Japanese “Cheese” Burger

Whole Camembert Burger with Cheese Replacing Buns From Domdom Food Service in Japan

Pasta Frittatas with Chicken and Cheese

Ingredients

6-1/2 oz fresh spinach or herb tagliatelle
2 smoked chicken breasts, sliced
6-1/2 oz brie, sliced
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
8 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup grated smoked cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons cranberry sauce

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Cook the pasta in a large pot of rapidly boiling water until al dente, then drain and pat dry.
  3. Lightly grease 6 (1-cup) muffin cups and line the bottoms and sides with the pasta.
  4. Arrange the smoked chicken slices around the inside of the pasta and fill the center with the brie. Sprinkle with the chives.
  5. Whisk together the eggs, cream and cheese and pour into the nests. Top each one with a teaspoonful of the cranberry sauce and swirl gently with a skewer.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until set.
  7. Serve hot or cold as a brunch dish.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Food Style – Pasta

Probiotic Use is a Link between Brain Fogginess, Severe Bloating

Toni Baker wrote . . . . . . . .

Probiotic use can result in a significant accumulation of bacteria in the small intestine that can result in disorienting brain fogginess as well as rapid, significant belly bloating, investigators report.

In a published study of 30 patients, the 22 who reported problems like confusion and difficulty concentrating, in addition to their gas and bloating, were all taking probiotics, some several varieties.

When investigators looked further, they found large colonies of bacteria breeding in the patients’ small intestines, and high levels of D-lactic acid being produced by the bacteria lactobacillus’ fermentation of sugars in their food, says Dr. Satish S.C. Rao, director of neurogastroenterology/motility and the Digestive Health Clinical Research Center at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

D-lactic acid is known to be temporarily toxic to brain cells, interfering with cognition, thinking and sense of time. They found some patients had two to three times the normal amount of D-lactic acid in their blood. Some said their brain fogginess – which lasted from a half hour to many hours after eating – was so severe that they had to quit their jobs.

The report in the journal Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology appears to be the first time the connection has been made between brain fogginess, bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, high levels of D-lactic acid in the gut and probiotic use, Rao says.

“What we now know is that probiotic bacteria have the unique capacity to break down sugar and produce D-lactic acid. So if you inadvertently colonize your small bowel with probiotic bacteria, then you have set the stage for potentially developing lactic acidosis and brain fogginess,” Rao says.

While probiotics can be beneficial in some scenarios, like helping a patient restore his gut bacteria after taking antibiotics, the investigators advised caution against its excessive and indiscriminate use.

“Probiotics should be treated as a drug, not as a food supplement,” Rao says, noting that many individuals self-prescribe the live bacteria, which are considered good for digestion and overall health.

Others have implicated probiotics in the production of D-lactic acid – and brain fogginess – in patients with a short bowel so their small intestine does not function properly, and in newborns fed formula containing the popular product. Short bowel syndrome results in a lot of undigested carbohydrates that are known to cause small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO, and the high levels of D-lactic acid. Severe liver and kidney problems can produce similar problems.

Whether there was also a connection when the gut is intact was an unknown. “This is the first inroad,” says Rao.

All patients experiencing brain fogginess took probiotics and SIBO was more common in the brain fogginess group as well, 68 percent compared to 28 percent, respectively. Patients with brain fogginess also had a higher prevalence of D-lactic acidosis, 77 versus 25 percent, respectively.

When brain-foggy patients stopped taking probiotics and took a course of antibiotics, their brain fogginess resolved.

Movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract was slow in one third of the brain foggy patients and one fourth of the other group. Slower passage, as well as things like obesity surgery, can increase the chance of bacterial buildup, or SIBO.

“Now that we can identify the problem, we can treat it,” Rao says. Diagnosis includes breath, urine and blood tests to detect lactic acid, and an endoscopy that enables examination of fluid from the small intestines so the specific bacteria can be determined and the best antibiotics selected for treatment.

