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      The stats tell it all: The number one cause of death in the United States is heart disease. That’s right, more than any other disease – even cancer (a close second) – heart disease is the most likely to kill you. The United States is currently facing a “diabesity” epidemic, or a substantial increase in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome leading to diabetes and obesity, all serious risk factors for heart disease.

      According to the American Heart Association, every 34 seconds someone in the US dies of a heart attack. By the time you finish reading this paragraph, another person will have lost their life. Sadly, many people do not even know they have heart disease until they experience a heart attack. These facts alone make Heart Health a critical topic to understand.

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      The gut-skin connection is very significant. Inflammatory processes present in the gut may manifest on the skin. Toxins are expelled with sweat, and can cause the skin to react. Like the inside of the digestive tract, the skin is covered in microbes which can be neutral, protective or pathogenic. Skin reaction may reflect what is going on inside the body. Therefore treating skin conditions only from the outside will often be ineffective and lead to other chronic issues.

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      The gut-brain connection occurs in two directions—from the brain to the gut, and from the gut to the brain. When a person has a “gut feeling,” or an emotional upset causes a stomachache or loss of appetite, they experience examples of the first, most familiar direction. When the gut is out of balance, inflammation results leading to a condition commonly known as leaky gut. A leaky gut will allow undigested food particles and toxins to enter into the bloodstream. Some may cross into the brain, setting the stage for diseases like Alzheimers and dementia. Recognizing the underlying contributing factors that created the gut imbalance in the first place is the first step to achieving optimal brain function .

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      Healthy pH levels, whether in the colon or systemic, are found when you eat a high-fiber diet, high in vegetables and fruits, healthy proteins, and healthy fats. Complement this with foods and supplements high in beneficial bacteria, omega-3 fatty acids, and digestive enzymes, and you will be supporting optimal health (which begins in the digestive system).

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      Our dog’s health is precious! They provide us with unconditional love and companionship. A daily probiotic formula is a great way to ensure good health. Make sure you choose one that delivers the recommended potency level and strain count. There is nothing quite like a healthy and happy dog. Happy Dog. Happy Life!

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Increase in Fiber Intake Post Heart Attack Lengthens Life

Filed in Adults, Conditions, Dietary Fiber, Digestive Health, Digestive Health Care Books by Brenda Watson, Fiber 35 Diet, Heart Disease, Heartburn, Longevity | Posted by Brenda Watson on 06/20/2014

Eat your fiber, you have likely been told by well-meaning friends, health magazines, or possibly even your doctor (and definitely by me). While it may seem like obvious advice given the plethora of health benefits associated with increased fiber intake, only five percent of Americans are actually eating the recommended amount. That’s a terrible shame in my opinion. Fiber is one of the most important nutrients that you are not getting enough of.

In a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, people who ate the highest amount of fiber after surviving a heart attack had a 25 percent greater chance of living longer than those who ate the least amount of fiber. Every 10 gram increase of fiber intake resulted in a 15 percent decreased risk of dying during the follow-up period of about nine years.

The researchers looked at data from two US studies—one with over 121,000 female nurses and the other with over 51,000 male professionals. Of these individuals, almost 4,100 experienced and survived a heart attack. “Future research on lifestyle changes post-[heart attack] should focus on a combination of lifestyle changes and how they may further reduce mortality rates beyond what is achievable by medical management alone,” noted the researchers. Increasing fiber intake should play a big part in heart-healthy lifestyle changes.

This is not the first study on fiber’s longevity benefits that I have blogged on. Three years ago I wrote about the many life-lengthening benefits of fiber. That’s not all. Fiber also helps relieve heartburn, reduces appetite, and when taken in conjunction with exercise, reduces belly fat. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I wrote about many of fiber’s benefits in my book Fiber35 Diet. I recommend that you eat at least 35 grams of fiber daily. If you can’t eat that much from diet alone (it can be difficult), then take a fiber supplement to help you reach your goal.


New Appetite-Suppressing Benefit of Fiber Discovered

Filed in Diet, Dietary Fiber, Digestive Health, Fiber 35 Diet, General, Obesity, Probiotics & Gut Flora | Posted by lsmith on 05/14/2014

It is well known that fiber has appetite-suppressing properties. In fact, Brenda and I wrote an entire book about it—The Fiber35 Diet. Fiber works in a number of ways to suppress appetite. Fiber expands in the stomach, taking up more space, which makes you feel full. In addition, fiber slows the emptying of food from the stomach into the intestines, which promotes satiation. Fiber also triggers the release of the hormone cholecystokinin (CCK) which sends messages to the brain that the stomach is full.

In a recent study published in the journal Nature Communications, an international team of researchers identified another way in which fiber reduces appetite.1 It has to do with your gut bacteria. They found that when fermentable carbohydrates (soluble fiber, in particular) are converted into acetate (a short-chain fatty acid produced when gut bacteria ferment the fiber), appetite is curbed. “Our research has shown that the release of acetate is central to how fiber suppresses our appetite and this could help scientists to tackle overeating,” noted Gary Frost, PhD, lead researcher.

Using an animal model, they first tested the ability of inulin—a soluble fiber known to have prebiotic effects—to promote weight loss when compared to cellulose, an insoluble fiber that is not fermented by gut bacteria. Inulin did lead to weight loss, which was not surprising because it has been found to do so in a number of animal and human studies. Next, they tracked the production of acetate in the gut as a result of colonic fermentation of inulin. They found that from the colon, acetate entered systemic circulation and concentrated in the liver, heart, and the brain. In the brain, it concentrated in the hypothalamus, an area of the brain that controls hunger.

“From this we could clearly see that the acetate accumulates in the hypothalamus after fiber has been digested. The acetate then triggers a series of chemical events in the hypothalamus leading to the firing of pro-opiomelanocortn (POMPC) neurons, which are known to suppress appetite,” stated Sebastian Cerdan, PhD, one of the researchers.

To confirm that it was acetate, and not another compound, that contributed to weight loss, they administered acetate directly and found that it reduced food intake and led to a number of changes that trigger appetite suppression. “It’s exciting that we have started to really understand what lies behind fiber’s natural ability to suppress our appetite and identified acetate as essential to the process. In the context of the growing rates of obesity in western countries, the findings of the research could inform potential methods to prevent weight gain,” noted Jimmy Bell, PhD, another of the study’s authors.

I think this finding of satiety when consuming fiber points back to the natural order of things. By most all accounts, ancient man—as well as modern man—living in jungles and rural agrarian communities (outside of USA and Western countries in general) consume 60 to 80 grams of fiber daily. Acetate levels in these populations are high which promotes satiety and majorly balances immunity.2

Could it be we were meant to eat a high-fiber, plant-based diet to live a satisfied, disease-free life? Could it be that once again man’s ego has run amok by creating processed simple carbs, fake foods and sugars, which has jeopardized the future of the human race? I also think the best way to get acetate is via eating high-fiber foods that promote acetate production in the gut rather than just taking acetate. It is time for change and we can do it only one at a time with our purchasing power and example. Support organic foods and local whenever possible.


  1. Frost G, Sleeth ML, Sahuri-Arisoylu M, et al., “The short-chain fatty acid acetate reduces appetite via a central homeostatic mechanism.” Nat Commun. 2014 Apr 29;5:3611.
  2. Fukuda S, Toh H, Hase K, et al., “Bifidobacteria can protect from enteropathogenic infection through production of acetate.” Nature. 2011 Jan 27;469(7331):543-7.