Wednesday, November 4, 2009

little things in life + a bacteria lesson prt 2

Thanks for all the good luck wishes for my test! My brain is seriously still recovering. I think it went ok, but I guess I’ll find out when I get the test back. I’m a huge nerd, though, and I really enjoyed this past section on obesity, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. They are all pretty related; it’s scary.

Sometimes life is all about the little things. Like…

yoga by candlelight + imogen heap


whole wheat dark chocolate pumpkin muffins


local Thanksgiving plans…my mom [aka head chef at home] is on board for a local food-focused turkey day celebration in Michigan.


As promised, part 2 of probiotics & prebiotics: consumer recommendations. Click here if you missed part 1.*


  • top prebiotics are inulin and oligosaccharides: seen most commonly in energy bars/cereal, yogurt, dairy & soy drinks, and breakfast cereals.
  • benefits seen with intake between 5-7 grams/day


  • should be tested in humans and proven to confer health benefits
  • get your doctor’s approval if you have immune system issues
  • check the expiration date: bacteria are live organisms!
  • store probiotic-containing foods properly to preserve bacteria

*Some product examples…

Dannon Activia


Contains: Bifidum regularis aka Bifidobacterium animalis

Claims: clinically proven to help naturally regulate your digestive system in two weeks; reduce bloating and irregularity

Studies: funded several studies that showed 4-12 oz of Activia yogurt per day reduced transit time an average of 10-30 hours after 2 weeks [I’d like to know if any independent research was conducted]

Kashi Vive Cereal


Contains: lactobacillus acidophilus

Claims: promotes balance and digestive wellness

Studies: none; benefits not proven

Stonyfield Farm Yogurt


Contains: L. acidophilus, Bifidus, L. Casei, L. reuteri

Claims: fights viruses and bacteria assoc. with diarrhea, GI disease and harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, Staphylococcus, Candida yeast, and other harmful microorganisms

Studies: L. reuteri shown to cut the rate of diarrhea by ~33% and shortened duration by ~ 1 day [Environ. Health 4: 25, 2005]; I’m trying to see if any other studies have been published.

Bottom Line: Probiotics and prebiotics can be beneficial, but it’s important to consider the processing of the foods they are found in [can affect viability of bacteria], the research behind the products [check product websites for proof that they are effective], and dosage [# of bacteria should be same as shown beneficial in clinical studies].

*taken directly from Kras’s slide presentation at FNCE this year

I know this information is still confusing, but hopefully I’ve provided some help in evaluating the products on shelves at your local grocery store. If anyone has heard of other studies on products not mentioned, let me know. What probiotic/prebiotic products do you currently consume?

I’m seriously in need of sleep, so I think I’m calling lights out right now. We learned in metabolism class that <7-8 hrs. of sleep per night is detrimental to health and hormonal regulation…super interesting information for another post.

Thanks for reading, friends!



If you haven’t heard, Katie or CCV is donating her page-click earnings to charity…help a girl out by clicking the logo below!



  1. Thanks for the prebiotic/probiotic info--I think there is a lot of misleading advertising regarding them these days...

  2. holy yum! those muffins look great :)

    yoga by candle light sees like the perfect remedy :)

  3. I use those yogurts. There are few of them available in my country, so I make sure I eat them regulary. I like them,they are thicker then "normal" yogurts,so I like to pretend I'm eating greek yogurt :D there's no greek here :(

  4. Those muffins look so good. I am planning on making a choc sour cream loaf this weekend so let's hope it looks at least half as good as your muffins.

  5. I'm sure you rocked the test :)

    Love the family photo! And the muffins - yum!

  6. Wow, Emily, those muffins look amazing!!
    And thank you so much for your generosity. It means the world to me (and the people we're helping, I'm sure).

    Love you!

  7. miss you! can't wait for thankgiving.

  8. That's really interesting!
    I'd like to try the Kashi products but alas, we don't have them here. :/

    I think you've inspired me to do a bit of yoga this afternoon. :)

    Those muffins look so good!

  9. Great post EMily!! I marked it down to use for the future.
    Regarding the Barney Butter, I'd like to know which questions you asked. I remember the lady wasn't very nice to me either, but whatever, I really like the product!

  10. Wow, those muffins are beautiful! Nothing like a nice helping of dark chocolate! :)

    Interesting about the probiotics. I generally just eat yogurt and take an extra supplement occasionally.

  11. I like your yoga set-up! It looks very peaceful.

    Thanks for the information about pre-&pro- biotics. I'm still a bit skeptical, but I usually am about most "trendy" nutritional buzzwords that show up in major companies. (Like uh...açai).

  12. I am sure you ACED the test! Let us know!

    Here's to an A++!

  13. amazing muffins! I'm really into pumpkin right now : )

  14. I just made some (gluten/wheat-free) dark chocolate chip pumpkin muffins last weekend. Great Emilys think alike.

  15. Ooh those muffins look amazing! Thanks for the pre/probiotic info, too :)

  16. no, I think I've seen the kabocha in the regular grocery stores. Definitely in an asian grocery though. by the way, about quinoa. I tried Trader Joe's quinoa bread for the first time last week. kind-of dry. interesting. I had no idea that there was such a thing as quinoa bread!

  17. I eat a lot of yogurt... Not sure if it does anything or not.

    Can you post the recipe for those muffins?

  18. I eat Stonyfield or Oikos yogurt everyday. I love informative posts like this!!

  19. those muffins look amazing, I want to eat one! Yay for Thanks giving! I'm so looking forward to the holidays. I am a big yogurt fan, but don't really get the marketed products because they tend to make my tummy go a bit crazy :)
    Great post, I think I've found a chair, but I'm left trying to find a new research topic since he doesn't really work in the lab and does more survey research and statistics. I wanted to ask if you had any ideas dealing with survey research and sports nutrition that stick out? At this point I'm open for anything! Have a good weekend and get caught up on sleep!

  20. i agree - its the little things in life that matter/make you the happiest :)
    thanks for clearing up the confusion with those helpful bacteria critters in processed foods!

  21. Those muffins look/sound amazing! I'm a huge kombucha fan...great source of probiotics!


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