May 02 2021

Dairy Alternatives are Not Just for the Lactose Intolerant.

Published by under Allergies

Dairy Alternatives are Not Just for the Lactose Intolerant.

While having a food allergy or intolerance can be a nuisance, there are plenty of alternatives that are not only healthier for you but also for the planet.

Over the past couple of blogs, we talked about environmental and food allergies and the difference between food allergies and food intolerances. This time, let’s look at one of the most common foods to which people develop an intolerance over time. Dairy. We’ll also explore the many milk substitutes available to you that are nutritious and delicious and better for our bodies and the planet than cow’s milk.*

Food allergies are nothing to play around with. One can develop hives, nausea, swelling, and diarrhea. A severe allergic reaction can cause the body to go into anaphylactic shock, which is a dangerous medical condition. Allergies to cow’s milk typically show up during infancy and affect approximately 3% of infants worldwide. Most children usually outgrow it by the age of six. While some adults have a milk allergy, it is pretty uncommon with just 1% of people over the age of six affected by this allergy. If a person has a milk allergy, as with any serious food allergy, they must avoid all foods and beverages that contain cow’s milk to prevent allergic reactions. 1*

 What many adults experience when it comes to dairy is an intolerance to lactose. Approximately 68% of people worldwide poorly digest lactose, with a greater prevalence of lactose intolerance among individuals in Asian and African countries.  Other common food intolerances include gluten and alcohol. Lactose intolerance is caused by the decreased production of lactase as we age, which is a protein that breaks down lactose, the sugar in milk. Past childhood, many people stop producing this protein. It is genetic, so if your parents tolerate lactose just fine, chances are you will too. (1,2)*

When one is lactose intolerant, you don’t have to avoid all dairy, but when it is consumed, it usually results in minor, yet uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.  Many people avoid dairy for these reasons. The good news is there are many options available in the form of milk alternatives. From soy to hemp to oat and many others, there are lots of dairy substitutes to choose from. Let’s look at what these are and how they compare to the real thing. 1*

Keep in mind you don’t need to be lactose intolerant to choose plant-based milk alternatives. Perhaps you are a vegan. They are a healthier alternative when it comes to heart disease and cholesterol. They are also much better for the environment. “…A 2018 study by researchers at the University of Oxford showed that producing a glass of dairy milk results in almost three times more greenhouse gas emissions than any plant-based milk and it consumes nine times more land than any of the milk alternatives. (Land is required to pasture the cows and grow their feed, which the animals belch out in the form of methane….”(1,3)

There is a caveat here and that is that within the plant-based milk family, there are heroes and zeros as well. Some require growing methods that are less favorable to the environment than others but we will cover that in the blog following this one. For now, let’s look at the different milk alternatives and their overall health benefits and keep in mind, all milk alternatives are far better for the planet than dairy.). 4*

Soy milk

Due to its high protein content, soy milk is the most nutritionally equivalent milk substitute to cow’s milk out of all the plant-based dairy alternatives available. They make it by soaking soybeans in water, followed by grinding them down, boiling, and then filtering the liquid. 1*

Most people can drink soy milk along with other soy-based products except those who are allergic to soy, and therefore should avoid soy products altogether (as with any food allergy). While 94% of the soy grown in the US is genetically modified, there are many organically grown soy products to choose from. Silk, a popular brand of soymilk is non-GMO. Plain, unsweetened soy milk is great for cooking as well. You can use it just like cow’s milk, and it is wonderful for frothing to make a cappuccino or caffe latte. 1* 

Decades of research show the many health-promoting benefits of regular soy consumption such as lower incidences of chronic health conditions like cardiovascular disease, breast and prostate cancers. There has been some concern regarding the “estrogen-like compounds” called isoflavones, which are found in soy though it has been inconclusive and determined one would have to consume extremely high quantities of soy to have this made a difference. There is also some research that suggests that soy milk may be “…contraindicated for individuals with thyroid conditions, such as hypothyroidism…” although that evidence is also inconclusive.  1*

Hemp milk

Hemp milk is sourced from hemp plants which are hearty plants that grow quickly and hold many nutritional qualities. They make it from grinding up the hemp seeds which are protein-packed seeds that are rich in heart-healthy fats. According to one analysis, hemp milk contains the highest amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids per serving of any of the non-dairy beverages. 1*

You can use hemp milk similarly to cow’s milk–enjoy with your coffee or tea, pour it into cold cereals, or use it in baking.

Oat milk

Another great alternative to cow’s milk is Oat Milk. It is one of the newer plant-based beverages to show up on grocery store shelves. Creamy and slightly sweet, it is made by blending oats with water and straining out the solids. It does contain more carbohydrates than most of the other milk alternatives because it is made from grains, but the heart health-promoting properties attributed to their fiber content make up for it!. “…One study demonstrated that daily consumption of oat milk for a five-week period significantly reduced total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels in men with moderate hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) compared to a control beverage…” Oat milk is great for making lattes because it froths really well and can be used in recipes. 1*

 

Almond, Cashew, and other nut milk

Almond milk is produced by soaking, then grinding almonds in water followed by filtering out the solids. Almond milk has become one of the most popular milk alternatives in all of North America. People like it for its mild flavor and low-calorie content. It contains very little protein, and it is very different from cow’s milk nutritionally, so it (along with other nut milk) is fortified with additional minerals and Vitamins, such as A, B12, D, E, and calcium. Other nut-based nondairy beverages including cashew, macadamia, and hazelnut milk have similar nutritional profiles. Cashew milk is a little thicker, making it a great option for using in lattes or smoothies, great with cereal or oatmeal. 1*

There is a downside to almond milk though. With the increased almond milk production due to high consumer demand, there have been some serious environmental concerns caused by the high volume of water needed to grow almond trees. “…Over 80% of the world’s almonds are produced in drought-prone regions of California, leading to drained aquifers, increased use of herbicides, and consequently, a dramatic reduction of honeybee populations…” For these reasons, you may consider other daily alternatives that are less harmful to the environment.  We will look at this issue more in the next blog.1*

Rice milk

Another milk made from grain is rice milk. Its white milky liquid is made by mixing milled rice and water. Its flavor is mild and sweet and it is one of the least allergenic non-dairy substitutes. For those with multiple food allergies or sensitivities, this is s a great alternative. In contrast to cow’s milk, rice milk contains high amounts of carbohydrates and low amounts of protein and fat. It is the least nutritional of the milk. 1*

Coconut milk

Another alternative is coconut milk, which is produced by first grating the white flesh of the coconut then mixing it with hot water. Coconut milk has a nice flavor and if you go full fat out of the can, it can add richness and flavor to many dishes such as soups and curry-based dishes. Canned coconut milk is a mixture of solid and water coconut milk and contains a higher fat content, while coconut milk found in a milk carton offers a different taste, consistency and contains more water, and provides fewer calories and grams of fat per serving. It is low in protein but high in minerals including potassium and magnesium. 1*

Aside from milk, for the lactose intolerant, there are other forms of dairy that seem to be lower in lactose and therefore more tolerable. Some of these are aged cheddar (aged 6 months and older), Greek yogurt, or another yogurt with live active cultures or probiotics. Butter is nearly lactose-free, but does have whey, the milk protein which is where most of the lactose resides. . So if butter bothers you, try clarified butter called ghee, or a vegetarian butter alternative. For the mildly lactose intolerant, goat cheese and goat milk are often tolerated.3*

While food allergies and intolerances can be a nuisance to work around, people and food manufacturers have come up with some wonderful alternatives as you see here with milk substitutes. These are better for your heart and your gut and plant-based products are better for the environment than animal products. Experiment with these healthy alternatives and find the one you like best. Keep in mind that you will want to supplement with other sources of calcium and Vitamin D as milk substitutes don’t have the same nutritional panel as cow’s milk. Supplementing with Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ will also help your gut to be fortified against the pesky digestive issues that arise from food intolerance. Next time we will explore growing methods and the sustainability of the various milk substitutes to make educated choices going forward.*

Until then, healthiest wishes!

