Oct 31 2021

When it comes to nutritional density, pumpkin packs a punch

Published by under Antioxidants

When it comes to nutritional density, pumpkin packs a punch.

Nutritionally rich pumpkin is in season and full of the antioxidants you need to stay healthy.*

Over the course of the last few blogs, we have discussed the importance of phytonutrients, antioxidants, and the benefits of eating in-season produce. This time, let’s explore one of those in-season items that are full of phytonutrients and antioxidants…and you don’t have to look far, just head to your local pumpkin patch!

Pumpkins can be found everywhere right now. It may seem overboard sometimes with pumpkin this and pumpkin that. Well, why not indulge a little? It is delicious, nutritious and if it isn’t combined with a bunch of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients, it is healthy beyond belief! So while the pumpkin spice latte with whip cream sounds and smells wonderful, opt for a healthier way of consuming your pumpkin.*

Pumpkin is most commonly known and thought of as a vegetable, but it is technically a fruit because it has seeds.  Its nutritional profile is more like a vegetable as well.1*

Pumpkin is considered a nutrient-dense food, which means it’s incredibly low in calories despite being packed with nutrients. Pumpkin is less than 50 calories per cup and consists of 94% water. It is good food for weight loss because you can eat a lot of it without getting too many calories and it is satisfying and helps you feel full because it is a good source of fiber.1*

Additionally, the seeds can be cleaned and cooked and are also nutritious. They’ve been known to improve bladder and heart health. 1* 

What makes pumpkin so healthy you ask? Like other bright and colorful fruits and vegetables, pumpkins are full of carotenoids which are compounds that can function as antioxidants. Carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, papaya, watermelon, cantaloupe, mangos, spinach, kale, tomatoes, bell peppers, and oranges all contain carotenoids.  There are more than 600 carotenoids and in the Western diet, the most common are beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lycopene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin, each carrying a distinct set of actions and benefits. Carotenoids need to be consumed with fat to be absorbed properly by the body. 2*

Antioxidants can neutralize the free radicals that damage your cells which may protect against certain cancers. Free radicals are molecules produced by the body’s metabolic process. They are highly unstable but have useful roles such as destroying harmful bacteria. But when there are too many free radicals in the body, it creates oxidative stress which is linked to chronic illnesses including cancer and heart disease.  Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, stopping them from damaging cells. Antioxidants have been shown in test tubes and animal studies to protect the skin against sun damage by acting as a natural sunblock, protecting skin cells against damage from harmful UV rays, and lowering the risk of developing cancer, eye disease, and other conditions. Trials involving humans are still limited, but the laboratory trials are promising.1*

 “…Carotenoids are associated with antioxidant activity, eye health, immune system activity, intercellular communication, and reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. The body can covert alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin into vitamin A (retinol), which is associated with anti-aging and immune system function. Lutein and zeaxanthin are the only carotenoids found in the retina and are associated with lower risks of macular degeneration…”1*

Pumpkin has lots of Vitamin A and C.

Pumpkin is high in Vitamin A which is great for strengthening the body’s natural immune system and high in Vitamin C which helps increase white blood cell production, helps wounds heal faster, and is important for collagen production and healthy skin. You’ll also get a boost of Vitamin E, iron, and folate when you eat pumpkin, which is all linked to lowering your risk of vision loss. Pumpkin is also one of the best sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, two compounds linked to lower risks of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. 1*

One cup of pumpkin contains the following vitamins and nutrients:  

  • Vitamin A: 245% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin C: 19% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 16% of the RDI
  • Copper: 11% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 11% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B2: 11% of the RDI
  • Vitamin E: 10% of the RDI
  • Iron: 8% of the RDI
  • Small amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, folate, and several B vitamins.1*

Pumpkin seeds are also highly nutritious. “…Pumpkin seeds are little powerhouses of nutrients and health benefits. Like nuts, pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein and unsaturated fats, including omega-6 fatty acids. They also contain a good range of nutrients, including iron, calcium, B2, folate, and beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A…”3*

Both pumpkin seeds and pumpkin are good sources of fiber which makes them a great prebiotic for the healthy bacteria in the gut. This is just another reason pumpkin is a great choice this time of year. Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ provide the probiotics and the prebiotics you need to supplement your diet to ensure you are keeping your gut healthy, but eating the right foods, full of fiber and low in sugar is the other part of the equation to keep those good bacteria multiplying and keep the unhealthy bacteria in check.* 1*

Pumpkin is also good for dogs…”…Pumpkin flesh is high in soluble fiber, and can be an excellent remedy for both diarrhea and constipation. The fiber in pumpkin also helps feed beneficial gut bacteria, which will improve intestinal health. Pumpkin helps control diarrhea by absorbing excess moisture and adding bulk to your dog’s stool…”4*

Lastly, visit your local pumpkin patch to support local farmers and merchants. The kids love it and it is a healthy family activity! Carve one up, use the goodness inside, and put the jack-o-lantern out for Halloween.

Aside from pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread, pumpkin is easy to dice up and drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt, pepper and simply roast in the oven. It can also make a wonderful soup. There are lots of recipes online…so go crazy!

During this time of year, enjoy those fruits and vegetables that are in season and full of nutritional benefits…like pumpkin!

Healthiest wishes,





  1. https://www.livescience.com/52541-phytonutrients.html
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/pumpkin#TOC_TITLE_HDR_12
  3. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-pumpkin-seeds
  4. https://www.eahpet.com/2019/04/26/benefits-of-pumpkin-for-your-dog/

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Oct 17 2021

There are Good Reasons to Eat with the Seasons

There are good reasons to eat with the seasons

Eating with the seasons provides health benefits for your body and your local community.*

Eating produce that is in season comes with a variety of benefits. The taste of a fresh peach right off of the tree in the middle of summer, or a ripe grapefruit in winter is irreplaceable. It just tastes so good! But there are other reasons to eat in-season fruit and vegetables besides taste. They are more nutritious, have a lighter effect on the environment, are less expensive and you are supporting local growers in your community.*

Today, every kind of fruit and vegetable can be transported from lands far away. It’s easy to forget that some of these readily available foods found at our grocery stores are not in season in your region of the world. 1*

According to The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), seasonal food are “…food that is outdoor-grown or produced during the natural growing/production period for the country or region where it is produced. It need not necessarily be consumed locally to where it is produced….” 1*

“…There is a traditional system of medicine that originated in India called Ayurveda. This system supports a concept called ritucharya, which is grounded in eating with the seasons as “…an essential component to health and disease prevention…” The principles behind this are that changing your diet with the changing seasons allows the body to benefit from the specific nutrients needed to flourish in a changing climate.(1,2)*

Consider these benefits of eating those foods that are in season:

In-season produce is more nutrient-dense.

