Spotlight On: Microbiome

Credit: iStock Over the past decade, studies around how bacteria influence our health have gained attention. The human microbiome is a community of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other multicellular microorganisms. These little “bugs” exist in our gut, on our skin, on our computers and desks, and even on the foods we eat. The elements of … Continue reading Spotlight On: Microbiome

Spotlight On: The Digestive System

Credit: iStock Most of us don’t think much about our digestive system unless it’s causing problems. An upset stomach, vomiting or even just a growling hungry tummy can draw our attention to this part of our body and make us wonder why it isn’t working quite the way it should. The digestive system is our … Continue reading Spotlight On: The Digestive System

Ground-breaking Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Is a Testament to Basic Research

Credit: iStock Roughly 70,000 people worldwide have cystic fibrosis (CF)—a progressive, degenerative disease characterized by the buildup of unusually thick mucus in the lungs and other tissues. It occurs when a mutation causes a specific protein, called the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), to malfunction. In healthy people, CFTR moves electrolytes in and out … Continue reading Ground-breaking Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Is a Testament to Basic Research

The Triple Threat: Diet, Diabetes and Fatty Liver Disease

Credit: iStock Fatty liver disease is a group of disorders that occur when too much fat builds up in the liver. Many people may have heard of alcohol-related fatty liver disease, a condition in which moderate to heavy consumption of alcohol leads to fat buildup and scarring in the liver. However, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease … Continue reading The Triple Threat: Diet, Diabetes and Fatty Liver Disease

Ketogenic Diets: Passing Fad or Nutritional Hack?

Read recent headlines or scroll through your social media feeds and you’ll likely see people talking about “keto” diets and keto-friendly recipes. This popular diet has gained attention for a variety of reasons ranging from weight loss success stories to the unexpected body odors some people on the diet experience. If the term “keto” is … Continue reading Ketogenic Diets: Passing Fad or Nutritional Hack?

Gut Health: You May Lose More than Your Luggage When You Travel

Discussing digestive function, or “gut movement,” at the dinner table may be uncomfortable, but moving—or not moving—your bowels can be equally painful. Regular bowel movements, constipation and diarrhea are influenced by many daily activities, including when you eat your meals. Throw travel across several time zones into the mix and you may be in for … Continue reading Gut Health: You May Lose More than Your Luggage When You Travel

2018’s Most-read Posts

December is here again, and we’ve tackled another year of physiology facts on the I Spy Physiology blog. This year, we’ve delved into topics ranging from the link between childhood stress and medical problems in adulthood, to how researchers use virtual reality in the classroom to teach physiology, to the many reasons why marriage is … Continue reading 2018’s Most-read Posts

Pumpkins: Orange, Tasty and Good for Your Health

Leaves are falling, the air is crisp and everywhere you turn, mums and hay bales decorate yards and front porches. With autumn in full swing and Thanksgiving coming up, the grocery store shelves are heavy with root vegetables and squashes, especially pumpkins. In addition to the seasonal appeal, pumpkin contains nutrients that are good for … Continue reading Pumpkins: Orange, Tasty and Good for Your Health

Four More Reasons Why You Should Exercise Regularly

You may know that being physically active can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. Exercise also helps prevent age-related declines in muscle size and aerobic capacity. Aside from the well-known benefits of regular exercise on leading a long and healthy life (also known as the healthspan), there are other important advantages that may … Continue reading Four More Reasons Why You Should Exercise Regularly

The Fat-blocking Powers of Fiber

An estimated 610,000 people in the U.S. die from heart disease each year. One common cause of heart disease is the narrowing of blood vessels due to the buildup of fatty deposits (plaque). Many factors—including eating a lot of fatty foods—can lead to plaque buildup in blood vessels. Your liver processes excess fat by packaging … Continue reading The Fat-blocking Powers of Fiber