Can Owning A Dog Can Help Your Microbiome?

Our bodies contain around eight million genes. Yet only about 0.3 percent are human. The rest come from your microbiome — the sum total of genes from the numerous microbes (mostly bacteria, but also viruses, yeasts and fungi) that coat your skin, mouths, gut lining – just about everything.

And any number of lifestyle factors can influence your microbiome, things like diet, antibiotic use and even the people we live with.

While a person might only have 10 percent of their microbiomes in common with a random stranger, people who live together share more microbial populations in common.

Research has even shown that you and your dog share similar microbial populations and UCSF scientists who conducted a study in 2013 suggested that living with a dog in infancy may lower a child’s risk of developing asthma and allergies, largely as a result of exposure to what they call “dog-associated house-dust”.

“The idea of combining animal, human and environmental health, and seeing the whole picture through the lens of the microbes that we share, is an increasing direction for research,” Knight said in a recent interview with U-T San Diego.

Reference

Fikes, B. Dog germs may be good for you. The San Diego Union-Tribune. 2015.

Havstad, S., Ganesa Wegienka, Edward M Zoratti, et al.  Effect of Prenatal Indoor Pet Exposure on the Trajectory of Total IgE Levels in Early Childhood. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2011:  128(4). Elsevier Ltd: 880–885.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2011.06.039.

Tse, I. 7 Surprising Health Benefits of Dog Ownership. LiveScience. 2012

 

Did You Know that Chemicals Can Cause Weight Gain? – they are called Obesogens.

Convincing evidence suggests that diet and activity level are not the only factors in weight gain.

Have you heard of Obesogens? These are chemicals, either natural or man-made, that take control of your metabolic systems, causing weight gain. They come from compounds found in certain plastics; in pesticides and fungicides; in soy and sweeteners; and in the hormones that are injected into our livestock. These obesogens increase appetite and disrupt normal development and lipid metabolism, all of which can lead to obesity.

Chemical “obesogens” may alter human metabolism and predispose some people to gain weight. Fetal and early-life exposures to certain obesogens may alter some individuals’ metabolism and fat-cell makeup for life. Other obesogenic effects are linked to adulthood exposures.

The idea that chemicals in the environment could be contributing to the obesity epidemic is often credited to an article by Paula Baillie-Hamilton, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2002.10 Her article presented evidence from earlier toxicologic studies published as far back as the 1970s in which low-dose chemical exposures were associated with weight gain in experimental animals. At the time, however, the original researchers did not focus on the implications of the observed weight gains.

The role of environmental chemicals in obesity has garnered increased attention in academic and policy spheres, and was recently acknowledged by the Presidential Task Force on Childhood Obesity11 and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Strategic Plan for Obesity Research.

Want to take action?

CLICK HERE to join my 28 Day Gut Matters Online experience begins November 5 and covers ways to clean your body of many of these toxins!

 

Would you consider NON-FOOD treats to TRICK-or-TREATERS?

Would you consider non-food treats to trick-or-treaters? The Teal Pumpkin Project is a worldwide movement to create a safer, happier Halloween for all kids. Putting a teal pumpkin on your doorstep means you have non-food treats available, such as glow sticks or small toys. This simple act also promotes inclusion for trick-or-treaters with food allergies or other conditions.

Here is what YOU can do:

  1. Provide non-food treats to trick-or-treaters (see examples below)
  2. Place a teal pumpkin in front of your home to indicate to passersby that you have non-food treats available
  3. Add your home to the Teal Pumpkin Project map
  4. Share the Teal Pumpkin Project with your friends and family
  5. Use the free printable signs, flyers, and materials HERE  to help you make the most of this year’s Teal Pumpkin Project

Available at dollar stores, party supply stores, or online shops, these low-cost items can be purchased and handed out to all trick-or-treaters, or made available in a separate bowl from candy if you choose to hand out both options. Nearly all of these items can be found in a Halloween theme or festive colors.

  • Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces
  • Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
  • Bubbles
  • Halloween erasers or pencil toppers
  • Mini Slinkies
  • Whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers
  • Bouncy balls
  • Finger puppets or novelty toys
  • Coins
  • Spider rings
  • Vampire fangs
  • Mini notepads
  • Playing cards
  • Bookmarks
  • Stickers
  • Stencils

Are there any non-food treats that I should avoid?

There are a few considerations when choosing which non-food items to hand out. First, some non-food items still contain food allergens, such as some brands of moldable clay, which may contain wheat. Additionally, try to choose latex-free items, as there are children who have latex allergies.

Can I still pass out candy?

Sure – just do it safely! The point of the Teal Pumpkin Project® is to make trick-or-treating as inclusive as possible. You can keep the experience safe by keeping your food treats and non-food treats in separate bowls.

Social media is one of the best and easiest ways you can spread the word about the Teal Pumpkin Project®. Be sure to use #tealpumpkinproject each time you post!