May 31 2020

Food Allergies and Gut Health is there a connection?

Published by under Allergies

Food allergies and gut health…is there a connection?

Growing research has led scientists to look at how the microbiome holds the key to food allergies.   

An estimated 6 percent of children and 10 percent of adults in the US have some type of allergy to food. “…Food allergy refers to an abnormal immune reaction to harmless proteins in food (referred to as allergens) that repeatedly occurs on exposure to the proteins and causes mild to severe symptoms, ranging from an itchy mouth through to the life-threatening allergic reaction anaphylaxis…”. While certain treatments address the allergic response once it happens, there has been little known in the area of prevention. Researchers are stepping up their game as the problem continues to be on the rise.1*

As far back as two decades ago, researchers have been exploring how there must be a link between a person’s gut bacteria and food allergies. While not being able to identify exactly why, there is little doubt that the body’s resident bacteria have a strong connection to how the immune system responds to food allergens. As to why it is on the rise coincides with changes in habits and lifestyles in the last several decades such as an increase in antibiotic use, cesarean sections, and the lack of exposure to a variety of microbes during early childhood development as well as diet.1,2)*

When people have an allergy to food, the standard of care has pretty much been to simply avoid the offending foods, thus avoiding the culpable antigens. In severe cases, people can carry an EpiPen, (epinephrine autoinjector) and take antihistamines. Another newer option that has been explored is Immunotherapy, in which patients are “…exposed to low, increasing doses of an allergen over time…”. This only works for some patients though.(1,2)*

 Cathryn Nagler, an immunologist at the University of Chicago, is at the forefront of this emerging field of research. She is exploring how bacteria in the gut might be harnessed to address food allergies in children and adults. She and her team have identified the connection between an individual’s microbial makeup and whether or not that person has a food allergy and also determines whether a child will outgrow their food allergies or not. 2*

Through research and observation involving mice, Nagler and her team identified a “…genetic glitch that damages a receptor called TLR4 that sits in the membranes of immune cells and recognizes microbes. It appears as though mice with the food allergy lacked the ability for gut microbes and immune cells to connect and communicate…”3*

Nagler and her team focused on two major groups of bacteria in the human gut…Clostridia and Bacteroides. Working with mice that lacked all gut flora, they introduced both. They found that Clostridia “..prevented food-allergic responses…” when introduced into the guts of the mice.3*

“…There’s a potential explanation: Mice colonized with Clostridia bacteria had more regulatory T cells, a type of cell that dampens immune responses. The Clostridia mice also produced more of a molecule called IL-22 that strengthens the intestinal lining. A new theory began to emerge: If protective microbes are missing, the gut barrier weakens, allowing food proteins to seep into the bloodstream and potentially trigger allergic responses…”3*

This reasoning coincides with the fact that the foods which are top allergens, such as peanuts, eggs, soy, wheat, milk, tree nuts, fish and shellfish, while they have a little biochemical resemblance to each other, are alike in that they remain intact in the digestive tract rather than break down into small pieces to be absorbed as nutrients. Peanuts seem to be the strongest in this respect. It has the ability to resist degradation in the gut, according to Nagler. 3*

“…In 2004, Nagler and her coworkers published a report showing that peanuts provoked anaphylaxis only in mice with a mutated TLR4 receptor, not in genetically related strains with a normal TLR4. The difference disappeared when the scientists wiped out populations of gut bacteria with antibiotics. Then, even normal mice became susceptible to food allergies, implying that bacteria are at the heart of the protection…”3*

There are multiple studies taking place, and companies being developed, all exploring how to fortify, replace, modify or supplement bacteria in the gut in order to battle food allergies. While it is known that the “…microbiome’s impact comes early in life…”, one of the greatest challenges is “…getting new microbes established when someone already has a microbiome in place, even an unhealthy one…”. In the upcoming years, researchers are sure to know more about how to use the microbiome to battle and prevent food allergies. There are so many factors that influence a person’s risk for allergies and while the gut is just one, it is sure to play a key role. Every day, researchers are getting closer to finding the answer. We will keep you posted as we learn more.3*

For now, as always, we encourage you to keep your gut healthy by making wise lifestyle choices regardless of your age or stage in life. Avoiding antibiotics, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, avoid smoking and supplement with Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ daily to keep your gut healthy and balanced.*

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. www.news-medical.net/health/Can-you-Treat-a-Food-Allergy-by-Altering-the-Gut-Microbiome.aspx
  2. www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/could-manipulating-the-microbiome-treat-food-allergies–66105
  3. www.scientificamerican.com/article/gut-microbes-may-be-key-to-solving-food-allergies/

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May 17 2020

Wear a Mask for your Fellow Citizens around You

Published by under Immune System

Wear a mask for your fellow citizens.
You could be carrying the virus and not even know it, so do your part to protect others.*

 There is so much information daily regarding Covid-19 that I hesitate to even address it. But our goal at Body Biotics™ is to protect our customers, and to help them build strong immunity, avoid illness and achieve optimal health and well being with Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™.  We advocate for moderation, healthy choices, and achieving balance in our lives. We want to be healthy at the core so that our immune systems are strong and we can ward off illness.*

Since our goal is prevention and optimal health, I wanted to discuss prevention in this new and challenging time in which we are living. After experiencing weeks of sheltering in place for most areas of the country, businesses are starting to reopen and people are venturing out. How do we do this and stay safe? While vaccines and treatments are rigorously being pursued all around the world, we still don’t have that underlying protection we need. So we have to take care of ourselves and also do our part to take care of those around us.*

Most people are wearing masks and practicing social distancing and washing hands as always. Some, don’t seem to be as concerned. It made me wonder when I saw on social media people arguing about whether they should have to wear a mask or not. And, when visiting the grocery store, many people were masked free. That prompted me to dig a little and just get some basic facts regarding this. Just because we are opening up, does it mean we can relax about protecting ourselves and others? According to the Mayo Clinic, the answer is simple…wear a mask to protect others.1*

