Tag: infection

Surprise! You’re Addicted!

Surprise! You’re Addicted!

Last Monday it was reported by NPR that the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) will soon be publishing yet one more reason to leave those PPIs alone! Protect your kidneys! You can now add kidneys to previous evidence of increased risk of bone fracture, infections and possibly even cardiac issues. This is another warning to all of you…

Mental Illness Is Not All in Your Head

Mental illness is often thought to be isolated in the brain, separated from the rest of the body by the blood brain barrier and not at all related to other physiological occurrences elsewhere in the body. This notion is falling by the wayside, however, as study after study links mental illnesses with biological manifestations throughout the body. A recent study…

Immature Microbes in the Guts of Malnourished Children

Malnutrition (severe or moderate acute malnutrition) affects 23 percent of children in developing countries.1 The World Health Organization estimates that malnutrition is the cause of one-third of all child deaths.2 Malnutrition, or inadequate nutrition, manifests most noticeably as delayed growth, but also includes deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and protein. A recently developed intervention for severe acute malnutrition,…

Human Placenta Contains a Community of Microbes

The human microbiome is vast, accounting for 90 percent of our cells. Microbial composition varies from site to site across a range of niches in and on the body. Some niches—such as the colon—are colonized by a very high number of microbes. Other niches—such as the stomach—are colonized by lower amount of microbes. There are yet other areas of the…

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…

Antibiotic Resistance—A Call for Global Response

A new report published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal warns that “we are at the dawn of a post-antibiotic era,” with “almost all disease-causing bacteria resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat them.”1 The gravity of the problem was summed up in a commentary on the report: “Rarely has modern medicine faced such a grave threat. Without antibiotics,…

A Glimpse of How Gut Infections Develop after Antibiotics

Antibiotics work by killing not only the harmful bacteria, but also the beneficial bacteria. It is relatively common for antibiotics to lead to gut infections that arise because potentially pathogenic bacteria are no longer kept in check by the beneficial microbes that inhabit the gut. “Antibiotics open the door for these pathogens to take hold. But how, exactly, that occurs…

Probiotics Boost Gut Health in Athletes

Gastrointestinal complaints such as nausea, cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea are common among athletes. This is thought to be due to the change in blood flow during intense exercise—blood is diverted from digestion to the heart and muscles where it is needed. The decrease in blood flow to the intestines during intense exercise is known to increase intestinal permeability, or leaky…

Antibiotic Resistance—Down to the Last Straw

Antibiotic resistance, which I blog about often, is one of the major problems facing the medical world today. Earlier this year, you may have heard about a pathogenic bacteria that struck at University of Virginia Medical Center, a National Institutes of Health hospital, killing seven people. This bacteria was found to be resistant to carbapenem antibiotics—the last antibiotic left to…

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…