Monday, March 30, 2015

A Guide to Sweeteners: Washington Post with Periodic Table

Now that you have watched Dr. Lustig's video on the impact of fructose and sugar on your metabolism, you may be interested to know more about the other varieties of sweeteners you find in packaged foods, in your food and on the shelves. You may be asking "are artificial sweeteners safe to use instead of sugar or corn syrup or fructose"?

When it comes to aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose, a recent study found that these three artificial sugar substitutes can upset the balance of intestinal flora, causing glucose intolerance in mice and it has been found to be the same in some human tests.


Do we want to have the most healthy intestinal flora, sometimes called microbiome that we can get? Yes! 
Is it easy to upset that living, breathing group of living organisms in our gut when we live in the modern world where everything we eat, or drink or swallow can influence the "bugs". Again yes!

Is there an easy way to reestablish and maintain a healthy microbiome? I think yes, a specific carbohydrate diet, described in Gut and Psychology Syndrome, with clean water, and avoiding chemicals as much as possible. 

Below is a succinct chart on the sweeteners available. It reminds us that while raw honey has many good properties, including being a antibiotic for skin infections, it does have a lot of calories and fructose, and should be used sparingly. And with fat to lower its impact on glucose metabolism. In a recipe calling for honey, I tend to cut the amount in half and I find I do get a tasty product still. 

I also like maple syrup, in small amounts and stevia leaf powder

A guide to sweeteners

By Patterson Clark and Lazaro Gamio, Published: March 2, 2015

Too much sugar can be detrimental to health, rotting teeth, building fat, damaging blood vessels and stressing out the system that regulates blood sugar. Some people turn to artificial sweeteners, but those are under increasing suspicion of creating metabolic problems, such as diabetes and obesity. Natural alternative sweeteners exist, but even they have pitfalls if consumed in excess.Read related article.

Sweeteners: a periodic table
This table charts the wide variety of sweeteners available in the United States, either in bulk amounts or as additives in food. Not listed are super-sweet- tasting, zero-calorie proteins from several African fruits (monellin, brazzein and thaumatin), which have not been approved for use by the FDA. Also not included: banned or poisonous sweeteners, such as lead acetate, which ancient Romans made by cooking sour wine in lead pots.

It is tempting to try out a new sweetener that we may see at the health food store, but they really have not been tested for long term safety and so I can't recommend them. They are also frequently in combination with fructose. 

How much fructose is safe to eat? For the average person probably 10- 15 grams a day.

You may be wondering how this story is linked to the subject of brain health and gluten sensitivity. Inflammation and blood sugar imbalances are linked to mental health symptoms, neurological conditions and to gut dysbiosis. Alzheimer's, as an example, is called type 3 diabetes for a reason. 

To Your Health
Dr. Barbara

Thursday, March 26, 2015

"Sugar: The Bitter Truth"- A Must See Video by Dr. Robert Lustig from UCSF

If you want to know more about how carbohydrates including fructose found in fruits and rice cause chronic illness, watch this superb video by Dr. Lustig from University of California, San Francisco, called "Sugar: The Bitter Truth!" 

Don't drink your calories!
And Alzheimer's researchers suggest the only fruit you should eat if you want to lower your risk of Alzheimer's is berries! 

And stick to a specific carbohydrate diet, GAPS protocol, or sugar free Paleo, especially if you are gluten sensitive.
You can do it. 
To Your Health
Dr. Barbara 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Food for Thought: How Gut Microbes Change Your Mind: Jon Cryan's TedMed Talk

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know I link our mental health to the health of our GI system but fundamentally to the microorganisms that live there. They give off chemicals that are good for us or toxic to us. And they balance or direct our immune system. I aim my treatment protocols to the correcting the balance of the microbiome.

In my opinion the main way to have the wrong or pathological microbiome is to have low vitamin D, or a cesarean section, which triggers gluten sensitivity in about 40-50% of the population, usually unrecognized or undiagnosed. Continued ingestion of grains and dairy lead to the overgrowth of pathological bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungus. (There are lots of other compounding environmental irritants like heavy metals like lead, infections, low intake of B vitamins in the person with methylation polymorphism or the use of antibiotics that I have already written about.) These pathological organisms cause disease! Mental and physical. And in gluten sensitive people who are eating gluten, their life expectancy is 20 years shorter or stated another way: an increased death rate of 400% by the age of 65. And it is doesn't have to be this way!

John Cryan investigates how the gut microbiome affects the mammalian brain. He is Chair of the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience and Principal Investigator in the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Center at University College of Cork (Ireland). His research has far-reaching public health implications, from how we view Caesarean sections, to how the microbiome influences brain development, to the impact of probiotics on mood. John’s work shows that the term “gut feeling” might actually make neurobiological sense.

Please view the short 13:16 TedMed talk by neuroscientist John Cryan where he shares surprising facts and insights about how our thoughts and emotions are connected to our guts. 

And if you have time here is the short 5:28 minute video "The invisible universe of the human microbiome."

You should be asking yourself, how do I find out if I am in the high risk group for mortality or morbidity? Since there are no reliable blood tests, symptoms, or signs of celiac disease or non celiac gluten sensitivity, I suggest everyone get tested with a simple, inexpensive, and reliable test for both called "genetics" from No needles involved!

