Going Feral: my one-year journey to acquire the healthiest gut microbiome in the world (you heard me!)

Unless you’ve been holed up in a cabin in the Siberian outback, it’s been hard to miss the avalanche of research and associated press coverage ballyhooing the connection between microbes and human health and disease in 2013 – and 2014 will be no different, as fecal transplants become the new black! Name just about any…

Sorry low carbers, your microbiome is just not that into you

I recently posted a scatter plot (below) on Facebook/Twitter of preliminary metadata that we are accumulating as part of the American Gut project – which includes, among other things, a questionnaire of 50 + questions and a 7 day food journal. Plotting participants self-reported height, weight, and 7 days of dietary info (recorded using an…

Breaking A Plate for Human Health

It’s difficult to overstate how our growing understanding of the trillions of microbes that live on and in the human body is radically changing the way we think about health and the prevention and treatment of a myriad of diseases. Not since Darwin unleashed onto the world the concept of Natural Selection, have humans been…

Swapping microbes with your dog

We hug them, kiss them, sleep with them, and share our food with them – they are, of course, the family dog. In return, they share with us some of the microbes they pick up as they saunter about the neighborhood and places beyond. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder reveals…

Slumdog Microbiome More Diverse

I was recently invited to put together a series of slides – or webinar – for a national supermarket chain on things their customers could do to improve the health of their gut microbiome. Once I got past the obvious first few slides that recommend they might spend a little less time in national supermarket…

Are you carrying the obesity pathogen?

I can remember where I was and what I was doing when it happened. I was sitting in my usual spot at Sound Café in the Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans sipping coffee on a Sunday morning. It was mid-August, 2006. It wasn’t a tragic event that locked this place and time in my memory,…

Killing bacteria and the rise of IBD (in kids)

We’ve all heard by now that over zealous use of antibiotics – both prescriptions for humans and low doses in animal feed – is giving rise to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. But a potentially bigger issue is the changes in our entire microbial community brought on by antibiotics. The scorched earth strategy of antibiotics not…

An eaters guide to a healthy microbiome

“I have 15 cows, how many do you have?” Chief Jambiru asked me. “How many cows do I have?” I thought. What an odd question. But I shouldn’t have that so, as I had just asked the Chief how many cows he owned. Turning my bovine query back on me caught me a little off…

Nutrition’s ‘dark matter’

AS ANY reader of this blog knows, the human body is a mash up of human and microbial cells – with the microbial cells outnumbering our own 10 to 1. When you also consider the fact the human genome (our first genome) contains only 22,000 genes, but that our gut microbiome (our second genome made…

Ghosts of our African Gut

Every person on earth has two genomes. The genome we inherit from mom and dad is the one we are most familiar, and more or less stuck with for life. Our second genome, the one we initially acquire from mom as we pass through the birth canal, is more dynamic and made up of the…

You Smell Me Dawg?

HUMANS SPEND an awful lot of time and money trying to smell different – over $2 billion a year on antiperspirants and deodorants in the U.S. alone. It’s hard to imagine what that dollar amount might be once you add cologne and perfumes to the annual tally. On a more practical note, our keen smell…

Kids are mammals, time we started treating them like it

A child born in the United States today has a one in three chance of entering this world through a surgical incision rather than a birth canal. A recent WHO report found C-section rates in private hospitals in Latin America and Asia could top 50 percent, with rates in China nearing “epidemic proportions.” With rates…

Desert Drifting with Cody “Barefoot” Lundin

  ACCORDING to the World Health Organization, key causes of hunger are natural disasters, conflict, poverty, poor agricultural infrastructure and over-exploitation of the environment. I would add to that list spending a week in the high desert of Arizona with Discovery Channel’s Dual Survivor star Cody “Barefoot” Lundin. Billed as no ordinary weeklong survival course,…