Article Outline
  1. 1. Healing Properties
    1. 1.1. Breakdown of Anti-nutritonal Factors (ANFs)
  2. 2. External fermentation can render poisonous foods edible
  3. 3. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG)
    1. 3.1. Healing Properties
      1. 3.1.1. Antiinflammatory
      2. 3.1.2. Bone Health
      3. 3.1.3. Gut Health
    2. 3.2. Disease / Symptom Treatment
      1. 3.2.1. Pneumonia
      2. 3.2.2. Leaky Gut Syndrome
      3. 3.2.3. Alcohol Induced Liver Injury
      4. 3.2.4. Osteoperosis

Probiotics (and Prebiotics)

The gut can be thought of as a machine for internal fermentation whereby digestion is accomplished via the the endogenous microbiome.[1]

This microbiome is comprised of a diverse microecosystem of trillions of metazoans known collectively as the gut microbiota.

The small intestine contains approximately one million bacteria per mL while the colon contains up to one trillion bacteria per mL.[1:1]

Prebiotics vs Probiotics

Diets rich in plant material have been shown to increase beneficial bacteria in the human gut by supplying fermentable substrates to existing microorganisms.[1:2] Therefore Prebiotics are compounds in food that induce the growth or activity of beneficial microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi.

Probiotics refer to live microorganisms.

Healing Properties

Incorporating external fermentation [probiotics & prebiotics] into the diet provides many adaptive benefits:

  • Increases macronutrient absorption[1:3]
  • Increases the bioavailability of micronutrients[1:4]
    • Some of which are essential for brain development and function[1:5]
  • Supports internal fermentation by the endogenous microbiome[1:6]
  • Immune reinforcing benefits[1:7]
  • Fermentation provides increased macronutrient digestibility for both carbohydrates and proteins.[1:8]
  • In the colon, vitamin K2 is synthesized by multiple genera of bacteria.[1:9]
  • B complex vitamins are produced from carbohydrate fermentation by alcohol-producing yeasts and Lactobacillus species.[1:10]
    • Externally fermenting foods prior to consuming them can increase the amounts of B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin) by up to 10-fold.[1:11]

Breakdown of Anti-nutritonal Factors (ANFs)

ANFs are compounds found in staple cereals, grains, seeds, legumes and tubers that bind essential nutrients, preventing their absorption in the body.[1:12]

Phytate is a salt formed from plants’ phosphorus storage compound, phytic acid.[1:13]

Oxalate is commonly found in leafy vegetation, nuts, and tubers; it forms chelates with essential nutrients iron, magnesium, and most importantly, calcium.[1:14]

Iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium are thus particularly impacted by ANFs found in raw plant matter, yet sufficient absorption of these is critical for life.[1:15]

Humans produce little phytase in their small intestine. The bioavailability of minerals is therefore greatly reduced.[1:16]

Lactobacillus bacteria-driven fermentation is an alternative to phytase – by lowering the pH, it provides a favorable environment for both bacterial and endogenous phytase within the plant material to hydrolyze the binding phytate and release the bound minerals.[1:17]

Oxalate can also be degraded through Lactobacillus fermentations, either externally or internally.[1:18]

  • Degradation of phytate by external fermentation has been shown to be more effective than heat treatment or cooking due to the decreased phytase bioactivity at a temperature above 80°C.[1:19]

External fermentation can render poisonous foods edible

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG)

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, a type of probiotic from the gut of healthy individuals, is characterized by high and sustained adhesiveness to the intestinal mucosa.[2]

Healing Properties


Administration of LGG downregulates systemic inflammatory response.

Bone Health

LGG could increase intestinal barrier integrity and downregulate the systemic inflammatory response, resulting in attenuation of bone loss.

Gut Health

LGG reconstructed the community structure of the gut microbiota and promoted the expression of preponderant metabolites (LysoPCs) to suppress leukotrienes (inflammatory mediators produced in leukocytes by the oxidation).

LGG further improved the intestinal integrity and inhibited the inflammatory response systemically, resulting in attenuation of TDF-induced bone loss.

Disease / Symptom Treatment


Administration of LGG improves the prognosis of pneumonia by upregulating regulatory T cell (Treg) levels and downregulating the systemic inflammatory response.

Leaky Gut Syndrome

LGG could increase intestinal barrier integrity and downregulate the systemic inflammatory response.