For those of you who know you are gluten sensitive: get rid of the toxic gluten 100% of the time. And heal the microbiome with a scientifically proven, grain free, sugar free, starch free, GAPS diet

To Your Health

Dr. Barbara

Friday, March 6, 2015

Cross Contamination of Unprocessed Grains and Legumes Starts in the Field: Answer for Linda

Red Wheat
I have an answer for Linda who asked:

My question is about cross-contamination. I have been purchasing my dry goods (seeds, dried fruit, lentils, etc.) from an organic foods distributor. Their packages have a warning on the label that says "May contain nuts, soy, sesame, wheat, mustard". I have not had an issue over the past several years, but the most recent package had what appeared to be 3 wheat kernels in it. Any recommendations? Most packages I've seen have those sorts of warnings - are there organic bulk items that guarantee no cross-contamination with gluten? Thanks.

Hulless Barley
My research tells me that it would be impossible to prevent contamination of seeds, grains, lentils or other beans, even organic, with wheat or other gluten containing grains such as barley. When I asked my office assistant, who has a degree in home economics, and has been homesteading for decades, she stated the same thing that the government says about contamination. 

Contamination can occur in any stage from planting, to harvesting, to transportation, storage and finally distribution to your house or store. Wheat kernels get stuck in the crevices and seams of the combine, in the augers and semi trailers which are used to harvest other crops. The kernels come loose spontaneously and mix in with the next crop being harvested.  I suspect the contamination rate is even higher if you were to buy grains: sorghum, millet.

I did find a study that examined the rate of contamination of oats with gluten and barley, which should reflect the contamination rate of other grains. One research group analyzed a total of 134 oat samples, collected from Europe, the United States and Canada.This study confirmed that most oats were contaminated with gluten containing grains such as barley, wheat, and rye, mostly barley. (Hernando et al. Measurement of wheat gluten and barley hordeins in contaminated oats from Europe, the United States and Canada by Sandwich R5 ELISA. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008 Jun;20:545-54.). I don't recommend any ingestion of oats though because they contain toxic protamines, a subject I will cover in a future blog post.  

The way I see it is you are doing the best thing to protect yourself and your family from contamination with gluten containing grains, and that is to get the non grain dry goods in their unprocessed form and organic. And then make a quick inspection for other kernels like wheat, kamut,barley or spelt that may have found its way into the the package that you bought. And remove any offending kernels that you have found. 

Buying organic is important too because of an agricultural practice ( for the last 15 years or so) of "desiccation". Desiccation uses glyphosate to improve the drying time and allows for early harvesting of many grains and legumes. This practice is quite controversial and has been implicated with the increased incidence of celiac disease and 65 other diseases.
Non organic wheat is heavily contaminated with glyphosate as are beets, lentils, sugar cane and corn. 

Find out more about the future of agriculture here where Dr. Thierry Vrain discusses GMO's.

Thank you Linda, writing and sharing. And for working so hard to keep your family well.

To Your Health
Dr. Barbara

Monday, March 2, 2015

Eliminate "Gluten Free" Products and Recover Faster Than Those Who don't-The proof!

I can't recommend gluten free flours, cereals or products, even the ones labelled gluten free because I know the rate of contamination is so very high, and I know people don't get better unless they have a "true gluten free" as Dr. Osborne calls it, diet. 62.5% of gluten free cereals tested had greater than 20 mg/kg of gluten in them. Damaging amounts. Stop exposing yourself to the toxin, so your can follow up with healing.

To heal I recommend the doctor developed method called Gut and Psychology syndrome programme because it has 60 years of experience behind it, first as the specific carbohydrate diet. And because of its microbiome changing effects, which is being proven by science to be profoundly healing.

From Gluten Free Society:
More Evidence Against Processed “Gluten Free” Products

A new research study published in the Journal of Food Protection found more problems with “gluten free” products. The study looked at 78 product samples claiming to be gluten free. A summary of the study is listed below:

16 samples (20.5%) did contain gluten levels of ≥20 mg/kg, ranging from 20.3 to 60.3 mg/kg. In particular, five of eight breakfast cereal samples showed gluten contents higher than 20 mg/kg. These results may be of concern, as gluten sensitivity is known to vary among celiac disease patients.

Source: J Food Prot. 2014 Oct;77(10):1830-3.
Processed Gluten Free Products are a Potential Health Risk

What’s important to realize about this study is that the products tested were all supposed to be gluten free. 20.5% of them had enough gluten to be dangerous. 62.5% of the cereals tested contained gluten. If you are new to the gluten free diet, you most likely were told by your GI doctor or celiac support group to run out to the grocery story and start buying from the gluten free aisle.

Add this information to fact that a prior study done in 2010 showed that 41% of gluten free products tested positive for gluten.

When initially going gluten free, the average person reaches out to the gluten free aisle in the grocery store to find substitutes for pastas, breads, cereals, bagels, etc. The majority of these people seeking gluten free substitutes either remain sick or experience reduced improvement in inflammation. Some research studies show that the number is as high as 92% of patients fail to heal.

Most gluten free substitute products are made from corn, rice, and other grains (oats and sorghum) and pseudo grains (amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa). Unfortunately, these substitutes have been shown to cause damage for those with gluten sensitivity. Click the links below for some common examples:
Studies on corn gluten
Studies on certified gluten free oats
Studies on rice gluten
Studies on quinoa

Research has also shown that those following a processed gluten free diet can have a hard time healing. The study found that 81% of patients that were non responsive to a Traditional Gluten Free Diet responded to a TRUE gluten free diet (no processed foods and no grain substitutes).

I discussed much of this recently on Underground Wellness with Sean Croxton. You can listen in here <<<

To Your Health

Dr. Barbara