Glycerin and Silicones in Skin Care and My Skin Care Regimen.

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For years I have made many of my own skin care products; dry oils for oil cleaning my face, Honey-Baking Soda Cleanser. Recently I had an allergic reaction to a new, supposedly all natural, product. However the first ingredient was butylene glycol. My whole neck was blistered the day after using it, and quickly peeled and dried out.  I avoided got it calmed down with fresh aloe and in about 4 days it was was way better. A week later I used a product that had a small amount of propylene glycol. Remember these ingredients were in organic products. So I realized what was causing it and began eliminating those products from my skin care.

I then used a very mild product that had glycerin, and while I didn’t break out I did itch on my neck for a few days. Now, glycerin is a very rare allergen, but it did annoy my skin.

So I began looking for organic products that really were clean.  I learned that almost every skin care products that was listed as organic and all natural had these ingredients! 

Butylene glycol is basically anti-freeze. These type of products are used a humectants and as solvents. Because they are solvents, manufacturers of beauty products use them to help their products be absorbed in to our skin. And they are humectants, but remember humectants draw water from their surroundings, as WELL AS FROM OUR SKIN! They feel luxurious when we first put them on our skin, they give the product that “slip” that make them go on smoothly. But within about a half an hour we notice our skin feels dry. So put on more. And these products do nothing to actually nourish our skin, they just sit on the surface. The same as silicones do.

However you do not have to make your own products!  There are many product lines out there that do a great job and are truly clean. Just because a label says “all natural” or “organic” that does not mean that they are good for your skin or do not have ingredients that will  irritate your skin.

I have stopped using any product with glycerin, however it is hard to find products without it!  HERE is a great article on why you should avoid glycerin.

Here is my daily routine-

AM-  Cleanser- I use one that I make myself from honey, baking soda, almond oil, geranium oil, sea buckthorn oil, lavender oil,willow bark (calming and healing for skin).

You can buy it hereSkin Cleanser.

In the morning I use a product from Evan’s Garden called Crème’ Rose. I have been using this for about 15 years.

I then use Amazonian Clay Facial Powder, I then use Peter Thomas Roth powder Sunscreen.

I also use  Zuzu Cosmetics lipsticks, Jane Iredale Mascara, Zuzu eye shadows, and Iniki Organic Eyeliner.

Evening Skin Care- I oil cleanse to take off makeup by using a blend of dry oils- sea buckthorn oil, grape seed oil, squalane, jojoba oil. I massage it in for a few minutes and then wipe off with cotton balls, then wipe gently with a warm washcloth. I then use a cream cleanser called Nourish Organic Moisturizing Face Cleanser, Watercress & Cucumber, then rinse really well. I then use a toner made with willow bark, calendula, rose water and aloe. I make it myself every few weeks.  I mix Vitamin C powder with my moisturizer for daytime use.

I then use Retin-A, prescription strength, and have been using it since I was 38 years old. I am now 66. Here is what my skin looks like!

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I wait about 15 minutes after applying it and then use moisturizer- at night I use Golden Phae Restorative Day and Night Moisturizer. I also use their Eye Cream on my eyes and neck.

Once a week I use a mask that I make myself, it contains Matcha tea, red seaweed powder, papaya enzyme and rice powder.

Of course, the BEST skin care comes from within, making sure our gut biome is healthy, eating lots of fruits and veggies, eliminating fast food and processed foods, eating a moderate amount of proteins (eggs in the morning, fruits and veggies all day, more fruits and veggies with a salad and sweet potatoes at night and about 5 ounces of seafood ,preferably cold water fish).  Avoid sugar, drink no cold drinks, drink a moderate amount of water. No grains or dairy. That’s it, it’s that simple.


Dietary Choline Associates with Reduced Risk of Dementia- Yes, you Should Be Eating Eggs!

