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Kimchi & the Risk of Eczema

Happy New Year everyone! Hope 2016 has started out on a high note for you all, and hope that continues for the next 12 months. For my first post this year, I'll start with a recently published study that piles on more evidence (to all that already exists) to support the far-reaching health benefits of fermented foods.

This new study from Korea found that increased intakes of fermented foods, like kimchi, are associated with significantly reduced risks of atopic dermatitis (eczema).

Although the data from 9,763 Korean adults shows only a correlation (and not causation), it indicates that consumption of fermented Korean foods more than 92 times monthly (yeah, that's right... that equates to eating fermented foods every meal) is associated with a 44% lower prevalence of eczema. On the flipside, high consumption levels of meat and processed foods were associated with an increased prevalence of eczema.

“These results suggest that the westernization of dietary patterns, including less consumption of fermented foods, was highly associated with the increased prevalence of atopic dermatitis,” wrote the researchers. “This information can be used to develop nutrition education programs for the general population designed to decrease risk factors for atopic dermatitis.”

The potential health benefits of fermented foods like doenjang, chungkookjang, kimchi, fermented seafood, makgeolli, and beer may be linked either directly to the ingestion of live microorganisms, such as bacteria or yeast, or indirectly to biogenic metabolites produced during the fermentation process.

“Bioactive peptides (biogenic peptides released from food proteins by microbial proteolysis during fermentation) have been known to have immunostimulating effects, such as increasing IgA-producing cells and macrophage activity, leading to the prevention of infectious diseases,” they wrote.

“During fermentation, vitamins such as vitamin K and vitamin B12 could be synthesized by microbes; these vitamins play an important role in host health, including the prevention of atopic diseases.”

I'll add that there are also other nutrients--hundreds of them, maybe thousands--that these microorganisms provide, most of which probably haven't even been discovered yet.

That's it for today. If you're a first-timer here at Know Guff, click HERE to subscribe; for everyone else, next week brings a study on another negative aspect of the traditional Western diet, and another study on one of my vices--chocolate. Have a wonderful weekend!

Source: Fermented food intake is associated with a reduced likelihood of atopic dermatitis in an adult population (Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2012-2013)

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1 comment:

  1. Great article to start the New Year, thank you Dr.Know.
    As usual you bring a succinct and balanced health perspective to medical news.


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