Train your gut microbiota with taurine

This 2021 rodent study found:

“We show that gut microbiota from previously infected hosts display enhanced resistance to infection. This long-term functional remodeling is associated with altered bile acid metabolism leading to expansion of taxa that utilize taurine.

Supplying exogenous taurine alone is sufficient to induce this alteration in microbiota function and enhance resistance. Taurine potentiates microbiota production of sulfide, an inhibitor of cellular respiration, which is key to host invasion by numerous pathogens.

fx1_lrg

This work reveals a process by which the host, triggered by infection, can deploy taurine as a nutrient to nourish and train microbiota, promoting its resistance to subsequent infection.”

https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(20)31681-0 “Infection trains the host for microbiota-enhanced resistance to pathogens” (not freely available)


News coverage added:

“The studied infections induced host taurine production and expansion of taurine utilizers. Taurine was the trigger for activity of a class of bacteria that fight these infections.

The group’s data suggest that low levels of taurine allow pathogens to colonize the gut, but high levels produce enough hydrogen sulfide to prevent colonization. Taurine given to mice in drinking water prepared microbiota to prevent infection. However, when mice drank water containing bismuth subsalicylate, a common over-the-counter drug used to treat diarrhea and upset stomach, infection protection waned because bismuth inhibits hydrogen sulfide production.”

Can’t calculate a human equivalent dose without access to this study. I take 1 gram of taurine twice a day.

Per Treating psychopathological symptoms will somehow resolve causes? I resumed taurine supplementation last year after taking a year’s break. From that paper’s taurine section:

“Most studies that reported enhanced GSH [glutathione] in the brain following taurine treatment were performed under a chronic regimen and used in age-related disease models.

Such positive effects of taurine on GSH levels may be explained by the fact that cysteine is the essential precursor to both metabolites, whereby taurine supplementation may drive metabolism of cysteine towards GSH synthesis.”

If that paper’s hypothesis is correct, and the current study’s evidence is replicable, taurine supplementation is a win-win for both our brain and gut microbiota.


Sunrise minus 5 minutes

Let β-glucan train your brain

This 2021 rodent study investigated yeast cell wall β-glucan’s effects on the brain’s immune system:

“Innate immune memory can manifest in two different ways, [1] immune training and [2] immune tolerance, which means [1] an enhanced or [2] suppressed immune response towards a secondary challenge. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and β-glucan (BG) are two commonly used ligands to induce immune training and tolerance.

Microglia, the innate immune cells of the central nervous system, can adopt diverse phenotypes and functions in health and disease. In our previous study, we have shown that LPS preconditioning induces immune tolerance in microglia.

Compared to LPS, relatively little is known about effects of BG on microglia. In this study, we report for the first time that systemic administration of BG activates microglia in vivo, and that BG preconditioning induces immune training in microglia.

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Our results show that BG activated microglia without inducing significant cytokine expression.

BG- and LPS-preconditioning both induced immune training in microglia two days after the first challenge. However, with an interval of 7 days between the first and second challenge, LPS-preconditioning induced immune tolerance in microglia where BG-induced immune training was no longer detected.”

https://jneuroinflammation.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12974-021-02103-4 “Systemic administration of β-glucan induces immune training in microglia”


One solution to “BG-induced immune training was no longer detected” after 7 days is to take β-glucan every day. I haven’t seen studies that found β-glucan induced immune tolerance, i.e. “suppressed immune response towards a secondary challenge.”

I take allergy medicine twice a day. Switched over to a different β-glucan vendor and dose per Year One of Changing to a youthful phenotype with broccoli sprouts.

I take 1 gram of Glucan 300 capsules without eating anything an hour before or an hour afterwards. I’ve only been doing it for a week, though, and haven’t been able to separate out β-glucan effects on seasonal allergies. I’ll try stopping allergy medicine when pollen stops coating my car.

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Swarming a spring sea trout run. Ospreys outcompeted gulls for breakfast.

Eat broccoli sprouts for your heart

This 2021 rodent study investigated mechanisms of sulforaphane’s persistent cardiac protection:

“Sulforaphane (SFN) reduced Ang II‐induced CpG hypermethylation and promoted Ac‐H3 [histone H3 acetylation] accumulation in the Nrf2 promoter region, accompanied by inhibition of global DNMT [DNA methyltransferase] and HDAC [histone deacetylase] activity, and a decreased protein expression of key DNMT and HDAC enzymes.

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SFN reduces CpG methylation and promotes enrichment of Ac‐H3 in Nrf2 promoter by inhibiting DNMTs and HDACs. This partially contributes to long‐acting activation of cardiac Nrf2, thereby preventing Ang II‐induced cardiomyopathy.”

