Monthly Archives: October 2012

Gut Balance is Key to Avoidance of C. difficile Infection

The bacterium Clostridium difficile (also known as C. diff) is a major pathogenic contributor to the development of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, or diarrhea that results from taking an antibiotic. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), C. difficile diarrhea is linked to 14,000 deaths in the United States each year.1 Interestingly, first line treatment for C. diff infection is antibiotics—the…

US Service Members at Risk from Low Omega-3 Levels

The O in my HOPE Formula (short for High fiber, Omega-3 oils, Probiotics, and digestive Enzymes) stands for Omega-3 oils. I recommend the HOPE Formula for everyone, every day as a way to rebuild and maintain digestive health. The HOPE Formula has truly given hope to so many people dealing with both digestive and non-digestive health issues. It continues to…

Antimicrobials in Your Water?

Antimicrobial ingredients are added to a wide range of personal care and cleaning products to kill the germs, and, so we think, keep us safe. The reality is that the widespread use of these ingredients—most notably triclosan and triclocarban—is thought to contribute to the increase in antibiotic resistant bacterial infections. Dr. Smith and I have blogged about it before. A…

Grilled Meats May be AGE-ing You

Have you heard of AGEs? AGEs are compounds that do just that—they age you. The acronym AGEs is short for advanced glycation end products. AGEs are compounds produced in the body, and obtained from certain foods, that wreak havoc in the body, leading to conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, obesity, kidney disease, and even Alzheimer’s disease.…

Common Parasite Increases Risk of Suicide Attempt

A parasite is an organism that lives off another organism such as an animal or a human (or both). There are many different types of parasites from many different sources. Today, I’d like to talk about one particular parasite—Toxoplasmosis gondii. If you have ever been pregnant, you may be familiar with T. gondii. Pregnant women are cautioned against tending to…

High Blood Sugar Shrinks Brain in Old Age

As a nation, we eat far too much sugar and processed carbohydrates. In fact, the entire developing and developed world eats far too much of these foods. The result has been an epidemic increase in diabetes and obesity (also known as diabesity, since these two often appear together). Diabetes, or more specifically, type 2 diabetes, is largely the result of…

Does Parkinson’s Disease Originate in the Gut?

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the most common serious movement disorder and second most common neurodegenerative disorder in the world (the first being Alzheimer’s disease).1,2 PD involves loss of neurons in the specific area of the brain that controls motor movement—the substantia nigra. Parkinson’s disease involves the gradual death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and the presence of Lewy…

Dark Chocolate for Your Brain and Heart

Do you ever reach for a chocolate bar when you’re down? Well, you’re not alone and there is good reason for it—chocolate has positive effects on mood. But that’s not all. Chocolate also has beneficial effects on brain performance and the heart. Chocolate contains a high level of antioxidants thought to give chocolate its health benefits. A recent scientific review…

Omega-3s May Protect Against Heart Failure

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart becomes unable to pump blood throughout the body and is most commonly the result of coronary heart disease (narrowing of the arteries leading to the heart), high blood pressure, or diabetes. Heart failure is a common condition, affecting over 5.8 million people in the United States. The heart-health benefits of omega-3…

Gut Connection to Rheumatoid Arthritis

The gut connection to arthritis is a topic I have raised in my book and PBS show, The Road to Perfect Health. In fact, raising the topic of the gut connection to basically everything is what I do. They don’t call me the Diva of Digestion for nothing. Arthritis has a particularly strong gut connection, especially when it comes to…