Tag Archives: Gut Dysbiosis

Chronic Fatigue Caused by Vagus Nerve Infection?

 

Source: Dr. Jockers
If you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), you know its difficult to get a definitive diagnosis.  Confusingly, its symptoms resemble many other health conditions and there’s no single test for identifying it. You also know its symptoms seriously interfere with living your life as you’d like.
The principal characteristic of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is extreme fatigue. The fatigue may worsen with physical or mental activity but doesn’t lessen with rest. CFS is also sometimes referred to as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID).
People with CFS – and other energy-sapping chronic conditions as well – often use Spoon Theory to describe their experience of being chronically exhausted and the limitations that imposes on their lives. Spoon Theory is a clever metaphor created by Christine Miserandino, a woman with both lupus and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, to explain to friends and family what it’s like to have limited and unreliable energy. (MEpedia, 2017).
Check out her website butyoudontlooksick.com for more information.
Source: MEpedia

 

AUTOIMMUNE CONDITIONS & DISEASES

Lupus, by the way, is a chronic autoimmune disease “in which the body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue. Symptoms include inflammation, swelling, and damage to the joints, skin, kidneys, blood, heart, and lungs.” (Brazier, 2018)
There’s still ongoing discussion about whether CFS is also an inflammatory, autoimmune condition. Considerable research indicates that chronic low level inflammation in the body leads to the constellation of symptoms described as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. (Dellwo, 2018 A)
Source: vliquidassets.com
This is my shorthand description of how autoimmune conditions and diseases develop:
Chronic imbalance in the contents of the gut microbiome (gut dysbiosis) -–> leaky gut -–> chronic low level inflammation in the body, which eventually -–> one or more autoimmune diseases
Autoimmune diseases develop when the body’s immune system produces an inappropriate immune response against its own tissues. Because the vast majority of our immune system (70-80%) is located in the composition of our gut microbiome, this is where we need to focus to understand how we come to develop an autoimmune disease (probably more than one) and also how to reverse these types of diseases.
When the immune system stops recognizing as “self” something that’s a normal constituent of the body, it starts producing autoimmune antibodies that attack the body’s own cells, tissues and/or organs. This produces chronic inflammation that damages these body parts and leads to full blown autoimmune diseases.
See my post AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES: How they develop and how to put them in remission for more information. (Hardin, 2014)

 

A MORE THOROUGH EXPLANATION OF CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME

Michael B. VanElzakker, PhD

Source: Simmaron Research
Researcher Michael B. VanElzakker, now a neuroscientist affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Tufts University, has proposed a more specific explanation for how Chronic Fatigue Syndrome develops.
In a 2013 paper, Chronic fatigue syndrome from vagus nerve infection: a psychoneuroimmunological hypothesis, VanElzakker described his novel psychoneuroimmunological hypothesis as the VAGUS NERVE INFECTION HYPOTHESIS (VNIH).
In the 2013 paper he pointed out that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome researchers mostly agree that CFS symptoms seem to reflect an intense, ongoing immune response, possibly due to a viral infection. They therefore were focusing their research on trying to uncover the specific pathogenic agent in plasma and blood cells responsible for the syndrome – without success. (HHV-6 Foundation, 2018)
Instead, VanElzakker proposed that CFS develops from an infection of the vagus nerve.

Herpesvirus infections of the trigeminal nerve cause shingles.  Do human herpesvirus infections of the vagus nerve cause chronic fatigue syndrome?

Source: Simmaron Research
“When immune cells of otherwise healthy individuals detect any peripheral infection, they release proinflammatory cytokines. Chemoreceptors of the sensory vagus nerve detect these localized proinflammatory cytokines, and send a signal to the brain to initiate sickness behavior. Sickness behavior is an involuntary response that includes fatigue, fever, myalgia, depression, and other symptoms that overlap with CFS.”
His Vagus Nerve Infection hypothesis of CFS contends that the syndrome’s cluster of symptoms are  “a pathologically exaggerated version of normal sickness behavior that can occur when sensory vagal ganglia or paraganglia are themselves infected with any virus or bacteria.
“Drawing upon relevant findings from the neuropathic pain literature, I explain how pathogen-activated glial cells can bombard the sensory vagus nerve with proinflammatory cytokines and other neuroexcitatory substances, initiating an exaggerated and intractable sickness behavior signal.”
Following this new hypothesis, it’s possible any pathogenic infection of the vagus nerve could cause CFS, resolving the ongoing controversy about identifying  a single pathogen.
VanElzakker’s hypothesis integrates two of the most important actors in CFS, the autonomic nervous system and the immune system, offering an explanation of what causes the brain to receive a non-stop stream of messages instructing it essentially to shut down the body by producing fatigue, pain and other disabling symptoms. It proposes that “nerve loving viruses trigger a difficult to detect  immune response which produces the fatigue and other symptoms present in chronic fatigue syndrome.” (Cohen, 2019)
The VNIH focuses on sensory nerves, “an increasingly hot topic in ME/CFS/FM” and coincides with an established model of fibromyalgia. If this hypothesis is correct, it will change how Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is viewed, researched and treated. (Johnson, 2013)
VanElzakker’s work on CFS has zeroed in on the human herpes viruses – with the human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6) at the top of his list of suspects. (HHV-6 Foundation, 2018)
See Human Herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6): Its Role in Disease – Links to Numerous Diseases for a list of diseases associated with HHV-6 types A and B.  (Dellwo, 2018 B)

Histological slide of the human herpes virus-6 (HHV-6)showing infected cells

Source: Wikipedia
The following two paragraphs from the HHV-6 Foundation’s article CFS: a herpesvirus infection of the vagus nerve? discuss, in fairly technical terms, VanElzakker’s theory  of how a human herpesvirus-6 infection of the sensory vagal ganglia or paraganglia could produce the intense symptoms found in people with Chronic Fatigue:
“During infection, the sensory vagus nerve sends a signal to the brain to initiate “sickness behavior,” an involuntary response characterized by fatigue, fever, myalgia, depression, and other symptoms that are often observed in patients with CFS. However, VanElzakker proposes that when sensory vagal ganglia or paraganglia are themselves infected with any virus or bacteria, these symptoms would be exaggerated. He notes that many of the symptoms of sickness behavior (such as fatigue, sleep changes, myalgia, cognitive impairment, depression and zinc depletion) are also mediated by proinflammatory cytokines and observed in CFS.
“Herpesviruses and certain intracellular bacteria establish latency in the vagus nerve and reactivate during periods of stress or illness, causing the release of proinflammatory cytokines. HHV-6 is a highly neurotropic virus and potent inducer of cytokines such as IL-6 and NFkB, which many groups have proposed as an etiological theory for the role of HHV-6 in neurological conditions such as seizures and epilepsy. If this low-level “chronic” infection is localized to the vagus nerve it would be undetectable in the plasma, but could be demonstrated through analyzing tissue biopsies of the vagus nerve, VanElzakker suggests. HHV-6 is well-known for invading the hippocampus and other parts of the limbic system, and also establishes residence in the human sensory ganglia along with other neurotropic herpesviruses including HSV-1 and VZV.” (HHV-6 Foundation, 2018)

 

THE VAGUS NERVE

The vagus nerve, historically called the pneumogastric nerve, is the 10th cranial nerve and interfaces with the parasympathetic control of the heart, lungs, and digestive tract. The vagus nerves are paired but are normally referred to in the singular. It’s the longest nerve of the autonomic nervous system in the human body. (Wikipedia, 2019)
As the two branches of the vagus nerve make their way between the brain and the gut, they connect to every organ they pass along the way.
Source: Dr. Vittoria Repetto’s Blog

THE VAGUS NERVE & THE GUT MICROBIOME CONNECTION

I’ve been intrigued by the vagus nerve since discovering it’s a key player in the Gut/Brain Axis – the constant, two-way communication taking place between our brains and our guts.
Source: First for Women
From my 2015 post How the Gut Microbiome Influences the Brain – and Vice Versa:
“Maybe you’re used to thinking of the brain in your head as your only brain – but your body actually has TWO BRAINS: In fact, the ‘brain’ in your gut does a lot more than digest your food. While this brain doesn’t produce thoughts, it contains its own independent nervous system along with more neurotransmitters and serotonin than the brain in your head.
“Sheaths of neurons are embedded in the walls of the entire alimentary canal. Technically known as the enteric nervous system, this gut brain measures about 9 meters (29.5 feet) from esophagus to anus and contains about 100 million neurons, more neurons than exist in either the spinal cord or the entire peripheral nervous system. Equipped with its own reflexes and senses, this second brain can control gut behavior independently of the brain. Here’s a single example to  give you an idea of the importance of the gut brain for the entire body:  About 90% of the fibers in the vagus nerve, the largest of the visceral nerves, carry information FROM the gut TO the brain – but not the other way around.” (Hardin 2015)
And how about this interesting information from  Our Second Brain – The Gut Mind:
“During vertebrate embryonic development a single clump of fetal tissue divides to grow into the gut and the brain. One section becomes the central nervous system (the brain and spinal nerves) while another migrates lower in the body to create the enteric nervous system embedded in the sheaths of tissue lining the espohagus, stomach, small intestine and colon.
“The two separate nervous systems connect via the vagus nerve running from the brain stem into the abdomen. This major trunk line is one of the longest nerves in the body. The gut and the brain are constantly signaling each other, back and forth, along the vagus nerve and also via chemicals released by the gut and transported to the brain. When one brain gets upset, the other becomes upset too. They work in conjunction with each other along the Gut-Brain Axis, each heavily influencing the other.” (Hardin, 2015)

HEALING VAGUS NERVE INFECTION WITH ESSENTIAL OILS

Source: esvitality.com
Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils, an author, speaker, nutritional therapist and a leading international authority on essential oils. These are her strategies for how to heal vagus nerve infections with essential oils:

Vagus nerve stimulation – Parasympathetic essential oil blend was designed to activate the vagus nerve to trigger the parasympathetic response.  Parasympathetic is formulated with the highly stimulatory clove oil and works much like more invasive techniques such as Transcutaneous Vagal Nerve Stimulation by stimulating the Vagus Nerve near the outer ear and allowing action potentials to be sent down the nerve to stimulate the normal anti-inflammatory reflex of the Vagus Nerve along with helping to regulate exaggerated signaling that contributes to sickness behavior and excessive fatigue and pain related symptoms…. To stimulate the vagus nerve, apply 1 drop of Parasympathetic™ to the vagal nerve (behind ear lobe, on mastoid bone on the neck).

Glial cell inhibitors can be used to calm the immune activation of glial cells in your brain.  Natural plants remedies, like essential oils, have been proven to suppress microglial activation and neuronal damage in research such as “Inhibitors of microglial neurotoxicity: focus on natural products” and “Development of a neuroprotective potential algorithm for medicinal plants”.

Essential oils are especially powerful as glial cell inhibitors as they unique     chemistry          (super small, fat soluble molecules), allows them to easily cross the blood brain barrier and suppress glial cell activation.  Research has found that Cinnamon Bark is highly effective at inhibiting microglial activation. According to the research, Cinnamon Bark “may recede neuroinflammation by suppressing microglial activation and play a key role in neuroprotection”.  Immune Support™ oil is high in levels of cinnamon and can be topically applied to the bottom of the feet or around the neck (dilute before applying to the neck) to help inhibit glial cells from over-activating the vagus nerve.  Anti Inflammatory™ also helps to turn off the inflammatory response in the brain and inhibit an over-active glial cell response.  To apply, place one drop one the base of the skull or place a drop of Anti Inflammatory™ oil on your fingertip, and rub fingers together to disperse oil. Take your fingers once over the entire scalp.

Antiviral treatments:  Essential oils are known for their anti-viral properties.

More specifically, research studies have found that essential oils ‘inactivate’ viruses in one of two ways: by inhibiting their ability to replicate and/or inhibiting viruses’ ability to fuse to cell walls and infect a host cell.

Essential oils have also been shown to positively support our own immune system, enhancing its ability to ward off pathogens and help modulate your immune system.

