How probiotics help us maintain a healthy weight
Why are olympic athletes getting an ancient Chinese treatment?
We often measure someone’s wellness and health by how they look. Just as the eyes are the windows to the soul, your skin can paint a picture of your health. There are dozens of new natural anti-aging skin care products that use everything from pomegranate oil to detoxifying algae to keep the skin looking young and wrinkle free. There is even research that shows how probiotics can be a real tool to help keep our skin free from harmful bacteria that cause problems like acne and atopic dermatitis.
A company called Seres Therapeutics (NASDAQ-MCRB) is the first company to take microbiome research and digestive health expertise to the next level. The company has entered into FDA clinical trials with a product for treating clostridium difficile infection (CDI), an infection of the large intestine caused by a pathogenic bacteria called clostridium difficile.
Fatty acids are one type of fat that is good for you that deserves more discussion. Fatty acids come in two varieties - long chain and short chain. Long chain fatty acids (LCFA), like omega 3 fatty acids found in fish and certain plant seeds, reduce LDL cholesterol and raise HDL, but they can’t pass easily into cells. In contrast, short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), like acetate, propionate, and butyrate, are small enough to be used by our cells as an energy source and can provide up to 10% of our daily energy requirement.
Artificial sweeteners and how they affect your healthThe current opinion of the FDA is that artificial sweeteners are “safe” but should be used in moderation. However, as recently as 2014 a research group led by Eran Segal & Eran Elinav, at the Department of Immunology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, showed a clear link between artificial sweeteners, gut bacteria and adverse health outcomes.
Diabetes has clearly become a global healthcare problem that affects millions of people. Those of us who are overweight, have high cholesterol, and lack of physical activity are most at risk. However, there are also people, like my father, who don’t have these risk factors that are also afflicted. The truth is, we don’t know all the factors that contribute to diabetes, but we do know that around the world, the disease accounts for billions of dollars on pharmaceutical drug sales. According to the CDC there are 29 million diabetics in the U.S., and another 86 million (1 in 3 people) classified as prediabetic.
If you think probiotics are good for keeping you regular you’d be absolutely correct. However, recent scientific research has shown that the bacteria in your gut plays an important role in your overall health, and regularity is just a byproduct of how well your gut is working.
As a child I remember playing outdoors all day and coming home a muddy filthy mess. I’d walk in the door and my mother would march me into the bathroom and wouldn’t let me out until I’d scrubbed myself raw. I’m sure many of you had the same experience; however, you may not know the importance of being exposed to microbes found in nature.
Clostridium Difficile infection (CDI) has become such problem that a hospital in Vancouver B.C. has started employing a C. difficile detection dog. Angus, a two year old English springer spaniel, can track the scent of the potentially dangerous bacterium helping the hospital eradicate C. difficile that may be missed during regular cleaning.