Review – 3/5/17

  1. “Humans were not built for eternal and effortless homeostasis.” Searching for ways to improve your health? Diet and exercise may not be your only tools. Stepping outside of your daily comfortable spaces and exposing your body to extreme environments (freezing water and extreme altitudes for example) can unlock physiological responses – fine tuning insulin production, improving circulatory function, and heightening mental awareness. Quartz
  1. Watch Dr. Mercola’s interview with Dr Chutkan on the microbiome, and why doctors tend to be late adapters. Mercola
  1. When Americans and Africans swapped diets for 2 weeks, inflammation and colon cancer markers changed dramatically too. Researchers conclude that an African diet, high in fiber and low in protein and fat is protective against colon cancer, through the effects on gut bacteria. Click here for another compelling study on diet and the microbiome. Nature Communications
  1. Are you attracted to your significant other… or to his or her gut bacteria?? New York Times
  1. Early diagnosis of Crohn’s disease (CD) in pediatric patients may now be possible by assessing the microbiome of the rectal mucosa. Next steps after early diagnosis? Dietary interventions as the initial treatment method in these young patients! Cell
  1. The gut offers answers for those with autism. A recent study in autistic subjects using fecal microbiota transplantation resulted in an 80% reduction in GI symptoms, a significant improvement in behavioral symptoms, and beneficial alterations in gut bacteria. Microbiome Journal
  1. Probiotics could help alleviate the negative side effects of cancer therapy in patients suffering from pelvic and abdominal cancers. Nature
  1. Dramatic shifts in gut bacteria, or “volatile dysbiosis”, is a newly discovered marker for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is associated with an unstable gut microbiome, where entire bacteria species disappear completely at times, something that seldom occurs in healthy individuals. Those who used steroids and underwent surgical resection possessed the most dramatic fluctuations. Nature
  1. The scientific world grapples to find more accurate and in depth ways to assess gut bacteria composition for clinical diagnoses. 16S rRNA gene sequencing can predict GI-related conditions, but it’s important to work with a health care professional who can look at your entire history to actually make an accurate GI diagnosis. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

By: Leslie Ann Berg, MSPH