August 12th, 2019

1) High School performance significantly improves with more nighttime sleep. Gideon Dunster and colleagues looked at a 55 minute later HS start time in Seattle, Washington and its effect on school performance. The authors state: "We carried out a pre-/post-research study and show that there was an increase in the daily median sleep duration of 34 min, associated with a 4.5% increase in the median grades of the students and an improvement in attendance."

"We also show that the later school start time is associated with a better alignment of sleep timing with the circadian system (reduced social jet lag), reduced sleepiness, and increased academic performance. Although it is highly likely that increased sleep was the cause for reduced sleepiness, it is much harder to attribute causality for 4.5% higher grades on increased sleep; nevertheless, it is certainly reasonable that students who are better rested and more alert should display better academic performance." (Dunster et. al. 2018)

This is self explanatory. Our teens need more sleep to thrive. Later start times make logical sense.

Dr. M

2) Gastric acid suppression is associated with allergies over time. Dr. Jordakieva and colleagues looked at the association with acid blocking medicines and the development of allergies over time in Nature Communications this year. They found a correlation and an increasing risk with advancing age and female gender. The simple answer to the why is that the lack of gastric acid causes a dysfunctional protein breakdown mechanism allowing these intact proteins to be presented to the immune system abnormally via the gut thereby causing an allergic reaction. Avoid these medicines at all costs. See below * for the awesome science of the why?

Dr. M


3) Pregnancy and the Mediterranean diet are a good match. So says Dr. Wattar and colleagues in PLOSone this year. They found that a mediterranean diet has the ability to reduce maternal weight gain and gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Simple and logical. The more I research maternal health for my book, the more I realize that an anti inflammatory diet coupled with drug/chemical avoidance, stress reduction and daily movement are keys to a good pregnancy outcome.


Dr. M


Dunster Science Advances Article
Jordakieva Nature Communications Article
Wattar PLOSone Article

* "Overview of direct and indirect pro-allergenic immune responses to anti-ulcer drugs (AUD). a, f With regards to oral allergens, the gastric pH elevation by AUDs, most dominantly by proton-pump inhibitors (PPI) and H2 receptor antagonists (H2RA), leads to reduced pepsin activation and impaired food antigen degradation, enabling persistence of ingested epitopes and their uptake in the intestines14,15,16,23,24. This leads to formation of antigen-specifc IgE and promotion of a Th2 type dominated immune milieu resulting in eosinophilic inflammation and allergic symptoms14,15,24. b-e With regards to directly AUD-associated innate and adjuvant immune effects, PPIs can (b) induce AhR-mediated mast cell activation synergizing with IgE-FcɛRI signaling and resulting in mediator release30 and enhanced CD63 expression via the S1P pathway; both mechanisms result in allergic symptoms manifestation; (c) H2RAs stimulate the release of Th2 cytokines from both monocyte and Th2 cells leading to a B-cell isotype switch resulting in IgG1 (mice) and IgE production (humans, mice)31; (d) Further, H2RAs promote an increase in Th2 cytokine releasing iNKT cells32, particularly when co-exposed to lipid antigens, and increase in CD1d+ DCs via TLR2 activation; (e) Sucralfate, an aluminum compound, can induce IL-4 release from DCs along with IL-533,34 and caspase-dependent IL-1β secretion43 from monocytes promoting an isotype switch in B-cells into IgE production; f The resulting disturbance of gut microbiota composition35,37,45 additionally supports a pro-allergic Th2 milieu and enhances allergic symptoms." (Jordakieva et. al. 2019)