First take nostalgic trip back to biology 101 when you learned that your body is home to trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi.  You probably said  that sounds kind of gross, but it’s actually super amazing. Here’s everything you’ve always wanted to know about your microbiome.

What IS a microbiome?

“The microbiome is the collection of trillions of microorganisms that live in and on our body,” nutritional scientist Dr. Tracy Shafizadeh tells us. “The majority of microorganisms are bacteria; some good and some bad.” And while these microorganisms live all over the body, recent research has revealed that the ones found in your gut (aka the gut microbiome) are especially important to your overall health.

So, why is the gut microbiome so important?

Well, the gut microbiome is related to conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, colitis and acid reflux. “A lot of research going on right now is connecting gut health with autoimmune disease, neurodegenerative disorder, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity,” explains Dr. Erika Angle, biochemist and CEO of gut microbiome test Ixcela. “The gut microbiome is such a hot area now because people are realizing it’s not just its own system. It’s actually linked to your brain health, emotional health, cardiovascular health and other systems, as well.”  Yikes is right!

Can you tell if your gut health is out of whack?

There are the obvious clues that something’s not quite right (like chronic tummy aches, IBS, constipation and diarrhea), and then there are some more scientific methods, Dr. Angle says. By identifying which bacteria are produced by the gut and in what amounts, you can potentially determine whether they’re functioning in the way that they should be. Companies like Viome and Ixcela offer users at-home microbiome tests that aim to do exactly that, by analyzing blood or stool samples to give health and diet insights.

You CAN create a healthier microbiome?

While there are some factors that influence your gut health that are out of your control (like genetics or having taken antibiotics as a child), there are plenty of things you can do to change your gut microbiome. That’s because your gut is a competitive environment, which means that you can give an advantage to the good bacteria over the bad bacteria by feeding them a certain way. Factors that can help the good guys? A healthy and varied diet rich in nutrients, supplements (oh hey, probiotics) and exercise, Dr. Angle says. And in even better news, a recent study published in Science magazine found that tea, coffee and wine can also help improve the diversity of gut microbes. (BRB, pouring yourself a glass of Cab Sav.)

So, you’ve decided to tackle your gut health. When will you see results?

Not in day.  If you eat a giant bowl of probiotic-rich yogurt in the morning , don’t expect your gut microbiome to change overnight. “You can see some changes after about a month or so, but it takes about two to three months for the gut bacteria to really shift,” Dr. Angle tells us. But hey, there’s no harm in enjoying a Greek yogurt parfait the meantime. (Just go easy on the sugar, OK?)

Gut microbiota: a missing link in psychiatry

First published: 10 January 2020
The gut microbiota consists of the collection of microbes within the intestine, previously considered of little influence from a mental health perspective, but now regarded as a “virtual organ” weighing up to 1.5 kg in the adult intestine and producing molecules of primary importance for brain function and psychological well‐being1.There are more bacteria in the human intestine than there are human cells in the body, and we feed these bacteria, while in turn they play a fundamental role in maintaining our overall health. The large intestine functions like a fermenter producing a variety of molecules, including most common neurotransmitters such as gamma‐aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin, the serotonin precursor tryptophan, and the short chain fatty acids butyrate, propionate and acetate2.

There are a variety of mechanisms enabling the gut microbes to communicate with the brain. These include the vagus nerve, short chain fatty acids, tryptophan and cytokines3. Certain microbes can only act centrally when the vagus nerve is intact, and can no longer do so following vagotomy. Previously, tryptophan was viewed as entirely of dietary origin, while now it has been established that it is also synthesized by Bifidobacteria and enters the bloodstream, becoming available for brain entry and subsequent serotonin synthesis.