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. https://fullscript.com/blog/dairy-free-milk-alternatives
  2. https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/live-well/2017/07/lactose-intolerance/
  3. https://www.prevention.com/food-nutrition/g20511127/dairy-for-lactose-intolerant-people/
  4. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/28/what-plant-milk-should-i-drink-almond-killing-bees-aoe

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Apr 18 2021

Keeping your Gut Healthy is the First Line of Defense against Allergies

Keeping your gut healthy is the first line of defense against allergies

A diverse microbiome is a key to keeping both environmental and food allergies under control.

 

Last time we looked at allergies, both environmental and food as well as the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance. We also looked at why the body reacts the way it does to allergies versus a food intolerance and the symptoms and dangers of both. We covered such food intolerances as lactose, alcohol, and gluten and how while the connection between the gut and allergies and intolerances is connected, it is not due to a gut allergy. Rather the gut can help mediate how the body responds to an allergen. Food intolerances affect the gut, and the health of the gut can be improved by avoiding these foods. . Today we will look further into why there has been an increase in food allergies and intolerances and how we can limit our allergies through gut therapies for future generations.*

Microbiome diversity starts at birth

Between birth and the age of three years old is when a person’s microbiome develops the most diversity, then continues throughout childhood and levels off into adulthood. From the time a baby is delivered,  microorganisms coating the birth canal bathe the infant in a “microbial bath” and begin establishing the microbiome. Vaginal delivery has been shown to offer increased microbial diversity for babies as compared to those babies delivered by Caesarean section, providing an additional boost against allergies later in life. (1,2)*

Breast milk also contains essential microbes that are directly transmitted from mother to child, not only from the milk but from the skin-to-skin transmission that takes place during breastfeeding. Such bacteria as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria as well as sugars known as oligosaccharides which act as a prebiotic to these microbes, help in developing the infant’s immune system. The use of antibiotics during pregnancy and infancy has been linked to an increased risk of allergies later in life. While sometimes this is unavoidable due to infection, antibiotics should only be used if absolutely necessary during pregnancy and infancy (1,2)*

In the late 1980s, the Hygiene Hypothesis was proposed, stating that “…the greater our exposure to microorganisms, the lower our risk of developing allergies…” This referred to factors that affect your level of exposure to microorganisms which at low levels we could tolerate and help to build immune defenses against. These environmental exposures included being raised with pets, having older siblings, playing outside, or living in an urban versus a rural setting.  “…This was because ancient humans, during the evolution of our relationship with microorganisms, derived lots of benefits from a symbiotic relationship with species that existed in the same environments as human hunter-gatherer and farming communities, surrounded by mud and vegetation…” 1*

The microbes which we are exposed to as children persist in our guts, forming an integral part of our immune system’s control against foreign agents.  In contrast, modern environments full of skyscrapers, concrete, and less open areas don’t house these same diverse microbes people were once exposed to living on farms and playing outdoors. Things have become “overly hygienic”, and this can lead to compromising our immune systems, which overreacts to allergens as if they were foreign microbes, causing our bodies to kick into defense mode. A year of quarantine and incessant hand washing has not helped, (unless it has forced you more out into nature). While important against the coronavirus, we are less exposed to other, less harmful bacteria as well. 1*

As many allergies are present due to a lack of certain microbes, this is where supplementation of Probiotics comes in. Researchers at Boston University have “…recently identified the species of gut bacteria, Clostridiales and Bacteroidetes, that protect against the development of food allergies in children. When these microbes were given to mice, it increased the mice’s tolerance to food allergens and reversed their pre-existing food allergies…”(1,3)*

 There is also promising research in regards to Celiac Disease.  “…There is research showing a possible decreased risk of celiac disease with breastfeeding and continued breastfeeding when gluten is introduced into the child’s diet. A previous history of intestinal infections and the state of natural bacteria in the gut may influence the development of celiac disease. Additionally, wheat has been modified to contain higher amounts of gluten and this, alongside the increased ingestion of wheat (bread) in developed countries, may contribute to the increasing incidence of celiac disease…”.4*

The hope is that in the future, we can give particular bacteria to infants and children whose microbiomes show they are predisposed to forming allergies to help prevent these allergies from developing at all. This is already being done in one study. “…Investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital, identified the species of bacteria in the human infant gut that protect against food allergies, finding changes associated with the development of food allergies and an altered immune response. In preclinical studies in a mouse model of food allergy, the team found that giving an enriched oral formulation of five or six species of bacteria found in the human gut protected against food allergies and reversed established disease by reinforcing tolerance of food allergens…” (1,3)*

In the future, researchers are hoping to identify bacteria that will fight against food allergies through microbiome technology and continued research. The good news is that many children outgrow food allergies. Three-quarters of children with milk or egg allergies outgrow them by 16. Twenty percent of children with peanut allergies outgrow them as well.1*

What can be done now if you have allergies?

Diets high in fiber, regular exercise, and taking Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical Probiotics Consortia™ are all ways to help fortify the gut and boost the immune system to fight against allergies. “…The stuffy nose that is often caused by seasonal allergies — was shown to help, with Lactococcuslactis protecting against bacteria that cause pneumonia (a severe lung infection) by increasing the rate of clearance of these pathogenic microbes from the lungs…”1*

During pregnancy, a balanced and diverse diet that includes plenty of fiber and oligosaccharides through such foods as grains, beans, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds (all excellent sources of fiber, including prebiotic fibers that also benefit the gut microbiome) may help protect babies against developing allergies later in life. 1*

And lastly, regular exercise is linked to greater gut microbial diversity, yet another excellent reason to make physical activity part of your life.*

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. https://atlasbiomed.com/blog/microbiome-gut-health-and-allergies/
  2. https://www.gutmicrobiotaforhealth.com/gut-microbiota-and-allergies/
  3. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190624111545.htm
  4. https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/celiac-disease

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Apr 04 2021

The Difference between Seasonal Allergies, Food Allergies and Food Intolerance

Published by under Allergies

Understand the difference between seasonal allergies, food allergies, and food intolerance.

With allergy season upon us, it’s important to know what to look for and control all that we can through good gut health.   

It is that time of year when environmental allergies can rear their ugly heads and cause us to experience many unpleasant symptoms. Sometimes it is hard to identify if you have allergies from pollen, a food item, or are catching a cold. With Covid-19 still rampant, many mistakes their allergies for this novel Coronavirus. Let’s look at the different types of allergies that plague us, along with food intolerance, all of which stimulate an immune response that leaves us feeling bad.