According to the Mayo Clinic, “…face masks, combined with other preventive measures, such as frequent hand-washing and social distancing, help slow the spread of the disease.”1*

At the beginning of the pandemic, face masks were not recommended because at that time, experts did not yet know the extent to which people with COVID-19 could spread the virus before symptoms appeared. Additionally, it was not known that some people could carry the virus but not have any of the symptoms. Both groups, those who have the virus and are not yet presenting symptoms, and those asymptomatic people can unknowingly shed the virus and expose others. According to  Gigi Gronvall, an immunologist and senior scholar at the John Hopkins Center for Health Security and an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health “…A growing body of results shows that people who are asymptomatic appear to have the same viral load as symptomatic cases. This means that, whether people have symptoms or not, they carry the same amount of virus inside them. This suggests that transmission is possible equally from both asymptomatic patients and noticeably sick patients…”2*

These discoveries caused the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to change their recommendations regarding face masks. They “…updated its guidance to recommend widespread use of simple cloth face coverings to help prevent transmission of COVID-19 by people who have the virus but don’t know it…”1*

Because there was a shortage of surgical masks and N95 masks and these need to be reserved for those on the front line, the CDC recommended cloth masks for the public and not the surgical and N95 masks needed by health care providers.1*

There are various types of masks out there, and they all provide varying levels of protection. The N95 mask, designed for health care workers, offers more protection than a surgical mask as it is designed to filter 95% of large and small particles. The N95 mask is designed to protect the wearer should they come into contact with someone who has the virus. That is why these masks should be reserved for health care workers and others on the front line.1*

Surgical masks, or medical masks, are loose-fitting disposable masks that cover the nose and mouth from contact with droplets, splashes, and sprays that may contain germs. It also filters out large particles in the air. Surgical masks may protect those you come in contact with by reducing their exposure to your saliva and respiratory secretions.1*

According to the Mayo Clinic, “…At this time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any type of surgical mask specifically for protection against the COVID-19 virus, but these masks may provide some protection when N95 masks are not available…”1*

A cloth mask is worn primarily to help protect others in case the wearer has the virus. So if you wear a cloth mask, and you are an asymptomatic carrier, or have the virus and are not yet showing symptoms, you are protecting others around you by preventing the spread of the virus unknowingly. And it has shown to work. “…Countries that required face masks, testing, isolation and social distancing early in the pandemic seem to have had some success slowing the disease’s spread…”1*

If you come into direct contact with the virus through a sneeze or cough, a cloth mask won’t prevent the tiny particles from getting through. But common sense suggests that some protection is better than none. When we  wear a cloth face mask, combined with frequent hand-washing and social distancing, it will minimize your chances of getting the virus if exposed as opposed to doing nothing at all. By doing multiple layers or adding a coffee filter under your mask, you can add some extra protection.1*

It is a good idea to wear cloth face masks when in public settings that are not always easy to social distance. Grocery stores, home and garden stores, and other places where there are lots of people can be places of community-based transmission. If you have a mask on, you are preventing the spread of the virus should you be a carrier and you are providing yourself some added protection. While it is your choice if you want to wear a mask or not, we don’t want this virus to spread, and if it can be prevented, then it seems logical that we all do our part.

When wearing a mask, do the following:

  • Make sure both mouth and nose are covered.
  • It should be snug.
  • Avoid touching your mask while it’s on your face…but if you do, wash or sanitize your hands.
  • Wash your hands immediately after removing your mask.
  • Wash your mask with soap and water in the washing machine. It’s fine to launder it with other clothes.
  • Don’t put masks on anyone with breathing problems, or who can’t take it off themselves
  • Children under 2 years of age should not wear a mask.
  • Continue to social distance, face masks are not a substitute.

Be considerate of your neighbors and those around you. This is such a challenging, stressful time for everyone and it is more important than ever to be kind and forgiving of people. Everyone is dealing with this in a different way and has different levels of fear for different reasons. So respect your fellow citizens, wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart, avoid touching your face, and wash your hands. Let’s work together and not tear each other down. And remember that trip to the grocery store is perhaps the only interaction a lot of people are getting…so let it be a pleasant one and treat each other nicely. Just be kind!

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

Resources:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-mask/art-20485449
  2. https://hub.jhu.edu/2020/05/12/gigi-gronvall-asymptomatic-spread-covid-19-immunity-passports/

 

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May 03 2020

Is the current pandemic going to turn us all into vegetarians?

Published by under General

Is the current pandemic going to turn us all into vegetarians?

As meatpacking plants shut down due to Covid -19, take this opportunity to find healthy alternatives.  

With the current pandemic, we are all having to accept a new way of life. We are adopting new practices, adjusting our schedules, learning new skills, and taking on new roles. As we learn to ‘accept the things we cannot change’, we are adapting in ways we’ve never been forced to before. Are you cooking more? Becoming a home school teacher to your kids? Taking your dog for 5 walks a day? Perhaps you are experiencing some benefits from sheltering in place. Are you exercising more, sleeping more, and enjoying a reconnection with your partner or kids that had fallen by the wayside? While there is a virus lingering out there, it is forcing us to reexamine our practices as a society as a whole and look inwards as well. What are some of your takeaways from all of this? *

There is a new concern looming on the horizon and that is of a potential meat shortage in the coming weeks following the closing of more than 20 meatpacking plants after many employees contracted Covid-19. John Tyson, Chairman of Tyson Foods warned of a “…vulnerable supply chain caused by meat processing plants shutting down due to coronavirus outbreaks…” Depending on how much of a carnivore you are, this could be a very challenging adjustment. How will people improvise? Is Covid-19 going to cause us to reexamine how we eat? Will people be forced to do what health care professionals have been advocating for all along and actually eat less meat in their diets?(1,2)*

“…Study after study shows that meat as a protein source just isn’t that healthy. It’s far better to get that necessary protein from plants. Generally speaking, diets heavy on plant matter tend to be healthier. One recent study found that those eating the most fruit-and-vegetable-dense diets had a 31 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and a roughly 20 percent lower risk of overall mortality than those eating animal-focused diets…”(2,3*

