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Howard G. Smith, M.D. is a former radio medical editor and talk show host in the Boston Metro area.  His "Medical Minute" of health and wellness news and commentary was a regular weekday feature on WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM, and WMRE-AM.   His popular two-way talk show, Dr. Howard Smith OnCall, was regularly heard Sunday morning and middays on WBZ.

More recently, Dr. Smith has adopted the 21st century technology of audio and video podcasting as conduits for the short health and wellness reports, HEALTH NEWS YOU SHOULD USE.  Many of these have video versions, and they may be found on his YouTube page:

Trained at Harvard Medical School and a long-time faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital, he practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology for 40 years in Boston, Southern California, and in central Connecticut.

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Please note that the news, views, commentary, and opinions that Dr. Smith provides are for informational purposes only.  Any changes that you or members of your family contemplate making to lifestyle, diet, medications, or medical therapy should always be discussed beforehand with personal physicians who have been supervising your care.

Apr 5, 2019


As the search continues to understand why our arteries self-destruct as we age, it appears that the bacteria in our gastrointestinal systems may play a key role along with, of course, cholesterol.  Physiologists at the University of Colorado report that aging leads to more pathologic bacteria in the gut and more inflammatory metabolites like trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) in the body to foster atherosclerosis-driven coronary artery disease and stroke.

The investigators used a mouse model and found that eliminating pathogenic gastrointestinal bacteria reduced circulating inflammatory substances such as TMAO and improved the health of the animals blood vessels.  

To apply this information for human benefit, they suggest that foods with beneficial bacteria such as yogurt, kefir, and kimchi as well as the consumption of fiber-rich foods will eliminate accumulations of harmful bacteria.  They also mention that olive oil, vinegar, and red wines are rich in dimethyl butanol, an agent blocks that production of the inflammatory TMAO.

Once again, we have proof that you are what you eat.  The reward at the end of the rainbow is a long, healthy life.

Vienna E. Brunt, Rachel A. Gioscia-Ryan, James J. Richey, Melanie C. Zigler, Lauren M. Cuevas, Antonio Gonzalez, Yoshiki Vázquez-Baeza, Micah L. Battson, Andrew T. Smithson, Andrew D. Gilley, Gail Ackermann, Andrew P. Neilson, Tiffany Weir, Kevin P. Davy, Rob Knight, Douglas R. Seals. Suppression of the gut microbiome ameliorates age-related arterial dysfunction and oxidative stress in mice. The Journal of Physiology, 2019; DOI: 10.1113/JP277336

#Atherosclerosis #microbiome #TMAO #yogurt #oliveoil #fiber