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Alternative and Complementary Treatments for Cancer –

Posted: June 4, 2020 at 12:48 pm

On this page:BasicsComplementary TreatmentAlternative Treatment EffectivenessSide EffectsCancer Cure ScansDiet and Exercise

Youve seen the headlines about natural medicine trends, from yoga to supplements to diet and exercise fads. When it comes to cancer, you want to know what will help you safely regain your health during treatment and after. But there are loads of competing, sometimes-confusing info to sift through. What can you trust? Well, you can start with us here at HealthCentral: We went to the experts to learn all the science-based truth on complementary care for cancer.

First, lets clarify how cancer comes to be: Cancer occurs when abnormal cells anywhere in your body grow out of control, due to mutations in their DNA. Normal cells divide, age and die predictably, copying DNA as they go. Cancer cells, however, dont follow those rules. Rather than die off, they mutate, replicate, and form tumors.

Whats known as the primary site of your cancer is the spot where these cells start growing, and that organ or area determines the type of cancer you have. When cancerous cells journey through your blood or lymphatic system (the network of tissues and organs that flush out toxins, waste, and other undesirables), the areas they invade are metastatic sites.

Note that a cell can be abnormal without being cancerous (also known as malignant). It could be benign (not cancer), or precancerous or premalignant (likely to become cancer). Through screening and testing, docs can determine exactly what youre dealing with.

That depends on what kind of cancer you have, what stage its in, and other factors. Treatment can include:

Doctors often try more than one treatment, spaced out over weeks and months, as they gauge how your body responds. Your doc might even start you on multiple treatments at the same time.

Youve probably heard of complementary care. Or maybe you know it as alternative care. You know a bit of what these treatments might include (youre thinking meditation, herbs, and maybe yoga?). But did you know that while complementary and alternative care are often lumped together (as CAM, Complementary and Alternative Medicine), theyre not the same?

Complementary medicine is used in addition to conventional cancer care. It can include products, practices, and healthcare systems outside of mainstream medicine. These methods dont cure cancer, but work in conjunction with conventional cancer treatments to help in a variety of ways, including pain management and emotional support. Many complementary medicine practices can be considered evidence-based medicine (scientifically studied in randomized controlled trials, the highest level of evidence that guides cancer care).

When complementary medicine works harmoniously with conventional medicine, its an approach known as integrative medicine, or integrated care, where physicians treat you holisticallymeaning caring for you as a whole patient, taking into account all facets of your cancer experience. These can include:

When integrative medicine is administered to treat cancer, its known as integrative oncology, a patient-centered, evidence-informed field of cancer care. It may include:

Alternative medicine, in contrast, is used in place of conventional medicine. Rather than going hand-in-hand with, say surgery and chemo, alternative medicine is done instead of those evidence-based cancer treatments.

A quick note: before you try any new approach during (and after) your cancer treatment journey, make sure to discuss it with your doctor.

If youve used or are considering using complementary medicine as a cancer patient, youre not alonea national survey found that 65% of respondents whod been diagnosed with cancer had used some form of it.

Theres good reason to explore complementary care if you have cancer. It can be part of your supportive carehelping where you need it, like soothing and calming your mind and body as you go through this challenging time. Indeed, research suggests that complementary medicine can assist by:

There are easily hundreds of complementary treatments for cancer, so weve selected a small sample to discuss here. Possibilities include:

Acupuncture: Theres substantial evidence that this ancient Chinese practice of using sterile needles to stimulate different areas of the body can help manage cancer treatment-related nausea and vomiting. It may also help relieve cancer pain and other symptoms, but theres not enough evidence yet to support that.

Herbs: Ginger, for instance, has been shown to help control nausea from chemotherapy when used with conventional anti-nausea medications. Just keep in mind that any supplements you consume can change your body physiologicallynothing you ingest is without the potential for adverse effects. For instance, herbs can impact blood sugar levels and the bloods ability to clot.

Massage therapy: Sure, it feels sublime, and it turns out to have additional benefits too: research suggests that massage therapy can help relieve some cancer symptoms including:

Just be careful not to have deep tissue massage near surgery sites, tumors, or any medical devices. And always tell your therapist about your cancer diagnosis.

Meditation: Mindfulness-based meditation has been shown to improve quality of life during treatment. How? Studies of cancer patients have revealed the following happiness-boosting benefits:

Supplements: Herbal supplements for cancer could potentially help manage side effects like nausea and vomiting, pain, and fatigue, but more scientific evidence is required to make safe decisions about the use of these supplements.

Yoga: Preliminary data of this ancient mind/body practice from India suggests that those who do yoga could see improvements in these areas:

Another benefit: It might help lessen fatigue in breast cancer patients and survivors. More study into the myriad benefits of yoga is needed.

Other approaches: These include hypnosis, relaxation therapy, and biofeedback, all of which might help manage cancer symptoms and treatment side effects, based on study results.

One thing to note about all of these approaches: they might not be covered by your health insurance. According to the American Cancer Society, major insurers, including Blue Cross and Medicare, are starting to cover some complementary treatments. On the list above, acupuncture is most commonly covered. Contact your insurer to see what complementary treatments, if any, are paid for. They might be able to direct you to local providers who are covered under your plan.

When the treatments we discussed earlier (and the hundreds of others that are offered) are used in place of conventional medicine, its known as an alternative treatment. Nearly 40%, or 4 out of 10 Americans, believes that cancer can be cured by alternative treatments, a 2018 survey of cancer patients and people without cancer, found. However, while research shows that complementary medicine can play an important role in conventional cancer medicine, the same hasnt been readily found for alternative treatment.

Case in point: in 2009, the Society for Integrative Oncology (the leading international organization for healthcare professionals and researchers working in the field of complementary therapies in cancer care) published guidelines for healthcare professionals when using complementary medicine.

The org reminded healthcare professionals and patients that unproven cancer treatment methods shouldnt be used in place of conventional options because delaying cancer treatment thats evidence-based and shown to work reduces the chance of remission/cure for cancer patients.

Its important to talk with your healthcare professionals about the risks of using alternative therapies so you can make an informed decision about whats best for your health.

There are definite side effects with CAM. You might think that because something is natural, its safe. But this isnt always the case. Arsenic is natural, for instance, but you wouldnt want to start taking it in large doses.