The quality of soil, particular climate and the amount of sunlight all contribute to the nutritional make-up of foods. According to one study that examined vitamin C content in broccoli, “…broccoli grown in-season during the fall had twice as much vitamin C as broccoli that was grown out of season in the spring…” This study was originally created to study the nutritional differences between organic versus conventionally-grown produce but concluded that growing seasons had more impact on vitamin C content than whether it was grown organically or conventionally.1*

Better for the environment

Approximately half of the fruit and one-third of the vegetables purchased in the United States are brought in from other countries. To describe these imports, Tim Lang, professor of Food Policy at City University London’s Centre for Food Policy, coined the term ‘food miles’ in an effort to increase awareness of the environmental impact of food consumerism across the miles.(1,3)*

There are of course benefits of having access to year-round produce, especially in cold climates where vegetation can’t during the winter months. The growing global food market has also benefitted international trade, and provided lower-income countries access to food. The downside to the increasing global demand and availability for food is it has come with a major environmental impact. Food now travels farther than it ever has which collectively leaves a large carbon footprint. 1*

Growing methods also play a role in the environmental impact. “…Studies have gone as far as to show that out-of-season foods grown in greenhouses in the United Kingdom require greater energy consumption than the same product grown elsewhere in-season then imported and buying with the seasons and locally from a farmers’ market or through a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program can help reduce the distance from farm to plate as well as our carbon footprint…”(1,4)*


Better quality and flavor

Most people will agree most fruits and vegetables have the best flavor when purchased from the local farmers’ market. When it comes straight from the farm, you are getting the freshest produce possible. When produce is shipped long distances, measures are taken to keep the produce fresh, including picking it before it has had a chance to ripen. Producers use post-harvest treatments such as irradiation, edible coatings, and heat to control ripening, and spoilage during transportation, which oftentimes decreases quality and taste. Bananas, for example, have been shown to be significantly affected by ripening agents. They affect the color, texture, and flavor.1*

The affordability factor

 When fruits and vegetables are in season, they are more available, and when there is plenty of supply, prices are better! The cost of transporting produce from other countries all has to be factored into the cost of the produce. Another great reason to buy in season and buy local!1*

Going to the Farmers’ Markets is fun!

Besides finding in-season produce at your local farmers’ market, it gives you the opportunity to get out and meet new people. You are also supporting small businesses and individuals in your community. Instead of going big box, support your neighbors and local farmers first. You really can make a direct and positive impact on your community that way.*

Produce grown close to home is freshly picked from soil that hopefully is organic and provides you with the natural Probiotics needed to keep your guts healthy. Body Biotics™ Bio-identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ was developed on this very premise of getting the rich, soil-borne bacteria for a healthy microbiome. That is why it is always important to supplement with Body Biotics™ daily, as we don’t always get our products straight from the farm and during transport, produce can lose some of its nutritional density.

Buy local when you can. Buy organic when you can. Eat plenty of fiber-rich foods, fruits, and vegetables as much as possible. These things will help keep your body healthy.*

Healthiest wishes,




  1. https://fullscript.com/blog/benefits-of-seasonal-produce
  2. https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/65/8/758/240222
  3. https://www.city.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/167893/Slow-Food-fd-miles-final-16-02-06.pdf
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3361919/

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Oct 03 2021

Different Phytonutrients provide Specific Health Benefits

Different phytonutrients provide specific health benefits.*

Understand which Phytonutrients are in the foods you love and just how they benefit your health.*

Our last blog covered Phytonutrients…what they are, and why they are so beneficial for good health. They are good for our bodies because they provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits as well as enhance intercellular communication, repair damage to DNA caused by exposure to toxins, detoxify carcinogens and alter estrogen metabolism. All of this helps to enhance immunity. According to The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), “…consuming a phytonutrient-rich diet seems to be an “effective strategy” for reducing cancer and heart disease risks…” This time we will dive a little deeper into phytonutrients to understand how they are classified by classes, groups, and types.1*

Phytonutrients are broken down into different classes determined by their chemical structure. Phytonutrient classes include:

  • Betalains
  • Chlorophyll
  • Indoles
  • Organosulfides
  • Phenols
  • Terpenes
  • Triterpenes1*

Within these classes of phytonutrients are dozens of phytonutrient groups. They are:

  • Carotenoids
  • Curcuminoids
  • Flavonoids
  • Glucosinolates
  • Hydroxycinnamic acids
  • Lignans
  • Lipids
  • Stilbenes
  • Sulfides
  • Tocopherol1*

Within these groups are more than 25,000 types of phytonutrients. Of particular interest to scientists are six phytonutrients. These are resveratrol,  carotenoids,  flavonoids,  lignans,  curcumin, and ellagic acid.  Some of these probably sound familiar.


 Resveratrol has made headlines because it is found in wine and grape skins and when a health benefit is associated with drinking alcohol, people usually take interest! A member of the stilbenoid phytonutrient group, this can be found in high concentrations in grape skin and red wine but also from cocoa, blueberries, cranberries, and peanuts. Resveratrol helps reduce the risk of heart disease through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities and may help slow cognitive decline according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.  In animal studies, resveratrol has shown neuroprotective activities and the promotion of healthy peptides.(1,2,3,4)*

According to a 2015 article in Biochimica Biophysica Acta, “…Resveratrol  is also being studied as a possible treatment for type 2 diabetes because in animal studies as it has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance…” 1*


Carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, papaya, watermelon, cantaloupe, mangos, spinach, kale, tomatoes, bell peppers, and oranges all have something in common. These yellow, red, and orange fruits and vegetables contain carotenoids.  There are more than 600 carotenoids and in the Western diet, the most common are beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lycopene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin, each carrying a distinct set of actions and benefits. Carotenoids need to be consumed with fat to be absorbed properly by the body.

“…Carotenoids are associated with antioxidant activity, eye health, immune system activity, intercellular communication, and reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. The body can covert alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin into vitamin A (retinol), which is associated with anti-aging and immune system function. Lutein and zeaxanthin are the only carotenoids found in the retina and are associated with lower risks of macular degeneration, according to the Linus Pauling Institute…”1*


Flavonoids are a very large group of phytonutrients associated with longevity and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Quercetin and kaempferol are well-known flavonoids. Flavonoids can be found in apples, grapefruit, onions, leeks, coffee, tea, chocolate, berries, red wine, legumes, broccoli, kale, tomatoes, ginger, cabbage, lemons, parsley, carrots, and buckwheat to name a few. (1,2,3)*

A large-scale study that looked at men across seven countries over a 25-year period, and published in Archives of Internal Medicine, supported the theory that  flavonoid consumption had a significant association with longevity.1*


Like all phytonutrients, lignans are found in vegetables and fruits. Broccoli, kale, strawberries, and apricots are all good sources as are sesame and poppy seeds, whole grains, oat bran, and rye. Flaxseeds are the best source of this phytonutrient.