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcmm.16504 “Sulforaphane prevents angiotensin II‐induced cardiomyopathy by activation of Nrf2 through epigenetic modification”


This study used the same dose of sulforaphane as Broccoli sprouts activate the AMPK pathway, but stopped at six months (equivalent to a 34-year-old human) rather than continuing to eight months (a 42-year-old human):

“0.5 mg/kg SFN in mice is converted to a human dose of 0.0405 mg/kg. In some clinical studies, the dose of SFN used to treat chronic diseases is usually higher.”

Findings highlighted:

  1. A disease condition existed in young adults that wasn’t severe enough for them to experience overt symptoms; and
  2. A disease condition could be reversed or prevented when its causes were addressed before it became a problem.

Studies such as one mentioned in Part 2 of Eat broccoli sprouts for your eyes showed that if one waited until a disease condition became a problem, capabilities to adequately address causes and prevent it may be lost. Do you want to be limited to addressing a disease’s symptoms once it gets bad enough to be noticeable?

Both studies found positive effects of sulforaphane in preventing cardiomyopathy. The 2020 study demonstrated in myocardial cells that sulforaphane’s activation of the AMPK pathway – which is upstream of the Nrf2 pathway – activated Nrf2:

“NRF2-mediated antioxidative effects can be activated via AMPK/AKT/GSK3β pathway, developing another pathway to confront cardiac oxidative damage.”

The current study similarly stated:

“Nrf2 can also be regulated independently of Keap1. Evidence indicates that SFN may indirectly activate Nrf2 by affecting activity of several upstream kinases.”


Both studies’ “human dose of 0.0405 mg/kg” were a minuscule 2.8 mg (.0405 mg/kg x 70 kg) human dose compared with my estimated daily 52 mg of sulforaphane from eating 65.5 grams of microwaved 3-day-old broccoli sprouts twice daily. Yet that small amount of sulforaphane was able to prevent a daily dose of angiotensin II from causing conditions that would lead to heart disease.

I linked this study yesterday in Reversing osteoporosis with Nrf2 as an example of similarities with exercise and eating broccoli sprouts. While activating my Nrf2 pathways this morning by walking four miles at sunrise, I came across a heron who tolerated me getting close to them:

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It ate breakfast off a branch, and pecked morsels from the water if they hopped off.

Reversing osteoporosis with Nrf2

This 2021 rodent study made old females out of young females by removing their ovaries, which induced osteoporosis. They then demethylated the Nrf2 gene promoter with exercise, increasing its expression, which reversed osteoporosis:

“Nrf2 repression due to aberrant Dnmt elevation and subsequent Nrf2 promoter hypermethylation is an important epigenetic feature of osteoporosis (OP) pathogenesis.

Nrf2 promoter demethylation

Ovariectomized mice display increased femoral Dnmt1/3a/3b (Dnmts), Nrf2 promoter hypermethylation, and Nrf2 suppression, which promote oxidative stress (OS), osteoclastogenesis (OCG) and OP (dashed line).

Running exercise (RE, solid line) normalizes Dnmt aberrations, resulting in Nrf2 promoter demethylation, Nrf2 recovery and reduced femoral osteoporotic pathologies.

Nrf2 repression due to aberrant Dnmt elevations and associated promoter hypermethylation contributes significantly to epigenetic development of OP. RE effectively corrects epigenetic abnormalities and pathogenesis of OP.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41413-020-00128-8 “Nrf2 epigenetic derepression induced by running exercise protects against osteoporosis”


Running an hour every day has effects on Nrf2 gene promoter expression similar to eating broccoli sprouts. A 2021 study Sulforaphane prevents angiotensin II‐induced cardiomyopathy by activation of Nrf2 through epigenetic modification found:

“SFN reduced Ang II‐induced CpG hypermethylation and promoted Ac‐H3 accumulation in the Nrf2 promoter region, accompanied by inhibition of global DNMT and HDAC activity, and a decreased protein expression of key DNMT and HDAC enzymes.”

A 2019 study Sulforaphane‑induced epigenetic regulation of Nrf2 expression by DNA methyltransferase in human Caco‑2 cells found:

“DNMT1 protein expression was inhibited by sulforaphane. Nrf2 promoter methylation decreased significantly in the sulforaphane group.

Sulforaphane may promote demethylation of the Nrf2 promoter region to increase activation of Nrf2.”


Per Week 6, my running days are over, though not walking, climbing, etc. Nrf2 activation with broccoli sprouts began after two weeks of self-quarantine more than a year ago.

