Category Archives: Posts by Others

Honey Honey… ahh Sugar Sugar

http://n.pr/15rzw1a

People have a love affair with sugar.  Americans especially can’t seem to get enough of this delectable sweetness dancing on their tongues.  Unfortunately, increased consumption of sugar generally leads to numerous health issues including heart disease, diabetes and of course, autoimmune issues.

If you have difficulties cutting out sweets completely, please try to use what I refer to as “analogs.”  Refer to my Healthier Food Options page for ideas.  Generally, some are just replacing sugar with stevia.  Instead of HFCS laden sodas, try some sweetened with stevia (ie: Zevia).  Agave syrup may be a good option.  Possibly even using natural fruits as sweeteners.  Gradually reduce intake of sugar or any type of sweeteners.

As always, please check with your doctor(s) regarding any health issues you may have and good healthy, natural options to improve your health.

Chowing Down On Meat, Dairy Alters Gut Bacteria A Lot, And Quickly

This is a GREAT article I found.  It explains just how precarious the good bacteria in our guts are and how quickly they can be overshadowed by bad bacteria.  It is precisely why maintaining a plant-based diet is very important, as well as maintaining healthy intestinal flora by taking great probiotics and even healthy yeast (Saccharomyces boulardii).

by MICHAELEEN DOUCLEFF

December 11, 2013 1:34 PM
To figure out how diet influences the microbiome, scientists put volunteers on two extreme diets: one that included only meat, egg and cheese and one that contained only grains, vegetables and legumes.

To figure out how diet influences the microbiome, scientists put volunteers on two extreme diets: one that included only meat, egg and cheese and one that contained only grains, vegetables and legumes.

Morgan Walker/NPR

Looks like Harvard University scientists have given us another reason to walk past the cheese platter at holiday parties and reach for the carrot sticks instead: Your gut bacteria will thank you.

Switching to a diet packed with meat and cheese — and very few carbohydrates — alters the trillions of microbes living in the gut, scientists report Wednesday in the journal Nature.

The change happens quickly. Within two days, the types of microbes thriving in the gut shuffle around. And there are signs that some of these shifts might not be so good for your gut: One type of bacteria that flourishes under the meat-rich diet has been linked to inflammation and intestinal diseases in mice.

“I mean, I love meat,” says microbiologist Lawrence David, who contributed to the study and is now at Duke University.

“But I will say that I definitely feel a lot more guilty ordering a hamburger … since doing this work,” he says.

While no one's sure which foods are good for our microbiomes, eating more veggies can't hurt.

Scientists are just beginning to learn about how our decisions at the dinner table — or the drive-through — tweak our microbiome, that is, the communities of bacteria living in our bodies. But one thing is becoming clear: The critters hanging out in our intestine influence many aspects of our health, including weight, immunity and perhaps even behavior.

And interest in studying the links between diet and the human microbiome is growing. Previous research in this field had turned up tantalizing evidence that eating fiber can alter the composition of gut bacteria. But these studies had looked at diets over long periods of times — months and even years. David and his colleagues wanted to know whether fiber — or lack of it — could alter gut bacteria more rapidly.

To figure that out, the researchers got nine volunteers to go on two extreme diets for five days each.

The first diet was all about meat and cheese. “Breakfast was eggs and bacon,” David says. “Lunch was ribs and briskets, and then for dinner, it was salami and prosciutto with an assortment of cheeses. The volunteers had pork rinds for snacks.”

Then, after a break, the nine volunteers began a second, fiber-rich diet at the other end of the spectrum: It all came from plants. “Breakfast was granola cereal,” David says. “For lunch, it was jasmine rice, cooked onions, tomatoes, squash, garlic, peas and lentils.” Dinner looked similar, and the volunteers could snack on bananas and mangoes.

“The animal-based diet is admittedly a little extreme,” he says. “But the plant-based diet is one you might find in a developing country.”

