Infectious: Organized Crime and the Human Biome

by Michael Cheikin

“Ecology” is defined as the relationship between organisms and their environment. Like global warming, there is a parallel ecological crisis in our bodies, contributing to the epidemic of chronic diseases of adults and children.

Individually, we are ecological webs. We were designed to carry trillions of organisms that are not us, both in us and on us. In fact, we comprise only 10 percent of the total cellular population. Despite our illusion of being in control, we are at the mercy of this ecology.  Continue reading

Cortisol: The Stress, Aging and Obesity Hormone

by Michael Cheikin

Stress. We all know what it feels like. We also know that it affects our health, but how?

Understanding Stress

Stress is defined in terms of a system pushed to its limits. For example, bridges are designed to handle the stress of a fixed weight, and no more. However, living systems, when subjected to normal amounts of stress, grow stronger. In fact, stress is necessary for optimal development, growth and fun. Homework and sports are examples of how controlled stress, or challenge, makes us better. All systems of our body are designed to handle stress and grow stronger (even into old age) so that we can survive and procreate.  Continue reading