The best evidence that 2′fucosyllactose improves learning and memory: A case study

Is the secret to a high IQ hiding in your gut? Hyperbole aside, modulation of the microbiome via prebiotics and/or probiotics have been shown to alter behavior, increase learning and memory, or lessen anxiety. The discovery of these effects has prompted an interest in the bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain, or the gut-brain-axis. How is it that …

What’s the FDA regulatory definition of dietary fiber?

I know there’s a regulation for dietary fiber, but it’s so complicated I don’t know how to apply it. It’s not surprising that the recently enacted regulatory definition of fiber is difficult for non-experts to understand. Dietary fiber has long been associated with health and the concept is simple enough. Eating fiber-rich foods promotes digestive health, which most of us …

Short Chain Fatty Acids: Deceptively Simple

Short chain fatty acids (SCFA) are deceptively simple. There are six of them that are routinely studied (acetate, propionate, butyrate, isovalerate, valerate, and isobutyrate), and they are cheap and relatively straightforward to analyze. Their simplicity belies a much more complex story that is often overlooked. There are many review papers on the subject1–3, but we felt an abridged version was …

Probiotics: What are they?

I’ve heard of probiotics, but what are they? Probiotics are living bacteria in a food or supplement designed to seed the gastrointestinal tract (GI) with bacteria. While any bacterium added to food could theoretically fall under this category, the term is typically reserved for bacteria considered beneficial in the colon. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and …