The gut microbiota has been implicated in a wide variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, depression, anxiety disorders and autism4. Much of what we know regarding the importance of gut microbes for brain function has been derived from studying germ‐free animals, which do not have a gut microbiota. Such animals have an altered central serotonergic system, decreased dendritic spines in various brain regions, lower levels of trophic factors, along with abnormal neuron formation from progenitor cells in the hippocampus, altered myelination patterns in prefrontal cortex, and a defective blood‐brain barrier.

Until relatively recently, the importance of the gut‐brain‐microbiota axis as a fundamental component of the stress response has largely been ignored. O’Mahony et al5 studied the gut microbiota in a maternal separation model of depression in rats. They reported an elevation in corticosterone in such animals, together with an increase in pro‐inflammatory cytokines and a decrease in the diversity of gut microbes.

The fecal microbiota was then sequenced in a depression study6. Forty‐six patients with depression and 30 healthy controls were recruited. High‐throughput pyrosequencing showed increased faecal bacterial diversity in those currently depressed, but not in a group who had responded to treatment. This suggests that increased diversity is a state rather than trait marker for depression. Despite the extensive inter‐individual variability, levels of several predominant genera differed between depressed patients and controls. The former had increased levels of Enterobacteriaceae and Alistipes, but reduced levels of Faecalibacterium.

In a study conducted at APC Microbiome Ireland, depressed patients had elevated cortisol output together with decreased faecal microbial richness. When rats were given a humanized microbiota from depressed patients, as opposed to healthy controls, they developed a depressive phenotype from both a behavioral and immune perspective7.

Thus, there is increasing evidence that some psychiatric disorders such as depression may be associated with a gut dysbiosis, a microbial imbalance.

Several studies have investigated the microbiome composition in patients with bipolar disorder8. The first published study involved 115 patients and reported decreased levels of Faecalibacterium. This finding was replicated in an Austrian study of 32 patients. However, a Danish study of 113 patients with newly‐diagnosed bipolar disorder compared to unaffected first‐degree relatives and healthy individuals found no differences in Faecalibacterium, while Flavonifractor, a bacterial genus that may induce oxidative stress and inflammation, was associated with the disorder.

Interestingly, two recent clinical trials have demonstrated a beneficial effect of adjunctive psychobiotics in patients with bipolar disorder. One was an uncontrolled pilot study which reported cognitive improvements in 20 remitted individuals following three months consumption of nine different strains of Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. The second was a randomized controlled trial involving 66 patients who had recently been hospitalized for mania. After discharge, these patients were randomly assigned to receive 24 weeks of an adjunctive Lactobacillus/Bifidobacterium combination or placebo. Re‐hospitalization rates were significantly lower in those individuals who were taking the psychobiotic. Thus, preliminary data support the view that probiotics of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium genera hold therapeutic potential in bipolar disorder.

Unlike genes in human cells, we can readily change genes in our microbiota by altering diet. There is increasing evidence that a poor quality diet may bring about the altered microbiota observed in mood disorders. Narrowing of dietary diversity with reduced intake of essential nutrients can reduce the availability of substrates for specific microbial growth and this may contribute to the intestinal dysbiosis of depression and other psychiatric disorders.

Over recent decades, dietary patterns in the West and elsewhere have undergone major compositional changes, with increased intakes of red meat, high fat foods, and refined sugars. This “Westernization” of diets results in dysbiosis, which may at least partially contribute to the increasing incidence of chronic inflammatory disorders, such as depression. The Mediterranean diet is associated with lower rates of depression and impacts optimally on the gut microbiota. Preliminary evidence indicates that such a diet may have antidepressant effects.

Individuals with depression or vulnerability to depression should be encouraged to enhance a plant‐based diet with a high content of grains and fibres9. A decreased consumption of red meat, especially of processed meat, and a regular intake of fish and fermented foods, is optimal from a mental health perspective. The intake of refined sugars should be restricted.

Incorporating the gut microbiota in our studies of stress‐related psychiatric illnesses expands the range of therapeutic targets, not only for pharmacological interventions, but also for nutritional ones. This may be one of the missing links that have restricted therapeutic advances in psychiatry during the past decades.


