Coffee? Pour a Cup!

Coffee? Pour a Cup!

While I don’t have the exact statistic, it probably isn’t far off-base to state that many, if not most, Americans start their day with a cup of coffee in their hand. For many years, the science on coffee has moved in competing directions, from studies that call it dangerous for long-term health, to those that endorse daily mass consumption.

In Grain Brain, I briefly explored the health benefits of coffee, notably as an activator of our Nrf2 pathway, and it’s a topic I return to in Brain Maker. Now, learn how coffee plays a roll in influencing the composition of our gut bacteria, and how that daily cup of joe might be fighting a leaky gut. Drink up!

Introducing: Brain Maker

Introducing: Brain Maker

We are not alone.

Even within the confines of the human body, each of us is colonized by more than 100 trillion microbes with whom we live symbiotically. While we provide an environment that allows these organisms to flourish, they in turn interface with all manner of our physiology, regulating fundamental processes like immunity, metabolism, inflammation, the production of vitamins and neurotransmitters and even the expression of our DNA.

Scientific exploration of these microbes, known collectively as the human microbiome, is now revealing fascinating relationships between, for example, the diversity and types of bacteria living within the gut and a vast array of disease conditions, including diabetes (both type 1 and 2), obesity, allergy, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, anxiety, depression, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, coronary artery disease, inflammatory bowel disorders, celiac disease, skin disorders, and many, many others.

The empowering part of this emerging science is the story told by Brain Maker. For it is in these pages that you will learn how simple lifestyle changes, from food choices to use of antibiotics to even birth method selection, have a profound effect upon gut bacteria, and as such, will dramatically affect your health destiny – for the better.

From Birth to (Micro)Biome

From Birth to (Micro)Biome

Brain Maker is meant to shed light on not only how important the health of the gut microbiome is, but also how we can build and protect those very same bacteria. The means the method by which we are born might very well impact the balance of bacteria in our gut, and that can be for the better, or the worse.

Who would have thought that the means by which you are born could influence the state of your health for the rest of your life?!

Explaining Fecal Transplant

Explaining Fecal Transplant

While it may not be currently approved by the FDA, or even a mainstream treatment in general, fecal transplant offers a powerful means of resetting the gut microbiome. By simply transplanting fecal matter from a healthy host to that of an individual suffering from one of any number of health concerns (from obesity to autism to multiple sclerosis), fecal transplant offers an opportunity to rebalance the gut microbiome, and sets the stage for a return to better health.

Sugar Risks Go Beyond Weight Gain

Sugar Risks Go Beyond Weight Gain

The idea that dietary sugars increase the risk for such things as hypertension and the development of health threatening changes in lipid profiles is not new. But a commonly held perception has been that these health risks represented a direct consequence of the fact that increased dietary sugar consumption caused weight gain, and it was the weight gain that then was the cause of the rise in blood pressure, etc.

But in a new study, researchers in New Zealand reviewed 39 studies that looked at diets in which sugar consumption was increased. Thirty-seven assessed lipid outcomes while 12 evaluated blood pressure. Continue reading

Antibiotics: Too Much of a Good Thing?

Antibiotics: Too Much of a Good Thing?

Antibiotics are an incredible, life-saving tool that we have in medicine. In fact, they are arguably one of the greatest medical discoveries of our time.

However, in America, we see injudicious use of antibiotics, not only in our own bodies, but in the animals that give us the food we eat. In fact, 70% of the antibiotics we use in America today are fed to livestock! Why is this something we should be worried about? Learn more in today’s video.

AGEs, Inflammation, and Hippocamapal Atrophy

AGEs, Inflammation, and Hippocamapal Atrophy

You’ve heard me speak extensively about the toxic role of sugar and carbohydrates in terms of brain health. I’ve even gone so far as to say that elevated blood sugar is correlated with shrinkage of the brain. Why would I say that? In this video we look at a study associating shrinkage of the hippocampus with elevated blood sugar. We now know that when blood sugar is elevated, it binds to protein and forms what is called AGEs or Advanced Glycation End Products. These AGEs then turn on inflammation by leading to leakiness of the gut, which is what affects the brain the most. This is the toxic effect of blood sugar as it relates to the brain.