Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Friendly Bacteria or Girls Fear Cheese

For years I've threatened to have a horn band called FRIENDLY BACTERIA and another called GIRLS FEAR CHEESE.

More than a century ago, Élie Metchnikoff, a Nobel prize-winning microbiologist, hypothesized that lactic acid bacteria — like the kind found in our yogurt — was important to gut health and longevity.

"Bacteria used to be the thing we had to eradicate," Reid says. But people are now realizing that many kinds of bacteria provide a benefit. "So it's a paradigm shift, a massive shift in our thinking," he says.

This shift has led to an explosive growth in research. Scientists have documented that beneficial microorganisms play a critical role in how our bodies function. And along the way, it's become clear that the influence goes beyond the gut. Scientists have documented that the mix of bacteria that populate our gut influence our susceptibility to — or our immunity against — allergies, eczema and asthma.

Now, researchers are turning their attention to our emotional health. It turns out that there's a lot of communication between our guts and our brains. Scientists studying this refer to this as the gut-brain axis.