A study done by the  American Diabetes Association showed that those following a vegetarian diet “…had a decreased risk of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors linked to type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Study subjects who avoided meat and poultry products tended to have lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and triglycerides, as well as smaller waists than those who regularly consumed those foods. Researchers also discovered that vegetarians experienced less gastrointestinal cancer, such as colorectal cancer, and that vegan women experienced fewer female-specific cancers, such as breast cancer…”3*

Animal meat does contain valuable nutrients, amino acids and vitamins B12, B5, B6, and B7 along with niacin, thiamine, and Vitamins A and K. It is also high in saturated fat, the fat that clogs the arteries. According to researchers, a plant-based diet that consists of beans, nuts, and seeds, is packed full of similar nutrients with the one exception of B12, which plants can’t produce on their own. Vitamin B 12 can be found in supplement form as well as edible seaweed and in other foods that are fortified with B12.(2,4)*

Pound-for-pound, plant proteins offer more nutrients with fewer calories than animal proteins. They also provide fiber… one thing animal protein doesn’t provide. As we know, fiber is key for healthy digestion and promotes a healthy gut and is also associated with lower levels of cardiovascular disease. (2,4)*

But aside from your health, let’s not forget the other reasons for eating less meat is a positive move. It’s not just about our physical health; it’s about the health of the animals themselves and the health of our planet as a whole. If we cut down on meat production, it is better for the environment.4*

It is estimated that animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation industry combined. If individuals would lower or eliminate their meat intake, it would have huge implications on carbon emissions.4*

The other thing that is easy to forget as consumers at the grocery stores when buying our meat so nicely packaged is that animals are slaughtered so we can eat them. I’m not trying to lay a guilt trip, as I eat meat too, but when we stop and take a look at the practices involved in getting meat to our tables, it is pretty disturbing. You can do your own research on that if you choose. The millions of cattle and poultry that are killed each year for our consumption is largely being raised in factory farms where conditions are overcrowded and antibiotics are used to speed up growth and prevent disease. This practice has led to antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the supply chain that threatens us all. If you do eat meat, choose pasture-raised, organic, grass-fed, and ethically sourced animal products. Yes, that can be expensive…which leads to my next point.(4,5)*

Eating meat is expensive. By choosing more plant-based foods you can save a lot of money. Depending on the types of meats you are eating, they can really add up to a hefty grocery bill. 4*

Another factor that is not on the front of the daily news is the severe destruction meat consumption is having on The Amazon Forest. “…The Amazon rainforest is a vast tract of the largely untamed jungle that is Earth’s most biodiverse region, filled with plants and trees and teeming with animals of all types and sizes — including many unknown to science. The world’s largest rainforest, it spans more than 2 million square miles across northern South America. While it is mainly in Brazil, it spans into parts of Columbia, Peru, as well as six other nations.6* 

The Amazon is being destroyed to make space for livestock to graze and to grow feed crops for cattle. Scientists worry that deforestation could destroy the delicate ecological balance of this rainforest and cause the entire ecosystem to collapse.  Should this happen, regional economies would be devastated and we would see the loss of many indigenous species. Read more about the Amazon in Resource 6 below.6*

 While there most likely won’t be hoarding of meat the way there was with toilet paper due to the cost, we will most likely see limits and price increases this may still be a good time to ask yourself, can I do without meat? Or can I at least do with less? It becomes a habit to eat meat at every meal, and there are so many good substitutes. Consider cutting your meat intake back, and you’ll find you will be healthier because you did. As always, continue to support the health of your immune system with a daily intake of Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™.  A strong immune system is always your best defense.*

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/05/01/meat-shortages-how-worried-should-americans-be/3067983001/
  2. https://www.popsci.com/plant-protein-healthier/
  3. https://www.foxnews.com/health/10-benefits-of-eating-less-meat
  4. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/11-great-reasons-to-eat-less-meat-even-if-youre-not-ready-to-go-vegan
  5. https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/food.html
  6. https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/why-amazon-rainforest-important-ncna1051401
  7. https://www.usnews.com/news/healthiest-communities/articles/2020-05-01/cdc-nearly-5-000-meat-plant-workers-infected-by-coronavirus

 

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Apr 19 2020

The Dangers of an Insatiable Sweet Tooth

Published by under Sugar

Do you have an insatiable sweet tooth?
The vagus nerve and the gut to brain connection may be driving it. 1*

Last time we talked about the importance of keeping the gut healthy to support our emotional health. When there is so much overwhelming information flooding our screens and minds at the present, we need to take extra care to stay healthy. With 90 percent of our serotonin created in the gut, and then sent to the brain via the vagus nerve, we know that it is important to keep our guts healthy. Now, researchers have found another interesting role the vagus nerve plays in controlling our mental state and impulses. (1,2)*

Charles Zuker at Columbia University along with co-authors Hwei-Ee Tan and Alexander Sisti has now found that via vagus nerve pathways, the gut sends and the brain receives specific sugar-related information. These findings, which were recently published in the journal Nature, help explain why people have a sweet tooth and further explain the power of the gut-brain connection. This particular circuit sends “sugar signals” from the gut to the brain. (1,2)*

Built upon decades of research on the brain’s taste system, this discovery shows a specialized gut-brain axis that drives sugar preference and could have a significant and positive impact on public health. “…Although this research was conducted in mice, Zuker speculates that the same glucose-sensing vagus nerve pathway exists in humans…”  It is helping us to understand how this circuit impacts our brain to drive sugar consumption and can expose new opportunities for strategies to help curb our taste for sugar and therefore reduce sugar consumption, which is an underlying cause for so many health problems in our country. (1,2)*

