The Stinkbird’s Diet is Surprisingly Close to Our Own

Stinkbirds, otherwise known as hoatzins, have spread out across South America in part because they have something in common with humans and other mammals. The clue is in the name “stinkbird.”

Source: The Stinkbird’s Diet is Surprisingly Close to Our Own

On the other hand, Hoatzins don’t produce great mounds of birdshit. The reason that urban Canada geese are such profuse shitters is that they are grazers, but lack the Hoatzin’s gut adaptations for getting the most out of a diet consisting mainly of leaves. So they have to eat a lot of fodder in order to get anything out of it with their inadequate digestive systems, and of course this results in a massive output.

On the plus side, geese can still fly really well.

Your Colon May Be Home to an Entirely New Form of Life

A new genetic analysis of human gut bacteria is turning up some really weird critters—so weird, in fact, that some biologists are speculating we’ve found an entirely new domain of life. We should take that possibility with a healthy dose of skepticism. But here’s why it’s even being discussed.

Source: Your Colon May Be Home to an Entirely New Form of Life

Yeah, about that…

Pretty sure I’ve seen this movie…

Styrofoam-Chomping Mealworms Can Help Solve Our Trash Problem

Styrofoam: Cheap, convenient, and the bane of environmentalists. Americans throw away 2.5 billion foam cups every year, and the damn things just sit in landfills for millennia. Unless, that is, you sic a bunch of hungry mealworms on them.

Source: Styrofoam-Chomping Mealworms Can Help Solve Our Trash Problem

It’s interesting, but I haven’t seen styrofoam in a long time.  As we’ve become more environmentally aware, a lot less products are being packaged in styrofoam.  I hated handling the stuff, because it was rather brittle.  But my dislike for the vacuum pressed hard plastic burns far brighter – you’re almost guaranteed to perform a blood sacrifice with every item.

That said, there’s bound to be lots of styrofoam in land fills.  It would probably do wonders to sprinkle some of these mealworms over the land fill…

The Future of Dieting Is Personalized Algorithms Based on Your Gut Bacteria

Your friend has cut out sugar and feels amazing as a result. Another friend, on the other hand, is on what sometimes appears to be a strict all-candy diet and still stays perfectly healthy and trim. And you have tried both of these dietary tactics and have seen no real changes in your own body.

Source: The Future of Dieting Is Personalized Algorithms Based on Your Gut Bacteria

It’s doable, but it screams of something that will cost.  If it works for you, great!  It takes 2+ years for habits to take place to maintain weight loss, so I’m worried the gut bacteria diet will play out like most other diets.

Study: Eating Habits Impact Gut Bacteria for Carb Metabolism

Obesity is associated with the intestinal microbiota in man but the underlying mechanisms are yet to be fully understood. Our previous phylogenetic study showed that the faecal microbiota profiles of non-obese versus obese and morbidly obese individuals differed. Here, we have extended this analysis with a characterisation of the faecal metaproteome, in order to detect differences at a functional level.

Source: Colonic metaproteomic signatures of active bacteria and the host in obesity

The researchers describe this as “the chicken-or-the-egg question”: Is the microbiota causing a difference in metabolism that leads to an energetic misbalance, or are differences in metabolism and/or eating habits causing a change in microbiota?

It is like a very fast form of evolution going on in there. As you eat a certain type of food, the bacteria that is best suited to thrive off of that food will reproduce like crazy. So the more you eat of something, the better you get at processing it.  This means two things: eat like crap, and your body gets better at absorbing all of that shit (that’s bad). But if you eat healthy, even though your body may fight it initially, eventually it will refine itself to process the healthy food (that’s good).

This research unfortunately doesn’t lead immediately to any kind of clinical recommendation. What it does suggest is that what the bacteria in one’s gut are doing, and what genes they express, is more diagnostically relevant than who they are–so hopefully by focusing on this distinction, future research could more quickly come up with an answer to how to manage weight.

About That Ultra-Endurance Event You’ve Been Meaning To Do

If you’re serious about fitness, you know the importance of training your muscles and your brain. Without the right prep, you won’t have the physical or mental endurance to finish, whether it’s a five-k or an Ironman. But it turns out that it may be just as important to train your gut—or suffer inflammatory consequences.

Source: Extreme Exercise Can Poison the Blood

I’d heard similar things about endurance events, like Ironman.  That the exertion can deplete the body such that these competitors are trimming years off their life.

One competitor told me about how they went swimming with friends after an event. The person decided they couldn’t participate because it was too soon after an event.  They were conscious of how little body fat/etc they had to draw on if they wanted to participate.

A Woman Became Obese After a Poop Transplant

Scientists have known for a while that gut bacteria can play a profound role in the weight of mice. Now we have a case report in humans that is not entirely surprising: A woman gained 36 pounds and became obese in the 16 months after a fecal transplant.

…It’s impossible to draw conclusions from any single patient, of course, but this case is interesting against the broader context of what we know about the gut microbiota and weight. A decade of studies in mice have found that those implanted with the gut microbiota of obese humans will become obese, too, despite eating the same diet as those given the microbiota of non-obese humans. Gastric bypass surgery in mice also drastically shifts the gut microbiota, and it could be one reason for why the surgery is so effective for losing weight.

Source: A Woman Became Obese After a Poop Transplant

Her name was Incontinentia… Incontinentia Buttocks! 😀