Indoor Plants Are Good for Your Health

Jason Tetro | Posted 09.30.2015 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

All you have to do is bring Mather Nature indoors in the form of plants. For many Canadians, this isn't entirely a new concept. For decades, plants have been brought into the home and office to brighten up the mood and add some colour to an otherwise drab atmosphere. But the benefits are far greater than aesthetics.

How Microbes Could Give You a Heart Attack

Jason Tetro | Posted 09.15.2015 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

Twenty years ago, heart disease was the number one killer of Canadians. That number has dropped over the years thanks in part to research examining the causes of heart attacks and recommendations for better preventative behaviours. Despite this drop, there is still much to be learned about how heart attacks happen. One of the most studied causes is the atherosclerotic lesion, better known as plaque. This accumulation of cells, fats, minerals, and other organic material tend to accumulate in the arteries as we age. If buildup happens to occur in the coronary artery, cardiac arrest may inevitably happen.

These Lessons Can Save a Child's Life

Jason Tetro | Posted 09.09.2015 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

Each time a child encounters one of a number of pathogens, such as the flu, bacterial foodborne illness, and some of the common cold viruses (but not rhinovirus), the immune system not only responds to fight, but also remembers the invader at the molecular level.

How Microbes Add Misery to Chronic Sinus Issues

Jason Tetro | Posted 08.30.2015 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

Medically speaking, the condition is called chronic rhinosinusitis and for decades, it has been a mystery. What starts off as the signs of a cold or allergy soon becomes a rather complicated problem for which there are few treatments and even less cures. Most of the time, medications are prescribed but some cases become so dire surgery is needed to help a person finally breathe clear. What makes this ailment so frustrating is the lack of a proper cause. The list of suspects includes genetics, cigarette smoke, and allergies.

How Bacteria Could Help Weight Loss Surgery Success

Jason Tetro | Posted 08.09.2015 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

Controlling obesity is never an easy prospect and for some, the best option is to undergo bariatric surgery. The practice has been around since the 1960s and involves restricting the volume of the stomach either with a band or through surgical removal of a large part of the stomach organ. There's also another factor in determining the benefit of this surgery: the microbes living in the gut. The tens of trillions of bacteria can also be affected by the change. Although this was known hypothetically for years, in 2010, it was shown for the first time.

St-Rémi Residents Fed Up With 6-Month Boil-Water Advisory

CBC | Posted 08.09.2015 | Canada

In February, a water-quality test showed the presence of fecal coliform.

We Need to Curb Our Use of Antibiotics

Brian W. Rotenberg | Posted 07.19.2015 | Canada Living
Brian W. Rotenberg

The overwhelming majority of these incredibly common infections are caused by viruses -- that is, they will not respond to antibiotics -- so I don't routinely offer antibiotic treatments. When patients hear they won't be getting an antibiotic many become surprised and often upset. I then spend time counselling them about why antibiotics are, in most cases, the wrong treatment choice.

How Mouth Bacteria Affects How Fast a Wound Will Heal

Jason Tetro | Posted 06.08.2015 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

Quite possibly nothing is more frustrating than accidentally chewing on your cheek. It's painful and many times seems to take forever to heal. Part of that reason is due to bacteria. There may be billions covering the tongue, the teeth, the gums and the cheek.

Bioconcrete May Be The Future of Construction

Jason Tetro | Posted 05.31.2015 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

Bioconcrete is nearly at the tipping point and appears to be just a few months to years away from being the next wave of concrete development. Although this may start off as a fad, there is good reason to hope it lasts.

The Zombie Apocalypse Is Real! For Microbes at Least

Jason Tetro | Posted 05.10.2015 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

Last week, an Israeli team of researchers revealed how a bacterial species can become a "zombie" and then spread it to others causing an apocalypse. Making this observation even more interesting was what they used to trigger the outbreak. It wasn't a living organism. Instead, it was a chemical: silver.

The Fecal Bacterium You'll Learn to Love

Jason Tetro | Posted 06.26.2015 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

Within your feces is a species of bacteria that may one day be able to help prevent inflammatory disorders including colitis, inflammatory bowel disease and possibly even Crohn's disease. It's known as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and has the potential to become one of the next generation probiotics.

How Chewing Gum Can Help Your Oral Health

Jason Tetro | Posted 03.27.2015 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

The question has plagued dental professionals for years. Is chewing gum good or bad for your teeth? Last week, an international team of researchers provided the first comprehensive look at the impact of gum on oral health. It seems a few minutes of gum chewing might be an excellent way to keep a healthy mouth.

