Gut microbiome keeps intestinal cells healthy: cell assays to assess the mechanism of action of pre- and probiotics in the gastrointestinal tract

Guest BloggerClinical Corner

Massimo Marzorati

By Massimo Marzorati, PhD The intestinal microbiome affects intestinal health at multiple levels. Intestinal bacteria produce several metabolites, which positively influence the intestinal epithelial barrier function and wound healing1,2.  Also, gut bacteria prevent the colonization of pathogenic bacteria, by inhibiting their adhesion and by producing antimicrobial components. Further, the intestinal microbiome shapes the immune system, controlling the equilibrium between immune … Read More

Breast Cancer and Probiotic Link Largely Untapped

Guest BloggerClinical Corner

breast cancer

With breast cancer a leading cause of death among woman globally, it’s no surprise that billions of dollars are spent searching for better outcomes. Much of the largess is poured into cancer drugs and other treatments. Relatively little is spent exploring a microbiome connection. That’s a shame because breast microbiota may be fertile ground for intervention. How so? First, microbial composition … Read More

Probiotics a Neglected Therapy in Vaginal Disorders

Guest BloggerClinical Corner

vaginal health

Apparently vaginal health needs a #MeToo moment. Canadian researcher Gregor Reid opines about lack of progress in vaginal health applications in a 2018 review titled: “Has knowledge of the vaginal microbiome altered approaches to health and disease?”   Reid writes that “Calls for innovation have been made before but to little avail.” While dominant Lactobacillus species have been identified and recognized as … Read More

Probiotics: Help or Hype for Healthy people?

Guest BloggerClinical Corner

healthy people

As retailers target a wider market, more people are discovering probiotics. Should everyone be consuming probiotics in some form? Or have marketing whizzes overplayed their value? Good questions. Much of the research in the sector deals with effect of probiotics on disorders. Still, many ostensibly healthy people—those without chronic or acute diseases including cardiovascular, autoimmune, diabetes, obesity and others– also take probiotics. Are … Read More

A Look at Microbes in Schizophrenia

Guest BloggerClinical Corner, Microbiome Environment

schizophrenia

Marked by delusions and hallucinations, schizophrenia is not uncommon. More than 50 million people or 1% of humans suffer with this devastating psychiatric disorder. What causes schizophrenia? Researchers believe that a combination of genetics, brain chemistry and environment contributes to development of the disorder. The gut-brain axis may be one pathway. Risk factors for schizophrenia Family history of schizophrenia Older age … Read More

In Melanoma, Microbes Show Game in the Skin

Guest BloggerClinical Corner, Microbiome Environment

Skin: We ignore it, tattoo it and burn it on beaches and tanning beds. Besides its brutish name, skin also gets little respect for its crucial job of protecting the human body from toxins and dehydration. Skin is the largest organ we have, beating out big hearts and hungry stomachs by a long shot. It is a complex ecosystem home to … Read More

As Obesity Soars, Microbes Get a Closer Look

Guest BloggerClinical Corner, Microbiome Environment

Americans are getting fatter. New data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (tens of thousands surveyed) revealed stark numbers: Nearly 40% of adults are obese, up significantly from previous years. Hispanic and blacks–both adults and children– counted more obesity than whites and Asians. One other group fared especially poorly: toddlers ages 2 to 5 saw obesity rates rise, … Read More

Good News When Probiotics Become Habit

Guest BloggerClinical Corner, Microbiome Environment

probiotics

  While humans have been eating probiotics by way of cheeses and yogurts for tens of thousands of years, use of supplements for beneficial bacteria is only decades old. Most studies concentrate on immediate effects of pills and capsules. No reliable data exists on “longer-term consumption” of probiotics, a period of time only now relevant. Thus a new curiosity in … Read More

Probiotics in Pregnancy May Prevent Baby’s Eczema

Guest BloggerClinical Corner, Microbiome Environment

Eczema in infants is painful to see and even worse for them. Soaring in numbers, this allergic skin disease is caused by genetic defects and foreign substances, often food. But surprisingly, it’s not only the diet of the baby which figures. Probiotics in the mother’s diet before birth may prevent some cases. A new large meta-analysis conducted at the Imperial … Read More

Bowel Prep for Colonoscopies Disrupts Microbes

Guest BloggerClinical Corner, Microbiome Environment

anatomy colon

Colonoscopy is the gold standard for finding and removing polyps which could cause colon cancer. Prepping for the test requires imbibing volumes of laxative solutions to cleanse (via diarrhea) the bowel for better viewing. Not fun, but the doctor needs to see a clear picture. One interesting question which rarely comes up is how do these cleansers—usually sodium phosphate or … Read More