Posts by Bart Janssen

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  • Speaker: Talking past each other:…, in reply to Hebe,

    Peeled (no green to alert him) zucchini

    Also mixed into meatballs. Not so much to sneak veges in but because they add flavour and moisture.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Talking past each other:…, in reply to steven crawford,

    ‘My food bags’

    They also give you new ideas. Sometime the hardest part of sorting out dinner is coming up with an idea.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Talking past each other:…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    There seem to be gut-related issues with autism and it is rare to find a person on the spectrum, and even close family members, who do not have some long-standing digestive issues. The MindsforMinds group at Auckland University has been doing some work on this.

    It would good to know some non-bogus stuff about this. My older son has uncomfortable – and sometimes socially inappropriate – belching problems.

    A question for both of you. Do people on the spectrum tend to want have more diverse or less diverse diets?

    I would have guessed they'd prefer more predictable (less diverse) eating habits. If that's true you might predict they'd have less diverse gut biomes. I guess my feeling from what I've read thus far is I'd probably be inclined to treat gut problems now by adding to the diet rather than subtracting - that is very much a personal guess though.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Talking past each other:…, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Informed consent?

    Hmmm yeah kinda. Informed usually means some good understand of all the risks and expected outcomes. I somehow doubt everyone who experiments on themselves is as informed as an ethics committee would normally require if they were subjects in a scientific study.

    But yeah it's their body to do with as they wish.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Talking past each other:…, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    you’d have been speaking as one of the grass guys

    heh the plant side of that idea is much closer to my specialty but even then it isn't an area where I'd be comfortable writing a grant today but I would have the background to read the literature and understand it well enough to probably write a decent grant after a month or so of heavy reading. I'd almost certainly try and get a collaborator who is a real grass expert though.

    This http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1369526613001672 is my real focus.

    The animal side of that is far enough outside my expertise that I'd never try and write a grant to do that work but I'd be comfortable that I'd understand any seminar on the subject.

    It really is a problem with any scientific expertise nowadays. We are all very specialised, we can usually read and understand (and potentially explain) much wider. But the trap in some fields is you may not know the sometimes very technical weaknesses in any given research.

    While I do describe myself now as a plant developmental biologist - I trained as a molecular biologist (gene jockey) which means I'm comfortable with most things about DNA and RNA but often less comfortable with the organism the DNA came from :).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Talking past each other:…, in reply to Rebecca Gray,

    but I will say the home-fermented pickles are really tasty so, hell, why not

    This is one reason why I'm comfortable suggesting these things. None of the suggestions is inconsistent with generally "good eating" and many are damn tasty.

    Moz

    via an exclusion diet

    a couple of comments, apparently as we get older we tend to lose some ability to process lactose - not a complete loss though. So often folks find reducing but not eliminating works well.

    The other comment is I get the feeling a lot of folks try eliminating parts of their diet to deal with some problem or another. And if they feel better they never reintroduce that part of their diet. If the change in diet and feeling better was a coincidence that means they lost some diversity in their diet. While it may not be fun to check I'd personally want to see if reintroducing the food caused the problem again.

    I also wonder about some folks (not specifically you Moz) who progressively exclude elements of their diet and end up with a very narrow diet which would probably lead to a less diverse gut microbiome which is generally thought to be less ideal. And yes I am aware some folks have to restrict their diet for real reasons.

    It also fascinates me that people are so happy to experiment on themselves. These are really experiments with a sample of one and huge observer bias. I get why people do it but then often those same people are very concerned about scientists or big pharma/business experimenting on them - it's ... odd.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Talking past each other:…, in reply to Hebe,

    And I reckon changing diet can tend to be explosive

    Yeah - make changes gradually :).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Talking past each other:…, in reply to Hebe,

    I also note that some of the hard science intersects with natural health theories and practice

    Yeah my impression is these scientists are working quite hard to stay in the science arena which is why any advice they are willing to give is strictly prefaced with "this is what I do and not my professional recommendation" because they know the data is still too uncertain.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Talking past each other:…, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    What sorts of dietary changes are these? Probiotic yoghurt would be an obvious one I guess.

    The comments, and these are from interviews on the science podcasts I listen to, say diversity seems to be beneficial. So you get diversity from eating lots of different foods. But in particular anything fermented, kimchi and yoghurt but also other fermented foods. They also suggested making your own bread but I don't understand how anything survives the baking process.

    You get gut microbiome diversity from gardening, getting your hands dirty. And from eating food straight from the garden. Dirt is good :). You get gut microbiome diversity from having a dog!

    So for me, the way I've tried to adapt my diet is to try and avoid falling into a rut. Also try to eat fresh salad greens etc and yeah some yoghurt. And I also try and limit highly processed foods. I'm not great at doing those things but I try.

    BTW they also point out that almost all the "probiotic" foods/pills etc are just large doses of brewers yeast (Saccharomyces) which is kind of pointless and usually quite expensive compared to just eating brewers yeast (which I don't think is worthwhile either).

    Bear in mind also that while I've read widely I am a plant developmental/molecular biologist and not an expert on the gut microbiome so my opinion is my opinion.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Talking past each other:…, in reply to Hebe,

    This gut flora stuff is the key to much of us. I’m fascinated by the research.

    I've been following the microbiome story for a while now, and tweeting most of the links to it that I read.

    It is pretty clear that the science is still in it's infancy and a lot of studies being done are not to a terribly high standard. Jonathan Eisen is someone to follow if you are seriously interested in microbiome science and criticism of the field.

    With that caveat in mind there have been some fascinating studies done in mice that link microbiome to weight gain and weight loss. There have also been interesting studies suggesting the microbiome in mice and humans suffers from jetlag! There are lots of studies showing feacal transplants (sadly the ones delivered to the top of the bowel eewww) can help with some serious chronic illnesses.

    What's relevant to this topic is there have been studies showing the microbiome is pretty dramatically dependent on diet. I don't think anyone is brave enough to conclude (yet) that high-sugar high-processed food diets promote a microbiome that favours weight gain but folks have shown some pretty interesting differences that suggest big changes in the microbiome have correlations with metabolic diseases.

    But all that must be considered with the caveat that the science is new and some of those studies haven't been done by the best groups in the field so may not stand up to replication. Also by their very nature these studies are mostly correlative and do not show cause and effect. Nevertheless most of the folks working in the field say they personally have changed their diet to promote microbiome diversity even when they aren't willing to put anything in a journal paper.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

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