Improving one’s own health provides sufficient rationale to act.

Oat β-glucan effects on colitis

This 2021 rodent study investigated oat β-glucan effects on colitis:

“In this study, we determined effects of consumption of low- and high-molar-mass oat beta-glucans on expression of selected markers of apoptosis and autophagy in colonocytes in TNBS colitis-induced rats. We analyzed expression of colon wall receptors, including TLRs and Dectin-1, which are involved in recognition of molecular patterns of pathogens in colon epithelial cells.

Rats were divided into two main groups: healthy control (H) and a TNBS (2,4,6-trinitrobenzosulfonic acid)-induced colitis (C) group, both including subgroups fed feed without beta-glucans (βG−) or feed supplemented with low- (βGl) or high-molar-mass oat beta-glucans (βGh) for 3, 7, or 21 days. Expression of autophagy (LC3B) and apoptosis (Caspase-3) markers, as well as Toll-like (TLRs) and Dectin-1 receptors in colon epithelial cells, was determined.

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1. [Autophagy] Autophagy contributes to adaptation of cells and maintenance of intracellular homeostasis enabling cells to survive under stressful conditions. The autophagy marker in colon wall and intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) investigated was expression of LC3B protein, which participates in formation and maturation of autophagosomes.

A decrease in this protein was found in colon wall after TNBS administration, which indicates intense repair processes of intestinal epithelium accompanying / preceding the period of Crohn’s disease (CD) remission. The above data indicate a significant effect of oat beta-glucans in restoring autophagy in inflamed IECs, and a stronger effect of oat beta-glucans with a high molar mass, which also increased activity of autophagy in colon tissue of control animals without colitis.

2. [Apoptosis] In early development of acute colitis, expression of Caspase-3, the executive enzyme of apoptosis, was very low. The highest expression of Caspase-3 protein was observed in control (HβGh+), feed supplemented with high-molar-mass oat beta-glucans.

  • After 7 days of TNBS administration, Caspase-3 expression in colitis-induced animals was approximately eight times higher than in control group, which indicates an increase in apoptosis in response to intestinal inflammation.
  • Consumption of feed supplemented with high-molar-mass oat beta-glucans by colitis animals resulted in approximately two times lower Caspase-3 expression after 7 days. Physical properties of high-molar-mass beta-glucans favor formation of a protective layer on inner wall of intestine, effectively supporting development of beneficial microbiota producing short-chain fatty acids.
  • Consumption of feed with low-molar-mass oat beta-glucans resulted in expression of this enzyme in colitis animals at a similar level as in control group.

This confirms significant effect of oat beta-glucans in reducing expression of Caspase-3 during ongoing inflammation, with low-molar-mass beta-glucans having a stronger effect.

3. [Dectin-1] Expression of Dectin-1 across all experimental time points was found to be reduced due to induced inflammation. We analyzed Dectin-1 expression in intestinal epithelial cells, not in colon wall or immune cells. Decrease in Dectin-1 expression in colonocytes noticed in our study may be related to disrupted intestinal barrier integrity by the ethanolic TNBS solution, that as a consequence, causes infiltration of pathogens / antigens into deeper layers of colon wall and allows their direct contact with cells of the immune system.

Results showed an increase in expression of Dectin-1 in inflamed IECs under influence of oat beta-glucans. A similar effect on expression of LC3B protein was noted, with oat beta-glucans of a high molar mass having a stronger effect.

4. [TNF-α] Concentration of TNF-α and other proinflammatory cytokines in colon wall of animals with TNBS-induced inflammation was significantly increased at all time points. Consumption of oat beta-glucans reduced concentration of these inflammatory factors.

The extrinsic pathway of apoptosis is induced by binding of this factor to the TNFR1a receptor. Increased autophagy in inflamed intestinal epithelium protected cells against TNF-α-induced apoptosis, which in turn helped to maintain integrity of the intestinal barrier and reduce inflammation.

5. [TLRs] After 3 days of TNBS administration, expression of TLR 4 and TLR 6 receptors in colonocytes was significantly lower in the colitis group receiving feed without beta-glucans as compared to control group. In the same group of rats (CβG−), TLR 5 expression was lower.

Decrease in expression of these receptors is mostly influenced by acute intestinal inflammation. Oat beta-glucans caused a significant increase in expression, especially TLR 5 and TLR 6, in inflamed IECs.

In summary, oat beta-glucans were found to alleviate the course of induced inflammation.”

