Recent Blog Articles

Digestive Health Archive


Keep ultra-processed foods off the menu

A study published online July 14, 2021, by the BMJ suggests that eating ultra-processed foods is associated with substantially increased risks of developing inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Healthy gut, healthier aging

Keeping the gut microbiome diverse is good for health and may even be tied to healthier aging. To maintain such diversity, it helps to eat a healthy diet that includes lots of fiber, which gut microbes eat. Also, exercise may be helpful to the gut microbiome, since exercise may change the rate at which material moves through the intestines. Other ways to promote a healthy gut microbiome including getting a dog, which exposes us to more microbes; quitting smoking, which relieves stress on gut microbes; and maybe eating more probiotic-rich foods, which may boost beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Inflammatory bowel disease on the rise in older adults

The number of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis cases among older adults has increased every year over the past decade. While all racial and ethnic groups were affected, the most significant annual percentage increase was among non-Hispanic Black individuals.

Looking out for diverticulitis

More than half of US adults over 60 have diverticulosis, a condition where part of the wall of the colon bulges outward and forms tiny pouches. Diverticulosis does not cause symptoms, but if a pouch becomes inflamed or infected it becomes diverticulitis, which can be mild or more serious.

Battle of the bulges

A majority of people over 60 have diverticulosis, a condition in which tiny bulges (called diverticula) appear in weak areas of your colon’s inner wall. The bulges themselves don’t cause symptoms, but they can lead to bleeding or diverticulitis, which occurs when a diverticulum becomes inflamed or infected. People can reduce their risk by eating more fiber and staying physically active.

Want probiotics but dislike yogurt? Try these foods

One reason people eat yogurt is because it contains probiotics — beneficial bacteria and yeasts that improve digestion, provide protection from dangerous organisms, and boost the immune system. But not everyone likes the taste or texture of yogurt, so here are some other foods that offer the same benefits.

Adjusting gut bacteria may improve response to cancer treatment

Gut bacteria may play a role in response to cancer treatments that target the immune system.

Facts about fiber

Fiber improves digestion and may help lower a person’s risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. But according to the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, most people meet only half their daily fiber needs. The main reason is not following a basic healthy diet with foods high in fiber. Making small changes in dietary habits and adopting new fiber-rich foods can help people reach their quota.

Five lifestyle factors that can help prevent gastroesophageal reflux disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a common condition that affects approximately one out of every five people in the western world. Despite the effectiveness of medications, there are concerns about the long-term effects of some of these drugs. A recent study identified five lifestyle factors that can affect the chance of developing GERD.

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