Environmental Allergies

 Environmental or seasonal allergies are mainly triggered by plant and tree pollen but they can also be the result of pet dander, dust mites, and mold. They can cause a pesky runny nose, sneezing, congestion, and red and watery eyes. They can also lead to allergic asthma or rhinitis. Hay fever is allergic rhinitis that is triggered by pollen primarily in the spring. Allergic asthma, the most common type of asthma, causes one to feel short of breath, wheeze, and cough, along with a tightening feeling in the chest. This overreaction of the immune system causes the airways to tighten and create thick mucus, making it difficult to breathe. 1*

Our bodies react in this way due to an overall, systemic immune response to what it identifies as a foreign invader. The body’s disease-fighting immune cells think these harmless substances are dangerous bacteria or viruses. These immune cells attack’ the allergen, trying to rid it from the body by producing chemicals called IgE antibodies. These antibodies work by binding to the allergen, leading to the release of histamine, which is responsible for many of the allergy symptoms we experience to include stuffy nose, sneezing, watery eyes, swelling, nausea, and diarrhea. When it is severe enough, it can make you feel like you have a cold or even the flu.1*

Food Allergies

“…Every three minutes, a food-related allergic reaction sends someone to the emergency room in the U.S…”. The most common foods that are responsible for 90% of the allergic reactions are milk, eggs, nuts, wheat, soy fish, and shellfish.  In addition to the symptoms above, food allergies can cause hives, swelling, nausea, diarrhea, and swelling. Severe cases can cause the body to go into an extreme reaction called anaphylactic shock, which is a dangerous medical condition. . “…With a food allergy, the immune system overreacts to a particular food causing symptoms that are potentially serious or even life-threatening. In food allergic patients, symptoms begin shortly after ingestion of the food (a few minutes to an hour or so) and include hives, shortness of breath, lightheadedness or vomiting. A food allergy is an immune, not an autoimmune reaction…”(1,2)*

Food intolerances 

While allergic symptoms to food or the environment often appear immediately, food intolerance presents in a different way, taking up to 20 hours to manifest as the food slowly makes its way through the digestive tract. And, unlike an allergy, intolerance

doesn’t cause anaphylactic shock. “…Allergies and intolerances are actually different medical problems because they are caused by different pathways in the body’s processes. Intolerances take longer to manifest, whereas allergies cause a rapid reaction that can sometimes be deadly…” Food intolerance is when the body can’t digest a food properly, leading to such digestive issues as bloating, cramps, constipation, or diarrhea. 1*

The most common food intolerances are caused by lactose, alcohol, and gluten. Lactose intolerance is caused by decreased production of lactase, a protein that breaks down lactose, which is a sugar in milk. Most people during infancy can digest milk. Once we pass childhood, many people stop producing this protein. Many people also have an intolerance to alcohol. Symptoms include a red flush and stuffy nose after consumption which is caused by a decreased production of the protein that breaks down acetaldehyde, resulting in an accumulation of it, making the acetaldehyde more toxic to the system. 1*

Gluten is a protein found primarily in wheat, barley, and rye. Nonceliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is a health problem that affects approximately 5% of the population. Celiac disease is a total intolerance to gluten where its sufferers experience autoimmune inflammation in the small intestine that is triggered by gluten, wherein the immune system attacks the body itself, which if left untreated can lead to conditions that affect other systems of the body and can result in chronic fatigue, infertility and even osteoporosis (brittle bones). It is “…an autoimmune condition, where an immune response is directed against one’s own body rather than against foreign substances such as viruses or bacteria. Celiac disease can only develop in those with certain genes called HLA-DQ2 or DQ8. Thirty percent of the population carries these genes. If one does not have these genes, celiac disease cannot develop, but only a small percentage of those with the genes develop celiac disease…” This disease requires the affected individual to cut out all foods that contain gluten from their diets, including bread, cereal, and pasta. (1,3)*

Currently, there is no test for Non-celiac gluten sensitivity. People with gluten sensitivity need to avoid or limit gluten in their diet as much as possible

Gut health and allergies are connected

There are increasing findings that a healthy and diverse gut microbiome is associated with fewer allergic reactions. The rates of allergies have been rising steeply in the last few decades as people continue to settle more and more into urban environments and eating habits have become more “homogenized”. People are outdoors less and exercise less. We have had a history of antibiotic use, which as we know, disrupts the microbiome. All of these things cause our microbiomes to become less diverse, “…decreasing the number of species in the ‘database’ that our immune system can recognize as foreign, yet not overreact, because it knows that they are not harmful…” 1*

While there is a connection between gut health and allergies, there is no gut allergy. Instead, the gut can help mediate the body’s response to an allergen. On the other hand, food intolerances to gluten and lactose do directly affect the gut, but they have different symptoms. There may be more to allergies and food intolerances than we know, and more that can be done than previously thought possible. Gut health and allergies are an active area of research but good nutrition and diet, as well as early interventions, could help future generations be allergy-free. Next time we will look deeper into why there seems to be an increased prevalence of food allergies and intolerances and look at ways we can limit our allergies through fortifying the gut and for future generations.

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. https://atlasbiomed.com/blog/microbiome-gut-health-and-allergies/
  2. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190624111545.htm
  3. https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/celiac-disease

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Mar 21 2021

Get ready for a good Spring Cleaning

Published by under General

Get ready for a good spring cleaning

Spring is the perfect time to clean out all the things that are bringing you down or making you unhealthy and start anew.  

Spring is almost here…and you know what that means. Spring cleaning! I know what you are picturing… brooms and mops, dust everywhere, boxes full of unwanted items. While this is just part of it, think of it in broader terms. Many of us could use a good cleansing of things, ideas, thoughts, and moods after the year we have just been through! It’s time for a fresh start!

Spring cleaning is not just a time to clean out the clutter in your home; it is a time to clean out the clutter in your life and your mind. It is a time to examine, expunge, expel, extricate, extract and finally exhale. It’s the time to find the exit for those unnecessary items, people, burdens, thoughts, and habits that take up real estate in your home and your mind. It will make you feel so much better once you do.*

While you can go through your house room by room to clear out unnecessary items and live a more minimalist lifestyle, there are a few additional areas I’d like to encourage you to “spring clean”. Let’s break these down into physical, mental, emotional, and health.

