Sumac – Rhus coriaria

A reader ask me about this and a quick browse found that it definitely warrants a post because it is off the usual beaten path for both conventional and alternative medicine. It’s a herb that you may wish to season your meals with. It has a nice profile.

Rhus coriaria L. (Anacardiaceae), known as sumac, is a perennial edible plant, which grows wild in Aegean, Mediterranean, Southeast, Central and Northern regions of Turkey. [2019]

” Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and anti-apoptotic activities of Sumac(RC) are especially due to its phenolic compounds. In this study, the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and anti-apoptotic activities of RC were demonstrated in a rat NEC model. RC can suggest as a new treatment option for preventing intestinal injury. ” [2019]

” Gallic acid was determined as the primary phenolic acid in the extracts of R. coriaria, followed by cyanidin, peonidin, pelargonidin, petunidin, delphinidin glucosides and coumarates. R. coriaria also contains some organic acids including malic acid, citric acid, tartaric acid and fumaric acid ” [2019]

The ethanol extract of the fruit of the genetically related Rhus coriaria L., known as sumac, afforded protocatechuic acid, isoquercitrin, and myricetin-3-O-α-L-rhamnoside from the fruits for the first time, in addition to the previously reported phenol acids and flavonoids, gallic acid, methyl gallate, kaempferol, and quercetin. [2011]

Reported in Studies to reduce the following

Actinomyces viscosus
Bacillus cereus
Bacillus megaterium
Bacillus subtilis
Bacillus thuringiensis
Citrobacter freundii
Enterococcus faecalis
Escherichia coli
Hafnia alvei
Lactobacillus rhamnosus
Proteus vulgaris
Staphylococcus aureus
Streptococcus mutans
Streptococcus salivarius
Streptococcus sanguinis
Streptococcus sobrinus

Sumac Spice Powder | 15 oz - 425 g Reseable Bag | Bulk Ground Sumac Berries - Bran |Extra Grade Turkish Sumac Seasoning | Middle Eastern Spices | by Eat Well Premium Foods

Night Sweats

I have briefly touched upon night sweats in an earlier post, Biohacking Night Sweats and though it may be good to revisit the little literature on it. It is a symptoms of a vast multitude of conditions. Many of the conditions have association with some form of microbiome dysfunction.

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Diversity, stability and resilience of the human gut microbiota [2012]
” A rise above the optimum induces thermoregulatory mechanisms such as sweating to reduce it, and a descent below the optimum induces mechanisms such as shivering to increase it.  “
top 3 causes of night sweats

A microbiome dysfunction seems the most common cause with the bacteria involved likely producing more than normal amount of energy.

Night sweats are repeated episodes of extreme perspiration that may soak your nightclothes or bedding and are related to an underlying medical condition or illness.

Mayo Clinic – really helpful NOT,

Citizen Science?

Using contributed data and microbiomes we found these statistically significant:

Clearly, Barley with walnuts for breakfast is recommended. Licorice and Berberine also. For the latter two, inference suggests it may help

Bottom Line

In terms of formal science, we get no traction. In terms of citizen science, we came up with some concrete suggestions that are very low risk.

Encourage others

This is the start of a new year and new decade. I am a data consolidator not a physician or medical person. I am an Expedia or Travelocity not a KLM, Delta or Air India. If the information on this site or has had a positive effect on you, consider adding your experience as a comment. Be specific and try giving the following information:

  • What data did you base that decision on? (Thryve, uBiome, GI Map)
    • The specific condition/symptom that you were attempting to address
  • What did you try (including brand and web link)
    • If this came from a specific post or page, include it
  • When was the positive outcome or change (i.e. how long to see changes)

The purpose is to give encouragement and hope to others struggling with issues.

Thanks — and have a good new year on this 8th day of Twelveth Night!

Microbiome and Iron, Calcium, Phosphate, Zinc…

However, Bifidobacteriaceae are capable of binding iron in the large intestine, thereby limiting the formation of free radicals synthesized in the presence of iron, and thus reducing the risk of colorectal cancer. Animal studies have revealed that supplementation with probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics has a significant effect on bone calcium, phosphate and bone metabolism. The dynamic interaction between microbiota and zinc was shown. Human studies have provided evidence of the influence of probiotic bacteria on parathormone, calcium and phosphate levels and thus on bone resorption. Recent studies have produced new information mainly on the impact of the intestinal bacteria on the metabolism of calcium and iron. From a scientific perspective, the most urgent fields that remain to be investigated are the identification of all human gut microbes and new therapies targeting the interaction between intestinal bacteria and minerals.

Association between the gut microbiota and mineral metabolism. [2018]

In this post, I will try finding the studies and further information.

