Diet

Health Issues Related to Diet

Picky Eater Child Refusing To Eat

Your Picky Eating Kid May Be Experiencing Constipation

Does your child experience constipation?

Like gas, constipation is a pretty common health issue, but another gut-related problem most people, especially kids, don’t like talking about.

More than 18 percent of toddlers and about 14 percent of kids ages 4-18 face problems with constipation, based on recent research.

Some signs your child has issues with chronic constipation — bowel movements occurring no more than twice a week or soiling (unintentional leakage of stool or liquid on the underwear) due to a buildup of stool — are pretty apparent.

Some less noticeable problems kids experience include:

  • Pain in their stomach or while having a bowel movement.
  • Hard-to-pass bowel movements.
  • Holding in stools that can cause complications.

You may be surprised to learn your child’s picky eating habits could explain his/her constipation problems too.

Sensory issues

Underlying sensory issues experienced by preschool-age kids who are developing normally may be playing a key role in chronic constipation, according to a recent study appearing in The Journal of Pediatrics.

“In many cases, chronic constipation might be the first hint that the child also has some sensory issues and could benefit from occupational therapy,” says senior author Dr. Mark Fishbein, a pediatric gastroenterologist and associate professor at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Dr. Fishbein and his team of scientists in Chicago and Miami compared the health of 66 children (ages 3-5) dealing with chronic constipation with an equal number of control subjects with no health issues.

Part of their attention focused on how picky eating showed up in how kids responded to sensory stimuli.

Researchers soon learned that a heightened sensitivity to tastes, odors and textures in foods was the most important factor in predicting a child’s tendency to avoid the bathroom or becoming constipated.

The link between sensory sensitivity and constipation may not be apparent to the naked eye, says Dr. Fishbein. “However, increased sensory sensitivity can create discomfort and lead to avoidance, and we see that response in both food refusal and in the toileting behaviors of children with chronic constipation.”

Because these sensory problems are really common among children, Dr. Fishbein warns that it’s best to address this issue when kids are young, ideally before age 5, before these behaviors become harder to solve.

What parents can do

Treating your child’s constipation will take some time, persistence and patience on your part, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel — literally — if you follow these tips:

  1. Monitor your child’s daily intake of water (give them more) and milk (give them less).
  2. Work with your daughter or son to make regular visits to the toilet (make it fun).
  3. Feed your child foods containing dietary fiber, especially fruits and veggies (more is better).
  4. Don’t overdo the dosage of any laxative suggested by your child’s pediatrician (too much can be dangerous).

Have you considered giving your child a probiotic for constipation too? A recent report featured in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology found probiotics increased the number of times kids pooped each day, which goes a long way toward solving the constipation problem.

EndoMune Jr. Advanced Probiotic Powder (for children up to age 3) and EndoMune Jr. Advanced Chewable Probiotic (for children from ages 3-8) are multi-strain probiotics that contain four key strains of beneficial bacteria and a prebiotic that can work wonders in treating constipation.

Child prepared for food allergy reaction with epipen in lunchbox

Children’s Food Allergies and Gut Bacteria Imbalances

Children’s food allergies can be some of the most frustrating and common problems parents face.

Although some 170 foods can cause reactions, most of the problems kids have — ranging from mild to severe and fatal — can be boiled down to eight.

  • Wheat
  • Shellfish
  • Soy
  • Tree nuts (pecans, pistachios)
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Peanuts
  • Milk

What’s more, 40 percent of kids with food allergies are allergic to more than one food, according to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).

And, if you’re wondering when or if a child “outgrows” a food allergy, often it depends on the food. Some food allergies begin to fade away by age 5 (wheat, milk, egg, soy) while others are much more persistent (tree nuts, seafood, peanuts).

In one very tragic case reported earlier this year, an 11-year-old boy allergic to fish died by exposure to fumes from cod cooking on a stove.

Food allergies aren’t the only health problems young children face, however. Many of today’s children are born via C-section, have fewer opportunities to breastfeed and are exposed to antibiotics.

All of these things deplete your child’s gut health, leading to a host of other problems, not to mention slowing down the development of his/her immune system.

You can add food allergies to that list of problems, based on recent studies. (But there may be some hope on the way!)

Butyrate strikes again!

The common link between both studies: Healthy kids have gut microbiomes that are very different from those with allergies, according to two recent studies appearing in Nature Medicine.