Note from Millie- This study shows another reason that vegan diets are dangerous. We definably need eggs and meat in our diet. Eggs are an ideal form of protein, inexpensive, easy to digest, extremely versatile and taste great!

Eggs

#mealdeliveryservice, #jax,#lactosefree,#glutenfree,#JacksonvilleFL,#nutritioncoaching

A new study by researchers at the University of Eastern Finland is the first to observe that dietary intake of phosphatidylcholine is associated with a reduced risk of dementia. Phosphatidylcholine was also linked to enhanced cognitive performance. The main dietary sources of phosphatidylcholine were eggs and meat. The findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Choline is an essential nutrient, usually occurring in food in various compounds. Choline is also necessary for the formation of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter. Earlier studies have linked choline intake with cognitive processing, and adequate choline intake may play a role in the prevention of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, choline is nowadays used in a multinutrient medical drink intended for the treatment of early Alzheimer’s.

The new study now shows that the risk of dementia was 28% lower in men with the highest intake of dietary phosphatidylcholine, when compared to men with the lowest intake. Men with the highest intake of dietary phosphatidylcholine also excelled in tests measuring their memory and linguistic abilities. These findings are significant, considering that more than 50 million people worldwide are suffering from a memory disorder that has led to dementia, and the number is expected to grow as the population ages. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, for which no cure currently exists. The new findings may, therefore, play a vital role in the prevention of dementia. Successful dementia prevention is a sum of many things and in this equation, even small individual factors can have a positive effect on the overall risk, possibly by preventing or delaying the disease onset.

“However, this is just one observational study, and we need further research before any definitive conclusions can be drawn,” Maija Ylilauri, a PhD Student at the University of Eastern Finland points out.

The data for the study were derived from the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, KIHD. At the onset of the study in 1984-1989, researchers analysed approximately 2,500 Finnish men aged between 42 and 60 for their dietary and lifestyle habits, and health in general. These data were combined with their hospital records, cause of death records and medication reimbursement records after an average follow-up period of 22 years. In addition, four years after the study onset, approximately 500 men completed tests measuring their memory and cognitive processing. During the follow-up, 337 men developed dementia.

The analyses extensively accounted for other lifestyle and nutrition related factors that could have explained the observed associations. In addition, the APOE4 gene, which predisposes to Alzheimer’s disease and is common in the Finnish population, was accounted for, showing no significant impact on the findings. The key sources of phosphatidylcholine in the study population’s diet were eggs (39%) and meat (37%).


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Eastern Finland. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Maija P T Ylilauri, Sari Voutilainen, Eija Lönnroos, Heli E K Virtanen, Tomi-Pekka Tuomainen, Jukka T Salonen, Jyrki K Virtanen. Associations of dietary choline intake with risk of incident dementia and with cognitive performance: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2019; DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/nqz148

Frying Oil Consumption Worsened Colon Cancer and Colitis in Mice, Study Shows

Note from Millie- Please note that this study is talking about frying with OILS, not Fats!  Vegetable oils should not be heated, or heated very gently!  Pan searing or cooking in olive oil is fine as long as you are using low heat. FATS such as butter, ghee, chicken fat, beef and duck fat…these fats arte wheat you should be using for frying!  They can withstand higher cooking temps with becoming carcinogenic or changes in the oils that lead to plaque in the arteries. Have you ever burnt vegetable oil in a pan, it becomes extremely sticky and is hard to scrub out of the pan. No so, butter!

selective focus photograph of fries

Food scientists have shown that feeding frying oil to mice exaggerated colonic inflammation, enhanced tumor growth and worsened gut leakage, spreading bacteria or toxic bacterial products into the bloodstream.

Foods fried in vegetable oil are popular worldwide, but research about the health effects of this cooking technique has been largely inconclusive and focused on healthy people. For the first time, UMass Amherst food scientists set out to examine the impact of frying oil consumption on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colon cancer, using animal models.

