Probiotics for Preterm Infants: Beneficial Bacteria for the Smallest of Newborn

Serious health problems are common in infants who suffer from low birth weight. Beneficial bacteria, known as probiotics, may help these tiny patients. Now a new study sheds light on the benefits of probiotics on infants with very low birth weights. About 7.9 percent of babies were born at a low birth weight in 2012, and 1.42 percent were born at a very low birth weight (VLBW) of 3 pounds, 3 ounces or less. Infants born at low birth weight are more likely to experience serious health problems, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Babies who…. [Read More…]

Bacteria in Space

Imagine being the lone survivor in a space capsule hurdling towards Mars, struggling with the head cold that killed the other astronauts. Your companions took the last of the antibiotics thousands of miles ago, but that does not really matter now – the common bacteria had become resistant to all the antibiotics on board anyway. Monster bacteria in space sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but real life scientists are finding that some bacteria grow faster, mutate more readily, and can become more infectious or resistant to antibiotics in space than on earth. Before astronauts can venture into deep…. [Read More…]

Probiotics and Weight Management

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), affecting more than 36 percent of adults. Now there is evidence suggesting that probiotics may be effective for weight management and the problems associated with obesity. Scientists have shown that bacteria in the gut can have anti-obesity effects and can suppress fat in the liver. Researchers fed lab mice a high fat diet then administered four strains of intestinal bacteria to four different groups of mice. The scientists found that the mice that consumed Lactobacillus acidophilus had less fat in their…. [Read More…]

Why Dietary Guidelines Are Changing: Full Fat is Back

When President Dwight Eisenhower had a heart attack in 1955, it changed the way science looked at nutrition. Experts determined that fat was a major obstacle to cardiac health. This hypothesis pointed the finger at fat and meat as the probable cause of heart attacks like the one Eisenhower suffered that day. Since that time, cardiovascular disease and fat have been linked together, especially after clinical research provided evidence that a low–fat, high-carb diet lowers the risk of heart issues. Researchers called cardiovascular disease an epidemic that centered specifically on the amount of fat and cholesterol people ate. They failed…. [Read More…]