Heal Your Belly – Why Women Need Probiotics

Countless women, men and children have taken probiotics following antibiotics, or a bad stomach bug in order to equalize the gut flora, which regulates the digestive system.  Why is it so important for women to take probiotics and what kind should they be taking?

Probiotics means “for life,” a perfect indicator why these living microorganisms should be taken seriously.  Found in cultured food like yogurt or fermented foods like miso, probiotics may help with the following:

 

  • Improve digestion
  • Regulate gut flora
  • Prevent infection
  • Improve immune system

 

There are many strains of probiotics from Lactobacillus acidophilus to Bifidobacterium bifidum, to name just a few.  Research is still in progress to see if the probiotics in food outweighs the benefits of a dry probiotic. In order for a probiotic to be affective, it is important to contact a doctor or a dietician, to ensure the correct strain is administered to the individual.

Probiotics can help many health issues and for women they can be particularly helpful in the prevention of or suffering from the following:

 

  • Vaginal Infections
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Hormone imbalance

PREGNANCY

There are a number of trials to study the influence of probiotics on pregnant women and their unborn child. Analyses suggests the benefits probiotics, due to the microbiota changes during pregnancy, some of which include:

 

 

It is also suggested that taking a probiotic may prevent asthma, food allergies, preterm birth, and AAD in children.  These studies are not conclusive, so it’s not advised to rush out and buy them.  It’s best to discuss with a dietician or doctor if this could be a beneficial health option.

 

VAGINAL HEALTH

The vagina is a complicated balance of microbiomes and like the gut, the balance has to be right to prevent infections like bacterial vaginosis.  Probiotics may help with keeping the vaginal tract acidic, thus making the bad bacteria unwelcome in the environment.  The balance in the vagina can get thrown out of synch by antibiotics, sickness, birth control pills, tampons, perfumes, menopause, stress, and even sexual intercourse.  Researchers have recommended the benefits of probiotics for women to regulate hormones such as estrogen and progesterone (particularly beneficial during menopause), as well as benefit breast and bone health.  The thyroid is also thought to be affected by ingesting probiotics with the suggestion that the metabolism could potentially speed up and therefore aid weight loss.  Although there is currently no irrefutable evidence between probiotic and the cure for hormone imbalance and bacterial infections, there is a consensus it can only help, not harm.

 

SUGGESTED PROBIOTIC FOODS

If increasing the intake of probiotic foods is desired, the following may help:

 

  • Kombucha
  • Miso Soup
  • Yogurt with live cultures
  • Cottage cheese
  • Dark chocolate
  • Kefir
  • Olives
  • Apple cider vinegar

 

Not Your Average Probiotic
Not Your Average Probiotic

 

TOP FIVE PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTS FOR WOMEN

  1. Garden of Life: Raw Probiotics for Women. 85 million CFU’s and 32 probiotic strains, with no added fillers.
  2. Hyperbiotics PRO-Women. 5 Billion CFU’s, cranberry extract, which is good for urinary health.
  3. Complete Probiotics Platinum. 50 billion live cultures, NutraFlora, and Prebiotic (non digestible segment of food) Fiber
  4. Ultimate Flora Probiotic. With 50 billion cultures and a powerful Lactobacillus formula to support vaginal care.
  5. Based on germinated barley, this solution does not activate the digestive system, which is essential because that means acid isn’t released and can’t destroy the beneficial bacteria. Research by University College London (UCL) shows that Symprove is able to survive, thrive and colonize the gut.

 

When looking for the best probiotic, it’s best to:

 

  • Consult a doctor
  • Look for the highest CFU count, which has a superior influence on the growth of helpful bacteria within the gut flora. Anything over 40 billion CFUs will be beneficial.
  • Prebiotics supports probiotics, whilst performing well in the gut.

 

RESOURCES

Movie on probiotics

Science Direct

Tired Too Often? It’s More than a Gut Feeling

If you’re tired all the time…

your condition may be linked to your gut. A new study shows a link between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and gut bacteria.

How Ya Doin’?

Do you wake up feeling exhausted? Are you extremely tired after doing even the most mundane tasks? You sleep, take naps, and yet you can’t shake the sensation of tiredness. You could be suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. And it could be caused by inflammation and a bacterial imbalance in your gut.

