gut bacteria

Everything "rots" in your colon, and it's not a bad thing at all

 The internet is full of vegetarian and vegan websites claiming meat is bad because it "rots" in your colon. This is actually a very old idea, tracing back in the United States to neo-puritan vegetarian movements obsessed with the uncleanliness of the colon. According to folks like John Harvey Kellogg, the colon, like the genitalia, was a source of uncleanliness, so it must be bombarded by as much harsh fiber as possible and regular enemas to keep it "clean."

Home is where the gut bacteria is

 Ugh, I got back from Europe this week and I feel like I have so much catching up to do. Books to review, emails to answer, projects to finish, mad programming skillz to acquire, apartment to spruce up... and somehow every night I go to bed with so much undone. More about my travels later, as there is an interesting new paper out.

Seaweed and Gut Bacteria

Scientists have found that Japanese people seem to possess gut flora for digesting seaweed that Americans do not. The sample size for the bacteria collection is fairly small though. They theorize that the Japansese might have acquired the bacteria through eating raw seaweed. An interesting implication they make is that this bacteria not only affects the digestion of seaweed, but carbohydrates in general.