Geosmin is an organic compound that gives beets, carrots, and other root vegetables their distinct earthy flavor and aroma. It gives us that earthy smell in the air that organic gardeners have grown to love and one reason why we like to get our hands dirty. Geosmin is produced by a type of Actinobacteria called Streptomyces, a gram-positive bacterium that you want to have as part of your natural flora.

Unknown-1Though I’ve written much about the negative effects of gram-negative bacteria on human health (namely H. pylori), it is important to note that it is always the imbalance of such organisms that bring ill-health. Just as overgrowth of H. pylori causes horrific outcomes including cancer, the occlusion of other bacterium (in this discussion Streptomyces) can hinder the body’s ability to fight cancer.

Streptomyces produces a chemical called 7-Oxostaurosporine, a potent inhibitor of Protein Kinase C (PKC), an enzyme responsible for cell growth that is up-regulated in cancer growth (1). Also used in the production of Streptomycin, a potent antibiotic, we are finding more advantages to my father’s advice that, “It’s good for kids to get dirty.” Varieties of Streptomyces is found in the soil and is carried into the body through contact and ingestion and is held in balance by the millions of other microbiotic organisms that make up our flora and symbiotically bring homeostasis.

One study has shown that 7-Oxostaurosporine concentrations from Streptomyces in aquatic sea creatures can be potent tumor suppressors (2). Though not available to date, we can find these organisms in good organic root vegetables which may be another reason why juicing them, while preserving the natural enzymes, also helps feed our flora and fight disease such as cancer.

Hope this helps

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1. J Antibiot (Tokyo). 1992 Feb;45(2):189-94. A new inhibitor of protein kinase C, RK-1409 (7-oxostaurosporine). I. Taxonomy and biological activity. Osada H, Koshino H, Kudo T, Onose R, Isono K.
2. Mar Drugs. 2012 May;10(5):1092-102. doi: 10.3390/md10051092. Epub 2012 May 21. Structure elucidation and anticancer activity of 7-oxostaurosporine derivatives from the Brazilian endemic tunicate Eudistoma vannamei.