 Anti viral blends like Immune Support™ can be applied 2- 3 times daily on the throat (diluted) or the bottom of the feet, or Thymus™ can be used  stimulate immune function against infections, viruses and bacteria by apply 2-3 drops on the thymus (on breastbone at third rib) in a clockwise motion for 30 seconds and then stimulate the thymus by gently tapping.   Finally, supporting your lymphatic system with Lymph™ can help supports your immune response by both bringing nutrients to and helping to clear toxins and waste from every cell in the body.

 – (Cohen, 2019)
Source: www.vibrantblueoils.com
My take away from all this:
Source: unknown
Since it’s known that  –
Chronic imbalance in the contents of the gut microbiome (gut dysbiosis) -–> leaky gut -–> chronic low level inflammation in the body, which eventually -–> one or more autoimmune diseases
– avoiding a vagal nerve infection and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is yet another good reason to get and keep your gut microbiome in good balance.

 

Source: ResearchGate

 

REFERENCES

Brazier, Y. (2018). What Is Lupus? Medical News Today. See: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323653.php

Cohen, J. (2019).  Vagus Nerve Infection Hypothesis. See: https://vibrantblueoils.com/vagus-nerve-infection/?utm_source=infusionsoft&utm_medium=email&utm_term=vagus-nerve-infection&utm_content=btn-2&utm_campaign=blog&inf_contact_key=3dbbf3dfb2a3b3806281f9c7df09b6044dfbc39d7283b2cb89d5189540b69330

Dellwo, A. (2018 A). Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Autoimmune & Inflammatory? A Strong Possibility. See:

Dellwo, A. (2018 B). Human Herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6): Its Role in Disease – Links to Numerous Diseases. See: https://www.verywellhealth.com/hhv-6-and-its-role-in-disease-4156793

Hardin, J.R. (2013). Our Second Brain – The Gut Mind. See: https://allergiesandyourgut.com/our-second-brain-the-gut-mind/

Hardin, J.R. (2014). AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES: How they develop and how to put them in remission. See: https://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/10/26/autoimmune-diseases-develop-put-remission/

Hardin, J.R. (2015). How the Gut Microbiome influences the brain – and vice versa. See: https://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/04/09/how-the-gut-microbiome-influences-the-brain-and-vice-versa/

HHV-6 Foundation. (2018). CFS: a herpesvirus infection of the vagus nerve? See: https://hhv-6foundation.org/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/cfs-a-herpesvirus-infection-of-the-vagus-nerve

Johnson, C. (2013). One Theory To Explain Them All? The Vagus Nerve Infection Hypothesis for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. See: http://simmaronresearch.com/2013/12/one-theory-explain-vagus-nerve-infection-chronic-fatigue-syndrome/

MEpedia. (4/8/2017). Spoon Theory. See: https://me-pedia.org/wiki/Spoon_theory

VanElzakker, M.B. (2013). Chronic fatigue syndrome from vagus nerve infection: a psychoneuroimmunological hypothesis. Medical Hypotheses, 81:3, 414-23. See: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23790471

Wikipedia. (5/30/2019). Vagus Nerve. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vagus_nerve

 

© Copyright 2019. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Good vs Bad Bacteria in the Gut

 

Source: Aspen Clinic

 

Our gut microbiomes are home to several pounds of minuscule microorganisms whose jobs include helping digest our food, producing certain vitamins, regulating our immune system, and keeping us healthy by protecting us against disease-causing bacteria.

Continue reading Good vs Bad Bacteria in the Gut

Tests for Gut Microbiome Imbalance

 

bacteria-harmony-with-title-4

A reader of my post Dark Circles Under Your Eyes? Improve Your Gut Bacteria wrote to ask what tests to ask your doctor for if you have problems with your gut microbiome.
That’s not so easy to answer for two reasons: First, the whole field of gut bacteria is quite new. And second, many if not most doctors don’t know a whole lot about the gut microbiome and its role in keeping us healthy or making us sick.
That doctors often don’t know much about the gut microbiome is clearly related to it’s being a new field – but the situation is also made worse by the enormous pressures the pharmaceutical industry and what is sometimes referred to as the “medical–industrial complex” exert on doctors to continue along the current path of treating symptoms with drugs and/or surgeries while ignoring the symptoms’ underlying causes.
Let’s hope the paradigm will shift.

 

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MY MEDICAL JOURNEY – AND PERSONAL BIAS

It took me many decades to identify the underlying source of my own gut microbiome imbalance and autoimmune conditions and figure out how to correct them. On this journey, the types of professionals who were the most helpful have been Chiropractors who do Applied Kinesiology and know how to support health with nutrition (foods and nutritional supplements), Functional Medicine docs, Integrative Medicine docs, Naturopaths, Energy Medicine practitioners, and Nutritionists.
I’ve pretty much stopped relying on mainstream MD specialists – except for the rare ones who understand that pharmaceuticals only suppress symptoms but don’t correct any underlying problem.
When I have blood work done by my Internist (who’s a devoted doctor and a lovely man whom I enjoy seeing), I know I’m probably not going to take any pharmaceutical he might prescribe so ask to be emailed the  results and take them to the Chiropractor who’s my main health care provider. She reads the report, discusses the meaning of the results with me, and recommends what I can do about any problematic findings. For example, I have an under active thyroid (hypothyroidism) and sometimes Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (an autoimmune thyroid problem). She has successfully regulated my thyroid functioning with nutritional supplements for many years.
Before asking my Internist for blood work, I also get my Chiropractor’s recommendations for exactly what blood work will be helpful. The Internists and Endocrinologists I’d seen in the past were likely to order only the basic thyroid tests. My Chiropractor orders those to see if my thyroid is under functioning, tests to measure whether my pituitary and adrenals are involved, and thyroid antibody tests to see if my thyroid is also having an autoimmune problem again.
So that’s where I’m coming from as I try to answer the question about what tests to request from a traditional medical doctor.

 

 

INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – AKA LEAKY GUT

 

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When your intestinal mucosal lining (the place that’s home to your gut’s good bacteria and other probiotic micro-organisms) becomes abnormally permeable (a condition known as intestinal hyperpermeability), tiny leaks develop from your intestines into your bloodstream. These openings allow things (bad bacteria and their toxins, incompletely digested proteins and fats, and other substances) to pass through the intestinal walls directly into your bloodstream instead of being propelled further along your GI tract to where they can be neutralized and/or excreted.
Your immune system reads these substances leaked into your bloodstream as dangerous invaders, triggering an autoimmune reaction.  As the leaks continue to allow more and more substances through the gut lining  directly into the bloodstream, your body becomes chronically inflamed … and chronic inflammation is a precursor to autoimmune diseases and a long list of other serious health problems. (Axe, 2016) & (Weil, 2005)

 

 

 

DR JOSH AXE’S RECOMMENDATIONS

Dr Josh Axe’s article What Kind of Leaky Gut Test Should You Take? may help you figure out what tests to ask for if you suspect you have a leaky gut that’s causing various chronic autoimmune conditions and diseases – including dark circles under your eyes. Dr. Axe is a Doctor of Natural Medicine, a Clinical Nutritionist, and a Chiropractor.
The tests he recommends are:

 

(Source: draxe.com)
(Source: draxe.com)

 

See Dr Axe’s article for more information on these tests.

 

 

 

TESTS FOR ADRENAL FATIGUE

 

(Source: therestlesslegsblog.wordpress.com)
(Source: therestlesslegsblog.wordpress.com)

 

In an article called Testing For Adrenal Fatigue, Wellness Coach and author Fawne Hansen discusses the types of tests needed to measure adrenal functioning. Among them are:
  • A series of cortisol measures
  • An ACTH Challenge
  • A variety of thyroid tests
Hansen says, “Diagnosing Adrenal Fatigue from a single test or symptom is impossible. To make an accurate diagnosis, doctors and naturopaths need to look at a range of tests, sometimes conducted multiple times, and take note of every symptom. This requires experience and a thorough knowledge of the various systems in our bodies, as well as some patience too. It may require two or three visits to the doctor before you can be sure that you have Adrenal Fatigue.” (Hansen, 2016)
She has written an eBook called The Adrenal Fatigue Solution with Naturopath Dr. Eric Wood.

 

 

 

BLOOD TESTS FOR ELEVATED INFLAMMATION

 

(Source: goodfoodeating.com)
(Source: goodfoodeating.com)
Chronic inflammation in the body is a precursor to most kinds of diseases. C-reactive protein (CRP) is a substance produced in the liver that increases when there’s inflammation in the body.
There are two blood tests for elevated CRP:  One test can detect a general elevation of CRP, associated with general inflammatory changes in the body and considered a non-specific marker for disease. The other test, called hs-CRP (highly sensitive CRP), is a measure of inflammation in blood vessels and is used to help establish heart disease risk.
Integrative Medicine doc Andrew Weil, MD’s article Elevated C-reactive Protein (CRP) explains the meaning of elevated CRP, its symptoms and causes, how it’s diagnosed, how conventional medicine treats it, and how he treats it with an anti-inflammatory diet. (Weil, 2016)

 

 

 

COMPREHENSIVE TESTING FOR GUT DYSBIOSIS

 

“THIS POLLUTED POND IS OVERGROWN WITH BACTERIA … SIMILAR TO WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOUR GUT IS OVERGROWN WITH THE BAD GUYS”http://www.therootofhealth.com/dysbiosis/

(Source: http://www.therootofhealth.com/)
(Source: http://www.therootofhealth.com/)
Gut dysbiosis (sometimes called gut dysbacteriosis) is the technical term for a microbial imbalance in the digestive tract. MaryAnn Copson, who has worked in the Alternative, Functional, Holistic, and Energy Medicine fields for over 35 years, offers a DYSBIOSIS METABOLIC MARKERS KIT for comprehensive testing of gut dysbiosis.
Her extensive training includes:
  • Neuro-Reproductive Endocrine Certification
  • Certified Licensed Nutritionist
  • Robertson Research Institute Level II Verified Biochemical Profile Clinician for the Brain Chemistry Optimization Program
  • Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner
  • Certified Reflexologist
  • Herbal Apprenticeship
  • Practitioner Byronomics Energy Management and Diagnosis
  • Nutritional Treatment for Mood Disorders
  • Metabolic Typing and Nutritional Planning
  • Supplements and other Natural Remedies
  • Vitamin D Deficiency Assessment and Nutritional Treatment
  • Genetics of Mood Disorders
See Testing for Dysbiosis to read more about the causes and effects of gut dysbiosis and to purchase a test kit. You collect the specimens in the privacy of your home and mail them in the kit directly to the independent medical lab she uses. She’ll forward a copy of your results to you when she’s received them and you then schedule a time for the two of you to talk. She’ll interpret your results for you and  discuss their implications along with possible nutritional and lifestyle treatment programs for re-balancing your gut flora.
From Copson’s site (Copson, 2014):

“Why test for Dysbiosis?

“Dybiosis can be a significant factor in many health problems. The Dysbiosis Metabolic Marker Test, because it measures the by-products of microbial metabolism which are excreted in the urine, is particularly useful in detecting the presence of pathogenic microbial overgrowth and in guiding and monitoring therapy.

“Treatments for dysbiosis may involve removal of the offending organisms with anti-microbials. Dietary changes and food supplements are used for replacement of beneficial bacteria, restoration of digestive function, and mucosal repair.

“A repeat test should show improvement within 90 days.”

 

The Dysbiosis Metabolic Marker Test measures the following:
  • Creatinine
  • Bacterial/Protozoal
  • Benzoate
  • Hippurate
  • Phenylpropionate
  • p-Cresol
  • p-Hydroxyphenylacetate
  • Tricarballylate
  • Clostridial
  • Dihydroxyphenylpropionate
  • Yeast/Fungal
  • Tartarate
  • Citramalate
  • B-Ketoglutarate

“All of the above compounds reported are produced by bacteria, yeast, fungi and protozoa that may colonize or grow in the small intestines. Dysbiosis involves overgrowth of one or more species leading to increased production of these compounds that are absorbed and excreted in the urine.” (Copson, 2014)

I don’t know if the kit, the lab work, and working with her (via phone or in person – she’s in Shipman, Virginia) on what to do about your results would be covered by your health insurance (if you’re lucky enough to have any).

