Author page: lsmith

Weight Gain After Microbiota Transplant

Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) involves the transfer of fecal material from a healthy donor to the digestive tract of an ill recipient (most commonly, someone with refractory, or difficult to manage, C. difficile diarrhea). Transplanting the gut microbiota from a healthy individual to someone with C. diff has resulted in an impressive 90+ percent cure rate of the disease. Brenda…

Mother’s Prenatal Stress Affects Infant’s Gut Bacteria

A number of studies have linked stress during pregnancy to premature birth and low birth weight, eczema, asthma, skin condition, and general illness as well as anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and impaired cognitive and psychomotor development.1 The reasons for these associations is not completely understood. Some researchers believe that gut microbes play a role. Intestinal microbes affect the development…

Breastfeeding May Protect Against ADHD and Improve IQ

The beneficial effects of breastfeeding are many. Children who are breastfed are at less risk of developing ear infections, colds, asthma, obesity, diabetes, and even leukemia.1 Breastfeeding has also been linked to improved brain development and lower risk for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other behavioral problems. Because ADHD and other behavioral problems are also linked to the child’s IQ—which…

Proton Pump Inhibitors Decrease Gut Microbial Diversity

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States, earning billions of dollars for pharmaceutical companies. PPIs markedly decrease the production of stomach acid as a treatment for conditions in the upper digestive tract such as acid reflux, ulcers, and Helicobacter pylori infection. While these medications are sometimes necessary in the short term,…

Fiber Supplement Shifts Gut Bacteria Toward Favorable Balance

Fiber supplements are known for a range of benefits, including the improvement of bowel regularity, regulation of healthy blood sugar levels, and reduction of appetite. Another amazing benefit of some fibers is the ability to favorably alter the balance of gut bacteria. A recent study published in the journal Microbiome analyzed the ability of two types of fiber—polydextrose and soluble…

Gut Bacteria and Leaky Brain Syndrome

You may have already heard about leaky gut syndrome (increased intestinal permeability)—damage to the intestinal lining that creates holes through which travel toxins, bacteria, and large food particles from the digestive tract—all of which are not meant to cross the intestinal lining and can trigger an inflammatory immune response that enters systemic circulation and can manifest disease processes in virtually…

Day-Night Cycles Affect Gut Balance

Only over the last century have humans been exposed to such a huge alteration in the sleep-wake cycle that, previously, was dependent only upon the revolution of the earth in relation to the sun. With the advent of lighting and airplanes, the rhythms of daily life have changed for most of us, and have changed drastically for some of us…

Ultra-Low Diversity of Gut Microbes During Critical Illness

The intestinal tract is a main source of health-care associated pathogenic infections, not surprisingly due to the high concentration of microbes residing there.1 The GI tract is also considered to the primary reservoir for the emergence of antibiotic resistance of such infections.2 In patients with prolonged critical illness, the risk of developing a gut-derived sepsis (blood infection) is increased. In…

Probiotics for Fatty Liver Disease

The liver is the body’s powerhouse of detoxification. The main function of the liver is to filter blood that comes directly from the intestines to the liver via the portal vein. The health of the liver, therefore, is very much dependent on the health of the gut. The intestinal lining is the main interface between the immune system and the…