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/13/2/321/htm “Effects of Dietary Oat Beta-Glucans on Colon Apoptosis and Autophagy through TLRs and Dectin-1 Signaling Pathways – Crohn’s Disease Model Study”


Eat oats to prevent inflammatory diseases:

“Oat beta-glucans with a high molar mass increased activity of autophagy in colon tissue of control animals without colitis.”

If we don’t do that, eat oats to treat inflammation:

“Confirms significant effect of oat beta-glucans in reducing expression of Caspase-3 during ongoing inflammation, with low-molar-mass beta-glucans having a stronger effect.”

I eat primarily low- and medium-molecular-weight oat β-glucan twice a day with 3-day-old hulled Avena sativa oat sprouts. For breakfast I eat primarily high-molecular-weight oat β-glucan in hulless Avena nuda oats soaked 12+ hours and microwaved 20 minutes at 80% power in a 1000W microwave.

An oats β-glucan clinical trial tested low-, medium-, and high-molecular-weight oat β-glucan in 14 people. It found:

Bioprocessing of oat bran with enzyme treatment, causing depolymerization of β-glucan, affects nutritional properties of bran and functional properties of β-glucan in human gastrointestinal tract.”

Neither study investigated gut microbiota. Pretty sure our hosted microorganisms had roles in both studies’ findings.

Increase broccoli compound amounts with thermosonication

This 2021 study combined ultrasound and heat to increase broccoli compounds:

“A large proportion of broccoli biomass is lost during primary production, distribution, processing, and consumption. This study evaluated thermosonication for pre-treatment of broccoli florets to enhance enzymatic conversion of glucoraphanin (GR) into bioactive sulforaphane (SF).

Our results showed that a combination of ultrasound with heat treatment (at 50 and 60 °C for 5 and 7 min) improved release of GR from broccoli matrix over and above heat treatment alone. This could be due to mechanical disruption of plant cell wall and plant matrix, which enhances release of intracellular content.

The highest residual level of both GR (126.3% increase) and sulforaphane was observed after thermosonication at 60 °C for 7 min. It can be concluded that:

  1. Measured levels of glucoraphanin in untreated broccoli using current methods gives only an indication of the amount of easily accessible and extractable glucoraphanin in broccoli; and
  2. Processing of broccoli by heat and ultrasound enables release of possibly bound glucoraphanin and enhances conversion to sulforaphane.

Higher sulforaphane yield was observed under conditions of significant myrosinase inactivation. This could be attributed to:

  • Inactivation of ESP [epithiospecifier protein], providing a suitable condition for synthesis from GR to SF as opposed to SF-nitrile; and/or
  • Increased in situ residual myrosinase activity at elevated temperatures; and/or
  • Increased release and accessibility of GR.

Maximum SF content among studied conditions was achieved using thermosonication treatment at 60 °C for 7 min, which represented a 192.6% increase compared to untreated broccoli florets. That was 15.8% higher than thermal treatment, indicating the potential of thermosonication for enhancing sulforaphane yield over and above effects of heat.”

https://www.mdpi.com/2218-273X/11/2/321/htm “Thermosonication for the Production of Sulforaphane Rich Broccoli Ingredients”


I mentioned in Week 34 how broccoli sprout experts tried to smear a Microwave broccoli to increase sulforaphane levels finding of more glucoraphanin with increasing temperatures after microwaving. This study measured a similar effect of glucoraphanin increases using two techniques:

“For GR extraction two methods were initially examined: aqueous extraction or methanolic extraction. We wanted to compare effects of using different extraction solvents to evaluate whether levels of extractable GR were influenced by the type of solvent.

The difference between GR content of aqueous and methanolic extracts was not statistically significant.”

😉

Thermosonication isn’t suitable for home use. Microwaving is.

A microwave can’t keep contents at a constant 60° C for seven minutes, though. Optimizing myrosinase activity is also a consideration for increasing broccoli sprout compounds at home.

Microwave broccoli sprouts to increase sulforaphane

This 2020 review explored sulforaphane stability and formation:

“Sulforaphane (SF) is beneficial to our health since it can reduce incidence of a number of tumors, induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in multiple experimental models. However, since neither SF nor myrosinase is thermostable, it is essential to increase stability of SF and/or enhance conversion of glucoraphanin (GRP) to SF by myrosinase to maximize SF therapeutic benefits.

  • Since little or no water is needed for microwaving and stir-frying, and broccoli is not immersed in water during steaming, SF content in broccoli florets is higher in these processes compared to that in boiled florets.
  • Thermostability of Brassicaceae myrosinase varies across different species and cultivars, as well as the plant organ. For example, myrosinase in broccoli florets are more thermosensitive compared to that in sprouts, likely due to the presence of a seed-specific myrosinase.
  • GRP in cooked broccoli can be hydrolyzed by intestinal microbiota to SF, sulforaphane nitrile, and/or other isothiocyanates and nitriles, although the decomposition rate is very low. However, continuous feeding of rats or mice with broccoli increased myrosinase-like activities in colon and cecum contents.