Another example: Chemotherapy has a multitude of side effects because it destroys both cancerous cells and healthy cells. Its been cited by many as harmful because its made from chemicals. But did you know, some forms of chemo come from nature? Three drugs (Vincristine, Vinblastine, and Vinorelbine) are derived from plant alkaloids and are made from the periwinkle plant (Catharanthus Rosea). Chemo drugs called taxanes (Paclitaxel and Docetaxel) come from the bark of the Pacific Yew tree (Taxus).

Know too that just because something is sold, doesnt mean its been vetted or approved for usefor safety or qualityby the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA doesnt regulate vitamins and supplements, so the onus is on us to do our best to source safe, trustworthy products.

Its vital to tell your cancer healthcare team about every treatment and therapy youre using for your cancer, whether its receiving acupuncture for nausea, going to the chiropractor for pain, adding St. Johns Wort to your supplement regime to help manage depression, or getting a massage to feel better.

If youre reluctant to be open with your doc, youre not alone: 29% of cancer patients did not disclose their CAM practices to their providers, according to one study. Secret-keeping could be downright dangerous. Lets use these four seemingly innocuous examples to illustrate why:

Being open with your doc--both before you start a complementary treatment and while youre on it--is key to helping it complement, rather than detract, from the conventional care youre receiving.

When you have cancer, you of course want a cure (as quickly and painlessly as possible, please). But that desire can leave you vulnerable to fake claims, especially in the alternative medicine space. Both the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regularly warn the public about fraudulent cancer treatments.

It can be hard to spot the signs of snake oil. Without a medical degree, how can you be wise to empty promises? Youll often see the same language used in cancer CAM scams, according to the FDA. These phrases should raise a red flag that a treatment is just too good to be true:

Heres how you can protect yourself while receiving evidence-based integrated care:

You might be wondering now: with all this talk of complementary and alternative medicine, what about food? And diet? And exercise? What role does it play in all this? Is there a cancer diet that could be a complementary treatment?

Turns out, theres a strong body of evidence that a healthy diet and regular physical activity are associated with a reduced risk of cancer. The scientific literature links nutrition to cancer prevention based on specific physiologic pathways, including reducing inflammation, regulating hormones, and preventing oxidative stress. Even after a cancer diagnosis, by making smart choices about what they put on their plate, patients can:

Food has power. To wield it, the American Institute for Cancer Research and American Cancer Society recommends you:

As for physical activity? While you should talk to your healthcare team about what kind and amount of exercise is safe during treatment, The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has issued guidelines for physical activity for cancer survivors, suggesting 150-300 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous physical activity. Exercise is a real magic pill, helping to:

As you can imagine, all of these benefits that come along with being active are particularly important when youre trying to put cancer behind you. Resistance training, in particular, has been proven to improve:

Exercise, like so many CAM options, can help you both feel stronger and respond to treatment better. Just as with other types of complementary treatments, youll want to talk to your doc about how to integrate it, so you can reap the maximum benefits both from your lifestyle changes and your conventional cancer treatment.

Researchers have found that a healthy diet is associated with a reduced risk of cancer. Even if you have cancer, it can help lessen the impact of side effects and improve your quality of life. Studies link nutrition to cancer prevention based on specific physiologic pathways, including reducing inflammation, regulating hormones, and preventing oxidative stress. All to say that food matters.

Heres the thing: there are therapies that can help you go into remission (the period when your signs and symptoms of cancer are reduced). And some healthcare professionals consider cancer cured if it hasnt returned after five years (also called complete remission). Treatments that achieve a complete remission/cure can include therapies that come from a natural source, like some forms of chemo, which are derived from plant alkaloids. But anyone promising a natural cure for cancer that doesnt have evidence to back up that claim is likely pedaling bunk.

As weve discussed, herbs can be excellent complementary treatment in oncology for things like nausea, but any claim of curing cancer should be tempered by evidence-based medicine results (meaning, proof to back up those claims).

The American Academy of Dermatology warns that black salve isnt as safe as you might think, stating that it has never been proven to work. An article on the AADs website cites reports of bad outcomes for people who tried to treat their cancer (including melanoma) using black salve. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns against products that are touted as cures for cancer without evidence: The FDA urges consumers to steer clear of these potentially unsafe and unproven products and to always discuss cancer treatment options with their licensed health care provider.

Alternative and Complementary Treatments for Cancer -

Human Rights Commission threatens Schfer with court action over reopening of schools – Independent Online

Posted: June 4, 2020 at 12:48 pm

By Yolisa Tswanya Jun 3, 2020

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SAHRC commissioner Andre Gaum said the commission wrote to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, as well as to Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schfer, asking her to stick to the rules or face court action.

Gaum said they were of the view that the Western Cape should have remained closed after Motshekga announced that learners should return next week, as opposed to the gazetted date of June 1.

There was a national announcement that they must open on June 8. Opening in one province does not amount to equality. We require her to stick to national direction and that there will be no teaching and learning this week.

"It is important that we do not have a divisive approach, we are one country and we need to make sure schools are ready and no learners are disadvantaged.

He said the province complied when schools were told to close, but were not doing so now.

It is about weighing up rights, the right to health is also applicable here and its also about equal enjoyment of rights.

Schfers spokesperson, Kerry Mauchline, said Schfer received the letter from the SAHRC, and responded saying schooling will continue in the province.

She said that while they did have some challenges on the first day, over 98% of schools were open for learners to arrive.

We did have some challenges yesterday, such as a couple of cases where learners were prevented from attending school by members of the community.

This is being addressed by the department, as learners cannot be denied their right to a basic education. We would like to thank all our principals and teachers that have prepared for the return of learners to schools, and which have safely received learners yesterday.

"We have received countless reports of orientation taking place, following screening measures on arrival at schools, she said.

Meanwhile, former DA leader and now founder of the One South Africa movement, Mmusi Maimane, has filed papers at the Constitutional Court seeking a postponement of the opening of schools. The case is set to be heard on Friday.

The One South Africa movement will be proceeding with our Constitutional Court case seeking the decision for schools to reopen to be suspended for 60 days, during which the government must provide, under the supervision of the Constitutional Court, proof of the existence of a comprehensive readiness and implementation plan.

The plan must precede the simultaneous reopening of any grade or category of learners, the movement said.

Motshekgas spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga, did not respond to questions by deadline.

Cape Times

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Human Rights Commission threatens Schfer with court action over reopening of schools - Independent Online

Annual "Shred Cancer" Event to Raise $55000 for Cancer Prevention Research – PR Web

Posted: June 4, 2020 at 12:48 pm

The first week of June is a special time for us at PROSHRED as our locations come together to hold paper shredding events in their local communities to contribute to the work AICR does.

