The Importance of Prebiotics

Many years ago, when I started Alex on SCD (2003), prebiotics were “illegal,” as Elaine Gottschall feared that feeding gut bacteria would worsen their overgrowth.  We devoted SCDers avoided them like the plague. Sometime around 2010 though, well after Elaine had passed away, I began to read more and more articles about the benefits of … Read more

Alzheimer’s and the Biome

Over a decade ago, my grandmother died of dementia.  As if it’s not bad enough that someone you love so deeply doesn’t recognize you, doesn’t remember all the wonderful moments of their life – your life with them… it was even worse for me because Grandma May was one of the most youthful, vigorous, alive … Read more

Updating the Hygiene Hypothesis

In August of 2014, Dr. William Parker, of Duke University, wrote an opinion piece[i] for the British Medical Journal in which he points out that the term “hygiene hypothesis” is an incorrect description for what we now know is actually going on.  That is, the dramatic rise in the incidence of immune-mediated illness in the … Read more

Helminths at the Movies

Several years ago, I was interviewed by a then-graduate student at NYU’s film school.  Sharon Shattuck was studying documentary film making, and with her science background, had stumbled across and become interested in the concept of therapeutic helminths.  She took the train up from NY City, and we spent the afternoon together talking about helminths … Read more

More on the Helminth-Microbiota Connection

I just finished reading a pretty dense – but seriously interesting– paper[i] describing research on the interactions between the microbiota and multiple species of helminths in wild rodents. Their findings are fascinating. Firstly the researchers confirm that the presence of helminths in the gut is “linked with high microbial diversity, which may confer health benefits … Read more

The Macrobiome and the Microbiome: A Dynamic Duo

I stumbled across an article[i] yesterday morning on the gut-brain axis in autism, and its relationship to the gut microbiota.  It is an interesting review of our current scientific knowledge on this subject.  What jumped out at me most is the authors’ summation of potential therapeutics for autism spectrum disorders, targeting the microbiota-gut-brain axis:  probiotics, … Read more

Denying Patients Helminths and Fecal Transplant: The Ethical Argument…otherwise known as “Judy’s in a Mood”

Periodically, I get to feeling pretty angry about the lack of progress in helping those with autism. This time of year, approaching Alex’s birthday, is always particularly bad for me, especially as, just a few weeks later, I mark the anniversary of his diagnosis with autism.  This March it will be 21 years that I … Read more