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Digestive



UCLA Study Finds Probiotics May Be a Natural Mood Lifter

Does a creamy cup of yogurt make you happy? Do you ever wonder why Jamie Lee Curtis is always smiling in those Activia commercials? It may have something to do with a new UCLA study that claims good bacteria is not only good for the gut, it may also be good for the brain.

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The study, conducted by scientists with the Gail and Gerald Oppenheimer Family Center for Neurobiology of Stress, part of the UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases, and the Ahmanson–Lovelace Brain Mapping Center at UCLA, appears in the peer-reviewed journal Gastroenterology. For the purpose of the investigation, a small group of women were given the same yogurt containing several types of good bacteria, also known as probiotics, and instructed to eat it twice a day for four weeks.

Before and after the study, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were performed on the women. Their brains were examined at rest, and while performing an emotion-recognition task, which asked the women to look at angry and frightened faces. The result was a change in brain activity, as well as other internal “body sensations.” The women who ate the yogurt had less anxiety when looking at the images.

Dr. Kirsten Tillisch, lead author of the UCLA study is encouraged by the early findings. “Time and time again, we hear from patients that they never felt depressed or anxious until they started experiencing problems with their gut,” Tillisch said. “Our study shows that the gut–brain connection is a two-way street.”


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Food Blogger Spotlight: Amie Valpone from The Healthy Apple

Amie Valpone The Healthy Apple resizeToday’s blog spotlight is The Healthy Apple, created by Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP. Not only does she have impressive alphabet soup after her name, she also has an impressive story. Amie became an expert in “clean” living because she had to.

After suffering from severe digestive issues and being misdiagnosed for years, Amie finally discovered she had the power to make herself feel better by eating better. Below, Amie tells her story and shares several tasty recipes from her gorgeous blog.

Why did you start your food blog? I started my blog in January of 2009 when I was working in corporate America and became very ill. I started cooking more and sharing what I was making, even though it was gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, sugar-free and corn-free. Through The Healthy Apple, I provide balanced, accessible and engaging information on the most basic components of good health.


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23,000 Pounds of Kansas Beef Recalled, May Have E. coli

  • 23,000 pounds of Kansas beef has been recalled after it was discovered it might contain E. coli bacteria.
  • The E. coli strain was found after a routine test on Tuesday morning; no illnesses have been reported.
  • Most E.coli strains are harmless, but some strains of the gut bacteria can cause severe food poisoning when ingested.
  • The beef was produced in late May and shipped to 12 states, including Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Illinois, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arizona and Arkansas.
  • With a limited release shipped only to wholesale distributors and military bases, the beef should be easily found and destroyed. The sell/use by date is June 14.
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Smoking Alcohol Cuts Calories, Could Kill You

Go home America, you’re drunk. Of course “smoking alcohol” is a thing now, trending with young men at college campuses nationwide. The weight conscious are beginning to adopt the practice, as the inhalation of alcohol cuts all the calories and sugars.

The concept is simple. Alcohol can be smoked by pouring liquor over dry ice and inhaling the fumes, or freebasing the stuff, like crack. YouTube videos depicting the charming act have been popping up with increased frequency and a bar in Chicago even hosted a freebasing night in January.

Smoking alcohol provides a much more supreme high than merely drinking the stuff, and naturally, it’s devastating to the body.

smoking-alcohol

The human body prevents alcohol poisoning by forcing itself to throw up the alcohol it has ingested, but since smoking alcohol doesn’t involve the digestive system, the body does not have a surefire way to protect itself. Dr. Harris Stratyner, regional clinical vice president of Caron Treatment Centers in New York, told the New York Daily News that, “When you inhale alcohol, it goes directly into the lungs and circumnavigates the liver.” Once you skip the only organ actually designed to process alcohol, the inhaled booze-fumes make a beeline to the brain.


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Food Blogger Spotlight: Diane from The Canning Diva

The Canning Diva has a slogan, “Food is Art. Canning is my way of Preserving Art.” And boy, does she ever! Diane Devereaux the Canning Diva, may use a mason jar, but her idea of canning goes way beyond your grandmama’s jams and jellies.

Diane is a Michigan native who developed a love for gardening and canning in her early teens. The Canning Diva website is stylish and vibrant, providing all the information on food preservation you could ever want, plus, recipes, ideas for meal stretching and, if you live in the Michigan area, you can see Diane in person where she frequently hosts classes and provides live demonstrations. We asked her to tell us about her blog and she eagerly obliged.

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