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Summer is almost over and we’d like to offer you a simple, microbe-boosting plan to rejuvenate your inner (think gut!) and outer beauty. Below you’ll find our simple, Gutbliss 3-Day Beauty Boost, which includes: A 3-day meal planRecipesLive Dirty lifestyle tips This plan will give you a glow and a feeling of lightness to carry you through the rest of summer.  For even more details on how to cultivate a flourishing gut garden, read Dr. Chutkan’s book, The Microbiome Solution, and you’ll be well on your way to microbial balance and a happier, healthier you. Let’s get started! Lifestyle Tips As you embark on this journey, it’s paramount that you focus on incorporating the following lifestyle recommendations (along with the meal plan) for all three days: Drink eleven 8-ounce cups of water per day for women, and sixteen cups for menReset your circadian rhythm; get in bed when the sun…

This all-natural household cleaner is a staple for those practicing the Live Dirty Lifestyle. A natural disinfectant and harmless to the microbiome, mix this cleaner and use for all purposes and in every room in the house! Ingredients ½ cup white vinegar 4 cups of water 12 drops of tea tree oil 12 drops of lavender essential oil Method Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well before using. Recipe by Dr. Robynne Chutkan. First appeared in The Microbiome Solution (Penguin 2015).

Adults spend approximately 93% of their time indoors and babies up to 98% of their infancy indoors. Yet, the built environment (which includes our manmade surroundings – the homes and cities we live in, the parks we play in and paths we walk on, the cars we drive, the offices we work in, and even the water systems we drink from) can be one of the most toxic and microbe-unfriendly places on earth. John Bower, founder of Healthy House Institute, states, “Walking into a modern building can sometimes be compared to placing your head inside a plastic bag that is filled with toxic fumes.” Studies have shown that built environments are lacking in beneficial bacteria and diversity and are instead rich in disease-causing microbial communities. Because we spend so much of our modern lives in manmade surroundings, it’s safe to say that the built environment has the potential to make…

Did you know there’s a strong link between your oral and gut health… and in turn, your overall health? Think of the GI tract as one, continuous connection throughout your body, with your mouth serving as the main entrance point. Just like the gut microbiome, there are important bacteria in your mouth (which harbors over 700 different species) that not only help to keep your teeth healthy, but also serve as the first line of defense for your body. In fact, a 2019 study published in the Journal of Oral Microbiology showed that gut microbiome balance starts in the mouth! The delicate ecosystem and interplay of the bacteria between our mouth and our gut (and our gut to our mouth) helps to prevent disease. Therefore, a balanced gut-oral microbiome axis is critical to our overall health and wellbeing. Oral bacteria can spread throughout the body and has been associated with a…

Eating dirt has become a recent health fad amongst some people who are concerned about improving their gut microbiome. Dirt? Yes, dirt! But does it really confer benefits for the gut and overall health? And should we literally be eating spoonfuls of the stuff? Let’s dig a bit deeper (into the dirt!) to learn more. While eating dirt (or geophagia) is considered by some to be a new and maybe even ridiculous “fad”, it’s a practice that has actually been around for thousands of years and has possibly helped the human race survive throughout millennia. Just about every culture has put eating dirt into practice, and while the motivations may vary, the benefits are universal: healthier people. Hippocrates writes of geophagia in his medical textbook linking “earth eating” and anemia. A few hundred years later, alica, a porridge that contained red clay was used as a remedy for mouth ulcers,…

Drinking at least a couple liters of water every day is important for regular bowel movements and overall gut health, but it’s not just the amount of water you’re drinking – the quality of your water matters too, especially when it comes to the health of your gut bacteria. Modern water systems are treated with chlorine, a disinfectant that protects us from illnesses like cholera and typhoid fever. While arguably one of the most important public health interventions of the 20th century, unfortunately chlorine-based disinfectants have a significant downside too – they can be harmful to our microbiome. Preliminary studies suggest that chlorine derived disinfectants like chloramine and sodium hypochlorite can lower microbial diversity, and may increase our risk for disease. If you’ve ever accidentally killed a goldfish or houseplant with tap water you might have wondered how safe it is for you! So what’s the solution? While it’s premature (and currently not advisable) to…

Gardening could be just as important in living longer as diet, exercise, and social connection. Researchers found that gardening is a common theme amongst centurions living in blue zones (areas of the world with the highest number of people over 100 years of age), and that those in their 60’s who garden regularly have a 32% lower risk of dementia. Scientists hypothesize that the longevity effects of gardening are due to a myriad of factors – ample exposure to green spaces and dirt, both proven to have healing effects on mental and physical health; a social connectedness to the broader community through farmers markets; and a healthier diet through the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and herbs produced in a local garden. BBC →Takeaway: If you’re looking for a new hobby in 2019, gardening should be at the top of your list. Whether you have a green thumb or not, giving it a go and…

A lung disease-causing bacteria, mycobacteria, is prevalent in showerheads. The University of Colorado at Boulder study tested DNA from 656 American and European households. Results found that mycobacteria are more prevalent in households with municipal tap water as opposed to well water. Mycobacteria abundance was also found to be more prevalent in American showerheads, which researchers hypothesize could be due to the fact that mycobacteria is partially resistant to chlorine-based disinfectants used in the U.S. The study mapped out where mycobacteria was most prevalent and found that these locations are also where non-tuberculous mycobacterial lung disease is prevalent (parts of Southern California, Florida, and New York).  Researchers conclude that showerheads may play a role in disease causality. mBio →Takeaway: Scientists will use this information to further investigate and alter our water systems, from disinfectant to plumbing, especially in high mycobacteria areas, in hopes to lessen pathogenic bacteria health risks. While the researchers who conducted the study want to emphasize, “there is definitely no reason…

First results are in! Researchers using a birth-cohort of 33,000 Chinese babies have released impressive findings already, just 6 years after the start of the cohort. Scientists found that exposure to incense burning, a practice common in southern China, increases hypertension risk in pregnant mothers. Nature →Takeaway: Exposure to fumes and chemicals during pregnancy may be risky for both mothers and their progeny. A 2014 study also found that using air fresheners (specifically those containing phthalates – a chemical also found in flexible plastics) during pregnancy could result in lasting detrimental effects on offspring respiratory health. If you are looking to purify or freshen the air in your home, skip the incense and traditional air fresheners and consider these all-natural options, or this essential oil spray.

Nitrate in drinking water, even at safe levels (within 50 mg nitrate/liter of water), increases colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. Scientists assessed drinking water nitrate level exposure in 2.7 million adults and examined 200,000 drinking water analyses from 1978 to 2011 in Denmark. Comparing this data with population-based health registry data, scientists identified 5,944 CRC cases. Analysis of the data showed that exposure to the highest levels of nitrate in drinking water (greater than 9.3 mg/liter of water) increased CRC risk by 15% when compared to those who were exposed to the least amount of nitrate exposure (1.3mg/liter of water). A significant increase in CRC risk was seen starting at nitrate levels as low as 4mg/liter of water. International Journal of Cancer →Takeaway: This study is consistent with findings from previous international studies, suggesting that nitrate drinking water standards should be more stringent to decrease disease risk. In addition, small private wells and areas…