Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Roll of Nickels Experiment

Alright, who is up for a little experimentation?  Participants will need to report back to me every six months over 4 years or if there is a significant change in health at anytime.  You will be compensated for your time and possible suffering.  The compensation will be $2.  At the beginning of this experiment, you will have X rays and an MRI on your right foot.  You will then be given a roll of nickels worth $2.  You will be trained on how to use this roll of nickels.  Watch the video below for a similar example of what you will be doing in this experiment.

Yes, you will be asked to drop the roll of nickels on your right foot from a reasonable height.  Don't worry, they weigh less than half a pound.  We ask that starting first thing in the morning you drop the roll on your right foot.  Then do this every 4 hours till you go to sleep for the night.  Also do it if you wake up for a late night snack.  Feel free to contact me if you would like to participate in this experiment.

Hopefully by now you have figured out that this is a facetious experiment.  If you dropped that roll of nickels on your foot just once it very likely would not do any structural damage.  If you did it several times every day for an extended period of time there would definitely be structural damage.  It would probably start with soft tissue break down first and progress to microfractures.  What if you didn't stop when there was obviously damage being done?  Doesn't seem worth $2 does it?

You may ask what is the point of my stupid study?  Well, hold your horses, I am getting there.  There was an actual study published in The International Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology back in 2007.  The authors wanted to know if people without celiac disease had any reaction to gluten.  They introduced gluten to human tissues of the non celiac subjects.    Here is the result quoted from the article:   
The data obtained in this pilot study support the hypothesis that gluten elicits its harmful effect, throughout an IL15 innate immune response, on all the individuals. 
Every one of them had an innate immune response.  That is crazy, weren't only people with celiac supposed to react to gluten?  But it's no big deal right?    

Yes, it is a big deal.  What that means is the immune system is put on alert and made ready for a fight every time a person eats wheat, barley or rye.  The innate immune system is what produces inflammation.  Inflammation is suspected as a cause of many chronic diseases.  Now if this is happening several times a day, is the immune system ready to fight off real dangers like viruses and infections?   Or if the immune system is constantly agitated, it's eventually gonna want to fight something, right?  It then begins to attack the body it is supposed to protect.  This is what an autoimmune response is, the body attacking itself.

Some people have gluten intolerance that shows up very young and is prominent with the classic symptoms.  Most others can tolerate gluten a bit more just like someone could tolerate dropping a roll of nickels on their foot.  It may not be a problem early on but sooner or later it will catch up to you.  To stop eating gluten is as obvious to some as stopping the nickel dropping experiment.  Unfortunately, gluten is not an obvious problem to most people and even most experts.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Another Chink in the Armor

I don't think we are real close to the time when the low fat experiment is officially abandoned as a failure.  It's probably at least 10 years away.  It seems though that almost every week there are more reports that the experts have definitely realized the colossal failure that it is.  Thank you to Hold the Toast for finding this gem.  Check this article out:

This report was done from the American Dietetics Association Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo.  Here are some quotes from the article:
- The author wrote: four leading experts presented evidence suggesting that low fat diets may be less healthy than those containing at least a moderate amount of fat. In particular, all four agreed that replacing saturated fat with carbohydrates – as has been widely recommended in the United States – is likely to raise the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- “If anything, the literature shows a slight advantage of the high fat diet,” he said.“The focus on fat in dietary guidelines has been a massive distraction…We should remove total fat from nutrition facts panels on the back of packs.” Chair of the Harvard School of Public Health’s nutrition department Dr. Walter Willett 
 - Assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School Dr. Mozaffarian said “Overall dietary quality is very important for cardiovascular risk,” he said.“Saturated fats may raise LDL cholesterol but increasing levels of all fats lowers triglycerides…You can’t look at data across countries and draw conclusions. Nor can you look at animal studies or a single biomarker and draw conclusions from that.”
Although they still seem to unfairly demonize saturated fat, they are moving in the right direction.  At a symposium such as this, it is very telling when something so controversial is discussed.  These are the actions that will snowball into real change.  