WASHINGTON (PRWEB) June 03, 2020

PROSHRED Security (PROSHRED) will be celebrating the seventh anniversary for their annual nationwide Shred Cancer event on Saturday October 10, 2020 in partnership with The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). Community members are invited to bring their personal information to be securely shred while raising funds for cancer research.

The event will be held throughout the country at 28 Proshred locations. Event times will vary by location. To view event locations and timings, visit Individuals may bring boxes of documents or multi-media to one of PROSHREDs on-site shredding trucks to safely and securely dispose of unwanted personal information. The event is free to attend and a suggested donation of $5 per box will go directly towards funding AICRs cancer research and education programs. Several locations will host additional events and raffles.

Cancer is an indiscriminate disease. Directly or indirectly, it touches everyone. AICR has taken the latest research and made 10 Cancer Prevention Recommendations to help people live healthier lives. We are committed to putting what we know about cancer prevention into action and give people the resources to make healthy choices and help prevent nearly half of all cancer diagnoses, said Jennifer Mercer, AICRs Senior Vice President of Development. AICRs partnership with Jeffrey and the entire PROSHRED community has been crucial to funding our research and has made an impact on the health of millions of Americans.

Jeffrey Hasham, Chief Executive Officer of PROSHRED, commented, The first week of June is a special time for us at PROSHRED as our locations come together to hold paper shredding events in their local communities to contribute to the work AICR does. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we have moved our events to the fall of 2020, in most locations that will be October 10, 2020. During this time, we hope to continue to raise awareness and support AICR through online engagement. We hope to see everyone on October 10 to celebrate our 7th annual nationwide event. Together, we can Shred Cancer.

Started in 2014 on National Cancer Survivors Day, PROSHRED has contributed over $200,000 to cancer research. This year AICR and Proshred have set a goal to raise $55,000.

About PROSHRED Security

PROSHRED shreds and recycles confidential information and proprietary materials for thousands of customers in the United States in all industry sectors. PROSHRED is the pioneer of the mobile document destruction and is both ISO 9001 and NAID AAA certified.

It is PROSHREDs vision to be the system of choice and provider of shredding and recycling services on a global basis. Today, PROSHRED services over 30 U.S. markets in the United States and has a total of 36 locations worldwide. For more information, please visit,

About the American Institute for Cancer Research

Our vision: We want to live in a world where no one develops a preventable cancer.

Our mission: The American Institute for Cancer Research champions the latest and most authoritative scientific research from around the world on cancer prevention and survival through diet, weight and physical activity, so that we can help people make informed lifestyle choices to reduce their cancer risk.

We have contributed over $109 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospital and research centers across the country. Find evidence-based tools and information for lowering cancer risk, including AICRs Cancer Prevention Recommendations, at

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Annual "Shred Cancer" Event to Raise $55000 for Cancer Prevention Research - PR Web

Gastroparesis treated primarily with diet: Ask the Doctors –

Posted: June 4, 2020 at 12:47 pm

For those with the condition, the stomach is slow to empty its contents into the small intestine.

Q: My husband started having a lot of stomach pain and was also feeling queasy. Needless to say, I feared the worst cancer but, instead, his doctor says it's gastroparesis. Is it dangerous? What's the best treatment?

A: Gastroparesis is the name of a condition in which the stomach is slow to empty its contents into the small intestine. This isn't due to any type of blockage. Instead, as the name of the condition suggests ("gastro" refers to the stomach, and "paresis" indicates nerve-related muscle weakness), the cause is a malfunction in the nerves that serve the region. This includes the vagus nerve, which animates the stomach muscles and helps send food to the small intestine. Symptoms include the pain and nausea your husband experienced, as well as poor appetite, feeling full after only small amounts of food or drink, heartburn and unintended weight loss.

When functioning properly, the stomach takes about four hours to saturate its contents with gastric juices, break everything up into smaller particles and pass the majority of it along to the small intestine. For people living with gastroparesis, the process takes significantly longer.

The result is delayed digestion, which can lead to a range of problems. Food that remains in the stomach for too long is susceptible to fermentation, which can encourage the growth of bacteria. The condition can interfere with appetite and sometimes leads to malnutrition. When the contents of the stomach are stalled, they can coagulate into a mass known as a bezoar, which can cause a blockage. And for people living with diabetes, the delayed movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine can interfere with glucose control.

Gastroparesis is often seen in people living with diabetes, which can cause nerve damage. It may also arise as the result of viral stomach infections, hypothyroidism, certain autoimmune or neurological disorders, or surgical injury. It's a known (albeit rare) side effect of medications such as opioids, antihistamines, tricyclic antidepressants and calcium-channel blockers, which can impede digestion.

Diet is important in the management of gastroparesis, with an emphasis on nutrient density and ease of digestion. Patients are asked to eat small meals of soft, well-cooked food, and to avoid high-fat foods, which delay the emptying of the stomach. Foods high in fiber are difficult to digest and are also limited, or in some cases eliminated. Fruits and vegetables, which contain nondigestible fiber, should be served cooked, and in some cases pureed. For instance, instead of an apple, a patient will have a small serving of applesauce. They are also encouraged to drink liquids that contain glucose and electrolytes, including clear soups, low-fat broths, low-fiber fruit and vegetable juices or sports drinks. Since glucose control and malnutrition are both a challenge, many people with gastroparesis work with a registered dietitian.

When the condition can't be managed with diet, medications that cause the stomach to contract and emerging therapies such as electrical gastric stimulation may be an option. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. We recommend that your husband seek out a gastroenterologist to fully assess his case and plan his treatment.

Send your questions to, or write: Ask the Doctors, c/o UCLA Health Sciences Media Relations, 10880 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1450, Los Angeles, CA, 90024.

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Gastroparesis treated primarily with diet: Ask the Doctors -

Want To Run Faster? Here’s The Diet Change That Lets You Do It In 4 Days – Medical Daily

Posted: June 4, 2020 at 12:47 pm

Looking for a simple dietary change that can improve your stamina and help you run faster in as fast as four days? If so, then the Mediterranean diet might be what you need.

Mediterranean Diet: Run Faster In Four Days

Thanks to numerous researchers, studies and people who actually experienced the results, weve all been praising the Mediterranean diet for quite a while now. More of a lifestyle than a diet, this strategy has been known to help with inflammation, promote heart health, improve organ function and even reduce the risk of your developing depression.

