Monday, November 21, 2011

The Surprising Cause of Melanoma incidence (And No, it's Not Too Much Sun) -British Journal of Dermatology

The rising rates of melanoma are very frightening. Researchers are trying to find the causes and one group recently published in the British Journal of Dermatology a finding that innocuous skin lesions have been classified as cancerous. This leads to an increased incidence where there may not be. 

So why am I talking about melanomas in a celiac/gluten sensitivity blog. People suffering from Celiac/gluten sensitivity have low levels of fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin D. And so depend on the skin to make enough  vitamin D. And vitamin D protects against melanoma.

Exposure to sunlight, particularly UVB light makes vitamin D3 which then circulates in the blood. There is however no guarantee that your skin makes enough vitamin D3, so a blood level is required to be sure!

Optimize your vitamin D levels through proper sun exposure which is described for you in Dr. Mercola's article. Noon day sun maximizes your vitamin D levels and minimizes your risk of skin damage.

Or take a good vitamin D3 supplement and get your blood levels done to ensure your digestive system has absorbed enough Vitamin D for you to have the right vitamin D level. In Canada that would be between 100 and 200. At this range you will be protected from as many as 16 different types of cancer.

Dr. Mercola writes:

Is Lack of Sunlight a More Likely Culprit?

Despite all the bad press linking sun exposure to skin cancer, there's almost no evidence at all to support it. There is, however, plenty of evidence to the contrary. Over the years, several studies have confirmed that appropriate sun exposure actually helps prevent skin cancer. In fact, melanoma occurrence has been found to decrease with greater sun exposure, and can be increased by sunscreens.
One of the most important facts you should know is that an epidemic of the disease has in fact broken out among indoor workers. These workers get three to nine times LESS solar UV exposure than outdoor workers get, yet only indoor workers have increasing rates of melanoma -- and the rates have been increasing since before 1940.
There are two major factors that help explain this, and the first has to do with the type of UV exposure.
There are two primary types of UV rays from sunlight, the vitamin-D-producing UVB rays and the skin-damaging UVA light. Both UVA and UVB can cause tanning and burning, although UVB does so far more rapidly. UVA, however, penetrates your skin more deeply than UVB, and may be a much more important factor in photoaging, wrinkles and skin cancers.
A study in Medical Hypotheses suggested that indoor workers may have increased rates of melanoma because they're exposed to sunlight through windows, and only UVA light, unlike UVB, can pass through window glass. At the same time, these indoor workers are missing out on exposure to the beneficial UVB rays, and have lower levels of vitamin D.
Researchers wrote:
"We hypothesize that one factor involves indoor exposures to UVA (321–400nm) passing through windows, which can cause mutations and can break down vitamin D3 formed after outdoor UVB (290–320nm) exposure, and the other factor involves low levels of cutaneous vitamin D3.
After vitamin D3 forms, melanoma cells can convert it to the hormone, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, or calcitriol, which causes growth inhibition and apoptotic cell death in vitro and in vivo. 
… We agree that intense, intermittent outdoor UV overexposures and sunburns initiate CMM [cutaneous malignant melanoma]; we now propose that increased UVA exposures and inadequately maintained cutaneous levels of vitamin D3 promotes CMM."
To put it simply, UVB appears to be protective against melanoma -- or rather, the vitamin D your body produces in response to UVB radiation is protective.
As written in The Lancet:
"Paradoxically, outdoor workers have a decreased risk of melanoma compared with indoor workers, suggesting that chronic sunlight exposure can have a protective effect."
Read the rest of Dr. Mercola's take on melanoma's, sun exposure, Canadian Cancer Society's recommendations and vitamin D advice by clicking here::

Don't forget, not enough omega-3 oil in the blood is also a link to cancers.
And there is significant evidence that high omega 6/ omega 3 ratio is also predisposing to higher cancer levels as the high ratio is very inflammatory.

