Monthly Archives: March 2012

Dysbiosis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), most notably including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, is a serious digestive condition for which we are only beginning to understand the underlying causes. Dysbiosis, or an imbalance of the gut microbes, is one relatively recent factor found to contribute to the development of IBD. One major contributor to the development of dysbiosis is antibiotic use.…

Daily Levels of Toxin Exposure Not Safe

An important report on the dangers of low doses of toxins, similar to doses encountered by people in everyday life, has been published in the journal Endocrine Reviews.1 Twelve scientists spent three years compiling the 78-page report on the low-dose effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, also known as hormone disruptors, and their harmful effects that interfere with normal hormone function. Chemicals…

Spring Cleaning

Now that spring is here, it’s time for some deep cleaning—of your cupboard, that is. Take an inventory of what’s in your refrigerator and pantry. Here are a few pointers on what to keep and what to toss: If it’s a fresh or frozen fruit or vegetables, keep it. If it contains added sugar (or any of the pseudo sugars…

Probiotics and Preeclampsia

Late in 2011, a study was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology that found an association between consumption of probiotic milk products and the reduced risk of developing preeclampsia, a serious pregnancy condition involving high blood pressure and high levels of protein in the urine. Preeclampsia is one of the leading causes of maternal death worldwide, estimated to affect…

Health Risks of Statin Drugs

In February of this year the FDA issued advice on the risks of taking statin drugs. They warn that people being treated with statins may be at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and that cognitive impairment, such as memory loss, forgetfulness, and confusion, has been reported by some statin users. Statin drugs are one of the most widely…

Over-the-counter PPIs Not to Be Taken Over Two Weeks

I saw an ad in a prominent health magazine the other day that ticked me off. It’s an ad for Prilosec, an over-the-counter proton pump inhibitor (PPI). The ad said, “Suffering from heartburn day after day is as unnecessary as wearing sleeves.” (Larry the Cable Guy was in the ad—he never wears sleeves; thus, the reference.)  The ad went on…

Toxin Exposure and Loss of IQ in Children

Three toxins that have been found to affect children’s developing brains and nervous systems—lead, organophosphate pesticides, and mercury—have been found to impact children’s IQ in the overall population, according to a recent study published online in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. Most studies evaluating the effects of toxins look at one toxin in a relatively small group of people. This…

Antibiotics, PPIs, and Low-Fiber Diet Set the Stage for C. difficile infection

Four weeks ago I began a blog series on the effects of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) on the development of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea, a bacterial infection that has become more virulent and resistant to antibiotics over the last eight years.1 Today, I would like to talk about another possible contributor to C. difficile infection—a low-fiber diet. The low-fiber diet connection…

Fish Consumption in Children—Watch the Mercury

Renew You Challenge Let’s start this week off right! Here is your newest weekly challenge (I mean opportunity!) to help set you off on the right foot and in the right direction for bringing health to your week. You could even add it to your calendar. Join us!  Fish is the really the best source of the beneficial omega-3 fats…

Omega-3 Fish Oil and Memory

The brain health benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil—EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)—are many. In fact, I very recently blogged about a study that found low levels of omega-3s (and other nutrients) and higher levels of trans fats in association with brain shrinkage and poor memory and thinking in older adults. Another study published…