An excessive amount of sugar in our diets has been tied to many health conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, a heart condition, and cancer, which affect more than 500 million people worldwide. It is the food for Candida overgrowth in the gut. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), “…the average American consumes about 17 teaspoons of sugar per day…” which adds up to 57 pounds of added sugar per year. The recommended amount for women is no more than six teaspoons of added sugar per day and for men no more than nine teaspoons per day. Children should not have more than 3-6 teaspoons of sugar per day, according to the AHA. (1,2)*

Of particular interest is that this study revealed that the gut-brain circuit only responds to real sugar, which explains why artificial sweeteners don’t bring the same satisfaction as regular sugar when it comes to sugar craving. While artificial sweeteners may taste like sugar on the tongue, according to this study, they don’t trigger the gut-brain axis the way real sugar does. According to Hwei-Ee Tan, “… “The discovery of this specialized gut-brain circuit that responds to sugar—and sugar alone—could pave the way for sweeteners that don’t just trick our tongue but also our brain.”…” (1,2)*

So how does the vagus nerve send this information about sugar from the gut to the brain? The researchers found that when they bypassed the sweet taste receptors on the tongue and went directly to the gut, the part of the brainstem (called the caudal nucleus of the solitary tract) came alive with activity.  Because the vagus nerve is known as a pathway for sending messages along the gut-brain axis, the researchers focused their attention there. They were able to observe how cell activity changed when sugar was present in the gut by monitoring the real-time activity of specific cells in the vagus nerve and then record brain cell activity. They were able to pinpoint a cluster of cells that responded to sugar and saw sugar sensing via this direct gut to the brain pathway. (1,2)*

“…During some elaborate follow-up experiments, Zuker’s team zeroed in on a specific “sugar-transporting protein” called SGLT-1 that appears to communicate the presence of sugar in the gut up to the cNST brain region via the vagus nerve. The researchers also discovered that silencing this gut-brain circuit abolishes sugar cravings in mice…” (1,2)*

These findings demonstrate there are two systems for sensing energy-rich sugar. They complement each other but are independent at the same time. One gets input from the tongue, the other from the gut.  (1,2)*

These findings are significant as they could “…lead to the development of more effective strategies to meaningfully curtail our unquenchable drive for sugar, from modulating various components of this circuit to potentially sugar substitutes that more closely mimic the way sugar acts on the brain…” (1,2)*

This research supports the incredible influence our gut has over our brains, via the vagus nerve and emphasizes the importance of good gut health. By supporting your gut health with Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™, you are one step ahead in staying not just physically healthy but mentally healthy as well. (1,2)*

I hope you are staying safe, following the guidelines set forth by your state and doing your part to stay healthy in these unchartered waters. We are here to support your health needs and know we are all in this together!*

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2199-7
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/202004/is-the-vagus-nerve-partly-blame-your-sweet-tooth

 

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Apr 05 2020

In Addition Pay Attention to your Mental Health

Published by under General

Paying close attention to your mental health is especially important during these “crazy times”.

Maintaining a healthy gut is essential for a strong immune system as well as strong mental health.*

People are calling what is going on right now “crazy times.” You hear it everywhere. And there is a good reason. It is crazy! We have never been through anything like this before as individuals, as communities or as a nation. It is natural and normal that all this quarantine, isolation and bad news can make us all feel extra levels of anxiety and depression. But keep in mind, that keeping our mental health is just as important as maintaining our physical health, especially in times such as these.*

Even before the coronavirus hit, anxiety and depression have been on the rise in our country. Researchers believe that the shift in diet over the many decades has had its toll. Guts have become less healthy due to diets high in processed foods and sugars, which has also led to higher rates of obesity. When the gut is unhealthy, it affects the brain. “…Patients with various psychiatric disorders including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and autism spectrum disorder have been shown to have significant differences in the composition of their gut microbiome…”1*

Our guts, just like our brains are comprised of a network of hundreds of millions of neurons hidden in the walls of our digestive tract, which when stretched out would span about nine meters. This bundle of neurons is called the Enteric Nervous System (ENS). “…Its main role is controlling digestion, from swallowing to the release of enzymes that break down food to the control of blood flow that helps with nutrient absorption to elimination,” explains Jay Pasricha, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology…” But it also plays a particular role in our emotional well being and overall health by sending information to the brain. “…The Enteric Nervous System doesn’t seem capable of thought as we know it, but it communicates back and forth with our big brain—with profound results…” Scientists have learned that “…90 percent of the fibers in the primary visceral nerve, the vagus (the connector cable,) carry information from the gut to the brain and not the other way around…” And most of this information that the gut sends to the brain are things that affect our well being without us even knowing about it. (2,3)*

The gut also produces hormones and neurotransmitters typically associated with our primary brain.  In fact, our guts produce more hormones than any other part of our body, with the neurons in the gut, believed to “…generate as much dopamine as those in the head…” It is also responsible for 95 percent of the serotonin produced in our bodies which is our mood-stabilizing hormone.  It is an incredibly complex system and more complicated than researchers had ever previously understood. (1,3)

For these reasons, taking care of your gut with Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ with Prebiotics is extremely important. We need a healthy microbiome to keep our immune system at its healthiest. And we need it to keep our mental condition at its healthiest too. In addition, exercise daily in some form, minimize stress as much as possible (don’t keep the news on constantly), eat right, and don’t burden your gut with excessive alcohol or junk food. It’s easy to turn to drink and snacking when we are home all the time and bored…but just be mindful of balance.*

It is of great concern that many people who were already struggling with mental health conditions are now burdened further with the worries of the world, job loss, and isolation. If a person has depression or anxiety they will have a harder time making the best of things and finding that silver lining. Unfortunately, things are going to get worse before they get better. So do your part by staying home, follow social distancing and handwashing guidelines set forth by the CDC. The important thing is to keep yourself and your family healthy. If you are suffering from depression, reach out to a friend or loved one. If you know others that suffer from depression, reach out to them and anyone in need. Service to others not only helps them but boosts your mood too.  Take a walk in nature and take some deep breaths. And if you are feeling that things are becoming unmanageable, call a health care provider or a local help hotline. Many health care practitioners are diagnosing and advising over the phone and are there to help.4*

We will get through this! Healthiest wishes,

Kelli


Resources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31530002
  2. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-brain-gut-connection
  3. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/gut-second-brain/
  4. cdc.gov

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Mar 22 2020

Countless new Possibilities during Quarantine

Published by under General

Open the door to a million new possibilities.
During a time of quarantine, we just might discover what is outside the door again.