Getting Diagnosed

Here’s the thing. Many doctors have difficulty diagnosing CFS. It can also be referred to as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). There is no specific blood test or easily read biomarkers. Psychological factors, viruses, and infections can cause extreme tiredness. To deem one’s condition with a “chronic” label is a serious diagnosis.

According to the Mayo Clinic website, CFS has nine signs and symptoms. The first, of course, is fatigue. The others include: enlarged lymph nodes in neck or armpits, unexplained muscle pain, random joint pain, and an unusual headache. Other symptoms are: un-refreshing sleep, exhaustion lasting more than a full day after exercise, loss of memory, and a sore throat. You can see why other diagnoses would be considered first.

What are the Causes?

Until now, doctors or scientists who have diagnosed CFS, have been perplexed about exact causes. Some believe certain viruses might trigger the syndrome. Perhaps an impaired immune system leaves individuals susceptible to CFS. Hormonal imbalances have also been studied as a possible cause offsetting the condition.

Finally, a recent study offers more in the way of reason. Your gut bacteria and inflammatory agents in the blood may cause CFS.

Researchers at Cornell University studied stool samples of the 77 participants. Forty-eight had already been diagnosed with CFS, while the other 39 were perfectly healthy. The study, published in the journal Microbiome, showed that those with CFS had less bacterial diversity in the gut. They also had markers showing inflammation. One theory was that “leaky gut” allowed bacteria from the intestines to enter the bloodstream.

What to Do?

As far as the new research shows, the indicators of imbalance in gut bacteria may now be used as one way to test for CFS. Maureen Hanson, a professor involved in the study explained, “Our work demonstrates that the gut bacterial microbiome in chronic fatigue syndrome patients isn’t normal.” It was an indicator in 83 % of the participants in the study. This is a great breakthrough for those who advocate the condition isn’t just “psychological.”

Restoring the gut microbiome balance may be a path to treating CFS. A variety of probiotics may help along with a change in diet. Exploring ways to get your gut bacteria back to healthy levels is a great start. Discuss options with your doctor or naturopath. With this new evidence and proper treatment, your fatigue may no longer remain chronic.

For more information on maintaining balance in the body and mind, check out www.GetThrive.com

 

More Natural Ways to Treat Anxiety and Depression

One of the most common remedies used nowadays for anxiety and depression is medication. But are the drugs really helping relieve the cause or just the symptoms? According to many scientists and naturopaths, there may be alternative forms of treatment that individuals can come by naturally.

Cloudy with a Chance of More Clouds

Americans are no strangers to anxiety or depression. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), over 15 million adults are affected each year. (That’s a little over 6 percent of the population.)

Other data reveals that approximately 11 percent of Americans regularly take antidepressants.

Those two sets of numbers don’t make logical sense. That’s because there’s a tremendous number of adults who are prescribed antidepressant meds who haven’t been given a clinical diagnosis of anxiety or depressive-related disorders. That suggests, logically, that there are far more people medicated than need to be.

Even then, what about the efficacy of antidepressants? They may alter challenging symptoms, but are they healing the mind? A report published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (Jama) explained that imaging studies have revealed the same changes in brain activity when patients took an antidepressant as when they took a placebo. There has been research questioning the medications’ effectiveness beyond the placebo effect.

Getting to the Core

Symptoms of fatigue, moodiness, despair, disinterest in enjoyable activities, and apathy are just a few examples of what depression may look like. Those symptoms are noticeable and troubling results of something other than just a mental health challenge. And many researchers and naturopaths believe it’s more than just a chemical brain imbalance.

Many health experts suggest that depression is linked to inflammation—in the brain—and in the body.

There has been a deluge of material lately that points to our gut being our “2nd brain.” Our Enteric Nervous system is an assemblage of millions of nerve cells that communicate directly with the brain in our head. If our digestive system is unhealthy, it would follow suit that our mind would be as well.

Wellness for the Gut is Health for the Mind

Any type of treatment that your medical practitioner suggests may be helpful to your condition. Ultimately, however, it is your choice on how you handle your health. Antidepressants may be right for you. Counseling and/or Cognitive Behavior Therapy may also be beneficial. Any of the following suggestions are merely that. They are offerings of natural ways that may assist with relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression, or may even help cure.