In their paper published Aug. 23 in Cancer Prevention Research, lead author and Ph.D. student Jianan Zhang, associate professor Guodong Zhang, and professor and department head Eric Decker showed that feeding frying oil to mice exaggerated colonic inflammation, enhanced tumor growth and worsened gut leakage, spreading bacteria or toxic bacterial products into the bloodstream.

“People with colonic inflammation or colon cancer should be aware of this research,” says Jianan Zhang.

Guodong Zhang, whose food science lab focuses on the discovery of new cellular targets in the treatment of colon cancer and how to reduce the risks of IBD, stresses that “it’s not our message that frying oil can cause cancer.”

Rather, the new research suggests that eating fried foods may exacerbate and advance conditions of the colon. “In the United States, many people have these diseases, but many of them may still eat fast food and fried food,” says Guodong Zhang. “If somebody has IBD or colon cancer and they eat this kind of food, there is a chance it will make the diseases more aggressive.”

For their experiments, the researchers used a real-world sample of canola oil, in which falafel had been cooked at 325 F in a standard commercial fryer at an eatery in Amherst, Massachusetts. “Canola oil is used widely in America for frying,” Jianan Zhang says.

Decker, an expert in lipid chemistry performed the analysis of the oil, which undergoes an array of chemical reactions during the frying process. He characterized the fatty acid profiles, the level of free fatty acids and the status of oxidation.

A combination of the frying oil and fresh oil was added to the powder diet of one group of mice. The control group was fed the powder diet with only fresh oil mixed in. “We tried to mimic the human being’s diet,” Guodong Zhang says.

Supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the researchers looked at the effects of the diets on colonic inflammation, colon tumor growth and gut leakage, finding that the frying oil diet worsened all the conditions. “The tumors doubled in size from the control group to the study group,” Guodong Zhang says.

To test their hypothesis that the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which occurs when the oil is heated, is instrumental in the inflammatory effects, the researchers isolated polar compounds from the frying oil and fed them to the mice. The results were “very similar” to those from the experiment in which the mice were fed frying oil, suggesting that the polar compounds mediated the inflammatory effects.

While more research is needed, the researchers hope a better understanding of the health impacts of frying oil will lead to dietary guidelines and public health policies.

“For individuals with or prone to inflammatory bowel disease,” Guodong Zhang says, “it’s probably a good idea to eat less fried food.”

#mealdeliveryservice, #jax,#lactosefree,#glutenfree,JacksonvilleFL,#nutritioncoaching


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jianan Zhang, Xijing Chen, Ran Yang, Qin Ma, Weipeng Qi, Katherine Z. Sanidad, Yeonhwa Park, Daeyoung Kim, Eric A. Decker, Guodong Zhang. Thermally processed oil exaggerates colonic inflammation and colitis-associated colon tumorigenesis in mice. Cancer Prevention Research, 2019; DOI: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-19-0226

The False Promise of Fish Oil Supplements

Note from Millie–   Americans love shortcuts, easy answers, quick results. But there are NO shortcuts to health; you have to eat correctly and exercise! I have always taught my clients that vitamin supplements are to help repair from deficiencies only. They will not build health or make you appreciate healthier. AND you should never, ever take oil soluble vitamins unless you need them to save your life, as in short term use of Vitamin D.

The oils that you are taking in supplements are rancid, therefore are rancid, rendering them carcinogenic. Nature puts oils in nice little packets to keep them fresh; the foods they came in- avocado, nuts and seeds, fish, green leafies, etc. So eat the whole foods themselves, not processed parts of them.

After decades of promises that they “may work” to reduce cardiovascular disease, the lack of a demonstrated benefit leads me to conclude that consumers are wasting their money.

The False Promise of Fish Oil Supplements

Credit: Getty Images

Every 38 seconds, someone in the U.S. dies from cardiovascular disease. Even more worrisome: deaths from cardiovascular disease have been rising dramatically since 2011 following years of decline. Strokes, heart attacks and other cardiovascular events cause great suffering and are an enormous health care burden.