Monday, November 8, 2010

Twinkie diet?

I came across an article today about a guy that ate nothing but snack foods and lost a decent amount of weight. Now, I'm not condoning this as a healthy lifestyle choice but it has to make you wonder the validity of conventional wisdom. You know, the same wisdom suggesting that whole grains are good for you? Following a paleo lifestyle doesn't always mean losing weight as my buddy CP reminds me. But when you follow it, you sure do feel great and healthy when doing so. Paleo does have the nice effect of making me less hungry and satisfied, so you can loose weight by eating less pretty easily.

Many equate good health to low weight, but is that really what we should all be striving for?


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dr. Peter Green...a Gluten Flip Flopper?

Let me introduce you to Dr. Peter Green.  Here is some key sentences from his online bio:
Celiac disease has been Dr Green’s focus over the last 10 years with equal concentration on patient care and research. He is one of the few physicians in the United States with an intense clinical and academic interest and expertise in celiac disease. As a result of the need for a coordinated approach for the medical care of patients with celiac disease Dr Green established the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.
His main clinical and research pursuits, over the last 12 years, has been in the clinical care and investigation of patients with celiac disease.  
As you can see, Dr. Green knows a lot about celiac disease.  If you aren't aware, celiac is a disease caused by an autoimmune response to gluten.  For more on gluten, see an older post I did a while back titled Gluten: Grain's Trojan Horse.  Because of his expertise and maybe because of his geographic location, he has been interviewed on ABC several times on the subject of gluten.  Here is one of him on The View I found on Youtube that was dated 3-17-2007 by the poster.

If you don't have time to watch it all, I will pull a few quotes from the video that are pertinent.  First at the 2:10 mark he says "None of us digest gluten very well.  We didn't evolve to eat wheat."  This is pretty common knowledge to followers of this site and followers of the ones we link on the right side of our blog.  You won't get an argument from us.  Now here is a second important quote at the 6:49 mark Dr. Green says in regard to gluten-free "It is actually a healthy diet."  Now us paleo followers would argue that just going gluten-free isn't as healthy as one could get but that is a topic for a whole other post.

Dr. Green was recently on ABC Nightline dated for yourself.    

At the 3:10 mark when asked this question, "Are there benefits for someone who doesn't have celiac in adopting a gluten free diet?", Dr. Green answered, "Not that I'm aware of."  Here is another quote "A gluten free diet is not entirely healthy.  Often it lacks fiber.  The manufacturers of wheat flours fortify the flours with vitamins and minerals."  Here is one last noteworthy quote, "It's been demonstrated if you are on a gluten free diet long term you can be vitamin B deficient."  I think Richard Nikoley has the vitamin B problem answered on his site.  Or if you don't like his solution just eat some red meat.

The reporters go on to say that going gluten-free can be dangerous unless you have celiac disease.  They say that there are "missing nutrients" that make a gluten-free diet unhealthy for most people.  At no time did they say that people with celiac disease are unhealthy because they are missing these same nutrients from their gluten-free diet.  Why can a celiac patient be healthy without those same missing nutrients???  

Is anyone confused?  I am.  3 years ago Dr. Green says "None of us digest gluten very well.  We didn't evolve to eat wheat."   Now the same person says eliminating glutent is bad for our health.  I searched on Pubmed for published clinical articles Dr. Green was involved in.  There were 10 and not one of them said gluten was a necessary part of our diet.  I will speculate that in the last 3 years there has been much more research published showing that gluten is unnecessary and unhealthy.

