"My Boys" Wally and Wiggles
Love, Licks and Good Bacteria
July 2017 Newsletter
Feel Fabulous Over 50!
Weight Loss, Fitness and Health Coaching
Serving the San Francisco Bay Area
Adopting a dog might can be an essential prescription for better health. Those of us who are devoted pet owners have long known that our animal companions play an essential role in keeping our moods lifted and our hearts full. Since we can’t avoid taking them out to get exercise and “do their business” we also benefit by being forced to get out to walk ourselves. Now, it appears that there may be an additional benefit to dog ownership; they may be a source of good gut health.
Intriguing early research suggests links between the microbes that our animal companions bring into our homes — and that we breathe in and swallow — and the microbes that thrive in our digestive tract. It may be that exposure to animal bacteria triggers bacteria in our gut to change how they metabolize the neurotransmitters that have an impact on mood and other mental functions.
Netzin Steklis, a biologist at the University of Arizona who is working on a study of the elderly to learn more about how living with dogs changes their skin and gut microbiomes, suspects that the physiological effect of their bacteria in our guts may contribute to the well-known anti-depressive benefit of pet ownership.
According to a recent article in the New York Times “…if the latest research on pets and human health is correct, that cloud of dog-borne microbes may be working to keep us healthy. Epidemiological studies show that children who grow up in households with dogs have a lower risk for developing autoimmune illnesses like asthma and allergies — and it may be a result of the diversity of microbes that these animals bring inside our homes.” You can read the entire article here.
Bottom line, a dog can not only be your best friend but also powerful preventative medicine.
Master Health Coach