Normally there is not much D-lactic acid made in the small intestines, but probiotic use appears to change that. SIBO, which was present in most with brain fogginess, can cause bacteria to go into a feeding frenzy that ferments sugars resulting in production of uncomfortable things like hydrogen gas and methane that explain the bloating.

Probiotics added to that feeding frenzy the bacterium lactobacillus, which produces D-lactic acid as it breaks down sugars, The acid get absorbed in the blood and can reach the brain.

All those with brain fogginess, SIBO and/or D-lactic acidosis, were given antibiotics that targeted their bacterial population and asked to discontinue probiotics. Those without SIBO were asked to halt probiotics and stop eating yogurt, which is considered one of the best sources of probiotics. Those with SIBO and D-lactic acidosis but no brain fogginess also took antibiotics.

Following treatment, 70 percent of patients reported significant improvement in their symptoms and 85 percent said their brain fogginess was gone. Those without brain fogginess but with SIBO and high levels of D-lactic acid reported significant improvement in symptoms like bloating and cramping within three months.

Abdominal pain was the most common symptom in both groups and before treatment, six of those with brain fogginess reported a tremendous increase in their abdominal size within just a few minutes of eating.

All patients received extensive examination of their gastrointestinal tract, including a motility test, to rule out other potential causes of their symptoms. They filled out questionnaires about symptoms like abdominal pain, belching and gas and answered questions about related issues like antibiotic and probiotic use as well as food fads and yogurt consumption.

They were given carbohydrates followed by extensive metabolic testing looking at the impact on things like blood glucose and insulin levels. Levels of D-lactic acid and L-lactate acid, which results from our muscles’ use of glucose as energy and can cause muscle cramps, also were measured.

Probiotic use may be particularly problematic for patients who have known problems with motility, as well as those taking opioids and proton pump inhibitors, which reduce stomach acid secretion and so the natural destruction of excessive bacteria.

Probiotics are supposed to work in the colon and not the small intestines or stomach, Rao says, so motility issues can result in problems with probiotic bacteria reaching the proper place. A wide variety of problems, from conditions like diabetes to drugs like antidepressants and minerals like iron, can slow movement and increase the possibility that probiotics will remain too long in the upper gut where they can cause harm, he says.

Probiotics definitely can help, for example, people who have gastroenteritis, or stomach flu, or are left with diarrhea and other problems after antibiotics wipe out their natural gut bacteria, Rao says.

“In those situations, we want to build up their bacterial flora so probiotics are ideal,” he says.

Rao’s pursuit of a possible connection between probiotics, brain fogginess and bloating started with a memorable patient who developed significant amounts of both problems within a minute of eating.

“It happened right in front of our eyes,” Rao says of the dramatic abdominal distention. They knew the woman had diabetes, which can slow motility. When they looked in the blood and urine at a variety of metabolic compounds, they found the high levels of D-lactic acid and soon learned the patient used probiotics and regularly ate yogurt.

Next steps include additional studies in which the investigators better quantify and characterize the brain fogginess reported by patients and following patients for longer periods to ensure their problems remain resolved. Some patients in the current study required a couple of rounds of antibiotics, Rao notes.

Good food sources of probiotics include yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and dark chocolate, which are generally safe because of the small amounts of bacteria present, Rao says.

The 19-foot long small intestine has been a bit of an understudied organ, likely in part because it’s hard to visualize via the mouth or anus, Rao says. “I think the small bowel can be a source of huge mystery,” Rao says.

Your helpful gut bacteria, or microbiome, which are essential to things like a well-functioning immune system and general health, are largely in the large intestine and colon.

Source: Augusta University

Norway’s Food Safety Authority Warns Not to Eat Raw Oyster from Southern Nordic Fjords

Lefteris Karagiannopoulos wrote . . . . . . . .

The southern Nordic fjords are heating up as Europe boils, and bacteria there are flourishing, infecting swimmers and seafood, including oysters that can take months until they are safe to eat again, Norway’s food safety authority said.

The warm waters in southern Norway and Sweden have accelerated the reproduction of the vibrio bacteria, a species that can cause vibriosis, an illness with symptoms as simple as diarrhea and stomachache but which can also be fatal.

