Probiotics…Wanted Dead or Alive

The “Wanted dead or alive?” debate rages on in the world of probiotics and microbiome research. Functional medicine MD’s like myself already apply microbiome principles in the care of our patients. On the other hand, many detractors in conventional medicine claim that the probiotics we swallow in capsules either cross the threshold of our mouths already dead or die in our stomachs.

Feed Your Mast Cells Some Fiber


          In functional medicine, we search high and low for studies that either explain mechanisms of therapies we already use successively or for new ways to use old therapies.  Folkerts et al in Frontiers of Immunology accomplished both goals in a 2018 article I just found.  Like all discoveries, it is built on the work of countless others to lay a foundation. 

Good Night Gut


            Correlations between poor sleep and gut bacteria have intrigued medical scientists for years, but the mechanism connecting the two had not been discovered.  Researchers from Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Lisbon, Portugal may have uncovered one of the potential links in a recent study published in Nature.  A particular immune cell called group 3 innate lymphoid cell (ILC3) which were already known to modulate metabolism,

When Your Gut Bacteria Hands You a Drink


         In functional medicine circles, I have heard many anecdotes about patients who got tipsy with sugar intake.  While not necessarily common, auto-brewery syndrome is not uncommon either.  In these patients, sugar intake appears to feed yeast in the colon which convert the sugar to alcohol.  Even conventional medicine had to recognize this entity given the multiplicity of case reports which had been tested and proven true.

Pump up Your Gut Bacteria


Why am I so surprised?  Scientists are constantly discovering new connection between our gut bacteria and other body functions outside the gut.  In this case, I am so looking forward to a fuller understanding of how gut bacteria appear to effect muscle strength in older adults. 

In a recent study, Tufts University researchers found that the gut bacteria of more active older adults differed from those who were more sedentary. 

Are you constipated?

Everyone knows if they are backed up in the colon, right? Leave it to the British to confuse the matter! Actually, in this case, they are trying to clear the waters of diagnosis by evaluating what the public considers as constipation. This study’s lead author, Dr. Eirini Dimidi, Research Associate of Kings College of London,