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Green smoothies are Dr. Chutkan’s number one prescribed “medication” in her practice… and there’s lots of reasons why. Watch Dr. Chutkan as she explains the benefits of leafy greens and the importance of consuming them daily for optimal gut health. Be sure to write down the green smoothie recipe at the end and begin incorporating it into your daily life for Gutbliss!

Oral antibiotics are tied to colorectal cancer (CRC). Researchers matched over 28,000 patients with CRC found in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink database with controls. Results showed that CRC risk depends on antibiotic type and location in the colon, but overall, CRC risk was dose dependent with any antibiotic use. Antibiotics with anti-anaerobic activity, which disrupts the gut microbiome in a way that allows carcinogenic microbes to develop, posed the greatest risk, especially in the proximal colon. These antibiotics include penicillin (ampicillin and amoxicillin). Interestingly, antibiotics showed a protective effect against rectal cancers, specifically in doses of more than 60 days of antibiotic exposure when compared to no antibiotic exposure. While the study was funded by Johns Hopkins Fisher Center Discovery Center and Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, the study reported indirect competing interests, including receiving financial support from pharmaceutical companies. Gut Takeaway: While these results do not prove a…

Clinical implications and future possibilities of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) are identified. FMT is an innovative therapy with incredible potential for treating gastrointestinal and other microbially-driven conditions. While more research and fine tuning is needed before it becomes a mainstream therapy, its clinical implications are growing. This latest review study identifies FMT as a treatment for ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and hepatic encephalopathy. The study predicts that FMT will be an accepted treatment for many other conditions in the future. Annual Review of Medicine Takeaway: While researchers are excited about the potential benefits, other studies show underwhelming results from FMT. Additional research, especially in the area of super donors is needed, as well as other environmental factors that could negatively impact fecal transplant therapy. Coupling FMT with nutrition interventions that focus on high fiber, whole foods and plant-based diets is imperative for success, as is minimizing/eliminating medication use (especially…

In an attempt to catalog all bacteria strains that reside in the human gut, scientists have identified, isolated, and preserved 7,758 bacteria strains from 90 study participants over a two-year period. The metabolic and genetic functions for each strain have also been identified. The strains were pulled from the 6 main bacteria families, or phyla, that reside in the gut, including Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, Euryarchaeota, and Verrucomicrobia. A dozen study participants provided samples over a prolonged period of time (up to 2 years), which allowed researchers to observe the dynamic interactions among strains over time. Furthering the research, scientists will look at the gut microbiomes of more diverse populations worldwide, including those who live in non-industrialized environments. Scientists believe that cataloging the bacteria strains that live in the gut will allow for a better understanding of how bacteria interact metabolically and genetically, and could lead to harnessing the microbiome…

Scientists are studying how a plant-based diet affects gastroparesis, an underdiagnosed condition in which emptying of the stomach is delayed. Symptoms include bloating, nausea, feeling abnormally full after eating, and in severe cases, vomiting and weight loss. The most common treatment for severe gastroparesis is administering food through a feeding tube using a liquid formula high in sugar and processed nutrients. Although patients are not consuming actual food, they can still experience symptoms, including bloating, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea. The plant-based pilot study, currently underway, includes a plant-based formula lower in sugar and processed components. Researchers will look at how going plant-based affects microbial and inflammatory markers, with the hope that patients will experience less symptoms. Stanford University Takeaway: While some severe cases of gastroparesis require more aggressive treatments as described above, there are lots of lifestyle changes that can help treat gastroparesis-related symptoms. These modifications include: Shift most of…

The supplement industry is already huge, and now they’re expanding even more by utilizing “personalized nutrient programs”. What does that even mean? These are programs where you fill out an online questionnaire regarding your food intake and goals, and then receive a personalized supplement, or an entire pack of supplements, to your front door – often on a monthly basis. As we’ve said many times before, there’s no pill that can take the place of a plant-based, whole food, fiber-rich diet. In certain specific conditions, supplements can be extremely helpful (think low B12 in a patient with Crohn’s disease), but for most of us, food is still the best way to regain health. For the vast majority of the population, supplements fail to move the needle in the direction towards better health, and most are not tested for safety either. Our advice? Instead of spending money on supplements, use that…

Did you know that your gut bugs play a key role in determining your likes and dislikes? And we’re not just talking about food here! Your gut bacteria – along with your genes and your environment – determine your preferences in some of the most important aspects of your life, including your romantic partners and political beliefs! In the latest issue of National Geographic magazine, Dr. Bill Sullivan dives into this concept of human choice and behavior being more a product of biology and less a result of well thought out decision making. For instance, in the case of food, those who despise bitter vegetables such as broccoli or kale can be more genetically susceptible to picking up the bitter taste in these veggies due to a variation in the gene TAS2R38. In the case of romance, we are less attracted to those who have more similar immune systems to…

Celiac disease affects approximately 1% of the population in Western countries, yet about 83% of those who suffer from the disease go undiagnosed or are misdiagnosed. In 2019, celiac diagnostic rates are estimated to reach between 50 and 60% due to raising disease awareness. A 2019 study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that screening for celiac disease in first-degree relatives (parents, children, and siblings) of those who have been diagnosed with celiac disease resulted in high diagnostic rates. Out of 360 first-degree relatives of 104 celiac patients screened for the disease, 160 relatives were diagnosed – approximately 44% of the first-degree relatives. It’s important to note that 42 of the diagnosed relatives had no celiac symptoms and 97 had nonclassical symptoms. Many physicians have noted the study findings and are recommending screening for celiac disease in all first-degree relatives of celiac disease patients.