Gutbliss Weekly Review – January 15, 2016

  1. Every bite you take has a genetic implication. The food you eat initiates a chemical conversation with your body, altering your genetic make-up for better…or for worse! CNN


  1. Microbial cells may not be quite as plentiful as we thought. The 10 to 1 ratio of microbial cells to human cells, a ratio sited by scientists and researchers for decades, may be what scientist Ole Bjorn Rekdal refers to as “an academic urban legend.” 1.3 to 1, microbe to human cells, may be a more accurate estimation. No matter the ratio, there’s no questioning the vital role the microbiome plays in our ability to function and thrive. National Geographic


  1. Our gut microbiome dictates our health, behavior, and metabolism, but could our bodies have a built-in system to, in turn, regulate our microbiome? Maybe. Cells that line the intestinal wall contain microRNAs, chains of genetic material that can penetrate bacteria cells and alter genes to encourage and suppress the growth of specific bacteria. Discovering the gut’s ability to “manipulate the microbiome” in this way opens the door for possible therapeutic modalities in the future. New Scientist


  1. Wondering if The FODMAP Diet is for you? If your goal is to improve overall health or weight loss, probably not. The FODMAP diet is a restrictive and therapeutic diet used short-term for those suffering from IBS and other GI conditions. Find out what the diet is all about, and the benefits and concerns that go along with it. Huffington Post


  1. Insufficient Vitamin D levels were found in 82% of IBS patients in a recent study. While this is the first study of it’s kind, and a small study at that, it’s a reminder that focusing on a nutrient-rich diet is important for IBS sufferers. To improve vitamin D levels, focus on spending more time outdoors between 10am and 2pm, and consuming foods rich in vitamin D, like eggs, wild caught salmon, and mushrooms. BMJ Open Gastroenterology


  1. Celiac disease is defined by a lower amount of beneficial gut bacteria, and a higher amount of pathogenic bacteria, when compared to healthy subjects. Quantitative data shows that this ratio of beneficial to pathogenic bacteria is improved with a gluten free diet. Digestive Diseases & Sciences


  1. Coconut oil may play a role in fighting colon cancer. Lauric acid (a medium-chain fatty acid highly abundant in coconut oil), caused apoptosis (cell death) in over 90% of colon cancer cells over a two-day period. While this study was performed in vitro, other studies conducted in live organisms show significant cancer-fighting benefits from lauric acid. Although we can’t conclude that coconut oil cures cancer, what we can conclude is this: what we eat has a powerful effect on our bodies; incorporating coconut oil and other nutrient-rich foods into our daily diets can play a vital role in preventing and fighting cancer. Chemotherapy


  1. Sleep troubles? Rehabbing your microbiome may help. A recent study shows a strong link between the microbiome and sleep, including the microbiome’s ability to “shift circadian rhythms, alter sleep-wake cycles, and affect sleep-regulating hormones.” Huffington Post


  1. A “smart pill” analyzes the gases released in your GI tract and transmits data to your smart phone. Scientists see this as a way to gather data on the bacteria living in your gut, based on the gases they release, to diagnose digestive conditions. Mental Floss


  1. Are you living with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis)? Find inspiration from professional athletes with the disease and check out for lifestyle modifications that can aid in successful treatment and improving quality of life. Huffington Post


  1. Scientists continue to search for a magic pill to cure obesity – their next target? Freeze-dried poo! A 2016 clinical trial will give fecal microbiota transplants, via capsules of freeze-dried stool, to 20 obese individuals. Based on recent research, scientists hope to see positive outcomes. Stay tuned!


  1. A diet consistently low in fiber across generations (a common pattern in families today), independent of other lifestyle factors (such as antibiotic exposure, breastfeeding, and C-section birth) has lasting, detrimental effects on the microbiome for generations to come. Live Dirty, Eat Clean…for your great, great grandchildren! Science Daily


By: Leslie Ann Berg, MSPH