The water in Norway’s southern fjords reached 24 degrees Celsius, about 4C higher than average for the season, and the bacteria in the local sea ecosystem have been traced in much larger quantities than usual.

They have already infected the wounds of several swimmers in the Oslo fjord, where people have arrived in droves to beat the heat, but they can also infect people eating raw seafood, the food safety authority said.

“Eating raw oysters is common for Norwegians. People go to cabins during the summer, dive for oysters and eat them… It can take months for raw oysters to be safe again as the water needs to cool,” the authority’s seafood safety head Lise Rokkone told Reuters.

The fjords are rich with trout and salmon at certain times of year, but eating raw fish should also be avoided, said Rokkone, days after the authority issued an oyster consumption warning.

The extreme heatwave that hit the Nordics this summer has also affected cattle feed, she said, forcing many farmers to either seek feed from Northern Norway or import.

Infected oysters are not however the only heat-related inconvenience Norwegians have to face this summer.

As well as an outdoor barbecue ban barring everyone from heading outside to cook, the number of snake bite incidents has doubled from last year as more people spend time in the forest, while drivers have to be careful in tunnels, where reindeer have taken to sheltering from the heat.

Last week, the Norwegian church even asked believers to light candles and pray for a change in the weather.

Source: Reuters

Scientific Advisory: Limit Screen-based Recreational Media at Home

Screen time from computers, phones, tablet computers, video games, TV and other screen-based devices is associated with an increased amount of sedentary behavior in children and teens, according to a new scientific statement released by the American Heart Association and published in its journal Circulation.

Sedentary behaviors include sitting, reclining or laying down while awake — activities which exert little physical energy – and contribute to overweight and obesity in children and teens.

American Heart Association scientific statements are developed by a panel of experts who review existing scientific literature and evidence to provide an overview of a topic related to cardiovascular disease or stroke. In this review, the writing group found that the available scientific literature is based almost entirely on self-reported screen time, with very few breaking down the type of device or the context in which it is used, which means that the studies are not designed to prove cause and effect.

The writing group determined that over the last twenty years, TV viewing by children and adolescents has declined but the recreational use of other screen-based devices, such as smart phones, tablet computers and others has resulted in a net increase in screen time overall. Current estimates are that 8- to 18-year-olds spend more than 7 hours using screens daily.

“Still, the available evidence is not encouraging: overall screen time seems to be increasing — if portable devices are allowing for more mobility, this has not reduced overall sedentary time nor risk of obesity,” according to Tracie A. Barnett, Ph.D., a researcher at the INRS-Institut Armand Frappier and Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center, in Montreal, Canada, and the chair of the writing group.

“Although the mechanisms linking screen time to obesity are not entirely clear, there are real concerns that screens influence eating behaviors, possibly because children ‘tune out’ and don’t notice when they are full when eating in front of a screen. There is also evidence that screens are disrupting sleep quality, which can also increase the risk of obesity,” Barnett said.

The message to parents and children is to take steps to limit screen time. “We want to reinforce the American Heart Association’s long-standing recommendation for children and teens to get no more than 1-2 hours of recreational screen time daily. Given that most youth already far exceed these limits, it is especially important for parents to be vigilant about their child’s screen time, including phones.” Barnett said.

Recommended interventions to minimize screen time emphasize the importance of involving parents. Parents can help their children reduce screen time by setting a good example with their own screen use and by establishing screen time regulations.

“Ideally, screen-based devices should not be in bedrooms, especially because some studies have found that having screen-based devices in the bedroom can affect sleep. Maximize face-to-face interactions and time outdoors,” Barnett said. “In essence: Sit less; play more.”

According to Barnett, more research is needed because the patterns of screen-based media use and their long-term effects on children and teens are not yet known. In addition, the authors report that not much is known about how to help youth be less sedentary and the appeal of screens is making this an even greater challenge. Future research should focus on how to achieve greater balance. Detailed information on the overall impact of today’s sedentary pursuits – especially with respect to screen-based devices – is needed, Barnett said.

Source: American Heart Association


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