Tag: intestinal tract

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…

Quick Facts and 9 Simple Tips for IBS Awareness Month

April is IBS Awareness Month—a time for individuals and communities across the country to spread awareness about irritable bowel syndrome and the millions of Americans it affects every day. Coast to coast, activities and events are in the works to help people understand this debilitating disorder, its signs and symptoms, and how it is diagnosed and treated. Quick Facts about…

The Effects of the Microbiome During Pregnancy and How Mother Can Improve It

It has now been established that breast milk, similar to the intestinal tract, has its own microbiome containing possibly hundreds of bacterial species. In addition, breast milk produces its own indigestible sugars called oligosaccharides that babies cannot digest. These sugars become the food (prebiotics) for the bacteria residing in the breast tissue and milk. During breastfeeding these healthy bacteria relocate…

Soluble Fiber and Exercise Reduce Belly Fat

  An interesting study published in the journal Obesity points out that eating more soluble fiber, like that from apples and beans, and moderate exercise will selectively decrease belly fat.1 The authors don’t seem to know why it is selective to belly fat, and not subcutaneous fat (fat just under the skin). I think one reason would be that the…

Probiotics in Early Life

I think the term probiotics is a good name for the beneficial microbes that inhabit the intestinal tract of human beings. Probiotics literally means “for life.” There are many ways in which probiotics function “for life,” for without them we would be seriously ill and succumb to many different diseases. Modern science, on an almost daily basis, is discovering just…

Too Clean For Our Own Good

“It is possible for a person to be too clean for their own good.” This is a recent quote from Allison Aiello, visiting associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard, who is studying the effect of frequent handwashing with antimicrobial soap containing triclosan, or 2,4,4’-trichloro-2’-hydroxydiphenyl ether. Her research has shown an increase in allergies and hay fever in children and teens…