How Probiotics May Aid Your Weight Management

gutfloraStory at-a-glance

Your intestinal bacteria are part of your immune system, and researchers are discovering that microbes play instrumental roles in countless areas of your health, including your weight

Researchers have discovered a difference in gut bacteria between Continue reading

Nasty Pesticide Broken Down by Probiotic Used In Culturing Food

pestiA new study published in Letters in Applied Microbiology shows that a commonly used food probiotic known as Lactobacillus plantarum is capable of degrading dangerous pesticide residues in wheat (pirimiphos-methyl), confirming the traditional fermentation-based food-processing technique Continue reading

Fighting Microbes with Microbes

Story at-a-glance

  • Microflora in soil influences plant health, helping to provide nutrients and suppress disease; there are more than 30,000 varieties of microbes in soil
  • In humans, antibiotics are often overprescribed, killing off beneficial bacteria and promoting the formation of antibiotic-resistant ”super germs”; Continue reading

GE Crops and Unsustainable Agricultural Practices are Destroying our Planet’s Soil and Food Supply

Story at-a-glance

  • Genetically engineered crops and food products pose a threat to your health, resistance to disease, soil, and the global food supply
  • GE seed wars in India have resulted in a group of Indian scientists being found guilty of infecting and hiding the fact that indigenously created Bt cotton contained a Monsanto gene in a rush to get the seed to market Continue reading

Breast Milk Contains More than 700 Bacteria

Microbes taken from breast milk by the infant are identified

Spanish researchers have traced the bacterial microbiota map in breast milk, which is the main source of nourishment for newborns. Continue reading

How to Protect Yourself from the Dangers of Sugar

With colder weather starting to roll in and the holidays around the corner, many of us may already be struggling with conflicts about eating carbohydrate-rich comfort foods and sugary holiday treats. The war against refined sugar and its sneaky siblings — simple carbohydrates (such as bread and pasta) — is certainly justified. Of course, we need some carbohydrates for energy, brain function and other processes, but these can be obtained from eating fruits, many vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Continue reading

How Your Gut Flora Influences Your Health

A new study in the journal Nutrition in Clinical Practice shows that microorganisms in the human gastrointestinal tract form an intricate, living fabric of natural controls affecting body weight, energy, and nutritioni. The findings may offer new ideas on how to treat nutrition-related maladies, including obesity and a range of serious health consequences linked to under-nutrition, the scientists said. Continue reading

Breast-Fed Babies’ Gut Microbes Contribute to Healthy Immune Systems

A new multi-university study reports that differences in bacterial colonization of the infant gut in formula-fed and breast-fed babies lead to changes in the expression of genes involved in the infant’s immune system.

The study, published in the April 30 issue of BioMed Central’s open access journal Genome Biology, is an Editor’s Pick. Continue reading

Study: Children who grow up on Family Farms and Drink Raw Milk Have Fewer Allergies, Autoimmune Disorders

Growing up on a family-scale farm and drinking raw cow’s milk are two important elements that promote robust childhood immune development. These are the findings of a recent study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, which found that farm-raised children generally tend to have less allergies, asthma and other autoimmune problems compared Continue reading

Colloidal Silver a Wonderful Miracle For Cancer Patients

Did You Know…that cancerous cells can actually revert to a healthy state within 24 hours when treated with a special protocol consisting of DMSO and colloidal silver?

Nicknamed “The Overnight Cancer Cure,” the DMSO/colloidal silver protocol was invented and refined by a member of the Independent Cancer Research Foundation. This protocol was designed specifically to transform cancerous cells into healthy cells — fast.

The theory behind the DMSO/colloidal silver treatment is that cancer is caused by a specific microbe that gets inside healthy cells and causes them to become malignant. The protocol draws heavily from the work of Dr. Royal Rife, who researched the relationship between cancer and microbes extensively in the early 20th century.

DMSO: A “Wonderful Medical Miracle”

DMSO, or dimethyl sulfoxide, is a by-product of the wood industry. Don’t be fooled, though, by such humble origins. Even doctors say this liquid is a “wonderful medical miracle.”