 

 

 

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON TOPICS MENTIONED IN THIS POST

 

INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY

See INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – CAUSES & CONSEQUENCES for an explanation of how the condition of your intestinal lining  (the place where your gut probiotics live) affects your health.

 

(Source: healthy-family.org)
(Source: healthy-family.org)

 

 

 

IntestiNEW TO REDUCE GUT PERMEABILITY

See IntestiNEW TO STRENGTHEN YOUR  DIGESTIVE LINING  to read about IntestiNEW, a nutritional supplement that improves the condition of your gut’s intestinal lining and reduces chronic inflammation in the body.

 

intestinew

 

 

AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES & CONDITIONS

autoimmunejpg-ca55facea37ead85
In autoimmune diseases and conditions, the immune system misreads healthy cells as if they were dangerous invaders and attempts to destroy them. An autoimmune process can affect one or more types of body tissues and organs.
If you wish to learn more, here are two lists of autoimmune diseases and conditions:
AUTOIMMUNE AND AUTOIMMUNE-RELATED DISEASES (AARDA, 2016)
AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE LIST (Anon, 2014)
Note:
There are autoimmune conditions and diseases that don’t appear on these two lists.
Another note:
I was searching for a helpful article on autoimmunity to include here and was only finding ones claiming that autoimmune diseases are incurable but their symptoms could perhaps be reduced by pharmaceuticals. Then it occurred to me to google “autoimmune diseases alternative” and found this article by Functional Medicine doc Mark Hyman, MD: How to Stop Attacking Yourself: 9 Steps to Heal Autoimmune Disease. (Hyman, 2015)
Dr Hyman is the Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine.
From Dr Hyman’s article:

“INFLAMMATION IS A “HOT” TOPIC IN MEDICINE. It appears connected to almost every known chronic disease — from heart disease to cancer, diabetes to obesity, autism to dementia, and even depression.

“Other inflammatory diseases such as allergies, asthma, arthritis, and autoimmune disease are increasing at dramatic rates. As physicians we are trained to shut off inflammation with aspirin, anti-inflammatory medication such as Advil or Motrin, steroids, and increasingly more powerful immune suppressing medication with serious side effects.

“But we are not trained to find and treat the underlying causes of inflammation in chronic disease. Hidden allergens, infections, environmental toxins, an inflammatory diet, and stress are the real causes of these inflammatory conditions.

“Autoimmune diseases, specifically, now affect 24 million people and include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and more.

“These are often addressed by powerful immune suppressing medication and not by addressing the cause. That’s like taking a lot of aspirin while you are standing on a tack. The treatment is not more aspirin or a strong immune suppressant, but removing the tack.

“It you want to cool off inflammation in the body, you must find the source. Treat the fire, not the smoke. In medicine we are mostly taught to diagnose disease by symptoms, NOT by their underlying cause.”

 

********************

Autoimmune conditions are connected by one central biochemical process: A runaway immune response also known as systemic inflammation that results in your body attacking its own tissues.

– Functional Medicine doc Mark Hyman, MD

********************

 

 

 

INFORMATION ON THYROID FUNCTION TESTS

(Source: stpetersburgchiropractordirectory.com)
(Source: stpetersburgchiropractordirectory.com)
See Thyroid Function Tests for what the American Thyroid Association says about commonly ordered thyroid tests. (American Thyroid Association, 2014)
Chiropractor and Nutritionist Dr David Dahlman’s article Thyroid Tests discusses how the thyroid works, which tests are needed to assess its function, and how to interpret those tests. (Dahlman, 2015)
An article by Naturopath Peter de Ruyter, called Alternative Hypothyroidism Tests Are Necessary For Determining An Underactive Thyroid, presents information on thyroid imbalances and thyroid function tests from a Holistic Medical perspective, which includes the adrenals’ relationship to the thyroid. (de Ruyter, 2012)

 

endocrine-glands-8-638

 

 

 

THE MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

See MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX for more information on how and why the US’s health care industry remains wedded to its focus on using pharmaceuticals and surgeries to treat symptoms rather than helping us stay healthy.
From the article:

“The concept of the medical-industrial complex was first introduced in the 1971 book, The American Health Empire (Ehrenreich and Ehrenreich 1971) by Health-PAC. The medical-industrial complex (MIC) refers to the health industry, which is composed of the multibillion-dollar congeries of enterprises including doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, insurance companies, drug manufacturers, hospital supply and equipment companies, real estate and construction businesses, health systems consulting and accounting firms, and banks. As employed by the Ehrenreichs, the concept conveys the idea that an important (if not the primary) function of the health care system in the United States is business (that is, to make profits) with two other secondary functions, research and education.”

 

(Source: scientistsascitizens.org)
(Source: scientistsascitizens.org)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association. (2016). List of Diseases: Autoimmune and Autoimmune-Related Diseases. See: http://www.aarda.org/autoimmune-information/list-of-diseases/

American Thyroid Association. (2014). Thyroid Function Tests. See: http://www.thyroid.org/wp-content/uploads/patients/brochures/FunctionTests_brochure.pdf

Anon. (2014). Autoimmune Disease List. See: http://autoimmunediseaselist.com

Axe, J. (2016). What Kind of Leaky Gut Test Should You Take? See: http://draxe.com/leaky-gut-test/

de Ruyter, P. (2012). Alternative Hypothyroidism Tests Are Necessary For Determining An Underactive Thyroid. See: http://www.holistic-hypothyroidism-solutions.com/alternative-hypothyroidism-tests.html

Copson, M. (2014). Testing for Dysbiosis. See: http://functionalhealthtests.com/dysbiosis.html

EduLearnSoc.org. (2012). Medical-Industrial Complex. See: http://edu.learnsoc.org/Chapters/21%20health%20and%20medicine/12%20medical-industrial%20complex.htm

Hansen, E. (2016). Testing for Adrenal Fatigue. See: http://adrenalfatiguesolution.com/testing-for-adrenal-fatigue/

Hansen, D. & Wood, E. (2014). The Adrenal Fatigue Solution: How to regain your vitality and restore your energy levels. (eBook). See: https://adrenalfatiguesolution.com/get-started/

Hardin, J.R. (1/10/2016). IntestiNEW to Strengthen Your Digestive Lining. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2016/01/10/intestinew-to-help-strengthen-your-digestive-lining/

Hardin, J.R. (7/12/2015). Dark Circles Under Your Eyes? Improve Your Gut Bacteria. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/07/12/dark-circles-under-your-eyes-improve-your-gut-bacteria/

Hardin, J.R. (5/10/2015). INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY – CAUSES & CONSEQUENCES. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/05/10/increased-gut-permeability-causes-consequences/

Hyman, M. (2015). How to Stop Attacking Yourself: 9 Steps to Heal Autoimmune Disease. See: http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/07/30/how-to-stop-attacking-yourself-9-steps-to-heal-autoimmune-disease/

Weil, A. (2016). Elevated C-reactive Protein (CRP). See: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART03424/Elevated-Creactive-Protein-CRP.html

Weil, A. (2005). What Is Leaky Gut? See: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA361058/what-is-leaky-gut.html

 

 

© Copyright 2016. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 

Prediabetics Have Fewer Gut Bacteria

Updated 8/29/2014,  9/7/2015, and 4/15/2016.  NOTE added at end of post on 9/6/2015. Last updated 10/22/2016.

diabetic

In the global diabetes epidemic, rates of new cases are rising rapidly. I hope this post will help you avoid becoming one of them.

 

Number of People Diagnosed with Diabetes

Millions, by region

MC_1403_outlook

Source: IDF Diabetes Atlas, Sixth Edition; Managed Care calculation of percentages using data from The World Factbook, published by the CIA

TYPES 1 & 2 DIABETES: AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES

 

(Source: igennus.com)
(Source: igennus.com)
During digestion, most of our food gets broken down into glucose (a form of sugar that’s the body’s main source of fuel), which then  passes into the bloodstream. Insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas) must also be present in the blood for glucose to be able to make it into our cells to nourish them.
Type 1 diabetes is known to be a serious autoimmune problem of the metabolism. An autoimmune disorder or disease is a result of chronic inflammation in the body’s immune system, causing it to turn against a part of the body – to attack it as if its cells were dangerous, invading pathogens. In Type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. (WebMD, 2008)
Type 2 diabetes is now also largely viewed as the result of a different type of  autoimmune reaction: one in which B and T immune cells cause inflammation in the fatty tissue surrounding organs in the body. The inflammation occurs when rapidly growing fat cells outstrip their blood supply and begin to die off. These dying cells spew out their contents, and macrophages (another type of immune cell) are called in to clean up the dead cells. “The resulting onslaught by the immune system inhibits the ability of the remaining fat cells to respond to insulin and causes fatty acids to be shed into the blood. This sets in motion a physiological cascade that leads to fatty liver disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and further insulin resistance throughout the body.” (Conger, 2011)

 

 

TYPE 1 DIABETES

(Source: www.imagekb.com)
(Source: www.imagekb.com)
In Type 1 diabetes, which used to be called juvenile diabetes, the immune system mistakenly kills off pancreatic cells that make the blood-sugar-regulating hormone insulin. The body’s immune system attacks and destroys these pancreatic cells so they no longer make enough insulin.
Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 10% of diagnosed diabetes in the US.

 

 

TYPE 2 DIABETES

In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas usually produces enough insulin but the cells in the body have become unable to make effective use of the hormone, a condition called insulin resistance. Insulin production eventually decreases. So, as in Type 1 diabetes, glucose builds up in the blood instead of being properly delivered to the cells in the body where they’re needed for fuel.
(Source: www.webmd.com)
(Source: www.webmd.com)
Type 2 diabetes is associated with obesity, older age, family history of gestational diabetes, and physical inactivity. About 80% of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight. Unfortunately, Type 2 diabetes is also increasingly being seen in younger people, even children and teens.

 

 

PREDIABETES

(Source: prediabetescenters.com)
(Source: prediabetescenters.com)
A prediabetic condition indicates the amount of glucose in the blood is above normal but not yet high enough to be called diabetes. Prediabetic people are at greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

 

 

 

DIABETES STATISTICS IN THE US

 

(Source: eschooltoday.com)

Statistics from the American Diabetes Association Report, 2014 show the magnitude of the problem in the US:
  • PREVALENCE: In 2012, 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, had diabetes.
    • Approximately 1.25 million American children and adults have type 1 diabetes.
  • UNDIAGNOSED: Of the 29.1 million, 21.0 million were diagnosed and another 8.1 million were undiagnosed.
  • PREVALENCE IN SENIORS: The percentage of Americans age 65 and older remains high, at 25.9%, or 11.8 million seniors (diagnosed and undiagnosed).
  • NEW CASES: The incidence of diabetes in 2012 was 1.7 million new diagnoses/year; in 2010 it was 1.9 million.
  • PREDIABETES: In 2012, 86 million Americans age 20 and older had prediabetes; this is up from 79 million in 2010.
  • DEATHS:  Based on the 69,071 death certificates in which diabetes was listed as the underlying cause of death in 2010, diabetes was the 7th leading cause of death in the United States that year. In 2010, diabetes was also mentioned as a cause of death in a total of 234,051 certificates.

CAUSE OF DEATH UNDER REPORTING

  • Diabetes may be under reported as a cause of death. Studies have found that only about 35% to 40% of people with diabetes who died had diabetes listed anywhere on the death certificate and only about 10-15% had it listed as the underlying cause of death.

DIABETES IN YOUTH

  • About 208,000 Americans under age 20 are estimated to have diagnosed diabetes, approximately 0.25% of that population.
  • In 2008—2009, the annual incidence of diagnosed diabetes in youth was estimated at 18,436 with Type 1 diabetes, 5,089 with Type 2 diabetes.

 

population-with-diabetes

 

Some other diabetes statistics showing the seriousness of the problem:

(Source: cached.newslookup.com)

 

(Source: cached.newslookup.com)

 

diabetes-cost

 

63d24_130306130848-cost-of-diabetes-5-01-horizontal-gallery

Below are diabetes prevalence data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of reported cases tripled between 1980 and 2008. The CDC estimates that “the number of Americans with diabetes will range from 1 in 3 to 1 in 5 by 2050.”

