Gutbliss Weekly Review – April 28, 2016

  1. Does overeating cause weight gain? Maybe not! A Harvard scientist presents compelling evidence that insulin resistance – which increases hunger and slows down metabolism – caused by eating a low-fat diet, high in processed carbohydrates, is the root cause of weight gain. “The types of calories you eat can affect the number of calories you burn.” Harvard Magazine


  1. The link between stress and disease. The hormonal changes that accompany stress cause negative shifts in the gut microbiome, creating bacterial imbalance (dysbiosis), a condition that significantly increases disease risk. US News & World Report


  1. Resveratrol (found in red wine, grapes, pistachios, blueberries, cocoa, and dark chocolate) protects against heart disease, but how? Gut bacteria may be the answer. Resveratrol reduces levels of trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), a known contributor to the development of atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in the arteries) by inhibiting gut bacteria’s production of TMA (necessary for the production of TMAO). Medical Express


  1. Antibiotics, which have a devastating effect on the microbiome, play a fundamental role in childhood obesity. On average, children receive 3 rounds of antibiotics by age 2, and 10 rounds by age 10. “What are we doing to our children?” two researchers ask as they review antibiotic use, childhood obesity, and their link to the microbiome. BMC Medicine


  1. A 4-week, gluten-free diet (GFD) causes significant shifts in the microbiome. But based on previous studies, the switch from a meat-based diet to a vegetarian diet proves even more influential. Seeing how short-term dietary change can drastically alter the microbiome, researchers warn that dietary variations could muddle the results of studies mapping the microbiome of specific disease states and stress the importance of considering diet when analyzing results. Genome Medicine


  1. Physically fit individuals with Type 1 diabetes who follow a diet promoting good glycemic control have a similar gut microbiome when compared to healthy counterparts without diabetes. Moral of the story: Your lifestyle habits can be your medicine! Diabetic Medicine


  1. Scientists studied the microbial communities of cities (and the homes and offices within them) and found that city microbes are desolate. Skin microbes made up approximately 25% of all microbes found, and the microbes as a whole were dead, or dormant, unable to thrive on concrete and synthetic city materials. These findings are most impactful for infants and children, whose gut microbes are still developing. If you live in a city, open your windows, establish a rooftop or patio garden, and incorporate plant life into your décor. Live Dirty in the city! Newsweek


  1. Taking a probiotic during a round of antibiotics could help prevent antibiotic resistance. Probiotics reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea and therefore, encourage better adherence to the antibiotic prescription. Although, avoiding antibiotics altogether whenever possible is still THE BEST way to fight antibiotic resistance. Scientists are also investigating fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) as a way to reduce antibiotic resistance in those suffering from recurrent C. diff. Annals of Medicine


  1. Patients with celiac disease show significant gut bacterial imbalance and an overgrowth of the bacteria strain, Neisseria flavescens. Scientists believe these markers could contribute to the development of the disease. American Journal of Gastroenterology


  1. What is the greatest gift you can give your newborn baby? Bacteria! The new documentary, MICROBIRTH, featuring some of the most influential researchers in microbial health and immunity, proposes that turning a microscope on the way babies are born could change the course of human health. Huffington Post


By: Leslie Ann Berg, MSPH