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Tag Archives: Mental health

Human Hosts Transplants Promote Health (2/2)

 Image result for image microbiota transplant

Last week in “Human Hosts” part 1, https://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/human-hosts-transplants-promote-health-12/, I described the safety and efficacy of fecal microbiota transplantation.  But poop is not the only place healthy microbiota bacteria live. Microbiota transplants (MT) from different body regions have  proven equally helpful.

Scientists are studying the relationship between diseases and balancing “good” and “bad” bacteria from different body regions based on 2 simple theories.

  1. “bad” bugs cause inflammation
  2. “good” bugs support the immune system

Consider the emerging evidence:

  • Patrice Cani at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Brussels fed a high-fat, “junk food” diet to mice, the community of microbes in their guts changed much as it does in humans on a fast-food diet. But Cani also found the junk-food diet made the animals’ gut barriers notably more permeable, allowing endotoxins to leak into the bloodstream. This produced a low-grade inflammation that eventually led to metabolic syndrome. Cani concludes that, at least in mice, “gut bacteria can initiate the inflammatory processes associated with obesity and insulin resistance” by increasing gut permeability,” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/magazine/say-hello-to-the-100-trillion-bacteria-that-make-up-your-microbiome.html.

In other words, no matter what your weight is, even for those who are thin, no matter what your age, even a child, male or female,  American or not, no matter who you are and where you are from,  junk food can actually cause inflammation that makes unhealthy changes to your gut.  And in turn, you become ill…heart disease, diabetes, obese…

  • ” When gut microbes from easygoing, adventurous mice are transplanted into the guts of anxious and timid mice, they become more adventurous. The expression “thinking with your gut” may contain a larger kernel of truth than we thought. Our gut bacteria also play a role in the manufacture of substances like neurotransmitters (including serotonin); enzymes and vitamins (notably B vitamins and vitamin K) and other essential nutrients (including important amino acid and short-chain fatty acids); and a suite of other signaling molecules that talk to, and influence, the immune and the metabolic systems. Some of these compounds may play a role in regulating our stress levels and even temperament.”

There is also emerging evidence linking colic, allergies/asthma, eczema, type 1 diabetes, obesity and celiac disease with differences between the microbiota of infants delivered vaginally and those that come into this world through C-section. It seems that Lactobacillius (“good” bugs that help digest milk) in the vagina increases prior to birth. Newborns pass through the vagina and absorb the bacteria. C-section babies are lacking the gut flora and are more prone to colic. So it should not be surprising that in the United States with a 32.7 percent c-section rate in 2013 (well above the “medically necessary” target of 10 percent to 15 percent that WHO says is ideal), that the medical conditions mentioned above are on the rise. 

From birth to near death,  all over the body microbiota transplants that live in healthy humans can help unhealthy humans live healthy lives!

Who would have thought that medical strides would include using human hosts as a treatment options for undesirable temperment and stress, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, allergies/asthma, eczema, celiac disease,  obesity and probably much much more.

 As hosts to trillions of microbes, both good and bad, we may find that the answer to good health and longevity truly rests within ourselves.

 

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Live Your Life

Dream walk

 

Sometimes simplicity makes an impression. This quote applies to everyone and reaches into all aspects of life: nutrition, health, business, in social or political arenas… Let these words serve to help you achieve your dreams no matter what they are and to improve your life.  Don’t walk around with your head in the clouds.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

-Steve Jobs.

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2014 in health

 

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Listen To Your Gut

Well, well, well looks like science is talking about the great advances it is making with the “new” discovery linking gut health to mental health.

We understand that the signals of emotions and stress coming from the brain can affect your stomach. For example, if you lose a loved one you may not have much of an appetite or if you are stressed at work you eat too much.

Now there seems to be reason to believe that there are mutual signals that relay from brain to gut and gut to brain. A recent study measured brain activity in three groups of women who either ate: 1) yogurt with a probiotic  2) no yogurt or 3) yogurt without a probiotic twice a day for one month. Functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI, (a picture that shows metabolic activity within the brain) revealed changes in emotions and sensations (in the brain) in the groups that ate the yogurt. The pictures of the brain indicate responses to messages that are being sent from the gut after food is consumed.

Although the study was funded by a company in the yogurt business, the gut-brain connection can be groundbreaking if the results can be replicated by other researchers. Already,  interestingly enough, there are studies linking poor gut health with depression.

Dr. Mercola, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/20/gut-brain-connection.aspx,  makes a good point, as he describes the physiology of the nervous system. The gut, like the brain, actually contains hormones (like serotonin) that impact the way we feel. These hormones may be the link between the two. Dr. Mercola describes how medications like serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI‘s) that focus on the brain are often not effective because they only work on the brain and not the gut. He also mentions ties between the flora of the gut and obesity, diabetes, gene-expression, autism and the immune system. For more specific information make sure you watch the video.

However, the breakthroughs of today may not seem so current for those who practice Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), https://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/bringing-eastern-medicine-to-the-table/, and Ayurvedic medicine( from the 4th-5th century).  For centuries, the Indian and Chinese cultures have focused on a holistic approach to wellness. Health systems that are based on an understanding that body systems are all interconnected. Harmony amongst all systems are necessary for balance and optimal health. A concept that seems to be supported with this “advanced” research.

There is still so much we do not know about how the body functions but why re-create the wheel. Instead we can learn from the past using Indian and eastern medicine philosophies  to broaden our understanding and develop cutting edge health solutions that will help foster better health care.