A healthy ratio is 2-3/1 and an typical North American's ratio is about 10/1. 
How to remedy this? Eat less seed oils which are predominantly found in processed foods like crackers and eat oily fatty fish 3 times a week. Or supplement with a good quality fish oil. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Shield Your Kidneys from Celiac Disease

Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are the "great pretenders" and mimic hundreds of illnesses.That's because all organs can become the target organs for these diseases. Sometimes the small bowel is hardly affected and only 50% of celiacs ( Farrell, NEJM 2002) have diarrhea.

According to new research by the Swedish team which includes Dr. J. Ludvigsson, whom I've reported on before, the risk of kidney disease in celiacs is increased by 3.5 times compared to non-celiac patients.

That's a staggering number. Protect your kidneys, don't eat ANY gluten if you are celiac or suspect that gluten makes you ill. And take appropriate supplements.

Brian Dean RD reports over at the CeliAct blog:

Kidney Disease Basics

Your body’s kidneys are a pair or organs with a Swiss Army knife-like array of functions. In addition to filtering out blood, your kidneys regulate fluid balance, manage your electrolytes and even convert vitamin D to its functional form.
Sadly, America’s kidneys are in bad shape. More than 10 percent of all adults in the United States have chronic kidney disease – a severe form of kidney disease where functioning is severely impaired – the National Institutes of Health reports. What’s worrying is that things are getting worse: kidney disease is set to double by 2030.
Public health officials have set their crosshairs on obesity, hypertension and type 2 diabetes to try to stem the tide of kidney disease cases. However, it appears that celiac disease may be one silent cause that’s getting ignored.

Celiac and Your Kidneys: Evidence

A Swedish research team, presenting their results in a paper published in the August 2011 issue of Gut, investigated the link between celiac disease and kidney disease. To do this, the scientists followed a group of 20,000 adults with and without CD. They discovered that the risk of developing end stage renal disease – the most serious form of kidney disease – was 3.5 times higher in individuals with CD than those without.
But this study isn’t the first to note the connection between celiac disease and kidney disease: a paper published in the March 2006 issue of Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation found that CD upped kidney disease risk by about the same amount.

Celiac and Your Kidneys: Connection

Scientists aren’t sure how CD attacks your kidneys, but here’s what they have so far:
  • Antibodies: The same antibodies that go haywire over gluten are also found in high amounts in damaged kidneys. These antibodies appear to attack glomerular cells that are important for blood filtration.
  • Type 1 Diabetes: People with celiac disease have type 1 diabetes more often than the general population. Type 1 diabetes is an important risk factor for kidney disease.
  • Nitric Oxide: This pro-inflammatory compound skyrockets in CD, and is well known to contribute to kidney damage.

  • Welander A, Pr├╝tz KG, Fored M, Ludvigsson JF. Increased risk of end-stage renal disease in individuals with coeliac disease. Gut. 2011 Aug 3. [Epub ahead of Print]
  • National Institutes of Health: Kidney and Urologic Diseases Statistics for the United States. Available at: Accessed September 19th 2011.
  • Ludvigsson,JF et al: Coeliac disease and risk of renal disease-a general population cohort study. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2006 Jul;21(7):1809-15
For part two see this link.
It encourages 110% gluten-free diet, losing weight if you are overweight, exercise, and fish oils. All good advice.
Do it now before it's too late. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Top 12 Reasons Gluten, if sensitive to it, Should Be ELIMINATED From Your Diet: Part 1

Here Charles Poliquin writes about the serious reasons one should avoid gluten/gliadin if one is sensitive to it.

Gluten is a protein found in most grains eaten in America and all over Europe. Most of your customers gluten intake will come from wheat products, but as well from barley, triticale, rye, oats, spelt. Oats are supposed by nature to be gluten free, however, they get cross-contaminated by being carried in trucks that also carry wheat. You should also know that American strands of wheat have the highest content of gluten in the World.

Gluten has been isolated as a risk factor is so many diseases, that is almost impossible to count them all. At the time of writing this blog, the functional medicine circle has isolated at least 55 diseases linked to it.
I have to pick 12 main reasons to eliminate gluten from your diet:
1. Gluten inflames the brain. The auto-immune response to ingesting inflames the brain. It deposits a type of plaque that interferes with proper communication between cells. Gluten is so bad for brain function that I know of at least one Formula One stable who bans their pilots from eating it.