But did you know that for athletes who want to improve their performance and endurance, the diet can come in very handy too?

Thats right, because a study made by a team of researchers from Saint Louis University (SLU) in Missouri revealed that people who follow the diet are known to improve their running and endurance by six percent in a mere four days. The team reportedly recruited a group of men and women and required them to run on a treadmill after four days of eating the diet strictly. As for what they ate, it involved at least three servings of nuts and fruits, four tablespoons of olive oil and at least two servings of vegetables. Additionally, they also limited their consumption of meat, sodas and sweets.

From this, the team was able to conclude that following the diet helped them move six percent faster than when they were on a diet high in refined sugars, fat and salt.

Many individual nutrients in the Mediterranean diet improve exercise performance immediately or within a few days. Therefore, it makes sense that a whole dietary pattern that includes these nutrients is also quick to improve performance. However, these benefits were also quickly lost when switching to the Western diet, highlighting the importance of long-term adherence to the Mediterranean diet, Edward Weiss, studys senior researcher and a professor of nutrition and dietetics, said.

Like the general population, athletes and other exercise enthusiasts commonly eat unhealthy diets. Now they have an additional incentive to eat healthy, he added.

Running a marathon has been found helping people reverse the hearts biological age and improve cardiovascular health. Pixabay

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Want To Run Faster? Here's The Diet Change That Lets You Do It In 4 Days - Medical Daily

ASK THE DOCTORS: Condition gastroparesis treated primarily with diet – Journal Times

Posted: June 4, 2020 at 12:47 pm

Gastroparesis is often seen in people living with diabetes, which can cause nerve damage. It may also arise as the result of viral stomach infections, hypothyroidism, certain autoimmune or neurological disorders, or surgical injury. Its a known (albeit rare) side effect of medications such as opioids, antihistamines, tricyclic antidepressants and calcium-channel blockers, which can impede digestion.

Diet is important in the management of gastroparesis, with an emphasis on nutrient density and ease of digestion. Patients are asked to eat small meals of soft, well-cooked food, and to avoid high-fat foods, which delay the emptying of the stomach. Foods high in fiber are difficult to digest and are also limited, or in some cases eliminated. Fruits and vegetables, which contain nondigestible fiber, should be served cooked, and in some cases pureed. For instance, instead of an apple, a patient will have a small serving of applesauce. They are also encouraged drink liquids that contain glucose and electrolytes, including clear soups, low-fat broths, low-fiber fruit and vegetable juices, or sports drinks. Since glucose control and malnutrition are both a challenge, many people with gastroparesis work with a registered dietitian.

When the condition cant be managed with diet, medications that cause the stomach to contract and emerging therapies such as electrical gastric stimulation may be an option. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. We recommend that your husband seek out a gastroenterologist to fully assess his case and plan his treatment.

Eve Glazier, M.D., MBA, is an internist and associate professor of medicine at UCLA Health. Elizabeth Ko, M.D., is an internist and assistant professor of medicine at UCLA Health.

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ASK THE DOCTORS: Condition gastroparesis treated primarily with diet - Journal Times

How Long It Takes For Viagra To Work And How Long It Lasts? – Programming Insider

Posted: June 4, 2020 at 12:47 pm

Viagra is a commonly known form of medication Sildenafil. It is used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction that helps men to stimulate their erections by increasing blood flow in the penis. Other than that, it is used for certain heart conditions in most people.

There are many reasons that influence how long the medication lasts and how long it takes before Viagra starts to make noticeable and effective changes. Most often, it takes about 30 minutes before showing results, but it also depends on the following few factors that might affect its time duration.

Diet of an individualThe overall health of the personUsage of other medications (if any)Underlying conditions, etc.

Also, you can get Viagra from Numan for yourself at very affordable prices. Along with that, it has hair loss treatment medications also.

How Viagra Works?

The erection for a man occurs when the nerves of the penis are aroused and stimulated. They help the muscles of erectile tissue that are present around the penis and clitoris, known as the corpus cavernosal to get smooth and relax, in order to allow the adequate amount of blood to flow and cause an erection.

However, with erectile dysfunction, the nerves become incapable of communicating with the brain in a proper way. This leads to improper blood flow into the corpus cavernosa, which helps stimulate an erection.

Viagra works by helping with muscle relaxation and soothes the walls around blood vessels that let blood flow more conveniently into the body parts including the penis. This is how it helps with an erection.

When Viagra Starts Working?

The viagra medication starts to show its effects in about 30 to 60 minutes after taking it orally. It may also take up around 2 hours to work if the above-mentioned factors are influencing the individual.

In addition, to let viagra work normally and a bit sooner, a person still needs to feel comfortable, relaxed, and stress-free along with feeling sexually aroused to get an erection.

For How Long Viagra Works?

On average, the Viagra medication lasts up to two to four hours before its effects start to decrease. However, it can also last for more than four hours depending on various factors such as the dosage, age of the individual, their diet, psychological state, overall health conditions including bodys metabolism, etc.

Moreover, a higher dosage of viagra can also take longer to leave the body. This means that a 25 mg to 50 mg tablet will effect for a couple of hours whereas a 100 mg one may take approximately four times longer to decrease its effects.

A person can also get an erection several times with Viagra in his body depending on how the body metabolizes it. But it may not work again instantly after having sexual intercourse because most likely a person cannot get another erection right after ejaculating. The reason is, the body is not physiologically prepared for it and that is known as the refractory period.

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How Long It Takes For Viagra To Work And How Long It Lasts? - Programming Insider

Always hungry? Thats because you have 5 different appetites – Netdoctor

Posted: June 4, 2020 at 12:47 pm

If you frequently find yourself staring into the fridge, there could be good reason. Humans have five distinct appetites, scientists say, which work in tandem to ensure we get specific amounts of the nutrients our bodies need to work efficiently: protein, carbs, fats, sodium, and calcium.

In studying animal behaviours over the last 30 years, researchers David Raubenheimer and Stephen Simpson authors of Eat Like the Animals: What Nature Teaches Us About Healthy Eating have gone on to make significant discoveries about the human diet.

Their study of a female Cape baboon in the Cape Peninsula of South Africa, published in the journal PLOS One, showed evidence of longer-term nutrient regulation. Over 30 days, they recorded everything the baboon known as Stella consumed.