 

6a0133f3a4072c970b0147e1028529970b-550wi

And here’s information from the International Diabetes Federation comparing reported cases of diabetes in 2013 with projected cases by 2035 for countries around the world – an expected increase of 55%.

huq64v

 

 

 

GUT BACTERIA & DIABETES

 

(Source: blog.medbiomarkers.com)
(Source: blog.medbiomarkers.com)
Researchers are discovering changes in normal gut bacteria that take place before either Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes turns into a clinical condition. Since we now know that 70-80% of our immune system is located in our GI tract, where digestion takes place, you can see how a serious imbalance in the bacterial make up of the gut microbiome could lead to the development of diabetes in people with a genetic predisposition for it.

(Source: ink361.com)

 “Mounting evidence suggests that the bacteria resident within our GI tract – and the immune response to those bacteria – influence the permeability of the gut mucosa. This idea — which has become to be known as the “leaky gut” hypothesis  — proposes that a cycle of dysbiosis, dysregulated immune response, and unintended gut permeability leads to the peripheral host immune system being unbalanced towards a pro-inflammatory response. This in turn is suggested to lead to (some of) the imbalances that are thought to be causative of diabetes and other non-metabolic disorders.” (Moore, 2015)

 

 

 

GUT BACTERIA, ANTIBIOTICS & RISK FOR DIABETES

 

(Source: probiotics.org)
(Source: probiotics.org)
A team of scientists led by Dr Ben Boursi, a Post Doctoral Researcher in Gastroenterology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, found people who have taken multiple courses of antibiotics were 37% more likely to develop Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The team also found the greater the number of courses of antibiotics, the higher the risk for developing diabetes.
Dr Boursi notes, “Our findings are important, not only for understanding how diabetes may develop, but as a warning to reduce unnecessary antibiotic treatments that might do more harm than good.”

 

(Source: www.asnailsodyssey.com)
(Source: www.asnailsodyssey.com)
Several studies in humans have shown that early childhood exposure to antibiotics is associated with increased risk of obesity in later life – and obesity has long been recognized as risk for developing diabetes.
There’s also growing evidence that imbalances in the gut microbiome’s composition contribute to the development of both Type 1 and 2 diabetes.
The Boursi team’s future research will focus on identifying the species of gut bacteria necessary to prevent and reverse diabetes, potentially working towards the possibility of transplanting prebiotic and probiotic microbes into the gut as a therapeutic strategy for diabetes. (Arendt, 2015) & (Davenport, 2015)

 

 

PREDIABETICS HAVE FEWER & LESS DIVERSE GUT BACTERIA

 

(Source: www.mayo.edu)
(Source: www.mayo.edu),
A research team led by Dr Elena Barengolts, an Endocrinologist at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, found irregularities in the composition of the probiotic bacteria in the guts of prediabetic patients: Compared with subjects whose glucose tolerance was good, the prediabetics had fewer and less diverse populations of bacteria living in their gut microbiomes.
There were 116 participants in the study, all African-American veterans. Their ages ranged from 45 to 70. Their intestinal bacteria were measured by stool samples at the start of the study and again 12 months later.
Participants were divided into four groups based on their body’s ability to regulate blood sugar:
  • Group 1 – Those with stable glucose tolerance (normal)
  • Group 2 – Those with stable impaired fasting glucose or stable impaired glucose tolerance
  • Group 3 – Those with worsened glucose tolerance
  • Group 4 – Those with improved glucose tolerance
The study found that men whose blood sugar control  remained normal over the year (Group 1) had higher numbers of beneficial gut bacteria while the men who continued to be prediabetic had fewer beneficial bacteria and higher numbers of harmful bacteria in their guts.
Furthermore, the group whose blood sugar management improved over the course of the year (Group 4) had a higher number of a strain of healthy bacteria (Akkermansia) than the group who had maintained normal blood sugar control over the year (Group 1). (Gray, 2015)

 

(Source: humanfoodproject.com)
(Source: humanfoodproject.com)
At the phylum level, this study found significant differences in the bacterial composition between Groups 1 and 2: Group 2 (people with impaired but stable fasting glucose or glucose tolerance) had higher levels of Bacteroidetes and lower levels of Firmicutes than people in Group 1.
The Bacteroidetes/Firmicutes ratio was 1.9 vs 0.9 respectively for Groups 1 and 2 and 1.9 vs 1.1 respectively for Groups 1 and 3.
The number of Proteobacteria decreased over the 12-month study period in Groups 2 and 4 compared with Group 1. Proteobacteria are a major phylum of gram-negative bacteria that include a variety of pathogens – such as Escherichia, Salmonella, Vibrio, Helicobacter, and Yersinia. (Wikipedia, 2015)

 

(Source: www.yourwildlife.org)
(Source: www.yourwildlife.org)
At the family and genus levels, Group 2 had fewer Prevotella and a higher Bacteroides/Prevotella ratio than Group 1: 5.6 vs 2.7. Group 2 also had fewer   Enterobacteriaceae (a large family of  bacteria that includes the pathogens Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Yersinia pestis, Klebsiella and Shigella) and  more Ruminococcae and Veillonellaceae.
“We speculate that lower abundance of Prevotella may be associated with worsening glycemia, and, conversely, higher abundance of Akkermansia might be associated with improving glycemia, thus corroborating suggestions from previous studies,” the researchers said.
Barengolts notes, “Changes in the gut microbiota occur in the early stage of diabetes development. The gut bacteria signature — the composition and abundance — could be a useful tool in assessing a person’s risk for developing obesity and diabetes.” (Ciubotaru et al, 2015) & (Brown, 2015)
Other studies are currently underway in Italy and China investigating gut bacterial transplants as a treatment for diabetes.

 

 

ALTERED GUT BACTERIA PRECEDE TYPE 1 DIABETES IN CHILDREN

 

(Source: www.nlm.nih.gov)
(Source: www.nlm.nih.gov)

 

A small study followed 33 babies from Finland and Estonia who were at increased genetic risk for developing Type 1 diabetes. Analysis of their stool samples charted changes in the multitude of microorganisms living in their guts.
By age three, four of the children developed Type 1 diabetes.  Huge alterations in the gut microbes of those those four children were seen about a year before onset of the disease. As with the men in the veterans’ study, there was a marked drop in the diversity of the overall microbial community. This drop in gut diversity was accompanied by spikes in inflammation-favoring organisms, gene functions, and serum and stool metabolites. These changes in gut microbial levels did not occur in the at risk children who didn’t progress to Type 1 diabetes.
Researcher Dr Aleksandar Kostic, a Postdoctoral Fellow in Computational Biology and Experimental Biology at MIT and Harvard, hopes the study’s results will lead to an early diagnostic test for Type 1 diabetes. (Kostic et al, 2015) & (Norton, 2015)

 

 

PREVENTING & TREATING DIABETES VIA THE GUT MICROBIOME?

 

Bacteria in the Human Gut

(Source: ehp.niehs.nih.gov)
(Source: ehp.niehs.nih.gov)
Given what we already know about the gut microbiome’s role in keeping the body in a balanced state so it remains healthy, it makes sense to focus on diet and nutritional supplements for preventing and treating diabetes.
For example, we know there is considerable variation among people in the microbes that live in and on us. We also know that an individual’s microbial populations are always changing.
The following is from an easy to read summary of changes in the various human microbiomes from birth through old age. It was prepared by the University of Utah’s Genetic Science Learning Center (2015). You might want to take a look at it – it provides useful information along with some delightful drawings:

“Before birth, we’re all more or less sterile—we have no microbes. Within a few years, we’re covered in thousands of different species of microbes, and they colonize every millimeter of the body that’s exposed to the outside world. By the time we enter kindergarten, we have vastly different populations living in the different habitats around our bodies. Even as adults and into old age, our microbiota continue to shift.

” … Because so many things affect our bodies’ ecosystems, there is a huge amount of variability in microbial populations even among individuals of the same age. Just like our fingerprints vary, we vary in the microbial species we have as well as their relative abundancies. Our microbes vary with gender, diet, climate, age, occupation, and hygiene. Even differences in our genes influence our microbial populations—indirectly by affecting things like the acidity of the digestive tract, and also more directly through variations in proteins on our cells that communicate with microbes.

“Even with all this variability, there are some trends. Microbial populations differ more among body sites than between individuals. For example, the microbes living on the forearms of two different people tend to be more similar than the microbes on the forearm and ear of the same person. And there are certain species of bacteria that will only live in the gut, others that will live only on the teeth, and so on.”

 

GENETICS VS EPIGENETICS

 

(Source: thescienceofreality.tumblr.com)
(Source: thescienceofreality.tumblr.com)
We also know this about autoimmune diseases: DNA IS NOT DESTINY
Chronic diseases, especially autoimmune ones, are only 25% determined by genetic inheritance. The other 75% is affected by other factors. It’s a matter of genetics vs epigenetics. You may have a genetic predisposition for diabetes but also have a large say in whether your DNA expresses that predisposition in your body.

“We know from twin studies, from identical twin studies, that 25% of autoimmunity is your genetics, and 75% is from the environment. … So that’s an enormous amount that we have control over and can influence.”

  • Amy Myers, MD. (Sanfilippo, 2015)
If we know that both the composition and abundance of micro-organisms living in our guts  change over the course of a lifetime, shouldn’t it be possible to learn how to make deliberate changes to our gut microbiome – changes that prevent diabetes from developing even if we have a genetic predisposition for it?

 

epigenetics-4-728

 

 

 

TO AVOID OR REVERSE INSULIN RESISTANCE

 

images

These are Dr Robert Mercola’s suggestions for turning insulin resistance around (Mercola, 8/23/2015) & (Mercola, 8/27/2015):

 

AVOID SUGAR
(Source: www.sugarauthority.com)
(Source: www.sugarauthority.com)

 

 

EAT REAL FOODS INSTEAD OF PROCESSED ONES

Realfood-1

Almost all so-called foods that come in a bottle, can, jar, bag, or box have had sugars added to them, usually in the form of high fructose corn syrup.

 

 

EAT FRESH FRUIT INSTEAD OF PURCHASED FRUIT JUICES
(Source: www.foodinsight.org)
(Source: www.foodinsight.org)
Commercial fruit juices are loaded with added sugar.

 

 

AVOID “DIET” FOODS AND DRINKS
2565d7867d26310efcd15a313fef51ec
They promote insulin resistance and other health problems. “The artificial sweeteners saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame decrease function in pathways associated with the transport of sugar in your body, and can induce both gut dysbiosis and glucose intolerance. Research also shows that artificial sweeteners promote diabetes and weight gain by disrupting your gut microbiome. Sucralose (Splenda) was found to reduce beneficial gut bacteria by as much as 50 percent!”

 

AVOID GRAINS, ESPECIALLY WHEAT, BARLEY, OATS & RYE
(Source: www.thepaleomom.com)
(Source: www.thepaleomom.com)
Grains turn into sugar in your body, sharply raising your glucose and insulin levels, and contribute to insulin resistance. Many grains also contain gluten, which triggers inflammation in the intestines, leading to a state of chronic inflammation in the body and autoimmune diseases.
Consuming a lot of refined grains (and even whole grains) is also highly inflammatory for another reason:  Humans are designed to eat a diet containing a ratio of 1 or 2 parts of Omega-6 essential fatty acids to every 1 part of Omega-3. This ratio is what we get when we eat real, unprocessed, highly nutritious foods – non-GMO veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, and pastured animals. Our typical diet now has come to contain 10 to 20 parts Omega-6 to every part Omega-3 – producing a highly inflammatory state in the body. (Kratka, 2011)
“Grains are almost single-handedly responsible for the removal of omega-3 fatty acids in the modern diet….  There have been over 2000 studies done on omega-3 and for good reason: the omega-3s in our diet (or the lack their of) have massive implications on our health.  It all boils down to ratios: the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in your diet is so crucial, it goes down to the cellular level.” (Kratka, 2011)
Better alternatives to grains are non-GMO almond meal, coconut flour, buckwheat groats, and sweet potatoes. They are much gentler on your blood sugar than grains. Mercola points out that even these healthier alternatives will hamper your body’s ability to heal if you’re already insulin resistant. “Once the clinical signs of insulin resistance have resolved, you can relax your carb restriction.”
In addition to the Omega-3s in my diet, I take Standard Process Tuna Omega-3 Oil (1 2X/day).

