Probiotics: Healthy or hyped?

“All diseases begin in the gut”   -Hippocrates, 460-370 BC

Bacteria

The human body is similar to the planet Earth in that it is inhabited by extremely large numbers of various organisms.  There is a symbiotic relationship between the Earth and its micro-organisms (plants, insects, animals, and people) and the same goes for humans and our little micro-ecosystem composed not only of organs, cells and various biochemical compounds, but colonies of bacteria, yeasts and viruses as well.  Today I want to focus on bacteria: beneficial bacteria strains, specifically.

The largest colonies of microbes live in our digestive tract.  A healthy adult, on average, carries 4-5 lbs. of bacteria in their gut!  This equates to around one hundred trillion microorganisms from a thousand different species, just within the gut alone!  (1) These species collectively have one hundred times more genes than the human genome does.  (2)  In fact, when the Human Genome Project mapped Continue reading

Dietary Dogma: Has America’s dietary advice been successful? A review of USDA guidelines:

 

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“Thus we should beware of clinging to vulgar opinions, and judge things by reason’s way, not by popular say.”   -Montaigne  (1533-1592)

It wouldn’t be very uncommon to immediately and even subconsciously correlate issues such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes whenever we hear the word ‘fat’. Diabetes being a bit of head scratcher considering it is a blood sugar disorder biochemically, but occasionally incorporated none the less.  In fact,  this is such a well-known and indisputable subject, that questioning it seems aimless. After all, if fat doesn’t make you fat, than what the heck possibly could, right?  It’s portrayed as so elementary, and has been for years-all the way back to the 1950s when a researcher by the name of Ancel Keys found a relationship between the amount of saturated fats and cholesterol in the diet and incidence of heart disease. (1) This theory-known as the diet-heart hypothesis-would soon set the stage for numerous margarine, vegetable oil, and various mono-culturing practices to take on the task of making our food supply both healthy and safe.  Continue reading