‘Tis the Season for Asparagus: Indulge!

Guest BloggerMarket Trends, Microbiome Environment

asparagus

Asparagus sprouts up early in spring. Ignore the unique scent it imbues to urine; it’s just that digestion releases asparagusic acid which metabolizes into sulfur-containing compounds. Proust rather liked it. Asparagus “…transforms my chamber-pot into a flask of perfume.” Marcel Proust (1871–1922) Take advantage of this delicious and rich prebiotic source to feed your healthy microbes. Asparagus delivers 5% fiber by weight as … 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

Probiotics Join the Fight Against Flu

Guest BloggerClinical Corner, Microbiome Environment

Like winter, flu season is etched on our calendars. This year many countries are reporting high flu activity and low success of vaccines against the dominant H3N2 strain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Because viruses mutate over time, the formulated vaccines don’t always prevent the flu. Better solutions are needed. The respiratory illness caused and … Read More

Fiber Gives Microbes Much to Chew On

Guest BloggerClinical Corner, Microbiome Environment

Lentils, black beans, broccoli, mango, raspberries— slivers of the fibrous firmament—taste better than chips or fries and  work for us instead of against. A high-fiber diet helps prevent a litany of diseases including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Scientists have teased out many clues for how it works; only recently however have they targeted the microbial world. In a … Read More

Exercise Improves Microbe Mix in Lean People

Guest BloggerClinical Corner, Microbiome Environment

healthy people

Baby, we were born to run. Despite that innate need to move, few of us do enough exercise for optimum health. Even our microbes will vary depending on movement. For example, endurance athletes harbor different microbes than sedentary people. A new study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tracked changes in the guts of 32 non-exercisers who started a … Read More

Can Probiotics Clear Human Papillomavirus?

Guest BloggerClinical Corner, Microbiome Environment

cancer

Imagine a virus that most people harbor at some point in their lives, usually unaware of it because our fine-tuned immune systems clear them, yet for an unlucky number–usually women—it can be a death sentence. The pathogen is called human papillomavirus (HPV), the main cause of cervical cancer. A German virologist named Harald zur Hausen won the Nobel prize for … Read More

Probiotics May Be the New Prozac

Guest BloggerClinical Corner, Microbiome Environment

anxiety

Evolution carved out a special place for anxiety, an often helpful emotion which triggers cortisol release in fight-or-flight responses. Anxiety can save your life. But these days anxiety from uniquely modern stressors—health screenings, computer meltdowns, traffic jams, noise pollution and hundreds of other adverse events —lingers long after its usefulness. Chronic anxiety can kill you. This steady stream of stress damages … Read More

Travel Changes You, and Your Microbes Too

Guest BloggerClinical Corner, Microbiome Environment

airplane travel

Travel can be rewarding, financially if it’s for work and emotionally when it’s for play or to visit loved ones. The downsides too are well-known: flight delays, uncomfortable seats, annoying seatmates and jet lag. Another to consider is how our microbes fare when flown across vast time zones to lands where even food and water are foreign to our ecosystems. … Read More

As Asthma Rates Rise, So Does Interest in Microbes

Guest BloggerClinical Corner, Microbiome Environment

asthma and microbes

Progress is not always pretty. Polluted air, water and soil are part of the price tag on fast cars, potent drugs and cheap beef. Health can suffer. Faced with environmental toxins, our bodies secrete cytokines which induce multiple responses played out in the lungs, airways and immune system. This specific type of allergy named asthma is episodic or chronic inflammation of … Read More

Holiday Cheers for Probiotics

Guest BloggerMicrobiome Environment

gifts

It’s so easy to throw a ribbon on a box of candy or bottle of booze and call it your very merry holiday offering. Resist the ordinary. This year, invest your resources in gifts that will actually improve the health of those you care about (even though your annoying co-worker still merits ribbon candy.) Ideas with synbiotic sensibilities Kefir grains and … Read More