Review – 12/18/17

  1. Low calorie sweeteners lead to metabolic dysfunction, increasing glucose uptake and promoting fat storage pathways. In a study that exposed participants to sucralose for 12 days, an over-expression of glucose transporters, sweet taste receptors, and fat-promoting genes were observed. These observations were more evident in obese individuals. National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases


  1. Exercise proves a meaningful therapy for those with chronic and autoimmune diseases. This recent review explores how exercise modulates positive changes in the gut microbiome to improve disease states and symptoms. It’s never too late to start exercising! Digestive & Liver Disease


  1. Not only what you eat, but also when you eat, affects your microbiome. A recent study (looking at both salivary and gut bacteria) found that eating late at night disrupts the rhythm of salivary microbial diversity, which can lead to harmful effects on host metabolism. As Dr. Chutkan states in her book, Gutbliss, your stomach has a bedtime. Use the sun as your gauge – when the sun goes down, stop eating! The FASEB Journal


  1. While nutrition labels offer basic information on micronutrient profiles of food, how much of the nutrients we actually absorb is dependent on the gut microbiome. A recent study looking at the bio-accessibility (how much of a nutrient is accessible by the body) of iron (Fe), magnesium (Mg), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn) in Chinese vegetables found that accessibility of Fe was increased by the gut microbiome, while accessibility of Mg, Cu, and Zn was decreased. Food & Nutrition


  1. Probiotics continue to prove effective in preventing and treating digestive and respiratory diseases. In a recent study, a probiotic formulation tested in rats prevented irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) pathogenesis. Strains beneficial to improving cystic fibrosis (CF) symptoms have also been identified. Nutrients


  1. The harmful impacts of antibiotics on the gut microbiome are lasting. Short chain fatty acid (byproducts produced when beneficial gut bacteria ferment dietary fiber and major players in weight management and immune health) concentrations in rats were negatively affected and remained low 6 weeks after a 14-day round of antibiotics. Scientists conclude that antibiotic therapy can result in long-term disturbances in gut microbial metabolism. The Eukrainian Biochemical Journal


  1. More research supports a non-sterile in-utero fetal environment and vertical transmission of maternal bacteria to her offspring. A recent study found that in mothers who received the BCG vaccination (tuberculosis vaccination containing mycobacterium), their gestational tissue and newborn’s blood contained mycobacterial cultures. These findings prove the vertical transmission of maternal bacteria to the placenta and in turn, the infant. A recent study also found that microorganisms in the placenta are directly associated with alterations in immune- and inflammation-related genes in the offspring. PLOS ONE


  1. Scientists question the hygiene-hypothesis using the premise that the hypothesis does not account for asthma rates in less affluent communities. Archives of Medical Research


  1. It’s not only about gut bacteria – commensal fungi also play a strong role in microbial health. Fungi strengthen the protective benefits of gut bacteria by replacing bacteria in instances of tissue damage and helping to activate protective immune cells. Cell


  1. Hormonal contraception is associated with heightened breast cancer risk – cancer risk increases the longer the drug is used. While studies have shown a link between oral contraception and poor gut health, this is another reason to avoid using hormonal contraception. The New England Journal of Medicine

By: Leslie Ann Berg, MSPH