Earn up to 14.5

CME credits!

Laboratory, Endocrine, & Neurotransmitter Symposium

February 7-9, 2020

Las Vegas, NV

Speakers include Pam Smith MD and Brandon Lundell DC. Early bird registration available until January 7 - register today!

Gain additional clinical insight and treatment considerations to evaluate some of the most prevalent and challenging conditions that patients present with, including depression, anxiety, altered mental focus and stamina, sexual dysfunction, sleep disturbances, addictions and dependencies, weight management, and chronic disease. Register today!



Dr. Kara Fitzgerald's Functional Medicine Clinic Immersion for Practitioners

Third Generation Microbiome Laboratory Analysis: Clinical Implications

Joel Mortensen PhD

January 15, 2020

Dr KF hosts Joel Mortensen PhD in a discussion about the latest, state-of-the-art GI panel: the GI360™ by Doctor's Data. Dr. Mortensen will highlight the key points of the new profile, including the relevance of PCR technology to assess GI microbiome bacterial abundance and diversity, as well as the ability to compare normobiotic vs. dysbiotic GI profiles. Patient case studies will be addressed. Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with Dr. Fitzgerald and Dr. Mortensen in a Q&A session.


Wellness Wednesday

Webinar Series

Hormone Testing Options Compared: Saliva, Serum, Urine

By: Lylen Ferris, ND

January 8th, 2019

Join Labrix clinical staff and special guests on the first Wednesday of every month at 9:30 AM and 12:00 PM PST. This free, live webinar series will cover a variety of neuroendocrine topics that will enhance your knowledge, with clinically applicable testing and treatment considerations.


The Role of the Gut Microbiota in the Development of Autoimmune Diseases


By Julia Malkowski, ND, DC | December 17 , 2019

Autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, systemic lupus erythematosus, type 1 diabetes, Crohn's and ulcerative colitis have been increasing, especially in developed countries. New research is shedding light on the role of the gut microbiota in the development of autoimmune disorders. Alterations in abundance and diversity of gut microbiota may contribute to autoimmune disease pathogenesis. Gut derived metabolites likely play a direct role in the development of autoimmune disease and probiotics may provide an effective prevention and treatment approach.

The gut microbiota of healthy individuals has been shown to be far more diverse than the microbiota of autoimmune individuals. This decrease in beneficial butyrate producing bacteria may predispose one to increased intestinal permeability associated with autoimmune conditions. Butyrate producing bacteria modulate mucin production, which supports gut barrier integrity and therefore decreases the probability of increased intestinal permeability. Prevotella and Akkermansia degrade mucin, and their presence in healthy individuals may indicate proper mucus barrier function. Healthy populations were shown to have greater abundance of butyrate producing bacteria, and mucin degrading bacteria Akkermansia and Prevotella, contributing to robust butyrate production and mucin synthesis. The anaerobic bacteria Bacteroides, Veillonella and Alistipes were shown to be more abundant in autoimmune individuals. These bacteria ferment glucose and lactate to produce propionate, acetate, and succinate and these acids do not induce mucin synthesis. Potentially, the imbalance of short chain acids, tipping in favor of propionate, acetate, and succinate instead of butyrate, contribute to decreased mucin production and increased intestinal permeability associated with autoimmune pathogenesis.

Gut microbiota metabolites may also have an immunomodulatory role in the development of autoimmune disease. The gut microbiota directly influences the immune system and is responsible for the development of a specific subset of lymphocytes within the gut, the T helper type 17 (Th17). Autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and type 1 diabetes have all been related to an increase in Th17. In an animal model, an imbalance of Th17 and T regulatory cells has been associated with insulitis and pancreatic inflammation. There appears to be a direct link to the pathogenesis of autoimmune conditions, and the gut microbiota via microbial derived metabolites, namely Th17.

The administration of probiotics provides a promising treatment option for autoimmune conditions. Probiotic supplementation containing Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus fermentum and Bifidobacterium bifidum was shown to decrease inflammatory markers in multiple sclerosis patients. Rheumatoid arthritis patients exhibited increased levels of IL-10, and decreased levels of tumor necrosis factor, IL-6 and IL-12 with the administration of probiotics of Lactobacillus casei. In an animal model, the administration of butyrate producing lactobacillus attenuated the development of type 1 diabetes. For children genetically predisposed to development of type 1 diabetes during their first year of life, early probiotic administration was associated with a decreased risk of islet cell autoimmunity.

With autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, systemic lupus erythematosus, type 1 diabetes, Crohn's and ulcerative colitis on the rise, it is pertinent to examine all avenues of pathogenesis and potential treatment options. Recent studies demonstrate the gut microbiota may contribute to the pathogenesis of autoimmunity via alterations in bacterial abundance and diversity as well as specific metabolites. Probiotics provide a treatment approach and potential preventative measure for autoimmune diseases. Further studies with respect to probiotics and autoimmune disease are warranted to improve patient outcomes and quality of life.



1. Brown CT, Davis-Richardson AG, Giongo A, Gano KA, Crabb DB, Mukherjee N, et al. (2011) Gut Microbiome Metagenomics Analysis Suggests a Functional Model for the Development of Autoimmunity for Type 1 Diabetes. PLoS ONE 6(10):e25792.https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0025792

2. de Oliveira, G., Leite, A. Z., Higuchi, B. S., Gonzaga, M. I., & Mariano, V. S. (2017). Intestinal dysbiosis and probiotic applications in autoimmune diseases. Immunology, 152(1), 1–12. doi:10.1111/imm.12765

3. Li, B., Selmi, C., Tang, R., Gershwin, M. E., & Ma, X. (2018). The microbiome and autoimmunity: a paradigm from the gut-liver axis. Cellular & molecular immunology, 15(6), 595–609. doi:10.1038/cmi.2018.7

Introducing the new GI360™ Profile from Doctor's Data, offering extensive assessment of the gastrointestinal microbiome

GI360™ is a powerful tool to profile the microbiome and compare results to a published normobiotic reference population. Identify gut pathogens to aid in diagnosis and guide selection of treatment. Identify risk profiles for major diseases and chronic conditions

The GI360™ Profile includes:

  • PCR Analysis for the Abundance and Diversity of Key Bacterial Populations of the GI Microbiome
  • PCR Detection of Pathogenic Bacteria, Viruses and Parasites
  • Comprehensive Parasitology by Microscopy
  • MALDI-TOF ID of Cultured Bacteria and Yeast
  • Broad Range of Stool Chemistry Markers
  • Standardized Susceptibility Testing of Isolated Bacteria and Yeast

Disclaimer: All information given about health conditions, treatment, products, and dosages are for educational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.