These statistics are particularly troubling because each month, approximately 19 million people in the U.S. take fish oil supplements, many in the hopes of preventing heart disease—despite the absence of reliable evidence that such supplements (also called omega-3 fatty acid supplements) prevent cardiovascular disease and its serious consequences. To the contrary, all studies of fish oil supplements conducted to date have failed to show any significant clinical benefits beyond those of standard-of-care therapy.

Consumers have been told so many times that dietary fish oil supplements promote heart health that it seems to be accepted as factual. But this conventional thinking is not supported by the science. After decades of promises that fish oil “may work,” the lack of demonstrated benefit leads me to conclude that consumers are wasting their money on supplements in an effort to reduce cardiovascular risk.

A summary of all the evidence was recently published in the prestigious medical publication Annals of Internal Medicine. This review, published July 9, 2019, examined the effectiveness of 24 supplements and diets in preventing cardiovascular disease. The authors evaluated nine systematic reviews and four randomized controlled trials, which encompassed 277 trials and 992,129 participants. Findings indicated that few nutritional supplements or dietary interventions offered any protection against cardiovascular disease or death and that some may actually cause harm. Omega-3 products, in particular, yielded “low-certainty” evidence that they were associated with reduced risk for myocardial infarction and coronary heart disease.

Because the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classification for dietary supplements such as fish oil is different from that of prescription drugs, these supplements are not manufactured or reviewed by the FDA in as stringent a manner. Most found on the market—unlike prescription medications and certain over-the-counter (OTC) drugs—have not demonstrated effectiveness and safety in placebo-controlled clinical trials. This can be confusing: fish oil supplements, for example, are readily available to patients and often have labels that imply a benefit to cardiovascular health, yet they are not intended to treat any medical condition.

This study is just the latest in a growing body of evidence demonstrating the absence of benefit of fish oil supplements for heart health. Other studies looking into what common fish oil supplements actually contain have found that they have lower amounts of omega-3 than specified on the label, variable content and unregulated purity, and potentially significant levels of saturated fat and rancid oils.

It’s not just patients who are confused about the tested efficacy and safety of fish oil supplements. A survey conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind found that among those physicians and pharmacists who had recommended a nonprescription omega-3 product to patients, more than four in five (85 percent) believed incorrectly that they had recommended an FDA-approved OTC product. Thirty percent of pharmacists and 22 percent of physicians stated, incorrectly, that prescription and dietary supplement omega-3 products are similar in strength and content. This is an example of the adage that if something is said often enough, people will believe it to be true.

To help stop the alarming increase in deaths from heart disease, patients at risk for cardiovascular disease, as well as their health care providers, need to have an evidence-based rationale for what they use and recommend for heart health. Fish oil supplements should be treated with the same scrutiny as a prescription medication, particularly if patients or consumers are taking them for the specific purpose of preventing or treating cardiovascular disease.

As Amitabh C. Pandey and Eric J. Topol of Scripps Research Translational Institute, Scripps Research, and Scripps Clinic said in their editorialregarding the review published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, “it would be reasonable to hold off on any supplement . . . in all guidelines and recommendations.”


Why Short-Chain Fatty Acids Are Key To Gut & Overall Health, Plus How To Get More

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August 15, 2019 — 9:18 AM

In fairy tales, Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood have to outsmart some pretty creepy monsters. A journey into the forest means fending off werewolves and witches who are lurking around the corner. They enter at their own risk and learn to pack a silver bullet—a seemingly simple, magical solution to fending off the villains.

In the real world, we grapple with different—albeit equally terrifying—monsters: leaky gut, autoimmunity, heart disease, and cancer. And as a gastroenterologist, I’m not supposed to tell you there’s one seemingly simple, magical solution to our medical issues. I even flat-out say to my patients, “There’s no silver bullet.” But let me tell you a secret—I actually think there’s something that comes close.  