Almost 40% of Americans suffer from constipation, diarrhea, chronic gas, GERD, IBS, and other gastrointestinal conditions. No wonder almost half the population is depressed or in a bad mood! Because of the connection between the gut and the brain, one of the goals is to boost health in your gut microbiome.

One way to achieve re-balance is to increase intake of PREBIOTICS.

Getting Friendly with Prebiotics

We’re all getting pretty familiar with probiotics these days. Those are the “good” bacteria that live in our digestive system. Prebiotics are actually non-digestible. They can be defined as a fiber compound.

Prebiotics don’t get broken down by stomach acids or digestive enzymes. They continue to make their way through the system and actually become food for the probiotics. Prebiotics stimulate good bacteria growth. When prebiotics and probiotics are combined, together they can help decrease inflammation.

Some examples of prebiotic foods are:

– flaxseed

– raw dandelion greens

– garlic

– leeks

 – jicama

– onions,

saurkraut

– kimchi

– seaweed

– kombucha, and other fermented foods

Boosting Your Adrenals

When we’re under a great deal of stress, especially over long durations, we can create burnout in our adrenal system. Weakened adrenals often accompany an individual suffering from clinical anxiety or depression. Adrenals are endocrine glands that produce many hormones including adrenaline and cortisol.

Anxiety and stress create an unwelcomed supply of cortisol into our system. That and adrenaline are our “fight or flight” natural rescuers, but those hormones weren’t meant to run through our bodies constantly. One way to help restore balance is to boost your adrenals.

Some examples of foods to improve your adrenal health are:

  • avocado
  • broccoli, cauliflower
  • nuts (almonds and walnuts)
  • chi, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds
  • fatty fish
  • matcha green tea

Besides these natural suggestions for improved body, mind, and spirit, there are, of course, the other tried-and-true recommendations. They are: reduce stress, practice yoga and/or meditation, exercise, and get a good night’s sleep, every night.

 

 

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Sources:

https://www.adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics

http://theheartysoul.com/natural-approach-depression-mood/

http://www.medicaldaily.com/antidepressants-arent-taken-depressed-majority-users-have-no-disorder-327940

Percentage of Americans on Antidepressants Nearly Doubles

 

 

Why Your Gut Microbiome Should Be a Priority

Your gut communicates with your brain. It’s true. In fact, your gut is your brain’s executive assistant, constantly taking and sending important messages. It’s for this reason, that for optimum health, you must make maintenance of your gut microbiome a priority.

What is My Gut Microbiome?

A microbiome is the place where microorganisms live and hopefully thrive. It’s like a mini-ecosystem. Your gut is an environment where microbes can either flourish along with each other—or duke it out. Balance is crucial.

Gut bacteria, which is an essential part of your microbiome, can either increase your well-being or, conversely, play a significant role in the development of poor health. A fine balance of good bacteria can boost your immune system. It also promotes serotonin production, which we know regulates our moods and can affect social behavior, appetite, sleep, and sexual function.

What Happens When My Gut Microbiome is Unhealthy?

First off, an “unhealthy” gut microbiome would be one that was moderately to severely imbalanced. Bad bacteria would outnumber and overpower good bacteria, for example. Unfortunately, this happens quite frequently. Think about when you take antibiotic medicines.

Antibiotics kill the bad bacteria, relieving you of your infection or illness—but, they also eradicate the good guys. If the good ones aren’t replenished, balance will not be restored. Bacteria take no prisoners and their competitive nature will strive to kill off rival bacteria.

When the result is that your gastrointestinal tract has more bad microorganisms than good, you wind up with fewer allies to communicate with your DNA. This leaves you more susceptible to physical AND mental disease. A dysfunctional gut microbiome participates in the creation of many diseases including: obesity, depression, MS, and (recently discovered) Parkinson’s, among others.

Studies and Linking

Medical News Today reported that, “…eating a plant-rich diet nourishes bacteria that helps protect against disease.” It’s actually the good gut-bacteria that communicate with our DNA. That communication (from plant-based food ingestion) goes to our brain and to the rest of our body!

A recent study utilized mice as participants. Researchers raised half of the subjects on a Western diet (high in sugar and bad fats), and the other group on a diet rich in vegetables and fruits. The plant-based fed mice had amazing gut biomes. Existing gut bacteria fed on plant fiber and the DNA became phenomenal communicators, enriching overall health. Additionally, there was an abundance of good bacteria that helped the mice protect themselves from developing or acquiring the disease.

