Monthly Archives: March 2011

Taking Antibiotics for a Bad Cold? Not so Good.

Over-prescription of antibiotics contributes to antibiotic resistance and affects the ability of bacteria to survive antibiotic treatment.  That’s very important because if antibiotics do not work for infections, there isn’t much else that will.  Now that’s scary! A recent study of patients hospitalized for respiratory infections found that in those who were diagnosed with a viral infection (antibiotics will not…

Baby’s First Food Shouldn’t Be White

For over 60 years now, it has been recommended that baby’s first food be white rice cereal mixed with either breast milk or regular milk. Rice is known for being well-tolerated by babies’ sensitive digestive tracts due to its low allergen status.  Recommending white rice as baby’s first food is coming under scrutiny, however, and I agree. White rice is…

Antibiotics Often Unnecessary for Ear Infection

Unnecessary antibiotic use is a common practice, especially in pediatric medicine. Children with ear infections are often prescribed antibiotics, which often aren’t necessary. A recent analysis of 135 published studies found that most kids who see a doctor for ear infection do not need an antibiotic. The review, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) determined that…

Shopping for Real Food

This week, your challenge is to grocery shop with a plan, (or a mission, rather)! Print out this flow chart, from SummerTomato.com, and you’ll be well on your way to filling your basket with real foods. That is, unprocessed, unrefined, unadulterated real foods. It can be hard to determine what is healthy these days. It seems like there is a…

Probiotics and Mama’s Belly

It is well known that probiotics are beneficial for the digestive tract. Indeed, these beneficial gut bacteria outnumber cells in the body (and their genes GREATLY outnumber our own genes). Scientists have taken the research of probiotics beyond the gut lately, finding that their effects are far reaching. A recent study in pregnant women found that daily administration of two…

Diarrhea + Probiotics = Less Suffering

A recent Cochrane Systematic Review, which involves an extensive review of the scientific literature, found that probiotics are effective at reducing diarrhea. The results were similar across all 63 different trials that were analyzed. A separate review was done for trials involving children with persistent diarrhea. Though only four trials were available for review, results showed that probiotics can reduce…

Take Control of Your Health

A recent national survey of doctors and hospitalized patients found that only 48% of patients said they were involved in decisions about their treatment. What’s even more alarming, 29% didn’t know who was in charge of their case while they were hospitalized. This got me to thinking about how we often place control of our health completely into the hands…

Your GPS—What Went Wrong?

I like to call the proper balance of gut bacteria your “GPS”—your Gut Protection System. Your GPS works to: protect your intestinal lining; “crowd out” and neutralize the harmful bacteria; and influence the immune system so that it responds in the proper way to harmful invaders like bacteria, toxins, and even undigested food particles. Your GPS might not be properly…

Probiotics in Early Life

I think the term probiotics is a good name for the beneficial microbes that inhabit the intestinal tract of human beings. Probiotics literally means “for life.” There are many ways in which probiotics function “for life,” for without them we would be seriously ill and succumb to many different diseases. Modern science, on an almost daily basis, is discovering just…