Inferring some microbiome from reactions?

A read wrote:
“Hi Ken. Not been too good recently, I was taking psyllium husk for extra dietary fibre, and I ended up with a symptom flare up, but strange eye symptoms as well.
Had eye checked, immediately sent to hospital because of a cotton wool spot in right eye. Been put on aspirin assumption it was clot based.
Anyway, it reminded me of some 11 years ago when I was trying aspirin and I tried ramping up the dose to 300mg, I had a real bad flare up in symptoms. What microbiome components could react like that?
Also, there’s still some trains of thoughts that imply chlamydia pneumoniae is a possible element of the illness in a subset of patients. We know aspirin can be effective against CPN. Can CPN exist in the gut or is it upper respiratory drainage upsetting the gut?
Could make an interesting post or two:-)”

So we have two causes of flares:

  • psyllium seed husk  (Plantago ovata Forsk) 
  • aspirin

No studies could be found for psyllium seed husk impact alone. We do find that it is high in arabinoxylan.

Going to known impacts of those two, we got the table below (at family level)


Taxonomy Rank Aspirin Arabinoxylan
Bacillaceae family Increases
Bacteroidaceae family Decreases Increases
Bifidobacteriaceae family Decreases Increases
Clostridiaceae family Decreases Increases
Coriobacteriaceae family Decreases
Desulfovibrionaceae family Decreases
Enterobacteriaceae family Decreases
Eubacteriaceae family Decreases Increases
Fusobacteriaceae family Decreases Decreases
Lachnospiraceae family Decreases Increases
Lactobacillaceae family Increases
Peptostreptococcaceae family Decreases
Porphyromonadaceae family Decreases
Prevotellaceae family Increases
Ruminococcaceae family Increases Increases
Streptococcaceae family Decreases
Veillonellaceae family Decreases
Verrucomicrobiaceae family Decreases Increases

At the family level Ruminococcaceae deviation is found in 4 autoimmune profiles but all of them were low  When we drop down to the genus level

  • Faecalibacterium HIGH –> Inflammatory Bowel Disease,Allergies
  • Ruminococcus HIGH –> Type 2 Diabetes, Autoimmune Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, High Blood Pressure, Mood Disorders, Ulcerative colitis

Unfortunately, aspirin does not impact either of these and Faecalibacterium is increased by Arabinoxylan.

Bottom Line

It looks like reaction from two items is insufficient to infer what bacteria are involved, especially when the items have opposite type of effects across a lot of bacteria.