If you’ve been following the microbiome story you are likely aware of the emerging literature that squarely places gut bacteria in a pivotal position as it relates to any number of physiological processes. From regulating the balance of the immune system to determining the level of inflammation that a person may experience, it is now becoming mainstream knowledge that our gut bacteria are poised to regulate our most critical, life-supportive processes.
In Brain Maker, and certainly on this blog, I have written extensively on the important role of the microbiome in terms of regulating blood sugar and insulin sensitivity. As such, we would expect that environmental events that disrupt the gut ecology might have a causative role, or at least show correlation with type 2 diabetes.
Recall that several months ago I called attention to the interesting study from Israeli researchers in which changes to the gut bacteria brought on by exposure to artificial sweeteners were dramatically associated with increased risk for issues related to glucose regulation, insulin sensitivity, and, therefore, type II diabetes.
Newspaper ads, television commercials and pharmacy marquees are all seemingly pointing us in one direction – get a flu shot, and do it today!
But is this really ironclad advice? To help answer this important question, let’s see what the very best research reveals about the effectiveness of the flu shot. In other words, whether it even works or not.
To answer this question, I visited two sources. First, WebMD described the flu vaccine as “reducing the odds of getting the flu by 70% to 90%.” Who wouldn’t be impressed by those statistics! Continue reading
The awareness of the role of our resident microbes just seems to be exploding. I’ve recently learned that the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City has just opened an exhibit called The Secret World Inside You that is dedicated to the incredibly important role the vast array of microbes (the microbiome) living within each and every one of us plays in our health.
The focus of the exhibit seems to be dedicated to the notion that we are each an actual interdependent “ecosystem.” This is certainly a new way of thinking about the human body.
The descriptions of the exhibit indicate that it is quite revealing in terms of correlating the human microbiome with things like immune function, detoxification, and regulating metabolism, using animations and other visual presentations. Can’t wait!
Always good to take a moment to think about the things you like. My list, clearly not in any particular order:
- Acts of compassion.
- Dedication to a cause.
- Love for my family and friends.
- Love of my family and friends.
- Sautéed onions.
- Socks right out of the dryer.
- Connecting seemingly disparate conceptual dots.
- The counsel of wise elders.
- Making complex issues more approachable.
- The positive outcomes of my work.
- The mystery of it all.
No one is so bereaved, so miserable, that he cannot find someone else…who needs friendship, understanding, and courage more than he. The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves.
Flour made from chestnuts has become a popular choice for those who have decided to go gluten-free. In this video, we take a look at chestnut flour right from its source and explore the various nutritional considerations for it as a food choice.
One of the main advantages of chestnut flour, aside from the lack of gluten, is that it is a really good source of resistant starch, a form of prebiotic fiber that serves to nurture probiotic bacteria, allowing them to increase their production of health enhancing short chain fatty acids like butyrate. In addition, like olive oil, chestnut flour contains meaningful levels of mono unsaturated fatty acids which represents another plus.
As mentioned in the video, chestnut flour does contain sugar, so restraint is recommended.
As the years go by it is certainly being made clear that clinicians like myself, and scientists alike, have dramatically underestimated the importance of vitamin D in human physiology. As it turns out, we are now in a position to recognize that we have been significantly off-base in terms of what it means to have a “healthy vitamin D level.” Continue reading