Monthly Archives: February 2014

Higher Omega-3 Levels Linked to Preserved Brain Cells

Elderly women with higher omega-3 levels were found to have larger brain volume when compared to women with lower omega-3 levels, according to a new study published in the journal Neurology.  Researchers from the University of South Dakota tested the blood of over 1,000 women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study. They analyzed the red blood cell omega-3…

More Evidence Linking Probiotics and Weight Loss

In addition to their role in supporting digestive and immune health, scientists have been looking at the link between probiotics and weight loss—and a new study out of Canada shows these good bacteria may indeed help us shed those extra pounds and keep them off. Researchers from the Université Laval in Quebec recently teamed up with the food and beverage…

Dietary Fiber Protective against Asthma

A diet high in fiber triggers a chain reaction via the gut bacteria that protects against the inflammatory process involved in asthma, according to a recent study published in the journal Nature Medicine. Gut bacteria are known to ferment dietary fiber, a process that produces beneficial compounds, or metabolites. In the current study, the researchers found that the fermentation process…

Fermented Food and Mental Health—Gut Microbes are the Missing Link

Fermented foods have been a part of the diet even before humans knew about the existence of microbes—the very organisms that make fermentation possible. Our Paleolithic ancestors consumed honey, fruits, and fruit juices in fermented form without awareness of the trillions of microscopic beings they were concurrently ingesting. Even as long ago as 10,000 years, humans were deliberately fermenting foods…

Probiotics Reduce Bowel Disease in Premature Babies

Premature infants given a daily dose of a probiotic blend were protected against the more severe forms of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a potentially deadly inflammatory disease, according to a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics. NEC is the most common gastrointestinal emergency in premature infants. It involves damage to the intestinal lining that ranges from surface damage all the…

Lead Exposure Linked to Early Menopause

Women exposed to low levels of lead are more likely to enter menopause early, according to a recent study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. The study involved 401 women from Boston and the surrounding area. Those women with the highest level of lead in their shinbone (lead is known to accumulate in bone) were five times more likely…

Probiotics Ease Colic, Reflux, and Constipation during Infancy

Infants given a daily probiotic for the first three months of life experience less colic, reflux, and constipation, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics. Almost 600 infants were involved in the study, half of whom received the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri and the other half a placebo. Duration of crying and number…

Chocolate May Be a Source of Excess Lead for Children

Children may be exposed to lead in excess of the daily limit when consuming large amounts of chocolate, according to researchers from Israel. They analyzed lead levels in a variety of chocolate brands available globally and, although lead concentrations were below the US Pharmacopeia limit, the levels still posed a concern. “Children, who are big consumers of chocolates, may be…