Natural Gas is Your Best Friend

April 04, 2021

Natural Gas is Your Best Friend

No, no, no! NOT the stuff that comes out of the ground and heats your house. We are talking about the stuff that you make in your gut and about which you make a funny face and blame the dog. This is deadly serious and was in fact the topic of a Nobel Prize in Medicine. The gases you make in your gut is hugely important to managing your body. (Many kinds of gas.)  You want more of it/them. The evidence is mounting and very interesting.

The Nobel Prize story is all about NO and how it dilates blood vessels and the discovery of it being a gas that did the messaging. It's now common knowledge that that's how Nitroglycerin works on your heart and relieving angina by dilating blood vessels. And if you weren't aware that men think NO is a really cool thing, you haven't been watching all the hawkers on TV and their promises of "new awakenings" in what was once dead. The field of gut-produced gases being important signaling messages was born.

Another example. Did you know that we can now measure the ability of the bacteria in your mouth, in your gums, and under your plaque to make NO? That NO lowers your blood pressure a couple of points. Almost as much as any blood pressure medication. Swish your mouth with alcohol mouth wash and the benefit goes away. Hmm. You might consider not so much swishing.

In 2019, in the journal Cell, came the study showing that NO produced in the gut attaches to thousand of proteins in the blood by a process called S-nitrosylation, which subsequently turn genes on and off. The researchers worked with the roundworm, C. Elegans, and showed the phenomenon by feeding developing worms bacteria that produce nitric oxide. They then selected one very important protein--argonaute protein, or ALG-1--that is highly conserved from worms to humans and silences unnecessary genes, including genes critical for development. More nitric oxide, some organs stopped developing completely! Whoa. The bacteria in the gut were turning off host genes. Interspecies communication and genetic manipulation!

Well, it's not just NO. Methane joins the fray. You know, the stuff you lit when you were a teenager so that you wouldn't contribute to global warming. Methane. Common natural gas. Did you know there is now intense interest in how methane impacts mitochondria and your production of energy? Yup. Methane turns out to be a modulator of inflammation too. Again, a gas starting in your gut and changing how you make energy, whether you are inflamed or normal.......

Hearing about NO and methane, you shouldn't be surprised when we add Hydrogen to the list. Simple H2. Again, hugely important in inflammation. It activates the Nrf2-Keap1 pathway, one of the main inflammatory pathways. Implications might be huge. For example, Parkinson's patients are known to have less H2 production in their gut biome. You heard that! A horrible disease shown to have less anti-inflammatory gas production because of an alteration in the bacteria of their gut. So, which came first, the bacteria or the gas or the disease?

Do you want to add hydrogen sulfide to the list? Another gas, another emerging field of research that affects inflammation. Stay tuned. More to learn.

What this constellation of research is leading to is an increasing awareness of how the biome in our gut manages us and is important for us to care for. You can't just take your "biome" for granted. We need to take care of that "organ" that you so carefully dispose 30% of every day. It needs to be fed the right food, and avoid the wrong toxins.

www.What will Work for me. I'm all over this. I love this type of research. I bought a hydrogen generator for home and office so that my water is now hydrogen water. And at the grocery store, I had to buy some "Sun Chokes", the name now applied to Jerusalem artichokes, mentioned in every list of good prebiotics. (They are a native American plant, cultured and eaten by Native Americans for millennia, and have nothing to do with Jerusalem. They look like sunflower plants. It's their root that looks like a potato you want to eat more of. Bake them with olive oil, salt, and garlic and they taste great. Lose the potatoes. Substitute "sunchokes". ) What I really want to learn is how to increase my NO, sulfur, and methane while still living in proximity to other humans. That may take some careful negotiations. Or, just a healthy gut that isn't leaky.

References: JAHA, EuroHeartJournal, Cell, Frontiers in Medicine, Trends Endocr Metab., Cell Death Dis.,

Pop Quiz

1. What natural gases are present inside our bodies?                                   Answer: oxygen, O2, nitrogen, N2, Methane, NO, CH4, H2, SO2.....a lot of them

2. Why is the gut so important to these gases?                                              Answer: because that is where they are made.

3. Can you name one effect on our bodies by these gases?                         Answer: H2 turns off inflammation. NO dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. And makes men happy. NO also tags proteins that turn on and off many genes. ....

4. How can we manage these gases?                                                                Answer: heath healthier diets and avoid gut sugar, wheat, glyphosate. (Buy organic and lose 80% of pesticides)

5. What is one thing I can do today to tip towards a healthier gut?            Answer: more fiber of all sorts. More prebiotic, more raw, more vegetables, more vegetables, more vegetables.