Lignans are considered phytoestrogens as they mimic the effects of estrogen. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, they can affect the body through non-estrogenic means as well. (1,2,3)*

“…Lignans are associated with preventing hormone-related cancers because of their estrogen-like activity..” Studies have shown positive results in terms of endometrial and ovarian cancers, while research regarding their effectiveness in preventing breast cancer is mixed. According to the Journal of Nutrition, women who consumed a high amount of lignins, had a lower incidence of ovarian cancer, regardless of their menopausal status. And according to research from the National Cancer Institute, a study looking at lignans and endometrial cancer showed.  postmenopausal women with high lignin intake had a reduced risk of developing this type of cancer.  The relationship between lignans and prostate cancer as well as osteoporosis is being explored yet so far inconclusive. (1,2,3)*


Used as a medicinal remedy in India for centuries, curcumin is a member of the ginger family. It is found primarily in turmeric and is what gives it the bright yellow color. 1*

Curcumin is an effective anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant and may aid the body in ridding itself of toxic compounds, affecting the metabolism of carcinogens and help the body combat cancer cell growth and tumors. For these reasons, many tout curcumin as an agent for cancer prevention.1*

Successful animal trials suggest that curcumin aids in inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis as well as cystic fibrosis and Alzheimer’s disease, but studies are either not yet underway or are inconclusive. Curcumin may also be helpful in protecting against cardiovascular disease by lowering LDL cholesterol levels and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels. (1,2,3)*

Ellagic acid

Ellagic acid is associated with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer activity and is associated with reducing arterial plaque and lowering blood pressure. Found in such colorful fruits as blackberries, strawberries, raspberries,  grapes, cranberries, pomegranates, and walnuts, this tannin is produced as the body breaks down larger phytonutrients called ellagitannins and is absorbed rapidly.(1,2,3)*

“…According to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, scientists hypothesize that ellagic acid enhances detoxing enzymes in the liver while also inhibiting liver enzymes that encourage metabolism. Combined, these actions cause carcinogens to be removed before they can be metabolized. Another hypothesis is that ellagic acid changes the cellular structure of tumor cells. Both of these hypotheses have been supported by animal studies but have not been proven in humans…”1*

Another possible benefit from ellagic acid is improved glucose metabolism. A 2010 article in the Journal of Medicinal Food suggests that ellagic acid may block the intestinal enzyme alpha-glucosidase, which triggers glucose absorption. This occurs by allowing less glucose to enter the bloodstream which benefits those with type 2 diabetics and hyperglycemics.1*

 Hopefully this deeper dive into phytonutrients has illuminated their important health benefits and just why eating plenty of the right fruits and vegetables is so important. A diet rich in these foods also is key for a healthy microbiome as they feed the good bacteria. Supplementing with Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ will further support overall health.*

Healthiest wishes!




  1. https://www.livescience.com/52541-phytonutrients.html
  2. https://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/phytonutrients-faq#1
  3. https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Vitamins-and-Minerals/Phytonutrients-%E2%80%93-Nature%E2%80%99s-Natural-Defense.aspx
  4. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/about/about-linus-pauling-institute

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Sep 05 2021

Understanding Phytonutrients

Understanding Phytonutrients

There’s a reason vegetables are so good for us due to this important component.*

What is it about vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other whole foods that make them so beneficial for our health? Of course, they are full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals but there is another key component called Phytonutrients, (also called phytochemicals). These are the chemicals that plants produce to stay healthy. Some phytonutrients protect plants against radiation from UV rays, while others protect them from insect attacks. In addition to providing health benefits to the plants, they provide us antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits when we consume them. 1*

Phytonutrient-rich foods include colorful vegetables and fruits, legumes, nuts, tea, whole grains, and many spices. They are different from other nutrients as they positively affect human health but are not nutrients that are essential for life, such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. “…Phytonutrients aren’t essential for keeping you alive, unlike the vitamins and minerals that plant foods contain. But when you eat or drink phytonutrients, they may help prevent disease and keep your body working properly…” So what exactly do they do and why are they so vital for good health? (1,2)*

First and foremost, Phytonutrients provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. They also enhance intercellular communication, repair damage to DNA caused by exposure to toxins, detoxify carcinogens and alter estrogen metabolism. All of this helps to enhance immunity. According to The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), “…consuming a phytonutrient-rich diet seems to be an “effective strategy” for reducing cancer and heart disease risks…”1*

The best way to tell if a fruit or vegetable is rich in phytonutrients is by its color. Phytonutrients give plants their pigments so bright, colorful vegetables and fruits are packed full of them. When selecting your fruits and veggies, think of deep-colored foods like dark leafy greens (kale and spinach), colorful berries (blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries) and bright-colored melons (watermelon, cantaloupe), and a variety of spices. Foods, which are rich in flavor and aroma make them more palatable. But don’t overlook those phytonutrient-rich foods with little colors such as onions and garlic. (1,3)*

Scientists are continuing to explore and understand the specific ways in which phytonutrients work to provide health benefits. One way is by studying various populations around the world. For centuries, many populations have believed that “…healthy food garnished with exotic spices and condiments provides vital ingredients that help ward off diseases and promote longevity…” When examining groups of people in various regions around the world, those groups who consume whole fresh foods, are the people who demonstrate the most health benefits when using longevity as the measuring stick.1*  

An example of this is “…Seventh-day Adventists, with their pure vegetarian diet, have a lower incidence of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancers; Kuna Indians in Panama, who consume large quantities of unprocessed cocoa-containing beverages, show lower incidence of heart disease…” Additionally, “…More recently, the Mediterranean diet, which consists of olive oil, fresh produce, fish, and wine, has been shown to reduce the incidence of grave diseases…”1* 

Studying populations is one way to understand the benefits of eating a diet full of phytonutrient-rich foods, but there are limited results when it comes to randomized, large-scale clinical trials. Many trials have been done on phytonutrient or antioxidant supplements, but they have returned less than stellar results when it comes to disease prevention. According to the National Institutes of Health(NIH), this is most likely due to the fact that supplements interact with the body differently than whole foods, which further reinforces the fact that eating a whole foods diet is our first line of defense in disease prevention and strong immunity.1*

