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The Secret Life of Blood — An Incredible Discovery

It’s the stuff that imagination is made of: Just when the science seems settled, scientists discover they don’t know everything there is to know. In this case, an immunologist discovered a network of blood cell tunnels bursting with secret cells and capillaries that literally pass through solid bone — a phenomenon heretofore unknown.

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While the studies focused mostly on mice, the researcher found that human bone works much the same way — possibly explaining how immune cells from human bone marrow can so quickly flood the bloodstream, Stat News said. Researchers are hopeful the findings can be replicated and applied to drug research.

This exciting news is not unlike the stir of a similar discovery several years ago, when scientists found that the microflora in your gut play a major role in your brain health, crossing the blood-brain barrier and influencing both gene expression and signaling pathways involved in learning, memory and motor control in your brain.

Since then science has confirmed that the quality, quantity and composition of the bacteria in your gut have more influence on your brain and overall health than “settled” science ever could have imagined. Today, science shows that nearly 100 trillion bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganisms that make up your gut bacteria are composed of 200 million neurons that produce 95 percent of your body’s serotonin, a chemical associated with well-being.

In other words, the secret life of blood when it comes to your gut is that your gut is basically your second brain — and what you feed your gut goes beyond a simple series of capillaries, veins and arteries.

With this knowledge, researchers have been able to better explain the gut’s influence on emotions, as well as in diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. They also have discovered a gut-brain-bone marrow axis that may influence your blood pressure. Knowing the important role that immune cells in bone marrow play, scientists have been experimenting in manipulating gut microbiota, such as via the use of probiotics or eating fermented foods, to treat high blood pressure and chronic diseases.

The idea of exploring ways to treat all kinds of diseases by simply feeding your gut is nothing less than a science in and of itself — and now that new research indicates that the very immune cells you’re trying to trigger can migrate from your bone marrow and cross a solid bone wall, there certainly should be hope that, instead of a new drug to treat your illness, science can look to your “other” brain for help.

If nothing else, while further human experiments continue on the blood marrow-bone pathway, there’s nothing wrong with “boning up” your immune system by feeding your gut the foods it needs to work in your body.

All of this information should really drive home the point that optimizing your gut flora is of critical importance for good health and mental well-being. Reseeding your gut with beneficial bacteria is essential for maintaining proper balance, as beneficial bacteria help keep pathogenic microbes and fungi in check; preventing them from taking over.

Regularly eating traditionally fermented and cultured foods is the easiest, most effective and least expensive way to make a significant impact on your gut microbiome.

Healthy choices include lassi (an Indian yogurt drink, traditionally enjoyed before dinner), fermented grass fed organic milk such as kefir, natto (fermented soy) and various pickled fermentations of cabbage, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash and carrots.

It’s also important to avoid things known to disrupt or kill your microbiome, and this includes:

• Antibiotics, unless absolutely necessary (and when you do, make sure to reseed your gut with fermented foods and/or a probiotics supplement)

• Conventionally-raised meats and other animal products, as CAFO animals are routinely fed low-dose antibiotics, plus genetically engineered and/or glyphosate-treated grains, as glyphosate has also been implicated in the destruction of gut flora

• Processed foods (as the excessive sugars feed pathogenic bacteria)

• Chlorinated and/or fluoridated water

• Antibacterial soap and products containing triclosan

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