Shortly after WWII, Continue reading

Five Foods for Healthy Skin

Although the cosmetic industry would have us believe otherwise, beautiful skin doesn’t come from a jar full of perfumed chemicals. Beyond being born with great genes, the best thing you can do for your skin is to eat a healthy diet. Learn how to enhance your skin from the inside out by eating foods that will make your epidermis glow with health. Try adding these foods to your diet to both feel and look better.

Chia Seeds: Chia offers a multitude of health benefits. The word chia derives from the Aztec word for oily. Chia seeds offer high levels of omega-3 acids which the human body needs but cannot produce and which only come from a few dietary sources.

Without omega-3’s, people can suffer from poor circulation and dry skin, as well as heart problems, fatigue, Continue reading

Probiotics May Help Alleviate Anxiety, Depression

In recent years, probiotic bacteria have been touted as an alternative medicine to relieve gastrointestinal issues, like indigestion, bloating and irritable bowel syndrome. Now, researchers believe that the healthy microbes may also be good for the mind.

In a mouse model, scientists from University College Cork and McMaster University found that rodents that consumed probiotic-enriched food displayed fewer symptoms and signs of depression and anxiety when compared to a control group.

“These findings highlight the important role that gut bacteria play in the bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain, the gut-brain axis, and opens up the intriguing opportunity of developing unique microbial-based strategies for treatment  Continue reading

Natural Amino Acids Treat Infections Better than Antibiotics

There is a rapidly-growing resistance to antibiotics that has given way to antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP), and even the strongest antibiotic drugs available have all but lost their ability to treat even the most common infections that afflict people today.

However, a research scientist from the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI in Leipzig, Germany, has discovered that simple, natural amino acids work better than antibiotics at treating infections, and they do not cause harm to healthy cells in the body.

For their study, Dr. Andreas Schubert  Continue reading

Bacteria Are Gobbling Gulf Oil

With the Deepwater Horizon spill finally choked off, researchers are hoping that marine microbes will help gobble up the millions of barrels of oil still lurking in the gulf. The first peer-reviewed study of the oil—published last week—suggested that the bugs weren’t doing much, however, at least in the plume that was analyzed. But a study published today, which takes a look at the microbes themselves, finds that oil-eating bacteria are flocking to the spill in droves, though it’s not clear how quickly they’re digesting it.

Bacteria consume oil more or less the way humans metabolize butter, says oceanographer Richard Camilli of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, the lead author on last week’s report. They take in oxygen and hydrocarbons—the carbon-hydrogen molecules in the plume (which also appear in fatty foods like butter, margarine, and vegetable oil)—and spit them out as CO2 and biological waste. It’s something they’ve been doing for millennia in the Gulf of Mexico. “With all of the seepage, including the 40 to 50 million gallons a year that seep naturally into the gulf, we’d have oceans covered with oil slicks if they weren’t degrading,” says Alan Mearns, a Seattle, Washington–based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration marine ecologist, who was not affiliated with either study. Researchers hope that this process, called biodegradation, can help break up the oil contaminating the gulf now.

 To see if that is actually happening, a group of microbiologists from the University of California, Berkeley, pulled samples of seawater from a plume 1100 meters beneath the surface of the ocean—in the same location as one of the plumes detected by Camilli’s team—and the uncontaminated area surrounding it. Led by microbiologist Terry Hazen of UC Berkeley, the team looked at water both inside and outside the plume, analyzing its chemistry, physics, and even the DNA of its inhabitants. The results, published online today in Science, offer some reassurance: Ocean bacteria are aware of the oily invasion of their territory, and they’re responding accordingly.

 Hazen’s team found that microbes inside the plume samples were packed more than twice as densely as microbes outside it. Even more encouraging, the genes specifically geared to degrade hydrocarbons were more common in the plume as well, implying that it’s not just general bacteria that are taking on the plume. All in all, Hazen’s group predicts that, with the help of hungry microbes, the concentrations of the hydrocarbons his team analyzed in the plume could drop by half within a week.

