1. Your kitchen floor is about twice as clean as your refrigerator handle and countertops. In fact, your wallet and cell phone harbor a whole lot more bacteria than your toilet seat. Should we frantically begin cleaning our refrigerator handles, wallets and cell phones? Probably not! Exposing ourselves to a diverse array of bacteria on a daily basis is an integral part of human life and helps build a hardy immune system. One doctor’s take away – if you drop food on the floor, pick it up and eat it! New York Times

 

  1. In North American native communities, “when a woman is pregnant no one who is angry or stressed is allowed in her presence.” This may seem extreme, but studies show that the maternal stress leads to an increased risk of crime, delinquency, depression, attention and behavior disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety, asthma, and addiction. As one researcher points out, “the prevention of addiction… and many health problems mental or physical — needs to begin at the first prenatal visit, and possibly even before.” Huffington Post

 

  1. Gluten may not be the whole story. Scientists uncover another wheat protein (amylase-trypsin inhibitors, or ATIs) that causes inflammation in some people, triggering an immune response in the gut that leads to a worsening of chronic health conditions. Time

 

  1. Gut bacteria of depressed individuals and those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome are markedly similar, an interesting finding considering these two conditions are often shared by the same individual – more evidence supporting the strong relationship between the gut and brain. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology

 

  1. The breast possesses its own unique microbiome, and cancerous breast tissue differs drastically from cancer-free tissue, containing higher percentages of Atopobium, Lactobacillus, and Fusobacterium (a bacterial family that is also associated with colorectal cancer). Washington Post

 

  1. Why are bacterial infections (like urinary tract and ear infections) often recurrent, even after administering antibiotics? When bacteria enter the body, about one third of them veil themselves, hiding from the body’s immune system. Once the immune system’s response has subsided, the veiled bacteria “spring back to life” and initiate another infection. Scientists are working to find methods to block this “veiling” process to help prevent recurrent bacterial infections. Molecular Cell

 

  1. A new study finds that spinal cord injury alters gut bacteria, in such a way that it contributes to more severe neurological damage and impairs recovery. Probiotics prove beneficial in counteracting these negative affects. Science Daily

 

  1. By now you’ve probably heard that high intensity interval training (HIIT), or in other words – very short workouts – are just as effective as lower intensity, much longer workouts. Here’s a guide to HIIT, including 10 minute, 7 minute, and 4 minute workouts for those of us who are “just too busy.” New York Times

 

  1. Curious about how your gut bacteria affect your genetic code? This article explains how your genes, your environment, and your gut bacteria work together to shape who you are. Genetic Literacy Project

 

  1. C-section born children have a 40% greater risk of becoming obese and a 70 to 80% greater risk if their mothers are overweight or obese, a new study finds. Gut bacteria could play an integral role in these findings, and vaginal seeding may become a useful tool in decreasing obesity risks in those who are cesarean born. Pantagraph

 

By: Leslie Ann Berg, MSPH