Probiotics have become an accepted protocol in the treatment of many health problems. In an age when antibiotic overexposure has become commonplace, we often turn to probiotics to replace the good bacteria that most certainly has been lost for this reason and to help with a variety of gastrointestinal, skin or other problems. Usually we rely upon yogurt or lactobacillus supplements towards that goal. However, not all lactobacillus is the same. Since the discovery of the first lactobacillus in early part of the 20th century, there have been dozens of species discovered within the genus of lactobacillus and over 180 different strains identified within those species. Here is a timeline on the discovery of the different species of Lactobacillus.
In the past few decades it has become commonplace to hear that you or someone you know has a gluten allergy. Celiac disease is the most severe form of gluten allergy but there is also a more commonly found subset of people who don’t have Celiac disease but are still “gluten sensitive”. These people are also called non-celiac gluten sensitive. This subset has been linked to a variety of chronic degenerative diseases including some autoimmune diseases, most of which have nothing to do with the gastrointestinal area symptomatically. Many of these people faithfully adhere to a gluten free diet (GFD) but still exhibit symptoms and feel frustrated in their lack of recovery to the health challenges that they face.
Dr. Aristo Vojdani Ph.D is the chief scientific advisor for Cyrex Laboratory. He has published over 120 articles in peer reviewed scientific journals and is a multiple US patent holder for laboratory assays. In 2013 he wrote a research article in Food and Nutritional Sciences Journal about the cross reaction between Gliadin (gluten) and different food and tissue antigens. What he discovered was that there are foods that have proteins other than gluten that are so similar structurally to gluten that the immune system reacts to those proteins in the same way it does gluten.
It may surprise you that there is a mostly symptomless condition that 20-33% of all Americans have of their liver that ultimately could result in them needing a liver transplant. I am referring to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD. NAFLD is predicted to replace hepatitis C and alcohol abuse as the most frequent indication for liver transplantation in the next 10-15 years! NAFLD is defined as deposition of fat in the liver cells with minimal or no alcohol intake. It is linked to a group of progressive conditions closely associated with being overweight and obesity, insulin resistance, certain medications, and metabolic syndrome*. NAFLD can eventually lead to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH and about 20% of those patients will go on to liver cirrhosis (irreversible result of fibrous scarring) with its accompanying risk of liver failure or liver cancer. Overall, people with NAFLD stand a 12% risk of liver related death over ten years. In short it is a silent epidemic that few people talk about.
Symptoms, Causes and Diagnosis of NAFLD
Symptomatically a patient may have fatigue and pain in the upper right abdomen....
The first element in the periodic table in chemistry is Hydrogen (H). It is the smallest, lightest, and most common element in the universe. You would think that this is one element would be easy to get in our daily life. However, the useable form of hydrogen is molecular hydrogen and that isn’t so easy to get.
Molecular hydrogen (H2) is a gas and composes only 1 ppm of Earth’s atmosphere. Over 500 research studies in the past six years show that H2 because of its small size, can cross the blood brain barrier, and go within cell structures to address neuro-oxidative stress with high efficacy and safety. While it is true that bacteria in our intestines generate H2 as they ferment unabsorbed carbohydrates, and we do absorb some of that hydrogen, most of the H2 produced in your intestines is either exhaled via your breath or flatulence and is usually produced in such small amounts that no noticeable therapeutic benefits can be noticed. This diagram shows the size of various antioxidants and you can see why H2 would have the ability to cross barriers that other antioxidants cannot.
Unlike typical carbohydrates which are digested and turned into glucose within a certain time frame depending on the type of carbohydrate that it is, resistant starch doesn’t behave that way. Instead it acts like an indigestible fiber and “resists digestion”. Resistant starches are made of amylose and don’t get digested in the stomach or small intestine and reach the large intestine (colon) intact. And since they are digested more slowly, they are less likely to spike glucose or insulin. Once in the colon, resistant starch is turned into energy boosting, inflammation fighting short chain fatty acids such as butyrate by intestinal bacteria. Butyrate is a preferred energy source for colonic cells and increases our metabolism and decreases colon permeability so that toxins don’t enter your bloodstream. Increasing other short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) such as acetate, and propionate in addition to butyrate, also stimulate blood flow to the colon, increase nutrient circulation, inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria, promote the growth of good bacteria, and help us absorb minerals.
Examples of resistant starches
Corn, beans and legumes, tubers, white and sweet potatoes, carrots, un-ripened bananas and plantains, winter squashes, rice, and grains. Technically it could be divided into four groups.
The principles of modern cardiology started in 1628 when William Harvey postulated most of our modern beliefs about the heart as a pump, and that it pushes the blood throughout our bodies. However, consider this: The human body has enough blood vessels within it, to circle the earth approximately three times.
How is a one-pound organ with thin walls, powerful enough to push the blood in our circulatory system throughout this network of blood vessels? And what pushes the blood forward after the exchange of gases at the capillaries of the lungs when the blood virtually comes to a stop? If a heart is just a simple pump, why have artificial hearts been so difficult to perfect and have been relegated to no more than a bridge until a human donation?
There is an ever-increasing number of medical journals and scientists that are discussing the gut and specifically the connection of the stool to understand why chronic pain, chronic illness, and autoimmune disease is so prevalent in the U.S. In the past twenty-five years, I have seen many changes take place in the technology of stool analysis.