The Physical Spring Cleaning

First, there is something very satisfying about going room to room and ridding each living space of stuff you no longer use, need, or enjoy. While this can be difficult for a number of reasons, once you do it you will feel a weight lifted. Mind you, this can be difficult for a number of reasons: We have trouble discarding things because we think “I might use it someday”, “I should keep it just in case I need it”, “It was expensive”, “It was a gift”, “It is a family heirloom” All of these are reasons that people hold on to things that are taking up space in their homes. Remind yourself that the money is already spent and if you don’t need or want it, you are under no obligation to hold on to it. Holding on to the item won’t get your money back, and if the item isn’t adding value to your life, it shouldn’t stay in your home. While family heirlooms are precious, it is your home to decorate how you wish. And lastly, you can’t take it with you…so let it go and let go of the burden, guilt, clutter, and stress it adds to your life. You can donate to a good charity and know that you are helping others with the items you are choosing to let go1*

The reward of having a clean, minimalistic space is worth it. It frees you of the feeling of needing to organize all your stuff. Organizing things you no longer need doesn’t really help. It just means you now have stacks and bins of stuff you don’t need as opposed to just piles and drawers stuffed with things you don’t need.*

The Mental Spring Cleaning

What are you holding on to that makes you feel unhappy, guilty, stressed, or burdened? Maybe it is time to clean out those thoughts, throw them in the garbage bin where they belong, and give yourself permission to move on. So many of us tend to hold on to old feelings, old pain, old ideas, biases, resentments, and habits that dominate our thoughts and our moods. Maybe this spring we all do a collective exhale and tell ourselves we are throwing those out with the rest of our unneeded stuff. Perhaps it’s time to be free from those cluttering thoughts and feelings that just weigh us down. Don’t we deserve to de-clutter our minds? If it means seeking a counselor of some sort to help you let go, now is the time to do it!*

The Emotional Spring Cleaning

Are you staying in a job or a relationship that leaves you feeling sad or empty? Are you sticking with a friend or group of friends who don’t support you or allow you to be yourself? Are you living somewhere you just don’t like? Maybe it is time to make a shift and find new experiences, people, and opportunities that fulfill your soul and your heart in a space or area that thrills you. Surrounding yourself with happy, positive people will make your life more fulfilling, creative, exciting, and hopeful. If you are in a job you no longer like, start creating a plan for the future that will take you to a position that suits you and your personality. I know it is not always that simple but one thing leads to another so take that first step to put you where you want to be.*

The Health Spring Cleaning

While you’re at it, let’s clean out the pantry, refrigerator, and our bodies. Get rid of all the food items that don’t bring benefits to your body and your immune system. It’s easy to collect cereals, snacks, drinks and other items that are full of sugar, preservatives, and artificial ingredients and have them sitting there just ready to grab during a moment of weakness. Of course, I don’t expect you to throw away everything in your pantry and refrigerator that isn’t healthy, but you get the picture. Separate the food into two categories…the healthy ones and the junk. Then take a good look at what is really in your pantry and fridge and what is going into your body. Sometimes we think we are eating well,, but when we are super honest with ourselves, we could do better. I always think of the 80/20 rule. Try to make sure that at least 80% or more of what you put in your body is good for you!!*

Lastly, spring clean the gut! Consider doing a detox or try fasting and then replenish your gut with just gut-healthy foods.  Drink lots of water, one of the purest and easiest ways to cleanse the body. Consider a juice cleanse (avoiding sweet juices of course). Use Body Biotics™ Aloe PURE™ as a gentle cleanse. Wait to take Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical Probiotics Consortia™ while you are using the Aloe PURE™ then reintroduce your Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical Probiotics Consortia™ as you reintroduce gut-friendly foods to your diet. You will feel great! *

2020 was hard on us. 2021 hasn’t been much better for a lot of people, especially those living in the south who endured the extreme weather conditions combined with lack of electricity and broken water pipes. It seems as if there was ever a great time for doing some cathartic cleansing and reassessing of our lives, now is the time. Spring clean for your mind, body, and soul.  Celebrate it! *

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

Resources:

  1. https://simplelionheartlife.com/struggle-to-declutter/
  2. https://elemental.medium.com/the-psychological-concepts-that-make-you-better-at-breaking-bad-habits-9b9b1a8227e9

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Mar 07 2021

New Discovery ties previously Undiscovered Brain Cell to Gut Microbes

Published by under Alzheimer’s,Dementia

New Discovery ties previously Undiscovered Brain Cell to Gut Microbes.1*

Researchers have discovered that gut microbes communicate with a newly discovered brain cell to reduce inflammation and fight off inflammatory diseases. 1*

There is new research regarding astrocytes, which are star-shaped brain cells that are key in the regulation of the development of other nerve cells in the brain. Researchers have discovered a new type of astrocyte that actually protects against inflammation and receives signals from certain gut bacteria which appear to boost its anti-inflammatory activity. As we know, inflammation plays a crucial role in the body’s immune response but becomes problematic when it becomes overactive.1*

In a previous blog, we explored research that showed that there is a connection between an imbalance in gut microbiota and the development of amyloid plaques in the brain, which is at “…the origin of neurodegenerative disorders that is characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease…” When there is an abundance of astrocytes and microglia it can be associated with amyloid plaques which are responsible for the development of Alzheimer’s. (1,2)*

Astrocytes have a wide range of jobs in maintaining the health of the brain. They provide nutrients to nerve cells and they regulate the cells’ development. However, when they malfunction, they can cause inflammation and lead to the deterioration of nerve cells. Research has shown that malfunctioning astrocytes are involved in a range of neurodegenerative disorders to include not only Alzheimer’s but also Parkinson’s disease. This new research involving mice revealed a certain type of brain cell which “…combats inflammation when it receives signals from bacteria in the gut…” This study found that a previously unknown type of astrocyte actually protects against inflammation. And even more exciting is that the cell steps up its anti-inflammatory processes when it receives a molecular signal from gut bacteria.1*

Researchers are hoping this might lead to developing probiotics that can help reduce inflammation in those with neurological disorders. While performed in animals and in the early stages, scientists are hopeful this research will lead to treatments that will provide long-term benefits for humans. (1,2)*

According to Dr. Francisco Quintana, of the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, MA, and senior and corresponding author of the new study, many labs during the past (to include his) have identified important roles for astrocytes in promoting neurological diseases. But this is the first known case in which astrocytes are known to prevent inflammation. Dr. Quintana believes this hasn’t been seen before because they were “…studying these cells as if they were uniform or one single cell type, but now we have the resolution to see the differences between these cells.”…”2*

The results of the study have been published in Nature and a team of researchers from Geneva and Italy has recently concurred regarding this correlation.2*

In the study, scientists used molecular tools for determining the activity of genes and the proteins they express when they discovered the new type of astrocyte. “…The astrocytes in question express two proteins called LAMP1 and TRAIL so have been labeled LAMP1+TRAIL+ astrocytes. They are found close to the meninges, which is the protective membranes that envelop the brain and spinal cord. This type of astrocyte appears to limit inflammation in the brain by expressing the TRAIL protein. “…When TRAIL binds to death receptors in the membranes of immune cells that promote inflammation, this induces the cells to self-destruct…” With further investigations, they found that “…an immune signaling molecule called interferon-gamma induces LAMP1+TRAIL+ astrocytes to produce TRAIL and hence control inflammation…”2*

Immune cells, which they referred to as ‘natural killer cells’ can actually ”… destroy cancerous cells and those infected with viruses…” Additionally, they manufacture interferon-gamma. With a deeper dive, they found that “…the gut microbiome induces natural killer cells to produce interferon-gamma. Then, the activated cells find their way via the bloodstream to the meninges, where they help reduce inflammation…”2*

Every day, scientists are discovering new ways in which the microbiome plays a role in combating disease and boosting immunity.  Dr. Quintana’s lab has also identified one other type of astrocyte which is also regulated by the gut microbiome. While this is the only other one, they feel there must certainly be others.

