Overselling the microbiome award: Dr. Raphael Kellman at MindBodyGreen

Well this article by Dr. Raphael Kellman has just lots of overstatements about the microbiome: Why The Microbiome Is Your Key To Glowing Skin & Healthy Weight

For example, he writes:

Have you and your boyfriend or girlfriend ever gone out for a feast of delightfully unhealthy proportions only to then find yourselves picking fights with one another once you’re back home and digesting?  Fueling your body with unhealthy bacteria, and then feeding it with more unhealthy bacteria, is a sure-fire way to destabilize your mind-body connection. Instead, focus on supporting the positive bacteria in your belly with fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kefir and watch your spirits soar.

This implies that somehow the microbome has some role in such situations and in mediating the relationships between two people.  And it implies that that can be fixed with fermneted foods.  And this is without any shred of evidence …

Then there is a discussion that makes the microbome sound like the master controller of all that is human:

Our bodies are cohesive entities, yes, but within each there are several languages spoken. 

The microbiome works like a translator for all of these systems, deciphering and decoding so that one process can communicate with the other for more efficiency and effectiveness (helping our systems to work as a team instead of independently alongside one another).

And then there is evidence free claims about fatigue and the microbiome

I’ve found that this kind of unexplained fatigue is often linked to a lack of diversity in the microbiome and can be remedied, despite what conventional medicine says

Whenever someone critiques “conventional” medicine and then presents no evidence for their claims, one should be wary, very wary.

And it ends with

Your inner ecology, your microbiome, is influential on your physical health, and that shows through glowing skin, a balanced weight and a youthful essence.  

So – if you want to be youthful and glowing and have good sex and relationships and get rid of your fatigue and fix your automimmune disorders and obesity and connect all of your systems together, all you have to do is fix your microbiome.  Simple.  Oh and how do you do that?  Why funny you asked, because I am selling this new book on the Microbiome Diet to solve all your problems.  Ridiculous.  And dangerous.

And thus I am giving out an Overselling the Microbome award to Dr. Kellman.

About Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. (see my lab site here). My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis

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