When talking about gut health one can’t state that all diseases start in the gut however a very large majority of them have one root cause.  The health of our digestive system can be the root cause of a variety of health concerns. The digestive system, or gut, is the home of a variety of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live in a harmonious balance. This harmony can be disrupted by stress, food allergens, toxins, poor diet, infections and more!

Have you ever felt like you gained 5 lbs by the end of the day because you’re bloated? Or experienced brain fog and fatigue after a meal? Or maybe heartburn? These are all signs that there is some sort of imbalance going on underneath. Making some positive dietary changes and using natural therapies can help alleviate such symptoms, instead of resorting to over-the-counter medications. Remember, some of the medications we use can actually cause imbalances in gut health.

When gut health is poor, one can also experience:

  • Mood imbalances
  • Poor immune system
  • Weight gain or resistant weight
  • Gas/Indigestion
  • Constipation/Diarrhea
  • Eczema/Hives
  • Poor Sleep Quality

A few ways to support a healthy gut:

1. Eat organic

  • Buy locally grown organic produce. Glyphosate in pesticides causes an imbalance in the gut environment which can lead to leaky gut and food sensitivities/allergies, like gluten intolerance.

2. Eat pre-biotic rich foods, like garlic, onions, leeks, and apple cider vinegar.

  • Prebiotics are just as important as probiotics. Probiotics are live “good” bacteria and prebiotics are the ‘food’ that helps good bacteria flourish in our gut.
  • Probiotics are a great for re-balancing gut flora but it’s important to ask your naturopathic doctor which one is best for you.

3. Eliminate food allergens

  • Removing foods that aggravate your symptoms will allow your body to start healing. You’re essentially removing the fuel from the fire.

4. Manage stress

  • Stress affects the entire body including the digestive system. Try managing stress though meditation, yoga, energy medicine, hanging out with loved ones, spending time outdoors.

The importance of a healthy “gut” is understated. A healthy intestinal tract is one of the main keys to good health and something we call achieve.


Your colon is full of over 1,000 bacterial species. Research shows that lean and obese people have different types of bacteria in their intestines hence
having the right bacteria in them can affect your metabolism, how effectively your body changes food into energy and your overall body fat so the
gut bacteria & weight loss are deeply connected.  If your intestinal bacteria cause inflammation and hormonal imbalances,
it will appear on the scale ( Causing weight gain or making it a challenge to lose it.)

To support your gut hygiene, follow a low toxin, nutrient diet and experiment with gut-healing symbiotic supplements.


A growing research group says your intestinal microbiome affects your entire body, from your hormones to your metabolism. If your intestine is unclear, these stubborn bacterias can inhibit your weight loss efforts and keep you from feeling your best


Your gut is full of more than 1,000 bacterial species, all of which work to digest your food, keep your immune system fit and eliminate toxins. Everyone has a unique intestinal microbiome that is affected by everything from your diet to your genes. Your weight is another key factor.

Research has shown that obese and lean people actually have different types of bacteria in their intestines. In a 2016 study, researchers compared the intestinal microbial of obese and lean volunteers. The lean group had more different, anti-inflammatory bowel bacteria. For comparison, the obese group had significantly more inflammatory bowel bacteria and less bacterial diversity.

Other researchers have found similar results. One study puts genetically similar mice on a diet that is high in fat. The mice achieved or lost weight depending on the types of bacteria in their gut.
Another study looked at 75 pairs of twins – one twin was overweight, the other was not.

The researchers found that the overweight twin had different bacteria in the gut – as well as less bacterial diversity than their non-obese twin.


As more studies point to the relationship between your gut health and your weight, the next natural question is: Why? How can a lot of microscopic organisms determine whether or not you fit into your pants? Changes in your intestinal bacteria affect your metabolism, how effectively your body transforms food into energy and your overall body fat.
Studies have found that a different mixture of bacteria’s in the gut is the key to remaining thin and naturally slim people have more of a bacterium from the Bacteroidetes phylum.
Overweight people have several Firmicutes bacteria in their gut, which is correlated with weight gain.