This research followed somewhat similar models in that both collected fecal samples from healthy children and those with allergies, then transplanted them in mice to observe how their bodies reacted.

In the study conducted by scientists at the University of Chicago and Italy, the bodies of germ-free mice receiving gut bacteria as fecal transplants from eight healthy babies or ones with a food allergy to cow’s milk (the most common food allergy) reacted as you’d expect.

Germ-free mice receiving food-allergic bacteria experienced anaphylaxis, a severe and possibly life-threatening reaction, after drinking cow’s milk for the first time, while those with healthy bacteria didn’t.

After digging deeper into the composition of gut bacteria among test animals, researchers identified the species Anaerostipes caccae that may protect the body from allergic reactions when present in the gut. This species is part of bigger class of bacteria (Clostridia) that has been found to protect the body from nut allergies.

This class of bacteria also produces butyrate, a substance already known for protecting the gut from inflammation and more harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli.

Missing gut bacteria

A similar and more recent study conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital also took fecal matter from babies with and without food allergies, then transplanted it into mice that were sensitive to eggs.

Again, the mice receiving healthy gut bacteria were more protected from allergies than the those that were given bacteria sensitive to eggs. But that’s not all…

With the help of detailed analyses, researchers developed a two probiotic mixes of multiple strains of beneficial human gut bacteria that successfully suppressed allergic reactions in mice already experiencing problems.

Could a response to a food allergy be reversed with probiotics? This is very possible, given a report I shared with you recently that found Moms who took a probiotic and fish oil delivered babies who were more protected from eczema and egg allergies.

There’s a lot you can do to protect your baby’s gut after she/he is born, even if natural childbirth isn’t in the cards, starting with breastfeeding, full of nutrition and the healthy microbes your young child needs.

However, if breastfeeding is an issue or your baby needs an antibiotic to fight a common infection, you can turn to EndoMune Jr. Advanced Probiotic Powder, an infant probiotic containing a blend of four building block strains of beneficial bacteria plus a prebiotic.

kombucha tea in a mason jar sitting on a table

Kombucha Tea: Facts vs. Fiction

Does drinking a cup of slightly sweet tea containing a live fermented mix of bacterial and yeast cultures sound appealing to you?

For many people who drink kombucha tea, it does by a long shot.

You can’t make a trip to the grocery store without seeing shelves full of bottled kombucha teas in various flavors, along with books and instructional kits on how to make it at home.

Many people see the word “fermented” — just like yogurt, pickles, sourdough bread, sauerkraut and tempeh — and assume they’re enjoying a delicious source of beneficial bacteria.

But is it really all that beneficial? Let’s find out with a review of how it’s made by true believers at home.

Making kombucha at home

Kombucha is created by brewing tea — black, green or oolong — removing the bags, then adding sugar while the brew is still hot, according to Food Source Information, a food production resource created by Colorado State University

Once the tea cools to room temperatures, a spongy culture called a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) is added to the brew along with a starter liquid made from previously fermented kombucha to prevent contamination of the tea.

(You can buy a SCOBY and starter liquid at a local health food store or even online.)

The tea and SCOBY are placed in a glass, plastic or stainless steel container, covered with a clean towel and out of direct sunlight for up to 10 days to ferment.

After that, the kombucha tea may be ready for extra flavoring but only if the pH levels of the mix are between 2.5-4.2 (no higher or lower for safety’s sake).

The fictional benefits

If the process of making kombucha at home sounds time-consuming and tricky, it is.

Making kombucha tea at home can be risky if people aren’t careful to keep it safe and sanitary from contamination from bugs like aspergillus that can harm people with compromised immune systems.

Back to addressing the initial question — Is kombucha tea really good for your gut? — there is very little hard medical evidence beyond subjective accounts to support it.

In fact, a recent review by researchers at the University of Missouri School of Medicine appearing in the Annals of Epidemiology found exactly one study (from 2002) documenting any health benefits of kombucha in human subjects.

Moreover, this review found a number of potential risks to human health, including hepatitis after drinking kombucha tea for two years.

That’s not surprising given that kombucha is unpasteurized and contains an unpredictable mix of bacteria that can create problems for people with weaker immune systems.

Plus, if you’re watching your weight, many mass-produced brands of kombucha drinks contain a lot of sugar, as much as 7 teaspoons per serving!

The best and safest way to replenish the bacteria your body and gut needs to maintain good health is also the most predictable one.

