Plant-based Diets: A New Way to Think About Health

Posted on July 20, 2013. Filed under: against the current, Alzheiner's, Autoimmune disease, Cancer, Diet, Neurodegenerative disease | Tags: , , , , |

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GMOs Are Not Benign

Posted on June 24, 2013. Filed under: Food Politics, GMO | Tags: , , , , |

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Salt, Sugar, Fat: That’s how they getcha

Posted on June 19, 2013. Filed under: against the current, Diet, Food industry, What is food? | Tags: , , , , , |

Former FDA Commissioner David Kessler exposed the food industry’s purposeful use of sugar, salt and fat in his 2009 book The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite.

Now, New York Times investigative reporter Michael Moss takes the subject a step further in his book Salt, Sugar, Fat by taking a closer look at how the food industry makes the decisions they do; in the lab, not a kitchen.

Take away: Processed food is designed to be bad for you. Period.

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Leaky: Bone Broth for Leaky Gut and Leaky Brain

Posted on June 13, 2013. Filed under: Cancer, Diet, Dr. Terry Wahls, Eat these!, GMO, Gut health, Neurodegenerative disease, Nutrition | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

There are many ways to react to a diagnosis as big as ALS. Having a decent sense of self-efficacy, I chose to find ways to intervene in the disease process. Re-watching a TED Talk by Dr. Terry Wahls reminded me how important diet can be to health and healing so this is where I began.

bonebroth

I started by eating the Wahl’s Way as described in her book Minding My Mitochondria, which, at it’s simplest, involves 3 cups of greens, 3 cups of colorful fruits/veggies and 3 cups of sulphur veggies daily. Then, not satisfied that I was doing all that my body might need, I moved to the Gerson Method, which is naturally high in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, micro-nutrients, and extremely low in sodium, fats, and proteins. In essence, it involves 13 fruit/veggie juices per day, soup and baked potatoes, but it is cancer focused so I eventually decided there were limits to it’s value to my neurodegenerative-self.

Along the way I learned about leaky gut and leaky brain. As described by Dr. Andrew Weil,

Leaky gut syndrome (also called increased intestinal permeability), is the result of damage to the intestinal lining, making it less able to protect the internal environment as well as to filter needed nutrients and other biological substances. As a consequence, some bacteria and their toxins, incompletely digested proteins and fats, and waste not normally absorbed may “leak” out of the intestines into the blood stream.

While I did not think of myself as someone with a lot of stomach complaints, I was realizing that I had issues with milk, which I had been consuming my entire life. Could this constant exposure to an irritant have disrupted my stomach lining homeostasis? I had also spent many years as a junk food junky with a penchant for sweets. Did I have an imbalance of sugar loving yeasts in my gut that was contributing to leakiness? There is also a growing body of evidence pointing to the harmfulness of GMOs to our bodies and gut with this one on pig stomach lining disruption by a GMO diet being the most recent. And if I did have a leaky gut, what nutrients weren’t being absorbed or metabolized and what molecules were crossing into my wider system that should have been kept out?

Leaky brain syndrome essentially is the caboose end of the leaky gut syndrome train. Scott Forsgren writes,

Food sensitivities and Leaky Gut Syndrome lead to systemic inflammation. Once the entire body reacts and enters a state of inflammatory response, a multitude of additional symptoms may be observed…

and

…inflammation due to pro-inflammatory cytokines attracts molecules which have receptors on the blood-brain barrier. Slowly, these molecules end up in the brain compartment and cause destruction of nerve cells. This entire process starts in the gut and results in a neuroimmune disorder including autoimmunity to the brain.

I certainly have a history of inflammatory issues spanning the entirety of my life. I had stomach issues as a baby, eczema during childhood that resolved and returned in adulthood, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and more. Could I have been challenging my gut and brain barriers my whole life? Could healing those barriers stem the tide of inflammation and give my body a chance to heal? I was willing to do the work to find out.

Enter bone broth.

Bone broth is so full of minerals and nutrients as to support a number health issues including healing the gut. The nourished kitchen website writes:

Bone broths are a good source of amino acids – particularly arginine, glycine and proline. Glycine supports the bodies detoxification process and is used in the synthesis of hemoglobin, bile salts and other naturally-occurring chemicals within the body. Glycine also supports digestion and the secretion of gastric acids. Proline, especially when paired with vitamin C, supports good skin health. Bone broths are also rich in gelatin which improves collagen status, thus supporting skin health. Gelatin also support digestive health which is why it plays a critical role in the GAPS diet. And, lastly, if you’ve ever wondering why chicken soup is good for a cold, there’s science behind that, too. Chicken stock inhibits neutrophil migration; that is, it helps mitigate the side effects of colds, flus and upper respiratory infections.

So, if you have issues with inflammation, leaky gut and leaky brain, consider learning to make and drink bone broth on a regular basis.

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The Case Against GMOs

Posted on May 30, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

I am only a third of the way through GMO Myths and Truths: An evidence-based examination of the claims made for the safety and efficacy of genetically modified crops and already I am compelled to share it.  Far from the intentionally sensational posts of anti-GMO social media groups, this comprehensive report makes the case that genetic modification of the food supply has not only fallen far short of its promises, but has exacted real consequences.  Earth Open Source’s Michael Antoniou, Claire Robinson and John Fagan have compiled evidence of negative environmental, social and health impacts leaving us to ask: What do we want to do about it?

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Alzheimer’s: Type 3 diabetes

Posted on May 15, 2013. Filed under: Neurodegenerative disease | Tags: , |

Have you heard that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is now being called Type 3 diabetes? This article is one of many stating:

growing evidence supports the concept that AD is fundamentally a metabolic disease with substantial and progressive derangements in brain glucose utilization and responsiveness to insulin and insulin-like growth factor [IGF] stimulation.

And because the disease has many aspects to it including:

impairments in energy metabolism, increased oxidative stress, inflammation, insulin and IGF resistance, and insulin/IGF deficiency in the brain…

…it is imperative that future therapeutic strategies for AD abandon the concept of uni-modal therapy in favor of multi-modal treatments that target distinct impairments at different levels within the brain insulin/IGF signaling cascades.

The article also has a simplified diagram of the process under which it states:

Brain insulin resistance

High caloric intake and/or chronic low-level nitrosamine exposures [through diet, smoking, agriculture], promote fatty liver disease (steatohepatitis) that progresses due to injury and inflammation, eventually leading to hepatic insulin resistance. The same poor physiological states also promote obesity, diabetes mellitus, and other peripheral insulin resistance diseases. Toxic lipids, including ceramides, made in the liver, get released into the circulation, cross the blood-brain barrier, and cause brain insulin resistance, inflammation, energy failure, toxicity, and local production of toxic ceramides. The end result is progressive neurodegeneration, including Alzheimer’s disease.

How much you wanna bet ALS is Type 4 diabetes?

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