David and the team analyzed the volunteers’ microbiomes before, during and after each diet. And the effects of all that meat and cheese were immediately apparent.

“The relative abundance of various bacteria species looked like it shifted within a day after the food hit the gut,” David says. After the volunteers had spent about three days on each diet, the bacteria in the gut even started to change their behavior. “The kind of genes turned on in the microbes changed in both diets,” he says.

In particular, microbes that “love bile” — the Bilophila — started to dominate the volunteers’ guts during the animal-based diet. Bile helps the stomach digest fats. So people make more bile when their diet is rich in meat and dairy fats.

A study last year found that blooms of Bilophila cause inflammation and colitis in mice. “But we didn’t measure levels of inflammation in our subjects,” David says. “That’s the next step.”

Instead, he says, his team’s data support the overall animal model that Bilophila promotes inflammation, which could ultimately be controlled by diet.

“Our study is a proof of concept that you can modify the microbiome through diet.” David says. “But we’re still a long ways off from being able to manipulate the community in any kind of way that an engineer would be pleased about.”

Even just classifying Bilophila as a “bad bacteria” is a tricky matter, says Dr. Purna Kashyab, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

“These bacteria are members of a community that have lived in harmony with us for thousands of years,” says Kashyab, who wasn’t involved in the study. “You can’t just pick out one member of this whole team and say it’s bad. Most bacteria in the gut are here for our benefit, but given the right environment, they can turn on us and cause disease.”

Nevertheless, Kashyab thinks the Nature study is exciting because the findings unlock a potentially new avenue for treating intestinal diseases. “We want to look at diet as a way of treating patients,” Kashyab says. “This study shows that short-term dietary interventions can change microbial composition and function.”

Of course, figuring out exactly how to do that will take much more research.

“The paper has made the next leap in the field,” Kashyab says. “With discovery comes responsible. Once you make this big finding, it needs to be tested appropriately.”

Scientists Officially Link Processed Foods To Autoimmune Disease!!!

This article basically states what many of us in the functional medicine/nutrition/plant-based diet community have already known.  This is a big contributor to autoimmune disease.  If people would just eat a more plant-based diet, avoiding processed foods (ESPECIALLY wheat/gluten and sugar), they could not only possibly prevent or even reverse autoimmune issues, but also have more energy and even lose some weight.

Yes, salt is also a contributing factor, but wheat, gluten and sugar are much more the main causes from food than sugar.

http://www.trueactivist.com/scientists-officially-link-processed-foods-to-autoimmune-disease/

March 8, 2013 | Filed under: Uncategorized | Posted by: 

This Giant Kelp is used to produce Carrageenan food additive
The modern diet of processed foods, takeaways and microwave meals could be to blame for a sharp increase in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, including alopecia, asthma and eczema.

A team of scientists from Yale University in the U.S and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, in Germany, say junk food diets could be partly to blame.

‘This study is the first to indicate that excess refined and processed salt may be one of the environmental factors driving the increased incidence of autoimmune diseases,’ they said.

Junk foods at fast food restaurants as well as processed foods at grocery retailers represent the largest sources of sodium intake from refined salts.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal sent out an international team of researchers to compare the salt content of 2,124 items from fast food establishments such as Burger King, Domino’s Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Subway. They found that the average salt content varied between companies and between the same products sold in different countries.

U.S. fast foods are often more than twice as salt-laden as those of other countries. While government-led public health campaigns and legislation efforts have reduced refined salt levels in many countries, the U.S. government has been reluctant to press the issue. That’s left fast-food companies free to go salt crazy, says Norm Campbell, M.D., one of the study authors and a blood-pressure specialist at the University of Calgary.

Many low-fat foods rely on salt–and lots of it–for their flavor. One packet of KFC’s Marzetti Light Italian Dressing might only have 15 calories and 0.5 grams fat, but it also has 510 mg sodium–about 1.5 times as much as one Original Recipe chicken drumstick. (Feel like you’re having too much of a good thing? You probably are.

