Is your probiotic supplement alive? (Quite possibly not!)

The importance of quality control in probiotic supplementation

Fungus or probiotic

The current state of probiotic supplements in North America is concerning, especially as a someone who so highly values the place of these bugs in our health. Many of you have probably heard the rumblings of unacceptable quality  assurance practices in the supplement community. You have probably even heard of issues relating to poor safety practices and potential risk. Continue reading

How the gut is related to… well everything

intestines

Intestines: Wiki commons

Gone are the days when the research and medical communities view probiotics as a treatment approach limited to intestinal conditions. Indeed, evidence now supports the role of our microbes in WHOLE BODY health. This is something that it is critical that not only we as practitioners understand, but also that our patients can appreciate. So how do we get our patients to understand the impact of their gut health in overall health? How do we get patients into our clinics and stand out as a leader in your field? You make connections, novel connections that are based in research and affect your patients’ quality of life. Continue reading

My gut says I have insulin resistance

adipocyteInsulin resistance (IR) is a symptom that underlies many conditions. Indeed, it can be said that insulin resistance is a contributing factor in many of the most prevalent lifestyle related conditions faced by the world’s populations. These conditions include type 2 diabetes (DM2), polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) , valvular and structural disease of the heart and atherosclerosis to name a few. Continue reading

Immune system interventions (A streamlined approach to effective treatment)

VSL3 before and afterUsing research in clinical practice can seem arduous, especially when considering the molecular mechanisms affected by a certain treatment. Despite this, simple shifts in mindset and education can be powerful clinical tools. This is particularly important when considering cytokines.

Many immune based conditions are defined by the predominance of particular immune system skews, towards Th1 or Th2, and therefore by the presence of specific cytokines. Continue reading

I’m not an immunologist… why do cytokines matter in patient care?

Cytokines Histological inflammationIf you were to finish this sentence how would it end? Human health is defined by____.

There are many answers to this question although I would argue that human health is defined by the state of the immune system. When you think about health it is almost certainly defined by a lack of infection, lack of inflammation and freedom from the long term consequences of inflammation and autoimmune disease. This fact is intricately related to gastrointestinal health as 70-80% of our immune system can be found underlying the gut mucosa. Given this, does it not makes sense to access the integrity of the gut and target GI health in our approaches to treatment? Many would argue yes, and outside elimination of triggers, toxins and environmental influences, probiotics and other supplements can help. Continue reading

What the mirror can tell you about your microbes

baby in the mirrorSkin ‘problems’ are a general term that is thrown around quite a bit within our society. We spend hundreds, to thousands, of dollars every year cleaning, cleansing, covering up, treating medically and trying to deal with the unpredictability that skin presents us with daily. But how often do we consider this organ, the largest organ in the body, as reflection of our gut health, immune health or hormonal health? Not often enough!  This is also true when we are considering our infants. Continue reading

Prophylactic use of BioGaia

Happy BioGaia baby

A Happy BioGaia Baby

Prophylactic use of BioGaia in the Prevention of Colic, Regurgitation, and Functional Constipation
Infantile colic, gastroesophageal reflux, and constipation are the most common functional gastrointestinal disorders that lead to referral to a pediatrician during the first 6 months of life and are often responsible for hospitalization, feeding changes, use of drugs, parental anxiety, and loss of parental working days with relevant social consequences. Continue reading