What? Excuse me? I must have heard wrong. We have to quarantine? That can’t be! I woke up thinking I was having a bad dream, but no… the news was still there and it is pretty hard to swallow. So now what?

Protect your immune system. Check. Go to the grocery store. Check. Buy toilet paper. Check. (Triple check for some of you!) Clean out closets. Check. Clean out your closets again. Check. And it’s only been a week.

So all that’s left is to make the best of it and open the door to amazing possibilities. (But please practice social distancing while doing this!)

Go play outside! “Go get the stink blown off of you” as my grandmother used to say. Enjoy some fresh air, and feel the sunshine on your back. It will do wonders for your mood and your spirits. And the greatest part of being outside? The news isn’t on, so you can tune it out for a while and just be. Existing in a constant state of stress is not good and the news is pretty stressful. So make this separation from the barrage of bad news and forget about your troubles for a while. You’re staying isolated anyway; do you really need to watch the news constantly? 1*

There are other health benefits to going outside:

Exercise

Take a walk, hike, garden. All these things keep the body moving and we know how good exercise is for the body. It boosts the immune system. It elevates our serotonin, the mood hormone. It oxygenates the blood. Just about every health condition benefits from exercising.1*

Breathe in phytoncides

These chemicals produced by plants and released into the air increase our white blood cell levels and help us fight off disease and infection. 1*

It’s good for the eyes

Spending time in natural sunlight is essential for the proper development of the eyes. Studies show myopia, or nearsightedness has been on the rise in children around the world. It is caused by a slightly elongated eyeball, “…in which the lens focuses light from far objects slightly in front of the retina, rather than directly on it…” Not having enough exposure to natural sunlight appears to be the contributing factor.  “…The leading hypothesis is that light stimulates the release of dopamine in the retina, and this neurotransmitter in turn blocks the elongation of the eye during development…” 2*

Expose yourself to soil-born organisms

Do a little gardening and get your hands dirty. Exposing ourselves to the naturally occurring soil-born organisms found in rich organic soil is good for us. After all, Body Biotics Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia was created to help make up for our lack of exposure to these organisms. Playing in the dirt and making mud pies is good for you and it can be a whole lot of fun!*

Experience natural sources of aromatherapy

Aromatherapy treatments come from natural resources that are found outside! Stop to smell the lavender, rose, fresh-cut grass and pine and all the beautiful scents found outside.*

Listen to the sounds

White noise is modeled after the sound of the wind through the trees, oceans, babbling brooks and falling rain. Instead of staying inside and replicating those sounds, listen to the real thing. Set up a hammock, walk in the woods, have a picnic on a hill…the beautiful sounds are everywhere.*

Enhance your creativity 

Instead of looking to a screen to tell you what to think, get your creativity from being outside in nature where your imagination can run wild. Our creative juices get stifled when we are fed information…so go outside and create, create, create! 1*

Get your daily dose of Vitamin D

More than 90 percent of our vitamin D comes from casual exposure to sunlight, and even 15 minutes spent outside can give that to you. We need Vitamin D for our bodies to properly function. It helps us absorb calcium, which helps prevents osteoporosis, and reduces inflammation, among other things. Vitamin D is present in some foods, such as fortified milk and salmon but a little sunshine on our shoulders is the best fix.1*

Reconnect to something larger than yourself

Being outside in nature can remind us what is important and reconnect with a higher being. Regardless of your beliefs, it’s easy to get philosophical while in the great outdoors and ponder great questions…stretch yourself and be grateful for the awesomeness and the beauty of your surroundings.*

Lastly, keep this in mind: while being quarantined from the Black Plague, Shakespeare composed King Lear, Antony, and Cleopatra and Macbeth. And the young mathematician Isaac Newton produced some of his best work while under quarantine. He wrote the papers that would become early calculus and created his theories on optics while fiddling with prisms in his bedroom. The theory of gravity was born during this time as well. So, you never know what we will create and develop as we have more time on our hands.3*

 **Please note that if you are not in a situation where going outside can be done safely in terms of social distancing, and breaks you from the required protocol to self-quarantine, please follow the guidelines put in place to keep yourself and others safe!

 Stay positive and healthiest wishes to all of you!

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

Resources:

  1. https://www.businessinsider.com/why-spending-more-time-outside-is-healthy-2017-7#it-could-improve-your-ability-to-focus-8
  2. https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/620764/productive-people-in-quarantine
  3. http://www.nature.com/news/the-myopia-boom-1.17120

 

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Mar 08 2020

Important time to keep your immune system strong

There’s never been a more important time to keep your immune system strong.*

A strong immune system sets you up for better health, well being and longevity. *

There has not been much good news lately. In fact it is downright bad. I’m sure you have seen enough to make you want to scream and hide, but unfortunately, putting our heads in the sand won’t make it disappear. Daily, there is new information and updates about new cases, new quarantines and sadly, fatalities. Of course I’m talking about the coronavirus. I really didn’t want to, but it is unavoidable. *

We are in new territory. The best thing is to stay on top of new developments, follow the CDC protocol for washing hands for 20 seconds, not touching your face and avoiding situations where you might get exposed. Officials are cancelling events and enforcing quarantines. All of this is being done in an effort to slow the spread. Buying time will give health officials more opportunity to get a handle on this new virus in some way they hope. At this point, it’s hard to know if there’s too much hype or too little hype but we do know one thing…a compromised immune system or a pre-existing health condition puts you at greater risk. (1,2)*

