How COVID-19 Affects the Gut Microbiome

Credit: iStock COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, is known as primarily a respiratory disease. However, between 11% and 39% of people diagnosed with COVID-19 report having gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting or belly pain. GI symptoms are associated with a high risk of hospitalization and disease severity. As our understanding of the … Continue reading How COVID-19 Affects the Gut Microbiome

Too Much Salt? Try Some Fiber

New research in rats finds a diet high in the prebiotic fiber inulin offered a protective effect against the damage of a high-salt diet.

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

Are Prebiotics the New Probiotics?

Credit: iStock Chances are you’ve heard of probiotics: microorganisms found in yogurt and other fermented foods and supplements that are touted for their ability to help the gut stay healthy. But the precursor to probiotics, called prebiotics, may be the next big thing in eating healthy.  The human body is made up of trillions of … Continue reading Are Prebiotics the New Probiotics?

Food, Friend or Foe: How Our Gut Recognizes Good from Bad

Think about the last time you ate an apple—from the apple’s perspective. Pulverized in your mouth and dunked in a cauldron of stomach acid, the fruit slowly passed through the intestine before its final, unceremonious exit. Digestion is a wild, wacky journey. Scientists study how the body can both absorb life-sustaining nutrients and keep out … Continue reading Food, Friend or Foe: How Our Gut Recognizes Good from Bad

How Consuming Bacteria Keeps Us Healthy

If you've ever been told to eat yogurt or drink buttermilk after taking antibiotics for a bacterial infection, the suggestion might not make sense. The reason for consuming yogurt or buttermilk is to replenish the body’s bacteria that were killed by the antibiotics. But why would we intentionally introduce bacteria after we got sick from … Continue reading How Consuming Bacteria Keeps Us Healthy