Digestive Health

Probiotics & Digestive Diseases–Hope or Hype?

By Erik Goldman

Probiotics are consistently among the top 5 most popular categories of dietary supplements. US sales of probiotic products are expected to reach nearly $500 million this year, and could top $2.6 billion by mid-decade, according to Statista. There is good evidence that carefully selected probiotics offer myriad benefits for gastrointestinal as well as broader systemic […]

What “Food is Medicine” Really Means

By Robert Graham, MD

“Food is medicine.” It’s an idea that goes all the way back to Hippocrates, if not before him. In one form or another, this notion is found in many cultures all around the world. It is easy to say, and it has been getting a lot of lip service in recent years. But what does […]

New Autism Treatment Targets Gut Health

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

A novel therapy targeting the gut microbiome could open new doors in the treatment of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Investigators at Arizona State University (ASU) found that autistic children who received fecal transplants experienced long-term improvements not only in gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, but in core Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) symptoms as well.

Leaky Gut, Leaky Brain: Toward a New Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

By Madiha Saeed, MD, Contributing Writer

In recent years, deeper research into the pathogenic role of chronic inflammation is offering some cautious hope that through comprehensive holistic lifestyle interventions, functional medicine practitioners can help to slow or even arrest the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. In some cases, we might even be able to reverse the damage.

Can Probiotics Regulate Lipid Metabolism?

By Carrie Decker, ND, Contributing Writer

There’s ample data to show that gut bacteria affect mood, immune system health, sleep cycles, and response to stress. It turns out that the gut microbiome—at least certain microbial species within it—also play a role in lipid metabolism, suggesting that some types of probiotics may have heart health benefits.

Is Leaky Gut a Cardiovascular Risk Factor?

By Becky Wright, Contributing Writer

Leaky gut syndrome has been getting a lot of attention during the last several years for its role in the etiology of chronic conditions like inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) and even diabetes. A new line of research suggests that intestinal permeability may contribute to cardiovascular risk. The key? Gut bacteria and bacterial endotoxins that enter the blood stream and inflitrate the epicardium, the vascular endothelium, and atheromatous plaques present in the vessels.

The Downside of Probiotics: Bloating and Brain Fog

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

Probiotics can promote gut health and improve the symptoms of a range of different diseases. But emerging evidence suggests that use of “friendly bugs” can sometimes have decidedly unfriendly consequences, from gas and bloating to brain fog and even grave infections.

To Help Patients with Irritable Bowel, Clinicians Need to “DIGIN”

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) “is a very serious condition that needs aggressive intervention,” said Gerard Mullin, MD, MS, at the Institute for Functional Medicine’s recent 2018 Annual International Conference in Hollywood, Florida. While conventional medicine offers drugs for symptom management, Mullin believes that to truly heal IBD, clinicians need to “DIGIN,” and work holistically to address the multiple facets of this condition. His DIGIN protocol offers good guidance.