Dare-13-what_do_i_really_want_via_tThis post originally appeared on Follow @iammarkmanson on Twitter.

Everybody wants what feels good. Everyone wants to live a carefree, happy and easy life, to fall in love and have amazing sex and relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired and a total baller to the point that people part like the Red Sea when you walk into the room.

Everyone would like that—it’s easy to like that.

If I ask you, “What do you want out of life?” and you say something like, “I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like,” it’s so ubiquitous that it doesn’t even mean anything.

A more interesting question, a question that perhaps you’ve never considered before, is what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.

mBio150pxwide-11Now there will be those tempted to see this as a pitch for drinking more red wine….but let’s try and keep this in perspective, you see a this research looked at a compound found in red wine, resveratrol.  It found that it reduces the risk of heart disease by changing the gut microbiome, according to a new study by researchers from China. The study is published in mBio, an open-access journal published by the American Society for Microbiology.[1]

The authors are recorded as stating:

“Our results offer new insights into the mechanisms responsible for resveratrol’s anti-atherosclerosis effects and indicate that gut microbiota may become an interesting target for pharmacological or dietary interventions to decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases,”

Focus May 2016What you can’t digest may make you stronger—at least in the case of prebiotics—those unique plant fibres that nourish the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Prebiotics, called oligosaccharides because they are actually long-chain, natural ‘sugars,’ profoundly benefit health and well-being. First identified twenty years ago by Marcel Roberfroid of the University of Louvain in Belgium1, prebiotics have already attracted and stimulated wide-ranging research in nutrition and medicine. New developments in molecular microbiology are allowing scientists to accurately measure the impact of prebiotics on our health, and have led to novel insights about how to protect and nourish a healthy gut.2 As Roberfroid wrote in 2010: “A large number of human intervention studies have…demonstrated that dietary consumption of certain food products can result in statistically significant changes in the composition of the gut microbiota…The prebiotic effect is now a well-established scientific fact.”3 He is echoed by cardiologist Stanley Hazen, MD, PhD, of the Cleveland Clinic, who studies gut microbes and their metabolites in mice. “If I had to choose and guess,” Hazen told Nature Medicine in July of 2015, “I would say that a prebiotic is going to be more potent than a probiotic, actually, in terms of shifting the microbial composition.”4

518a2LmsVfL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_Part of the work undertaken by all practitioners involved in helping people to change behaviour is predicated by their negotiation techniques used to achieve compliance, partnership and progress. Do you find that when working with clients and patients in which you can see many areas of change that would benefit them, that you become frustrated by their apparent intransigence to shift behaviour? It’s quite normal that resistance occurs, no-one likes to make whole scale changes as they see problems rather than solutions. Learning a skilled approach to negotiation can really assist with the transformations needed and get your clients on side and engaged.

Whilst it may at first seem a strange subject to cover, the ‘art of negotiation’ in clinical management, outside of acute intervention is an arena in which both parties are trying to achieve an outcome different from today, but may have different interpretations of how to get there.

Managing the process of change takes skill and experience, the following suggestions have been modified from a series of articles extracted from the excellent blog site Farnham Street and changed to better reflect the reality of a clinical situation.

homecoverWhat? This is the act of applying vaginal bacteria to new-borns, not delivered vaginally to ensure exposure to the mother’s microbiome. Whilst at present, we don’t yet know whether the many conditions associated with C-section—including reported higher rates of allergies, asthma, atopic dermatitis, and even an association with autism diagnosis—are due to lack of exposure to the maternal vaginal microbiome to which, until recently, every surviving mammal had been exposed at birth.[1] Numerous people are considering this to be a prudent approach, as declining diversity of bacterial cohabitants are linked to increased problems with immune regulation and subsequent development of illness.

This seminar will provide information relevant to health practitioners about the major neurotransmitters and their function, and how to support an individual to achieve balanced neurotransmitter status. Neurotransmitters play key roles in cognitive function, behaviour and in general well-being. You will learn about neuro-biogenic amines, neuromodulators, the blood brain barrier and how they are affected by various stressors. You will also be shown the means to assess neurotransmitter status by both symptomatic questionnaires as well as a newly available accurate lab test. Then you will be shown how to support a balanced neurotransmitter status (both with and without the use of the lab test), as well as how to support the blood brain barrier, with specific nutritional therapy intervention.”

indexA fascinating open paper was published in microbiome in 2013, and its suggested conclusions are now more prescient than ever, as the relationship between genotype, phenotype, and metabolic repertoire in the microbiome is understood to be non-linear.[1] The requirement for a certain functional diversity to ensure a well-functioning cooperative intestinal microbiota is crucial to break down various complex dietary compounds and divide metabolic tasks among different community members.

imagesThis article first appeared in the Townsend Letter: Dr. Todd A. Born is a naturopathic doctor, co-owner and medical director of Born Naturopathic Associates, Inc., in Alameda, California.  Dr. Born is the Product Manager, Head of New Product Development, Scientific Advisor for Allergy Research Group, LLC and is Editor in Chief of their science Focus Newsletter.  He is a Thought Leader for the UK-based Clinical Education, a free peer-to-peer service that offers clinicians a closed forum to ask clinical questions and receive evidence-based responses by experts in their fields.

As healthcare practitioners, we see the following scenario play out in our practice a few times a week: 48 year old female presents with chief concerns of hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, xerosis, dry eyes, vaginal atrophy, dyspareunia, sleep dysfunction, mood swings, an irregular menstrual cycle and memory concerns.

molecules-logoAging is a multifactorial and tissue-specific process involving diverse alterations regarded as the “hallmarks of aging”, which include genomic instability, telomere attrition, epigenetic alterations, loss of proteostasis, deregulated nutrient sensing, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence, stem cell exhaustion and altered intracellular communication.

2015dec_logoAntony Haynes, BA(Hons) Dip ION, mBANT, mCNHC, mIFM. Antony Haynes is co-founder of Nutri-Link Ltd, a subsidiary of Allergy Research Group LLC. He presents 3 compelling cases for your interest.

‘Resilience and fortitude’ are the keywords that come to mind when I think of Garum Armoricum®; one of my favorite supplements for optimizing stress tolerance in patients. I have recommended it to hundreds of patients over the last fifteen years, and find it effective for every form of negative stress: accidents, injury, divorce, emotional trauma, anxiety, fatigue, depression and more. It consistently helps people bounce back from their disturbed state more swiftly than they would on their own. Here are three of my cases that have stood out to me over my career.