Posts tagged ‘fermented food’


Scientific discoveries in recent years suggest that some serious conditions could be cured by adding “good” bacteria to your digestive tract. Now several companies are racing to develop drugs that do so.

It’s a jungle in there: massive populations of microbes, immune cells, and cells of the gut tissue are interacting and exchanging countless chemical and physical signals. Disruptions to this complex ecosystem, often called the microbiome, have been linked not only to gastrointestinal problems but also to metabolic, immunological, and even neurological disorders.

One such problem, which occurs when a very common species of bacteria, Clostridium difficile, colonizes the gut and becomes too abundant, can be cured by adding good bacteria to the digestive tract—but the method for doing so requires a transplant of another person’s feces, and the reasons it works are not well understood. The next generation of microbiome medicines will instead be “real drugs” that are “easy to take, clean, and safe,” says Roger Pomerantz, CEO of Seres Therapeutics.

Companies Aim to Make Drugs from Bacteria That Live in the Gut

Fermented food is good for your microbiome

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“Next time, grab a pickle with your beer”

Pairing pickles and beers makes sense, says Roberts.

“They’re both fermented foods,” says Yi Wah Roberts. “They seem to have an affinity for each other. Alcohol likes big flavors and sometimes it likes the sort of acid that the pickles bring to the party.”

Caitlin Roberts says pickles are an alternative to typical bar food.

“It’s healthy. It’s crunchy. It’s not greasy,” say the Roberts.

“I’m a girl, I think about what I’m eating. So I like knowing I’m eating something that’s good for me when I’m enjoying some beer,” she said.

Her brother said choosing the correct beer depends on the style of the pickle.

For milder Cori half-sours, the Roberts say a crisp lager works well.

Next time, grab a pickle with your beer

Caitlin [Roberts of Number 1 Sons] isn’t the only person to come to the College [of William and Mary] with a love for pickles. Thomas Jefferson was also an avid pickle fan, although the fermentation process dates back much farther than Jefferson’s time.

“You find references of fermentation in almost the earliest records of human history,” Caitlin said. “Fermentation is a way to naturally preserve foods, and what we’re doing is embracing good bacteria … Fermentation has been in the news a lot recently because there are health benefits that people believe are associated with it, believing that it’s probiotic — that it’s really good for your digestive system.”

Jarring success: Siblings open barrel-fermented food business

Number 1 Sons, in the DC area

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