Scientists are also busy at work trying to link health benefits to specific phytonutrients. While all plants contain a complicated mixture of bioactive compounds it can be tricky to quantify certain effects such as antioxidant activity. Additionally, individual plants possess a unique biochemical makeup and the levels of active ingredients can vary depending upon where the plant was grown and how it was grown, whether it is being consumed raw, or how is it cooked. Phytonutrients act differently in individual bodies as well.  “…Phytonutrients are diverse in nature and affect multiple areas of the body, which sometimes makes it challenging to know precisely which phytonutrient is acting on which part of the body, and if the phytonutrients are helping temporary symptoms or systemic problems…”1*  

Regardless, nutritionists, government agencies such as the NIH, USDA, and other health organizations, seem to concur that the health benefits from phytonutrients are plentiful and you can get that from a diet high in color-rich fruits and vegetables consumed on a daily basis in order to take advantage of their potential benefits.(1,2,3)* 

Taking care of your health is a long-term commitment. Our goal is to prevent or delay the development of disease in the long term by sticking to a diet and exercise regimen that promotes health, not breaks it down. As we know, this starts with a healthy gut.  Fortifying your gut with Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ is part of this long-term plan.

Next time we will look at the types of phytonutrients, their groups, and which foods contain these specific components.   

Until then, healthiest wishes!




  1. https://www.livescience.com/52541-phytonutrients.html
  2. https://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/phytonutrients-faq#1
  3. https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Vitamins-and-Minerals/Phytonutrients-%E2%80%93-Nature%E2%80%99s-Natural-Defense.aspx

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Aug 22 2021

Food Allergies and Intolerances aren’t just in Humans

Published by under Pets

Food allergies and intolerances aren’t just in humans.

Know the diet alternatives for keeping your pets their healthiest.

 Last time we talked about the many ways we can look after our pets to protect them against harm, heatstroke, and injury. We touched on food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances. This time, let’s look at food sensitivities and intolerances a little bit closer and one approach to healing and protecting your pet from health problems brought on by diet. Just as humans have food sensitivities and intolerances, so do animals. 1*

 Antibodies or immunoglobins are a vital part of your dog’s natural immune system. As with us, when your pet is exposed to foreign invaders or antigens such as viruses or bacteria, the antibodies identify that there is an invader and activate the immune system in an attempt to attack and neutralize this foreign body. There are different types of antibodies all over your pet’s body.1*

In pets, Type II and Type III hypersensitivity reactions are food intolerances that can take days to develop. You might not see immediate changes in your pet after eating an offending food but instead, food intolerances can cause chronic allergy symptoms over time as these antibodies build up. These allergy symptoms might include:

  • Itchy, dry skin
  • possible hair loss
  • digestive issues
  • rashes, hives, and hot spots
  • licking or knawing the feet or other body parts1*

According to Dogs Naturally Magazine, “…while these symptoms may appear to be food allergies, these problems are more often associated with an abnormal buildup of antibodies in your dog’s body and can result in inflammation and disease. It is this chronic inflammation that can cause your dog’s allergy symptoms. It can even cause other inflammatory conditions including arthritis, diabetes, kidney failure, and premature aging…” All as a result of diet! 1*

“…When the antigen-antibody complexes get stored in the skin, kidneys, or joints, tissue damage follows as the body tries to destroy them, and inflammation results. The greater number of antigen-antibody complexes, the more severe the inflammation …”1*

A few years back, researcher Aristo Vojdani in London took blood samples from 40 humans after eating both raw and cooked foods. He measured the antibodies in the blood and found that IgA and IgM antibody levels were much higher in the people eating cooked foods as opposed to raw. He realized that heating and processing foods change their properties in multiple ways. Proteins can be destroyed and parts of the proteins can form new ones. Fats oxidize and form new antigens. These changes, called neoantigen formation, means “new allergy”” meaning that cooking foods create new allergens in that food. 1*

According to Vojdani”s study, IgA and IgM antibodies were notably higher in people eating cooked foods whether it be meat, eggs, or fish.1*

So the next question is, how do you know if your dog’s health issues are caused by food sensitivities?

An elimination diet can take time, but you can try switching foods to see how your pet reacts. There are also saliva and fur tests that measure the IgA and IgM antibodies in your pet or look for sensitivities. (You can search these online).

If the food isn’t removed from the diet, just as in humans, the inflammation caused by the allergy will continue to affect the joints or other parts of the body as a result of the health issues. If your dog has any symptoms of chronic disease or is  eating a processed diet and has you concerned, now might be the time to look at the food going into him and think about the harm it could be doing.1*

There are other good reasons to avoid cooked processed foods:

Cooked meats, as well as fish, can contain cancer-causing substances, such as heterocyclic amines and can also have acrylamides, “…which are a reaction between the amino acid asparagine and sugars found in foods…”1*

In Stockholm, Sweden, there was a study that demonstrated how young animals who were fed a processed diet were healthy initially but upon reaching maturity, they started to age rapidly, showing symptoms of degenerative disease. In contrast, a control group raised on a raw diet didn’t age nearly as fast and showed no symptoms of degenerative disease.1*

“…Another study out of Belgium used data gathered from more than 500 domestic dogs over 5 years (1998-2002). The authors showed that dogs fed a homemade diet, made of high-quality foods lived longer. Their life expectancy was 32 months longer than dogs fed an industrial, commercial pet food diet …”1*

Research shows there are real health risks with cooked processed foods for some pets. If your pet suffers from some of the above-mentioned health issues, you might consider exploring a fresh, raw, freeze-dried, or homemade diet using lower temperatures. Keep in mind, many people prefer a kibble diet, as the “…potential benefits are reduced dental plaque, healthier gums, reduced risk of bacteria, easier storage, less risk of spoilage, and cost-effectiveness…” Many pets live long healthy lives on kibble, but if your pet seems to be suffering from intolerances or allergies, you know there are alternatives to explore. 1*

Lastly, keeping your pet on a daily regimen of  Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ which is easily tolerated by both humans and animals, helps keep their digestive tract healthy, wards off unwanted microorganisms, and keeps the immune system strong.2*

Healthiest wishes,




  1. https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/cooked-foods-causing-allergies-in-dogs/
  2. https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/foods-with-probiotics-for-dogs#1
  3. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/feed-my-dog-fresh-raw-food-or-dog-kibble/


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Aug 08 2021

Treat your Pets well

Published by under probiotic supplements

Treat your pets well.

From summer heat to processed foods, avoid the things that harm your pet.  

 We love our pets. They are members of our families. They are smart and affectionate. If pets are trained and cared for properly they give back to us the love we give them. While their bodies and immune systems react differently in many ways than humans, there are many parallels to us as well. Just as we care for ourselves, we need to care for our pets. They are trusting us to do the right thing, from keeping them safe, feeding them the right foods and recognizing when they are sick or in need of medical attention. With summer in full swing, and environmental allergies high along with food allergies affecting so many, let’s look at how we can do right by our furry companions.*

Watch the heat.