Why the change of opinion from Dr. Green?  Maybe keeping as many people as possible eating gluten will broaden the market for drug therapies.  Why stop eating gluten when you can take a pill to mask the problems it causes for celiacs and non celiacs? Dr. Green is the head of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.  On their site there is a page for parties who are interested in donating to the organization.  Here are a few interesting sentences from that page:
 We regard the laboratory research that we are funding to be the mainstay of seeking an understanding of the immunology of celiac disease. It is through this research that there will be development of drug therapies that will be used as an adjunct to the gluten-free diet.
So the say they are interested in developing drugs to use in conjunction with a gluten-free diet?  Sounds like an invitation for drug companies to come fund research for the latest epidemic to cash in on.  But they say they will develop drugs to be used with a gluten-free diet.  You know how that will go for the majority of people.  When there is a pill, why make sacrifices?  Drug companies know that and it's what keeps them thriving.  People cannot stop putting crap in their mouth except for pills.

I am not sure if I connected the dots on this one but there really is nothing in the Nightline piece that supports Dr. Green's new statements.  Where does Dr. Green get his information to come to his new conclusion?  What are these people eating who have problems with a gluten- free diet?  Is it possible they continue to eat a bunch of crap but now without gluten in it?  

Gluten-free is not the panacea of of nutrition.  Eliminating grains is what needs to be done.  This elimination of calories needs to replaced with healthy fats, animal proteins, and plenty of produce.  Now try to tell me that diet is nutrient deficient.  I have been eating grain free for almost 4 years now and I can tell you I feel better than ever.   

EDIT:  Here is an amazingly related article I read after I published this post by a Family Medicine Practitioner and author Coralee Thompson, MD


Friday, November 5, 2010

N=1 version 4.0

This is what it's all about:

"Not only have the results been positive but they have occurred incredibly quickly. In a way it’s almost difficult to believe how amazing the change has been. I started the Primal lifestyle on July 11th 2010, a month later I had stopped taking Co-codamol tablets. This meant that I was taking eight tablets less each day. I only continued taking my Celecoxib because I had an important forthcoming examination and I didn’t want to risk the possibility of my health taking a knock. After the exam was out the way, towards the end of August, I stopped taking the Celecoxib and booked an appointment with my GP to see if I could stop taking or reduce the dose of Methotrexate. Given the serious nature of the medication I didn’t want to make this judgment call myself, despite feeling in much better shape due to improved diet, exercise and sleep. In early September after a consultation with my GP I was drug free for the first time in five years!
After I started up the Primal lifestyle I found that I started losing the excess fat I had gained over the previous five years incredibly quickly. In addition to this I can run for the first time in five years and it doesn’t hurt to go out and walk."
Those 2 paragraphs are just a taste of an incredible story submitted to Mark's Daily Apple.  It's not natural to need multiple medications to survive.  For millions, a diet change can mean getting off these artificial crutches before it is too late.  

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's That Time of the Year

It's officially started.  Personally, I feel Halloween is the start of the holiday season.  It's the 3 month period of the year that lasts from the Halloween parties at the end of October to the Superbowl at the end of January.  It's everyone's excuse to abuse their body for social purposes.  It's just a little of the kids trick or treat candies.  Just a few extra drinks at the work function.  A whole lot more family get togethers to stuff your face at.

These 3 months are packed with more bad food and beverages than our bodies need or can tolerate.  Most everyone puts on weight this time of year.  I imagine it tears our insides up too.  The combination of decreased sun exposure and the nutritional abuse on our body most likely does more to contribute to the flu season than flu bugs flying around.  The poor nutrition causes our immune system to be not as strong as it needs to be thus becoming more susceptible to the flu virus.

Buck the New Year's resolution trend.  If you don't feel great and/or if you don't look great TODAY don't fall into the hole even farther.  Set your goals for a December 31st, 2010 deadline.  Your New Year's Eve celebration will be that much more enjoyable.  Set a goal to lose weight, set a goal to get stronger, set a goal to lower your triglycerides, you get the idea.  Accomplish it all with the discipline to limit the bad you put in your body and increase the good.

Here is my goal, I would like to get stronger.  I am going to do this by tweaking my diet and my training plus getting more sleep.  The next party is coming fast, are your goals going to be in place to give the you willpower to say no to the junk?