Gutbliss Weekly Review – January 8, 2016


  1. Conventional medicine may stave off life-threatening illness in the short term for those suffering from chronic diseases, but it doesn’t reduce mortality rates. Fiber (specifically resistant starch – found in green bananas, green peas, lentils, uncooked rolled oats, and white beans), on the other hand, just might, as it can prevent and improve both. Let food be thy medicine – eat more plants! Metabolites


  1. The ever-changing Dietary Guidelines leave many Americans confused, but don’t be. Focus on these never-changing guidelines: 1). Eat more plants (especially those high in resistant starch and inulin), 2). Consume less meat, and 3). Eliminate sugar, artificial sweeteners, and processed foods. NPR


  1. Ingredients in personal care and household cleaning products are unregulated by the FDA, and as research reveals, they can cause cancer, hormonal imbalance, and a depleted microbiome. Detox your home in 2016! Use this room-by-room guide and EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning and Skin Deep Database to get you started. Goop


  1. Could a spice in your cabinet be more effective than your anti-depressant? A recent randomized controlled trial shows that turmeric is helpful in treating depression, and possibly more effective than Prozac. While this study may be overly optimistic regarding one spice’s ability to treat depression, choosing foods that promote a healthy microbiome and reduce inflammation (like turmeric), is an accepted, and effective, first line of defense in combating depression. PubMed


  1. A 100-year old therapy is resurrected. With antibiotic resistance on the rise and the realization that liberal antibiotic use can harm the microbiome and overall health, scientists turn to bacteriophages (viruses that “eat” pathogenic bacteria) to fight infections. The Scientist


  1. Concerned about whether antibiotics are necessary (and safe) for your child? Learn the risks and how to find out whether or not an antibiotic is required. Mother Earth News


  1. Do you deep clean your home after overnight visitors leave? If so, you may want to rethink your cleaning regimen. Keeping the 38 million bacterial cells per hour, per visitor (!) that are shed in your home, may not be such a bad idea. The fact is, these microbes are beneficial houseguests that can improve gut bacteria diversity and in turn, your immunity and overall health. UChicago


  1. Studies suggest that ~70% of our microbiome is established by the age of 3 while the remaining ~30% can be altered through lifestyle shifts, such as diet. This review concludes that diet is “a powerful tool in shifting the adult microbiota,” specifically a diet high in fiber. Shift your microbiome starting today! Nutrition


  1. A dietary treatment for Crohn’s disease improves patients’ symptoms and inflammation without improving gut bacteria imbalance (or dysbiosis). These surprising findings suggest that complete restoration of the microbiome is not a necessity to see a reduction in disease symptoms and inflammation. MD Magazine


  1. UK Dietary Guidelines state that there is no safe level of drinking and that any amount of drinking can increase cancer risk. While these recommendations may come across as extreme, recent studies suggest that the benefits of alcohol, even red wine, are minimal. CNN


  1. If you missed Michael Pollan’s film, In Defense of Food, watch it here! PBS


By: Leslie Ann Berg, MSPH