“… “We’re lucky that we’ve been leading the charge to identify different subsets of astrocytes and the mechanisms that control them. We have a list of other populations of astrocytes, and we’re working to see how the gut flora may control them.”…”2*

Dr. Quintana and his team are examining different probiotic species in order to identify which ones could regulate the anti-inflammatory activities of astrocytes and emphasized that their work on astrocytes and inflammation remains at an early stage.

The amazing bacterial world known as the microbiome continues to reveal how very powerful it is in supporting our health. Each study and discovery opens a new door to knowledge that supports the importance of maintaining a healthy gut. As more keys to this information become available, we must do our part to take care of our own guts with a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and lots of fiber supplemented by Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™.

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/gut-bacteria-instruct-brain-cells-to-fight-inflammation
  2. https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-are-Amyloid-Plaques.aspx#:~:text=Amyloid%20plaques%20are%20aggregates%20of,memory%20and%20other%20cognitive%20functions.

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Feb 21 2021

Focus on Healthy Gut – New US Dietary Guidelines

Published by under Dietary Guidelines

New US Dietary Guidelines in line with maintaining a healthy gut

There is consensus on a diet that promotes long-term health and fights disease, as supported by the new 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans for 2020-2025 was released on December 29th, 2020. Updated every five years, these guidelines set the stage for federal nutrition guidelines in our country. They influence federal food programs, health policies, and the nutrition status and health of all Americans. The guidelines are based on federal data, dietary intakes, and chronic disease rates as well as current evidence. The US government will be implementing these new guidelines for nutrition education, food assistance programs, and national health objectives Released in partnership with the US Department of Agriculture, and the US Department of Health and Human Services, it is intended to provide nutritional recommendations,  information and a framework for us all to follow.(1,2)*  

The same things we do to maintain good gut health are reflected here, so to see these guidelines as they are set for the entire nation is positive. The question is will people follow them?

The 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is made up of clinical researchers, healthcare practitioners, and other scientists from across the US who write the updated guidelines after independent scientific review of federal data, dietary intakes, and chronic disease rates along with current evidence. This panel makes its recommendations by following certain steps.

  1. They review the guidelines from the previous time period, this being 2015-2020
  2. They review federal data on dietary intakes and diet-related chronic disease rates
  3. They conduct systematic reviews of scientific evidence on health and nutrition
  4. They use food pattern modeling to analyze how various dietary changes will impact how the population and meet nutrient requirements. 1*

So what changed?

While many of the dietary recommendations did not change, there are three areas where they “evolved.”

The new guidelines put an emphasis on healthy individuals, individuals who are overweight or obese, as well as those with increased chronic disease risk who would benefit from healthy dietary patterns. Expanding on this theme, the new guidelines emphasize the health effects of dietary patterns as a whole instead of individual nutrients, foods, and food groups. And lastly, the current guidelines were modified in terms of their focus on a lifespan approach through a break down by stage of life starting from infancy to older adults, something that was not done before. 1*

The guidelines are broken down into four primary areas.

#1 Consume a healthful diet for your entire life

 No matter one’s age, eating a variety of healthful foods over your whole life is key for achieving long-term health and reducing your risk of developing chronic diseases especially cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Nutrient-dense foods rather than processed and packaged foods which are high in sugars, fat, sodium, preservatives, additives, and chemicals are the key. Kids eat what we feed them so it is smart to start your children off on the right foods in terms of making good choices.

According to the guidelines, the best nutrient-dense foods include:

  • Beans and legumes
  • Eggs
  • Fat-free and low-fat dairy products
  • Fruit
  • Lean meat and poultry
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains 1*

#2 Customize your dietary pattern to satisfy personal preferences, cultural traditions, and budgets

Regardless of your personal tastes and preferences as well as your cultural background, these dietary guidelines are intended to allow for customization to your personal tastes and preferences. You can find healthy foods and spices in all cultures, so focus should be placed on incorporating a broad variety of foods into your diet while still honoring your heritage and preferences. Additionally, they maintain that eating a nutrient-rich diet can be done on a budget as in-season produce, along with beans and legumes are among the most cost-effective options. 1*

#3 Focus on nutrient-dense foods in order to meet your daily food group needs while staying within calorie limits.

A healthy diet can be reached by eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods from a variety of food groups. Determining your individual caloric needs depends on a number of factors to include your weight, height, age, gender, and activity level. These foods include:1*

Vegetables: Include all types and colors of vegetables in your diet, ranging from bright orange to dark greens and purples to include starchy vegetables like peas and sweet potatoes. 1*

Fruit: Consume fruit, including whole fruit.  Because juice, even if it is 100% fruit juice, lacks fiber so can cause blood sugar spikes. Canned fruit is ok, but make sure it is in 100% fruit juice, not sugary syrup.1*

Grains: Whole grains in which the bran and germ are intact should comprise at least 50% of the grains you consume. Rich in fiber, minerals, and vitamins, some good examples of these are oats, whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa, and barley.

Dairy: Choose fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese to keep your saturated fat intake low.1*

Protein: You can find your protein in lean cuts of meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, and eggs. Plant-based protein can be found in beans, lentils, soy products, peas, nuts, and seeds.1*

Oils: When consuming oils, avoid animal fats and instead choose vegetable oils that are rich in unsaturated fats such as olive, avocado, and sunflower oils.1*

AVOID: Keep foods high in sugar, sodium, and saturated fat to a minimum.1*

**One thing to note is that the advisory committee had proposed the recommendation for sugar intake be reduced to just 6% of daily calories but that request was denied. It remains at 10% of daily calories which the panel says can be improved upon in future guidelines. 1*

 “…As a general rule, aim to consume 85% of your calories from nutrient-dense foods and less than 15% of calories from foods and beverages composed of added sugar, sodium, and saturated fat. For the average American consumes 1,650 to 2,300 calories per day, 15% of calories is equal to approximately 250 to 350 calories…”(1,2)*

While the dietary guidelines are continually evolving just as science is evolving, these guidelines will continue to be revised every five years. .By referring to these guidelines, you will also support good gut health. Avoiding sugar and processed foods along with sticking to a whole food diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein all support the growth of the good bacteria we need to keep our microbiome healthy. Adding Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ daily is all part of this healthy regimen.*

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

References:

  1. https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/sites/default/files/2020-12/Dietary_Guidelines_for_Americans_2020-2025.pdf
  2. https://fullscript.com/blog/dietary-guidelines-for-americans

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Feb 07 2021

Wrong Gut Microbes Increased Risk to Type 2 Diabetes

Published by under probiotic supplements

Gut microbes identified for their role in increasing the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

Metabolic syndrome to include Type 2 Diabetes is worsened by an overabundance of particular unhealthy microbes residing in the gut.