While the foods varied widely each day, her diet was a strikingly consistent balance of protein to non-protein (fat and carbohydrate) energy across the month. Raubenheimer and Simpson went on to replicate their appetite research in human subjects.

A volunteer group of 10 people stayed in a chalet for a week, eating from a buffet at their leisure for two days. They were split across two groups a high-protein buffet and a low-protein, high-carb, high-fat buffet for two days, returning to the original buffet for the final two.

The results, published in the journal Appetite, revealed that those on the low-protein diet ate more calories and carbs to replenish the missing protein, while those on high-protein diets consumed fewer to compensate for the imbalance.

It is a mistake to think of appetite as a single, powerful drive to eat.

It is a mistake to think of appetite as a single, powerful drive to eat, Raubenheimer and Simpson write in New Scientist. We need separate appetites to keep track of various nutrients, and hence to construct a balanced diet.

Why protein, carbs, fats, sodium, and calcium? Those five have been singled out by evolution for good reasons, the researchers continue. One is that there is a limit to how complex biological systems can get and still operate efficiently. We couldn't have specific appetites for dozens of nutrients.

Another is that these nutrients are needed in very specific quantities. Third, some components, like sodium, were often rare in our ancestral environments and we needed dedicated machinery to seek them out, for example in mineral deposits.

Ultra-processed foods usually contain ingredients that you wouldnt add when cooking at home chemicals, colourings, emulsifiers, sweeteners, stabilisers and preservatives and can be found in all sorts of products, from breads and cereals to ready meals and reconstituted meat products.

They are low in high quality proteins and high in simple sugars and processed carbs, says Dr Aamer Khan, co-founder of the Harley Street Skin Clinic. They may lack certain vital minerals that manufacturers avoid using because of cost.

The more ultra-processed foods we eat, the more calories we need to consume to reach our target quota of protein. And we naturally gravitate towards that target, even when it means consuming excess carbs and fats to reach it.

Charles GullungGetty Images

Ultra-processed foods make us fat, but not because we have strong appetites for the fats and carbs they contain, as is often thought to be the case, Raubenheimer and Simpson write.

Rather, it is because our appetite for protein is stronger than our ability to limit fat and carb intake. So, when protein is diluted by fats and carbs, our appetite for it overwhelms the mechanisms that normally tell us to stop eating fats and carbs.

In much the same way, going overboard on the protein can have its pitfalls, if youre consistently switching your veggies with steak.

A diet biased towards too much protein will not only restrict calorific intake, but also micronutrient and mineral intake, Dr Khan says. This can result in the breakdown of the normal functioning of the healthy body, the slowing of the metabolism and breakdown of the immune system.

Aim for a balance of macronutrients thats protein, carbs and fats at every meal. Protein is used for building and repairing body tissues, says Dr Khan. Carbs give energy; fats give slow release energy and fat-soluble micronutrients and minerals.

Get acquainted with the spice rack at every opportunity. You could even grow your own fresh herbs. Seasoning is important, it gives micronutrients, he says.

And if you tend to gulp down your meal in a few large mouthfuls, try slowing things down. It takes 10 to 15 minutes for your gut to tell your brain you are full, he says.

Above all, channel your inner Stella next time you go food shopping eating a wide variety of different foods will help you reach your macro and micronutrient requirements naturally.

Diets that are well balanced will allow satiation without taking on foods that have a high calorific value, such as carbs and fats, and also allow sufficient intake of the micronutrients and minerals that are essential to the healthy workings of the human body, says Dr Khan.

Eat Like the Animals: What Nature Teaches Us About Healthy Eating by David Raubenheimer and Stephen Simpson is out now (William Collins).

Last updated: 01-06-2020

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Always hungry? Thats because you have 5 different appetites - Netdoctor


Posted: June 4, 2020 at 12:47 pm

Those whove just started the keto diet are always anxious for one important event to occur.

Am I in ketosis?

Sure, most peoples primary goal on a ketogenic diet is to lose weight. A lot of weight.

But the body has to go into fat-burning mode, more accurately known as ketosis, before the weight begins to disappear. Going into ketosis is the first important signal that the diet is starting to work.

Fortunately, it doesnt take a lot of time for most people. And when the body is entering that all-important phase of the keto process, its usually not a secret.

Heres how to tell when youre in ketosis.

How Ketosis Works

Experts could write long dissertations on the biology and physics of ketosis. But well try to explain it in three short paragraphs, so you can understand why its so important.

The body relies on carbohydrates for the energy it needs to function. Those carbs come from the food we eat; theyre broken down into glucose, a type of sugar thats utilized by the body as fuel. Any glucose thats left over is stored in a form called glycogen.

When you start a keto diet youre virtually eliminating carbs as an energy source. That forces the body to look for fuel somewhere else. It starts by using previously-stored glycogen, but what happens when the glycogen runs out?

It starts burning stored body fat to create a secondary energy source known as ketones. And when the body begins producing ketones for energy, it enters the metabolic state called ketosis. (You knew wed get there eventually.) Thats why you lose weight on the keto diet: youre withholding carbs to force the body into ketosis, so it will burn stored fat for energy.

So ketosis signals that youve entered the stage of your diet when youll be able to start shedding pounds.

The Physical Signs of Ketosis

You can tell when youve entered ketosis by using one of two methods. You can test your blood, breath or urine for the presence of ketones. Or you can simply recognize the physical signs of ketosis that your body is exhibiting.

The Keto Flu

The body doesnt normally use ketones for energy, so when it has to make the switchover from glucose things dont go smoothly at first. Ketosis begins in fits and starts, which usually result in a series of very noticeable symptoms. Taken together, the symptoms have been dubbed the keto flu, since they closely resemble the effects of a bad case of influenza (even though theres no virus or bacteria involved).

Within a day or two of starting a rigorous keto diet youre likely to feel tired, even exhausted. It will be difficult or impossible to complete your normal workouts, and you may suffer muscle cramps even if you havent exercised. Youll also have to urinate a lot, because excess ketones bind to water in your body and have to be excreted.

In more serious cases, you can experience nausea and vomiting, difficulty in focusing, constipation or diarrhea, headaches and insomnia. The good news is that the keto flu lasts no longer than a week for most people, and there are ways to short-circuit it.

Many of the symptoms are because frequent urination leads to dehydration and the loss of important minerals. Drinking lots of water or broth, and getting more salt, magnesium and potassium (via diet or supplements) will help quite a bit but dont do it with store-bought electrolyte drinks, because they contain sugar that will knock you right out of ketosis.