2. The glutamate content in gluten kills brain cells. Glutamate is an excitotoxin, which means it overexcites brain cells, which either damages or kills them. Its docking station in the brain is called the NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor). Excessive excitation of this receptor is linked to many psychiatric disorders.

3. Gluten has been linked to autism. EVERY single client who came in for a consult to help their autistic child, have seen that the removal of gluten that the most influential factor to heal their child. They can also how reintroducing by accident, such as birthday cake consumption at a friend’s place immediately flares up all behavioral changes associated with autism.
If this is intriguing to you, read more here...... 

Gluten-Free Friendly Travel in Venice

I would like to share how easy it is to eat out, if you are gluten free,  in other countries. Today I am highlighting Italy, in particular Venice.
Since 1999, in Italy, all children are tested for gluten sensitivity and celiac disease and as a consequence the general culture of Italy is very knowledgeable about the serious consequences of undiagnosed celiac disease, including the high rates of complications and death.They appreciate celiacs need good gluten free food and need to be treated like every one else.

And so the GF food is wonderful in Italy. 

Well, thanks to Maria Roglieri, author of The Gluten-Free Guide To New York and The Gluten-Free Guide To Italy we can all relax and enjoy the gondola ride. Maria is going to share with us today some extremely helpful tips about how to fearlessly eat gluten-free in Italy.

Italy is gluten-free heaven (although some Italians beg to differ since you can't get a gluten-free hamburger bun at McDonald's) in large part because everyone in Italy knows about celiac disease.  When you ask restaurant staff about gluten-free food (il cibo senza glutine), they automatically respond with the question "Do you have celiac disease?"
All Italians are tested for celiac disease at an early age.  The many who test positive receive great services:  a monthly stipend from the government for gluten-free food plus extra vacation time to shop for and prepare gluten-free food!  Also, the companies that sell gluten-free products have all worked to promote awareness and understanding of celiac disease.  It is a law that gluten-free food must be made available in schools, hospitals, and public places and that all pharmacy products and food labels must indicate the presence of gluten if present.  In Italy, you can even study for a Master's degree in "Celiac Disease:  From Diagnosis to Management."
When I ask restaurant owners, managers, and chefs if they can provide a gluten-free meal, sometimes they say "no" but much more often they respond positively with comments such as,
- "Come no?" (effectively, "Why not?  Why do you even ask?"),

To read all of the article follow it at Celiac chicks....

To find more listings of restaurants and food stores in Venice, read another blog written by Anna...

Venice      -Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Venice can be a lonely place for anyone GF.  I have been on a GF diet for close to ten years and have been pretty successful at it (or so I say), however, for me personally, Venice served as a cold reminder of how much I miss freshly baked non-GF bread.  With all the advances in GFF cuisine, the bread has come miles from where we started, how ever it is one of the items that still has a way to go.  So, walking through the beautiful little streets of Venice I could not escape the smells coming out of the little pizza joints, stores and restaurants, but the most difficult for me was the smell of freshly baked bread (pastries and croissants as well).  With that said, I was very lucky to stumble upon a small store (MEA LIBERA TUTTI) that caters to us GF divas.  The owner was not only very friendly and approachable, but she is a wealth of knowledge of anything GF.  She deals with non-GFF Venice every day and is more than willing to share the lessons that she has learned.  She became my guide to GFF Venice - for which I am eternally grateful. 

MEA LIBERA TUTTI (check out the store on Facebook)
CANNAREGIO 3803 (but when looking for it, ask for Calle Racchetta / Priuli street to find it since Cannaregio is the area the store is located in, not the actual street name)
TEL. 041 5210454 

The places below are not the only places that are supposedly GFF in Venice.  I came across some that have a limited GFF menu (such as Osteria Anticopolo on Ruga Realto 778), but such places are not necessarily 100% GF, because of the possibility of cross-contamination.  However, all the places below are guaranteed GF and are constantly inspected to make sure that they stay that way.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Virgin Coconut Oil Halts Severe Dementia in 35 Days

Steve Newport, who had severe dementia only 5 years after MRI diagnosis with Alzheimer’s, is happy his wife decided to pursue unorthodox treatment of his condition with virgin coconut oil instead of the expensive drug called Axona.
Dr. Mary Newport, a neonatal pediatrician at Spring Hill Regional Hospital in Florida, learned through research that the active ingredient in Axona is MCT, also known as Medium Chain Triglycerides, a saturated fat used to treat epilepsy as well as in neonatal feeding programs. Since Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) is loaded with MCTs, Dr. Newport began an intensive feeding program for her husband. The diet consisted of a mixture of 2 TBps virgin coconut oil and the MCT pharmaceutical isolate with every meal.

