Digestive Health

Fine-Tuning the Digestive Symphony

By Russell Jaffe, MD, Contributing Writer

I like to think of digestion as a magnificent symphony in which a diverse array of organs, bacteria, and biochemicals work in concert to transform the foods we eat into the nutrients and energy we need. If any instrument is out of tune, the music suffers. This notion of the digestive system as an orchestra […]

Uric Acid is Detrimental to Gut Health

By Kristen Schepker

“People who suffer from chronic elevated uric acid tend to harbor unhealthy biomes,” says neurologist David Perlmutter, MD.

In his latest book, Drop Acid: The Surprising New Science of Uric Acid, Perlmutter presents several studies showing that adverse changes in the gut microbiome directly relate to our ability to metabolize and eliminate uric acid (UA).

The intricate interplay between hyperuricemia and the gut microbiome is still a relatively new field of research. But it has already led to some interesting discoveries.

Food Triggers, Immune Dysregulation, and Autoimmunity

By Erik Goldman

We hear a lot these days about the impact of diet for boosting immunity. While it is true that carrots, kale, or oranges are good sources of immunity-boosting phytochemicals, it is also true that foods—even ‘healthy’ foods– can also cause immune dysregulation or autoimmune disorders in some patients. Compounds—especially dietary proteins– within ordinary foods, are […]

Microplastics & the Microbiome: A Complex Interaction

By Erik Goldman

If you’ve seen the classic 1967 film, The Graduate, you’ll surely remember the infamous graduation party scene when family friend Mr. McGuire offers bewildered young Ben Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) a bit of advice: “I just want to say one word to you…..just one word,” says McGuire. “Are you listening? Plastics! There’s a great future in […]

Leveraging the Power of Probiotics To Treat Liver Disease

By Erik Goldman

Probiotics could be an important piece of the therapeutic puzzle for people with hepatic cirrhosis and other forms of progressive liver disease. Research from around the world is shedding light on the so-called “gut-liver axis” and the ways in which the gut microbiome affects liver function, both negatively and positively.  This work opens up promising […]

FODMAPS & IBS: Don’t Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater

By Sally LaMont, ND. LAc

What do apples, onions, hummus, and ice cream have in common? They’re all rich in FODMAPs: a set of short-chain carbohydrates that can set off the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), such as bloating, gas, cramping, constipation and/or diarrhea. Short-term adherence to FODMAP-free diets can be very effective in reducing the symptom burden associated […]

“Next-Generation” Microbes & Probiotics for Metabolic & Immune Health

By Erik Goldman

The gut microbiome exerts profound influence on immunological and metabolic health.   Recent research points to two “next generation” microbes– Akkermansia muciniphila and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii –as especially important metabolically and immunologically. In healthy people, these organisms are plentiful.  But they are found at much lower levels in people with obesity and other metabolic and inflammatory diseases. […]

The Future of Probiotics

By Erik Goldman

“It’s hard to develop new probiotics. It takes a lot of work, and a lot of expertise,” says Wesley Morovic, leader of the Probiotic Genomics team at IFF, an international ingredient company that owns the Howaru brand of probiotics. From its humble beginnings as an offshoot of dairy production, the probiotics industry has evolved into […]

Antibiotics at the Crossroads

By Erik Goldman

Antibiotics can sometimes be almost miraculous in their clinical impact. Over the last 70 years, since their introduction into routine medical practice, they’ve saved countless lives. But in many cases the benefits are much less dramatic or apparent. Further, there is increasing evidence that routine use of antibiotics can have long-term detrimental effects on human […]

Paraprobiotics: A New Approach for Immune System Support

By Erik Goldman

The last decade’s worth of microbiome research has taught us that much of our “human” physiology is actually regulated by microorganisms in our digestive tracts.  It turns out that some of these organisms need not even be alive to exert their influence. Welcome to the world of paraprobiotics—an emerging category of health products containing heat-killed […]