Get lots of sleep, slow down on exercise and stick to your diet, and youll get past it and remember, it means youre going into ketosis.

Dry Mouth and Bad Breath

The frequent urination associated with the keto flu often leaves your mouth feeling dry, and youre thirstier than usual, since its easy to become dehydrated. Youll often notice the smell of one ketone, acetone, on your breath as well; most people simply notice this as bad breath thats difficult to get rid of. These are both signs that youre going into ketosis.

Digestive Problems

It probably wont come as a surprise, but your digestive tract has to adapt to functioning in a very different way when you enter ketosis. Thats not just because of the glucose/ketone energy switch, but also because of the drastic micronutrient changes youre making in your diet. That can result in stomach pains, constipation and diarrhea above and beyond the effects of the keto flu. Those will go away, too.

The Start of Ketos Real Effects

When you start to feel less hungry, your focus and concentration improves, and you start to lose some weight, its time to relax. Those are all signs that not only have you entered ketosis, but your body has become fat adapted. In other words, its made the long-term metabolic adjustment to run completely on ketones rather than glucose. This usually occurs after 2-3 weeks on keto.

Just dont be disappointed if the weight loss isnt extreme or only lasts for a little while; at first, youre just losing water weight. The real keto weight loss comes as you continue to stick with your diet.

Measuring Your Ketones

Its unlikely that your body will enter ketosis without making you very much aware of it.

However, some people who only experience a mild case of the keto flu or dont really notice anything different at all will understandably be anxious to find out whats going on with their body.

There are three ways to test for the presence of ketones in your body, and the most reliable is with a blood test. You can certainly ask your doctor or lab to do it, but there are also home testing kits which will analyze your blood. The tests look for a ketone called BHB, and results are measured in millimoles per liter (mmol/L). Once the reading is above 0.5 that means youve started ketosis, and a reading of 1.5-3.0 (or above) means youve reached stable ketosis,

The second-best choice is to use a different meter to check for the presence of acetone in your breath. Those readings are measured in parts per million (PPM) and you should be between 10 and 40 PPM if youre in ketosis. Finally, you can use urine strips which change color to indicate whether youre in ketosis; theyre not as reliable, but theyre less expensive and easier to use.

Even if you rely on physical symptoms to know if youre in ketosis, its still a good idea to have some method of testing your ketones if you plan to stay on the keto diet. It will allow you to make minor adjustments to the diet and remain comfortably in ketosis for the duration.

Original post:

The Infant Gut Microbiome and Probiotics that Work – The Scientist

Posted: June 4, 2020 at 12:47 pm

In the fall of 2018, a team of researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel published findings that a cocktail of 11 strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium had minimal immediate impact and no lasting effect on the makeup of the gut microbiome of mice or people. In fact, the probiotic bacteria were not found in any of the fourteen adult participants after supplementation ended.

These recent findings received quite a lot of press and added to growing sentiment among the public that probioticslive microorganisms that are purported to confer benefits on the human hostdont work. Decades of research have shown that most probiotics aren't able to colonize or exert lasting benefits in the human gut. Some critics even suggested that probiotics may not be a promising avenue for treating disease or otherwise improving health and wellness. But we thought: Dont throw the baby out with the bathwaterour work shows that the right probiotic can work in the infant gut. Findings we published in 2017 showed that feeding breastfed babies a probiotic that included a specific strain of Bifidobacterium longum subspecies infantis (B. infantis EVC001) resulted in a 10,000,000-fold average increase in levels of fecal B. infantis. This level persisted for one month after the supplement was consumed, and levels remained elevated for up to one year after treatment.

To understand why the infant gut microbiome changed so drastically over the past century, we sought to understand how the infant gut microbiome forms.

Colonization of the infant gut by B. infantis had protective effects, such as lower levels of potential gut pathogens and fecal endotoxin, an outer membrane component of Gram-negative organisms known to trigger inflammation. We also found that infants given the B. infantis probiotic had reduced intestinal inflammation compared with breastfed infants who did not receive the probiotic. The gut microbiomes of B. infantis supplemented babies harbored fewer antibiotic resistance genesa sign of fewer pathogensand showed less degradation of mucin, a glycoprotein secreted by the intestinal epithelium that protects epithelial cells from direct contact with gut microbes. These data support earlier findings from Mark Underwood and colleagues at the University of California, Davis. In 2013, Underwoods team showed that feeding preterm infants a different strain, B. infantis ATCC15697, resulted in greater increases in fecal Bifidobacterium and reduced levels of potential pathogens compared with infants given a probiotic containing B. lactis.

While the scientific community and the public grappled with repeated findings that probiotic supplements taken by adults are not consistent in effectively colonizing the gut or conferring benefit, we now had convincing evidence that babies gut microbiomes responded incredibly well to specific strains of B. infantis. The question was why.

Hints about the infant microbiome can be found in century-old articles on commensal bacteria in infant feces. W. R. Logan, a clinical pathologist at the Research Laboratory of the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh, was the first to report, 100 years ago, that bacteria in fecal smears from breastfed infants were a near monoculture of Bacillus bifidus, which is today known as the genus Bifidobacterium. Fecal smears from formula-fed infants of that time, by contrast, had a diversity of bacteria, with relatively few Bifidobacteriummore similar to the microbial diversity found in todays breastfed infants.

These striking changes in the gut microbiome composition seen over the past century were consistent with our recent finding that the fecal pH in breastfed infants dramatically increased from pH 5.0 to 6.5 within the past 100 years, a change associated with an apparent generational loss of Bifidobacterium and concomitant increase in potential pathogens. The reduction in Bifidobacterium in the gut microbiome of breastfed infants is likely an unintended consequence of medical practices that can save lives but do not support the growth of Bifidobacterium. Such medical practices include treatment with antibiotics to which Bifidobacterium are sensitive; infant formula that doesnt provide the specific food the bacterium requires; and greater numbers of cesarean section deliveries, which bypass the route by which the bacterium is transferred from mother to baby. These medical practices have been implicated in the increased risk for allergic and autoimmune diseases prevalent in resource-rich nations. The reduction in Bifidobacterium and increase in proinflammatory microbes in early infancy is proposed to occur during the critical window of immune system development, and thereby may increase the risk for immune disease later in life.