Here are some possible explanations:

Firmicutes consume more energy than Bacteroidetes, which means that overweight people can absorb more calories from food than lean people – even without a change in diet.
If your intestinal bacteria cause inflammation, you will gain weight. Inflammation can lead to digestive disorders such as leaky bowel, autoimmune disease and even mood disorders.
Hormonal imbalances can affect how full you feel after meals, drive you to binge on foods when you are stressed, and even make you store fat.


YOU have the capability to take control of your gut and support a thriving, healthy digestive system. Remember, if you have problems with chronic digestive problems, talk to your doctor.
You can help your beneficial bacteria thrive by eating foods that can contain antioxidants called Polyphenols . Polyphenols are found in highly colored vegetables, coffee and chocolate.

You also want to cut sugar and starch to starve the bad intestinal bacteria. Here’s why: Gut microbes make a hormone called FIAF (fasting-induced fat factor) that tells the body to stop saving fat and burn it instead. To ramp up FIAF, fasting-induced adipose factor, production, ditch candy and white bread. When bacteria are “hungry,” they activate FIAF and you burn fat.
A low-toxin, anti-inflammatory, nutrient diet will help good bacteria thrive and keep the evil bacteria away.


You may have heard of probiotics or gut-boosting microorganisms found in fermented foods such as kefir and sauerkraut. Not many people know that these microorganisms should feed on prebiotics in order to flourish. Prebiotics is a type of fiber that you can find in foods like artichokes and asparagus.

It can be difficult to eat all the right foods so adding supplements to your daily diet will help.  Symbiotic supplements combine probiotics and prebiotics in a gut-friendly supplement that helps good intestinal bacteria thrive. Taking care of your digestive hygiene is a big thing in a world where everything from stress to industrial meat affects your intestinal microbiome.


Here’s a Free E-book on some tips for Training & Nutrition Insider Secrets for a Lean-Body




The dangers of plastic use to the environment is now a worldwide problem.

Plastic was invented way back in 1907. Since then, it became one of the modern marvels that transformed everything in our lives. Plastic is used for many things – from storing food, car parts, appliances, and even for our bottled waters. If you have noticed, glass soda bottles are rare these days. Plastic has definitely helped with the advancement of the society, and the world, it is also starting to take over our environment.

Plastic is now considered a hazard not only for humans, but also for animals, plants, and the wildlife. People have tried to do everything they could to find a solution to this problem. Experts have spent nights and days to brainstorm on how to minimize the use of this material. However, most of them seem to have fallen short of coming up with a solution.

However, things are looking up thanks to a company in the United Kingdom that has found a clever way to recycle old plastic bottles and use them to improve the quality of the roads too!

This technique will not only produce a better version of asphalt, but it will also be way cheaper compared to the traditional way of making this road-making material. Plastic just goes to waste and sent to a landfill. So why not use them for a better purpose?

MacRebur has developed a method on how to turn old plastic bottles into renewable asphalt. This is not only an excellent solution, but it will also last longer than the traditional asphalt being used these days.

This upgraded asphalt is a mixture of granulated plastic waste and asphalt concrete formula that is used to make roads. The type of plastic that would work for this process should be very specific. The plastic should be labeled as waste. This means that they cannot use new or recycled plastic. Also, the plastic that can be used for this must melt at a specific temperature.

Once the plastic road is done, it will look just like any other asphalt road. But the advantage is, this new road is more flexible. It can better sustain heat and cold. It will also stand stronger against elemental damages. And since this is an enhanced asphalt form, it will last ten times longer and is proven to be 60% stronger.

This is definitely good news for drivers and commuters. Roads stay longer which means there will be fewer cracks and potholes!