With record heat all across the country, there is great risk to your pets. It’s important to keep your pets out of the direct sun and make sure they have plenty of fresh water. If it is hot outside for us, it is also for our pets. Make sure they have shade, and bring them in if the termperatures are too high. They can get overheated and dehydrated. Hose them down, fill up a kiddie pool, or just give them a refreshing bath. They will smell better too.1*

Avoid hot pavement

Don’t over exercise them and beware of how hot the pavement is on their paws. We wear shoes, but the pads on their paws can get burned. Being so close to the ground, a dog’s body can heat up very quickly, so keep the walks to the morning and evening hours and try to keep them off of asphalt where heat is stored and rises. 1* 

Don’t leave your pet inside a car.

It’s common sense to not leave your dog in a hot car, but still, every year hundreds of dogs die from being left in hot cars. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “…The temperature inside your vehicle can rise almost 20º F in just 10 minutes, and almost 30º F in 20 minutes. The longer you wait, the higher it goes. At one hour, your vehicle’s inside temperature can be more than 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature. Even on a 70-degree day, that’s 110 degrees inside your vehicle…” 2*

Lots of fresh water!

Make sure your pet has access to unlimited fresh water as they can get dehydrated quickly, just as we can when it is hot or humid outdoors. If you notice your pet excessively panting or having difficulty breathing, drooling, weakness, increased heart and respiratory rate, stupor, seizures, bloody diarrhea or vomiting, collapse…all these are signs that your pet is overheated or dehydrated. Get them medical attention right away. “…The AVMA warns pets can suffer heat strokes very easily and “must be treated very quickly to give them the best chance of survival…”(1,2)*

Pets are safer in kennels when traveling in cars.

According to the AVMA, “….just as you should always wear your seatbelt to protect you in case of a collision, your pet should always be properly restrained while in the vehicle. That means a secure harness or a carrier…” Loose pets can distract, get caught under petals and injured severely in collisions. They can get killed by airbags and be propelled out the window if not secured. While dogs love to hang their heads out windows to feel the wind in their face, be smart about when and where you allow this to happen. Sometimes it is better just to keep them safe and secure at home. 1*

Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ for pets

If your pet’s microbiome is out of whack, you might notice such issues as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Allergies
  • Obesity
  • Gas
  • Cramping
  • Bloating
  • General poor health
  • Upset stomach
  • Bad breath4*

Adding probiotics to your pet’s diet can benefit their gut health, just as it does in humans. Providing healthful foods that feed their healthy bacteria will help their guts to thrive. You’ll see a difference in their skin, digestion, and overall health just as in humans. (3,4)*

Food allergies and intolerances.

Just as people experience food intolerances and allergies, our pets do too. Allergies and intolerances can cause upset stomach, itchy skin, and more. In addition to adding Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical Probiotics Consortia™ to their diets, it is imperative to examine what we are feeding our pets too. Much of the “processed” and heat treated foods we feed our pets are not easily tolerated by many animals. The high heat processing changes the molecular structure of meats turning it into something that the animals’ digestive tracts don’t tolerate easily. Over time, these foods that include animal byproducts, fillers, and other known allergy causing foods such as soy and rice build up in an animals’ system and can result in skin conditions, inflammation and reduced life spans. If processed food is not good for us….why should it be good for our pets? Next time we will examine this issue more closely and how to avoid food intolerances in our pets, as well as provide a research study that provides a practical solution.3*

Pets are important members of families everywhere and the love and care you put into them will be given back one hundred times over. Loved animals are loving animals. Mistreated animals become mean and obnoxious. Take good care of your family’s furry members.*

Healthiest wishes,





  1. https://www.newsweek.com/heat-wave-pet-safety-how-keep-cool-tips-advice-aspca-avma-1605599
  2. https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/pet-owners/petcare/pets-vehicles
  3. https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/cooked-foods-causing-allergies-in-dogs/
  4. https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/foods-with-probiotics-for-dogs#1

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Jul 25 2021

Green Leafy Vegetables are Among the Healthiest for the Gut

Published by under Immune System,Organic,Superfoods

Green leafy vegetables are among the healthiest for the gut.

Explore the many benefits of adding green leafy vegetables to your diet for better gut health.*

Do you ever stand in front of the leafy green section of the produce department and wonder just how to incorporate them into your cooking? There are so many to choose from, they all look similar, and unless you have really dived into cooking and using leafy greens in your recipes, you might feel a little overwhelmed. I know I tend to grab the same ones. For me, spinach, cabbage, lettuce of various types, and microgreens are on my list. But there are many more and when it comes down to it…these are the healthiest foods we can be putting into our body and they are excellent for gut health as they are a great source of fiber and phytonutrients. So today let’s look at the different types of leafy greens out there, their nutritional benefits, and also how to incorporate them into your cooking so that the leafy green section of the produce aisle becomes a little less intimidating.*

So we know that eating more plants, whether it is fruits, vegetables, legumes or nuts is best for overall gut health. They are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals that act as food for the good gut bacteria that we want to flourish. They are full of phytonutrients which are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents which “…enhance immunity and intercellular communication, repair DNA damage from exposure to toxins, detoxify carcinogens and alter estrogen metabolism. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) notes that consuming a phytonutrient-rich diet seems to be an “effective strategy” for reducing cancer and heart disease risks…”  (1,2,3)*

But some vegetables are the winners when it comes to an extra dose of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals and those are from the leafy green family. One reason they are so important for good gut health is that they contain a sugar molecule called sulfoquinovose “…that is essential for providing your gut with good bacteria…”. As we know, and we covered this last time, we want to keep the good bacteria in charge because they keep the bad bacteria in check and suppress our bad cravings for unhealthy foods such as sugar and increase our cravings for the foods our body needs to stay healthy.1*

Leafy greens offer our bodies a good amount of this sugar molecule, along with folate, vitamin C, and vitamin K. And of course they are full of fiber which keeps us feeling full and keeps the digestive tract functioning properly.1*

So let’s look at the various leafy greens to choose from and how each is so good for us. By including a variety of these in your diet, you can reap the most benefits.


Kale is considered one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables you can eat due to its many minerals, the antioxidants lutein and beta-carotene as well as vitamins A, C, and K. When consumed raw, you get the most health benefit, as cooking kale, reduces its nutritional profile. Lutein and beta-carotene help reduce the risk of the disease brought on by oxidative stress. One cup of raw kale packs 684% of the Daily Value for vitamin K, 206% of Vitamin A, and 134% of Vitamin C. 2*

Kale can be chopped up and put in salads, added to smoothies, put in soups, or added to pasta. Look up kale recipes and you’ll be shocked at how much it is available.