Curious about this real-life sprinkle of fairy dust? They’re called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), and I’m sharing the details on how they can shift your health for good and how to get more of them.

Why should you care about short-chain fatty acids?

Let’s start with the basics. SCFAs are produced when bacteria—the good kind—ferment fiber in the gut, thereby providing your body with energy, keeping your metabolism humming, and even thwarting a wide range of digestive disorders.

There are three main types of SCFAs: butyrate, acetate, and propionate. If you haven’t heard of them, that’s in large part because we’ve been ignoring fiber like it’s the nerdy kid from high school. But that’s all starting to change. 

You see, fiber isn’t just “in one end and out the other” as we’d once been taught. Instead, prebiotic fiber—which boosts the healthy bacteria that are already living in your gut—reaches the colon and sends our probiotic bacteria into an absolute feeding frenzy. Jonesin’ for their favorite food, probiotics go to town, and what results is postbiotic short-chain fatty acids. 

You’ve heard of prebiotics and probiotics, but did you realize that the entire point of these is to make postbiotics, or SCFAs? These underrated byproducts of fiber fermentation have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and loads of other health benefits in the gut and beyond.

What are the health benefits of SCFAs?

Back to my original point: SCFAs could be the silver bullet we’ve been looking for. Let me break the benefits down:

1. Your good gut microbes thrive on SCFA-producing fiber.

Studies have shown that fiber consumption increases the growth of healthy bacteria species such as lactobacilli, bifidobacteria, and prevotella. A January 2019 study showed that fiber also increases the diversity of species within the gut. Not to mention, the SCFAs produced by the fermentation of fiber in the colon suppress the growth of bad bugs like E. coli and salmonella. The end result: more good gut microbes, more diversity, and fewer bad dudes—all of which means better overall health.

2. SCFAs heal the colon wall and correct leaky gut.

Butyrate—remember, that’s one of the three types of SCFAs—is the main source of energy for our colon cells, providing up to 70% of their energy. In fact, it actually repairs leaky gut by increasing the expression of tight junction proteins, and, according to a 2012 study, butyrate has been shown to decrease bacterial endotoxin release into the bloodstream. If you’re a nerd like me, then you know that I just described the solution for the gut dysbiosis—a microbial imbalance within the gut that can drive a variety of health issues from IBS to rheumatoid arthritis to type 2 diabetes.

3. SCFAs help regulate the immune system.

Short-chain fatty acids have been shown to inhibit three of the most powerful inflammatory signals in the body, NF-κΒ, IFN-gamma, and TNF-α. They also play a role in regulatory T-cell production and function for the entire body, which is kind of a big deal in terms of keeping your immunity on track. So not only do SCFAs correct dysbiosis and heal leaky gut, they also create a powerful link between the microbiome and immune system that serves to make the immune system work properly. This explains why a loss of bacterial diversity and inadequate supply of the SCFA butyrate have been found at the heart of inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.

SCFAs actually have a direct anti-tumor effect thanks to their ability to regulate gene expression through enzymes known as histone deacetylases, or HDACs. One of the necessary steps for cancer development is unchecked cell multiplication and growth. There are multiple studies showing that—through their activity on HDACs—SCFAs are able to inhibit cellular proliferation. When you have dangerous cells, it’s not enough to just slow down their growth. You need to stop them in their tracks, and the way this is done is by causing apoptosis, or programmed cell death. SCFAs have the ability to destroy cancer directly by inducing apoptosis. If that’s not a magic spell, then I don’t know what is.

So how do you get more SCFAs?

You may be thinking, “This sounds great—where’s the supplement?” The problem is that most butyrate supplements would be absorbed almost immediately in the small intestine and never make it to the colon (which is where it needs to end up). Plus, these SCFAs need to be properly balanced, which is exactly what happens when you let their trillions of bacterial friends do their job in the colon.