Taking a probiotic, ideally with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic, does the work to protect and boost your immune system and is far better at treating and protecting you from a wider range of health issues too.

hand holding a chocolate sprinkled donut

Your Western Lifestyle Could Kill You Faster Than Smoking

We’re becoming so conditioned as a society to the dangers of smoking it seems unlikely that eating the typical Western diet filled with processed foods could actually be worse for our health.

But the numbers don’t lie, according to a recent report published in The Lancet that tracked global health trends in 195 countries from 1990-2017.

Some 11 million deaths — one in five globally — were blamed on poor diets in 2017. That’s more than smoking tobacco (7 million) and car fatalities (1.4 million) combined.

The three main causes of death attributed to poor diets:

  • Cardiovascular disease: 10 million.
  • Cancer: More than 900,000.
  • Type 2 diabetes: More than 330,000.

The key takeaway: Diet-related deaths were more connected to people eating low amounts of fruits, nuts, seeds and whole grains in the last year of the study (2017) than consuming higher levels of red and processed meats, sodium, sugary drinks and foods with large amounts of trans fats.

These problems make sense, given that only a fraction of people on average eat the nuts and seeds (12 percent) and whole grains (23 percent) they really need to maintain good health.

Poor diets filled with unhealthy foods also create problems for your gut which makes you very vulnerable to obesity due to a less diverse microbiome.

Also, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes are linked to the cluster of conditions known as metabolic syndrome that spur obesity and harm your health.

Healthy changes don’t come easily. But, many medical experts agree that focusing less on diet and more on eating nutrient-dense whole foods tailored to your tastes and moving more with exercise can make a difference.

Even after changing your diet and exercise habits, you may still face challenges. That’s especially true if you’re older due to a naturally declining amount of beneficial bacteria in your gut.

One way to give your weight-loss plan a healthy boost with the help of your gut: Consider EndoMune Metabolic Rescue, which contains 1 billion CFUs of the beneficial bacteria Bifidobacterium lactis and 600 mg of the prebiotic XOS (an important fiber shown to optimize the good bacteria in the colon and stimulate the release of hormones that affect the satiety center).

The ingredients in EndoMune Metabolic Rescue form a potent duo that research suggests helps people lose weight and improve their fasting blood sugar and insulin levels within 30 days.

Real Sugar Disrupts Your Gut Health

We’ve warned you in the past about the growing number of ways too-sweet-for-their-own-good artificial sweeteners can harm your gut health.

These outcomes may have been surprising to some in the scientific community not so long ago based on an incorrect belief that sugar was absorbed into the intestine and never made it the gut.

Considering the amount of artificial and refined sugars many people eat in the typical Western diet full of processed foods, however, it’s hard to imagine human health, not to mention the gut, not being harmed in some way.

Now, we’re learning consuming refined sugar can be a problem for your gut too, especially if your goal is to stay lean and fit, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Based on their research with mice, scientists at the Yale School of Medicine discovered how large amounts of fructose and glucose (the main components of table sugar) immediately blocked the production of an important protein (Roc).

This protein allows a specific species of gut bacteria — Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron — to process vegetables and other fiber-rich foods efficiently and help your body maintain a healthy weight.

Maintaining and protecting the various species of Bacteroides in your gut is critical to good health and keeping those extra pounds off, as this bacteria can be pretty scarce in people who are obese or overweight.

“The role of diet in the gut microbiome goes farther than just providing nutrients. It appears that carbohydrates like sugar can act as signaling molecules as well,” says Dr. Eduardo Groisman, senior author of the study and professor of microbial pathogenesis, according to Yale News.

For this study, scientists tested several sugars, both simple and complex ones, but only mixtures with fructose or glucose triggered the blockage of proteins in the gut.

The good news here is that you have plenty of reliable resources at hand to help you lose weight, starting with eating a better diet focused on fewer carbs and more whole foods.

You can also give your weight-loss journey a gut-healthy boost with EndoMune Metabolic Rescue’s unique blend of Bifidobacteria lactis and the prebiotic XOS that protects your gut health and promotes natural, effective weight loss.

Could Crickets Improve Your Gut Health?

Do you like bugs in your food… literally?

You’ve probably seen news reports about the edible insect industry and its attempts to make an eco-friendly impact on the foods we eat in America.

