Category: Fermented Foods

Could Gut Bacteria Be to Blame for Your Stubborn Belly Fat?

We know how important gut health is for overall health. We understand that it improves digestion, that our pursuit of extreme sterility has compromised our immune systems, and that the gut biome is etiologically involved in the pathogenesis of various health and disease states. We’re even familiar with the more esoteric functions of gut bacteria, like converting antinutrients into biovailable nutrients, synthesizing sex hormones and neurotransmitters, and mitigating the allergenicity of gluten. But what about gaining and losing body fat, the real reason most people get interested in diet in the first place—are the bacteria in your gut responsible for the fat on it?

Maybe.

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Antibiotic Resistance: Are We All Doomed?

The future prospects of antibiotics look grim. Headline after headline proclaims the mounting resistance to antibiotics among pathogenic bacteria and the impending inefficacy of our best drugs to fight them. Antibiotic-resistant “pig MRSA” has been documented moving from pigs to people in several countries, including Denmark and Holland. That same MRSA has also been found in the US, England, and is likely brewing wherever pigs and other animals are intensively raised. And just recently, researchers discovered that MCR-1, the gene responsible for resistance to the “last line of defense” antibiotic—polymixin, the one we use when everything else has failed—is transferable between different strains of E. coli. Formerly relegated to pigs, E. coli and K. pneumoniae bacteria with the MCR-1 mutation have appeared in human subjects in several Chinese hospitals. Transferring the gene between different bacterial species is theoretically harder, but that it’s possible at all has raised alarms in the scientific community.

It’s not just industrial farms and antibiotic overuse causing the resistance. Even the scientists studying the problem and running experiments with antibiotics could very well be promoting antibiotic resistance on a larger scale.

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Dear Mark: Exercising (and Eating) in the Heat; Post-Antibiotics Gut Health Support

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a pair of questions from you folks. First up, what with the crazy heat wave sweeping much of the planet, a reader writes in asking about the best way to eat and move in the heat. Should you cease all activity? Should you modify your normal movement patterns and eat and drink differently to keep the heat at bay? Read on to find out. Next, how should a person deal with and support the post-antibiotics gut biome? What can we do to mitigate the negative effects broad-spectrum antibiotics have on our gut bacteria?

Let’s go:

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Is All Yogurt Created Equal?

To answer the title, kind of. The same basic principle of yogurt-making applies to all yogurts: the inoculation of milk with specific strains of yogurt bacteria followed by incubation at a temperature warm enough to encourage growth and proliferation. Yogurt is milk transformed into a creamy, tangy, more nutritious product. All yogurt is initially created equal, but after that, all bets are off. For whatever reason, food producers have seen fit to ruin a perfectly good thing with misguided additions and subtractions.

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Dear Mark: How to Give a Baby Probiotics, and Pre- and Post-Meal Exercise

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got a two-parter. First, in light of the recent paper showing that Lactobacillus rhamnosus probiotics given during the first six months of life protects against the development of conditions like ADHD and Asperger’s by age 13, how do you actually give the probiotics to a breastfed baby? It’s pretty easy, as you’ll find. And then, given that acute exercise performed before or after meals seems to change the metabolic response to those meals, would I recommend actually working out every time a person eats? It sounds a little excessive, but it might actually be a good move with some positive effects for people who have trouble with insulin and glucose issues.

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Your 21-Day Challenge Questions Answered

As promised, today’s edition of Dear Mark is all about the 21-Day Challenge. Last week, you asked me a ton of questions. Today, I’m trying to answer as many of them as I can.

We’ve got questions about posture, weight loss, dairy, probiotics, alcohol, and much more. Hopefully, you find today’s post useful.

I’ll answer some more next week, so stay tuned for that. Now let’s get to it!

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