Bottom Line

The available literature suggests that Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are dominate player for calcium levels. Since these are much higher in children than adults, this would assist in bone growth by providing the needed calcium. This appears to extend to other minerals such as zinc, copper, phosphorus in a similar manner.

Both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium decrease with old age and may account for calcium /bone loss issues. ” The presence of the BifidobacteriumFaecalibacteriumBacteroides group, and Clostridium cluster XIVa decreased with age up to 66-80 years of age,  “[2019]

Low levels of one of more of theses would hint towards insufficient of these, or a bad balance with them. High levels of one or more would hint towards a surplus of these, or a bad balance with them.

Natural Killer Cells and Microbiome

A reader with ME/CFS wrote:

One of the many tests over the years has been Natural Killer cell function. Many CFS patients from what I understand have low NK cell function.
 Any clue how this is related to microbiome and ways to possibly reverse this or restore NK function? Could this just be due to gut dysregulation?

This has been my assumption for over 6 years. The following is what I could find that has been documented:

  • “Some effects of modulation by probiotics include cytokine production by epithelial cells, increased mucin secretion, increased activity of phagocytosis, and activation of T and natural killer T cells, stimulation of immunoglobulin A production and decreased T cell proliferation. Intestinal microbiota has a major impact on the systemic immune system. ” [2019]
  • ”  Some probiotics have been found to regulate immune responses via immune regulatory mechanisms. T regulatory (Treg) cells, T helper cell balances, dendritic cells, macrophages, B cells, and natural killer (NK) cells can be considered as the most determinant dysregulated mediators in immunomodulatory status.  ” [2019]

The gut microbiota is a key element to support host homeostasis and the development of the immune system. The relationship between the microbiota and immunity is a 2-way road, in which the microbiota contributes to the development/function of immune cells and immunity can affect the composition of microbes…. Our results indicate that intestinal NKT cells are important modulators of intestinal homeostasis and that gut microbiota composition may be a potential target in the management of inflammatory bowel diseases.  

Fecal IgA Levels and Gut Microbiota Composition Are Regulated by Invariant Natural Killer T Cells. [2019]

The review compiles data from multiple studies on the role of microbiota in the innate immune response and the development and differentiation of CD4+ T cells, a major component of the adaptive arm of the immune response. As a result of dysbiosis, invariant natural killer T cells may induce T helper 2 cell differentiation and immunoglobulin E isotype switching through the release of Interleukin-4 and Interleukin-13. Furthermore, degradation of immunoglobulin A antibodies, increased circulating mast cells and basophils, and inflammation are among other mechanisms by which dysbiosis can induce or exacerbate asthma. 

The Role of Gut Microbiota in Atopic Asthma and Allergy, Implications in the Understanding of Disease Pathogenesis. [2019]

Some bacterial species (e.g. Prevotella, Citrobacter rodentium, Collinsella aerofaciens, Segmented filamentous bacteria) participate in the creation of the pro-inflammatory immune status, presumably via epitope mimicry, modification of self-antigens, enhanced cell apoptosis mechanisms, and destruction of tight junction proteins and intestinal barrier integrity, all leading to the development and maintainance of inflammatory arthropathies… The underlying mechanisms include dysbiosis-mediated changes in the functional activity of the intestinal immune cell subsets, such as innate lymphoid cells, mucosa-associated invariant T cells, invariant natural killer T cells, T-follicular helper and T-regulatory cells. In turn, disturbed functionality of the gut-associated immune system is shown to promote the overgrowth of many bacteria, thus establishing a detrimental vicious circle of actively maintaining arthritis.

A cross talk between dysbiosis and gut-associated immune system governs the development of inflammatory arthropathies. [2019]

Recent evidence indicates that memory is also present in the innate immune cells such as monocytes/macrophages and natural killer cells. These cells exhibit pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) that recognize microbe- or pathogen-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs or PAMPs) expressed by the microbes. Interaction between PRRs and MAMPs is quite crucial since it triggers the sequence of signaling events and epigenetic rewiring that not only play a cardinal role in modulating the activation and function of the innate cells but also impart a sense of memory response. 

Potential Role of Gut Microbiota in Induction and Regulation of Innate Immune Memory. [2019]

Bottom Line

I stopped following studies on natural killer cells a few years ago because the evidence pointed to them being a secondary effect of issues with the microbiome. In other words, a symptom and not a cause. Symptom relief is good but it does not deal with the root cause. Altering natural killer function by drugs do have a chance of causing a cascade into the microbiome ( it is a 2-way road ), unfortunately drugs also have unknown side effects. I have focused on the microbiome because it is easier to do in one sense (no need to talk a MD into prescribing, no fight with insurance company to pay for it), it is also more complex to do — which is why I ended up writing a fuzzy logic artificial intelligence system to do it.