Alcohol Induced Liver Injury

LGG ameliorates alcohol-induced liver injury by improving intestinal integrity.


Potential therapeutic strategy for prevention or treatment of osteoporosis.

Title: Fermentation Technology as a Driver of Human Brain Expansion
Publication: Preprints
Date: October 2020
Study Type: Thesis (Not peer reviewed)
Author(s): Katherine Bryant, Christi Hansen, Erin Hecht
Institution(s): Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain (FMRIB), Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom; Hungry Heart Farm and Dietary Consulting, Conley, Georgia, United States; Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Abstract: Thesis Statement: The consumption of externally fermented foods acted as the initial metabolic trigger enabling hominid brain expansion. Because brain tissue is metabolically expensive, it is thought that the evolution of humans’ large brains was only possible through a concomitant reduction in the size of another expensive organ system, the gut. However, this gut reduction must have itself been made possible by dietary changes, the nature of which are still unclear. Here, we propose that the initial metabolic trigger of hominid brain expansion may have been the consumption of externally fermented foods. We define “external fermentation” as occurring outside the body, as opposed to the internal fermentation that occurs through the gut microbiome. This practice could have begun accidentally and with limited understanding, but over time, fermentation technologies may have become increasingly intentional, socially-transmitted, and culturally-reinforced. We detail the mechanisms by which external fermentation can mediate the evolution of increased brain size, as well as a reduction in gut size, by increasing the bioavailability of macro- and micronutrients while reducing digestive energy expenditure. Importantly, we calculate that the reduction in human gut size relative to modern apes is mainly due to a reduction in the colon, the site of internal fermentation. We also discuss the explanatory power of our hypothesis relative to others, including realistic plausibility in hominids with brains roughly the size of modern chimpanzees. Finally, we survey external fermentation practices across human cultures to demonstrate its viability across a huge range of environments, temperatures, and food sources. We close with suggestions for empirical tests.

Title: Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG attenuates tenofovir disoproxil fumarate-induced bone loss in male mice via gut-microbiota-dependent anti-inflammation
Publication: SAGE - Therapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease
Date: July 2019
Study Type: Animal Study: In Vivo
Author(s): Hao Liu, Ranli Gu, Wei Li, Wen Zhou, Zhe Cong, Jing Xue, Yunsong Liu, Qiang Wei, and Yongsheng Zhou
Institution(s): Hao Liu, The Central Laboratory, Peking University School and Hospital of Stomatology and National Clinical Research Center for Oral Diseases and National Engineering Laboratory for Digital and Material Technology of Stomatology and Beijing Key Laboratory of Digital Stomatology, Beijing, China
Abstract: Background: Although antiretroviral agents trigger bone loss in human immunodeficiency virus patients, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) induces more severe bone damage, such as osteoporosis. While, the mechanisms are unclear, probiotic supplements may be effective against osteoporosis. Methods: C57BL6/J mice were administered with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG)+TDF, TDF, and zoledronic acid+TDF, respectively. Bone morphometry and biomechanics were evaluated using microcomputed tomography, bone slicing, and flexural tests. The lymphocyte, proinflammatory cytokines, and intestinal permeability levels were detected using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, and flow cytometry. The gut microbiota composition and metabolomics were analyzed using 16S recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid pyrosequencing and ultra-performance liquid-chromatography–quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Results: LGG administered orally induced marked increases in trabecular bone microarchitecture, cortical bone volume, and biomechanical properties in the LGG+TDF group compared with that in the TDF-only group. Moreover, LGG treatment increased intestinal barrier integrity, expanded regulatory T cells, decreased Th17 cells, and downregulated osteoclastogenesis-related cytokines in the bone marrow, spleen, and gut. Furthermore, LGG reconstructed the gut microbiota and changed the metabolite composition, especially lysophosphatidylcholine levels. However, the amount of N-acetyl-leukotriene E4 was the highest in the TDF-only group. Conclusion: LGG reconstructed the community structure of the gut microbiota, promoted the expression of lysophosphatidylcholines, and improved intestinal integrity to suppress the TDF-induced inflammatory response, which resulted in attenuation of TDF-induced bone loss in mice. LGG probiotics may be a safe and effective strategy to prevent and treat TDF-induced osteoporosis.

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