Just a quick follow-up to the last post.
I want to make sure no one takes away the idea that I’m recommending people “put the brakes” on any experimentation, or that they should be worried about dumping a couple tablespoons of a granulated whole food into a glass of water. In fact, the intention is exactly the opposite — my hope is that people don’t become complacent with one solution, or narrowly define microbiome experimentation to just one intervention. I think there is tremendous value in having many people trying many different things. There’s no other way we’ll get to the bottom of all this.
The evolving thoughts I post on this blog are a product of the research I do to primarily figure out what I, personally, should be doing in this area of health. They are not, and are never intended to be, a prescription to others. The reason I post them is because:
1) It’s a good way to document and organize the research I come across and the ideas synthesized from them.
2) It has the side effect of exposing others to new ideas and information, and putting their own experimentation into perspective.
3) The comments and reactions help to refine, expand on, or challenge the conclusions I come to.
The reason this area of health research fascinates me so much is that, besides its tremendous potential for understanding disease and improving health, it is an area of health that is extremely amenable to personal experimentation and do-it-yourself therapy. If the hypothesis that diet is the primary modulator of the gut microbiota is correct, and that the gut microbiota do hold potential to address health and disease, then people who like to make a lot of money from sick people are going to be disappointed.
If any sort of broad guidelines or recommendations do emerge on any of this — and I hope they eventually do — it will be the product of collective experimentation and conversation. As such, I think we can do without gurus or “experts.” I think we have enough of those. Using other people’s struggle and search for health as a platform for self promotion has never much appealed to me. I hope that, as we continue to explore the other 90% of ourselves, the crowdsourced aspect of this remains front and center.