It’s difficult to offer helpful information in addition to what is being purported by the health officials dedicating their lives to understanding and finding a cure and vaccine for this virus. It is easy to go into panic mode during a situation like this, but doing so makes everyone more vulnerable. There are a lot of opportunists seeing an angle and trying to take advantage of the situation. Don’t be duped into buying any “magic cures”. Washington Post Reporter and Registered Dietician Cara Rosenbloom reported in response to the many ads and promotions hitting her in box regarding cures for the corona virus, “…There is absolutely no research any product can do such a thing, and these unscrupulous marketers are looking to cash in on a vulnerable population during a crisis. Anyone claiming their product can prevent or cure the coronavirus is lying, because they could not possibly have that information in any scientific way…”1*

Additionally, people are experiencing long lines at the grocery stores and empty shelves. Worldwide, hand sanitizer sales have increased by 800%. This “panic buying” is a phenomenon that occurs when people are faced with a crisis. It drives up prices and takes the essential goods out of the people’s hands who really need them, such as health care workers who need face masks to protect them while doing their jobs. On ecommerce sites, a 20-pack of face masks was costing more than $100. This panic buying has resulted in companies such as Amazon installing measures to stop speculators taking advantage of a spike in demand by removing over a million basic needs products for misleading claims and price gouging. Many stores have put a number limit on the sales of certain products such as hand sanitizer and toilet paper. When we as individuals overbuy, we cause problems for everyone else by driving prices up as supplies decrease. So be kind and be reasonable. 3*

While hand washing and practicing coughing hygiene is still the most important thing to do at this point, many people find that seems ‘too ordinary’. “…This is a dramatic event, therefore a dramatic response is required, so that leads to people throwing money at things in hopes of protecting themselves…” Psychologists deem this panic buying is how we feel we can assert control over a seeming out of control situation. “…Panic buying is ultimately a psychological mechanism to deal with our fear and uncertainty, a way to assert some control over the situation by taking an action…” Additionally, herd mentality adds to this behavior. (1,2,3)*

Stay on top of the news, use the hygiene guidelines set forth of washing your hands for 20 seconds, avoid overly crowded situations and avoid touching your face. Use courtesy when coughing or sneezing and use a Kleenex which can be thrown away. (Refer to reference #2 below to  see how to properly wash hands and not spread germs). Do all the things we talk about to keep the immune system healthy…eat right, exercise, sleep enough and take your Body Biotics™ SBO Bio-identical Probiotics Consortia™. Having a strong immune system does not keep you from contracting the virus, but can help reduce the severity and improve one’s outcome. Unfortunately, all the supplements and Probiotics in the world won’t prevent any of us from getting the virus if we come into direct contact with it and to tell you otherwise would be misleading. Health professionals and government officials are trying to slow the spread. While the elderly, and those with pre-existing health issues, particularly lung issues, are at greater risk, it is best to lay low for awhile and avoid any situations which would leave you exposed if you fall into one of these categories. (1,2,3)*

Our basic human decency has been tested lately. Our common sense has been tested also. Don’t go crazy and become a hoarder. Use good personal hygiene, which we should be doing anyway. I’ve seen memes asking, “Were we not washing our hands before?” Perhaps this will teach us some practices that will prevent the spread of the flu and other illnesses in the future. Our overly cautious practices, should they remain, will possibly keep us all healthier.*

We wish you to remain healthy and continue to live your best life. It is a time that we are being tested in ways not seen in recent years. So take care, be smart about your health, but live your life to the fullest. Avoid situations that could cause major inconvenience such as being quarantined. Be considerate, and love your neighbor…just do it with a wave and a smile or an elbow bump rather than a handshake or hug…just until we get past this coronavirus.*

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/immune-boost-coronavirus/2020/03/05/e111554a-5e73-11ea-b014-4fafa866bb81_story.html
  2. https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/live-blog/coronavirus-updates-live-first-deaths-outside-west-coast-confirmed-florida-n1152081
  3. https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200304-coronavirus-covid-19-update-why-people-are-stockpiling

 

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Feb 23 2020

Researchers once again seek answers from the soil.

Researchers once again seek answers from the soil.
A new group of antibiotics, found in the soil, proves promising against drug resistant infections. 1*

As we have covered many times before, the race to find new antibiotics that can fight bacteria is one that scientists and researchers are desperately trying to win. The overuse of antibiotics has continued to be a growing concern, in both humans and livestock, as many antibiotics have become ineffective. Globally, we are faced with many bacterial infections becoming untreatable and this crisis will only grow direr as bacteria morph and become more resilient. As with C. Diff, and many strains of staphylococcus, despite several rounds of antibiotic therapy, these bacteria prevail, resulting in the death of those infected. (1,2)*

Researchers are finding that to address the global antibiotic-resistant drug crisis, they must seek answers outside the norm and discover compounds with unique mechanisms of action. They are constantly searching for new antibiotics and the soil is their ground zero. As Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ was formulated from nature’s own soil-borne microorganisms, the answer to so many things can be found there. And, it is there that a new antibiotic has been discovered.1*

A team with the David Braley Centre for Antibiotic Discovery within the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research at McMaster and led by professor Gerry Wright and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Ontario Research Fund discovered a new group of antibiotics that take a novel approach to attack bacteria. Corbomycin and compstatin are promising clinical candidates in the fight against antimicrobial resistance in that they have “…a never-before-seen way to kill bacteria, which is achieved by blocking the function of the bacterial cell wall. The discovery comes from a family of antibiotics called glycopeptides that are produced by soil bacteria….”(1,2)*

The research, which was published in Nature, shows promise in a way that hadn’t yet been realized. “…”Bacteria have a wall around the outside of their cells that gives them shape and is a source of strength,” said study first author Beth Culp, a Ph.D. candidate in biochemistry and biomedical sciences at McMaster…”(1,2)*