Mild heating (40-60 °C) by microwave increased SF content in broccoli. High-power microwave heating with temperature control at 60 °C could retain higher bioavailability.

Continuous broccoli ingestion enhances myrosinase-like activity of gut microbiota. Regardless of differences in endogenous amounts of glucosinolates and myrosinase across multiple broccoli varieties, moderate microwaving ensures optimum SF availability.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814620326339 “Approaches for enhancing the stability and formation of sulforaphane” (not freely available)


Several studies previously curated were referenced, including:

  1. Microwave broccoli seeds to create sulforaphane;
  2. Microwave broccoli to increase sulforaphane levels;
  3. Enhancing sulforaphane content.

Why wait around for approval or citation or social validation of research? When Study 2 showed microwaving increased sulforaphane and glucoraphanin content this time last year, I followed the evidence and acted accordingly.

Researchers who deny microwaving’s beneficial effects on broccoli compounds up to 60° C can publish contrary findings, or keep their biased opinions to themselves. See Increase broccoli compound amounts with thermosonication for further evidence.

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Year One of Changing to a youthful phenotype with broccoli sprouts

1. My subjective experiences these past 52 weeks are that noticeable changes keep happening due to combinations of:

  • Eating clinically-relevant, twice-daily doses of microwaved 3-day-old broccoli sprouts, and taking nothing else an hour before or an hour after;
  • Eating 3-day-old oat sprouts twice a day;
  • Exercising every day;
  • Taking yeast cell wall β-glucan and other supplements twice a day;
  • Eating AGE-less chicken vegetable soup twice a day;
  • Eating 81+ grams (dry weight before soaking 12+ hours) of Avena nuda oats for breakfast;
  • Working from home 40 hours a week.

I look forward to more evidence on youthening during Year Two.

2. The three previous blog posts concerned yeast cell wall β-glucan. I haven’t received expected results from my New Year’s resolution to be prepared for Spring’s allergy onslaught. Actions included:

  • Changing diet to be more gut-friendly;
  • Taking WellImmune β-glucan in a morning dose of 500 mg for over two months;
  • Continuing with another company’s β-glucan in an evening 400 mg dose.

Consider this graphic from a third competitor regarding their Glucan 300 β-glucan:

dosage

My weight is probably 150-ish. I’d take three or four 500 mg capsules daily if I used Glucan 300. β-glucan comparisons evaluated it as the most active of five dozen commercially available products.

My lack of expected 2021 allergy results may be due to both insufficient dose and less-active products. Glucan 300 discloses its active content in specific percentages of 1,3/1,6 terminal-linked glucose molecules:

  1. Yeast cell wall β-glucan’s effects depend on biologically active content.
  2. Companies with evidence-based competitive products will disclose these contents.
  3. Neither β-glucan product I currently take does that.

I’ll use Glucan 300 exclusively when I receive it later this week. Can’t grow a fire by piling on more wet green wood if I’m serious about improving my innate and adaptive immune systems. Allergy season continues another few weeks, so it shouldn’t take long to find out if this change makes a difference.

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β-glucan comparisons

This 2018 rodent study compared and contrasted commercially available β-glucans:

“β-glucans are natural biologically-active compounds called ‘biological response modifiers.’ This study is a follow-up of our three previous studies that tested 43 different glucans.

We used 16 different glucans isolated from yeasts, mushrooms, algae, and oats. We compared their effects on phagocytosis, IL-2 production, antibody secretion, and inhibition of three experimental cancer models.

16 beta glucans

Our results showed significant differences among tested glucans, despite the fact that glucans in general have strong stimulating effects on most aspects of the immune system. Differences between activities of commercially available glucans might be an explanation for the sometimes confusing results found in the literature. In all tests employed, Glucan #300 was the most active.

Highly purified and active glucans have significant pleiotropic effects.”

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323523231_Glucans_and_Cancer_Comparison_of_Commercially_Available_b-glucans_-_Part_IV “Glucans and Cancer: Comparison of Commercially Available β-glucans – Part IV” (registration required)


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Oat species comparisons of the good stuff

This 2020 study compared and contrasted distributional compositions of two oat species’ seeds:

“Oat grains of one hulless variety (Lamont) with low avenanthramide (AVA) contents and one hulled variety (Reins) with high AVA contents were sequentially abraded. Contents of nutrients (protein, oil, starch, β-glucan, ash, and other carbohydrates) and AVAs were measured.