 Here is a report by  Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist on September 23, 2011
Within 35 days, Steve Newport’s rapid neurological decline was arrested and 18 months later he had recovered enough brain function and normal behavior to test as only a mild case of Alzheimer’s – the same tests which before starting the VCO feeding program had indicated that he was borderline severe dementia.

Coconut Oil Provides Super Fuel to the Brain
Dr. Bruce Fife, author of Stop Alzheimer’s Now, recommends VCO instead of MCT drugs such as Axona because the drugs become ineffective over time, wear off quickly, have side effects and cause free radical damage to the cells.
When the MCTs in virgin coconut oil are converted into ketones they act as a super fuel for the brain.  This super fuel provides energy to the brain as well as stimulates healing and repair.
It is the chemical structure of  the MCTs in coconut oil that allows them to pass the blood-brain barrier which ordinary food or oils cannot.
How to Source Quality Virgin Coconut Oil
If someone you love is suffering from a neurodegenerative illness, help them by adding virgin coconut oil to their diet!  The research is showing what Traditional Cultures such as those in the Pacific Islands have known for centuries – coconut oil helps keep you healthy!
To source, please refer to my Resources page which identifies companies that offer only the finest organic Virgin Coconut Oil from sustainable sources.

 Does Your Brain Need Coconut Oil?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Baby “Inherits” Gut Dysbiosis from Mom and How “The Pill” Can Harm Your Future Child’s Health

There are a number of identified triggers of celiac disease including abnormal organisms living in the bowel, sometimes called dysbiosis, low vitamin D status, bottle-fed  infant formula, and being birthed by cesarean section.
What they all have in common is the tendency for dysbiosis. 
Many women already know they get "yeast" when they take the "Pill". Now we have evidence that a baby "inherits" gut dysbiosis from their Mom, if she was on the "pill"

Well, Sarah, The healthy Home economist quotes Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride's concerns about the effect of the "Pill" on a woman's body, an effect that can be past on to future children.

According, to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD, use of other drugs such as the Pill also cause severe gut dysbiosis.   What’s worse, drug induced gut imbalance is especially intractable and resistant to treatment either with probiotics or diet change.
What does this mean for your future child’s health?   A lot, as it turns out!

Gut Imbalance Reduces Absorption of Nutrients

First of all, gut imbalance brought on through use of The Pill negatively impacts the ability to digest food and absorb nutrients.   As a result, even if a women eats spectacularly well during pregnancy, if she has been taking oral contraceptives for a period of time beforehand, it is highly likely that she and her baby are not reaping the full benefits of all this healthy food as the lack of beneficial flora in her gut preclude this from occurring.
In addition, beneficial flora actively synthesize nutrients including vitamin K, pantothenic acid, folic acid, thiamin (B1), cyanocobalamin (B12), amino acids and others.  In an imbalanced gut, a woman is missing out on the “natural supplementation” that these good flora provide to her and her growing baby.
Not well known is the fact that use of The Pill depletes zinc in the body.  Zinc is called “the intelligence mineral” as it is intimately involved in mental development.   As a result, it is very important for women who have been using oral contraceptives to wait at least 6 months before becoming pregnant to ensure that zinc levels return to normal as low zinc is associated with lowered IQ and birth defects.
It really is quite disturbing to fully realize the very real potential that use of oral contraceptives have to result in nutritional deficiencies!

Read the whole get to the part about gut dysbiosis being past on to the child.
There is hope. Most cases of "Dysbiosis" can be cured with the GAPS diet.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dr. Fasano recently demonstrated gluten-sensitivity without CD does exist.