Spinach is a favorite leafy green by many because it is tender and tasty. It is packed with folate which is key for red blood cell production and is important for pregnant women as a source of folate as it is key in the prevention of neural tube defects including spina bifida. Eating spinach during pregnancy is a great way to increase your folate intake! 2*

One cup of raw spinach offers 181% of the daily requirement for vitamin K, 56% for Vitamin A, and 13% for manganese. 2*

Spinach is wonderful as a salad base along with lettuce or on its own. It is easy to add to smoothies as it disintegrates easily and is also great in pasta and added to soups. Lightly sautéed with a little olive oil, lemon, garlic, and salt and pepper is a great side dish to any meal.*


Arugula is another popular leafy green with its slightly spicy flavor that hints of radish. It is deliciously eaten on its own with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper or topped on pizza or other Italian foods. It is stock full of nutrients such as vitamins B9 and K. It’s a good source of naturally occurring nitrates which are believed to help increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure by widening the blood vessels. 2*

Romaine Lettuce

Romaine lettuce is a popular source for adding leafy greens to your diet. Used in many salads, especially Caesar salad, one cup provides 82% of the daily requirements for Vitamins A and 60% of Vitamin K. In research involving rats, romaine lettuce improved blood lipids levels which showed their potential for reducing the risk of heart disease. More research is needed to determine these benefits in humans.2*


Cabbage is in the same family as Brussel sprouts, broccoli, and kale. Vegetables in this plant family contain glucosinolates, which give them a bitter flavor. Animal studies have found that foods that contain these plant compounds may have cancer-protective properties, especially against lung and esophageal cancer. Cabbage can be fermented and turned into sauerkraut, which has its own set of health benefits as it serves as a probiotic boosting good bacteria, improves digestion, and supports immune function. 2*


Microgreens are immature greens produced from the seeds of vegetables and herbs, measuring between 1–3 inches. They’re full of color, flavor, and nutrients and one study found that microgreens contain up to 40 times more nutrients compared to their mature counterparts. Among these nutrients are vitamins C, E, and K.2*

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard has dark-green leaves with a thick stalk that is red, white, yellow, or green and is often used in Mediterranean cooking and belongs to the same family as beets and spinach.

It has an earthy taste and is rich in minerals and vitamins, such as potassium, manganese, and Vitamins A, C, and K  as well as a unique flavonoid called syringic acid, a compound that may be beneficial for lowering blood sugar levels through the research is limited.2*

In two small studies in rats with diabetes, oral administration of syringic acid for 30 days improved blood sugar levels. These were minor animal studies and there is little human research supporting the claim that syringic acid may aid blood sugar.

While many people typically throw away the stems of the Swiss chard plant, they’re crunchy and highly nutritious so next time try adding all parts of the Swiss chard plant to dishes such as soups, tacos, or casseroles.2*

Bok Choy

Bok choy is popular in Chinese cooking and its thick dark green leaves are often used in soups and stir-fries. This vegetable contains selenium, the mineral which plays an important role in cognitive function, immunity, and cancer prevention and is also important for thyroid gland function. The thyroid’s job is to release those hormones that play an important role in metabolism. Low levels of selenium are associated with such conditions as autoimmune thyroiditis, hypothyroidism, and enlarged thyroid. 2*

Collard Greens

Collard greens are similar in texture to kale and cabbage and have a slightly bitter taste.

Common in many southern recipes, collard greens are a good source of calcium and Vitamins A, B9 (folate), and C. They’re also one of the best sources of vitamin K when it comes to leafy greens. One cup of cooked collard greens provides 1,045% of the daily requirements for vitamin K…” Vitamin K is important for its role in blood clotting and promoting bone health.2*

Collard greens can be simmered with olive oil, salt, and pepper and the more traditional way is to simmer them with bacon and onions.

Beet Greens

While beets are known for their health benefits, greens are often discarded. But not only are they tender and delicious they are full of nutrients. They are rich in potassium, calcium, riboflavin, fiber, Vitamins A, C, and K along with the antioxidants beta carotene and lutein which are beneficial for an eye disorder to include macular degeneration and cataracts. They can be added to salads, sautéed, and put in soups.2*

Turnip Greens

Turnip greens, the leaves of the turnip plant, are full of nutrients including manganese, calcium, and folate as well as vitamins A, C, and K along with several antioxidants such as gluconasturtiin, glucotropaeolin, quercetin, myricetin and beta-carotene which help reduce stress in the body. They also help decrease your risk of health conditions such as cancer, inflammation, and heart disease. 2*

Turnip greens have a strong and spicy flavor and are usually eaten cooked as opposed to raw and can be used similarly to kale or spinach in a recipe.2*


Watercress is similar to arugula and mustard greens and for centuries has been used in herbal medicine for its healing properties..Studies in test tubes have found watercress extract to be beneficial in impairing cancer cell reproduction and invasion as well as targeting cancer stem cells. Its bitter and slightly spicy flavor make watercress a great addition to neutrally flavored foods.2*


Endive is curly and crisp with a nutty and mildly bitter flavor and  can be consumed raw or cooked. One-half cup of raw endive leaves contains 72% of the daily vitamins of vitamin K, 11% of vitamin A and 9% of folate. It is also a good source of the antioxidant kaempferol which has been shown to reduce inflammation and inhibit the growth of cancer cells in test tube studies.2*

How to eat more leafy greens

In addition to tossing your leafy greens into salads, try adding them to soups and pastas. It is a great way to sneak them in and provide your whole family that added nutritional punch without them even realizing it. Add them to pasta sauces, or try making pestos with them as well. There are thousands of recipes on the internet on how to include these into your diet. Start by going to the produce section and pick one new leafy green vegetable each time with the commitment to figure out how to cook and eat it! These powerful vegetables are among the healthiest for your gut and your body, so experiment to see how you can add more to your daily diet. Along with taking Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ daily, your gut will thank you!

Healthiest wishes,



  1. https://www.eatingwell.com/article/7891357/the-best-vegetables-for-gut-health/
  2. https://www.livescience.com/52541-phytonutrients.html
  3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/leafy-green-vegetables#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2

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Jul 11 2021

Craving Sweets might be the Candida Talking

Craving sweets? It might be the Candida talking.

Sometimes the cravings we have are the gut’s way of telling you it is out of balance.