Instead, the best way to get the health benefits of SCFAs is through the consumption of dietary fiber found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, and nuts. You can even try throwing it all into a gut-friendly smoothie. And for bonus points, sneak in some exercise, which we’ve recently discovered can help your body generate more SCFAs as well.

Bottom line: SCFAs are health-promoting powerhouses.

I could keep bragging about how SCFAs may help reverse diabetes, lower cholesterol, and protect us from heart disease and stroke. Or that SCFAs cross the blood-brain barrier, improving learning and memory, and may even protect us from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. That’s because this food molecule is not a flashy trend—SCFAs are a real game-changer with the potential to legitimately transform the health of those who pursue it. But there’s no magic pill, so keep loading up on fiber-rich foods and moving your body to harness their power.

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11 Genius Ways To Eat Your Greens!

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August 14, 2019 — 12:22 PM

Functional doctors agree—greens are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Whether you’re munching on cilantro, spinach, or kale, you’re benefiting from better digestion, inflammation-fighting powers, and tons of antioxidants. We all know we should eat a heaping amount of green goodness daily—but how do you fit all of that fiber in? We reached out to the healthiest people we know to steal their genius tips for munching greens all day long.

1. Make marinated kale.

Some people refer to this technique as massaged kale, but the idea is less giving those greens a deep-tissue rub down and more ensuring that each and every leaf gets covered with a mixture of acid, oil, and salt. This helps draw out some of the kale’s natural moisture, softening and tenderizing it in the process. It works similarly to a ceviche, taking the texture of the greens from woody and raw to wilted and semi-cooked. This also makes it easier for your body to break them down. My favorite is this basic kale salad.

—Phoebe Lapine, mbg Collective member and founder of Feed Me Phoebe

2. Use leftover grease.

A favorite in my household is to make some meat in the pan, like bacon or ground beef, and then throw some leafy greens in the grease and use the grease to cook up the greens. Culturally, we shy away from meat grease because we’ve been taught it’s unhealthy. Everything in moderation, of course, but I would argue that most of us actually improve our health by incorporating reasonable amounts of fat from healthy animals. I get bacon from pastured pigs, free of nitrates and sugar. The grease from that is actually an excellent cooking fat with a high smoke point, and it adds flavor and nutrition to the greens. The fat also helps us absorb the fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K) in the leafy greens. 

Ellen Vora, M.D., mbg Collective member and founder of EllenVora.com

3. Sauté them in ghee.

Sautéed in ghee or even bacon fat! I’m not kidding. Many of the vitamins in leafy greens are fat-soluble, so adding a little fat will not only increase the flavor but also allow your body to absorb the vitamins. I never eat kale raw, as it can go through your system like sandpaper. If you suffer from any sort of bloating or gas, please consider eating fewer raw kale salads, a common mistake I see many of my nutrition clients make. 

—Diana Rodgers, R.D., founder of Sustainable Dish

4.  Make a smoothie

I always add organic and fresh leafy greens to my smoothies and smoothie bowls, especially during the summer. Spinach is a go-to, and you can freeze them to make them last longer. Using leafy greens in your smoothies makes a great foundation and can be easily balanced with fruits, nut milk, and, my favorite, coconut butter for yummy healthy fats. 

Sophie Jaffe, mbg Collective member and founder of PhilosophieSuperfoods

I love adding leafy greens to ketotarian smoothies as you can add a lot without noticing a huge change—if any—in flavor. Mix in some coconut milk, berries, MCT oil, and adaptogens, and you have a delicious, creamy plant-based keto smoothie.

Will Cole, D.C., mbg Collective member and author of Ketotarian

 

5.  Stir ’em into an omelet.

My favorite way to eat leafy greens currently is in an omelet. I typically use baby spinach or kale, and it is a great way to get in some greens with breakfast or brunch! 