Bread is the No. 1 source of refined salt consumption in the American diet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just one 6-inch Roasted Garlic loaf from Subway–just the bread, no meat, no cheeses, no nothing–has 1,260 mg sodium, about as much as 14 strips of bacon.

How Refined Salt Causes Autoimmune Disease

The team from Yale University studied the role of T helper cells in the body. These activate and ‘help’ other cells to fight dangerous pathogens such as bacteria or viruses and battle infections.
Previous research suggests that a subset of these cells – known as Th17 cells – also play an important role in the development of autoimmune diseases.

In the latest study, scientists discovered that exposing these cells in a lab to a table salt solution made them act more ‘aggressively.’

They found that mice fed a diet high in refined salts saw a dramatic increase in the number of Th17 cells in their nervous systems that promoted inflammation.

They were also more likely to develop a severe form of a disease associated with multiple sclerosis in humans.

The scientists then conducted a closer examination of these effects at a molecular level.

Laboratory tests revealed that salt exposure increased the levels of cytokines released by Th17 cells 10 times more than usual. Cytokines are proteins used to pass messages between cells.

Study co-author Ralf Linker, from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, said: ‘These findings are an important contribution to the understanding of multiple sclerosis and may offer new targets for a better treatment of the disease, for which at present there is no cure.’

It develops when the immune system mistakes the myelin that surrounds the nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord for a foreign body.

It strips the myelin off the nerves fibres, which disrupts messages passed between the brain and body causing problems with speech, vision and balance.

Another of the study’s authors, Professor David Hafler, from Yale University, said that nature had clearly not intended for the immune system to attack its host body, so he expected that an external factor was playing a part.

He said: ‘These are not diseases of bad genes alone or diseases caused by the environment, but diseases of a bad interaction between genes and the environment.

‘Humans were genetically selected for conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, where there was no salt. It’s one of the reasons that having a particular gene may make African Americans much more sensitive to salt.

‘Today, Western diets all have high salt content and that has led to increase in hypertension and perhaps autoimmune disease as well.’

The team next plan to study the role that Th17 cells play in autoimmune conditions that affect the skin.

‘It would be interesting to find out if patients with psoriasis can alleviate their symptoms by reducing their salt intake,’ they said.

‘However, the development of autoimmune diseases is a very complex process which depends on many genetic and environmental factors.’

Stick to Good Salts

Refined, processed and bleached salts are the problem. Salt is critical to our health and is the most readily available nonmetallic mineral in the world. Our bodies are not designed to processed refined sodium chloride since it has no nutritional value. However, when a salt is filled with dozens of minerals such as in rose-coloured crystals of Himalayan rock salt or the grey texture of Celtic salt, our bodies benefit tremendously for their incorporation into our diet.

“These mineral salts are identical to the elements of which our bodies have been built and were originally found in the primal ocean from where life originated,” argues Dr Barbara Hendel, researcher and co-author of Water & Salt, The Essence of Life. “We have salty tears and salty perspiration. The chemical and mineral composition of our blood and body fluids are similar to sea water. From the beginning of life, as unborn babies, we are encased in a sack of salty fluid.”

“In water, salt dissolves into mineral ions,” explains Dr Hendel. “These conduct electrical nerve impulses that drive muscle movement and thought processes. Just the simple act of drinking a glass of water requires millions of instructions that come from mineral ions. They’re also needed to balance PH levels in the body.”

Mineral salts, she says, are healthy because they give your body the variety of mineral ions needed to balance its functions, remain healthy and heal. These healing properties have long been recognised in central Europe. At Wieliczka in Poland, a hospital has been carved in a salt mountain. Asthmatics and patients with lung disease and allergies find that breathing air in the saline underground chambers helps improve symptoms in 90 per cent of cases.

Dr Hendel believes too few minerals, rather than too much salt, may be to blame for health problems. It’s a view that is echoed by other academics such as David McCarron, of Oregon Health Sciences University in the US.