The mice that lived on a Western diet lost out to pathogenic bacteria. Gut bacteria was malnourished and starved for nutrients. The low fiber consumption also didn’t help with digestion as a whole.

Gut Woes Linked to Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease can be identified by an accumulation of proteins in the brain. (The alpha-synuclein proteins cluster and forms fibers. It’s the fibers that damage brain nerves, which eventually cause the physical behavior, “twitching”, and tremors we see in Parkinson patients.)

In a newer study, a particular type of gut bacteria has been identified in those diagnosed with the onset of Parkinson’s disease. Evidently, a chemical produced by said bacteria increases those proteins in the brain. It is possible that those proteins (implicated in Parkinson’s) traveled all the way from the imbalanced gut.

Some medical experts are advocating the use of probiotics and other gut-balancing treatments to prevent and assist with the disease.

Sources:

www.pdf.org/winter16_asynuclein

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/12/14/feed-gut-microbes.aspx

www.medicalnewstoday.com/kc/serotonin-facts-232248

Is Medical Marijuana Bad for Your Memory?

Medical marijuana is widely used to treat countless ailments, disabilities, and accompanying symptoms. For all the good it may present, can medical marijuana affect your memory and ability to reason?

The Pot of Gold

Whether you’re a medical marijuana advocate or even the extreme opposite, there’s no denying that marijuana has some beneficial medicinal applications. Many tout its assistance with pain relief—and even as a possible application to slow the spread of Alzheimer’s. But, a recent study warns of marijuana’s potential to mess with our memory.

Marijuana is comprised of many active chemicals. Pot researchers point to two specifics, CBD and THC, as worthy potential health care properties.

Cannabidiol (CBD) impacts the brain. This active chemical may be part of why scientists have found that marijuana can help decrease seizure activity, especially in those with epilepsy. Perhaps this is why Parkinson’s patients also report having their tremors soothed.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has pain-relieving properties. Patients with multiple sclerosis report feeling physical relief after smoking marijuana. Cancer sufferers and those with HIV/AIDS find marijuana to be an appetite stimulant as well as nausea deterrent.

NOTE: Overusing or abusing marijuana can have several negative effects. Medical use is different than recreational use. In either scenario, smoking too much pot is not a healthy choice.

Back to the Benefits

Currently, over half of our United States (including the District of Columbia) have laws legalizing pot in some form—mostly for medical use.

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD), especially in military veterans, has been eased with medical marijuana use. In the state of New Mexico, PTSD is the #1 reason licenses for marijuana use are prescribed.

A study published by researchers from the University of Nottingham found that chemicals in marijuana are linked to a calming effect on the immune system. More specifically, one benefit is improved gut function. The natural drug’s chemicals interact with cells, strengthening intestinal permeability. This type of study suggests that medical marijuana may help with symptoms of Crohn’s, IBS, and colitis.

Many of those suffering from Lupus report that medical marijuana helps them deal with their painful and challenging symptoms.

And since the 1970’s, we’ve learned that smoking pot lowers intraocular pressure. Glaucoma patients feel relief; their pain decreases, but brilliantly, the effects may also slow progression of the disease, which inevitably otherwise would lead to blindness.

Memory at Risk?

A recent study claims that a medical marijuana user’s memory could be affected. The researchers’ hypothesis was based on pot’s interference with blood flow to the brain.

The study scanned almost 1,000 brains of current and past marijuana users. They discovered that almost every area of the brain they scanned (of the pot users) was lower in blood flow and activity. And in the hippocampus region, blood flow was the lowest.

“The hippocampus is the gateway to memory, to get memories into long-term storage,” Dr. Amen, lead researcher, said.

This finding about blood flow is undeniable. However, is that lower function hampering a person’s memory?

From this study, it cannot be concluded. The participants in the study had other mitigating factors that could have presented them with memory challenges. It appears that a large portion of the participants had either a diagnosis of ADHD, physical or emotional brain trauma, or both.

As for now, the best result from this particular study is that it may inform doctors who treat patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. They’ll need to further evaluate whether medical marijuana worsens the ability to recall.

As with any treatment, the pros, cons, and side effects always need examination before application. What’s beneficial to one person may not be the best for another. When making choices about your or your family member’s healthcare, always check out every possible treatment with care and attention. Informing yourself can bring peace of mind and, hopefully, greater health. See www.GetThrive.com for more articles on best health options.

