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Alternative and complimentary medicine websites make false claims about celiac disease and noncebiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) that may harm patients. A study published this month analyzed celiac disease and NCGS claims made by 500 websites of practitioners in 10 U.S. cities, including those of chiropractors, naturopaths, homeopaths, acupuncturists, and integrative medicine practitioners. The American Journal of Gastroenterology Claims were classified as true, false, or unproven. Of 232 claims made by the practitioners, 138 of them were classified as false or unproven – nearly 60% of all claims. These claims were most often advertising techniques for diagnosing and treating celiac disease and NCGS. Diagnosis and treatment tools for both celiac disease and NCGS are not always readily available from conventional doctors, and therefore, patients often resort to online searches and non-physician medical practitioners to diagnose and treat their symptoms. While some of these practitioners are knowledgeable and their information scientifically based, some are…

Does a microbiome exist in utero, or is the environment sterile up to the moment the baby exits the womb? This has been an area of much debate in the scientific community. While some studies show the intrauterine environment to be sterile, others have uncovered bacteria in the uterus and placenta, showing that an intrauterine microbiome does in fact exist. A new review study adds evidence to the idea that if colonized, the intrauterine environment is contaminated. Researchers of the study propose that maternal stress causes a disruption of bacteria in one region of the mother’s body – oral cavity, gut, or vagina – triggering the transfer of bacteria (or what scientists refer to as bacterial translocation) to the intrauterine environment. This transfer of bacteria, scientists believe, may trigger an immune (or inflammatory) response that leads to neurodevelopment insufficiencies in the fetus. Science Direct Takeaway: While we are far from uncovering the truth…

A high level of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) dramatically reduces the risk of getting lung and colorectal cancer (CRC) and significantly increases survival rates. In one of the most diverse retrospective cohort studies, researchers analyzed data from over 49,000 participants with a median age of 54 years. Those with the highest CRF levels (>12 METs, measured using a treadmill stress test) possessed a 77% lower risk of lung cancer and a 61% lower risk of CRC than those with the lowest fitness levels (<6 METs). Participants diagnosed with cancer who were in the highest CRF range prior to diagnosis also saw great benefits. Following diagnosis, those with lung cancer had a 44% lower risk of all-cause mortality and those with CRC, an 89% lower risk, compared to those who were less fit. American Cancer Society Takeaway: Researchers who conducted the study believe that these results act as some of the strongest evidence…

Did you know there’s a strong link between your oral and gut health… and in turn, your overall health? Think of the GI tract as one, continuous connection throughout your body, with your mouth serving as the main entrance point. Just like the gut microbiome, there are important bacteria in your mouth (which harbors over 700 different species) that not only help to keep your teeth healthy, but also serve as the first line of defense for your body. In fact, a 2019 study published in the Journal of Oral Microbiology showed that gut microbiome balance starts in the mouth! The delicate ecosystem and interplay of the bacteria between our mouth and our gut (and our gut to our mouth) helps to prevent disease. Therefore, a balanced gut-oral microbiome axis is critical to our overall health and wellbeing. Oral bacteria can spread throughout the body and has been associated with a…

Altering the gut microbiome improves anxiety, but not with probiotics. Researchers analyzed 21 studies, including over 1,500 participants, which looked at altering gut bacteria to improve anxiety. 14 of the studies used probiotic interventions, while 7 of the studies used non-probiotic (or dietary) interventions. Results found that the non-probiotic interventions were significantly more successful in reducing anxiety than probiotic interventions. 45% of the probiotic interventions and 80% of the non-probiotic interventions had positive effects on anxiety. BMJ Takeaway: Researchers say that these results are consistent with the idea that food is the best way to ignite change in the gut microbiome. Secondly, the probiotic studies may have been less successful due to the fact that many of them used multi-strain probiotics, which resulted in differing microbial alterations, as well as a short study period (one to two months), which may not have allowed enough time for the probiotics to take root…

While colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and mortality rates are decreasing in those 50 years of age and older, CRC in young adults is on the rise. New research sheds light on the differences between early and late onset CRC. Analyzing data from 36,000 patients, a recent study found that younger patients (aged 18 to 29 years) diagnosed with CRC are more likely to have specific genetic mutations and CRC sub-types, while older patients and those with predisposing conditions like inflammatory bowel disease have different clinical and genetic characteristics. Cancer  Takeaway: These very distinct differences in CRC between younger and older patients may affect how the cancer presents itself and may call for different types of treatments. The researchers who conducted the study are hoping for more studies looking at very young CRC patients and those with predisposing conditions. For more on early onset CRC, check out Did You Know – Colorectal Screening Age…

Probiotics significantly improve chemotherapy-induced diarrhea, a common and often severe side effect of chemotherapy drugs, which can threaten the effectiveness of treatment. The study included 291 patients undergoing chemotherapy (Fluropyrimidines and/or Irinotecan specifically) -145 participants received a twice-daily dose of a high potency probiotic powder and 146 participants received a placebo powder twice daily. Treatment began 14 days before chemotherapy and continued 2 weeks following the third cycle of chemo. Results showed successful reduction in incidence of diarrhea (mild to moderate) and in patient inflammatory patterns. European Society for Medical Oncology  Takeaway: This study shows promising results from a high potency, multi-strain probiotic in reducing diarrhea in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Hopefully this will result in a better quality of life, a more balanced microbiome, reduction in sickness and death related to diarrhea, and more effective cancer treatment. However, probiotics are living organisms and can be problematic in immunocompromised patients, including some cancer…

Antibiotic therapy disrupts the gut microbiome and results in a pro-inflammatory response that negatively affects bone health. Previous studies have uncovered the direct relationship between a balanced microbiome and healthy bone development. A February 2019 study took this relationship further and investigated the use of a broad-spectrum antibiotic in mice to determine if there were any microbiome-mediated alterations in skeletal formation on a cellular level. After administering antibiotic therapy during the post-puberty phase (this phase is responsible for 40% of our bone accumulation), researchers found that the antibiotics led to significant disruptions in gut bacteria that altered the communication between immune cells and bone cells. These alterations led to substantial changes to trabecular bone – the bone type that experiences high rates of bone metabolism. The American Journal of Pathology  Takeaway: Antibiotics, especially broad-spectrum ones, significantly alter the gut microbiome, which may have negative and lasting effects on skeletal health. Researchers hope to conduct…

While we are never quick to recommend antibiotics at Gutbliss, they can definitely be life saving in certain situations – and when deadly bacteria don’t respond to antibiotics, there can be grave consequences. Antibiotic resistance is a growing issue in the medical field; research that sheds light on how some bacteria evade antibiotics can’t come quickly enough. Luckily, scientists at the University of California San Diego conducted a study that helps us answer the question of how some bacteria survive antibiotic treatment. UCSD researchers found that bacteria can regulate the uptake of alkaline metal (magnesium specifically) ions to stabalize their ribosomes – the very foundations of survival on a cellular level, which transform genes into proteins – to survive antibiotic attacks. With this new and surprising finding, scientists hope to alter current antibiotic drugs and increase their potency by controlling how bacteria take up magnesium, to fight against this unique bacterial…