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Are Laxatives Wreaking Havoc on Your Gut?

These days, it seems like more and more Americans are taking laxatives to combat constipation. Osmotic laxatives, like Miralax and Lactulose, are one of the most popular OTC options for this. What these types of laxatives do is fill the digestive tract with particles, which attract fluid inside the gut, flushing out the system and causing a bowel movement.

A new study looks to understand if these types of treatments are a free ride to improved digestion, or if the body is actually paying a price for these interventions. Let’s take a look at the results of this study, which was performed in mice.

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Improved Attention From Your Child? Feed Them This.

With more than 6.5 million American children being diagnosed with ADHD, and close to 70% of them being medicated, it sure makes sense that we should consider how lifestyle factors, including diet, may affect a child’s ability to pay attention in school.

Certainly, DHA is important, as research has demonstrated significant improvement in focus in children with higher levels of this omega-3 fat. Continue reading

prebiotic_fiber_supplement

Why Supplementing with Prebiotic Fiber Makes Sense

While there has been so much attention given in recent years to the importance of probiotics across a wide spectrum of important aspects of human physiology, we are just beginning to see an expansion of the medical literature clarifying the importance of prebiotic fiber as it relates to health.

Prebiotic fiber is a type of carbohydrate that we as humans do not digest. That said, our gut bacteria thrive on prebiotic fiber, as it allows them to reproduce, and enhances their ability to make various products that are so important for our health.

Much of the work on prebiotic fiber has been done using the animal model, typically mice, in which administration of prebiotic fiber has been shown to have dramatic and positive effects, upon the gut bacteria. Beyond that, positive metabolic effects are seen as well.  Continue reading

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Making Sense of “Net Carbs”

Now that the low-carbohydrate dietary recommendations have really taken hold, we are beginning to see quite a bit more information about nutrition labeling that not only describes total carbohydrate content of a particular food, but also indicates “net carbs.” Depending on the type of food, there may, in fact, actually be a significant difference between these two numbers.

So let’s break it down as it is actually very straightforward.

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