Dr. Fasano recently completed a research study that demonstrated gluten-sensitivity without the presence of celiac disease does exist.Dr. Ludvigsson and others did so three years ago.

Read a well written piece that helps to sort through the maze of traditional testing. People who are sick and turn out to have gluten sensitivity need to learn more from their doctors than 'they don't have' celiac.
People  with gluten sensitivity need to learn how to prevent the shortening of their life expectancy by 15 -20 years with a diet and some supplements.
Learn more:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Help and encouragement for those starting a grain free or GAPS diet

 Over at  the Healthy Home Economist, Sarah shares some really good links to grain free recipes. Her enthusiasm for the Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet is infectious. If you've been reading my blog, you know I am convinced it is the way to heal : all other modalities are added to this foundation. I hope you enjoy her blog.

In the meantime, I thought I would get everyone’s enthusiasm going for the life changing, autoimmune healing power of following the GAPS Diet (by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD) by posting a few of my favorite GAPS friendly recipes from around the Real Food blogosphere from this past week.
Be not intimidated nor discouraged!   For the vast majority of people,  GAPS is not a forever way of eating – it is a temporary measure (6 months – 3 years on average) to heal one’s gut from years of abuse by processed foods, pharmaceuticals and other bodily insults so that digestion proceeds smoothly once again.

Almond Flour Blueberry Muffins
Perfection is also not required.   If you follow GAPS the vast majority of the time and really give it your best shot, you will be astounded how your digestive health will rebound and those autoimmune issues will slide into remission.    Poor gut health = autoimmune disease?    Yes, this is the crux of it.
The good news is that you can enjoy delicious real food using grain free flour from seeds and nuts that will delight and titillate your family’s taste buds.    Here are some Real Food recipes to get the creative juices flowing in your kitchen:
From The Coconut Mama, grain free coconut cupcakes.    Great for a kid’s birthday party!
From Cheeseslave, coconut flour recipes.   I just made the coconut flour pancakes this weekend for breakfast and the family LOVED them!
From Divine Health, grain free zucchini bread.    Who said eating grain free was hard with recipes like this?!
From Health, Home, and Happiness, grain free crackers.    A healthy addition to any child’s lunchbox.
From Food Renegade, almond flour banana bread.     The almond flavor goes soooo well with the ripe bananas.
I hope you find these recipes inspirational and a nice change from the run of the mill grain based versions (pun definitely intended)!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

5 diseases associated with celiac disease that result from nutrient deficiencies

If you have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease and you have symptoms like fatigue, lethargy, poor balance, sores in the corners of your mouth, depression, bleeding gums, muscle cramps, skin rashes, sun sensitivity, and decreased energy on a regular basis you may have nutritional deficiencies.

 If you are a physician and you have a patient with chronic symptoms think about nutrient deficiencies. Think about pellagra, beriberi, rickets, scurvy and night blindness caused by vitamin A deficiency.
Vitamin A deficiency in well nourished celiac/gluten sensitive persons is caused by poor absorption of fats, which would include carotenes and fat soluble vitamins (like vitamin A, D, E, and K). And caused by poor conversion of what carotene there is to vitamin A. It is treated with animal sourced foods such as eggs and liver that contain pre-formed vitamin A or vitamin A supplements. And digestive enzymes.

The best diet is the Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet which takes these and other metabolic weirdness’s into account. 

Nutritional deficiencies are not as uncommon as you may think. I have even diagnosed scurvy in three well educated and well fed gluten sensitive individuals. You won’t find it unless you look for it.

5 Conditions that Result from Nutrient Deficiencies Celiac disease can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Since your damaged small intestine restricts nutrient absorption and the gluten free diet reduces your chance of getting many nutrients, you’re at high risk.It’s important that you take these nutrients seriously.
Many of you report fatigue, weakness, lethargy, and decreased energy on a regular basis. For some you, even daily.
When you look at what specific nutrients do, in particular the B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin D, you learn why these symptoms are common.