There is much to learn about the past. Embrace and build upon it. I believe we will get answers to our health questions much faster and with an enhanced view of the (health) puzzle.

 

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Spring Cleaning for the Mind, Body & Soul And Bon Voyage!

Black Mountain and viewed from in Canberra.

Black Mountain and viewed from in Canberra. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week I promised to send you tips on how you might spring forward to reach your personal goals, https://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/spring-cleaning-for-the-mind-body-soul/.

Here are 4 tips to get you started:

Clobber the Clutter

For many of us, the often-used expression “Build a bridge and get over it” is much easier said than done. We walk through our day-to-day lives carrying around resentment toward someone or something, weighed down with things we can’t change. Too often in life, we sweep emotional issues under the carpet or lock them in a closet. These unresolved issues will eventually affect our lives, and can result in a variety of physical symptoms, up to and including serious illness. This spring, decide to let go of any negative feelings that you have and trust that things will ultimately work out. Trying to control the uncontrollable is stressful and ultimately unnecessary. Recognizing, confronting, and eliminating this emotional baggage will be incredibly freeing and uplifting.

Dust Away Guilt

Letting go of guilt and the negative feelings that go along with it is vital for your emotional health. By releasing yourself from guilt’s heavy grip, you will be free to open yourself up to creating and treasuring happy memories. Finding your own way to do this can by very therapeutic. One idea is to write down your feelings on paper and then watch that piece of paper burn — or throwing a stone, representing the guilt you feel, into the ocean can be cathartic. The way you choose to rid yourself of guilt should be symbolic and meaningful to you and an act or gesture you can return to if that negative feeling returns again in the future.

Weed Out the Bad Seeds

Holding on to negative thoughts and people clutters your mind with unneeded tension and stress. If someone does not make you feel good about yourself, why have them in your life. Unload negative thoughts and problems you have been holding onto, and eliminate the stress that has built up. Rid yourself of toxic people and use this opportunity to toss out work-related stress, an argument with a loved one, or even disappointments that you may experience within yourself.

Simplify Your Life

Yes, it is easier said than done, especially in today’s non-stop world, but now is the time to truly stop and smell the roses. With increased demands from work, family, and life in general, it is easy to become over scheduled on a daily basis. Learn to say ‘no’ to time demands that aren’t serving your spiritual side well. Trade some of your more taxing obligations with ones that are more self-nurturing. By doing so, you will see a dramatic change in your stress levels. As you change gears, your perspective will change as well as you step foot on the path to living a more simplified life.

As you take the needed time this season to cleanse your spiritual side — as well as your brick and mortar home — allow yourself to bloom along with the magnificent flowers. Now is the time to welcome the wonderful new possibilities of a clean and renewed soul for spring.

—Alyson Levine

I’m going to clear my mind, body and Soul on Jimmy Moore’s Low Carb cruise, http://www.lowcarbcruiseinfo.com/ While I’m gone please send me some of your ideas to help others spring forward to reach their personal goals.

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Spring Cleaning for the Mind, Body & Soul

Flowers of Bugloss (Echium cf. plantagineum) I...

Flowers of Bugloss (Echium cf. plantagineum) Italiano: Infiorescenze di viperina piantaginea (Echium plantagineum), una pianta erbacea velenosa del genere Echium, nativa dell'Europa meridionale e occidentale, del Nordafrica e dell'Asia sudoccidentale. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My best friend Alyson is a phenomanal writer and editor. She wrote this article “Spring Cleaning for the Soul” for the Spring 2012 issue of New jersey Lifestyle magazine, www.njlifestyleonline.com.

No matter who you are, what diet you follow…using these words of wisdom will help your mind, body and soul. Changing eating habits with these tips in mind, will help your transition from over-stressed, underachieved to relaxed and accomplished. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did.

Every spring, nature is afforded the wonderful opportunity to begin anew. The previous winter season is quickly forgotten as flowers begin to bloom and hues of green eagerly enter the landscape. Now is the time for a fresh start and new growth, as well as a time for personal reflection and renewal.

In spring, pressure to refresh is felt across the globe as seemingly every culture welcomes a spring cleaning. According to housekeeping guru Martha Stewart, “There was a strict tradition of spring cleaning in our house. The process began as soon as the buds on the maple trees that lined the street began to show signs of leafing out. It was the unspoken duty of everyone to thoroughly prepare for the advent of spring by dusting, washing, and polishing just about every square inch of the house.”

But it is not just your home that should be cleaned this season, as winter stress take a toll on our spirits as well. “The more junk you continue to tolerate in your life, the more stressed out, irritable, and burdened you will feel,” according to Barry Dennis in his book, The Chotchky Challenge: Clear the Clutter From Your Home, Heart and Mind … and Discover the True Treasure of Your Soul. “I call this junk we accumulate ‘Chotchky. It’s anything that crowds, intrudes, clutters, or in any way distracts from our soul’s higher purpose,” writes Dennis, who explains in the pages of his book that you will achieve greater clarity and improved mental focus if you get rid of it.

So this spring, as you spend countless hours cleaning and organizing your home for the season, be sure not to overlook yourself in the process.

What can you do to open up new doors to fulfilling opportunities? Think about it….I’ll post four concepts next week that will help you “spring” into your  mind, body and spirit cleaning routine.

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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