“Chronic low-grade inflammation is now considered to be a critical pathological factor underlying many modern chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases, and is associated with aging. Chronic low-grade inflammation is characterized by elevated circulating levels of inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-1, and IL-6. A primary cause Read More →

Glass

  Abbreviations: CNS: central nervous system DNA: deoxyribonucleic acid DNMTs: DNA methyltranferases EAAT: excitatory amino acid transporter EAAT3: excitatory amino acid transporter 3 ENS: enteric nervous system FODMAP: Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides and Polyols GERD: gastroesophageal reflux disease GSH: glutathione IBS: irritable bowel syndrome LPSs: lipopolysaccharides SAM: S-adenosylmethionine SIFBO: small intestinal fungal and bacterial Read More →

Coronary

  As long time readers of this blog know, I consider metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, etc.) as fundamentally caused by translocating gut bacteria to the liver and systemic circulation. This explains what initiates what I’ve termed “The Inflammatory-Cortisol Ballet” and the metabolic consequences that flow from that. When it comes to heart Read More →

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  Welcome back from your second and last intermission. I trust the wait wasn’t too long. In today’s post, I’ll be concentrating on how cortisol is regulated by the body, and how these regulatory systems are shaped by immune activation. There is a happy medium where hormone concentrations within a defined lower and upper limit Read More →

Dancer

  Welcome back from your intermission! It’s now time to begin act two of our inflammatory-cortisol ballet. In the first act we saw what happens when cortisol is low, as in adrenal insufficiency, and what occurs when cortisol is high, as in Cushing’s syndrome. But it’s now time to introduce the other members of our Read More →

  “Saturated fats are benign with regard to inflammatory effects, as are the MUFAs [monounsaturated fats]. The meager effect that saturated fats have on serum cholesterol levels when modest but adequate amounts of polyunsaturated oils are included in the diet, and the lack of any clear evidence that saturated fats are promoting any of the Read More →

  The role of stress in negatively impacting the gastrointestinal system has long been recognized. It doesn’t take an Einstein to note a strong correlation between acute psychological stress and the onset of gut feelings that are anything but pleasant. I’ve written about how gut dysbiosis is capable of initiating psychological states like depression and Read More →

Today’s post summarizes an intriguing study on the role Lactobacillus acidophilus (L. acidophilus) may play in inhibiting breast cancer development. (1) I need to emphasize the word “may” as this study was done with rodents and not people. Like any hypothesis pertaining to health, we won’t know if this has applicability until subjected to clinical Read More →

  Those of us living in North America are very aware how severe this cold and flu season has been. Perhaps you’ve been unlucky enough to suffer a bout of respiratory illness yourself. In the United States, the cold is an extremely common virus. On average, children have between six to eight colds a year, Read More →

  “Although genetic and biological factors play a major role in the development of obesity, hypertension, insulin resistance, and diabetes, these common disorders that are part of the metabolic syndrome are probably influenced by other factors. Evidence suggests that these disorders are mediated by a complex interplay between genetics, biology, and the environment. Stress, whether Read More →

  As promised, I want to discuss what role, if any, dietary fat plays in metabolic endotoxemia, especially in relation to cardiovascular disease. It appears from both animal and human studies that fat indeed increases the translocation of inflammatory lipopolysaccharides (LPS) from the gut into systemic circulation. What needs to be determined is whether all Read More →

  In this post, I want to talk about how your gut flora is an integral player in the development and health of your immune system. Up until now, I’ve talked about how a compromised gut-wall barrier can cause endotoxemia and other immune reactions via translocation of antigens into systemic circulation. However, maintaining gut wall Read More →

  This is part two of my three-part series on insomnia. Today I want to cover how disease and inflammation cause sleep problems. In part one, I discussed some habits that help you get a good night’s sleep. And for a number of you who have occasional sleeplessness, improving your sleep hygiene is all that’s Read More →

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