During our last blog, we covered how the gut tells the body when it is lacking a nutritional element. Through cravings and signals sent to the brain, it can tell us when we are deficient in certain things by causing us to naturally be drawn to those foods that provide the missing amino acids, vitamins, and minerals it needs to function at its best.1*

If the gut is out of balance, due to a poor diet, antibiotics, eating too much-processed foods, and not enough whole, organic fruits, and vegetables, it may be sending the brain a different signal. Research shows there is a direct connection between sugar consumption and disease and sometimes the gut tells the brain it needs sugar. So why would it lead us to crave the thing that hurts us?*

One reason is that sugar is an incredibly powerful substance, and breaking the habit has been compared to kicking an addictive drug. Secondly, when the microbiome’s out of balance, the unfriendly bacteria, including the yeast Candida albicans, feed off of sugar. When the gut is unhealthy, these unfriendly bacteria cause us to crave what they need to thrive….sugar. It is a strong craving to resist.2*

Candida resides in the digestive tracts of all of us. In a healthy gut, Candida helps with the absorption of nutrients and digestion. It can grow out of control in an unhealthy microbiome (especially those with Crohn’s Disease or colitis). Things that can cause disturbances are antibiotic use, diets high in sugar and carbohydrates, oral contraceptives, too much alcohol, and too much stress. The condition referred to as Candidiasis affects the body in different ways. It can affect the skin, present in the mouth as Oral Thrush, in the vagina as yeast infection, the urinary tract, the esophagus, and the nails as toe and nail fungus. (1,2)*

In severe cases, as Candida crowd out the friendly bacteria, it can affect digestion and damage the intestinal wall allowing proteins, bacteria, and other toxins to be released into the bloodstream and the entire body. When this happens, it can lead to a variety of autoimmune responses. 2*

There are other reasons for sugar cravings. It could stem from an imbalance in blood sugar levels. When we eat sugar, it causes our blood sugar to spike and the body releases insulin to lower it to a safer level. If the insulin brings the blood sugar level too low, as often happens, your body craves foods that will raise it and increase your energy. We can prevent this roller coast by eating foods that prevent too much insulin from being released, such as protein and healthy fats. Eating regular meals and snacks can also help prevent big dips in our blood sugar levels. 3*

Another factor that can cause us to crave sugar is too much stress. When we experience stress, the hormone cortisol floods the body and releases glucose from the liver, which raises our blood sugar levels. Fluctuations in blood sugar can cause cravings, so if we are constantly stressed, blood sugar levels go up and down.3*

Lack of sleep can also cause us to eat poorly and seek out sugar as we are looking for that energy boost to ward off feeling tired. Avoiding excess stress and getting the right amount of sleep is crucial to avoid energy crashes followed by sugar cravings.,3*

 If you are a sugar addict, crave sugar, and are wanting to kick the habit, the first thing to do is eat protein and fat along with a high fiber diet, full of healthy vegetables and fruits. These foods feed the healthy bacteria residing in the gut and healthy fats and protein provide a slow stream of energy and satisfy hunger. When the body can’t find sugar for its energy, it turns to fats, so eat healthy fats as well. Some of the amino acids found in protein build the brain chemicals like dopamine, which make us feel good.3*

If you think you have an overgrowth of Candida albicans, take Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ at a therapeutic dosage, which means building up to 6 to 8 capsules per day. This helps crowd out the unfriendly bacteria and boost the good. This in combination with a gut-friendly diet will help you to starve out the Candida. Avoid sugar, alcohol, and carbohydrates as they feed the unfriendly microbes. Remember, disease loves sugar…so don’t give it something on which to feed.*

Listen to your gut. It has a lot to say!

Healthiest wishes,



  1. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-gut-bacteria-tell-their-hosts-what-to-eat/
  2. http://www.organiclifestylemagazine.com/gluten-candida-leaky-gut-syndrome-and-autoimmune-diseases
  3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/explaining-the-siren-song-of-sugar-and-how-to-beat-the-habit

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Jun 27 2021

What is the Gut trying to tell Us

Published by under probiotic supplements,Sugar

What is the gut trying to tell us?

Scientists are exploring how and why microbes communicate with the brain to tell us what nutrients we are lacking.  1*

You’ve heard the expression, what is your heart leading you to do? Well, there is another part of your body trying to send you key messages. So the question is, “what is your gut leading you to do?”  While what we put in our mouths alters our gut bacteria which ultimately can influence how we feel, how healthy we are, and what foods we will crave in the future, the gut bacteria also communicate with the brain to tell us what foods we should be putting into our bodies.

When we eat a lot of sugar, processed food, and heavy greasy foods, we usually don’t feel great. We feel bloated, tired and it can even make us feel depressed and lethargic. Too much sugar can cause crankiness. Have you ever witnessed a kid have a breakdown after eating too much sugar? This happens because what we eat can alter the balance of bacteria in the gut, and that balance can alter how we feel. When you choose to eat vegetables versus a candy bar, you can either boost the number of friendly microbes by feeding them or decrease them. When the number of friendly bacteria changes, “…they secrete different substances, activate different genes and absorb different nutrients…”. Gut microbes can also influence diet and behavior as well as anxiety, depression, hypertension, and a variety of other conditions. 1*

And those food choices are a two-way street. Our bodies, if we listen to them, will tell us what we should eat as well. In some cases, it can trick us into thinking we need sugar. What happens when the balance of bad bacteria to good bacteria is out of whack in our guts and those dominant bacteria are known as candida Albicans causes us to crave sugar. But our bodies are also very good at telling us what we are lacking. When we are not getting enough of certain nutrients and vitamins, we might actually crave certain foods that will help balance out our health. For example, a pregnant woman might crave orange juice which is full of folic acid, which is important during pregnancy…or when you are sick, sugar and alcohol just don’t sound good while fresh fruit and chicken broth do. 1*

While scientists have known that the microbiome influences our decisions on which foods we choose, how it does this has been a mystery. That’s where a group of neuroscientists from the  Champalimaud Center for the Unknown in Lisbon. enters the picture. Through their research, they have revealed that specific types of gut bacteria help a host detect which nutrients are missing in their diets and then ascertain how much of those nutrients the host really needs to eat.  Essentially, the bacteria regulate deficiencies and signal the brain when it needs to add more nutrients to the body to keep it working efficiently. The senior author Carlos Ribeiro was able to identify this by studying the eating behaviors of Drosophila melanogaster, a type of fruit fly.

