Harmful Effects of Antibiotics on the Gut

We all get sick, and sometimes, our only option is antibiotics. Unfortunately, antibiotics can easily wreck havoc on the microbiota in the gut. The microbiota are responsible for balancing many of the body’s essential functions, like digesting food, fighting disease, facilitating vitamin, mineral, and amino-acid absorption, and regulating energy. In order to help you prepare for your gut’s reaction to antibiotics, this short blog post will discuss some harmful effects of antibiotics on the intestinal system, and why many people choose to use probiotics during and after taking antibiotics.

Importance of Microbiota

With recent advances in technology, scientists, medical professionals, and researchers are making huge advances on our understanding of the human microbiome. They have found that there are over 100 trillion microbes from over 1000 different species. Of these, about 7000 strains live in the gut. Different microbes form different communities, and they live in different parts of the gut. They work together to help in many ways, for example, with host nutrition and host immunity.

Harmful Effects of Antibiotics on Microbiota
Researchers have learned that antibiotics can interfere with our natural ability to resist disease and infection, influence our immune system, and impact our ability to process food. This makes us more susceptible to lifestyle illnesses, like obesity, malnutrition, and diabetes.

Evidence also shows that the increase in antibiotic-resistant strains is dramatic, and has resulted in thousands of deaths worldwide. With the end of antibiotics on the horizon comes a need for something much stronger, healthier, and sustainable in the long term.

If you have taken antibiotics, your gut may be struggling to return to homeostasis. Antibiotics can disrupt the natural order of your gut for an extended period of time, which may influence your nutrient and vitamin absorption, and your defense against pathogens. This overall weakness in the body, though you might be feeling better, could easily leave you more susceptible to illness in the near future.

Probiotics and Benefits
One of the best ways to rebalance your gut’s microbiome is by reintroducing good bacteria. Probiotics are the good bacteria that are helpful for repopulating the bacteria in your gut. Since antibiotics can kill probiotics, it is a good idea to revamp your probiotics after you take the antibiotics.

You can find probiotics in pill form, but you can also find them in foods and drinks: apple cider vinegar (with the mother), sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, kefir, cultured butter and cheese, and even traditional, true sourdough bread.

These foods can help with both diarrhea and constipation, ease inflammation in the gut and in other parts of the body, improve your energy levels, clear your skin and even your mind, and strengthen your immune system. Many people choose to take probiotics at the same time or after taking antibiotics because it helps the body better fight the illness. The body needs good bacteria, and it is important to replenish your supply especially when taking antibiotics.

The best way to repopulate your gut is by choosing the more natural options, rather than a pill. You can easily find fermented foods in the grocery store, but you can also make your own with a little salt and vegetables. To help you get started, we have included a simple and easily adaptable recipe.

Simple DIY Probiotic-Rich Recipe

  • 1 broccoli crown
  • 1 onion
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 5-6 peppercorns

1. Dissolve salt in water and allow to cool.
2. Chop vegetables into bite-size pieces and smash garlic with flat part of knife blade.
4. Add all ingredients to a mason jar, and pour just enough water to cover the vegetables.
5. Use a weight to keep the vegetables submerged, and loosely cover with a lid.
6. Allow to ferment in a dark, cool place for 5-7 days, then store in the fridge.

Sometimes, it just seems absolutely necessary to take antibiotics. If, however, you are presented with a choice, it is best to ditch the antibiotics and allow your body to rest and recover on its own. Antibiotics do wreck havoc on your system, and it can take years (or even a lifetime) for the gut to function normally again. Probiotics can help the healing that occurs after taking antibiotics, and they are also delicious and healthy food that can improve your health, and maybe even prevent illness in the future.

Audio Books and Your Brain

Books on tape have been popular for generations, but with the availability of online audio books, you do not have to go to your public library to take advantage of listening to your favorite books.  Some people believe that you can absorb information while you sleep, and lots of people feel that it is wishful thinking.  But is there any truth to what they say?

New research has come out that says, no, it’s not all in your head—you can absorb information from listening to audio books.  It turns out that after lots of research using MRI technology, you can learn the information that you hear on an audio book as well as when you actually read the book the old-fashioned way.

This is good news for book lovers who have felt guilty about not having enough time to sit down and read. 

The beauty about audio books is that you can listen to them anywhere, any place, and anytime.  Want to learn something new?  Listen to an audio book.  Want to master a foreign language?  Listen to an audio book.  Want to expand your literary horizons?  Listen to an audio book.  The possibilities are endless with audio books!

Now the only problem you will face is figuring out what you’d like to listen to. 

Luckily, finding audio books that keep your attention through talented narrators and creative writers is really easy.  You can find accounts on major online retailers that allow you to download books straight to your device.  Really, without having to find a library or deal with having a library card, how much easier could it be to find enriching content?

 Your brain works with the language the same way that it does when it reads material. 

