Microbiome Bites April 2nd: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and IBS are Linked by the Gut Microbiome and Pets Are Good for Allergy Prevention

Dogs are good for baby microbiomes

1. Gut Microbiome Implicated in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is an under-studied physiological illness. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that one million people in the United States have the disease. The disease has long been dismissed by physicians as psychosomatic, however, new studies suggest that it is not only real, but a complex set of disorders.

Now researchers have identified a set of gut microbiome bacteria in 21 people with chronic fatigue syndrome who also had irritable bowel syndrome. These conditions often occur together. Interestingly, the study also links both diseases to changes in the body’s processes that are influenced by gut microbes, such as the production of vitamin B6.

It’s very early in the process, but this research could finally begin to help our understanding of this disease.

Read more here.

2. Dirty Dogs, Healthy Babies

Twenty years of research has shown that children who grow up with dogs have lower rates of asthma than those who do not.

The reason?

Infants living with pets have a richer community of microbes in their guts (better microbiomes).

This happens because the immune system develops alongside the microbiome. If children grow up with limited exposure to microbes (such as those tracked into the house on muddy paws), the infant’s immune system may deem those particles worthy of attack.

However, pets only seem to significantly impact the microbiome during development. Getting a dog later in life doesn’t seem to impact the microbiome any, even though new dog owners do see improvements in things like mood and decreases in markers of inflammation.

Getting a pet in infancy can be a great way to protect your child from asthma and allergies later in life.

Here’s a great overview.