An increasing number of companies are using insects — crickets are the most popular but locusts and mealworms are also on the menu — as substitutes for the proteins and fiber farmers typically grow for food for eco-friendly reasons (reduced water, space and greenhouse gases).

Everything from cookies and protein bars to chips and pet foods are being formulated and sold with insects in mind. There’s even a registry for restaurants and food products called BUGSfeed that can help you locate restaurants and stores specializing in edible insects.

We know insects may be something you actively avoid, especially in your foods, but they are a staple in the diets of some 2 billion people worldwide, according to the United Nations.

A group of scientists from the University of Wisconsin, Colorado State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently investigated the benefits of eating foods made with cricket-based flour on human gut health.

The controlled study, which appeared in Scientific Reports, measured the effects of feeding breakfast foods (muffins and smoothies) prepared with cricket flour on 20 health adults over a four-week period.

Although there were no side effects reported, scientists discovered some benefits to human gut health, namely reductions in a key inflammatory protein linked to cancer and depression, as well as increases in a strain of Bifidobacteria.

Still not convinced? The study’s lead author, Valerie Stull, who has eaten a lot of insects in her travels around the world, makes a good point about how American cuisine has shifted more recently to embrace a greater variety of foods.

“Food is very tied to culture, and 20 or 30 years ago, no one in the U.S. was eating sushi because we thought it was disgusting. But now you can get it at a gas station in Nebraska.”

So, eating foods made with insects may become mainstream as well as OK for your gut. But it’s important to pay attention to how they are prepared.

In this study, cricket flour was used in muffins and smoothies made with milk or sugar, ingredients that could negate its gut health benefits.

Yes, insects may be trendy food picks, just like fermented foods, on grocery store shelves. However, taking a probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic that contains multiple strains of beneficial bacteria plus a natural prebiotic may be a better, more effective way to help your gut and your overall health too.

heart and stethoscope

How Eating Dietary Fiber Promotes Heart Health

One of the easiest and best things you can do to give your health a much needed boost is to eat more foods rich in dietary fiber.

When you hear people talking about eating more dietary fiber (found in whole grains, fruits, legumes and vegetables), it’s mostly associated with treating.

However, eating more dietary fiber — the indigestible parts of plant foods that pass through your lower gastrointestinal tract relatively intact  — does a lot to promote good heart health too.

Based on previous research, it doesn’t take eating a whole lot more dietary fiber to make a heart-healthy difference. But the hows and whys have been a mystery to scientists…

A recent study from researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, UCLA and the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) may go a long way toward explaining the reasons behind this gut-healthy benefit that gets far less attention than it should.

The fatty acid connection

Wisconsin scientists identified one species of gut bacteria — Roseburia — linked to the production of the beneficial fatty acid butyrate in the guts of germ-free mice. Conclusions from the study appearing in Nature Microbiology showed reduced inflammation and atherosclerosis.

But there’s one catch: The presence of Roseburia alone wasn’t enough.

Feeding mice a high-fiber diet was the catalyst that provided extra protection. Even test animals who had Roseburia in their gut microbiomes but not enough fiber in their diets just didn’t produce enough butyrate to make a heart-healthy difference.

To ensure their high-fiber results were valid, researchers fed germ-free mice that lacked butyrate-producing bacteria a slow-release version of butyrate that would survive intact through their gastrointestinal tract.

No surprise, the presence of butyrate alone reduced signs of atherosclerosis and inflammation along with the amount of fatty plaques.

Leaky gut issues

This study really underscores the important link between dietary fiber and gut health, given previous research that found human patients with cardiovascular disease had diminished levels of gut bacteria and butyrate-producing Roseburia.

Not to mention, the presence of leaky gut, a condition in which unintended substances penetrate the vulnerable intestinal lining of the gut and into the bloodstream, is linked in a huge way to inflammation.

The good news: It doesn’t take much dietary fiber to make a big difference in your health. Increasing your intake of dietary fiber by 1 ounce (30 grams) can lower your cardiovascular risks and help you lose weight too.

In addition to eating a bit more dietary fiber every day, taking a probiotic with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria and a prebiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic can do a lot of good by promoting the natural fermentation process that feeds and protects your gut.

a woman jogging down the beach

Lose Weight the Healthy Way: Follow Your Gut

We’re well into the new year, and many of us set new goals and resolutions to focus our attention on making lifestyle changes that we (hope) will improve our lives.