Many people hear that beer can benefit their body and ignore the comment ONE beer and use it as an excuse to drink several, or more, beers a day. Don’t do that.  One 12 oz, or less, glass of beer a day can provide health benefits.

It Can Help Fight Inflammation

Hops, the female flowers of the hop plant, give beer its tangy, bitter taste. These bright green buds are also chock-full of chemicals known as bitter acids, which have an array of health-promoting effects. Bitter acids are powerful inflammation fighters, according to a study published in National Institutes of Health. One type of bitter acid, humulone, offers promise for both preventing and treating viral respiratory infections.

  Beer Aids Digestion

Bitter acids in beer may also improve digestion. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry looked at five types of German and Austrian beer and found that each triggered the release of gastric acid from stomach cells. The more bitter acids a brew contained, the greater the response. Gastric acid is key for both digesting food in the stomach and controlling the growth of dangerous gut bacteria.

Beer May Prevent Some Cancers

Lots of chemicals found in beer have shown promise in preventing or even treating cancer — although studies so far have been in Petri dishes and rodents. One type of bitter acid, lupulone, wiped out tumors in rats with colon cancer who consumed it in their drinking water, according to a 2007 study published in Carcinogenesis. Xanthohumol, another beer ingredient, also looks promising. A 2010 study by an Austrian research team found that xanthohumol shut down abnormal cell growth and prevented DNA damage in rats exposed to cancer-causing chemicals. The researchers say xanthohumol is likely to be good for humans too, since its cancer-fighting effects were seen at relatively low doses — equivalent to what people would get with moderate beer consumption.

Beer Builds Bones


Beer is a great source of silicon, which is important for building and maintaining healthy bones. In fact, the form of this mineral that’s found in beer, orthosilicic acid, is extra easy for the body to metabolize, according to a 2013 report in the International Journal of Endocrinology. If you’re looking for a brew that will build your bones, try an India pale ale. IPAs and other beers with lots of malted barley and hops are the best  beer sources of silicon, according to a 2010 report from University of California, Davis researchers.

Beer Is Heart-Healthy

Huge studies have found a 25 percent lower risk of heart disease in people who drink from one-half to two drinks daily, compared to abstainers. And alcoholic beverages that are rich in polyphenols — think beer! — may be especially good for the heart, according to a 2012 research review.

Beer has benefits for people who already have heart disease, as well as for healthy folks. Men who had survived a heart attack were nearly half as likely to die over the next 20 years if they drank a couple of beers a day, Harvard researchers reported in 2012.

Beer ‘Polishes’ Your Teeth

That slimy stuff that collects on your teeth if you haven’t brushed in a while? It’s called biofilm, and beer can keep it from forming — and even help get rid of it. UK researchers tested the effects of several plant-derived extracts on bacteria that form biofilm and promote tooth decay and gum disease. Even the weakest extract of beer tested blocked the activity of bacteria associated with gum disease and tooth decay in the study, published in 2012 in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology. In fact, for wiping out biofilm, beer beat out black-tea, raspberry, and all other extracts tested. It was also among the best for blocking communication among dental-disease-causing bacteria.

It May Protect Some Brain Cells

Xanthohumol — that chemical found in beer tzhat can shrink liver tumors in rats — can also protect brain cells from oxidative damage, according to a 2015 study from China. Austrian researchers reported in 2013 that xanthohumol and other beer ingredients promoted the growth and development of neurons — in the lab.

Beer Prevents Kidney Stones

A study in nearly 200,000 patients published in 2013 showed that while sugary soda and punch boosted kidney-stone risk, beer drinking reduced the likelihood of kidney stone formation by 60 percent. “Our study suggests that beer consumption is associated with reduced risk of forming stones in three large U.S. cohorts,” says Pietro Manuel Ferraro, MD, of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome.

We’ll stress again that ONE beer can help in these ways.  Also, it’s advised that a person does drink one beer a day until after they are 21.  Not only because it’s the legal drinking age but that brain needs time to develop.