Eating Fiber During Pregnancy…Likely a Really Good Idea

Ok,  on Tuesday I promised you a markedly less depressing post next time.  So here goes!  (And please note irresistibly cute, happy photo of little piglets included…) A funny little coincidence this morning…. (But first, a quick primer on fiber, which I talk about regularly on this blog as its importance cannot be understated: Fiber … More Eating Fiber During Pregnancy…Likely a Really Good Idea

More on the Question of a Fetal Microbiome

Back in early March, I wrote about the current scientific controversy regarding whether or not a fetal microbiome exists.  I promised to follow the argument and update you. Well, keeping to that promise, here’s an update: Just published is research[i] that shows that not only are bacteria present in placenta, but it appears that a … More More on the Question of a Fetal Microbiome

Yet More New (and Scary) Research on Maternal Immune Activation

An old doctor friend of mine used to always say, “Inflammation is inflammation.”  Truer words were never spoken.  Whether inflammation manifests as swelling because you just broke your leg or an autoimmune disease, ultimately, it’s all the same.  The only difference is, how long the inflammation is present. While, acute inflammation is necessary for survival, … More Yet More New (and Scary) Research on Maternal Immune Activation

The Bacterial Microbiome and (Male) Brain Development

A new study out of Singapore suggests that alterations in the microbiome affect the development of the brain’s immune system (the microglia) in males more than females.[i] The microglia defend against pathogens in the brain, and clear out debris.  They are also partially responsible for brain development of neuronal connections.  Autism is known to be … More The Bacterial Microbiome and (Male) Brain Development

Hyperactive Immune Response, Low Levels of Regulatory Cytokines…and Developmental Disorders

In the last couple of months, I’ve written several times about maternal immune activation (MIA) and the detrimental effects on the fetus. Read here, for example, about the relationship of maternal infection to autism. Summarizing that research:  infecting pregnant mice with a virus (i.e. stimulating their inflammatory response) led to autistic-like behaviors in the pups.  … More Hyperactive Immune Response, Low Levels of Regulatory Cytokines…and Developmental Disorders

Antibiotics in Pregnancy = Increased Risk of IBD in Babies

The relationship between inflammatory bowel disease and antibiotic use in people has been well established.  In fact, just a week ago or so, I wrote about how low levels of the regulatory cytokine, IL-10, combined with antibiotic use, appears to make one more susceptible to IBD. As it turns out, giving a pregnant mom antibiotics … More Antibiotics in Pregnancy = Increased Risk of IBD in Babies