Below, I’ll talk about five diseases that are caused by nutrient deficiencies – opposed to celiac disease, which causes nutrient deficiencies.
While your celiac doesn’t put you at risk for any of the following diseases, you’ll see why each nutrient deficiency needs attention.
Nutrient deficiencies are not one broad concept – each deficiency is its own, a part that fits into the big picture problem. My purpose here is to show you how serious each deficiency is.
By understanding the symptoms each of these deficiencies causes, you’ll also understand why you may experience common celiac symptoms.
  1. Pellagra – This disease is caused by niacin (vitamin B3) deficiency, and can be extremely serious if left untreated. Pellagra causes weakness, skin sensitivity to sunlight, skin lesions, and various digestive issues. Skin lesions can cover the body, so it severely affects your appearance. To reduce your risk of niacin deficiency, regularly eat foods like tuna, salmon, and ground beef, or snack on peanuts daily.

  1. Scurvy – Scurvy is a direct result of vitamin C deficiency. Humans do not have the enzyme to make vitamin C, so it’s a vitamin you must get through diet or supplementation. Scurvy usually begins with fatigue and lethargy, and it can become much more serious. The most serious symptom related to celiac is that it can result in bleeding in the mucous membranes, which line internal organs like your small intestine. This further reduces nutrient absorption. Scurvy is both prevented and treated with vitamin C, so avoiding it is simple (not easy, simple). The best source of vitamin C is citrus fruits like oranges and lemons (this includes orange juice or lemon juice). Other fruits and vegetables like kiwi, strawberries, carrots, broccoli, and spinach are good options as well.

  1. Beriberi – Directly caused by thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency, beriberi is a serious burden on your nervous system. Thiamine deficiency is more prevalent in developing countries since foods aren’t fortified with thiamine, but on a gluten free diet you don’t eat these foods. The best sources of thiamine in the American diet are processed flour, mandated in the US to be enriched with thiamine mononitrate, and grain cereals. Since you’re not eating either, eat flax, asparagus, pork, and eggs – four naturally gluten free foods high in thiamine. Beriberi usually causes weakness, fatigue, and lethargy, all symptoms that many celiacs struggle to overcome.
Read about rickets and night blindness and more here…………….

Monday, August 15, 2011

Early detection, diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease lowers medical costs

Early detection, diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease lowers medical costs, by an average of US $1,764 per year and will likely benefit patients and health care providers alike, so a team at Mayo clinic determined. They also commented that costs associated with celiac disease pose a significant economic burden, but most startling was the economic burden especially for men with the disease.

The obvious conclusion is that we should increase testing for celiac disease in all but especially in men, especially in those with illness and no obvious cause.
This was reported in this week’s by Jefferson Adams.(My emphasis in bold)

To carry out their population-based cohort, the team used administrative data on celiac disease cases and matched controls from Olmsted County, Minnesota.

They compared: 1) direct medical costs one year before and one year after celiac disease diagnosis for 133 index cases and for control subjects; and 2) cumulative direct medical costs over four years for 153 index celiac cases and for control subjects. Their analysis did not include diagnostic-related and outpatient pharmaceutical costs.

They found that a diagnosis of celiac disease lowers the average total costs by $1,764 in the year following diagnosis (pre-diagnosis cost of $5,023 vs. $3,259; 95% CI of difference: $688 to $2,993).

They found also that, over a 4-year period, people with celiac disease faced an average of $1,457 in higher outpatient costs (P = 0.016), and an average of $3,964 in higher total costs of $3,964; (P = 0.053), compared with the control group.

Men with celiac disease bore the brunt of those higher costs, with excess average total costs of just over $14,000 compared to costs of $4,000 for male controls; 95% CI of difference: $2,334 to $20,309).
Costs associated with celiac disease pose a significant economic burden, especially for men with the disease.