It actually doesn’t differentiate between visual language and auditory language.  So go ahead, and help your brain by listening to audio books!

Bounce House rentals for your Company Picnics

Tips for Company Picnic Planning

Summer is probably that time when most companies plan for employee picnics. It is a great way of appreciating employees as well as breaking away from the office environment. However, the success of a picnic often depends proper planning. It is good to plan a picnic that will be memorable to your employees.

Below are tips that can help in planning a good company picnic:

1. Decide who will attend the picnic

Most companies usually organize picnics for different departments – especially when the company has many employees. The first step, therefore, is to decide who will be invited for the picnic. This is important because it will help a lot in the whole planning process. For instance, decide if employees will be allowed to come with their respective family members or if it will be a pure company employee’s affair.

2. Set a date

Organizing a successful picnic requires early and proper planning. There are several things that you will need to consider when choosing the picnic date. One of them is the company’s schedule. You don’t want to assign a picnic date at a time when the company activities are at a peak. Besides that, ensure that you consult with most picnic attendees on the best date for each one of them.

3. Venue/Tent/Chairs

After setting a date, the next obvious thing will be the venue for the picnic. The best way of choosing a good venue is to conduct small research as well as ask for opinions from other employees. This might prove to be challenging because some employees might prefer other venues while others will insist on different ones. If that is the case, you can take a vote and go by the majority.

Also find out if you will need tents and chairs or if they will be provided at the picnic venue. If not, then arrange how they will get to the venue before that material day.

4. Concessions/Food: Cotton Candy, Popcorn

The next item after securing the venue is how every member and their family will eat and be accommodated. Some companies often give every employee some allowance to cater for food and accommodation. Others do budgetary allocations per department.

If for example, you are organizing a picnic for the whole department, it is important to talk to all attendees and find out what type of food they prefer. Besides that, arrange for general snacks, sweets and cotton candies of various flavours.

5. Entertainment consideration and beverages

This is one of the items you shouldn’t leave out in your plans. Remember entertainment is in the core of the picnic. That means you should arrange for different forms of entertainment both for children and adults. For instance, ensure that you have procured inflatables for children and adults in advance.

The good thing is that there are several companies that offer such services at reasonable prices. Besides, ensure that you arrange for beverages for your team. However, you have to be careful if you decide to provide alcohol during the picnic.

6. Activities

This is one of the last parts of your planning. You should be able to plan all activities to be carried out in the picnic as early as possible. Activities should be aimed at creating fun at the event. Bounce house rentals are a perfect choice!

Arrange for different types of exciting activities such as games where those attending will be able to compete against each other. There are different types of entertaining games you can list for different age groups.

In general, most companies arrange picnics for their employees mainly for the purposes of team building. However, if you want to get the best out of a company picnic, then pay close attention to early planning and consultation.

Modafinil: AKA Silicon Valley’s Limitless Pill

Image result for modafinil

Is it possible to actually improve your cognitive functions? This is the reality that nootropics made us realize. One of the most popular nootropics today is modafinil. Modafinil has been used mainly for treating patients suffering from narcolepsy or excessive daytime sleepiness.

In fact, modafinil has been considered by many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs’ nootropic of choice. Does it really give them the edge that they need?

Despite the fact that this drug is used to promote wakefulness for patients suffering from always being sleepy at work, it has been discovered as a cognitive enhancer.

How exactly does it work?

What it does is act as a weak dopamine reuptake inhibitor. It also indirectly activates the release of histamine and orexin neuropeptides which in effect heightens alertness.

You can expect a decrease in the fatigue level and improvement in your motivation. In fact, in a study conducted by the University of Cambridge, this nootropic has been discovered to have the ability to reduce “impulse response” or bad decision making.

You also have to consider the fact that modafinil is going to wear off once the histamine level in your central nervous system has been depleted by an inhibitor.

What are its benefits?

One of the primary benefits of modafinil is to let people stay awake and active. It has been commonly used in hospitals by doctors who need to make life or death decisions despite having few hours of sleep. However, though it is typically used by healthy individuals to improve focus, it doesn’t show significant improvements among individuals suffering from ADHD.

Is Modafinil safe?

One of the most common questions that people ask is if Modafinil safe? In reality, this is not addictive. However, there is a risk of abuse. However, the risk of abuse is quite low. Those that have exhibited a psychiatric reaction to modafinil are also those individuals who already have a preexisting case of psychiatric disorder.

There is also no risk of overdose since it needs a very large dose before it poses any harm to humans. However, there could be some adverse reactions that you might experience if you opt to take more than the recommended amount of modafinil. It is possible to suffer from excitations, confusions, and even sleep disturbances. However, as of 2004, there are no recorded cases of fatalities from modafinil alone.

If you find yourself looking to function even with only a few hours of sleep, modafinil is a great option that you can go for. It is relatively safe and can even help improve your overall cognitive function.