Category Archives: Gut bacteria

Digestion and Weight Gain

2014 Year of the Horse
2014 Year of the Horse

I occasionally read through veterinary catalogs for horse supplements.  These animals, worth up to millions of dollars get the best of care and often state of the art medicine before it percolates down to humans. Many herbal and nutritional supplements are described for effectiveness in terms that the FDA would prohibit for people -which tends to prevent good information from getting to us about how to use nutritional supplements.

As I was reading through the catalog it struck me that the weight-gain supplements contain some of the very same ingredients that are touted for weight loss in articles and ads all over the web.  What gives? Continue reading Digestion and Weight Gain

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Primates Prefer Cooked Meat and What It Means to Us

Richard Wrangham a professor of biological anthropology at Harvard and the author of  “Catching

Richard Wrangham
Richard Wrangham

Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human” was interviewed on NPR.   He worked with Jane Goodall, and is director of the Kibale Chimpanzee Project  in Uganda.   According to Wrangham, great apes prefer cooked food to raw food or they have no preference.  They prefer cooked meat to the raw meat that they occasionally form hunting parties to obtain,  but are hampered by not controlling fire.   Great apes, when given a choice, never prefer raw food to cooked food.  Chimps will go into areas of wildfires and eat foods that they would never eat raw.  Meat (at least wild meat)  is tough when raw, but is much more easily assimilated when cooked.

Cooked food increases the proportion of nutrients that you actually digest. This was not widely appreciated for many years because scientists sampled the food going into the mouth then compared it to fecal output.  But fecal digestibility does not really look at assimilation.  We can only assimilate proteins in the small intestine, not the large intestine.

Continue reading Primates Prefer Cooked Meat and What It Means to Us

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Ten Things About Being Fat

Joy Nash
Joy Nash of Fat Rant

As someone who has dealt with obesity since kindergarten, when they pulled me indoors from climbing trees all day, I have dealt with fat, diets and fat fallout all of my life.  I was on Metrecal shakes in the third grade, and at 16 my Italian doctor was shocked at the diet pills my US MD had prescribed since age 14.  Every kind of diet- low fat, low carb, low calorie, Weight Watchers, fad diets, macrobiotics, non diets,- lots of exercise, hypnosis, EFT, and positive imagery was tried.  I know all the supplements, the portion sizes, the caloric values, the allergens and the energetics of foods.  And like most fat people I have had the will power to lose weight many times over.  Continue reading Ten Things About Being Fat

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Our Symbionts, Ourselves

Only 10% of the cells in our bodies are human.  Ponder that.  We BodyPolitic_HPhave easily a hundred trillion bacterial cells, not just in our gut but all over our body.  They make us work:  breaking down food into something we can assimilate, fighting infection, signaling our cellular processes, converting sunlight to Vitamin D, forming biofilms to protect us.   We have fungi that break down wastes, yeasts that ferment and transform extra sugars, worms that can prevent autoimmune disease.  Some of our bacteria themselves have viruses.  We are walking colonies of organisms in a human superstructure. Continue reading Our Symbionts, Ourselves

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