The abstract for the research article can be found at Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics Volume pages 261–269, July 2010.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Dr Fasano's Insights in Scientific America: Clues to Solving Autoimmunity

Dr. Alessio Fasano, professor of pediatrics, medicine and physiology at the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, has been studying celiac disease and has uncovered a process that may contribute to many autoimmune disorders. He makes some interesting comments on the use of probiotics to prevent and treat celiac disease. And he says "leaky gut" in a major pathogenesis of the illnesses, especially autoimmune diseases that complicate this food borne illness.
Tina Turbin reports on Dr. Fasano's article in Scientific American:

This research into the leaky gut of celiacs can explain a question that has been perplexing researchers regarding the disease's pathogenesis: Why do some people not develop celiac disease until later in life? According to Dr. Fasano, this issue could be associated with the microbes in the digestive tract. The microbicrobial population varies among individuals and groups and even over the course of one's life.

"Apparently they can also influence which genes in their hosts are active at any given time," he says. "Hence, a person whose immune system has managed to tolerate gluten for many years might suddenly lose tolerance if the microbiome changes in a way that causes formerly quiet susceptibility genes to become active." Should this prove true, we may be able to prevent or treat celiac disease with probiotics.

Probiotics, supplements and other ways to eliminate "leaky gut" are a foundation in my treatment recommendations for people with gluten sensitivity and celiac diseases. Read Dr. Natasha Campbell- McBride's book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet , for more details.

Monday, July 18, 2011

MSG is a neurotoxin. It's easier now to avoid it!

Canada now has a law that requires food manufacturers to label their products clearly if they have gluten or MSG in it. This information can be found in the ingredients section of the label. 
Since MSG commonly contains gluten, the person who is trying to avoid gluten must be aware of this.

However  MSG is potentially toxic to all persons, it is neurotoxic, crosses the blood-brain barrier which is the protective barrier to the brain and more. 

Some information about MSG is presented by

When consumers refer to MSG they are referring to PROCESSED FREE GLUTAMIC ACID. If glutamic acid hasn't been processed, it doesn't cause adverse reactions. MSG is MANUFACTURED (and it has 30 different names... why?) MSG is NOT FOUND NATURALLY IN FOOD or in the human body. MSG is NOT IDENTICAL TO FREE GLUTAMIC ACID THAT HAS NOT BEEN MANUFACTURED.
The glutamic acid found naturally in human beings and other higher organisms is not MSG. MSG enters the body through the mouth, through the nose, through the skin, and through the placental barrier. MSG can enter the brain through the blood brain barrier, which is incomplete through childhood, never intact in certain regions of the hypothalamus, and is easily damaged by things like a blow to the head, high fever, seizures, stroke, and the normal process of aging. MSG is potentially toxic to everyone.

Glutamic acid, also called glutamate is a natural food for the enterocytes, or cells lining the bowel. It is useful to heal the bowel and is found in gelatin. In the Gut and Psychology Diet protocol gelatin is used for this reason. Using gelatin, which is not processed allows the consumption of glutamate without the risk of getting MSG from processed sources.

Persons with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity must avoid MSG !
And ,regularly take some foods with gelatin in it!

Friday, July 15, 2011

“Ultimate” Probiotic Treatment Beats Deadly Superbug, C. Difficile

I've been getting questions about the risks of C. Difficile in light of the news of the recent deaths of patients in hospitals from this super bug. This issue of C. Difficile is especially relevant to persons with celiac/ gluten sensitivity as persons with celiac/gluten sensitivity have abnormally large amounts and abnormal varieties of bacteria growing in their bowel compared to others. There is a higher rate of C. Difficile in persons with CD/gluten sensitivity. And most don't know they have CD.
There are many reasons why this is so: the causes include immunocompromised or weak immune system (10% minimum IgA deficiency, low vitamin A status) which allows abnormal bacteria to grow. And more frequent antibiotic use because of more infections due to being immunocompromised and antibiotics kill the healthy bacteria in the gut that are the directors of our immune system. (C. Difficile is not killed by the most common antibiotics). Healthy bacteria in the gut are sometimes called probiotics and they need to feed on special fibers in our food called prebiotiocs. We need 30 grams a day of fiber to stay well and one reason is that it feeds the good bacteria; they stay healthy and keep out immune system strong.And we need to eat sources of healthy bacteria every day from fermented foods or supplements.

