1. Prenatal stress, mediated through the gut microbiome, can lead to long-term negative impacts on infant brain and behavioral development that can extend well into adulthood. Harmful stressors range from traumatic events, (like the loss of a loved one) to more common events (like financial worries and daily hassles). If you find yourself pregnant and stressed, consider exercise, meditation, and/or yoga to manage your stress and offer your fetus a calm environment. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

 

  1. Wondering why your diet isn’t working to help you lose weight, no matter how strictly you adhere? The answer may lie within your gut. Some gut bacterial species are super-efficient energy harvesters and are able to extract more calories from the food you eat. Restoring your microbiome to a more balanced terrain could be your answer. Keep in mind that the length of time it takes to restore microbial balance differs from person to person, and may be a slow process, but it’s worth it – not only for your weight loss efforts, but also for your overall health! Forbes

 

  1. “People…are living longer but not necessarily healthier”. This observation sparked researcher, Jiangchao Zhao, to look at the microbial makeup of Chinese people living in the Sichuan providence, whose elders live to be 90+ years of age. Findings showed that microbial diversity in this long-living cohort increases (as opposed to the previously conceived notion that it decreases) with age, and their microbiome is comprised of an enriched population of healthy bacteria. University of Arkansas

 

  1. Dark chocolate is your Gutbliss-approved, new years resolution-acceptable indulgence, and here is a complete buyer’s guide to get you started. Authority Nutrition

 

  1. Chick-fil-A franchise owner, Robert Kluttz, abandoned his chicken and soda addiction for a 100% plant-based diet… and cured his diabetes. If he can do it, we all can! Remember, it’s not that meat is necessarily bad for the microbiome; it’s that dietary fiber is good for it, and eating too much of the former can lead to not eating enough of the latter. Veg News

 

  1. Acid suppressing drugs, specifically proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine receptor-2 (H2) blockers, are strongly linked to kidney stones and chronic kidney disease. If you are taking these drugs, consider tapering their use. Check out the latest review on the link between the microbiome and kidney stones, including the role of Oxalobacter formigenes in kidney stone formation and how antibiotics and probiotics can contribute to the pathology and treatment, respectively, of kidney stone disease. American Society of Nephrology

 

  1. Genetic alterations in the genes involved in carbohydrate digestion may predispose to developing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). While IBS is not genetic, this is an example of how some people have an increased predisposition to disease. Gut

 

  1. Researchers look at the long-term effects of infants exposed to antibiotics in the womb. While 50% of fetuses are exposed to intra-partum antibiotics, little is known about the long-lasting consequences of these drugs on microbial and overall health. While the results are still in the making, this is a study to keep an eye on. BMC Pediatrics

 

  1. Seven in ten deaths are due to lifestyle factors, a recent study finds. Let’s all make a new years resolution to die of old age! How do we accomplish this? Live Dirty, Eat Clean! The Telegraph

 

  1. A low FODMAPs diet continues to prove effective in relieving IBS. Approximately half of patients experienced “adequate relief” from IBS symptoms when implementing the diet, in a recent study. Food as medicine! American Journal of Gastroenterology

 

By: Leslie Ann Berg, MSPH