To understand why the infant gut microbiome changed so drastically over the past century, we sought to understand how this community forms. Infant gut microbiome colonization begins at delivery with exposure to maternal microbesmostly vaginal and fecal microbes for vaginally delivered babies or predominately microbes from the skin, mouth, and surrounding environment in infants born by cesarean delivery. After birth, infants are bombarded by a vast array of microbes found in the environment, including in breast milk, but the species that go on to become durable members of the microbial community are often those transmitted by the infants mothers through physical contact.

Children continue to acquire gut microbiome species from their mothers and others in the community during early life. This stands in contrast to an adults gut microbiome, which is stable and resists change largely because the available space and food is already used by established microbesthe ecological niches are simply occupied in adult guts. Thus, it makes sense that a probiotic has a better chance of persisting in the infant gut, where it faces less competition, and therefore is more likely to have food it can consume and a location where it can grow. A probiotic serves as just one more source of exposure to new bacteria for the infant.

Recognizing this, we began to wonder: In our studies, what ecological niche did B. infantis fill that supported its persistence in infants long after probiotic administration stopped?

Historically, the breastfed infant gut microbiome was a near monoculture of Bifidobacterium (J Pathol Bacteriol, 18:52751, 1913). The formula-fed infant gut microbiome was much more diverse. The breastfed infant gut microbiome and the formula-fed infant gut microbiome are now more similar to the historical formula-fed infant gut microbiome, although modern breastfed infants do have moreBifidobacterium than modern formula-fed infants.

A major factor in determining which bacteria thrive in the gut is the availability of their carbohydrate food sources. Thus, for a probiotic to work in an infant, microorganisms should be selected so that the food source they use most efficiently matches whats availablea food that is present and not already being consumed by other bacteria. We set out to determine what carbohydrates B. infantis consumes in the infant gut.

Naturally, we turned to breast milk, which for millions of years has been the single food that can exclusively nourish and protect babies for the first six months of life. Human milk delivers nutrients as well as non-nutritive, bioactive molecules, including carbohydrates known as human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs). Back in the mid-1900s, Paul Gyrgy, a world-renowned biochemist, nutritionist, and pediatrician from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues unknowingly referred to HMOs when they proposed the existence of a bifidus factor, something unique in breast milk that fed Bifidobacterium. While humans cannot digest HMOs, it turns out that Bifidobacterium, especially B. infantis, can. In 2007, our group at UC Davis used mass spectrometrybased tools coupled with microbiology to show that B. infantis gobbles up HMOs as its sole energy source, while other species of Bifidobacterium consume only some HMOs in addition to plant-, animal-, and host-derived carbohydrates.

HMOs are a diverse class of complex carbohydrate molecules synthesized by the mammary gland. With approximately 200 different molecular species, they represent the third most abundant solid component in human milk following lactose and fat. Because HMOs are complex and vary in structure, they are expensive to manufacture. Current infant formulas may contain one or two simple HMO structures, but at a fraction of the concentration found in breast milk. Infant formulas lack the abundance and complexity of HMOs to selectively feed beneficial gut microbes and to bind and neutralize pathogens from the gut.

The bacterial species in the infant gut capable of consuming HMOs can be considered the milk-oriented microbiome (MOM). Although B. infantis appears to be the most efficient consumer of HMOs, other species of Bifidobacterium, in particular, B. breveand B. bifidum, can and do consume some HMOs but also consume plant-, animal-, and host-derived carbohydrates. The Bifidobacterium species that colonize the gut change throughout life in response to available carbohydrates in the host diet. For instance, B. infantis, B. breve, and B. bifidum are MOM bifidobacteria typically found in the stool of exclusively breastfed infants, while B. longum and B. adolescentis, which preferentially consume plant- and animal-derived carbohydrates, are typically found in the stool of adults. Yet there is variation and overlap in the species present at different life stages.

A major factor in determining which bacteria thrive in the gut is the availability of its carbohydrate food source.

Of the MOM bifidobacteria found in the infant gut microbiome, different species may have different implications for the microbiome. For example, when we gave exclusively breastfed infants a supplement with the probiotic B. infantis EVC001, their gut became dominated by the genus Bifidobacteriumupwards of 80 percent relative abundance of the gut microbiomeand potential pathogens made up less than 10 percent of the community. On the other hand, the gut microbiomes of exclusively breastfed infants who were not supplemented with B. infantis EVC001 had much lower levels of Bifidobacterium, with only about 30 percent relative abundance, and potential pathogens constituted about 40 percent of the microbes in their gut, findings that are consistent with previous work from our group and others. This near-monoculture of Bifidobacterium appeared to be driven by B. infantis, which represented about 90 percent of the total Bifidobacterium in infants fed the probiotic. In contrast, B. longum was the predominant gut Bifidobacterium in the control group, followed by B. breve and B.bifidum. These data highlight the vital importance of strain specificity in probiotics, and the combination of the presence of B. infantis and breastfeeding to support a protective gut environment in infants.

To understand how supplementary B. infantis can so successfully outcompete other microbes in the infant gut, we took a deep dive into its feeding strategy. Turns out it is a picky eater, exclusively dining on HMOs, and when HMOs are abundant, B. infantis gobbles them up ravenously. Unlike other MOM bifidobacteria, B. infantis possesses all the genes necessary for the complete, internal degradation of HMOs and preferentially uses HMOs over any other carbohydrate source. Other MOM bifidobacteria such as B. bifidum and B. breve strains display growth capabilities with only a subset of HMOs. B. infantis thus has a competitive advantage when breast milk makes up the entire diet.

A 2008 study from colleagues at UC Davis and their collaborators showed how B. infantis makes quick use of HMOs: with binding proteins to grab HMOs from the gut lumen and transporters to usher them into the cytoplasm, breaking them down into monosaccharides that are then fermented into lactate and the short-chain fatty acid acetate that are secreted from the cell. These end products maintain a lower pH in the intestinal milieu, supporting the transport of these compounds into the intestinal epithelium for use by the host and creating an undesirable environment for potential pathogens. The production of acetate also blocks the infiltration of toxic molecules produced by pathogenic bacteria by enhancing intestinal barrier function and inhibiting pro-inflammatory and apoptotic responses. Recent findings from one in vitro study have shown that the amount of acetate and lactate produced by different bifidobacterial species is dependent on how well they consume the carbohydrates available to them. Hence, feed a carbohydrate-consuming microbe its preferred carbohydrate, and it has greater potential to produce more of its protective end-products.

