Monthly Archives: April 2014

Gut Microbes Help Develop Immune Cells

Our gut microbes play a crucial role in the development of immune cells that help fight infection, according to a recent study by researchers from the California Institute of Technology and published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe. They began the study by comparing innate immune cells—white blood cells that act as the body’s first line of defense against…

Gut Microbes Responsible for Chocolate’s Healthy Effects

One of the best things about chocolate—dark chocolate, at least—is that it’s good for you. Chocolate is known to have a number of health-promoting qualities, including heart and brain health benefits. In a recent study presented at the National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society, researchers discussed their findings that certain gut microbes are responsible for some of…

Hallmark Channel Features Ultimate Flora Probiotics

In case you missed it, a recent episode of the Hallmark Channel daytime talk show Home & Family featured a topic I’m pretty passionate about… probiotics! Hosts Mark Steines and Cristina Ferrare talked to renowned nutrition specialist Dr. Melina Jampolis, who shared with viewers some important facts about probiotics—including what to look for in an effective probiotic supplement. Her advice…

Great News—Colon Cancer Incidence Decreasing

I love spreading the word when good news comes out. Sadly, it seems the Internet is ripe with bad news these days. Shocking headlines get more clicks, so sometimes it can feel as though bad news is all there is. Today I have some good news to help balance the onslaught of negative headlines. According to a recent report by…

Fish Consumption During Pregnancy—To Do or Not To Do?

You may have heard that eating fish during pregnancy is good for you. Conversely, you may have also heard that you should limit your fish intake during pregnancy. What’s a soon-to-be mama to do with all the conflicting advice? I’d like to help clear up the confusion on this important topic. Currently, the FDA recommends that women who might become…

Changes in Gut Microbes of Infants Greater than We Thought

It has generally been considered that an infant’s gut microbial composition resembles that of an adult by the age of about 12 months. Gut bacterial composition during the first year of life is in flux, with great variation seen between infants and even within the same infant over time. A recent study is changing how we view the early establishment…

A Test for Early Alzheimer’s

It sometimes seems as though the research behind Alzheimer’s disease moves forward at a snail’s pace. There are still no effective medications for the disease, no way to prevent it, and little hope that it can be detected early. But researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center are trying to change that. According to a recent study published in the journal…

World Health Organization’s Recommendations to Cut Sugar Intake in Half Aren’t Enough

In a new dietary proposal, the World Health Organization (WHO) is advising that sugar intakes drop from 10 percent of total calories to 5 percent. They base their recommendations on two papers that found added sugars increase body mass index (BMI), and diets that reduce added sugar consumption to less than 5 percent reduce dental cavities. “There is increasing concern…

Almonds—The Next Prebiotic

Almonds have a newly found prebiotic benefit, according to a recent study published in the journal Anaerobe. That crunchy, healthy nut you love is even better for you than you thought. Both almonds and almond skins were found to increase beneficial Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus while also reducing levels of the potential pathogen Clostridium perfringens. The study involved 48 healthy young…

Probiotics Help Allergy Sufferers Feel Better

In some parts of the country (especially here in Florida where I live) allergy season is in full swing. So many people are suffering with congested sinuses, stuffy noses, and feeling like, well, not so great. Over 11 million people in the United States are diagnosed with allergic rhinitis, or hay fever—what most people simply call allergies—each year. I am…