The last two blogs covered how Alzheimer’s disease has been linked to specific gut bacteria. This time, let’s look at new findings published in the journal Nature Communications in which scientists have discovered that “…organisms in the gut microbiome play a key role in type 2 diabetes, and may lead to potential possible probiotic treatments…”1*

It is not a surprise to hear of this research and their findings, as we have known that metabolic syndrome, which encompasses obesity and diabetes is in direct relation to the health of the gut. An unhealthy gut leads to obesity, and with obesity, comes an unhealthy microbiome. The bad bacteria that reside in our gut can take over when our microbiome is out of balance and while they feed off of sugars, they also cause us to crave sugar, which is their food of choice. The “western diet”, which is high in refined sugars and saturated fats plays a key role in negatively influencing our guts and our health, and is one of the primary factors in Type 2 Diabetes, scientists at Oregon State University have discovered. Their findings were published in the journal Nature Communications in a paper titled, “Transkingdom interactions between Lactobacilli and hepatic mitochondria attenuate western diet-induced diabetes.”1*

Diabetes is its own kind of pandemic in our country with more than 34 million Americans having diabetes and approximately 90–95% of them having type 2 diabetes (T2D). Worldwide, an estimated 462 million individuals are affected by type 2 diabetes. And over the next decade, the number of type 2 diabetes diagnoses in our country is expected to keep rising according to the study co-leader Andrey Morgun, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences in the OSU College of Pharmacy.1*

Why is it so prevalent? Diet for one. And exercise for two. There is also genetics involved. And age.2*

But looking at diet and exercise and the levels of obesity in our country explains a lot of it.  Obesity rates have increased over the past few decades and along with it, so has Type 2 Diabetes. According to the CDC, in 2017-2018, the prevalence of obesity was 42.4%. That is almost half of our population.2*

In 1995, obesity affected 15.3 percent of Americans, and in 2008, the figure was 25.6 percent. From 1998 to 2008, the incidence of diabetes increased by 90 percent. A major risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes is being overweight or obese, and this is often a result of a “western diet” combined with low physical exercise.3*

“Western diet (WD) is one of the major culprits of metabolic disease including type 2 diabetes with gut microbiota playing an important role in modulating effects of the diet,” the researchers wrote. “Herein, we use a data-driven approach (Transkingdom Network analysis) to model host-microbiome interactions under WD to infer which members of microbiota contribute to the altered host metabolism.” There is mounting evidence that dysbiosis of the gut is connected to the “…pathogenesis of both intestinal and extra-intestinal disorders..”.1*

In diabetes, there is a gradual build-up of sugar in the bloodstream and when left untreated the effects can be extremely damaging to the body. Many major organs can become impaired, which can be disabling or even life-threatening. Since one of the major risk factors is carrying too much weight, it makes sense to look at diet and exercise levels and make needed changes there. 3*

The researchers applied a “data-driven, systems-biology approach” to their study which explored host-microbe interactions under a western diet. Their approach allowed them to observe whether individual members of the microbiota played a part in metabolic changes the diet induces in a host.”… “Our study and other studies suggest that individual members of the microbial community, altered by diet, might have a significant impact on the host.”…”1*

Their analysis identified specific microbes that would potentially affect how a person metabolizes glucose and lipids as well as allowed researchers to make inferences as to whether those effects are harmful or beneficial to the host. They also found links between those microbes and obesity.1*

“…The researchers identified four operational taxonomic units (OTUs) that appeared to affect glucose metabolism. The identified OTUs corresponded to four bacterial species: Lactobacillus johnsoniiLactobacillus gasseriRomboutsia ilealis, and Ruminococcus gnavus…”1*

While the first two microbes are believed to improve glucose metabolism, the other two are believed to make it worse  “…“The overall indication is that individual types of microbes and/or their interactions, and not community-level dysbiosis, are key players in type 2 diabetes.”…”1*

Additionally, in studies on mice, researchers found that mice given Lactobacilli had a lower fat mass index as opposed to their counterparts being fed purely a “western diet” and that lactobacilli boosted mitochondrial health in the liver.1*

Lastly, they found that R. ilealis was present in more than 80% of obese patients, which suggested that microbes could be a “prevalent pathobiont in overweight people.” Overall, their observations supported their findings regarding mice fed the Western diet “…and in looking at all the metabolites, we found a few that explain a big part of probiotic effects caused by Lactobacilli treatments…” In conclusion, their study identified potential strains of Probiotics and provided important insights into their mechanisms of action and how it applies to Type 2 Diabetes.1*

As researchers continue to publish more research on the importance of gut health and the role of Probiotics, we will continue to share it with you. Use this information to continue to take care of your gut health and as a reminder to continue with your daily regimen of Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™.*

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

 

www.bodybiotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-20313-x
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318472#Key-facts-about-diabetes-in-the-US

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Jan 24 2021

Keep your Gut Healthy to Prevent Dementia

Published by under Alzheimer’s,Dementia

Keep your gut healthy to prevent dementia*

As scientists continue to explore the gut-brain connection as it relates to Alzheimer’s disease, develop your own smart habits to keep your brain sharp and healthy.*

During our last blog, we shared with you the exciting research involving the gut-brain connection made by European researchers in which they were able to connect the dots between how gut bacteria is linked to Alzheimer’s disease. While strides are being made in this area of science and health, more needs to be done before any kind of preventative treatments can be established that may help in slowing the development of Alzheimer’s Disease.1*

To recap, researchers discovered that “…certain bacterial products of the intestinal microbiota are correlated with the number of amyloid plaques in the brain. High blood levels of lipopolysaccharides and certain short-chain fatty acids (acetate and valerate) were associated with both large amyloid deposits in the brain. Conversely, high levels of another short-chain fatty acid and butyrate were associated with less amyloid pathology.”…”1*

This research shows the clear connection between particular proteins found in gut microbiota and cerebral amyloidosis “…through a blood inflammatory phenomenon…” Now, the next step for scientists and researchers is to identify specific bacteria, or a group of bacteria, at the core of this phenomenon.1*

Researchers believe that with this discovery comes the possibility of developing a prevention strategy to ward off the development of Alzheimer’s by minimizing the suspect bacteria that lead to the development of amyloidal plaque. The goal would be to determine those bacteria that would be most beneficial and create a ‘bacterial cocktail’ to administer to patients as part of preventative therapy. This would require an early diagnosis. People need to be treated way before the appearance of obvious symptoms. Once the symptoms are present, the disease has already progressed.1*

In the meantime…

Because so little is still known about preventing and treating Alzheimer’s, we can only work with what we know. First of all, Alzheimer’s has a genetic factor. Possessing certain genes makes it more likely for individuals to develop the disease. Genes control how the cells in our bodies function, with some determining such basic characteristics as the color of one’s hair and eyes, while others can make us more likely to develop certain diseases, including Alzheimer’s.2*

According to the Mayo Clinic, “…Researchers have identified a number of genes associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Some genes increase your likelihood of developing the disease (risk genes). Others guarantee that you will develop a disease (deterministic genes), though these are rare. However, genetic risk factors are just one of the factors involved in getting Alzheimer’s disease….”2*

Genetic testing is available to determine if you are at risk of developing Alzheimer’s, though it is not necessarily recommended and doesn’t always mean you will actually develop the disease. The worry it brings could far outweigh any benefit of knowing. This would be a conversation between you and your health care provider, but it is most likely only recommended in rare cases. For a detailed look at genetic testing and the genes that predispose you to Alzheimer’s, visit resource 2 below. 2*

So how do you best protect your brain? Until researchers know more, we need to protect our guts. When you research the advice for maintaining good brain health, you will see it is very similar to what is recommended for maintaining good gut health. According to neurosurgeon Dr. Sajay Gupta, it is important to do the following:  

Exercise to keep the red blood cells in your body and brain open and oxygenated

Sit as little as possible…keep moving

Eat lots of fruits and vegetables (30 different kinds each week is optimal)

Eat berries that are full of antioxidants. Any kind will do!