He says salt has always been part of the human diet, but what has changed is the mineral content of our food. Instead of eating food high in minerals, such as nuts, fruit and vegetables, people are filling themselves up with “mineral empty” processed food and fizzy drinks.

April McCarthy is a community journalist playing an active role reporting and analyzing world events to advance our health and eco-friendly initiatives.

Can You Get Sick from Gluten Even if You Don’t Have Celiac Disease?

By Dr. Susan Blum
April 12, 2013

In my new book, The Immune System Recovery Plan, I focus on using food as medicine as one of the four steps to treating autoimmune disease.

Specifically, I address some of the questions I get asked frequently about gluten: What is Celiac disease and how is it different from gluten intolerance? And can you get sick from gluten even if you don’t have celiac disease? (Yes. Absolutely.)
 
What is Celiac disease? 
Celiac disease is a very specific autoimmune illness that is defined by damage to the villi of the small intestines. The trigger for this damaging immune reaction is gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, spelt, rye and kamut.
The conventional dogma is that if you don’t have this intestinal damage, you don’t have a gluten problem. Wrong!
Turns out that gluten can trigger other immune reactions and symptoms without any damage to the small intestine, thus you can test negative for celiac, but still be gluten intolerant. And there’s good evidence that gluten is associated with other autoimmune diseases as well, like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease.

Why is wheat a problem now? 
In the United States, wheat has been hybridized over the past 50 years so that it’s no longer genetically the same as the wheat our ancestors ate. Wheat contains lots of gluten, and these genetic changes have increased the amount of gluten in the wheat we consume.
Gluten is very hard for the body to breakdown, and doesn’t always get digested completely. When partially digested gluten particles get into our blood stream, they can trigger an immune reaction, causing vague symptoms like brain fog, fatigue, inflammation and achiness in muscles and joints. Some people also have obvious gut symptoms such as gas or bloating, which are clear signs of gluten intolerance.
How do gluten particles get into your blood stream? 
First, certain conditions damage the lining of the intestinal tract. For example, antacids, antibiotics, severe prolonged stress, not enough good bacteria, too much bad bacteria or yeast (a condition called dysbiosis) are all conditions that cause leaky gut syndrome. This means the intestinal lining becomes “leaky” and the gluten protein sneaks into the body, causing an emergency reaction from the immune system.
To make matters worse, the gluten protein “looks” like our tissues, so the immune system can get confused, attacking the body and causing an autoimmune disease. This is called “molecular mimicry” and is one of the ways you can get sick from gluten.
Try this at home. 
I always recommend that you remove gluten during a detoxification program, for treatment of autoimmune diseases or for treating irritable bowel syndrome or digestive symptoms.
You can do the experiment yourself: remove gluten for three weeks, and then eat it as a test to see if you notice any reaction. Be very mindful when you reintroduce it, paying attention to the appearance of symptoms of any kind. Sometimes you just feel puffy from the inflammation. These are classic gluten intolerance symptoms, and if you react this way, you should adopt a gluten-free lifestyle.
There are many gluten-free products on the market. Be careful to choose breads and crackers that are made from whole grains and that are rich in fiber. Sometimes gluten-free products are made with processed rice flour or potato starch and this makes them high glycemic—increasing your blood sugar in a bad way—so it’s best to avoid these. Some tips:
Go to a health food store or a healthy market like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s to select items.  You can also find good quality gluten-free products online.
I love quinoa and buckwheat. You can also get pasta made from these ingredients.  If you opt for rice, be sure to choose brown instead of white.
Even if you don’t remain gluten-free, it is good to eat less of it.
All of the recipes in my book are gluten-free so you can learn to cook other delicious ancient grains like quinoa, and millet to add more variety to your diet.

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8719/can-you-get-sick-from-gluten-even-if-you-dont-have-celiac-disease.html