Alanna Waldron, R.D., founder of Eats Real Food

6.  Serve meals on a bed of greens.

Eating my meals on a bed of greens is my favorite way to incorporate them into my diet. It not only makes the plate look pretty, but it also ensures I’m getting nutritious vegetables with every bite! My favorite is the Organic Girl Protein Greens variety.

—Allison (Aaron) Gross, M.S., RDN, CDN, founder of Nutrition Curator

7.   Chiffonade them.

Most people don’t like leafy greens because they’re either bitter or tough to eat. I usually chiffonade my leafy green leaves so they’re easy to eat with a fork and toss them in a dressing with fat or something sweet. The fat (like a ghee or pairing with an avocado) helps dial back the bitter, as does a drizzle of honey.

Carlene Thomas, RDN, founder of OhCarlene

8.       Make a salad

My favorite way to enjoy baby greens is in salad form—baby kale is my current favorite. I also love adding leafy greens to soups, stews, and chili to bulk up the dish and add nutrients. They’re also an easy and delicious way to add nutrients and color to scrambled eggs or an omelet. When fresh isn’t available, I love to add frozen spinach to a smoothie.

Jessica Cording, R.D., mbg Collective member and founder of Jessica Cording Nutrition

9.     Stir-fry them up.

I love incorporating green leafy veggies into stir-fries (I love a mix of edamame, leek, and Swiss chard), a pesto (think spinach or kale pesto), or soups (wilting spinach into turkey chili). 

 

Liz MoodyContributing Food Editor

Liz Moody is a contributing food editor at mindbodygreen. She’s contributed to Glamour, Women’s Health, Food & Wine, goop, and many other publications and is the woman behind the…


Sugary Western Diets Fuel Newly Evolving Superbug

And it’s becoming increasingly resistant to disinfectants.

clostridium difficile bacteria

A diarrhea-causing bacterium is evolving into a new species, one that thrives on your sugar-rich Western diet, according to a new study.

The Clostridium difficile bacteria produce spores that spread through contact with feces, and so can commonly be found in bathrooms or on surfaces that people touch without properly washing their hands. What’s more, this bacterium is becoming increasingly resistant to disinfectants used in hospitals, said study lead author Nitin Kumar, a senior bioinformatician at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. 

Patients taking antibiotics face the greatest risk of developing diarrhea from C. difficile, because antibiotics clear away healthy gut bacteria that typically fight off the infection, Kumar told Live Science.

In the new study, Kumar and his team collected 906 different strains of C. difficile from the environment, from humans and from animals such as dogs, pigs and horses. The researchers analyzed and compared the DNA for these various strains and found that C. difficile was evolving into two separate species. 

In order to be considered the same species, two groups of organisms have to share 95% of their genomes, and the two emerging species of C. difficile share 94% to 95%, Kumar said. That indicates that “they are on the verge of speciation.”

It’s not uncommon for bacteria to evolve, but “this time, we actually see what factors are responsible for the evolution,” Kumar said.

One of the emerging species, C. difficile clade A, is the one that is thriving in hospitals. The team found that it made up 70% of the samples collected from hospital patients. DNA analysis suggested that this emerging species started evolving 76,000 years ago and eventually gathered mutations in its genes that better allowed it to metabolize sugars and form disinfectant-resistant spores.

The researchers then introduced the C. difficile clade A bacteria to mice that were eating various diets. Results showed that the bacteria were more likely to thrive and colonize the gut when the mice ate diets rich in simple sugars, such as glucose and fructose. 

Essentially, our diet and other lifestyle factors, like the type of disinfectant commonly used in hospitals, are helping this bacteria to evolve more effectively, Kumar said. These results suggest that it might be useful to consider a “low-sugar diet for those patients who are infected with C. difficileclade A or [for hospitals to] look for new disinfectants as well.”

The findings were published Aug. 12 in the journal Nature Genetics.

Related: 5 Ways Gut Bacteria Affect Your Health

Originally published on Live Science.