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April 29, 2019: Dr Marie-Claire Arrieta, Author, Assistant Professor at Cumming School of Medicine, U of C       webpage

Bill Fitzsimmons introduced our guest speaker, Dr. Marie-Claire Arrieta, Assistant Professor, department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Calgary, who is a co-author of “Eat Dirt…Saving Our Children from an Oversanitized World” and who is working on a second book as well as a documentary.

Dr. Arrieta presented several slides showing microbes in our intestines and told stories of her long-time friend who raised her children on a farm with lots of exposure to dirt. The premise being, immune systems of children do better with a little dirt. Her research interests lie in the role of the intestinal microbiota in the development of immune-ediated and metabolic pediatric diseases.

Her approach for these studies is to apply multi-omic techniques, including microbiome high-throughput16S sequencing, metabolomic (ULPC-MS/MS) and transcriptomics, in large-scale pediatric population-based studies. From the results from these studies, she applies her training in mucosal immunology and physiology to answer mechanistic question in animal models of disease, including IBD and asthma. Utilizing these tools she plans to address the general research question of how metabolites originated from alterations in early-life intestinal microbiota contribute to intestinal and extra-intestinal disease.

What causes asthma or IBD? At a time when these diseases are at an all-time high, this question remains unanswered. However, new clues are pointing to a previously unsuspected cause: microbes. The human body (especially our gut) is home to trillions of microbes, and new science is clearly showing that these are not quiet residents, nor dangerous. Quite the opposite, this large community of microbes, also known as the gut microbiome, functions as an organ, capable of producing a large amount and variety of substances that our body requires to develop properly.

New evidence also shows that the gut microbiome is especially important during infancy and childhood, right at a time where our bodies experience incredibly rapid developmental changes. Our immune system relies on signals from the gut microbiome, and if these signals are not appropriate, the immune system does not develop properly, which can lead to immune diseases like asthma , IBD, MS, Crohn’s, Diabetes and Autism.

Microbes effect our:

  1. Immunological System
  2. Metabolism System
  3. Neurological Systems
Breast-fed babies have different microbes than those fed on a formula. Tips for improved microbes:
  1. Vaginal birth and breast feeding vs caesarean and formula feeding.
  2. Feed your microbes. Microbes feed on fibre. Follow the Canada Food Guide.
  3. Avoid hyper hygiene.
  4. Restrict the amount of antibiotic use.
  5. Vaccinate children (to restrict the use of antibiotics).

Duncan Stanners expressed the thanks of the club for an excellent presentation and read the history of the Boltman as suggested by the sergeant-at-arms, before presenting it to Dr Arrieta.

  • Marie-Claire Arrieta and Duncan Stanners Marie-Claire Arrieta and Duncan Stanners
  • Marie-Claire Arrieta, Duncan Stanners, and Tim Anderson Marie-Claire Arrieta, Duncan Stanners, and Tim Anderson

reported by Mike Carlin

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