 

 

FOCUS ON HEALTHY FATS
(Source:www.skinnydivadiet.com )
(Source:www.skinnydivadiet.com )
Eat fewer saturated and trans fats (unhealthy) and more mono and poly unsaturated fats (healthy).  Examples of healthy fats include avocado, butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk, cheese, raw dairy, organic pastured eggs, raw nuts, grass-fed meats, and coconut oil.

 

(Source: www.familygonehealthy.com)
(Source: www.familygonehealthy.com)

 

Due to the high percentage of nutrient-poor foods, refined carbohydrates, bad fats, and refined sugars in the Standard American Diet (SAD), along with consumption of multiple OTC and prescription pharmaceuticals, we are far from getting the optimal ratio of 1:1 for Omega-6s (inflammatory) and Omega-3s (anti-inflammatory). The ratio in our modern Western diet is often as high as 20:1, creating excessive, chronic inflammation in the body – and chronic inflammation is a precursor to many diseases.

 

(Source: www.betterhealthinternational.com )
(Source: www.betterhealthinternational.com )

 

 

GET ENOUGH VITAMIN D3
Having a sufficient blood level of Vitamin D is essential for maintaining good health and preventing a wide range of autoimmune and neurological diseases: Type 1 and 2 diabetes, asthma, allergies, cancer, Alzheimer’s, MS, susceptibility to infection (including viral respiratory infections) among them.
(Source: jdshometraining.com)
(Source: jdshometraining.com)
Vitamin D3 is vitally important for healthy immune functioning – and most of us are seriously D3 deficient. Unless we work mostly naked outdoors in a sunny climate without slathering our skin with sunscreen, we can benefit greatly from adding a high quality D3 supplement to our daily diets.
Some good sources of Vitamin D3 are:
Exposure of the skin to sunshine (without sunscreen), salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, cod liver oil, egg yolks, cheeses, butter, shiitake and button mushrooms, sunflower seeds and sprouts, and high quality supplements.
(Source: www.alzinfo.org) In addition to sunshine, you can get vitamin D from salmon, tuna, mackerel, cod liver oil, egg yolks, low fat milk, non-dairy milk alternatives, 100 percent orange juice and supplements.
(Source: www.alzinfo.org)
Guidelines for the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of vitamin D were updated by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2010 and are currently set by age: For those 1-70 years of age, 600 IU daily; for those 71 years and older, 800 IU daily; and for pregnant and lactating women, 600 IU daily.  This is thought by many as far too low.
Due to a mathematical error, the IOM’s widely cited RDA’s for Vitamin D underestimate the body’s need for it by a factor of 10.
The IOM recommends a Vitamin D serum level of 20 ng/ml but we should actually aim for a blood level of 40 ng/ml, supplementing with whatever amount is necessary to reach and maintain that level. (Mercola, 5/10/2015)
See The Real RDA for Vitamin D Is 10 Times Higher Than Currently Recommended for information on how how the RDA for Vitamin D should be correctly calculated and how to get an adequate amount of it.

 

VitaminD

One of my alternative health care providers recommends 5,000 IU/day in the summer time and as high as 10,000 IU/day the rest of the year. (Miller, 2011). I like Metagenics, D3 5000, 120 Softgels (1 2X/day). 
Vitamin D serum levels should be monitored with periodic blood tests.
(4/15/2016: I reduced my D3 intake to 5,000 IU/day after my D blood serum level was too high.)
(10/22/2016: A few months ago, I needed to reduce my D3 intake even further – to 5,000 IU/day during the darker months and the same amount every other day during the sunnier months.)

 

See Alzheimer’s and Vitamin D Deficiency and Whole Food Supplements (Bio-available) vs OTC (Synthetic) Vitamins for additional information on Vitamin D3.

 

SIT LESS/EXERCISE MORE
(Source: www.drannblog.com)
(Source: www.drannblog.com)
Over 10,000 studies show that prolonged sitting harms your health. 8-10 hours of sitting a day, even if you exercise 30-60 minutes daily and are very fit, promotes dozens of chronic diseases – including obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
“The reason for this is because, at the molecular level, the human body was designed to be active all day long. When you stop moving and sit still for extended periods of time, it’s like telling your body to shut down and prepare for death. As soon as you stand up, a number of molecular cascades occur that promote and support healthy biological functioning.
“For example, within 90 seconds of standing up, the muscular and cellular systems that process blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol — which are mediated by insulin — are activated.  Surprising as it may sound, all of these molecular effects are activated simply by carrying your body weight upon your legs. These cellular mechanisms are also responsible for pushing fuels into your cells and, if done regularly, will radically decrease your risk of diabetes and obesity.
“So, the remedy is simple: Avoid sitting and get more movement into your life. Ideally, aim to sit less than three hours a day. Also consider walking more, in addition to your exercise regimen. In short, rest is supposed to break up activity — not the other way around. This kind of non-exercise physical movement appears to be really foundational for optimal health, and if you’re currently inactive, this is the place to start even before you get going on a workout routine.” (Mercola, 8/23/2015)

 

Sitting-vs-Exercise

 

 

Don’t let this be true for you:
(Source: http://www.medpagetoday.com) )
(Source: http://www.medpagetoday.com)

 

 

NOTE ADDED ON 9/6/2015

I’d asked Warren Fraser, MD, to look over this post. Dr Fraser is an experienced board certified endocrinologist and Co-Chair of the Institutional Review Board at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA.  He sent these helpful comments:

I think your post is very good.

I hadn’t thought of autoimmune diseases as being a result of chronic inflammation, but it makes sense.  It’s seems as if more and more disorders are being linked to chronic inflammation.  Cardiovascular disease has, and one of the studies I reviewed this week is looking at a drug which reduces chronic inflammation (the drug is already approved for use in Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, now commonly called Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis) to see if it will lower the incidence of a second cardiovascular event in people who have had one heart attack.

In reference to the TYPE 2 DIABETES SECTION:

The pancreas actually over secretes insulin in the early phases of the disease to combat the insulin resistance.  This was quite a surprise to investigators when the insulin assay was developed (late 60’s or early 70’s I think).  As you pointed out, insulin production eventually decreases, which may be due to, at least in part, pancreatic ‘exhaustion’ from chronic hypersecretion.  High insulin levels are almost always seen in prediabetes (insulin resistance syndrome) and measuring insulin levels is useful in making the diagnosis.

In reference to the section on DIABETES STATISTICS IN THE US:

The increase in new cases may be due in part to a greater awareness of the disorder and more people being tested for it.

I certainly concur that diabetes is under reported as a cause of death.  The cause is often attributed to a complication of the diabetes.  Back in the 80’s, when Lee Iacocca addressed the annual meeting of American Diabetes Association, he said that he wanted his wife’s death certificate to tell the truth:  she died from diabetes.

In reference to the section on GUT BACTERIA, ANTIBIOTICS & RISK FOR DIABETES:

I certainly agree with the harmful effects of excessive antibiotic use.

Again, this is a very good review and my comments aren’t meant to be suggestions to change anything.

– Fraser, 2016

 

GMO vs NON-GMO FOODS:

In the section AVOID GRAINS, ESPECIALLY WHEAT, BARLEY, OATS & RYE, I’d written “Humans are designed to eat a diet containing a ratio of 1 or 2 parts of Omega-6 essential fatty acids to every part of Omega-3. This ratio is what we get when we eat real, unprocessed, highly nutritious foods – non-GMO veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, and pastured animals. Our typical diet now has come to contain 10 to 20 parts Omega-6 to every part of Omega-3 – producing a highly inflammatory state in the body.”
Dr Fraser also asked for clarification on the meaning of “non-GMO”. Here it is with respect to the foods we consume:
The short answer is that NON-GMO plant foods are ones that have not been genetically modified and NON-GMO animals are ones that have not been fed genetically engineered grains or other plants.
GMO foods have been genetically engineered, for reasons completely unrelated to health or nourishment, to withstand heavy applications of potent herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup (a glyphosate-based weed killer). GMOs are created using the gene-splicing techniques of biotechnology to inject DNA from one species into another species, creating combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and viral genes that don’t occur in nature or through crossbreeding methods.
Glyphosate  causes serious damage to the beneficial microbes living in our guts (our gut microbiome) and is regarded by many scientists as the most important factor in the development of the many chronic diseases and conditions plaguing Westernized societies.
The process of genetically modifying foods is relatively new in agriculture. The first genetically modified seeds for commercial use were planted in the US in 1996. In 2014, 18 million farmers in 28 countries planted biotech crops, with the highest acreage by far here in the US. Worldwide planting of GE crops covered 181.5 million hectares (448 million acres) by 2014.

 

 

The Center for Food Safety estimates that about 3/4 of all grocery store products now contain one or more genetically modified ingredients.
England, France, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland, China, Indonesia, and more than 25 other countries around the world require GE foods to be labeled so consumers can choose to avoid them. England, Japan, Brazil, Norway, India, Thailand and some other countries have even completely banned some GE food crops.
Monsanto and the other big biotech companies have joined together to spend huge sums of money to make sure these GMO foods remain unlabeled in the US.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has declared genetically engineered food unsafe for consumption. They cited animal studies indicating serious health risks associated with GM foods – “including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. The AAEM advised physicians to tell their patients to avoid GM foods.
“Before the FDA decided to allow GMOs into food without labeling, FDA scientists had repeatedly warned that GM foods can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects, including allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems. They urged long-term safety studies, but were ignored.” (Institute for Responsible Technology, 2014)
Studies of people in the US and Germany have found high levels of glyphosate in human urine, blood, and breast milk as well as in drinking water supplies.
For more information on GMO vs NON-GMO, see:

 

 

Intestines of Pig Fed NO GMOs vs Pig Fed GMOs

(Source: isupportorganic.blogspot.com)
(Source: isupportorganic.blogspot.com)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

American Diabetes Association. (2015). Statistics About Diabetes: Data from the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014 (released June 10, 2014). See: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/?referrer=https://www.google.com/

Arendt, R. (2015). Gut microbiome transplantation, and use of probiotics and prebiotics as new treatment for both diabetes type 1 and 2. See: http://patientcircle.org/english/2015/4/3/gut-microbiome-transplantation-and-use-of-probiotics-and-pre.html

Barengolts, E. (2013). VITAMIN D AND PREBIOTICS MAY BENEFIT THE INTESTINAL MICROBACTERIA AND IMPROVE GLUCOSE HOMEOSTASIS IN PREDIABETES AND TYPE 2 DIABETES. Endocrine Practice,19:3,497-510. See: http://search.proquest.com/openview/cd67c546597d8fe8652f2b6671281eef/1?pq-origsite=gscholar

Barrett, M. (2014). Mike Barrett’s article, 3 Studies Proving Toxic Glyphosate Found in Urine, Blood, and Even Breast Milk. See: http://naturalsociety.com/3-studies-proving-toxic-glyphosate-found-urine-blood-even-breast-milk/#ixzz3kyT2fMKq

Ciubotaru, I. et al. (2015).  Significant differences in fecal microbiota are associated with various stages of glucose tolerance in African-American male veterans.  ENDO 2015; Abstract FRI-597. See: https://endo.confex.com/endo/2015endo/webprogram/Paper21179.html

Conger, K. (2011). Type-2 diabetes linked to autoimmune reaction in study. Stanford Medicine News Center. See: http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2011/04/type-2-diabetes-linked-to-autoimmune-reaction-in-study.html

Davenport, L. (2015). Do Antibiotics Raise Diabetes Risk via Gut Microbiota? Medscape Medical News. See: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/842409

Fraser, W. (9/6/2015). Personal communication.