The antibiotics that these researchers found do the opposite of what antibiotics like penicillin do, which is kill bacteria by preventing the building of the bacterial cell wall. These new antibiotics do the opposite in that they prevent the wall from being broken down, which is critical for the cells to divide, expand and multiply. “…”If you completely block the breakdown of the wall, it is like it is trapped in a prison, and can’t expand or grow.”…”(1,2)*

Researchers studied “…the family tree of known members of the glycopeptides…” and studied those genes known to lack resistance mechanisms, “…with the idea they might be an antibiotic demonstrating a different way to attack bacteria…”(1,2)*

Culp and the researchers hypothesized that “…” if the genes that made these antibiotics were different, maybe the way they killed the bacteria was also different,”…” They surmised that this approach can be applied to other antibiotics, which can lead to the discovery of other new ones with different mechanisms of action. “…”We found one completely new antibiotic in this study, but since then, we’ve found a few others in the same family that has this same new mechanism.”…”(1,2)*

This is great news and there is a lot of attention being given to this matter by the Center for Disease Control in the search for new antibiotics. “The CDC’s response to antibiotic resistance implements activities outlined in the U.S. National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. In the fiscal year 2016, Congress appropriated an unprecedented $160 million of new investments for CDC to fight antibiotic resistance. With these investments, CDC implemented the AR Solutions Initiative to work toward meeting the national goals. This appropriation increased to $170 million in the fiscal year 2020.”3*

 The first line of defense comes from the soil by ingesting the friendly soil born bacteria that fortify the gut, building a strong immune system. By keeping our defenses strong and using soil born bacteria such as those found in Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™, we maintain our gut health so that when exposed to dangerous bacteria, we are better armed to fight them off. By using them sparingly, and only when necessary, antibiotics can prevent the spread of infection and keep it from getting worse. As bacteria and various infections and their treatments evolve, researchers will continue to look to the soil and to innovative solutions to develop new treatments, preventions, and ultimately cures.*  

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

 www.bodybiotics.com

Resources:

  1. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200212131523.htm
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-1990-9?amp%3Bcode=d61c8e22-32be-4b99-a000-a6d9762e87e9
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/solutions-initiative/index.html

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Feb 09 2020

Food Habits are Especially Hard to Break

Published by under probiotic supplements

Habits are difficult to break, especially when it comes to food.
Make sure your eating habits are leading to a destiny of long term health and wellness.

Changing habits can be difficult…sometimes impossible. Especially when it comes to food. We have good intentions and we want to eat better. Our motivations vary. Usually, we want to ‘look better’, or ‘do better’ and lastly we want to feel better. But many “diets” fall flat, and people end up back in the same eating habits as before. Science shows that while we can change what we eat and when we eat for a short period of time, once we experience a moment of weakness, many (not all) of us go right back to our old habits. According to Kari Anderson, DBH, CEDS who is in private practice at myEatingDoctor in Scottsdale, Arizona “…It’s complicated and primal, and it has everything to do with your brain trying to help you survive. Even if the eating changes that you’re trying to make will make you healthier…”1*

While we set out to eat healthful foods during the day, we get off track, most usually in a moment of stress, and then we beat ourselves up for falling off the wagon. How and why is it so hard to stick to our diets? If we can’t do it for ourselves, can’t we do it to ensure our long term health for our loved ones? Why is it so hard? In a moment of weakness and faced with a delicious piece of chocolate cake, french fries or a greasy burger, our future health and our loved ones don’t usually come to mind, just the desire to have what we want. Are we really that weak? According to Andersen, “…Deep within our brain lies a basic quest for survival, located in the reptilian brain. Food is key to our survival and it represents safety. So if someone (even you) starts messing around with your food, all bets are off. That’s because of any threat to your safety, whether real or perceived, evokes fear…”1*

According to health experts, there is more to it. We can tell ourselves we are “bad people with bad habits” and it is easy to beat ourselves up and feel ashamed when we go off our diets. But we shouldn’t be hard on ourselves. According to Andersen, it’s quite simple because it is purely instinctual and emotional. It is especially true for people who have experienced any type of food insecurity in their lives. This could be a result of eating disorders, poverty, growing up in the depression, chronic dieting or having lived with a caregiver that tried to control our food. These experiences cause us to feel threatened when we try to change our eating habits.1*

“…Part of our habits with food have been built within the reward pathways of our mammalian brain…” There is a behavioral hypothesis called Porges Polyvagal Theory that suggests “…relationships and social engagement with others is the primary way that mammals have developed to calm themselves. This natural regulation is accomplished through neurological processes and when relationships go missing, food can often serve a similar function…” She goes on to suggest that, “…Through sensory experiences and the movement of facial muscles, eating neurologically mimics social interaction, providing a feeling of safety and calm…”1*

Because our food habits originate from such a deeply unconscious place in our brain, it is easy to see why it is so hard to stick with it. When we make the conscious decision to start a diet plan or feel the desire to change our food behavior, we are in a calm state. The problem and when we blow it, arises when we become agitated, tired, depressed or stressed. During these times, our need for safety and comfort automatically defaults to our “repitilian or mammailian brain” and our rational brain goes out the window.  But, according to Andersen, through practice, we can change our brains and heal food insecurity. We can rewire food reward pathways and learn to not use food for feeling connection. 1* 

The goal is to not be motivated by “being good” or even “looking good” but by feeling good.This is driven from within and by what is truly important to you. So you’d wonder, wanting to be healthy isn’t enough? “…Knowing when you feel good and wanting to do what’s needed to keep feeling that way is an example of intrinsic or internal motivation. Unfortunately, many people are so disconnected from their bodies,  according to Andersen, that they don’t know when they feel good, or bad…”2*

According to Andersen, the key to this internal motivation comes from connecting to your body and your internal motivation through mindfulness. Being present, in the moment and listening to our bodies, our mood and our mental state. How do certain foods make you feel after you eat them? When we notice that certain foods that we eat, and in particular combinations and at certain times make us either feel good or not good, we can start really listening to our bodies, and then let our bodies tell us what to do. If you eat a donut and while it tastes delicious in the moment makes you feel awful afterward, you can listen to your body enough to know that you don’t want to do that again. Or, if you eat lots of vegetables and lean meat and you wake up the next morning feeling lighter and more energized, you will want to repeat that behavior. 2*

