Courtney Snyder, MD
We’re not necessarily the same animal we once were. And, in many respects, especially when it comes to food, we’re increasingly different from one another. Describing a particular food (or nutrient) as “good” for you, depends on who “you” are. Due to our varied experiences, exposures (ie. to antibiotics, toxins, etc.) and genetics, we’re not all the same. The latest superfood may benefit some, but it may make others ill. Our complicated relationship with food can’t be discussed without considering inflammation, oxidative stress and epigenetics - the three exploding areas of medical research.
By Courtney Snyder, MD
...is ragus - an Aran Island's word for 'desire' or 'urge.’ The Aran Islands are off the west coast of Ireland and have little to do with this post, except maybe to help draw in unsuspecting readers.
Like me, you may wonder,... "Who really wants to read about the problems with sugar?"
Over these past four weeks, I considered many approaches:
I’d be inclusive and point out that despite great individual variability in how our bodies react to foods, science is showing that limiting or avoiding sugar makes good sense for...well...pretty much everyone.
I thought I’d be investigative - I’d give an excessive list of names for hidden sugar on food labels. I’d give examples of how much sugar is in “savory” foods - ie. 1/2 cup of tomato soup has 3 tsp. of sugar. For those into calculations, 4 grams = 1 tsp.
Courtney Snyder, MD
What is the microbiome and why are so many researchers studying it's impact on human health including mental health? How can we take care of it? And, what can it teach us about fear, the importance of diversity and our relationship with the natural world?
The microbiome is the collection of microbes that live in and on our bodies. There are estimated to be 100 trillion in our gastrointestinal tract - about ten times the number of cells in our body. Spread out, it is believed the microbiome could cover a football field. Though there are an estimated 500 -1000 different species, only one third seem to be common to most people. The other two thirds are specific to each one of us. So, along with our unique experiences and genomes, we have unique microbiomes.
I'm a conventionally trained child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist. My current approach to health is both holistic (pertaining to the whole person) and functional (addressing the root causes of illness). I write this blog to share what I've learned.