A relationship between content of a constituent in the surface layer abraded off (termed pearling fine, or PF) at each cycle of pearling and the cumulative level of surface removal could be established. This relationship essentially describes true distribution or localization of individual constituents across an oat kernel.

AVAs provide health benefits in mammals, including anti-oxidation, anti-inflammation, anti-atherosclerosis, and anti-cancer properties. Relationships between contents of four AVAs and total AVAs in pearling fines (A) and corresponding pearled kernels (B) of hulless Lamont oat [top] and hulled Rein [bottom] with cumulative surface removal levels achieved by sequential pearling:

For Lamont oat, AVAs 2c, 2f, 2p, 5p, and total AVAs all showed decreasing concentrations with increasing levels of surface removal. The first PF (4% surface removal) contained the highest amounts for all four AVAs, with 2p near ten times higher than in whole grain.

Hulled Reins oat differed significantly from hulless Lamont oat in not only amounts of AVAs but also their distribution patterns within kernels. Dehulling caused reduction in total AVA content.

Pearled oats contained less protein, oil, ash, and other carbohydrates and AVAs, but more starch than whole grain. In contrast, oat bran contained more AVAs, protein, oil, ash and other carbohydrates but less β-glucan and starch as compared to whole grain.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814620315302 “Distributions of nutrients and avenanthramides within oat grain and effects on pearled kernel composition” (not freely available)


There were higher AVA contents in hulls of the top graphic’s species (Avena nuda) compared with its next ten seed layers. Humans require the bottom graphic’s oat species’ (Avena sativa) hull, which is “about 25% total grain mass,” to be milled off before we eat it. So AVA data points on the bottom graph A start around 25% surface removal.

As mentioned in Eat oats to prevent diabetes, I replaced steel-cut Avena sativa oats with whole Avena nuda oats for breakfast. I don’t know how well Avena nuda hulls are digested, but gut microbiota ferment similar indigestibles into beneficial compounds.

The first study of Eat oat sprouts for AVAs found “up to 25-fold increase” in AVAs with 7-day-old Avena sativa sprouts. I expect 3-day-old hulled Avena sativa sprouts I eat also increase AVAs as they germinate.

Our first 1000 days

This 2021 review subject was a measurable aspect of our early lives:

“The first 1000 days from conception are a sensitive period for human development programming. During this period, environmental exposures may result in long-lasting epigenetic imprints that contribute to future developmental trajectories.

The present review reports on effects of adverse and protective environmental conditions occurring on glucocorticoid receptor gene (NR3C1) regulation in humans. Thirty-four studies were included.

The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is key in regulating mobilization of energy. It is involved in stress reactivity and regulation, and it supports development of behavioral, cognitive, and socio-emotional domains.

The NR3C1 gene encodes for specific glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) in the mammalian brain, and it is epigenetically regulated by environmental exposures.

When mixed stressful conditions were not differentiated for their effects on NR3C1 methylation, no significant results were obtained, which speaks in favor of specificity of epigenetic vestiges of different adverse conditions. Specific maternal behaviors and caregiving actions – such as breastfeeding, sensitive and contingent interactive behavior, and gentle touch – consistently correlated with decreased NR3C1 methylation.

If the neuroendocrine system of a developing fetus and infant is particularly sensitive to environmental stimulations, this model may provide the epigenetic basis to inform promotion of family-centered prevention, treatment, and supportive interventions for at-risk conditions. A more ambiguous picture emerged for later effects of NR3C1 methylation on developmental outcomes during infancy and childhood, suggesting that future research should favor epigenome-wide approaches to long-term epigenetic programming in humans.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0149763421001081 “Glucocorticoid receptor gene (NR3C1) methylation during the first thousand days: Environmental exposures and developmental outcomes” (not freely available). Thanks to Dr. Livio Provenci for providing a copy.


I respectfully disagree with recommendations for an EWAS approach during infancy and childhood. What happened to each of us wasn’t necessarily applicable to a group. Group statistics may make interesting research topics, but they won’t change anything for each individual.

Regarding treatment, our individual experiences and needs during our first 1000 days should be repeatedly sensed and felt in order to be therapeutic. Those memories are embedded in our needs because cognitive aspects of our brains weren’t developed then.

To become curative, we first sense and feel early needs and experiences. Later, we understand their contributions and continuations in our emotions, behavior, and thinking.

And then we can start to change who we were made into.