Sleep well

Engage in social activities (while moving is best)

Challenge and stimulate the brain with new activities

Learning new skills(3,4)*

Another thing that can help the brain is Fasting.

Intermittent Fasting is also known as Intermittent Metabolic Switching (IMS),  has shown to be beneficial for neurodegenerative disorders to include Alzheimer’s because it causes the body to experience autophagy, which is the process by which the body cleans out damaged organelles, encouraging the development of healthy new cells. “…During fasting and extended exercise, adaptive cellular stress-response signaling pathways are activated and autophagy is stimulated, whereas overall protein synthesis is reduced…”4*

Additionally, when we give the digestive tract, liver, stomach, and kidneys a rest, it also gives these organs a break from the pro-inflammatory proteins, lectins, and toxins that we are taking in and does the cleaning of the brain.”… IMS occurs when eating and exercise patterns result in periodic depletion of liver glycogen stores and the associated production of ketones from fatty acids. …”  When we fast, the proteins carried by bacteria from the gut to the brain are not present, so it gives the brain a chance for rest and rejuvenation.4**

Intermittent fasting or IMS occurs rarely or sometimes never when we eat three or more meals per day and are fairly sedentary. In order to do it, avoid eating for 16 hours at a time and keep your body moving. Our bodies were actually made to handle this fasting, and it is good for us, according to Rahul Jandial, MD, Ph.D., “…Intermittent hunger clears the mind, awakens the senses, and improves brain functioning. Plus it lowers your blood sugar, reduces your insulin levels, and helps you lose weight by reducing total calories…”4*

Don’t forget the Body Biotics™

The positive effect that a diverse microbiome has on brain health has been well established through various research studies. If a more diverse gut is at the core of this theory, then we know we need to work on keeping our guts healthy and diverse. This includes reducing antibiotic use which changes the microbial environment of the gut, eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, along with fermented foods, and taking Body Biotics Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia.5*

Because the lining of the gastrointestinal tract and blood barriers of the gut can become leakier with aging and illness, we become more susceptible to dysbiosis. By keeping the gut healthy, we can ward off these types of illnesses.   As we age, the food and lifestyle choices we make are all the more important. *

Maintaining a healthy gut is so important for systemic health, and for good brain health. The lifestyle choices you make will make you feel better and you will position yourself for a disease-free life. Eliminate processed foods, eat right, sleep well. Yes, genetics and heredity can predispose you to diseases, but how you live your life can alter the course of your health.*

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

Resources:

  1. https://theconversation.com/your-gut-microbiome-may-be-linked-to-dementia-parkinsons-disease-and-ms-144367
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/in-depth/alzheimers-genes/art-20046552#:~:text=Because%20you%20inherit%20one%20APOE,your%20risk%20is%20even%20higher.
  3. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/sanjay-gupta-prescription-for-fighting-off-dementia-keep-sharp/
  4. https://youtu.be/a1A05ql6Yyw
  5. https://www.health.com/nutrition/brain-health-intermittent-fasting

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Jan 10 2021

Connection between Gut Microbiota and Alzheimer’s Disease

Published by under Dementia

New research unlocks the connection between gut microbiota and Alzheimer’s Disease.1*
Researchers are one step closer to understanding how gut bacteria play a role in the development of this degenerative brain disease.1*

There is new research on Alzheimer’s disease and it involves the microbiome. For several years now, researchers have suspected a true connection between the gut and the development of Alzheimer’s, but answers remained elusive. Now, new information from researchers in Europe confirms what they have suspected all along… there is indeed a connection. 1*

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and incurable degenerative brain disease that affects nearly 5.5 million Americans every year. Those affected experience loss of memory and cognitive thinking skills and, over time, they lose the ability to carry out even the simplest tasks. The symptoms first appear in the mid-60s for people with late-onset Alzheimer’s, and in the rare case of early-onset Alzheimer’s, symptoms appear between the ages of 30 to mid-60s. (1,2)*

Alzheimer’s disease is so devastating because it not only affects the person with the disease, but it also affects their families and friends as they bear witness to their loved ones decline. People with Alzheimer’s get confused, frustrated, and in some cases angry as they can’t find the right words to express themselves. They experience vision and spatial issues, and their reasoning and judgment become impaired. Everyday tasks like cooking, driving or paying bills become confusing and they may repeat questions, lose items, or put things in the wrong place and can get easily lost themselves.  These changes are scary which causes them to become worried, paranoid, angry, and in some cases violent. If you have ever had a loved one with Alzheimer’s, you know the challenges. There is an excellent documentary that chronicles the decline of country music legend Glen Campbell who lived with Alzheimer’s. It also shows the effect it had on his family. 2

While dementia comes in many forms, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common. It is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, who discovered the degenerative disease after studying the brain of one of his deceased patients, a woman who had died of an ‘unusual mental illness’. She had experienced memory loss, unpredictable behavior, and trouble with formulating sentences. Upon examination of her brain tissue, he found she had “abnormal clumps” (which have since been identified as amyloid plaques) and “tangled bundles of fibers” (now called neurofibrillary, or tau, tangles).2*

Some of the main physiological identifiers found on PET scans of Alzheimer’s patients are these plaques and tangles in the brain. Another is the loss of connection between nerve cells or neurons in the brain. It is the neurons that transmit messages between different areas of the brain, and also from the brain to muscles and organs in the body. Other complex brain changes are believed to play a role in Alzheimer’s disease. The initial damage to the brain occurs in the hippocampus, the part of the brain essential in forming memories. As neurons die, other parts of the brain are affected and during the final stages of Alzheimer’s, the damage is widespread as the brain tissue shrinks significantly.2*

In recent years, scientists have come to believe that there is a connection between gut microbiota diversity and the degeneration of the brain. Multiple research studies from scientists all over the world have tried to hone in on just how this connection might work, what bacteria are involved, how they affect the brain, and how they metabolize in the brain once they get there.

