A healthy microbiome — the genes of tiny organisms living in the digestive tract — helps protect its human host from chronic diseases. Researchers do not yet fully understand the connection, but it appears that eating unprocessed plant-based foods allows the gut microbiome to thrive.
People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may take probiotics to try to restore the balance of bacteria in their gastrointestinal tract. A recent study found that an inactive form of a probiotic (which has some advantages over active versions) helped improve symptoms and quality of life in test subjects.
Staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging for everyone, and the increased anxiety (and boredom) can cause people to abandon their healthy eating intentions and snack on whatever is around. But with a little thought and planning, you can continue to make good food choices and maybe even boost your mood and immunity.
The development of the microbiome begins before birth, but there is a profound difference in the colonizing bacteria if a baby is born by elective cesarean section rather than vaginal birth that can affect a child’s health and risk of disease.
From the time of conception until the second year of life, appropriate bacteria colonization of the digestive tract affects long-term health and plays a role in whether a person will be healthy or will develop a chronic disease.
There is growing evidence that mood disorders may be linked to inflammation and the bacteria in our digestive tracts, so researchers wanted to see if a probiotic compound could help patients with bipolar disorder who had been hospitalized for mania avoid relapse and rehospitalization.