as possible- that is, consume the greatest diversity of plants that u can.. as for the booz, we’ve found in the American Gut project that people who consume booze on a regular basis have a greater diversity of gut bugs than those who don’t! go figure….

      1. Brian Feldman says:

        In cardiology we learned that abstaining from alcohol is a risk factor for heart disease. All ethanol has therapeutic effects as a blood thinner (12 oz beer = 8 oz. wine = 1.5 oz. 80 proof spirit).

        It seems that a diversity of gut bugs is generally a good thing for our immune system.

      2. Claire says:

        Hi Jeff, I’m thinking of sending a sample after seeing the project discussed on Australian tv, will I understand the results? I.e weather or it bacteria is good or bad, etc??

        1. Jeff Leach says:

          results will be straightforward – will be up to you to decide how to use the info – ie, your own research

  5. Michelle says:

    I’m also from Australia, and was wondering if the sample will be evaluated for yeast organisms (i.e. Candida) or is it purely bacterial? Thanks in advance for your response.

  6. Sandi says:

    In the 3 graphs, what do the x and y axes represent?

    1. joe says:

      I’d love to understand this question also.

  7. Caro says:

    Hi! Also an Australian.
    I have had stool testing done in labs previously (in America) and Australia, and was wondering if there would be any comparison I.e. Do yours samples show levels of the kinds of bacteria or yeasts present in the gut ? I.e. staphilacoccus etc or good bacteria…acidophilus bifidum etc.



  8. Edward Ross says:

    Very interesting, and hopefully very helpful to many folks in the not too distant future.

    The following questions have been asked above. I would like to kindly suggest that many of us are wondering about the answers.

    1. The gut biome includes other kinds of organisms besides bacteria that clearly affect human health. Not much is said about them on this web site. Is it that little research is being done on them in relation to obesity and inflammatory disease? If that is the case, would you happen to know why the research community is not interested? If research is actually being done on non-bacteria (in relation to obesity and inflammatory disease), are there other reasons not to include them here?

    2. I’m puzzled about the meaning of the scatter diagrams of Michael Pollan’s gut microbiome. I am assuming the color coding refers to the keys to the left of each diagram. But what does each dot mean? What variables do the x and y axes represent?


  9. Tim says:

    Dr. Leach, Is the microbiome data suitable for comparing different populations to epidemiological data from other sources? For example, is there a higher incidence of diabetes in populations with a microbiome dominated by a particular genus of bacteria?

    1. Jeff Leach says:

      good Q. nobody knows for sure but….

  10. Jay says:

    Hey there. Those are some colorful but not very informative charts. Looks like you have about 5 dimensions going on (X, Y, Color, Cluster, data point) but at best there are 2 defined and it’s unclear what goes with what. Like in the second scatter plot- I assume “Age” the color of the dot? If so, what are the X and Y axis representing? Does each dot represent an individual? Or maybe each dot represents 100 people? So you are showing “me” (or Micheal in this case) relative to unknown number of others on an unknown X-Y dimension?

    I’m so curious about my micro-biome and I’m considering ordering a kit. But I want to be sure that the results are worthwhile and this sample “report” isn’t very convincing. Are the Axis and Legend included/explained in my results and just not shown here on the sample? Or will mine arrive like this and basically tell me nothing?

    1. I would like to ditto this question!! I’d order a test for myself and a family member too if I had more confidence in being able to parse the data.

  11. Scott Hompland says:

    I’m a physician specialist in pain and addiction. I am interested if there is a correlation of causality in patients that use drugs and become addicted and some that don’t. I have been interested the the study of the human biome and want to know if there is some way to become more involved.
    Scott H

  12. What good is a pretty chart if you won’t explain what it means?

    1. Sheree krass says:

      Yes I agree. A better understanding of the meaning of the graphs and the significance of the results with respect to current knowledge would be helpful. 🙂

  13. Alex says:

    I suggest to all reading the book written by Dr. Martin J. Blaser “Missing microbes: How the overdose of antibiotics is fuelling our modern plagues” – might answer some of your questions:)

  14. Ivan says:

    My guess is most people simply don’t care what these graphs mean. They look pretty and that’s good enough. 🙁 Worse the American Gut web site links to this page as their example, so I wouldn’t expect much out of getting a sample read.

  15. Susan Nutt says:

    I am from OK and have had M.E. (incorrectly called CFS in America, which is its own illness) for 32 years. Having been on the anti-yeast diets for many years, and probiotics, kefir &c, I took part in this Project, but can’t make out what the results are, even searching online for what different types of bacteria area. Dots, colours, chart, reference to ‘9 rare taxa’. I still can’t figure it out. I have believed, for over 30 years, that bacteria is a way to diagnose, and hopefully treat (faecal transplant, possibly) in future, but I think EVERY Govt should be looking at research into this field, as well as having an Agricultural policy (our soils are vastly depleted of anything good), and instead of taxing the Public, make these large Food Corporations responsible for the processed junk that is out there by of ‘food’. It is killing is off.

  16. Susan Nutt says:

    Also, I forgot to mention (foggigness of the M.E. brain) that my results are nearly identical to Michael Pollan, which brought me to this website. I am in the UK, so I am glad Britain decided to join in with this Project. A recent blood test showed my white blood cells barely do anything, and I have a yeast infection (I know – I’ve been plagued with yeast problems for years, and I think yeast accounts for a lot of fatigue in people). Even with a ‘clean eating diet’ (the wheat, yeast and dairy really DO affect cognitive function, fatigue etc), the Doctor here in UK told me my immune system has not been great, from birth. If we could really get behind a Project like this, in every country, I am sure the future of medicine would change forever. I know faecal transplants have been effectively in those with C.Diff, and I saw a clinic in Georgia, Russia, that has been doing this sort of thing for quite some time. Maybe other countries have their own practitioners that carry this out. We are so far behind Eastern medicine (acupuncture, &c), we have lots to learn. Hopefully, in this 21st Century, we can start asking for the foods that Nature provides, WITHOUT pesticides, chemicals &c being sprayed all over them, and meat without antibiotics. It’s how our ancestors survived, after all.

Leave a Reply