“Good bacteria” as armor for navigating the world

Seeing science through a philosophical-artistic lens leads to useful allegories for understanding life. If we think of ourselves as beings working interdependently with the environment, we can emphasize biological relationships inside our own bodies to see how they contribute to wellbeing, which enhances the wellbeing of those we interact with.  The beneficial bacteria in our … Continue reading “Good bacteria” as armor for navigating the world

Coffee Part Trois: Cinnamoylquinides, Endorphins, Immunity, Amplification

Coffee and the Endocannabinoid and Endorphin Systems Our endogenous opioid system communicates via endorphins released from the pituitary gland, blocking pain and contributing to our ability to experience pleasure, relaxation, and euphoria. Endocannabinoids confer similar effects, but are released throughout the nervous system.  One endocannabinoid, the omega-6 arachidonic acid-metabolite anandamide, etymologically means bliss-amide, and is … Continue reading Coffee Part Trois: Cinnamoylquinides, Endorphins, Immunity, Amplification

Harmful Effects of Silicon Dioxide Nanoparticles, a Common Food and Supplement Excipient, on Gut Microbiota, Immunity, Inflammation, and Digestion

Nanoparticles are particles existing between 1–100 nm in diameter. If a particle is the Earth, a nanoparticle is a tennis ball (nano: one-billionth). Silicon dioxide (Si + O2 = SiO2) is a nanoparticle used in the food and supplement industries as an anticaking agent. It, along with other nanomaterials like titanium dioxide, is present in … Continue reading Harmful Effects of Silicon Dioxide Nanoparticles, a Common Food and Supplement Excipient, on Gut Microbiota, Immunity, Inflammation, and Digestion

Endotoxin’s Role in Degeneration and Disease; Protective Factors to Mitigate it

Lipopolysaccharides, also called endotoxins, are structural components of bacteria that are released in the intestine and safeguarded against by an optimal physiology and the integrity of the intestinal barrier, but unhealthy lifestyles, bad eating habits, genetic predispositions, or infections can increase endotoxin concentration to intolerable levels, or make us more sensitive to “normal” levels, for … Continue reading Endotoxin’s Role in Degeneration and Disease; Protective Factors to Mitigate it

Glycine’s Myriad Health Benefits: Anti-Aging, Anti-Cancer, Anti-Stress

The amino acid and neurotransmitter glycine has interested me for awhile, especially due to its high presence in gelatinous foods and its ability to excite or inhibit neurons depending on the surrounding physiological conditions. For example, in the forebrain, it is an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor coagonist, promoting the excitatory actions of glutamate, while also being … Continue reading Glycine’s Myriad Health Benefits: Anti-Aging, Anti-Cancer, Anti-Stress

Delicious, Destructive: Gluten’s Toxicity & How to Heal the Gut

Gluten is one of the prime issues discussed when exploring holistic health, and it’s become a marketing trend to proudly display “gluten-free” on health-conscious brands, raising awareness and “representation”. Conversely, there has been much ridicule and dismissal of gluten intolerance as a “rich person’s illness”, likening it to a spoiled, hypochondriac, sheltered lifestyle, or some … Continue reading Delicious, Destructive: Gluten’s Toxicity & How to Heal the Gut

Vitamin B6’s Benefits: Disease Prevention & Neurotransmission

Vitamin B6, pyridoxine, is a peculiar vitamin among the B-family. Whilst necessary for over 100 enzymatic reactions in the body, it seems to be the only B-vitamin that we hear warnings about having a toxicity risk, the primary symptom of which is nerve damage involving paresthesia (tingling and burning), although it's usually reversible upon prompt … Continue reading Vitamin B6’s Benefits: Disease Prevention & Neurotransmission