High-Fat, Low-Fiber Diets Are Killing Off Healthy Gut Microorganisms Over Generations: Study
Meanwhile, CNN spotlights potential child heart surgery policy changes that could result from its investigative report of a Florida hospital. And in reproductive health news, media outlets report on the climbing age of first-time mothers and the benefit of doulas on birth outcomes.
The Orlando Sentinel:
Western Diets Damage Gut Microbiota Over Generations, In Ways Hard To Reverse
It may take more than a tub of yogurt to reverse the effects that a high-fat, low-fiber diet have wrought in the bellies of men and women in the industrialized world, says new research. Indeed, the depletion of gut microbes that comes with diets deficient in fiber extend well beyond the lives of those whose dietary choices made it happen, a new study finds. Over generations of exposure to diets low in fiber, the research shows that a microbiotic population die-off threatens to drive some of the trillions of microorganisms that live in healthy human guts to the brink of extinction. (Healy, 1/13)
After CNN Investigation, A Push To Halt Child Heart Surgery At Some Hospitals
On the heels of CNN's report about babies' deaths at St. Mary's, a team of researchers has proposed that policy makers consider telling some hospitals to stop doing complex heart surgeries on children. (Cohen, 1/13)
Average Age Of First-Time Moms Keeps Climbing In The U.S.
Many women in the U.S. are waiting longer than ever to have their first child. Fifteen years ago, the mean age of a woman when she first gave birth was 24.9-years-old. In 2014, that age had risen to 26.3. "It doesn't sound like a big change," says T.J. Mathews, a demographer at the National Center for Health Statistics and an author of the report published online Thursday. But, he says, the small shift underscores some important trends. (Bichell, 1/14)
Minnesota Public Radio:
U Study Finds Doulas Improve Birth Outcomes, Cut Costs
University of Minnesota researchers say an alternative form of supportive care for pregnant women promotes better outcomes and can reduce health care costs. Doulas are non-medical professionals who provide emotional and physical support to mothers before, during and after childbirth. That support can include birth education, massage and words of encouragement. The word "doula" comes from ancient Greek. (Benson, 1/14)