POOP TEST: The Gut Biome and Aggressive Behavior
Recent research on the ‘gut-brain axis’ shows that diet and digestion directly and dramatically shape behavior. The research is becoming increasingly mainstream: Since 2012 the NIH has been studying the microbial genera of healthy people and the Mayo Clinic now has a Microbiome Program.
While reading Birth of a Supremacist in the New Yorker Magazine (October 16, 2017) I found myself wondering about Mike Enoch’s (the subject of the article) physical health, specifically his diet and the state of his digestion. Then came the description of his multiple childhood illnesses: “severe eczema and asthma… allergic to so many things – dust, pollen, nuts, wheat, shellfish – that he carried an EpiPen almost everywhere he went” as well as a severe dairy allergy, confirm that his erratic, aggressive behavior may be shaped to some significant degree by chronic dysbiosis - a state of severely compromised digestion due to microbial imbalance in the gut.
A compromised gut biome can play a decisive role in a shocking range of diseases and autoimmune conditions, including diabetes, arthritis, asthma, cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, obesity, leaky gut, diverticulitis, acid reflux, psoriasis, lupus, Epstein-Barre, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, MS, allergies, and a host of psychological and behavioral problems, including autism, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD, dyslexia and even criminal recidivism. Perhaps there is a demonstrable connection to gun violence, terrorism and war. Research is needed to explore these possibilities. If verified, the implications would be dramatic.
The causes of imbalanced gut biomes include depleted soils due to erosion and chemical fertilizers; processed foods; pesticides (including those used on golf course fairways) and GMO crops that kill soil microbes. These factors, combined with environmental toxins, multigenerational trauma and hormone disruptors ubiquitous in cosmetics and packaging, have created a silent epidemic with increasingly dire consequences. Worse yet, a depleted gut biome is often inherited. The fact that President Trump’s youngest son, Barron, is autistic indicates that one or both of his parents suffer from serious digestive imbalances.
In addition to providing ample material for future episodes of SNL, one wonders what comparative fecal analyses of, say, Trump, Netanyahu, Putin, Assad and Kim Jong Un would reveal.