Could Meat Lower Heart Disease Risk?

By Dr. Sean M. Wells, DPT, PT, OCS, ATC/L, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, CNPT, Cert-DN

If you were reading the news last week then you might have seen an article that sounds something like: "Good News, Meat May Protect You from Heart Disease." While this sounds exciting and promising, many of the published media articles just don't dive into the science enough to give citizens and clinicians an educated viewpoints. Let's examine the new evidence, its science, and what impact it should have on physical therapy practice.

The Article

The main research paper the media is slinging around can be found in mSystems, an open access journal. The authors, Kivenson and Giovanni, published the paper title An Expanded Genetic Code Enables Trimethylamine Metabolism in Human Gut Bacteria, which full-text can be found here. Both Kivenson and Giovanni are researchers at Oregon State University and their primary focus is in microbiology.

mSystems is a relatively new journal. Overall it has an impact factor of 6.28...

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A Gut Biome Credit Score?

By Dr. Sean M. Wells, DPT, PT, OCS, ATC/L, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, CNPT, Cert-DN

Continuing our series on gut health and the gut microbiome, we are going to talk about a new finding in the ever-expanding gut bacteria research: a gut biome health score.

Similar to how we have credit scores, which can denote whether a person has good or bad credit history, a gut biome health score may give physios and other healthcare providers insight into many facets of a patient's lifestyle.

Recall the gut biome is the bacteria, archaea, fungi, and some viruses that live within our small and mostly large intestines. These small bugs live in a symbiotic relationship with our bodies and:

  • Help to produce neurotransmitters (90% of serotonin is made by gut bacteria)
  • Process foods to make health short chain fatty acids (SCFA) which can improve cardiovascular health
  • Modulate the immune system response

The last factor likely has the biggest implications for physical therapists (PTs). As rehabilitation...

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