1. Gut bacteria affect heart health and could explain why what we eat impacts our cardiovascular functioning. Imbalanced gut bacteria and their interactions with the foods we eat can encourage artery damage, inflammation, narrowing, and blockage. Supporting the link between gut bacteria, diet, and heart health, scientists also found that premature babies fed breast milk have stronger hearts as adults than their non-breastfed counterparts. Harvard

 

2. Curcumin is highly effective in treating and preventing colon cancer, a new study finds. The combination of curcumin (a compound found in turmeric) and silymarin (a compound found in milk thistle) prevents colon cancer cells from multiplying and spreading in a laboratory model. When curcumin was introduced first, followed by silymarin, a higher number of cell deaths resulted. While research is in its preliminary stage, scientists hope that phytochemicals will be a viable treatment option for some cancers. Journal of Cancer

 

3. Researchers show, for the first time, that there are evident, biological changes in people that suffer from gluten sensitivity – changes that differ from those who suffer from celiac disease or wheat allergy – including a compromised intestinal barrier, leading to symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, anxiety, and problems associated with memory and thinking. Gluten sensitivity is real. Listen to your body! Gut

 

4. High animal protein intake, especially from processed food and red meat, is associated with a higher mortality rate, while high plant protein intake is associated with a lower mortality rate. These results come from the largest study ever conducted, using data from 131,342 participants, comparing animal versus plant protein intake and their affects on mortality. JAMA

 

5. “Human milk is a particular marvel.” At Gutbliss, we have to agree, considering the third most abundant ingredient in breast milk, human milk oligosaccharides or HMOs, can’t be digested by babies, but instead, passes through the digestive tract into the large intestines, where it acts as food for microbes! Scientists believe that “the microbe’s full beneficial potential is unlocked only when it feeds on breast milk.” The New Yorker

 

6. Irritable bowel syndrome, a mysterious yet commonly diagnosed digestive disease, is found to be a direct result of the communication channels between the gut and brain. In a recent study, scientists found that there are two types of IBS: one that originates as physical symptoms in the gut and later leads to psychological distress, including anxiety and depression, and the other, originating as anxiety and depression and later manifesting as physical symptoms in the gut. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics

 

7. Scientists determine factors that lead to fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) failure in patients with diff. These factors include those with severe and complicated diff infection, inpatient status during the procedure, and the number of previous C. diff infection-related hospitalizations. NIH also established a registry to track the outcome of FMT procedures in order to identify efficacy, success rates, and safety concerns. Nature

 

8. A Mediterranean diet, with no restriction on fat intake, reduces the risk of cardiovascular events, cancer (including colorectal cancers), and type 2 diabetes mellitus (which shares a causal link with gut bacteria imbalance), when compared to other diets. Annals of Internal Medicine

 

By: Leslie Ann Berg, MSPH