The paper, which was published recently in PLOS Biology by Ribeiro and his team demonstrated how the microbiome influences this fruit fly’s nutritional decisions. “…First, they fed one group of flies a sucrose solution containing all the necessary amino acids. Another group got a mix that had some of the amino acids needed to make protein but lacked essential amino acids that the host cannot create by itself. For the third group of flies, the scientists removed essential amino acids from the food one by one to determine which was being detected by the microbiome…”1*  

The results were fascinating. “…After 72 hours on the various diets, flies in all three groups were presented with a buffet offering their usual sugary solution alongside protein-rich yeast. The researchers found that flies in the two groups whose diet lacked any single essential amino acid got a strong craving for yeast to make up for the missing nutrients. But when scientists increased five different types of bacteria found in the flies’ digestive tracts—Lactobacillus Plantarum, L. Brevis, Acetobacter pomorum, Commensalibacter intestine, and Enterococcus faecalis—the flies completely lost the urge to eat more protein…”1*

The researchers found that the bacteria were not simply replacing missing nutrients from the flies’ diet, as the. flies’ amino acid levels were still low which told them they weren’t producing the amino acids themselves. Instead, the microbes were metabolizing the food they got into new chemicals, signaling the host animal it could go on without the amino acids. This “microbial trick” allowed the flies to continue reproducing despite an amino acid deficiency that usually hampers cell growth and regeneration. 1*

There were two kinds of bacteria, Lactobacillus and Acetobacter that had an effect on the flies’ appetites. By increasing both bacteria types, it suppressed the flies’ cravings for protein and increased their appetite for sugar. They also restored their ability to reproduce, which indicated that their bodies were able to carry out normal functions…the ones that usually are restricted when a nutritional deficiency is present.1*

The following step involved removing an enzyme that the flies needed to process the amino acid tyrosine.  This made it necessary for the flies to get tyrosine from their food, as is the case with other essential amino acids. In the modified flies, Lactobacillus and Acetobacter did not suppress their cravings for tyrosine. “…“This shows that the gut microbiome has evolved to titrate only the normal essential amino acid intake,”…” Ribeiro explains.1*

According to Jane Foster, a neuroscientist at McMaster University in Ontario and not associated with the study, the research offers a different view of the coevolution of microbes and their hosts. “…“The findings show there is a unique pathway that has coevolved between animals and the resident bacteria in their gut, and there is a bottom-up communication about diet.”…” 1*

This study provides good evidence that “…microbially derived metabolites carry information from the gut to the brain, telling the host whether it needs a particular kind of food..”1*

Over time, we have lost the ability to produce essential amino acids, and this study is seeking to help understand why. Ribeiro offers that “… “Maybe these metabolites gave animals more leeway to be independent of these nutrients and to deal without them sometimes.”…”1*

Microbes feed on what we eat, and without a host, they can’t populate, so they may have had their own “…evolutionary reasons for communicating with the brain….”  As with so many studies, the research and data are limited to animal models, but will ultimately help improve behaviors related to diet in the future.1* 

We know the gut communicates with the brain. Listening to what it tells you is important for stellar health. But what happens when it tells us to eat sugar and we can’t ward off those cravings? What does that mean? We will cover this next time.

Healthiest wishes,





  1. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-gut-bacteria-tell-their-hosts-what-to-eat/
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/essential-amino-acids#bottom-line

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Jun 13 2021

Summertime Blues are Real – Doctors have a Name for it

Published by under General

The Summertime Blues are Real – Doctors have a Name for it.

If the warm days of summer bring sadness, you may be suffering from Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder.1*

You’ve heard of the Jan-Feb blues when people feel depressed or blue during the shorter days of winter. A more technical term is Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Researchers have found that there is a summer version of this as well. While everyone else seems to be enjoying every sunshiny day, some people feel lethargic and down. And there’s a scientific reason behind it. 1*

Psychiatrist Norman E. Rosenthal, along with his team of researchers, first described SAD in 1984. While most people who experience this describe a mild version of general melancholy and lethargy, approximately 5 percent of US adults experience SAD in an extreme version to the point it affects their day-to-day lives.  With SAD, short winter days and limited sun exposure are thought to be at the core of the problem.  “…SAD is believed to be triggered by a disturbance in the normal circadian rhythm of the body. Light entering through the eyes influences this rhythm, and any seasonal variation in night/day pattern can cause a disruption leading to depression…” Through sharing his findings regarding SAD with various people across the country, Dr. Rosenthal found that many people felt the same thing happened to them, but during the summer months.  Those with Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is less common than its counterpart, feel sadness during the months between March and October. So what are the causes? After all, sunshine, warm weather, and being outdoors should make us feel happy, right? So what does Summer SAD look and feel like?(1,2)*

According to the doctor, “…Summer SAD is more of an agitated depression…” Summer SAD comes with a lowered appetite and insomnia, while with Winter SAD people sleep and eat more. It seems to be more common with heat and humidity. It is believed that the same compounds in the body that regulate body temperature are the same that regulate mood. These are norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin.1*

From a medical standpoint, depression is defined​ as “…a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of depressed mood or sadness and the often profound loss of interest in things that usually bring you pleasure…” There are various types of depression with the seven most common being Major Depressive Disorder, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Post Partum Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, Atypical Depression, and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Many mental health professionals are focused on all the different types of depression, but because SAD is seasonal, it often gets overlooked as just seasonal ups and downs and therefore is misunderstood.1*

Higher pollen and allergies may also play a role in Summer SAD. Increased pollen and the immune response to allergens might cause the body to release biological compounds called cytokines that regulate inflammation and have been connected to depression. Allergies make us tired, drag us down and that can be depressing when you are feeling you should be outside because the weather is nice.1*

Depression and mood have been tied to the health of the gut. Keeping your gut healthy, limiting alcohol, and avoiding sugary and processed food will help with your mood. With 90% of our serotonin produced in the gut, then carried to the brain through the vagus nerve, a healthy gut is an essential and key component in maintaining elevated moods and good mental health. While this may not be the answer in all cases, it has been shown to play a prevalent role for many. Trying to simplify something as serious as depression suggesting there is an easy answer would be reckless as severe types of depression cause people to feel hopeless and can lead to suicidal thoughts. In these cases medical intervention is necessary.*

Regular exercise, good, consistent sleep, having a positive support network, and eating right along with taking Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical Probiotics Consortia™ are all good habits to adopt to boost your mental health. If you are affected by mood disorders, you might consider keeping a mood journal. This could help you identify if your mood is affected by the seasons or is something more. If your mood doesn’t improve over a two-week period, talking to a mental health professional is a good next step to identify if you have a more serious condition. If you ever are severely depressed, don’t hesitate to seek help right away. Every state has a mental health hotline and suicide prevention line.*

As for the summertime blues or Summer SAD, try to give yourself the rest and break you need. A nap, a cool dip in the water or shower, a road trip or just trying something new can sometimes help. *  

Healthiest wishes,





  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/01/well/mind/summer-seasonal-affective-disorder
  2. https://uniquemindcare.com/7-common-types-of-depression/
  3. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/helping-someone-with-depression.htm

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