How Aging Affects Inflammation in Our Bodies

Jason Tetro | Posted 03.20.2015 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg If a person continued to supplement bacteria with our health in its best interests, such as probiotics, mutiny may be prevented or at least belayed. With more research, we may be able to prove this point and find a means to offer the elderly, the sick and even the brokenhearted a way to prevent the onslaught of virulence and live a happier, longer life.

Spice Up Your Health This Holiday Season

Jason Tetro | Posted 02.20.2015 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

As the Spice Girls proclaim, spicing up your food can definitely spice up your life and offer joy both emotionally and physiologically. Whether you choose the bitterness of garlic, the sweetness of cinnamon or the umami and heat of a kimchi, you can ensure the time is filled with joy rather than pain.

Why You Shouldn't Worry About Using Public Toilets

Jason Tetro | Posted 02.13.2015 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg A closer inspection of the bacterial species revealed only few pathogenic species. Of those, most were unable to survive over long periods of time. There was little to no risk for infection. As to the majority of bacteria found, they were common, and harmless, fecal and skin bacteria. Even high frequency use of a toilet could not develop pathogens in high enough levels to cause infection.

The Bad News About Artificial Sweeteners

Jason Tetro | Posted 11.21.2014 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

It's been a rather tough year for artificial sweeteners. In that time, three new studies have been released suggesting they are poor substitutes for sugar. In the spring, an investigation into their use revealed a disconcerting association with the onset of depression. Then, a long-term analysis of their use revealed they may contribute to overall weight gain.

Viruses of Bacteria May Help Win The War Against Cholera

Jason Tetro | Posted 11.07.2014 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpgAntibiotics were the first and still are the go-to means of microbial distraction. However, in light of the continuing rise of antibiotic resistance, their usefulness is limited and we need to explore other options. One such ally is a living organism known to have just as much of a hatred for infectious bacteria: the bacteriophage.

Where To Find The Germiest Place In Your Home

The Huffington Post Canada | Posted 07.29.2014 | Canada Living

Germs might be a regular, healthy fact of life, but that doesn't mean you have to live in ignorance about where you can find them in your home. The...

How Probiotics Could Prevent Obesity and Other Chronic Diseases

Jason Tetro | Posted 09.26.2014 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpgThe value of good germs has been known for decades. This was epitomized last month when an international group of researchers illustrated how the use of genetically modified probiotics could prevent chronic disease. Using only a specifically designed bacterium, they could prevent obesity in mice giving them a healthier life.

A Low-Carb Diet Cuts Risk of Colon Cancer

University of Toronto News | Posted 09.22.2014 | Canada Living
University of Toronto News

Researchers at the University of Toronto have found that gut bacteria drive a common form of colon cancer, and that a low-carbohydrate diet can prevent the disease. The researchers found that microbes in the intestine convert carbohydrates into metabolites that spur cancer growth. A low-carbohydrate diet shut down this process and led to a 75 per cent reduction in cancer incidence.

25 Germy Things You Should Probably Start Throwing Out

The Huffington Post Canada | Arti Patel | Posted 07.08.2014 | Canada Living

If that sad old kitchen sponge has been giving you the dirty eye for the past few weeks months, it may be time to toss it out. Take a look around ...

Important Lessons From the Bacterial Equivalent of Human Society

Jason Tetro | Posted 09.05.2014 | Canada
Jason Tetro

In terms of statistics, 12 per cent grew antibiotic resistance and became marginalized from others. Twenty-eight per cent of the population chose a wealthy style, happily living in their gated biofilms. Half of all the bacteria decided to take a middle-class lifestyle, choosing an easy nutrient source and never engaging in any extreme activity.

The Best Foods For Healthy Gut Bacteria

AFP/Relaxnews | Posted 06.23.2014 | Canada Living

For patients receiving stem cell transplants, some simple but important precautions to promote the proliferation and diversity of healthy gut bacteria...

Bacteria Could Increase Your Risk of a Heart Attack

Jason Tetro | Posted 08.16.2014 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

Heart health is a complex study and requires a proper lifestyle to maintain. Yet, as the researchers have shown, should there appear to be signs of problems, such as continual chest pains, palpitations, lightheadedness, shortness of breath and fatigue; there may be yet another option for diagnosis and treatment to avoid a heartbreaking end.

Which Probiotics Actually Work?

Josh Gitalis | Posted 08.04.2014 | Canada
Josh Gitalis

The lactobacillus species is one of the most researched. Among the lactobacillus family is one particular strain, lactobacillus GG (also known as Culturelle), which has solid research backing up its use for acute diarrhea, traveller's diarrhea, antibiotic-associated diarrhea, and colic.