Around the Web

WWW on sandI’ve got a lot of interesting stuff for today’s edition of around the web. Last week I published an article on that received about 1k shares on Facebook. Weight regulation is definitely a subject a lot people find interesting, and articles on weight loss always stir up some debate.
I’m very happy with the way this site has grown during the last couple of months, thanks to new readers and subscribers finding the site through my guest posts. I hope that you can help me reach even more people by sharing (sharing buttons in the sidebar) and posts/pages (sharing buttons below each article) on social media. Thanks for the support!

Obesity is established very early in life

A major new study of more than 7,000 children has found that a third of children who were overweight in kindergarten were obese by eighth grade. And almost every child who was very obese remained that way.

From a recent article in The New York Times.

Those who’ve read my articles on weighty loss understand why obesity runs in families and why people who are overweight and obese often stay that way. It’s not just the ‘human’ genetic material you get from an obese mother and father that predisposes you to obesity, but also the ‘obese microbiome‘ with an increased abundance of proinflammatory organisms. I believe the microorganisms (and their genes) you receive from your family are more important than the human genes when it comes to genetics in obesity and other ‘diseases of civilization’.
Since excessive body weight is associated with an elevated homeostatic setpoint, it’s no surprise that people who are overweight and obese often stay that way for most of their life. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to lose weight, far from it.

Do grizzly bears hold the answers to human obesity?

In an excellent article in New York Times, senior scientist Kevin Corbit at the biotechnology company Amgen reveals how grizzly bears could hold the answer to treating insulin resistance and obesity in humans. While I don’t believe that trying to create drugs and ‘therapies’ for obesity is the way to go, I definitely see the benefits of studying animals to learn more about how to treat human disease.

Fermented food: The new medicine

A new article in The Daily Mail summarizes the scientifically proven health benefits of eating yogurt, kimchi, kefir, and other probiotic superfoods. A new study also shows that regular consumption of fermented food could reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 24 per cent over 11 years.
Do you want to include more fermented food in your diet? Avoid low-fat yogurt and acidophilus milk from the supermarket, and try instead to get your hands on traditionally fermented foods or make your own at home.

Researchers have developed an antibiotic “smart bomb” that can target specific bacteria

I’ve talked a lot about the adverse effects antibiotics have on our microbiome and immune system, and how broad-spectrum antibiotics could be one of the most inflammatory drugs out there in the sense that they promote dysbiosis and leaky gut. So, although antibiotics certainly have helped humans overcome a lot of infectious diseases, they should be avoided unless you’re seriously ill and have to take them.
Widespread use of antibiotics has also led to the development of antibiotic-resistant germs, and researchers are therefore trying to manage the havoc we created in the first place by creating new and more powerful drugs that can identify and kill specific types of bacteria. Although these drugs certainly will be useful in combatting life-threatening infections, why not just take care of the microbiome and prevent the growth and spread of pathogenic germs in the first place?

Is meat from antibiotic-treated animals slowly killing you?

In an article I wrote a couple of weeks ago I discussed how the obesity epidemic in the U.S. and other countries with widespread use of drugs on livestock could be partly driven by chronic exposures to low-residue antibiotics in the food chain. provide a lot of interesting information on diet, health, and microbes and recently published a short piece titled ‘Will McDonald’s Stop Serving Big Macs With a Side of Antibiotics?‘.

More interesting stuff


  1. John Knapp says:

    I thought the post about having gut microbiome read was fascinating. The scientist could actually tell what he had probably been eating! Eirik, I do have a question. What about artificial sweeteners? Is there any good science around what they do/don’t do to the microbiome? I was a type two diabetic, but have controlled it for many years. I used to weigh over 400 lbs, and lost the weight with just diet and exercise. But I relied on artificial sweeteners to help with that journey, and still do. What has your research taught you about this issue?

    • Eirik Garnas says:

      Hey John!

      Something I haven’t thought much about, but it’s a very interesting question.

      One study in animals found that “Splenda alters gut microflora and increases intestinal p-glycoprotein and cytochrome p-450 in male rats.” (

      And it seems that even minor concentrations of Aspartame can modify gut bacterial communities..

      This paper in Obesity reviews seems like a great review of the matter: :

      Another example of how the microbiome is changing our perspective on health and nutrition. While the dangers of artificial sweeteners previously were considered in the context of our human cells, it now becomes clear that we have to consider the remaining 99% of our genome.

      Since I rarely eat artificial sweeteners myself I tend to forget that a lot of people do. Thanks for the thought-provoking comment!

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