In Melanoma, Microbes Show Game in the Skin

Guest BloggerFrom The Gut

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

Bowel Prep for Colonoscopies Disrupts Microbes

Guest BloggerFrom The Gut

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

Fiber Gives Microbes Much to Chew On

Guest BloggerFrom The Gut

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 BloggerFrom The Gut

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 BloggerFrom The Gut

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

As Asthma Rates Rise, So Does Interest in Microbes

Guest BloggerFrom The Gut

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

Autism and Microbiome Links

Guest BloggerFrom The Gut

Caused by a little understood blend of genetic and environmental factors, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are increasingly being linked to the microbiome. For one, some children with ASD have different gut microbes than healthy controls. And research has found that the gut microbiome and its metabolic by-products play a major role in normal brain and behavioral development. New research suggests … Read More

Preventing Eczema by Changing Your Microbes

Guest BloggerFrom The Gut

eczema

There may not be an “x” in eczema, but extreme itching and inflammation spell out this painful disease most common in infants and children. Quick review: Eczema is an allergic response to foreign substances, often food; it falls under the medical umbrella of atopic dermatitis, along with asthma. Prevalence of allergic responses is rising globally. Enter the microbiome, which when … Read More

Microbes Impact Brain Development in Infants

Guest BloggerFrom The Gut

baby

If you’re already plotting your baby’s admission into Harvard, don’t neglect her microbes. Gut microbiota may be your child’s best teacher. A little background: 100 trillion microbes share your body. Their move-in date is now thought to have begun when you were under construction in the womb. During and after birth and with those first months of rich nutrition, the … Read More

Walnuts Change Gut Bacteria, Adding to a Stellar Resume

Guest BloggerFrom The Gut

walnuts

When it comes to playing favorites, nutritionists are not shy about their love for walnuts. All tree nuts– including cashews, pecans, pistachios and others—are packed with healthful benefits yet walnuts boast the most impressive stats. Walnuts contain: L-arginine, a heart healthy amino acid Copious amounts of omega-3 fats which are anti-inflammatory Liberal amounts of copper, manganese, molybdenum, and biotin Powerful antioxidants which … Read More