Microbes Deserve a Closer Look in Lou Gehrig’s disease

Guest BloggerClinical Corner, Microbiome Environment

nervous system

Science isn’t hitting any home runs with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Named after a famous baseball player, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS is a progressive disease that destroys nerve cells and causes disability. ALS often begins with muscle twitching, weakness in a limb or slurred speech. Eventually, ALS affects control of the muscles needed to move, speak, eat and breathe. There … Read More

Doubling Down on Probiotics in Allergy Season

Guest BloggerClinical Corner, Microbiome Environment

Allergy season

Bleary eyes, itchy nose and so many sneezes even the blessings have stopped? No surprise here: it’s allergy season. But rather than making inroads against these carnal assaults by fertile pollens of the earth, public health practitioners instead report rising numbers over the last few decades. Allergic rhinitis is caused by an IgE-mediated inflammatory reaction. Antihistamines, bronchodilators, and corticosteroids therefore … 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

‘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