1. You may have heard that diet, not exercise, is the key to weight loss. While studies support this hypothesis, does this mean exercise is worthless? Not exactly! A 2015 meta-analysis looked at a vast number of studies that assessed the effects of exercise on chronic disease outcomes and found that exercise, is in essence, a “miracle cure” (the name given to exercise by The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges). Not to mention the fact that your microbial and digestive health are dependent on regular exercise. Live Dirty, Eat Clean, Move Your Body! New York Times

 

2. Probiotics cure Type 1 diabetes (likely caused by imbalanced gut bacteria) in rats. Scientists engineered Lactobacillus gasseria (a bacteria found in probiotic yogurt) to secrete the hormone, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), and administered it to rats for 90 days. The bacteria transformed intestinal epithelial cells into ones that mimic pancreatic beta cells, moving glucose control from the pancreas to the intestines. Rats showed as much as a 30% decrease in high blood glucose levels. Researchers hope to prove this model in humans and release a drug (in the form of a daily pill) within the next 2 years. Diabetes

 

3. More than 100 Nobel laureates urge Greenpeace to stop “bashing” GMO foods stating that they’re standing in the way of providing much of the world with nutritious options that wouldn’t have food otherwise. But maybe feeding the world isn’t about science but more about politics and renewable agricultural practices. New York Times

 

4. Children who suck their thumbs and/or bite their nails develop fewer allergies later in life. Live Dirty! Pediatrics

 

5. A recently discovered gut bacteria, KLE1738, consumes brain chemicals (GABA – a molecule responsible for calming the brain) for survival. Low levels of GABA are linked to depression and mood disorders. Finding more gut bacteria that consume (or produce) GABA, are scientists’ next steps in finding microbiome-targeted therapies that successfully treat depression and other psychological disorders. New Scientist

 

6. Environmental factors are associated with constipation in children. Constipated children consume more dairy, are more frequently delivered via cesarean section, are weaned earlier, and have smaller concentrations of Lactobacillus in their stool than non-constipated children, a new study finds. International Journal of Pediatrics

 

7. Bacteria may not be solely responsible for the success of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) as a therapeutic treatment. Viruses, archaea (single-celled organisms), and other constituents in stool may also play an important role in healing the host. Scientists are working to deconstruct stool to identify the exact cocktail that makes people better in the hopes of creating synthetic therapies that decrease FMT’s “ick factor” and cumbersome process. PLOS Biology

 

8. Oral probiotics (Streptococcus salivarius K12) reduce the occurrence and severity of childhood ear infections, a condition that is commonly and often unnecessarily treated with antibiotics, leading to a disruption in the developing microbiome. International Journal of General Medicine

 

9. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CSF) is linked to low gut bacteria diversity and leaky gut, both markers were found in 83% of CFS patients studied. Microbiome

 

10. A review of the literature finds that some environmental factors are strongly associated with altered gut bacteria in children with eczema. These factors include: length of gestation, mode of delivery, type of feeding, exposure to antibiotics and other medications, number of older siblings, diet, smaller family size, and increased hygiene. International Journal of Molecular Sciences

 

By: Leslie Ann Berg, MSPH