 

Keep your Belly Balanced with Probiotics

Does your stomach talk to you after you’ve eaten? Overeating, poor food choices, and definitely stress can give you a bad tummy. Incorporating a few simple, probiotic-rich foods can help restore your belly’s balance and have you digesting more efficiently.

Gut Check

You’ve probably heard it a million times: You are what you eat.  That’s only partially true—you are also what you absorb. If you’re not digesting and processing your food properly, you are not getting the most out of the food you consume.  Your gut, or your digestive system, is the foundation of your body and it has a huge effect on your overall health and wellbeing.

The term “gut feeling” is not just an expression, it turns out to be based in fact.

Immune Check

Your immune system is also a key component of your gut. Everything you eat or drink contains some form of bacteria or pathogen, which sounds creepy, but it’s true. So, your gut is the first line of defense.

It’s a self-contained ecosystem of “gut flora, ” which is comprised of bacteria, yeast, and acids, and more. It’s designed to process both beneficial and harmful cells of all types.  These micro-organisms in your gut get out of balance. They can become overwhelmed by antibiotics, toxins, drugs, chemicals, and/or other hard-to-digest things like preservatives and additives. The result is poor digestion.

Poor Digestion = Poor Nutrition = Inflammation = Disease

Not digesting food properly is just one pitfall or poor gut health.  Aside from cheating yourself nutritionally, you could be setting yourself up for an array of problems.  If your gut is out of balance, it will likely lead to chronic inflammation, and that’s something you want to avoid at all costs.

Inflammation anywhere in the body has been targeted as a key factor in all types of disease ranging from Crohn’s, IBS, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.

Signs of poor digestion can include the following chronic symptoms:

  • Constipation
  • Bloating or excess gas
  • Heartburn
  • Cramps or abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea or loose stool
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Headaches and Fatigue

Get the Balance Right…

Keeping your gut happy involves two key factors: eating right and consuming foods rich in natural probiotics.  Avoiding processed foods, caffeine, sugar, refined carbs, and trans fats is ideal. In a perfect world, we would eat right every day and not have to worry about supplements. But alas, we can only do our best.

Probiotic Foods to Keep Your Gut In Check

  • Yogurt looks for plain, live-cultured, Greek, and handmade or artisanal varieties.  Goat’s milk is especially high in probiotics. Avoid sugar, artificial sweeteners, and flavors or colors.
  • Kefir- a fermented dairy product similar to yogurt, but more liquid.
  • Kombucha- very popular, a fermented black or green tea drink. It comes in a variety of flavors.
  • Sauerkraut- made from cabbage
  • Kimchi- Korean spicy veggie
  • Miso- Japanese soybean paste good for seasoning and soup.
  • Tempeh- similar to tofu, but fermented.
  • Buttermilk- only the traditional (not cultured) variety
  • Aged and soft cheeses- Gouda, Mozzarella, Cheddar, Cottage, Bleu, and Roquefort all have probiotics in abundance

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, is quoted as saying, “All disease begins in the gut.” So if you want to stay healthy and disease-free look no further than your belly.  When you are done navel-gazing, make sure you eat well, incorporate probiotic foods into your diet, and search www.GetThrive.com for more helpful information.

Why Fiber is Fantastic

We hear a lot today about foods high in fiber. There are several reasons our digestive system requires this beneficial element. However, when we don’t introduce enough fiber into our body, the results can be devastating.

Digestion Without the Drama

Devastating results caused by insufficient intake of fiber is not a bended truth or a statement created for dramatic effect. It’s important to realize fiber’s role in our digestion process. If our gut is imbalanced or impaired (because our digestive system is a mess), it affects our entire body—that includes our brain, muscles, weight, and risk for onset of diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other diseases.

Fiber is found in vegetables, fruits, certain whole grains, legumes, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds. It’s not absorbed or digested but actually, helps push everything else through your system that has been eaten and broken down. It aids with proper bowel movement as well as forcing out toxins and carcinogens that would otherwise linger.

Fiber creates bulk, and that’s a good thing. It helps take out our trash. And with cleaner insides, we’ll have lower cholesterol, moderated blood pressure, balanced glucose levels, and less inflammation.

