Media Articles.

Our scientific co-founders are world-leading experts who are frequently quoted in media articles. See below for selected news items that feature their expertise.

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Go with Your Gut to Cut the Cravings

Cut the cravings with prebiotics, probiotics, and fermented foods

food image

“Listen to your body” is good advice for the most part—when your body wants something perfectly reasonable, like a brisk walk. But other times, it can be problematic: what if your body is unmistakably telling you to eat a massive plate of french fries with gravy?

WHAT’S WITH CRAVINGS?

A food craving is a strong desire for a specific item, either to experience its pleasant effects or to avoid unpleasant feelings of withdrawal. As long as you crave nutritious foods such as oranges or Swiss chard, everything’s fine and dandy. Yet it’s very common to crave foods that are a poor choice, health-wise: high-calorie foods such as pastries or potato chips, for example.

Scientists who study the biology of food intake have determined that cravings—also known as disruptions in normal feelings of satiety—depend on complex factors including hormones, food-related habits and cues, and stress levels. Even genetic factors can influence the hormones that keep you feeling satisfied and free of food cravings.

Lately, however, researchers have identified a potential new contributor to the experience of cravings: the gut microbiota, which is a community of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes living in your digestive tract. ...continue reading

Fermented Foods such as Kombucha are Trendy, but They’re Not Necessarily Probiotics
Fermented preserved vegetables in jar on wooden table.

Fermentation is a case of what’s old is new again — an ancient food-processing method turned hot trend, with companies churning out products incorporating kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha that are promoted as being probiotics. But do these foods offer true probiotic benefits? The short answer is probably not. But that doesn’t mean these foods are without benefit.

First, let’s clear up what “probiotic” means. Scientists define probiotics as live microorganisms (microbes) which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit. Probiotics can contribute to digestive and immune system health and crowd out harmful microbes in the gut (large intestine). They also create some nutrients, including vitamin K and many of the B vitamins, and help our bodies absorb other nutrients. ...continue reading