The research around stool testing continues to expand its confidence in the relationship between aberrant findings on stool tests and the names of conditions we commonly hear from friends and family such as:
and many others…
This newer testing goes far beyond the typical and limited medical versions that looks for blood or parasites in the stool.
Some of the novel new approaches were to microscopically identify abnormal parasites, bacteria, and yeast in stool and to measure different species of beneficial bacteria such as... keep reading
Acid reflux, or what is now commonly referred to as G.E.R.D. (gastroesophageal reflux disease) afflicts about 40% of adult Americans. One can hardly watch an hour of television without an advertisement for one of the following drugs appearing to treat it. Drugs like Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid. These drugs are classified as proton pump inhibitors (P.P.I.’s) which means they suppress the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. OTC drugs such as TUMS,and Gaviscon provide short term relief by blocking acid irritation, and another group of drugs called H-2 Blockers are also used to treat GERD by blocking histamine production in the stomach. This medical approach as it so often does, treats the symptom but ignores the real cause. Most people would be surprised that many of those who suffer from GERD are deficient in hydrochloric acid.This is especially true for those over 40 years of age.
Where, What, and Why
Where: Acid reflux and the irritation that results is at the bottom of the esophagus, (the food pipe that runs from the throat to the stomach). A valve sits between the esophagus and the stomach. This valve is called the lower esophageal sphincter. The pain does not occur in the stomach. The stomach lining itself is specially adapted to protect itself from the powerful acid. In a normal stomach the pH before food is introduced, is about a 2 on a 1-14 acid scale
About 20 million people in the U.S. suffer from a condition called peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy means nerve disease or damage, and in the case of peripheral neuropathy it is usually damage to the small nerve fibers that extend to the feet and hands. These small nerves could be sensory nerves which transmit messages to the spinal cord and brain with feelings of cold, burning, numbness or tingling. It could also affect motor nerves which would transmit exaggerated feelings of pain, muscle wasting, balance difficulties, and paralysis. It is also possible that neuropathy can cause autonomic nerve damage to blood vessels, and organs resulting in impaired sweating, urination, and breathing. Essentially this means the communication wiring from the brain to the extremities or organs is not working properly. Although neuropathy isn’t fatal, it can take a painful and debilitating course which causes suffering over many years.
Types and Causes
There are about 100 types of peripheral neuropathy with carpal tunnel syndrome perhaps one of the more common types. It is estimated that there may be about 80 known causes. Some of the causes include Diabetes, Hypothyroidism, Cancer, Autoimmune Diseases, B12 deficiency, Alcoholism, Drugs, infections such as Lyme, physical trauma, environmental toxicity, and for about 30% of the cases it is idiopathic, meaning there is no known reason. If one nerve is affected it is called mononeuropathy and if more than one nerve is affected it is polyneuropathy.
Vitamin E was discovered by Herbert Evans and Katherine Bishop from Berkeley in 1922 when they isolated a fat-soluble factor from greens that allowed rats that were previously infertile, to deliver healthy offspring. It became the fifth vitamin to be isolated and was thought of as an anti-sterility factor. Because of this association with fertility it was later called Tocopherol from the Greek words “toc” (offspring) and “phero” (to bring forth) and has enjoyed humorous cultural references regarding virility since then. The original vitamin E isolated was Alpha Tocopherol. Because this was the original form, alpha tocopherol is legally labeled vitamin E. The natural form of vitamin E, is D alpha tocopherol and 95% of the vitamin E sold in the U.S. is D alpha tocopherol in a capsule. Asynthetic form of vitamin E labeled dl alpha tocopherol is also legally called vitamin E, but it is a much more difficult form for our body to utilize. Even the FDA recognizes that the natural form of vitamin E has a biopotency effect twice that of the synthetic dl form.
The natural form of vitamin E, D alpha tocopherol has been widely used as an antioxidant and was generally regarded as a sensible supplement to protect the body from free radical stress
Dr. Aaron White is a neuroscientist with an interest in how the brain and immune system interact and how to improve the health of both. I just finished his book titled, Transfer Factors and Immune System Health. In it, he delves into research that started in 1949 with an American Immunologist H. Sherwood Lawrence and the discovery he could transfer immunity to tuberculosis from ill patients to healthy ones using an extract from the ill patients’ white blood cells. He called the mystery component of the extract- transfer factor. In the past 50 years, there have been a 1000 studies and 600 of those examined the therapeutic value of transfer factors in disease treatment and prevention. Essentially transfer factors represent a unique type of messenger used for cell to cell communication in the immune system. Some people theorize that the Transfer Factors evolved as a way of compensating for the immune system’s slow circulatory response to foreign substances. It takes time to react to all the different viruses, bacteria and fungi that we are exposed to.
If all of this sounds like immunizations, you would be correct. However...
The commonly accepted ideal ratio between omega 6 and omega 3 fats polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) is anywhere from a 1:1 to a 4:1 ratio. It is estimated that Americans in the late 1800’s and early part of the 20th century had those kinds of ratios. Not anymore. The estimates are that now the ratio is more like 20:1 and up to 50:1. This ratio has been rising steadily since the beginning of the industrial age when grains became more of a source of feed for domestic livestock. This is depicted in the graph below.
Joseph Hibbeln, a researcher at the National Institute of Health (NIH) who has published papers on omega 3 and omega 6 intakes said the following.
“The increases of omega 6 oils in the past century may be considered a very large uncontrolled experiment that may have contributed to increased societal burdens of aggression, depression and cardiovascular mortality”.