Genetic Science Learning Center, University of Utah. (2015). Your Changing Microbiome. See: http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/microbiome/changing/

Gray, N. (2015). Gut microbiota shifts could predict diabetes risk, suggests study. See: http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Gut-microbiota-shifts-could-predict-diabetes-risk-suggests-study

Hardin, J.R. (2015). Whole Food Supplements (Bio-available) vs OTC (Synthetic) Vitamins. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/01/25/whole-food-supplements-bio-available-vs-otc-synthetic-vitamins/

Hardin, J.R. (2014). ALZHEIMER’S AND VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/11/30/alzheimers-gut-bacteria-music/

Institute for Responsible Technology (2014).  GMO Dangers. See: http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-dangers

Kostic, A.D. et al. (2015). The dynamics of the human infant gut microbiome in development and in progression toward type 1 diabetes. Cell Host & Microbe, 17:2, 260-273. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25662751

Kratka, P. (2011). Whole Grains: How do grains affect the human body? See: http://bonfirehealth.com/whole-grains-affect-human-body-omegas/

Mercola, R. (8/23/2015). Effortless Healing Guidelines for Friends and Family New to Natural Healing. See:  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/08/23/effortless-healing-guidelines.aspx?e_cid=20150823Z1_DNL_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20150823Z1&et_cid=DM85321&et_rid=1085872322

Mercola, R. (8/27/2015). Free Vitamin D Continuing Education Courses Now Available, PLUS Key Nutritional Strategies to Optimize Your Health. See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/08/27/key-nutritional-strategies.aspx?e_cid=20150827Z1_DNL_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20150827Z1&et_cid=DM85847&et_rid=1092851133

Mercola, R. (5/10/2015). The Real RDA for Vitamin D Is 10 Times Higher Than Currently Recommended. See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/05/10/vitamin-d-recommended-dietary-allowance.aspx?e_cid=20150510Z1_SNL_B_art_1&utm_source=snl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20150510Z1_SNL_B&et_cid=DM76062&et_rid=946969954

Miller, D. (2011). Personal communication.

Moms Across America. (2014).  Glyphosate Testing Full Report: Findings in American Mothers’ Breast Milk, Urine and Water.  See: http://www.momsacrossamerica.com/glyphosate_testing_results

Moore, K. (2015). Diabetes prevention &/or treatment – Focus on the gut and nutrition? Role and benefits of biomarker discovery and validation. See: http://blog.medbiomarkers.com/diabetes-focus-on-the-gut-role-and-benefits-of-a-biomarker-consortium/

NON GMO Project. (2015). GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS. See: http://www.nongmoproject.org/about-gmos-2/

Norton, A. (2015). Change in Gut Bacteria May Precede Type 1 Diabetes in Kids:
Small study offers hope for a diagnostic test some day, researchers say. Healthy Day News. See: http://consumer.healthday.com/diabetes-information-10/misc-diabetes-news-181/change-in-gut-bacteria-may-precede-type-1-diabetes-in-kids-696231.html

Sanfilippo, D. (2015). Podcast Episode #178: The Autoimmune Solution with Dr. Amy Myers. See: http://balancedbites.com/2015/02/podcast-episode-178-autoimmune-solution-dr-amy-myers.html

WebMD. (2008). Diabetes Overview. See: http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/diabetes-overview

Wikipedia. (2015). Proteobacteria. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proteobacteria

 

 

 

© Copyright 2015 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 

 

 

Dark Circles Under Your Eyes? Improve Your Gut Bacteria

 

 

(Source: genius.com)
(Source: genius.com)

 

WHAT I LEARNED IN COSTA RICA

I was worn out from traveling back and forth between NYC and Sarasota to help my mother through her several-year battle with stage 4 colon cancer. It claimed her in 2000. Ten days after she died and I’d returned home to NYC, my father collapsed from an internal bleed – also from colon cancer – so I was back there helping him. Then, after his surgery, there were three years of looking after him as best I could  long distance. And he wasn’t an easy person to help.  He died in 2003 a few months short of his 91st birthday. Then there were about 18 months back home dealing with his estate.
When that had reached a good place, I decided to take myself to a week-long yoga retreat in Costa Rica to start recovering. While there, I was having a great massage of some sort inside a peaceful tent on the Pura Vida grounds. At the end, the masseur mentioned the dark circles under my eyes. I said, “Oh yes, I inherited them from my mother’s side of the family. My grandmother had them. My mother did too. And I always have them.” And he said the most amazing thing back to me: “Just because you inherited a trait doesn’t mean you need to express it.”
At the time, I had no idea what he meant but I was definitely interested.

 

 

)Source: www.livestrong.com)
)Source: www.livestrong.com)

 

 

 

WHEN DIGESTION DOESN’T WORK PROPERLY

 This is what he meant.
As with most of our symptoms and illnesses, the underlying cause of this skin discoloration is disturbance in the composition of our intestinal flora leading to inflammation of the intestinal mucosal lining and increased permeability (“leaky gut”) which leads to Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS): nutrient malabsorption, impaired immune response, GI problems and food allergies, chronic inflammation in the body and autoimmune diseases. And those things further aggravate the mucosal lining in the gut, establishing a repeating, destructive cycle.
This is how Doctor of Natural Medicine and Clinical Nutritionist Josh Axe describes Leaky Gut:

“Think of the lining of your digestive tract like a net with extremely small holes in it that only allow specific substances to pass through.  Your gut lining works as a barrier keeping out bigger particles that can damage your system.

“When someone has leaky gut (often referred to as increased intestinal permeability) the ‘net’ in your digestive tract gets damaged, which causes even bigger holes to develop in your net, so things that normally can’t pass through, are now … able to.

“Some of the things that can now pass through include proteins like gluten, bad bacteria and undigested foods particles. Toxic waste can also leak from the inside of your intestinal wall into your blood stream causing an immune reaction.”

– Axe, 2015

(Source: draxe.com)
(Source: draxe.com)

 

 

 

(Source: draxe.com)
(Source: draxe.com)

 

See Dr Axe’s article 4 Steps to Heal Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Disease for some sound information on the symptoms and progression of Leaky Gut Syndrome – and which foods and nutritional supplements help restore the integrity of the intestinal walls.
Basically, dark circles under the eyes indicate that your immune system has become overactive, that autoimmune processes are taking place in your body.

“When your intestinal flora is not fully populated with good, healthy bacteria it leaves room for the mucus membrane on the gut wall to become compromised.  This compromised gut lining can allow food particles to pass through the gut wall and into the blood stream undigested.  These undigested particles are seen as “foreign” invaders just as they might see a virus attacking the body.

“Your body will then produce anti-bodies to attack the foreign substance, as the body attacks you will most likely develop allergy symptoms as your body’s attempt to naturally detox your system and rid it of the invaders.  Dark under eye circles are just one allergic symptom and too often this allergy related symptom is overlooked by health professionals.”

– Webb, 2015

(Source: www.greenmedinfo.com)
(Source: www.greenmedinfo.com)

 

Leaky Gut Syndrome underlies ALL the autoimmune conditions and diseases. There are many of them – about 100 have been identified so far. It’s also  common to have more than one autoimmune problem at the same time. This isn’t surprising since all autoimmune problems stem from the same source: chronic inflammation in the intestines.
The hallmark of autoimmune conditions and diseases  is the body’s immune system becoming overly vigilant, identifying healthy body tissues as dangerous, attacking and gradually destroying them.
Medline Plus, of the US National Library of Medicine, NIH, publishes this information about autoimmunity:

An autoimmune disorder may result in:

  • The destruction of body tissue
  • Abnormal growth of an organ
  • Changes in organ function

An autoimmune disorder may affect one or more organ or tissue types. Areas often affected by autoimmune disorders include:

  • Blood vessels
  • Connective tissues
  • Endocrine glands such as the thyroid or pancreas
  • Joints
  • Muscles
  • Red blood cells
  • Skin

– Medline Plus, 2015

(Source: www.helpmychronicpain.com)
(Source: www.helpmychronicpain.com)

 

This is how Functional Medicine doc Ronald Grisanti (2015) describes the Leaky Gut Syndrome:

“Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS) is a major cause of disease and dysfunction in modern society, accounts for at least 50% of chronic complaints, as confirmed by laboratory tests.

“In LGS, the epithelium on the villi of the small intestine becomes inflamed and irritated, which allows metabolic and microbial toxins of the small intestines to flood into the blood stream. This event compromises the liver, the lymphatic system, and the immune response including the endocrine system.

“… It is often the primary cause of the following common conditions: asthma, food allergies, chronic sinusitis, eczema, urticaria, migraine, irritable bowel, fungal disorders, fibromyalgia, and inflammatory joint disorders including rheumatoid arthritis are just a few of the diseases that can originate with leaky gut. It also contributes to PMS, uterine fibroid, and breast fibroid.

“Leaky Gut Syndrome is often the real basis for chronic fatigue syndrome and pediatric immune deficiencies.”

 

I’ve presented so much information on Leaky Gut Syndrome and autoimmune problems because they’ve become epidemic and they underlie so many of our health difficulties, including the topic at hand: those dark under-eye circles.

 

 

 

 

(Source: vitalbynature.net)
(Source: vitalbynature.net)

 

 

 

 

PHYSIOLOGICAL ROUTES TO DARK CIRCLES

FOOD AND OTHER ALLERGIES
(Source: www.cnn.com)
(Source: www.cnn.com)
Among food allergy people, dark circles under the eyes are often referred to as ‘allergy shiners’. People with seasonal and environmental allergies often develop these dark circles too. Allergies cause congestion, which increases blood flow to the nose. This increased blood flow produces enlarged blood vessels around the eyes, creating a purple tint in the delicate, thin skin under the eyes. (Reilly, 2011)
People with allergies often also sleep poorly and have adrenal fatigue, both of which contribute to the creation of those dark circles.

 

 

ADRENAL FATIGUE
(Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com)
(Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com)

 

The adrenals are tiny but very important glands sitting right on top of the kidneys. They produce a variety of hormones (cortisol or hydrocortisone, corticosterone, aldosterone, adrenaline or epinephrine, norepinephrine, DHEA, testosterone, dopamine, and others). The adrenals are known as our ‘flight or fight’ glands. A primary indicator of adrenal fatigue is dark circles under the eyes. Most of us live in a fairly constant ‘flight or fight’ state in reaction to  constant stress and sensory over-stimulation, accompanied by a lack of knowledge about how to calm ourselves down. Our adrenals work too hard and become fatigued. (Reilly, 2011) When the adrenals are forced to work too hard, hormones in the body become disrupted. (Wilson, 2014)

 

LACK OF SLEEP
(Source: www.smoke-free-at-last.com )
(Source: www.smoke-free-at-last.com )
There’s a known interaction among sleep quality, immune functioning, inflammation, and gastrointestinal disorders. Chronic disturbances in the gut microbiome lead to Leaky Gut Syndrome, an overly active immune system, and chronic inflammation in the gut. In turn, sleep deprivation brought on by GI diseases such as irritable bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastro-esophageal reflux (GERD), liver disorders, and colorectal cancer aggravate the severity of these same diseases, creating a vicious circle. (Tauseef, 2013)

 

 

ANEMIA
(Source: www.bharatvicharmanch.com)
(Source: www.bharatvicharmanch.com)
The three main causes of anemia (iron poor blood) are blood loss, lack of red blood cell production, and high rates of red blood cell destruction. In anemia, the blood doesn’t contain enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. The body requires iron to make hemoglobin, an iron-rich protein that gives blood its red color. (Reilly, 2011)
Both anemia and pernicious anemia (vitamin B-12 anemia) can be considered gastroenterological conditions: about a third of people with inflammatory bowel disease also have recurrent anemia. (Gasche et al, 2004)
The question underlying anemia is what ‘s causing low iron and/or vitamin B-12 levels in the blood. People with IBS and other digestive problems have damaged gut mucosal linings, making it difficult for them to absorb nutrients properly. Healing the gut allows proper absorption of all the nutrients in the food, including iron, as they pass through the intestinal tract. (IBS Treatment Center, 2006)
BTW, the image of the eye in the graphic above demonstrates one of several self-tests that will let you know if you’re possibly anemic and should have your blood tested:
  • Check your eyelids. Look in the mirror, and get up close to it so you can see your face very well. Quickly pull your lower eyelid down and look at the skin inside that eyelid. It will start off a very pale whitish color and then become more pink (close to the color of raw chicken). The switch to pink should happen very quickly. If it takes a few seconds – or seems not to be happening at all – chances are, you’re anemic. Yes, this tip works for people of all races, as the inner eyelid goes through the same process in everyone. (SnappyLiving.com, 2014)
See How to Tell If You Have Anemia to read about two other self-tests.

