What goes on in your gut doesn’t stay below the neck.  According to new research, scientists are finding strong evidence of a link between your gut microbes and your brain!  Transplants of gut bacteria from anxious mice to fearless mice and vice-versa led to the once bold mice becoming anxious and the once anxiety-ridden mice becoming fearless.  Clinical trials with humans and probiotics are ongoing and revealing some promising leads in the following areas: 1. Could your diet contribute to your mental state of being? 2. Could the right blend of probiotics help alleviate depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders?

Learn more in this NCBI article abstract or in this Science News article!  And even more here!



Maybe exercise can’t change your genes, but exercise has recently been shown to change how those genes operate.  Here’s an excerpt from a recent NYTimes article entitled ‘How Exercise Changes Fat and Muscle Cells.’  This is some fascinating research on how diet and exercise affect your body composition and how your genes are expressed.  Click here for the full article.

“One powerful means of affecting gene activity involves a process called methylation, in which methyl groups, a cluster of carbon and hydrogen atoms, attach to the outside of a gene and make it easier or harder for that gene to receive and respond to messages from the body. In this way, the behavior of the gene is changed, but not the fundamental structure of the gene itself. Remarkably, these methylation patterns can be passed on to offspring – a phenomenon known as epigenetics.

What is particularly fascinating about the methylation process is that it seems to be driven largely by how you live your life. Many recent studies have found that diet, for instance, notably affects the methylation of genes, and scientists working in this area suspect that differing genetic methylation patterns resulting from differing diets may partly determine whether someone develops diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

But the role of physical activity in gene methylation has been poorly understood, even though exercise, like diet, greatly changes the body. So several groups of scientists recently set out to determine what working out does to the exterior of our genes.

The answer, their recently published results show, is plenty.”

The article concludes with the following:  “But already it is clear, Dr. Ling says, that these new findings “are additional proof of the robust effect exercise can have on the human body, even at the level of our DNA.””


Fascinating!  We all have the power to influence how our DNA is expressed?!?  No excuses!!


Did you know that your diet could be leading to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria?  Or that the state of North Carolina uses more antibiotics in animal feed than the entire US uses to treat humans?  Read more about this disturbing trend here.

Reminder: Donations to the family of Wilberto Rojas will be collected at the front desk until the end of class Saturday 7/27.  The CF donation will be taken to Georgio’s in West Reading after class on Saturday.

FYI – Weekend instructors:

  • Friday 5:30 PM – John
  • Sunday 8 AM – Ed
  • Sunday 1 PM – Gretchen

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During these times of extreme heat, it’s important to listen to your body and avoid heat-related illness.  No matter what shape you’re in, pay attention to the warning signs and be smart!

Symptoms of heat exhaustion: (From the American Heart Association)

  • Headaches
  • Heavy sweating
  • Cold, moist skin, chills
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Weak or rapid pulse
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Nausea, vomiting or both

Symptoms of heat stroke:

  • Warm, dry skin with no sweating
  • Strong and rapid pulse
  • Confusion and/or unconsciousness
  • High fever
  • Throbbing headaches
  • Nausea, vomiting or both

Learn more about heat-related illness and how to stay cool here and here.





Weekend instructors:

  • Friday 5:30 PM – Van
  • Sunday 8 AM – Matt D
  • Sunday 1 PM – Van