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Recent research has demonstrated the potential prognostic and therapeutic roles of microbiota in COVID-19 infections. Leading the way in researching, and educating through their popular course “Clinical Applications of Microbiota,” join Georgetown faculty experts for a discussion examining the dynamic relationship between the microbiota and disease expression, particularly in relation to gut health and the novel coronavirus. This discussion features: Moderator: Douglas Varner, MS, MLS, Assistant Dean for Information Management, Dahlgren Memorial LibraryRobynne Chutkan, MD, FASGE, Founder, Digestive Center for Wellness, LLC Kate Michel, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor, School of Medicine, Georgetown University; KL2 Scholar, Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences Sona Vasudevan, Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Georgetown University Medical Center This program was co-hosted by Georgetown Health magazine and the Georgetown University Alumni Association. Copy provided by Georgetown Alumni Webinars

Gum. Whether it’s serving a purpose as a hunger suppresser, an outlet for nervous energy, breath freshener, or a sweet treat after a savory meal, there’s one underlying question we are often asked – is gum beneficial or detrimental to gut health? There are two sides to every story. On one hand, some sources point out the following benefits of chewing gum on the digestive system: Gum can stimulate bowel movements, as it increases the production of gastric juices. This can be beneficial in those who’ve had surgery, or who have just given birth, and don’t want to or aren’t able to eat right away.Post-meal gum chewing can stimulate the release of bile, digestive enzymes, and acids, all components needed to properly digest foods, and may help avoid indigestion after a large meal. Chewing gum can aid in soothing acid reflux. When you chew gum, your saliva becomes more alkaline, and…

Gerry: I am an avid follower of Gutbliss and was making and drinking green smoothies almost daily, then I began having intestinal issues, diarrhea etc. I ran across some experts talking about the dangers of ingesting too many foods high in oxalates. So, I’m confused. I’ve since given up eating spinach and Swiss chard and try to mostly eat vegetables and foods lower in oxalates, including fewer nuts and seeds. I’ve been eating more animal protein, pasture raised meats, eggs and dairy products. Now after many months my GI tract is returning to normal and I feel much better. How can it be that all these foods promoted as “health foods” are not good for everyone? I do want to add that I’ve been under an inordinate amount of stress that has probably put lots of strain on my whole body, but especially my GI system. Dr. Chutkan: Gerry, first and foremost, I’m so…

“As researchers continue to study the microbiome, it’s clear that our gut is a powerful tool in disease prevention and treatment. How can understanding the microbiome influence the way we eat and nourish our bodies? Is our gut the missing link to using food as medicine? This panel features preeminent researchers, scientists, and entrepreneurs who are leading this breakthrough area of science.” (Milken Institute: Future of Health Summit) Watch Dr. Chutkan, as she acts as moderator for the panel, Gut Feeling: Food, Microbiome, & Disease Prevention, that took place at this year’s Milken Institute: Future of Health Summit. Speakers include: Mark Hyman Head of Strategy and Innovation, Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine Rob Knight Professor, Departments of Pediatrics, Bioengineering, and Computer Science & Engineering, University of California, San Diego David Perlmutter Executive Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs and Dean, Washington University School of Medicine Karen Sandell Sfanos Associate Professor,…

In this webinar with Dr. Chutkan, hosted by Our Health Talks, you will learn the following: How Dr. Chutkan’s “Live Dirty, Eat Clean” mantra applies to health todayDr. Chutkan’s produce-cleaning regimeHallmark foods in a “clean eating” dietRisk of antibioticsDoes having a GI issue make someone more susceptible to contracting illness? Explaining IBS vs. IBDCan nature exposure and sunlight help in combating the spread of COVID-19? What are some self-care practices that you using right now? How is the practice of medicine going to change after all this?Do you think it’s a good idea to increase dosage of probiotic supplements right now? Are you recommending prebiotics in conjunction with probiotics?Is sourdough considered a healthful fermented food?What is the role of hand sanitizers in the COVID-19 battle?How are you staying educated on our understanding of the disease right now? How do you think we could better prepare for the next time something…

Green smoothies are Dr. Chutkan’s number one prescribed “medication” in her practice… and there’s lots of reasons why. Watch Dr. Chutkan as she explains the benefits of leafy greens and the importance of consuming them daily for optimal gut health. Be sure to write down the green smoothie recipe at the end and begin incorporating it into your daily life for Gutbliss!

Clinical implications and future possibilities of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) are identified. FMT is an innovative therapy with incredible potential for treating gastrointestinal and other microbially-driven conditions. While more research and fine tuning is needed before it becomes a mainstream therapy, its clinical implications are growing. This latest review study identifies FMT as a treatment for ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and hepatic encephalopathy. The study predicts that FMT will be an accepted treatment for many other conditions in the future. Annual Review of Medicine Takeaway: While researchers are excited about the potential benefits, other studies show underwhelming results from FMT. Additional research, especially in the area of super donors is needed, as well as other environmental factors that could negatively impact fecal transplant therapy. Coupling FMT with nutrition interventions that focus on high fiber, whole foods and plant-based diets is imperative for success, as is minimizing/eliminating medication use (especially…

Scientists are studying how a plant-based diet affects gastroparesis, an underdiagnosed condition in which emptying of the stomach is delayed. Symptoms include bloating, nausea, feeling abnormally full after eating, and in severe cases, vomiting and weight loss. The most common treatment for severe gastroparesis is administering food through a feeding tube using a liquid formula high in sugar and processed nutrients. Although patients are not consuming actual food, they can still experience symptoms, including bloating, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea. The plant-based pilot study, currently underway, includes a plant-based formula lower in sugar and processed components. Researchers will look at how going plant-based affects microbial and inflammatory markers, with the hope that patients will experience less symptoms. Stanford University Takeaway: While some severe cases of gastroparesis require more aggressive treatments as described above, there are lots of lifestyle changes that can help treat gastroparesis-related symptoms. These modifications include: Shift most of…