 

 

 

KIDNEY PROBLEMS
(Source: cancerfactsheet.org)
(Source: cancerfactsheet.org)

 

In Chinese medicine, dark circles under the eyes indicate a deficiency or problem in kidney functioning. This is a story related by naturopathic physician and health educator Pamela Reilly:
“When I started using electrodermal screening (EDS) in my practice, my husband volunteered to be a test subject. His kidneys tested poorly, so I recommended a kidney support supplement. Within a few months, the dark circles under his eyes began to disappear to the point that people commented on it. The transformation was amazing. The supplement I recommended and which tested very positively for him on the EDS unit was Premier Research Lab’s Kidney Complex.” (Reilly, 2011)
Kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the US. CDC statistics indicate that about 17% of adults 20 years and older have some sort of chronic kidney disease. Consuming probiotics and fermented foods helps the intestines flush nitrogenous waste products efficiently, encouraging even more waste to get extracted from the bloodstream and into the intestines, and then get excreted in bowel movements. If this doesn’t happen in the gut, the kidneys have to work too hard to accomplish the task, become impaired, and can fail. (Gates, 2015)
Research has found further evidence of the important interrelationship between the gut microbiome and the kidneys: Chronic kidney disease has been shown to alter the composition of the gut microbiome, markedly increasing some strains and decreasing others. There’s that vicious cycle. (Vaziri et al, 2013)

 

INSUFFICIENT STOMACH ACID
(Source: www.health-boundaries.com)
(Source: www.health-boundaries.com)
Perhaps this is contributing to dark circles under your eyes.
Hypochlorhydria is a state in which the stomach produces insufficient hydrochloric acid. Without enough HCl, food passing through the GI tract gets fermented instead of properly digested.
“The stomach is lined with cells that are proton pumps – that is to say they pump hydrogen ions from the blood stream into the lumen of the stomach. Stomach acid is simply concentrated hydrogen ions. There is a natural tendency for these hydrogen ions to diffuse back from where they came but this is prevented by very tight junctions between stomach wall cells. However, if the gut becomes inflamed for whatever reason, there is leaky gut and hydrogen ions leak back out.” (Myhill, 2015)
 Symptoms of insufficient stomach acid include (Myhill, 2015) (Webb, 2015) (Wright, undated):
    • Wind, gas, bloating, or nausea after eating – because food is being fermented instead of properly digested
    • Early satiety
    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation
    • Weight loss
    • Allergies: from the development of Leaky Gut Syndrome
    • Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD)
    • Accelerated aging due to malabsorption of proteins and other nutrients
    • Iron deficiency anemia
    • B-12 deficiency
Low stomach acid is linked to quite a few diseases – asthma, celiac disease, irritable bowel disease (IBD), rheumatoid arthritis, depression, and stomach cancer among them. (Myhill, 2015) (Webb, 2014) All these are now considered autoimmune diseases, resulting from Leaky Gut Syndrome.
The body’s failure to produce enough stomach acid makes it quite difficult  to obtain the level of nourishment it requires since  the necessary amounts of nutrients can’t be absorbed during digestion.  Chronic levels of insufficient stomach acid cause the membranes of the GI tract to continue allowing undigested proteins to pass into the blood stream, perpetuating the problematic cycle. (Webb, 2015)

 

 

LIVER CONGESTION

(Source: www.medicinenet.com)
(Source: www.medicinenet.com)
Compromised liver functioning is another, related cause of dark circles under the eyes.
The liver is our largest internal organ and the largest gland in the human body, weighing about 3 – 3.5 pounds. Its job is to filter toxins from the body, one of the ways the body defends itself from harmful invaders. If the liver stops functioning well, it stops protecting us from these invaders.  (Webb, 2015)
When we’ve developed Leaky Gut Syndrome, the liver can’t do its job adequately and symptoms of liver dysfunction develop (Naturopath Connect, 2011):
METABOLIC DISTURBANCES:
  • Bad LDL cholesterol increases
  • Good HDL cholesterol decreases
  • Triglycerides (blood fats) increase
Abnormal regulation of fats leads to other problems:  weight gain and difficulty losing weight,  sluggish metabolism, abnormal accumulation of fat in other areas (eg, cellulite and fatty liver). Extreme symptoms include atherosclerosis (build up of cholesterol along artery walls, creating artery blockages), heart attack, and stroke.
DIGESTIVE DISTURBANCES:
The liver’s production of bile becomes abnormal, leading to gallstones, intolerance of fatty foods and alcohol, abdominal bloating, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and stomach pain.

NUTRIENT MALABSORPTION:
When the liver isn’t functioning properly, it’s unable to convert nutrients into their bio-available forms. This means many nutrients pass through the body without ever being absorbed.
If you’re taking nutritional supplements, make sure they’re high quality, bio-available ones.  Many, perhaps most, supplements contain non-active forms of vitamins that simply pass through the body without getting absorbed.
BLOOD SUGAR PROBLEMS:
The liver is a key regulator of insulin, glucose, and glycogen so a dysfunctional liver can cause unstable blood sugar levels, a precursor to insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes – an autoimmune disease.
NEUROLOGICAL EFFECTS:
The brain won’t receive the nutrients it requires to function correctly if food isn’t being metabolized efficiently by a dysfunctional liver. A brain deprived of key nutrients develops symptoms like  “brain fog,” poor concentration, poor memory, depression, and poor anger control.

 

WEAKENED IMMUNE SYSTEM:
One of the liver’s tasks is to help fight off infections. A chronically overtaxed, improperly functioning liver is unable to handle the toxic load. Symptoms include allergies, food intolerances, chemical sensitivities, skin rashes and inflammations, and increased risk of autoimmune diseases such as chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

HORMONAL IMBALANCES:
The liver is a key regulator of the body’s hormones. A chronically  malfunctioning liver can  result in abnormal levels of estrogen and testosterone. Symptoms for women may include severe PMS and menopause symptoms. In both sexes, abnormal male and female hormone levels can greatly increase the risk of heart attack. Failure of the liver to regulate thyroid hormones and insulin can produce hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, and Type 2 diabetes – all autoimmune diseases.

 

OTHER SYMPTOMS:
Liver dysfunction can also cause bad breath, skin rashes, itchy skin, offensive body odor, dark circles under the eyes, yellow discoloration of the whites of the eyes, red swollen itchy eyes, acne, rosacea, liver spots on the skin, red palms and soles which may also be itchy and inflamed, and flushed facial appearance.

 

CHEMOTHERAPY AND OTHER DRUG THERAPIES

(Source: www.bigboxlabs.nl)
(Source: www.bigboxlabs.nl)
Chemotherapy and other extreme drug therapies can also lead to dark circles under the eyes. (Reilly, 2011) My guess is this happens because chemo drugs and many other pharmaceuticals degrade the gut microbiome.

 

 

 

(Source: www.gooychewy.com)
(Source: www.gooychewy.com)

 

You’ll notice that the common thread among all these causes of dark circles leads back to the gut microbiome. When our intestinal microflora becomes chronically out of balance, our bodies produce symptoms – dark circles under the eyes among them.

 

 

523f7c462353574e8d6ef4618c353253

 

 

I now can use the darkness of the circles under my eyes to gauge my gut’s and overall body’s health. When I’m feeding my gut the nutrition it needs (foods as well as high quality bio-available nutritional supplements) and handling stress well, the circles are almost non-existent. In this state, I feel well and no autoimmune markers for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis show up in my blood work. When the circles are noticeable, I’m having GI and other inflammatory difficulties. But since I’ve come to understand what the masseur in Costa Rica meant, the circles have never been as omnipresent and dark as they were back then.

 

 

Examples of charming dark under-eye areas – not the kind we humans have:
(Source: www.dailymail.co.uk)
(Source: www.dailymail.co.uk)

 

 

(Source: www.beautyblenz.com )
(Source: www.beautyblenz.com )

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Axe, J. (2015). 4 Steps to Heal Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Disease. See: http://draxe.com/4-steps-to-heal-leaky-gut-and-autoimmune-disease/

Gasche, C. et al. (2004). Iron, anaemia, and inflammatory bowel diseases. Gut , 53, 1190-1197. See: http://gut.bmj.com/content/53/8/1190.full

Gates, D. (2015). Preventing Kidney Disease: 2 Quick Tips to Support Kidney Health. Body Ecology. See: http://bodyecology.com/articles/preventing-kidney-disease-2-quick-tips-to-support-kidney-health

Grisanti, R. (2015). Leaky Gut: Can This Be Destroying Your Health?. See: http://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/Leaky-Gut.cfm

IBS Treatment Center. (2006). How IBS Can Cause Iron Deficiency and Anemia. See: http://ibstreatmentcenter.com/Newsletters/MidFeb2007.pdf

Medline Plus. (2015). Autoimmune disorders. U.S. National Library of Medicine, N.I.H. See: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000816.htm

Myhill, S. (2015). Hypochlorhydria – lack of stomach acid – can cause lots of problems. See: http://drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/hypochlorhydria_-_lack_of_stomach_acid_-_can_cause_lots_of_problems

Naturopath Connect (2011). Liver Dysfunction: Common Symptoms. See: http://naturopathconnect.com/articles/liver-dysfunction-symptoms/

Reilly, P. (2011). Dark Circles Under the Eyes: Causes and Solutions. See: http://goodworkswellness.com/dark-circles-under-the-eyes-causes-solutions/

SnappyLiving.com. (2014). How to tell if you have anemia. See: http://snappyliving.com/how-to-tell-if-you-have-anemia/

Tauseef, A. et al. (2013). Sleep, immunity and inflammation in gastrointestinal disorders. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 19:48,  9231–9239. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3882397/

Vaziri, N.D. et al. (2013). Chronic kidney disease alters intestinal microbial flora. Kidney International, 83, 308-315. See: http://www.nature.com/ki/journal/v83/n2/full/ki2012345a.html

Webb, B. (2015). The Cause of Dark Under Eye Circles.  See: http://www.rootedblessings.com/the-cause-of-dark-under-eye-circles/

Wilson, D. (2014). 5 Clues That Leaky Gut May Be at the Root of Your Health Issues. See: http://doctordoni.com/2014/08/5-clues-that-leaky-gut-may-be-at-the-root-of-your-health-issues.html

Wright, S. (undated). Hypochlorhydria: 3 Common Signs of Low Stomach Acid. See: http://scdlifestyle.com/2012/06/hypochlorhydria-3-common-signs-of-low-stomach-acid/

 

 

 

© Copyright 2015 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

The Human Microbiome – Two Short Videos

 

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In the developed world, we have become brainwashed into regarding ALL bacteria and microbes as DANGEROUS to our health.  We use antibacterial soaps and ointments on our skins, mouthwashes that promise to kill 99% of the germs in our mouths, disinfectant and antiseptic sprays and wipes in our homes. We’ve become like real life players of a version of Rampage: Total Destruction – on a mission to destroy all the bacteria on, in, and around us.
In Rampage: Total Destruction, players destroy the environment to earn points. In our fear of all microbes, we too are working to destroy our internal and external environments by targeting the bacteria that keep us healthy (called PROBIOTICS) along with ones that make us sick (called PATHOGENS).
PROBIOTICS are live bacteria, yeasts, and other microscopic life forms that SUPPORT GOOD HEALTH in our our digestive systems – and throughout the body. If they’re not in good balance, we become sick in a whole variety of ways – from digestive problems to skin rashes, allergies, asthma, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

 

 

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This NPR animated video called The Invisible Universe Of The Human Microbiome may help you understand why you need to nurture these good guys, your probiotics, in and on your body.
NPR’s description of the video:

The next time you look in a mirror, think about this: In many ways you’re more microbe than human. There are 10 times more cells from microorganisms like bacteria and fungi in and on our bodies than there are human cells. But these tiny compatriots are invisible to the naked eye. So we asked artist Ben Arthur to give us a guided tour of the rich universe of the human microbiome.

