Episode 56

The Invisible Extinction with Martin J. Blaser

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Today’s guest is Dr. Martin Blaser, a pioneer and global thought leader in the area of the gut microbiome. Author of over 650 original scientific articles, Dr. Blaser is also the author of the best selling book, “Missing Microbes”, a book targeted to general audiences and now translated into 20 languages. Together with his wife Gloria Dominguez, he stars in the new, award-winning documentary “The Silent Extinction”.

In this episode, I speak with Dr. Blaser about the following:

  1. Since the publication of your best selling book Missing Microbes, what has been the most important breakthrough in microbiome science?
  2. The extinction of micro and macro-organisms are being driven by different mechanisms. Why are the two trends happening roughly on the same time course?
  3. Of the many possible disease mechanisms that could be involved in microbiome changes and increased risk of chronic diseases, which do you think are the most important?
  4. What is your view of the mismatch hypothesis between a microbiome rapidly adapting to environmental/dietary changes and slowly evolving changes in the human immune system, leading to a maladaptive response of the immune system leading to systemic inflammation? In other words, are microbes better in adaptation to different lifestyles and environments than our immune system?
  5. Looking into the future, do you believe that humans will dramatically change their lifestyles and their interactions with the environment to prevent catastrophic consequences on our health? A scenario you have referred to as “Antibiotic Winter”.
  6. Do you see enough changes worldwide in the inappropriate and excessive use of antibiotics, C-section deliveries, diet, encroachment of wild habitats, etc. that suggest we will be able to dodge the bullet?
  7. If there is one intervention that you think would have the biggest impact on our current situation, what would that be?

Rather watch this episode? Check it out on YouTube: https://youtu.be/eibJT0iI5nw

Follow Dr. Mayer here: https://linktr.ee/emayer