“Obese Microbiota” in Men linked to Lead Exposure

Lead (Pb) is a persistent environmental contaminant that is toxic to humans, primarily in the developmental stages of life. It is believed that environment and nutrition play a role in determining health. Most recently, it has been recognized by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences that the interaction between pathogens and toxic agents may contribute to disease development in humans. In fact, epidemiological studies suggest that there may be a correlation between lead exposure and obesity in children and that this effect may be long-lasting, resulting in adulthood obesity.

Perinatal lead exposure in mice

The microbiome has recently been recognized as contributing to health and disruptions in gut microbiota constitution as been associated with chronic illnesses. To investigate the phenomena of Pb-induced obesity, mice were exposed to lead during the perinatal period.  Researchers studied how lead exposure around the time of birth impacted gut microbiota, and then watched to observe whether changes to the microbiome influenced bodyweight.micescale

Microbiome Imbalance

They found that exposure to lead early in development did alter the bacterial composition of the digestive tract.  Pb affected the resilience and diversity of bacteria normally present in the gut; disrupting the balance between aerobic and anaerobic bacterium. Continue reading

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Corrosive Water and the Flint Michigan Crisis

By now we have all know about the water crisis in Flint Michigan. Tons of articles have been written discussing the politics surrounding the Lead contaminated water.  As a result many misconceptions have arisen, for example; many people assume that when it is said that the water was “corrosive” that, that meant the Flint River water was contaminated with lead already. This however is not the case. What if I told you that water sources such as rivers and lakes  can be naturally corrosive? What if I told you that lead is not the only  substance in the Flint water that residents should be concerned about? Continue reading