In one research study from the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, a medical student named Nick Vogt compared the gut diversity and the spinal fluid of those with and without dementia which resulted in showing those individuals with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s lacked the microbial diversity that their healthy counterparts possessed. Research has also shown that “…patients with dementia-like conditions, including mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, have dysbiosis compared to those without memory problems…”  (1,3)*

We have long discussed the gut-brain axis, and this theory fits into this connection. Just as the brain sends signals to the gut that influence digestion, gut microbes send stress signals to the brain through this same axis, the vagus nerve. All of this early research suggests a disrupted microbiome contributes to the development of neurological disorders by negatively affecting the gut-brain axis. However, the initial cause of microbiome disruption in those with neurological conditions has not been known. (1,4)*

Recently, a team of researchers from Geneva and Italy has confirmed this correlation, showing that there is a connection between an imbalance in gut microbiota and the development of amyloid plaques in the brain, which is at “…the origin of neurodegenerative disorders that is characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease…”1*

These researchers found that proteins produced by certain intestinal bacteria which have been identified in the blood of Alzheimer’s patients, “…could indeed modify the interaction between the immune and the nervous systems and trigger the disease…” 1*

Giovanni Frisoni, Neurologist and professor at the Department of Rehabilitation and Geriatrics of the UNIGE Faculty of Medicine and the director of the HUG Memory Centre along with his research laboratory has devoted many years exploring the influence of gut microbiota on the brain, especially on neurodegenerative diseases.”… “We have already shown that the gut microbiota composition in patients with Alzheimer’s disease was altered, compared to people who do not suffer from such disorders,” he explains. “Their microbiota has indeed a reduced microbial diversity, with an over-representation of certain bacteria and a strong decrease in other microbes. Furthermore, we have also discovered an association between an inflammatory phenomenon detected in the blood, certain intestinal bacteria, and Alzheimer’s disease; hence the hypothesis that we wanted to test here: could inflammation in the blood be a mediator between the microbiota and the brain? “…”1*

Just as intestinal bacteria can affect the immune system as well as the relationship between the immune system and the nervous system, it can also influence the functioning of the brain, via the vagus nerve, and promote neurodegeneration through these pathways.”… Lipopolysaccharides, a protein located on the membrane of bacteria with pro-inflammatory properties, have been found in amyloid plaques and around vessels in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, the intestinal microbiota produces metabolites — in particular some short-chain fatty acids — which, having neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties, directly or indirectly affect brain function…”1*

According to researcher Moira Marizzoni, “To determine whether inflammation mediators and bacterial metabolites constitute a link between the gut microbiota and amyloid pathology in Alzheimer’s disease, we studied a cohort of 89 people between 65 and 85 years of age. Some suffered from Alzheimer’s disease or other neurodegenerative diseases causing similar memory problems, while others did not have any memory problems.” Using PET imaging, they “…measured their amyloid deposition and then quantified the presence in their blood of various inflammation markers and proteins produced by intestinal bacteria, such as lipopolysaccharides and short-chain fatty acids….”1*

Marizzoni claims, “Our results are indisputable: certain bacterial products of the intestinal microbiota are correlated with the number of amyloid plaques in the brain. Indeed, high blood levels of lipopolysaccharides and certain short-chain fatty acids (acetate and valerate) were associated with both large amyloid deposits in the brain. Conversely, high levels of another short-chain fatty acid, butyrate, were associated with less amyloid pathology.”…”1*

This research shows the clear connection between particular proteins found in gut microbiota and cerebral amyloidosis “…through a blood inflammatory phenomenon…” Now, the next step for scientists and researchers is to identify specific bacteria, or a group of bacteria, at the core of this phenomenon.1*

These results, which are to be published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, make it possible to imagine that new preventative strategies could be developed by controlling or having an influence on the microbiota of those at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.1*

Next time we will look at what we should do in the meantime to protect our guts and our brains through diet, exercise, fasting, and probiotic supplementation. Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ is key to keeping the gut diverse and the brain and body healthy. We look forward to new developments in this fascinating area of research.

Until next time, healthiest wishes!

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/11/201113124042.htm
  2. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-alzheimers-disease
  3. https://youtu.be/a1A05ql6Yyw
  4. https://theconversation.com/your-gut-microbiome-may-be-linked-to-dementia-parkinsons-disease-and-ms-144367
  5. https://www.health.com/nutrition/brain-health-intermittent-fasting

 

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Dec 27 2020

Lessons Learned in 2020

Published by under General

2020…what we learned

During the hardest of times come the most valuable lessons.

It’s almost here! 2021! You did it. You made it through one of the roughest years most of us have ever experienced. Things are much different than they were last year at this time. Last year at this time we were making our new year’s resolutions that probably looked something like ‘lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more.” This year our new year’s resolutions most likely look like, ”hang on just a little longer, don’t get Covid, keep breathing, keep moving forward, don’t go insane.”  

It sure puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? At the beginning of the pandemic when food shelves were picked over and there was no toilet paper anywhere, my commitment to organic and non-GMO produce quickly changed to hoping we could just find produce at all and hope nobody else had put their grubby mitts on it. Whereas I’m not usually a proponent of antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers that kill every little germ, suddenly, incessant hand washing and serial use of hand sanitizer became acceptable.  

We’ve made it this far. We can keep going. And we can keep going because we are in this together and we are one. We are one nation, one community, one group of health-minded people that know that taking good care of our immune systems will keep us healthy and strong.  

Not all was bad…we made lemonade out of lemons and picked up new hobbies, read more, cooked at home more and many families spent more time together. People drove less which gave Mother Nature a break. But people got antsy and restless as well, and we saw how that turned out in ways that we all might choose to forget. Some people showed their ugly side, and we learned who those people were and had the opportunity to reshuffle our friendships and relations.  It’s as if all our lives got thrown in a tumbler, and out we are coming with new priorities and ideas, and new ways of behaving.

Many people lost loved ones this year, many to this terrible virus that gripped the nation and the world. For any of you who lost someone near and dear to you, we are so sorry for your loss. There is nothing that takes priority over those we love. We learned that in the hardest ways this year.

And there was more that we learned this year.

We learned the importance of community and the power of relationships.

We learned to be creative and came up with new and wonderful ways to connect with one another.

We learned to wear a mask and that wearing a mask isn’t so much about protecting ourselves but protecting and respecting others.

We learned you can never wash your hands enough and that you really are supposed to cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze.

We learned people panic when they can’t find toilet paper.

We learned the benefit of technology and how to hold meetings via zoom calls.

We learned who we can’t live without and we learned that some people we can and that we shouldn’t continue on with the things and the people that don’t make us happy.

We learned the importance of supporting small business and that if we don’t, they will go away.

We learned we can work from home and it is actually more productive in many cases.

We learned we can go days without a shower and months without a haircut.

We learned that we need each other more than we ever thought imaginable.

We learned how easily manipulated we all can be by the media, and that if we aren’t careful, we can be manipulated into thinking that someone who shares an opposing political view is the enemy, not just a friend or neighbor with an opposing view.

We learned that if we aren’t careful, we can irreparably damage relationships as a result of arguing about politics.

We learned that we don’t mind being alone as much as we thought and we learned that some people find it unbearable. We learned we need to reach out to those people.

We learned we can drink a lot of alcohol and that we shouldn’t use it as a crutch.

We learned that our children will suffer without in-person social interaction and that we need to be understanding of their emotional health.

We learned there are a lot of people who are worse off than ourselves.

We learned that we need to respect nature and that with the flick of a match or a lightning strike, millions of acres of forest can be lost.

We learned that life is fragile and so are we and that when it all comes down to it, we really do need to love each other and be kind to one another.

We learned that though times are tough, we are strong and will survive.

We learned that there is only one 2020 and we never want to speak or hear of it ever again!

May the New Year be your best year yet and may we all enter day one of 2021 renewed, reborn and recommitted to living our healthiest and happiest lives.

Happy New Year from all of us at Body Biotics™!

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

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