Week 50 of Changing to a youthful phenotype with broccoli sprouts

1. Effects of broccoli sprouts that seemed personally astounding at Week 10 became a part of day-to-day life. What will happen next?

Day 350 of eating a clinically relevant amount of broccoli sprouts every day seems like a large number. Yet in comparison, for 6,000+ days I’ve taken a clinically relevant dose of 1/3, 1/6 yeast cell wall β-glucan to train my innate immune system.

Both of their main actions are similar in mildly stimulating my body’s stronger defenses. Switch on your Nrf2 signaling pathway described sulforaphane’s effects as a “weak pro-oxidant signal that you use to activate Nrf2.” Take responsibility for your one precious life – β glucan described yeast cell wall β-glucan as “a potent immune response potentiator and modulator.”

2. I work a full-time job, in my 24th year of being paid to develop software. It’s a young-person’s field, contingent on learning new aspects of new languages, then performing every hour of every day up to what’s known or should be known.

I enjoy working with a group of talented individuals, especially when it involves creative problem solving. I’ll tolerate admin, limited meetings, and other things I don’t like when there’s a path toward doing what I enjoy.

My experiences since coming out of retirement to take this job four years ago have been analogous to Part 3 of Rejuvenation therapy and sulforaphane, i.e. old treated subjects learned and remembered significantly better than old untreated subjects, but not as well as untreated young subjects. I’m not a lab rat, though, and I’ve often had better performance since Week 10 than decades-younger coworkers.

All part of Surfacing Your Real Self.

3. Looking back on this week and month last year, there was worldwide herding of the population using a disease as a cover story. I wondered when it would end, and I’m still wondering because it’s still going on.

This pretext for surrendering human rights is easily derailed. I won’t enumerate fallacies, misrepresentations, frauds, assertions that lack evidence.

It’s a valuable skill for us to know when we’re being herded. Are you willing and able to develop that skill?

4. I didn’t disturb this heron, and was rewarded with a lightning-fast snatch-and-swallow of its breakfast. I wasn’t quick enough to get that photo, though.

Flailing with probiotics?

This 2021 review subject was probiotic bacteria survival and colonization:

“Health benefits of probiotics are diminished due to substantial reduction of viable probiotic bacteria under harsh conditions in the gastrointestinal tract and colonization resistance caused by commensal bacteria. This review illustrates the journey of probiotics from oral administration to the gastrointestinal tract, followed by colonization of the gut, with a particular focus on the adhesion process of probiotics on mucosa or intestinal epithelial cells.

  • Mouth – influence of saliva on survival rates of probiotics seems to be minimal.
  • Stomach – transit takes between 5 min and 2 h. Prolonged exposure to the acidic environment is a huge challenge for probiotics.

  • Small intestine – bile acids and digestive enzymes (including lipases, proteases, and amylases) can impact probiotic viability through cell membrane disruption and DNA damage.
  • Colon – probiotics compete with host microbiota for nutrients and adhesion sites to colonize colonic mucosa and proliferate. Due to colonization resistance, most probiotics are excreted so that they cannot be detected.

Composition of gut microbiota is highly variable. Microbial composition is considerably different between people in different geographic locations and with different diets.

Probiotics cannot change intestinal microbiota community structure or diversity.

How probiotics communicate with commensal bacteria and some are successfully introduced to gut microbiota is of great interest. Understanding these factors will facilitate employment of effective delivery strategies designed for probiotics to overcome colonization resistance and achieve health benefits.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcimb.2021.609722/full “Probiotic Gastrointestinal Transit and Colonization After Oral Administration: A Long Journey”


This review provided details supporting points 2 and 6 of Harnessing endogenous defenses with broccoli sprouts:

“Even though probiotics as food or supplements demonstrate favourable clinical outcomes, they typically don’t colonise the gut. How do we expect them to restore diversity and lost species to the gut microbiome after antibiotics? If no trace of an administered probiotic organism can be found a few weeks later, is there any sustained benefit?

If the gut can harbour around 1,000 different species, why do we expect a probiotic supplement harbouring just a few species to favourably modify a human microbiome?”

That paper’s emphasis was reflected in its title, “Restoring Gut Ecology: Harnessing the Inbuilt Defence Mechanisms of the Gut Epithelium.”


I stopped taking probiotics earlier this year after 16 years of twice-daily intake. I’ve increased prebiotic intake. Pretty soon I’ll find out whether my innate and adaptive immune systems have changed enough to ward off spring allergy-season effects.

Sand sculptures

Rhythmicity

This 2021 review subject was circadian signaling in the digestive system:

“The circadian system controls diurnal rhythms in gastrointestinal digestion, absorption, motility, hormones, barrier function, and gut microbiota. The master clock, located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) region of the hypothalamus, is synchronized or entrained by the light–dark cycle and, in turn, synchronizes clocks present in peripheral tissues and organs.

