Here is The Roundup, Edition 18, bringing you the best from around the web from the past two weeks!
Blast from the Past
A recent article in the New York Times (by one of my favorite researchers, Moises Velasquez-Manoff) suggests that exposure to beneficial microbes through spending time on farms and drinking raw milk may actually be a way to “cure” allergies. Velasquez-Manoff writes that “innocuous cowshed microbes, plant material and raw milk protect farming children by favorably stimulating their immune systems throughout life, particularly early on.” This article is a fantastic read for anyone interested in the Old Friends Hypothesis, as Velasquez-Manoff skillfully describes how his visit to “a manure-spattered cowshed in Indiana’s Amish country” provided hands-on evidence for the theory that inadequate exposure to a variety of naturally occurring microbes may be the reason behind the significant increase in allergic disease in the past few decades.
The Old Friends Hypothesis is one of my favorite geek-out research topics. I recently had a Moises Velasquez-Manoff as a guest on my podcast, and I’ve also presented the topic recently at the Ancestral Health Symposium (check out my summary here.) I’ve also written an article about how dirt may be a “Paleo Superfood”, and how controlled exposure to everyday germs may play a significant role in the health of our immune system. I also believe that responsibly produced raw milk can be a wonderfully healthy food for the right people, and raw milk has been anecdotally reported by many to have been the cure for their own or their children’s allergies.
For those who do not want to take the [slight] risk that drinking raw milk entails, I recommend supplementing with a soil-based probiotic that can help introduce these beneficial bacteria to the gut in a controlled way. My personal preference for a product containing these bacteria is Prescript-Assist, which provides a great mix of soil-based organisms along with prebiotics to help populate the gut with beneficial microbes. And getting outside to play in the dirt doesn’t hurt either!
- An article in the journal Science suggests that civilizations have fallen because they failed to prevent the degradation of the soils on which they were founded.
- An analysis in Canadian medical journal finds ‘healthy’ vegetable oils may actually increase risk of heart disease.
- New research indicates that a disruption of brain signals for reward and punishment contributes to increased pain sensitivity, known as hyperalgesia, in fibromyalgia patients. This explains why low-dose naltrexone works for these patients.
- A recent study suggests that non-celiac wheat sensitivity is a non-IgE-mediated food allergy.
- Yet another study shows that full-fat dairy (cheese in this case) inversely associated with obesity.
Worth A Look
- Some interesting discussion and a critique on the recent study about herbal supplements.
- A new Gallup poll suggests that the US obesity rate may have increased in 2013.
- An article in Nature by Tim Radford contemplates three fascinating studies on what it means to be human.
- An article in The New York Times suggests that transcranial direct-current stimulation improves cognition, mood and more. Could this be like jumper cables for your brain?
- You can help launch a Boulder Paleo Restaurant: Blooming Beets Kitchen.
For the Foodies
- NomNomPaleo: Saag Gosht (Lamb with Spinach Sauce)
- The Domestic Man: Brudet (Croatian Seafood Stew)
- Everyday Maven: Shredded Brussels Spouts with Crispy Shallots
- The Healthy Foodie: Creamy Plantain and Squash Ground Beef Mash
- The Clothes Make The Girl: Crispy, Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Jan’s Sushi Bar: French Onion Oxtail Stew
- The Paleo Mom: Chocolate Frozen Yogurt
- Gutsy By Nature: Apple Cardamom Cupcakes