Two recent research studies contribute to the growing body of evidence that the population of microbes residing in our intestines plays vital roles in our health. One is a meta-analysis of studies done to determine if taking probiotics alongside antibiotics can alleviate antibiotic associated diarrhea; results are reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association . The other evaluated the effects of red wine on the different species of bacteria in the gut; it appears in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition .
Just as clothing styles come in and out of fashion, diagnoses go through fads as well. While this is rarely true of diagnoses issued by traditional healthcare practitioners, health-related Internet sites (particularly those promoting alternative medicine) and some practitioners of alternative medicine may be susceptible to these diagnostic trends. One such fad diagnosis is lactose intolerance, which is sometimes blamed for everything from hyperactivity to joint pain.