Zika – An Emerging Threat for All of Us

Zika – An Emerging Threat for All of Us

The relationship of the ZIka virus to the development of microcephaly has certainly been receiving a lot of attention in the news lately, and with good reason. Microcephaly is a devastating, although rare, consequence of this viral infection, and it is for this reason that we are now seeing recommendations that women who are pregnant, or are considering pregnancy, avoid going to places where Zika infection is possible.

But the story is now becoming more complicated and worrisome. We are now seeing research that indicates that the Zika virus has a predilection for attacking cells in the brain’s memory center, in adults. Continue reading

Probiotic Intervention Affects Mood

Probiotic Intervention Affects Mood

New and exciting research is revealing a strong connection between our mood and the various bacteria that live within our intestines. This is certainly a sobering notion. Think of it: the bacteria living within the digestive system are, to some degree, involved in determining whether we are happy, sad, anxious or even depressed.

In a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity, researchers in the Netherlands explored the idea that changing the array of bacteria in the gut by giving a multispecies probiotic supplement could have an effect on mood. The study provided the probiotic to 20 healthy individuals, none of whom had a mood disorder, over a four week period. A similar group of 20 individuals received a placebo over the same period. At the conclusion of the study, both groups underwent an evaluation to determine their reactivity, in terms of cognitive function, to sad mood. This is a fairly standard research tool that assesses depression. Continue reading

Gabrielle H.

I started 2015 by adopting a gluten-free, low-carb lifestyle.

I had suffered from anxiety since the age of six, and added chronic stress to that when I was in my thirties. Many other symptoms would come up later, including irritable bowel syndrome in 2005, severe joint pain/muscle ache, lack of sleep, lack of concentration, depression and finally, a breakdown in 2009. Conventional medicine scratched only the surface. I was grasping at straws last year with my trying to exclude different foods from my diet, suffering acid reflux all the while. I would fall asleep to be awakened by a dead arm and, in panic, try to get the circulation back.

This regimen has saved my life. Within five days I started to sleep. Within twelve, I broke free of depressive moods. I have no joint pain or muscle ache now, no acid reflux at all. My gut feels like it’s been repaired. I do not eat any carbs and do eat a high-fat diet with extra virgin olive oil, coconut, butter, and the like. I feel energetic and feel my brain is functioning again. I am 63 now and am looking forward to getting even better. Last week, I started eating fermented foods like kimchi, red cabbage, and cauliflower. In a week or so, I will be excited to find even more improvement in my overall health.

-Gabrielle H.

Research – Probiotic Intervention Affects Mood

Research – Probiotic Intervention Affects Mood

New and exciting research is revealing a strong connection between our mood and the various bacteria that live within our intestines. This is certainly a sobering notion. Think of it: the bacteria living within the digestive system are, to some degree, involved in determining whether we are happy, sad, anxious or even depressed.

In a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal, Brain, Behavior and Immunity, researchers in the Netherlands explored the idea that changing the array of gut bacteria by giving a multispecies probiotic supplement could have an effect on mood. The study provided the probiotic for a 4-week period to 20 healthy individuals, none of whom had a mood disorder. A similar group of 20 individuals received a placebo over the same period. At the conclusion of the study, both groups underwent an evaluation to determine their reactivity in terms of cognitive function to sad mood. This is a fairly standard research tool that assesses depression. Continue reading