At the top of the list for many Americans is weight loss. In an attempt to shed those extra pounds, people do a lot of smart things, like moving more, joining a gym, getting more rest, eating more whole foods (full of fiber, less fat and natural sugars), and spending less time at the fast-food drive-thru grabbing processed foods on the run.

Sadly, however, many people prefer to take the fast lane to better health. We turn to detox diets or the bewildering number of weight-loss products on the market, many of which come with dangerous side effects.

If you’ve tried and failed to lose weight too many times and you’re willing to risk your health on products that could harm you in the process, maybe it’s time to take the word “loss” completely out of the equation.

Gaining instead of losing

Rather than looking at this challenge as a “losing” one, rethink your strategy and replace it with a gain, but not on the scale or your waistline.

Losing weight and keeping it off requires a different lifestyle approach, but not one of deprivation either. Your best and healthiest strategy starts with taking charge of your health.

Maybe you’ve started that process on the right foot by doing those smart things I mentioned earlier, but you’re still unable to lose those stubborn inches, especially if you’re older.

As the human body ages, the amount of beneficial bacteria in our guts decline. So, what does your gut have to do with your weight?

The human microbiome ─ the trillions of microorganisms that live in our intestines ─ plays a significant role in our overall health in so many ways, specifically protecting the integrity of the lining of the gut from intestinal toxins.

The microbiome, when kept in proper balance, can also help regulate metabolism and support weight loss.

Here’s how.

When our body’s healthy balance of gut bacteria becomes compromised by eating a diet full of too many nutrient-poor, highly processed foods, not handling stress as it comes and relying too often on antibiotics, we become more susceptible to metabolic syndrome.

If you’re not familiar with metabolic syndrome, it’s the cluster of symptoms — high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol or triglyceride levels and extra body fat around your waist — that elevate your risks of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Your gut and weight gain

An imbalance of gut flora can actually contribute to weight gain by causing inflammation, stimulating fat production and decreasing brain signaling via the gut-brain axis that controls hunger.

So, it’s very possible you could be doing all of the right things — exercising, destressing and eating your vegetables — and still be struggling with weight loss and metabolic inefficiency.

What now?

In addition to making lifestyle changes, achieving a healthy weight often comes down to listening to our gut. Research continues to unfold about the benefits of probiotics that help us maintain an optimal gut bacteria balance and regulate metabolic function.

Several specific strains of beneficial bacteria are more effective at helping with weight loss. Bifidobacterium lactis, for example, aids in fermenting resistant starches, which results in improving the health of the intestinal lining and lessening the risk of leaky gut.

Leaky gut is a disorder in which a breakdown in the intestinal wall allows unintended substances (toxic bacteria and waste products) to seep through the intestinal barrier and into your bloodstream.

The prebiotic difference

Supplements that combine a prebiotic ─ non-digestible starches that feed the good bacteria already living in your gut ─ with probiotic strains in relevant proportions have shown to be even more effective.

How? Those well-fed bacteria in your gut stimulate the release of hormones that decrease satiety, thus reducing hunger. In addition, this release of hormones slows the emptying of the stomach, which can result eating smaller meals.

More recently, the natural prebiotic Xlylooligosaccharides (XOS) has demonstrated great benefits on the microbiome in small doses, and even helped in avoiding the development of pre-diabetes.

If you follow gut health issues like I do, you’ve probably heard about GLP-1, better known as glucacon-like peptide-1, a hormone produced by the gut that can decrease blood sugar levels by enhancing the secretion of insulin.

Most probiotics don’t contain a prebiotic, which is critical in maintaining intestinal health. Prebiotics create short-term fatty acids, thus releasing butyrate, a critical component in providing nourishment to the colon.

If you want to lessen your risks of metabolic syndrome, improve your cholesterol and hypertension levels and give your weight-loss journey a fresh start, you may want to consider trying EndoMune Metabolic Rescue, which contains 1 billion CFUs of beneficial Bifidobacterium lactis along with 600 mg of XOS.

Combining a nutritious diet, exercise and all-natural probiotic/prebiotic supplementation can help you gain the benefits of losing weight and staying healthy.

Board-certified gastroenterologist Lawrence Hoberman, M.D., is the creator of EndoMune Metabolic Rescue, EndoMune Advanced Probiotic and founder of Medical Care Innovations.

During his 40-plus years practicing internal medicine and gastroenterology, Dr. Hoberman has worked with microbiologists to identify beneficial bacteria, resulting in the development of his own supplements for adults and children.