This is so very important because it keys right into the gut. When we feed our microbiome foods that only perpetuate the growth of candida and other bad bacteria, we feel bad. We feel foggy, tired and weighted down. When we replace that with foods that feed the good bacteria, we feel better overall. We feel energized, happier and healthier. But it does take conscious mindfulness to really want to make this a habit. Remember, habits become our destiny, so good habits are important. 2*

When our guts are populated with bad bacteria, it can feel comforting to eat those foods that feed that bacteria because they are hungry, causing us to crave these foods. Beating a junk food habit can be extremely hard for this reason. It can even be uncomfortable and unsatisfying at first. But with regularity and increasing the Probiotics that go into our guts, we can starve out the unfriendly bacteria and replace it with healthy bacteria that make us feel good, boost our immune system which makes us feel healthier. We can do this through a regular regimen of Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ and then eating the right foods that support a healthy microbiome.2*

“…By simply pausing and noticing our awareness of behaviors that make us feel good can create new reward pathways in our brains…” It is inch by inch, rather than a big reward at the end of a long day such as having a big meal or a hot fudge sundae which tastes good in the moment but not in the long run. Learning to reward ourselves in more healthy ways is the key. Instead of making choices out of shame, a need to feel secure or comforted, we start making food choices based on competence, knowledge and conscious choices rather than out of habit or fear.2*

One helpful way to start off on the right foot is to always make the first food you eat each day a healthy one. A vegetable scramble, whole grain toast with avocado, oatmeal with fresh fruit will keep your body on the right track and tell your microbiome what to crave for the rest of the day. If you start your day with high sugar or processed foods, your body will key into that and just crave more as your glucose levels spike, craving more sugar. Even if you aren’t a “breakfast person” just make sure that no matter what time you eat, you eat something that is going to feed your good bacteria and nourish your body as a whole. Remember our actions lead to habits and our habits lead to our destiny. What is your destiny?2*

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/behernow/201709/why-changing-eating-habits-permanently-is-so-hard
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/behernow/201710/the-secret-changing-eating-behavior-good

 

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Jan 26 2020

Is Our Gut a Predictor of How Long we Will Live?

Published by under probiotic supplements

Is our gut a predictor of how long we will live?
A group of scientists believes they can predict future health by examining the microbiome.

The microbiome is at the core of our health. It has been linked to all sorts of health issues including digestive disorders, mood patterns, inflammation, and arthritis. Eighty percent of our immune system originates from the gut so if our guts are healthy so are we. Scientists are now suggesting that our microbiome can be an indicator of our future health in terms of years we will live. There are two new studies that find our mix of microbes can “reveal the presence of many diseases…” and may “…anticipate our risk of dying within the next 15 years…” According to this research, our gut microbes may be better at determining diseases than our own genes can.1*

“…In the first study, researchers reviewed 47 studies looking at associations between the collective genomes of the gut microbes and 13 common diseases. These included schizophrenia, hypertension, and asthma—all of which are considered “complex” because they are caused by both environmental and genetic factors. They then compared these studies with 24 genome-wide association (GWA) studies, which correlate specific human genetic variants with diseases….”1*

In a paper posted on the preprint server bioRxiv, the research team reported that the “…genetic signature of gut microbes was 20% better at discriminating between a healthy and an ill person than a person’s own genes…” The microbiome was better at predicting whether someone had colorectal cancer by 50%  than GWA studies. The only genetic profile that outperformed the human microbiome was that of predicting whether someone had type 1 diabetes.1*

The study’s author Braden Tierney is a computational biologist at Harvard Medical School. He acknowledges that this is a preliminary analysis and that the work could ultimately benefit people, by using both the microbiome and human genetics to improve patient quality of life by “…identifying key markers in both sets of genomes that could help diagnose these complex diseases…”1*

According to Tierney, a person’s environment, including what they eat and how often they exercise may continue to remain a better predictor of diseases which tend to have a large environmental component. This includes such diseases as type 2 diabetes.1*

A second study looked at the link between a person’s microbiome and how long they lived. The analysis referred to a Finnish study that has been collecting health information and data from thousands of participants since 1972. Participants donated stool samples in 2002 that were sequenced 15 years later. “…The data reveal that individuals with an abundance of Enterobacteriaceae bacteria—a family of potentially infectious bacteria that includes Escherichia coli and salmonella—are 15% more likely to die in the next 15 years…” This link between gut bacteria and increased risk of death was consistent across the eastern and western Finnish populations, whose genetic backgrounds and lifestyles are quite different. 1*

For both research studies, researchers say they are still unclear as to why there is this connection between the microbiome and death and disease. Is it that the microbes are causing disease? Or, are they shortening a person’s life span in some way? Or, it is that the gut is just reflective of whatever else is going on in the body?  Regardless, doctors, researchers, and scientists who are focused on treating and preventing human diseases are starting to pay a lot more attention to what is going on in the gut and will most likely find that all the above are true. *

While the microbiome is still relatively new and unexplored in so many ways, there is hope and enthusiasm that soon microbiome-based therapeutics and diagnostics will be developed. 1*

It’s encouraging to know that the science and health communities are putting their energy and resources towards examining gut health for determining health issues and diseases. At Body Biotics™, we know the importance of it and that is why we developed Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ so many years ago. As conventional medicine and health practitioners continue to recognize and acknowledge the importance of gut health, more emphasis will be put on prevention as opposed to addressing issues after they have developed. By keeping our guts healthy and ensuring we are replenishing depleted microbes whether it be from antibiotic use, poor diets or just daily living in our fast world with Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™,  we are one step ahead as we focus on staying healthy for the long run.*

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

Resources:

  1. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/01/microbes-your-gut-could-predict-whether-you-re-likely-die-next-15-years

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