Another reason why B. infantis outcompetes other bifidobacterial strains in the gut of breastfed infants is that all of its HMO digestion happens inside the bacterial cell. B. bifidum, on the other hand, digests HMOs externally. This extracellular digestion liberates simple carbohydrates and may cross-feed other species of Bifidobacterium, but also cross-feeds and thus opens an ecological niche for other, perhaps less beneficial microbes. Cross-feeding among microbes diversifies the gut microbiome, which is considered to be generally beneficial in adults.

But is there an advantage to having a near monoculture of Bifidobacterium in infants? By asking this question, our focus turned to immune development.

Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are complex carbohydrates that microbial species of the milk-oriented microbiome (MOM) can use as a food source. Bifidobacterium infantis encodes many proteins that specifically bind and transport all types of HMOs into its cell and digest them internally. Other Bifidobacterium species digest only some HMOs and some do so externally. Digestion of HMOs by MOM Bifidobacterium results in the production of lactate and the short chain fatty acid acetate, that are secreted into the gut lumen. These molecules lower the pH in the intestinal milieu, which improves their transport into the epithelium for use by the host and creates an undesirable environment for potential pathogens such as E. coli.

B. infantis preferentially consumes all HMO species over any other carbohydrate source.

B. bifidum eats only a subset of HMOs.

The decline of Bifidobacterium in infant gut microbiomes and the associated dysregulation of the microbial community, with more numerous potential pathogens, has been suggested as one possible contributor to the increased incidence of autoimmune diseases that plague residents of resource-rich nations. Conversely, observational studies have shown beneficial immune effects of having a fecal microbiome dominated by Bifidobacterium. In two studies in Bangladeshi infants and young children, fecal B. infantis and Bifidobacterium abundances at two months of age were strongly correlated with improved vaccine responses at six months and two years old compared with infants not colonized by B. infantis or with low relative abundances of Bifidobacterium.

Additionally, bifidobacteria are less likely than other microbes, especially potential pathogens, to carry and share antimicrobial resistance genes, which can lead to a higher risk of antibiotic-resistant infections. In an observational study of Bangladeshi and Swedish infants, a dominance of intestinal Bifidobacterium was associated with a significant reduction in both the number and the abundance of antibiotic resistance genes. Moreover, compared with matched-control breastfed infants, supplementation with B. infantis EVC001 led to a reduction of antibiotic resistance genes by 90 percent, a drop largely driven by a reduction in levels of Escherichia, Clostridium, and Staphylococcuspotentially pathogenic bacteria that play a major role in the evolution and dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes.

In an effort to restore the Bifidobacterium-dominated infant gut microbiome that was typical of breastfed babies 100 years ago, we decided to conduct a randomized, controlled trial using the B. infantis EVC001 probiotic. Given that not all B. infantis strains consume all HMOs efficiently, we selected B. infantis EVC001 because we knew this strain had the full cassette of genes needed to fully digest all HMOs. Healthy, full-term, breastfed infants were randomized to consume B. infantis EVC001 for 21 consecutive days starting on day 7 postnatal or to not receive the probiotic.

A PROBIOTIC THAT STICKS: Scanning electron micrographs of infant fecal samples show a large increase in the number of Bifidobacterium microbes in those treated with a probiotic called EVC001 (right) compared with controls (left).

Compared with breastfed control infants who did not receive the probiotic, supplementation resulted in a 10,000,000-fold average increase in levels of fecal B. infantis and increased fecal Bifidobacterium by 79 percent during the supplementation period, and this was still true at one month post supplementation. This means Bifidobacterium colonization persisted without the continuation of probiotic supplementation. Additionally, colonization of B. infantis persisted until one year of age if infants were continuing to consume any breast milk and were not exposed to antibiotics. Importantly, the supplemented infants exhibited an 80 percent reduction in potential gut pathogens belonging to the families Enterobacteriaceae and Clostridiaceae and reduced fecal endotoxin. Additionally, we saw a 2-fold increase in fecal lactate and acetate and a 10-fold decrease in fecal pH. The supplemented infants gut microbiomes and biochemistry resembled norms observed a century ago.

We also identified some clues about the consequences of the gut microbiomes modernization. Breastfed infants with low fecal Bifidobacterium had excreted 10-fold more HMOs in their stool throughout the two-month study period than infants supplemented with B. infantis EVC001, indicating that HMOsthe third most abundant component in breast milkwere going to waste. We also foundthat infants with low fecal Bifidobacterium had several-fold higher levels of fecalproinflammatory cytokines compared with infants whose gut microbiomes were dominated by Bifidobacterium post supplementation with B. infantis EVC001.

Taken together, these data demonstrate that this particular strain of B. infantis, provided as a probiotic to breastfed infants, dramatically colonized the infant gut microbiome during and after supplementation, and beneficially remodeled the microbial, biochemical, and immunological environment in the infant gut. Many infants around the world never acquire B. infantis, but the combination of breastfeeding and probiotic supplementation with this bacterium seems to lead to a nourishing and protective gut environment.

Many infants around the world never acquire B. infantis, but the combination of breastfeeding and probiotic supplementation with this bacterium seems to lead to a nourishing and protective gut environment.

Our findings also support the hypothesis that the ineffectiveness of some probiotics in adults is due in part to the fact that they are introducing a new species to an established community with few ecological niches still open. Probiotics may not work in infants when there is a mismatch between the carbohydrate needs of the probiotic and the availability of highly specific carbohydrates such as HMOs in breast milk. Because B. infantisefficiently consumes almost all HMOs found in breast milk, it is likely to find an open ecological niche and then outcompete other microbes, especially proinflammatory pathogens.

Many scientists are working to understand what the infant gut microbiome really means for health across the lifespan. Meanwhile, we are turning our attention to other questions: How do colonization patterns of Bifidobacterium differ in infant populations around the world from infancy to weaning? And what solid foods support a healthy gut and immune system? Working with funding from the National Institutes of Health, we are now conducting a study designed to understand how the carbohydrate structures of complementary foods influence microbial function that will support a healthy gut microbiome and immune system development in late infancy and early toddlerhood. The ultimate goal is to identify specific carbohydrate structures in the diet that selectively feed beneficial gut microbes in children during the critical window of immune development for lifelong health.

Jennifer Smilowitzis the associate director of the Human Studies Research Program at the Foods for Health Institute and a research scientist in the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis.Diana Hazard Taftis a postdoctoral research fellow in David Millss lab in the Department of Food Science and Technology and a member of the Foods for Health Institute at UC Davis.

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The Infant Gut Microbiome and Probiotics that Work - The Scientist

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