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.
For most people, mucus is considered to be a bad thing. It's commonly associated with respiratory infections as well as more chronic conditions such as cystic fibrosis, ulcerative colitis, and even cancer. But, this thick composite is an integral part of our anatomy, providing both lubrication and protection to internal cells exposed to the environment.
It's amazing what we do to maintain oral health. We brush our teeth, floss those gums, swirl mouthwash, endure whitening strips, and even suck on myriad different breath fresheners. All the while we hope to keep our dentists happy with our efforts. Now another option to help keep our teeth white and our breath pleasant has emerged: probiotic gum.
The 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.
Most of us have experienced at one time or another that rumble in the gastrointestinal jungle. But there is a darker side to these maladies manifesting at the microbial level. Though we may not feel these consequences in the short term, research has shown there may be more difficult times down the road.
Though the atmosphere has apparently stabilized and winter will soon be gone for yet another year, for millions of people, this is no time to breathe easy. In the next few weeks, a new kind of trouble will emerge. Dubbed the 'pollen vortex' this rare springtime phenomenon will leave allergy sufferers just as miserable and clambering for the indoors.
While the goodness of chocolate may appear to be solely based on cacao, recent research has revealed another player -- actually trillions of them -- in the contribution to better health. The collection of bacteria in the gut, known as the microbiota, plays a distinct role in ensuring the chocolate you eat will leave you happy and healthy.
It's an age-old search: the secret to eternal youth. For centuries, the dream of a single factor that may increase our lifespan has been at the forefront of many legends, excursions, and of course, advertising campaigns. The answer, however, may lie not in water, food or lifestyle, but in our relationship with germs.