No matter how much kale you eat or how many spin classes you got in this week, if your gut is out of whack, it doesn’t matter, says expert Brenda Watson.

The certified nutritional consultant and author of the new book titled The Skinny Gut Diet, calls it “The Gut Factor”—and she says the state of bacteria calling your belly home could be keeping you from being in a better mood, having a good immune system, and even getting into your skinny jeans. (Gee, thanks.)

Listeria, E. coli, norovirus. There are plenty of pathogens and bacteria that can make us sick, but new research is warning that listeria is more dangerous to expectant moms and their babies than what was previously thought.

In the early stages of pregnancy, listeria poses a risk of miscarriage, a new study out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison is warning. It’s calling on pregnant women to avoid many foods from unpasteurized milk and soft cheese, to raw sprouts, melon and deli meats.

For people with a certain type of migraine headache, regular acupuncture treatments may help reduce the frequency of these debilitating attacks, a recent study from China suggests.

Patients who suffered migraines without aura, and who received five true acupuncture treatments per week for four consecutive weeks had about one less headache per month than similar patients who got the same number of sham acupuncture treatments, researchers report.

The full squat is one of the most basic and fundamental human postures. Due to industrialized society’s heavy reliance on chairs and modern footwear however, it has become a position that many people have difficulty achieving.

Born to Squat

Did you know that one BILLION people worldwide are deficient in Vitamin D?

Closer to home in America, at least 50% of children under 12 years of age are either insufficient or deficient in this essential nutrient.

You could almost say that we have a pandemic of Vitamin D deficiency!

As we currently approach the darker months in the Northern Hemisphere, now is the perfect time to be aware of the signs, symptoms and risk factors for this common deficiency.

What is Vitamin D?

Dr. James Weinstein, a back pain specialist and chief executive of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System, has some advice for most people with lower back pain: Take two aspirin and don’t call me in the morning.

On Monday, the American College of Physicians published updated guidelines that say much the same. In making the new recommendations for the treatment of most people with lower back pain, the group is bucking what many doctors do and changing its previous guidelines, which called for medication as first-line therapy.

Low levels of vitamin D appear to be connected both to endometriosis onset and to its severity, researchers said in a study that found women with the lowest blood concentrations of the vitamin also had the largest ovarian endometrioma, or ovarian cysts.

The study, “Ovarian endometriosis and vitamin D serum levels,” was published in Gynecological Endocrinology. Its findings suggest that vitamin D supplements could be a safe and low-cost therapeutic approach.

You don’t have to poll your friends to know that women think about gut health more than men. (You can just ask science.) Why is it that some guys can act like a garbage disposal guzzling up everything in sight while a woman might feel bloated, irregular, and sick to her stomach doing the same?

One 20-minute session of seated, slow-stroke back massage resulted in a significant decrease in anxiety among new mothers on their first postpartum day, according to recent research.

Study Overview

The study, “The effect of slow-stroke back massage on the anxiety levels of Iranian women on the first postpartum day,” involved 100 primiparous women, or first-time mothers, with normal deliveries. The women, whose average age was 22, were randomly assigned to either the massage group or the control group.

Torturing new mothers? Who does that? Well, as a society, we all do. I’m not kidding, I’m perfectly serious, and I’m going to stop mincing my words and say it how it is. We torture mothers.