Author

Gutbliss

Browsing

“As researchers continue to study the microbiome, it’s clear that our gut is a powerful tool in disease prevention and treatment. How can understanding the microbiome influence the way we eat and nourish our bodies? Is our gut the missing link to using food as medicine? This panel features preeminent researchers, scientists, and entrepreneurs who are leading this breakthrough area of science.” (Milken Institute: Future of Health Summit) Watch Dr. Chutkan, as she acts as moderator for the panel, Gut Feeling: Food, Microbiome, & Disease Prevention, that took place at this year’s Milken Institute: Future of Health Summit. Speakers include: Mark Hyman Head of Strategy and Innovation, Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine Rob Knight Professor, Departments of Pediatrics, Bioengineering, and Computer Science & Engineering, University of California, San Diego David Perlmutter Executive Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs and Dean, Washington University School of Medicine Karen Sandell Sfanos Associate Professor,…

Legumes and whole, gluten-free grains are rich in indigestible plant fibers that feed beneficial gut bacteria for optimal health and immunity. Serve alongside a large salad and this meal will be one that both you and your gut bugs will love! This meal is also great as leftovers and the perfect lunch option during this time at home. Ingredients 4 medium cloves garlic, chopped 1 tablespoon ground cumin 1 to 2 teaspoons fine sea salt Freshly ground black pepper 5 cups water 1 cup brown basmati rice, rinsed and drained 1 cup brown or green lentils, picked through, rinsed and drained ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 medium yellow onions, diced Optional for serving: avocado slices, hummus, chili-garlic sauce, harissa, or sriracha, diced green onions, chopped cilantro Method In a large soup pot, combine the garlic, cumin, and salt and about 1/2 a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Add…

We all know that physical activity is one of the best ways to optimize your health, but can exercising during the COVID-19 pandemic put you at a higher risk of infection? And if you are infected, can it prolong infection and put you at a greater risk for experiencing complications? Without a doubt, exercise is one of the best things you can do for your immunity. Studies show that exercise boosts the immune system in all sorts of ways: it increases the number of T-cells (or infection fighting cells), insulin sensitivity, and the body’s ability to use oxygen, while lowering blood sugar and stress hormones. It also beneficially alters the gut microbiome, where the majority of your immune cells are located. Recent studies support these findings. A New York Times article published this week, highlights some important findings that support just how protective exercise is against infection and what a…

At Gutbliss, we recommend washing your hands thoroughly with warm water for 30 seconds with an all-natural soap as the gold standard for keeping your hands clean during the COVID-19 pandemic. What about antibacterial soap? First, antibacterial soap kills bacteria, not viruses, and the coronavirus is just that… a virus. And second, no matter the soap, whether natural or otherwise, all soaps contain something very special that hand sanitizers don’t, and that’s, very simply put, “soap molecules”. Soap molecules have properties that attract and repel water. When introduced to water, the parts of the molecules that attract water point outward and are able to dissolve lipids (or fats). Lucky for us, the coronavirus is enclosed in a lipid outer layer, which is destroyed during hand washing with soap. Soap also dissolves the weak bonds that hold the virus together, killing the virus and removing it from your hands. What about…

Those with autoimmune disease are on heightened alert with the spread of COVID-19. The coronavirus not only poses a risk to our population as a whole, but especially to those with pre-existing conditions. At Gutbliss, we hold a special place for patients suffering from autoimmunity, and especially those with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD – Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis). We’ve received lots of questions from our IBD friends and would like to address their concerns. Here are answers to the main questions we’ve received: Is IBD considered an “underlying condition” that puts me at a higher risk of infection from the coronavirus? First, just because you have an autoimmune disease doesn’t mean, by definition, that you have immune suppression. And while some individuals with autoimmune disease may be at a heightened risk of contracting the virus, others may not be. As a general rule of thumb though, because imbalanced gut…

We’re all grasping for ways to protect ourselves and our family members from COVID-19. But how do we do this when it seems to be all around us? Right now, the best way to protect yourself is to follow the “stay home” guideline, but even still, some experts predict that approximately 50% of the population or more will contract the infection. So besides staying away from people, what else can we do? The short answer – optimize your gut health to strengthen your immune system. More than any other system in your body, your gastrointestinal system plays a large role in your immune health. Your gut helps build your immune system from infancy and informs your immune cells what the difference is between friend and foe. In fact, approximately 80% of your immune cells live in your gut. The gut is therefore a primary driver in building a strong immune…

Fresh air and sunlight could be important factors in combating the Coronavirus. Past studies have highlighted the phenomenon called the “open-air factor” (OAF), defined as the “germicidal constituent in outdoor air that reduces the survival and infectivity of pathogens”, which has been proven to reduce the survival and infectivity of harmful bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus epidermidis, group C streptococcus, and the influenza virus. In fact, open-air therapy was the standard treatment for infectious diseases before antibiotics were introduced. Sunlight levels also provide some protection against pathogens: A 2019 study showed that sunlight levels are inversely correlated with influenza transmission. Not only does spending time outside protect against viral transmission and reduce the survival of pathogenic microbes, but it also helps support the immune system. Sunlight is our main source of vitamin-D, a vitamin that plays a key role in optimizing our immunity. Additionally, a 2016 study found that…

COVID-19 possesses a strong GI component. As details on coronavirus symptoms and transmission evolve, it has become clear that COVID-19 has a gastrointestinal element. Commonly reported coronavirus symptoms include nausea, abdominal discomfort, vomiting, and diarrhea, which often present themselves before the onset of respiratory symptoms. In fact, in the latest study looking at GI symptoms associated with COVID-19, approximately 50% of those analyzed experienced diarrhea. Mild to moderate liver impairment has also been reported. In a study published in Gastroenterology this February, scientists found that COVID-19 can be transmitted through the fecal-oral pathway. The study analyzed 73 coronavirus patients and found that over half of the stool samples tested positive for the virus. Positive stool tests ranged from day 1 to day 12 on average, but approximately 23% of the stool samples remained positive even after the respiratory samples were negative. Takeaway: While these findings open up possible new avenues…