To learn more about how your gut affects your health in so many ways and how probiotics can help, visit www.endomune.com.

a leaky pipe being fixed with several wrenches

Could Marital Problems Lead to Leaky Gut?

Strong emotions can have a negative effect on your body. Add a diet full of high-fat foods to the mix and your gut becomes vulnerable too.

Emotional fights between married couples have been linked to symptoms of leaky gut, according to a report from Ohio State University that appeared in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

Leaky gut is a condition created by breakdowns in the intestinal wall that allow undigested food, toxic waste products and other nasties to seep through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream to create a number of different health problems.

“We think every day marital distress, at least for some people, is causing changes in the gut that lead to inflammation and, potentially, illness,” says lead author Dr. Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, director of the OSU’s Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research.

Forty-three married and healthy couples ranging in age from 24-61 participated in the study that involved talking to researchers about their relationships, then alone with each other for 20 minutes to resolve conflicts that were likely to provoke disagreements.

To give necessary context to this study, blood samples were taken from couples before and after their conversations without a researcher and those talks were filmed for later review.

Not surprisingly, patients who displayed more hostility during their one-on-one talks with their marital partners had greater levels of LPS-binding protein, a biomarker for leaky gut.

Signs of leaky gut was even more pronounced among spouses with histories of emotional problems and depression whose interactions were hostile.

What’s more, researchers identified specific biomarkers in blood samples (LBP and CD14) linked to signs of inflammation. Patients whose blood contained the highest levels of LBP had dramatically higher amounts of the primary inflammatory biomarker, C-reactive protein.

These biomarkers were far more prevalent among those whose medical histories included depression too.

In fact, scientists believe the presence of these inflammatory biomarkers that drive leaky gut may also be responsible for mental health problems, creating a “troubling loop.”

“With leaky gut, the structures that are usually really good at keeping the gunk in our gut — the partially digested food, bacteria and other products — degrade and that barrier becomes less effective,” says study co-author Dr. Michael Bailey.

To reduce the amount of inflammation from leaky gut, Dr. Kiecolt-Glaser suggests eating a more gut-friendly Mediterranean diet along with taking a probiotic.

Fortunately, protecting the health of your gut is so much easier when you take a probiotic that contains multiple species of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.

a still life of fruits and nuts

Eating Dietary Fiber Protects Your Brain

Eating a diet rich in dietary fiber — the parts of plant-based foods that can’t be digested — is very beneficial for your health.

It’s pretty easy to do too, especially if you like nuts, fruits, legumes like chickpeas and lentils, popcorn (skip the movie theater butter), oats, seeds and even dark chocolate.

However, these benefits rely on the bacteria in your gut being healthy, diverse and working as it should to digest dietary fiber and produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) like butyrate.

As we’ve learned previously, the production of butyrate increases the use of oxygen, protecting your gut from Salmonella, E. coli and other harmful pathogens.

Eating more dietary fiber may also protect your brain from inflammation that steals memories and impairs normal functioning due to aging, according to a recent study from the University of Illinois’ College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Science (ACES) that appeared in Frontiers in Immunology.

Knowing they were already on the right track in previous studies with a drug-based form of butyrate (sodium butyrate), scientists used dietary fiber in hopes of achieving similar results with older mice.

First, researchers fed young and older mice low- and high-fiber diets, then measured levels of butyrate and other SCFAs in their blood along with inflammatory chemicals in their intestines.

No surprise, feeding both age groups a high-fiber diet boosted their production of SCFAs and butyrate, and intestinal inflammation was reduced so dramatically there was no noticeable differences between both sets of mice.

The ACES team of researchers discovered the brain benefits of a high-fiber diet when they examined 50 unique genes in the microglia (cells located in the brain and spinal cord).

In older mice, the presence of extra butyrate inhibited the amount of harmful chemicals produced by inflamed microglia, including interleukin-1 beta that’s been linked to Alzheimer’s disease in humans.

It doesn’t take much dietary fiber to make a difference in your health. For example, eating just 1 extra ounce (about 30 grams) of dietary fiber a day can relieve constipation, reduce your risks of cardiovascular problems and help you lose weight too, in addition to these newly discovered brain benefits.

Taking a product like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic, with 10 strains of beneficial bacteria (plus a prebiotic), helps your gut process that extra fiber you’ll be eating more efficiently for improved brain health.

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