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Dangers of artificial sweeteners in new research

Saccharine, aspartame sucralose. They’re in just about every “diet” soft drink and all kinds of other everyday beverages from fruit drinks and many foods as well. Some new research recently published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences is now the first to show the pathogenic effects of these widely used sweeteners. It appears that they have a significant effect on two types of gut bacteria, E. coli (Escherichia coli) and E. faecalis (Enterococcus faecalis). Senior author of the paper Dr. Havovi Chichger, Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Science at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said: “There is a lot of concern about the consumption of artificial sweeteners, with some studies showing that sweeteners can affect the layer of bacteria which support the gut, known as the gut microbiota.  “Our study is the first to show that some of the sweeteners most commonly found in food and drink – saccharin, sucralose and

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Health

Gut health & anti-inflammatory meds

Many athletes and fitness enthusiasts take Ibuprofen and similar medications to help them exercise in the face of aches, pains and minor injuries. A note of caution: This practice can be harmful to your digestive health. Having played sports my entire life, I have taken my fair share of Ibuprofen for the usual aches and pains, at least until several years ago when my naturopathic doctor suggested that it might be causing my eczema and digestive problems. Developed in the 1960s, Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to reduce pain and inflammation. She called my condition “leaky gut,” where some material from the gut (the gastrointestinal tract) leaks out into the bloodstream rather than being digested normally. A leaky gut, I learned, increases a person’s susceptibility to infections and autoimmune diseases such as eczema, and is related to atherosclerosis, chronic heart failure, allergies, autism and inflammatory-induced metabolic diseases

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Health

Gender, gut bacteria, and heart disease

“Scientists know the gut microbiome plays an important role in cardiovascular disease risk, and new research suggests sexual dimorphism here too.” We know that males and females are different. Scientists call it “sexual dimorphism,” where sexes within a species differ significantly—from their behaviour to the way their organs work.   This is true of the gut too. Your gut microbiome is the DNA belonging to trillions of bacteria in your bowel. Scientists know the gut microbiome plays an important role in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, and new research from the journal Biology of Sex Differences/ITC suggests sexual dimorphism here too.  Let’s look at sex differences in CVD by considering the gut microbiome and how it influences the three primary CVD risk factors: sugar and fat metabolism, blood pressure, and body weight. Sugar metabolism Type 2 diabetes is a major CVD risk factor where the body is less sensitive (i.e. resistant) to

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Longevity

What can viruses teach us?

Viruses may be primitive—but they do a lot of experiments and adapt fast. Could we learn a thing or two from them? The biosphere is a fancy word for the container that contains all the life on Earth. After 4.5 billion years of evolution, it’s unimaginably complex. So far, a total of 1.3 million species have been identified, out of a basket of between 5.3 million to 1 trillion. This extreme range exists partly because the border between life and non-life is not so clear—and so is the definition of species. Microbes alone can be divided into six major types: bacteria, archaea, fungi, protozoa, algae, and viruses. Most scientists don’t consider viruses a life form. Others disagree. We humans lie at the other end of the evolutionary scale. We’re pretty smart, up to a point. Tools have made us apex predators, but physically we’re not that imposing. As the historian

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