 But that doesn’t mean the oil will be half gone in a week. The good news, according to Ronald Atlas, an oil microbiologist at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, is that the oil is definitely breaking up. “Microbes are clearly degrading the oil. The Hazen paper establishes that,” says Atlas, who was not involved in the study. “The question to resolve between the two studies is, what are the real rates of degradation?”

 Oil is made up of dozens of different hydrocarbon molecules. The ones Hazen analyzed—the alkanes—are generally the first to go, says Atlas. As for how long the rest will remain, it’s unclear. It all depends on how stable the oil emulsion—the giant glob formed when oil and water mix—turns out to be. If it disperses easily, the bacteria shouldn’t have much trouble. But if it holds together, Atlas says, they’ll have a harder time breaking it apart.

 Another concern has been that the oil-eating microbes could deplete oxygen within the plume. That’s because the bacteria must extract oxygen from the water around them, which could spell disaster for local fisheries trying to get back on their feet. But neither study detected a dangerous drop in oxygen within the plume. “It would be very hard to establish a dead zone in this plume just because of microbial degradation,” Camilli says.

 Mearns sees reason for optimism. He says with Hazen’s data and the rest of the data streaming in from elsewhere, scientists are now starting to think the oil will be gone much sooner than people thought before. “We’re talking days to months.”

Experts Map the Body’s Bacteria


 

BOULDER – Scientists have developed an atlas of the bacteria that live in different regions of the human body.

Some of the microbes help keep us healthy by playing a key role in physiological functions.

The University of Colorado at Boulder team found unexpectedly wide variations in bacterial communities from person to person.

The researchers hope their work, published in Science Express, will eventually aid clinical research.

They say that it might one day be possible to identify sites on the human body where transplants of specific microbes could benefit health.

The study was based on an intensive analysis of the bacteria found at 27 separate sites on the bodies of nine healthy volunteers.

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BODY SITES ANALYZED

Forehead

Armpits

Head hair

Ear canal

Forearm

Palm

Index finger

Navel

Back of the knee

Soles of the feet

Nostrils

Mouth

Gut

Not only did the bacterial communities vary from person to person, they also varied considerably from one site on the body to another, and from test to test – but some patterns did emerge.

What is healthy?

Lead researcher Dr Rob Knight said: “This is the most complete view we have yet of the microbial side of ourselves, one that our group and others will be adding to over the coming years.

“The goal is to find out what is normal for a healthy person, which will provide a baseline for further studies to look at people with diseased states.”

There are an estimated 100 trillion microbes living on or inside the human body.

They are thought to play a key role in many physiological functions, including the development of the immune system, digestion of key foods and helping to deter potentially disease-causing pathogens.

The researchers took four samples from each volunteer over a three-month period – usually one to two hours after they had showered.

They used the latest gene sequencing and computer techniques to draw up a profile of the microbes found at each specific site.

Most sites showed big variations in the bacteria they harboured from test to test even within the same individual.

However, there was less variation in the bacteria found in the armpits and soles of the feet – possibly because they provide a dark, moist environment.

The least variation of all was found in the mouth cavity.

Skin sites in the head area, including the forehead, nose, ear and hair, were dominated by one specific type of bacteria.

Sites on the trunk and legs were dominated by a different group.

Researcher Dr Noah Fierer said: “We have an immense number of questions to answer.

“Why do healthy people have such different microbial communities?

“Do we each have distinct microbial signatures at birth, or do they evolve as we age? And how much do they matter?”

Transplant test

The researchers disinfected the forearms and foreheads of some volunteers, and “inoculated” both sides with bacterial communities from the tongue.

The tongue bacteria lasted longer on the forearms than foreheads.

Dr Elizabeth Costello, who also worked on the study, said: “It may be that drier areas of the skin like forearms make generally more hospitable landing pads for bacteria.”

A previous study by the same examined the bacteria on 102 human hands.

In total, they identified more than 4,200 species of bacteria, but only about five were shared by all 51 participants.

Dr Knight said understanding the variation in human microbial communities held promise for future clinical research.

“If we can better understand this variation, we may be able to begin searching for genetic biomarkers for disease,” he said.

“Because our human genomes vary so little but our repertoire of microbial genes vary so much, it makes sense to look for variations that correlate with disease at specific locations.”