But what to do if you have been told you (or an elderly relative in hospital) have a C. Difficile overgrowth and you know there is a risk of death! Here is a report from an Australian gastroenterologist who has had some success treating C.Difficile with Bacteriotherapy or fecal transplants from the guts of healthy donors directly into the colons of infected patients.
The results, reported in "Sara,, are nothing short of amazing.

 Termed “the ultimate probiotics treatment”, a single infusion of a healthy donor’s fecal material into the infected colon resulted in a cure rate of no less than 97% according to Professor Thomas Borody from the Center for Digestive Diseases in Sydney which so far has conducted over 1500 such transplants.
Robert Silberstein, a 38 year old attorney and father of 3, is one patient quickly cured by this amazing new therapy.   Mr. Silberstein had been fighting a clostridium difficile infection involving severe pain and diarrhea for over 6 months with conventional antibiotics to no avail. Faced with either losing his colon or death, Mr. Silberstein was referred to the Center for Digestive Diseases for a fecal transplant.
“I had the procedure done at midday and I woke that night and felt completely normal.  I was shocked.  I had been so ill for six months and I felt normal.  The transplant was amazing.  It worked.” said Mr. Silberstein. Mr. Silberstein’s doctor agreed.  “It has cured him,” said Dr. Bernie Hudson, a Royal North Shore Infectious Diseases Specialist. Dr. Hudson went on to say that he felt that all New South Wales hospitals should become equipped to perform these transplants in order to save more lives.
Avoiding Clostridium Difficile Infections
Avoiding infection with a dangerous super bug such as clostridium difficile obviously involves keeping the gut healthy with beneficial bacteria dominating over any pathogenic strains.
Making and consuming traditionally prepared fermented foods and drinks is an important way to accomplish this goal.   To source “probiotics” cultures for making these healthy foods in your home, please refer to my Resources page.

Hopefully, this wildly successful treatment for established C. difficile overgrowth, already practiced in some centers in Canada will quickly make its way to hospitals and become standard of care given the alarming and rapidly rising cases of clostridium difficile infections.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Overwhelmed by the GAPS Diet? Help Has Arrived!

The Specific Carbohydrate diet (SCD) and the updated version by Dr. Campbell-Mcbride called the GAPS Diet is the best approach for healing the gut and putting autoimmune disease of all kinds into remission that I have ever come across. I was first introduced to the Specific Carbohydrate diet by a patient who cured herself of endometreosis by using the book " Breaking the vicious cycle " by Elaine Gottschall.

I, myself have been on the SCD since 2005 and I love it. I even go out to restaurants at least once a week.

Asking my patients to start the GAPS diet can be asking alot, especially if they don't cook for scratch. And it takes 6 months to three years to reverse the symptoms, and there are frequent reversals, especially triggered by prescription medications.

It's a huge change from the way they were eating before – even if they were eating a whole food based, traditional diet. Most people eat the "Standard American Diet" or SAD diet which is based on grains, seed oils and processed sugar. Many say, "forget it, it's impossible!  
But there is help online!

 Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist writes about getting help to succeed managing the transition to a GAPS diet.

My friend Cara, from the blog Health, Home, and Happiness and a fellow Real Food Media blogger has come up with two indispensable resources in the implementation of the GAPS Diet. Cara is a GAPS expert.  She has used GAPS to tackle her children’s autoimmune issues with great success.
I so wish these resources had been available to me last year when my husband and I went on GAPS.  It would have made the transition process so much easier and less stressful on our household!

GAPS Resources

The first resource is a new e-book called What Can I Eat Now? A 30 Day GAPS Intro Meal Plan.
The second resource is Grain Free Meal Plans once you are off the GAPS Intro Diet and into full blown GAPS or if you just want to jump right into full blown GAPS or the very similar SCD (Specific Carbohydrate) Diet from the get go.
The Grain Free Meal Plans include the following:
  • Menu plans for 3 meals a day, 7 days a week, plus snacks and sweets
  • Kid-tested recipes
  • Complete shopping lists
  • A Members only forum for questions, problems, encouragement, and success stories
If you are even remotely considering GAPS for your family, make sure you check out these resources! 

Consistency is key on the GAPS Diet – falling off the wagon can really set you back.