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Recent research has demonstrated the potential prognostic and therapeutic roles of microbiota in COVID-19 infections. Leading the way in researching, and educating through their popular course “Clinical Applications of Microbiota,” join Georgetown faculty experts for a discussion examining the dynamic relationship between the microbiota and disease expression, particularly in relation to gut health and the novel coronavirus. This discussion features: Moderator: Douglas Varner, MS, MLS, Assistant Dean for Information Management, Dahlgren Memorial LibraryRobynne Chutkan, MD, FASGE, Founder, Digestive Center for Wellness, LLC Kate Michel, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor, School of Medicine, Georgetown University; KL2 Scholar, Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences Sona Vasudevan, Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Georgetown University Medical Center This program was co-hosted by Georgetown Health magazine and the Georgetown University Alumni Association. Copy provided by Georgetown Alumni Webinars

If you’re looking for a lighter version of your favorite stir-fry recipe that still packs a big punch in the plant fiber department, we’ve got you covered with this delicious cauliflower rice stir-fry. Feel free to do a fridge dump of all your favorite veggies, or add tofu, tempeh, or a little shrimp for a higher protein version. This recipe is versatile, delicious, and just about impossible not to love! Serves 4 Ingredients: 4 to 6 cups cauliflower rice, frozen (or 1 large cauliflower riced in a food processor) 2 T sesame oil Garlic, 2 cloves 1 cup broccoli florets (chopped small) ½ yellow onion, sliced 1 red pepper, sliced 1 cup green peas, frozen (edemame also works) Baby Bok choy (optional) Carrots (optional) Scallions (for garnish, optional) Cilantro (for garnish, optional) For the sauce: 1 T sesame oil ¼ cup Tamari ½ to 1 tsp Siracha or garlic chili…

There are lots of diets out there, and many of us have tried one or two of them – maybe with some success… or maybe not. If you’re anything like me, the number one quality I want in my diet is how easy it is to maintain. Many of us diet, lose lots of weight, and then gain it back (with a little extra, in many cases) because whatever diet we tried wasn’t sustainable over a long period of time. This is the very reason why we love the vegan approach to weight loss. For one, it’s incredibly nutrient and microbe rich and does wonders for the gut microbiome and for your overall health and disease risk. But if all you care about is your waistline right now (especially after possibly overindulging during the pandemic), don’t fret. A vegan diet proves effective in promoting sustained weight loss too! A recent…

When C-section born infants are given a cocktail of poo plus breast milk, their microbiomes look very similar to their vaginally-born counterparts. C-section-born infants have very different gut microbiomes than those born vaginally. Current research points to the hypothesis that these differences put C-section-born infants at a significantly higher risk for disease and less optimal overall health later in life. In a recent study, researchers orally administered small amounts of maternal fecal matter, mixed with breastmilk, to 7 C-section-born infants and found that their gut bacteria were transformed into a microbiome quite similar to those born vaginally. Cell Takeaway: While vaginal seeding (swabbing the mother’s vagina and administering the swab to the infant’s mouth) has shown minimal results in colonizing the C-section born infant’s gut microbiome, this method of FMT proves much more effective in colonizing the gut with beneficial microbes. This proof-of-concept study is the first of its kind…

Antibiotics reduce the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives in a new study. Anecdotal evidence shows women getting pregnant on hormonal contraceptives (this includes the pill, the patch, the vaginal ring, implants, IUDs, and injections) while taking antibiotics. Yet, past research has shown either no interaction between hormonal contraceptives and antibiotics or the findings have been inconclusive. Based on this previous research, the advice up until now has been that antibiotics do not interfere with the effectiveness of contraceptive drugs and the two medications can be taken together. This latest study retrospectively looked at the incidence of unwanted pregnancies in relation to taking an antibiotic along with hormonal contraceptives using data from the UK Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency database from 1963 to 2018. Three different drug types were assessed: non-enzyme inducing antibacterial drugs (amoxicillin, ampicillin, cephalexin, ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, metronidazole, nitrofurantoin, oxytetracycline, trimethoprim)enzyme inducing drugs that were shown in previous research…

New research helps us better understand the causes and trends in the obesity epidemic – and what you can do within your own family to help manage weight. Approximately 42% of the adult population in the U.S. is obese, and obesity triples the risk of being hospitalized for COVID, so understanding the risk factors and treatments for obesity are important. Here are some of the latest studies on important, actionable themes in preventing and treating obesity. Probiotics may help manage childhood obesity. Over 340 million children are obese worldwide, and almost 20% (or one fifth!) of children in the United States are obese. Obesity in early life puts children at an increased risk for obesity in adulthood, as well as a whole host of diseases later in life. A recent study found that the probiotic strain Bifidobacterium breve (a beneficial gut bacteria strain that produces short chain fatty acids and…

Shopping and eating gluten-free is a challenge during the pandemic. We get that. While we always recommend consuming whole foods made in your kitchen, there are also some great gluten-free whole food products such as rice pastas, seeded crackers, and more that are excellent additions to your pantry and can make life a little easier. Below are some of our favorite gluten-free foods for you to utilize during this challenging time. Please note: We do not have a relationship with the below companies and do not receive compensation for recommending their brands. While we’ve included the Amazon link for easy access, most of these items can be purchased at your local grocery stores. Crackers Mary’s Gone Crackers Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers San-J Tamari Black Sesame Brown Rice Crackers Gluten-Free Norwegian Crispbread Pastas Tinkyada Pasta Joy Ready Brown Rice Pasta Jovial Brown Rice Pasta Eden Foods 100% Buckwheat Soba Noodles…

While regular exercise has long been accepted as a preventative measure for just about every disease and condition out there, including premature death, studies are finding that exercise may play a therapeutic role in combating some of today’s most threatening diseases, including cancer. It may seem counterintuitive for sick, cancer patients on potent drugs, already exhausted from treatment, to fatigue their bodies even more in daily intensive exercise sessions. But researchers are finding that these sessions are saving patients’ lives. As presented in an article that appeared in The Scientist in April, exercise fights cancer in many different ways. During exercise, muscles release myokines that decrease cancer proliferation, dampening tumor growth and metastasis. Stress hormones, epinephrine and norepinephrine, are also increased, which act directly on cancerous tumors and release immune cells into the bloodstream. Epinephrine triggers the release of natural killer (NK) cells into the bloodstream, and both hormones are…