What’s the Low Down on High Fiber?

According to the Journal of American Medical Association, Americans should be eating up to 35 grams of fiber each day. Doctor Oz suggests we should include even more. But, unfortunately, statistics show that most Americans consume roughly less than 15 grams of fiber per day.

So what does that mean? At the least, it presupposes that the majority of Americans must be constipated (or at least irregular.)  But aside from how your tummy or colon is feeling, your imbalanced and under-fibered gut is affecting your brain. It’s sending messages that you’re tired. It’s also weakening your immune system. And more research is leading to the understanding that serious health issues are developing.

Fiber and Gut Bacteria

We’ve discussed and read about the good bacteria needed in our intestines. That’s why we take probiotics, eat yogurt, and try not to take antibiotics unless we absolutely have to. We want to keep the good stuff alive.

Fiber helps remove waste and push through toxins and bad bacteria, keeping the good stuff strong.

Researchers, recently, have linked specific proteins that are found in the brain of Parkinson’s patients with chemicals found in gut bacteria. One study found that those particular proteins actually traveled from the gut to the brain.

Medical experts also point to constipation as a common denominator in Parkinson’s sufferers. Many struggled with constipation for up to a decade before other neurological symptoms appeared.

Fiber Up and Chow Down

Natural plant-based food sources are the best way to get your fill of fiber. Eat a diverse selection of fruits and veggies. Don’t be afraid to try bok choi, turnips, dragonfruit, rambutan, mangosteen, or anything from your market with seeds or green leaves. You’ll never get bored, and you’ll be adding all types of fiber and various vitamins and minerals into your diet.

Probiotics sourced from yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, etc. and prebiotics (from dark chocolate, red grape skins, and Matcha, etc.) will help balance the acidity and alkalinity in your gut as well. Add some good fiber, and you will be and stay in amazing shape, inside and out!

Repair Your Gut and Brain with this Exercise

Many issues can contribute to an imbalanced and unhealthy gut. Brain damage can also be caused by various factors, including disease. Research is now showing that one particular exercise, running, can repair cells in the brain and the gut.

Running Toward the Problem

Our gut plays a tremendous part in our overall health. One of the most obvious functions is digestion. Our body takes in food and processes it through our organs. The nutrients we absorb go towards feeding our cells. We want all of our cells to be healthy so that they reproduce healthily.

If we’re feeding our body unnaturally with junk food, processed meats, refined sugars, etc. our digestive system ceases to function optimally. Even when you finally eat a vegetable, your body no longer has the ability to absorb its nutritious benefits. Recalibrating our system by detoxifying and eating properly as a habit will make a huge difference.

Exercise, however, is another essential key player. Exercise helps the body flush toxins and waste. It also helps release toxins through our pores. But another effect of physical movement is that it promotes the diversity of gut bacteria.

Feel it in Your Gut

Our gut is home to many types of good bacteria. The body likes it that way. In fact, the more, the merrier. The balance and plenteousness of good bacteria allows for proper levels of serotonin, melatonin, and hundreds of other hormones necessary for homeostasis. And here’s the kicker—the gut largely informs the brain, and may also affect the brain’s ability to function properly.

Getting in the Game

A recent study observed levels of overall health in rugby players, and specifically, their gut bacteria. The athletes (from running) and exercising often—and with intensity—appeared to have boosted immune systems. The researchers discovered that the players had a “higher diversity of gut micro-organisms.”

Let it Help Your Brain

A completely different study was recently conducted out of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. They discovered that in animal models, running triggered production of a molecule that repairs brain cells. The molecule is called VGF nerve growth factor. It helps repair the insulation coating for nerve fibers.

Some neurodegenerative diseases, like multiple sclerosis, for example, produce overt physical symptoms because nerve insulation is damaged. If VGF, which is triggered by running, can rebuild damaged areas of the brain, this discovery is profound.

VGF is a molecule that offers a similar effect on the brain as does an endorphin. It also has an anti-depressant effect.

What’s more is that during the study, the scientists made other observations about the mice’s health. Those that ran freely on the wheel lived longer than a typical mouse’s lifespan. The mice that ran also acquired a better sense of balance than those that just sat around.

The benefits of exercise are a-plenty. But besides going out for a jog or run to keep your body looking good, it can clearly do wonders inside, too. For more current findings on best health practices, check out other articles here.