Rhythmic clock gene expression can be observed in almost every cell outside the SCN. These rhythms persist in culture, indicating that these cells also contain an endogenous circadian clock system.

Processes in the gastrointestinal tract and its accessory digestive organs display 24-hour rhythmicity:

Clock disruption has been associated with disturbances in gut motility. In an 8-day randomized crossover study, in which 14 healthy young adults were subjected to simulated day-shift or night-shift sleeping schedules, circadian misalignment increased postprandial hunger hormone ghrelin levels by 10.4%.

Leptin, a satiety hormone produced by white adipose tissue, peaks at night in human plasma. A volunteer ate and slept at all phases of the circadian cycle by scheduling seven recurring 28-hour ‘days’ in dim light and eating four isocaloric meals every ‘day’. Plasma leptin levels followed the forced 28-hour behavioural cycle, while their endogenous 24-hour rhythm was lost. However, since meal timing can entrain the circadian system, this forced desynchrony study could not exclude a potential role of the circadian system.

Another constant routine protocol study with 20 healthy participants showed that rhythms in plasma lipids differed substantially between individuals, suggesting the existence of different circadian metabolic phenotypes.

Composition, function, and absolute abundance of gut microbiota oscillate diurnally. For example, microbial pathways involved in cell growth, DNA repair and energy metabolism peaked during the dark phase, while detoxification, environmental sensing and motility peaked during the day.

It is unclear how phase information is communicated to gut microbiota. However, human commensal bacterium Enterobacter aerogenes showed an endogenous, temperature-compensated 24-hour pattern of swarming and motility in response to melatonin, suggesting that the host circadian system might regulate microbiota by entraining bacterial clocks.

With increasing popularity of time-restricted eating as a dietary intervention, which entrains peripheral clocks of the gastrointestinal tract, studies investigating circadian clocks in the human digestive system are highly needed. Additionally, further research is needed to comprehend shifts in temporal relationships between different gut hormones during chronodisruption.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41575-020-00401-5 “Circadian clocks in the digestive system” (not freely available). Thanks to Dr. Inge Depoortere for providing a copy.


This review included many more human examples. I mainly quoted gut interactions.

A long time ago I was successively stationed on four submarines. An 18-hour schedule while underwater for weeks and months wiped out my circadian rhythms.

The U.S. Navy got around to studying 18-hour schedule effects this century. In 2014, submarine Commanding Officers were reportedly authorized to switch their crews to a 24-hour schedule.

Surface! Surface! Surface!

Eat broccoli sprouts for depression

This 2021 rodent study investigated sulforaphane effects on depression:

“Activation of Nrf2 by sulforaphane (SFN) showed fast-acting antidepressant-like effects in mice by:

  • Activating BDNF;
  • Inhibiting expression of its transcriptional repressors (HDAC2 [histone deacetylase 2, a negative regulator of neuroplasticity], mSin3A, and MeCP2); and
  • Revising abnormal synaptic transmission.

In a mouse model of chronic social defeat stress (CSDS), protein levels of Nrf2 and BDNF in the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus were lower than those of control and CSDS-resilient mice. In contrast, protein levels of BDNF transcriptional repressors in CSDS-susceptible mice were higher than those of control and CSDS-resilient mice.

These data suggest that Nrf2 activation increases expression of Bdnf and decreases expression of its transcriptional repressors, which result in fast-acting antidepressant-like actions. Furthermore, abnormalities in crosstalk between Nrf2 and BDNF may contribute to the resilience versus susceptibility of mice against CSDS.

Nrf2-induced BDNF transcription in a model of depression.

  • Stress inhibits Nrf2 expression, which inhibits BDNF transcriptional and leads to abnormal synaptic transmission, causing depression-like behaviors in mice.
  • SFN induces BDNF transcription by activating Nrf2 and correcting abnormal synaptic transmission, resulting in antidepressant-like effects.

In conclusion:

  1. Nrf2 regulates transcription of Bdnf by binding to its exon I promoter.
  2. Inhibition of Nrf2-induced Bdnf transcription may play a role in the pathophysiology of depression.
  3. Activation of Nrf2-induced Bdnf transcription promoted antidepressant-like effects.
  4. Alterations in crosstalk between Nrf2 and BDNF may contribute to resilience versus susceptibility after stress.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-021-01261-6 “Activation of BDNF by transcription factor Nrf2 contributes to antidepressant-like actions in rodents”