 

 

I also recommend another interesting video by NPS MedicineWise, called The human microbiome and what we do to it.
Dr David A. Relman, who’s the main speaker in the film, is the Thomas C. and Joan M. Merigan Professor in Medicine, and Microbiology & Immunology at Stanford University. He’s also Chief of Infectious Diseases at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto (CA) Health Care System. Dr Relman’s research focuses on the indigenous human microbiota and the identification of previously-unrecognized microbial agents of disease. He has advised the US Government on emerging infectious diseases, human-microbe interactions, and future biological threats. He is Chair of the Forum on Microbial Threats at the Institute of Medicine (National Academies of Science) and Past President of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and a Member of the Institute of Medicine.
In other words, he knows what he’s talking about.

 

NPS MedicineWise’s description of the video:

Did you know that you and I are only 1% human — we’ve 90 trillion cells which don’t belong to us. Yes we are more bacteria than human.
Have you ever wondered what it means to be human? It turns out that only a tiny percentage of what you and I are made of is actually human — and we need our non-human bits to survive. This part of us now has a name — it’s called our microbiome. But we’re doing dreadful things to this hidden majority and it’s damaging our health as a result. From the Tonic series produced with the assistance of NPS.

 

 

 

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REFERENCES

NPR. (2013). The Invisible Universe Of The Human Microbiome. (Video).  See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DTrENdWvvM

NPS MedicineWise. (2012). The human microbiome and what we do to it. (Video). See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEZSuwkx7Ik

 

 

© Copyright 2015 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

BIMUNO – PREbiotics for Anxiety, OCD, Depression & Overall Health

 

 

prebiotics-and-probiotics-14-638

 

I was looking for a non-pharmaceutical way to help my anxious and OCD patients so asked my supplements guru, David Miller, MD at LifeThyme (a health food store in NYC). He sent information about a new PREbiotic supplement that’s been demonstrated to be helpful for anxiety and OCD thinking – and the entire immune system located in the gut microbiome. It’s called Bimuno®. (Miller, 2015)
Bimuno® isn’t readily available yet in the US but can be ordered from the company’s website in England. Research on it and the information on the company’s site are very interesting.
It comes as sachets of tasteless powder to sprinkle over food or add to drinks and also as soft chewable pastilles. I just ordered some (the pastilles) to try myself – especially to use during travels outside the country, which often lead to upsets in my gut microbiome.
images-4
Bimuno® is a new PREbiotic product that feeds the good, PRObiotic bacteria living in our guts (such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria) to the detriment of the bad bacteria (pathogens). As the good bacteria multiply, they flush out the bad bacteria.
WHAT COULD BE BETTER!?

 

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DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRE- AND PRO-BIOTICS

 

case-study-kiwifruit-extract-subpage-probiotics-prebiotics
PREBIOTICS are specialized plant fibers containing complex sugars (such as inulin,  fructo-ogliosaccharides and galacto-oligosaccharides) that are indigestible by humans but promote the growth of beneficial bacteria (PROBIOTICS) living in our gut microbiomes by serving as food for them.
PROBIOTICS are helpful, live bacteria and yeasts our bodies need to function and maintain good health. They are found in fermented foods such as kefir, live-culture yogurt, real sauerkraut and pickles (not ones made with vinegar), kimchi, kombucha and other naturally fermented foods. If our gut flora has already become seriously out of balance, we can also benefit from taking high quality probiotics as supplements to populate the necessary array of friendly bacteria in our gut microbiomes. There are hundreds of probiotic species living in the human gut – some that are known to be ancient life forms and many that scientists haven’t even been able to identify yet.
Sometimes PREBIOTICS and PROBIOTICS are combined in the same supplements, called SYNBIOTICS.
See my earlier posts Prebiotics and Probiotics and  PREbiotics and PREbiotics for more information.

 

 

prebiotics-and-probiotics-41-638

 

 

 

 

 

SCIENTIFIC BASIS FOR THIS PREBIOTIC PRODUCT’S EFFICACY

From the Bimuno® website:

Scientific studies have demonstrated that Bimuno can significantly increase levels of Bifidobacteria (good bacteria) in the gut.1

Bimuno is the only second generation Galacto-oligosaccharide prebiotic available. It is a truly unique prebiotic with a powerful Bifidogenic effect.

3D Model of the patented prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharide

Bimuno’s unique galacto-oligosaccharide structure

It selectively boosts Bifidobacteria which play a key role in immune function and maintaining and building a healthy digestive system.

Bimuno is the result of many years of intensive research by a team of international digestive health experts and the University of Reading.

A number of clinical trials have been published and there is an ongoing research and development program into Bimuno across a number of health areas including:

  • The Immune system
  • Various aspects of digestive Health
  • Digestive health while abroad
  • Various aspects of human metabolism

Reference: 1. Am J Clin Nutr 2008; 87 :785-91

 

Bimuno® original powder is the natural way to increase and energise your good gut bacteria helping you to manage your gut health.  Bimuno works in a similar way to prebiotics naturally found in human breast milk which promote a healthy bacterial balance within the gut.

Scientific studies indicate that the unique second generation Galacto-oligosaccharide formulation of Bimuno powder, can help to encourage and sustain a healthy level of your friendly gut bacteria(Bifidobacteria). In fact Bimuno has the most potent bifidogenic (Bifidobacteria promoting) effect of any available prebiotic.

Published scientific studies have shown that, with daily use, the majority of Bimuno users experience a significant increase in their gut Bifidobacterium within just 7 days.

This in itself is impressive but by a unique anti-adhesive action it also helps flush ‘bad’ bacteria from your gut at the same time for a healthy microflora balance.

Give your digestive system a healthy boost

Bimuno powder:

  • Increases your Bifidobacteria levels, helping to maintain a healthy intestinal balance.
  • Reduces gas producing bacteria
  • Reduces bad bacteria levels
  • Energises your friendly gut bacteria
  • By maintaining a healthy digestive balance you can support overall well-being

 

 

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GUT DYSBIOSIS AND ANXIETY

Christian John Lillis, of the Peggy Lillis Foundation, reports noticing an uptick in the number of people on Clostridium difficile Facebook groups who mention that they’re also struggling with anxiety. (Lillis, 2015)
This overlap between C. diff (a serious bacterial infection of the colon) and anxiety isn’t at all surprising. An out of balance (dysbiotic) gut microbiome produces a wide variety of symptoms – including anxiety, depression, and OCD.

 

http://www.peggyfoundation.org/
http://www.peggyfoundation.org/

 

 

Animal studies have previously shown a link between mood and brain function and probiotics in the gut microbiota. Ingestion of Lactobacillus rhamnosus (a strain of PRObiotic) has been demonstrated to modulate information processing strongly linked to anxiety and depression and to improve the neuro-endocrine stress response in lab animals – in plain English, this probiotic turned anxious, fearful mice into mellow ones.
Now new research on healthy human adults conducted by a group of neurobiologists at Oxford University demonstrated that supplementation with PREbiotics (Bimuno® galacto-oligosaccharides, B-GOS) lowered the subjects’ neuro-endocrine stress responses and increased their ability to  process positive versus negative attentional vigilance. In other words, PREbiotic supplementation with Bimuno REDUCED THEIR ANXIETY LEVELS AND OCD THINKING.
The researchers assessed how subjects processed emotional information, such as positively and negatively charged words, after they’d been taking the prebiotic supplement. Results showed that the supplemented group paid less attention to negative information and more attention to positive information than either a group given another type of prebiotic (fructooligosaccharides, FOS) or a group given a placebo. The people who had taken Bimuno® also had lower levels of cortisol (a stress hormone linked with anxiety and depression) in their morning saliva.
A similar effect has been observed in people taking anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pharmaceutical medication. (Schmidt et al, 2014) (Gregoire, 2015)
This is very good news for people suffering from anxiety and OCD. Taking a prebiotic supplement may relieve their life-impinging symptoms while also improving their overall physical health – without the adverse effects of pharmaceuticals.

 

guts-790x500

BIMUNO‘S INGREDIENTS

Information listed on the box of Bimuno powder sachets:
  • Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS)
  • Lactose (from milk)
  • Glucose syrup
  • Thickener (gum arabic)
  • Galactose
  • Acidity regulator (trisodium citrate)
  • Free from artificial colors, flavours and preservatives
  • Gluten-free
  • 16 Cal/sachet
The galacto-oligosaccharides in Bimuno® are a mixture of disaccharides, trisaccharides, a tetrasaccharide and a pentasaccharide.

 

 

 

 

THE BIMUNO WEBSITE

I recommend checking out the Bimuno website. The pull down menus are chock full of useful and fascinating information about digestive and whole body health, prebiotics/ probiotics and the immune system.
See the information under:
  • Maintain your digestive health
  • Digestive problems & solutions
  • Support your immune defences
  • Digestive health for traveling

 

 

lactobacillus-feed-me

 

 

REFERENCES

Bimuno. (2015). Bimuno’s website. See: http://www.bimuno.com/

Depeint, F. et al. (2008). Prebiotic evaluation of a novel galactooligosaccharide mixture produced by the enzymatic activity ofBifidobacterium bifidum NCIMB 41171, in healthy humans: a randomized, double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled intervention study. See: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/3/785.full

Gregoire, C. (2015). The Surprising Link Between Gut Bacteria And Anxiety. The Huffington Post. See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/04/gut-bacteria-mental-healt_n_6391014.html

Hardin, J.R. (2013). Probiotics and Probiotics. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/superimmunity/prebiotics-and-probiotics/

Hardin, J.R. (2014). PREbiotics and PRObiotics. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/?s=prebiotics

Lillis, J.C. (2015). Private communication.

Miller, D. (2015). Private communication.

Schmidt, K. (2014). Prebiotic intake reduces the waking cortisol response and alters emotional bias in healthy volunteers. See: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00213-014-3810-0

Vulevic, J. et al. (2008). Modulation of the fecal microflora profile and immune function by a novel trans-galactooligosaccharide mixture (B-GOS) in healthy elderly volunteers. See: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/88/5/1438.short

 

 

© Copyright 2015 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Alzheimer’s, Gut Bacteria and Music

LAST UPDATED 7/18/2018.

 

 

(Source: www.sciencedaily.com)
(Source: www.sciencedaily.com)

 

 

Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that gradually worsens over time, affecting memory, thinking and behavior – eventually becoming severe enough to interfere with all aspects of daily life. Alzheimer’s involves the progressive loss of brain function, is the most common cause of dementia and the 6th leading cause of death in the US.
In 2013 over 5 million American had the disease. The rates rise yearly and are expected to reach 16 million by 2050.

Continue reading Alzheimer’s, Gut Bacteria and Music

AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES: How they develop and how to put them in remission

 

 

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HOW AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES DEVELOP

Autoimmune diseases develop when the body’s immune system produces an inappropriate immune response against its own tissues. Because the vast majority of our immune system is located in the composition of our gut microbiome, this is where we need to focus to understand how we come to develop an autoimmune disease (probably more than one) and also how to reverse these types of diseases.
When the immune system stops recognizing as “self” something that’s a normal constituent of the body, it starts producing auto-antibodies that attack the body’s own cells, tissues, and/or organs. This produces chronic inflammation that damages these body parts and leads to autoimmune disorders.
Autoimmune diseases are generally classified as systemic (those that damage more than one organ or part of the body) or localized (those that damage a single organ or type of tissue). This distinction is somewhat artificial since localized autoimmune disorders often extend beyond the targeted tissues, indirectly affecting other organs and systems. (American Association for Clinical Chemistry, 2014)

 

 

(Source: www.nj.com)
(Source: www.nj.com)

 

 

In a scientific literature review article entitled The role of intestinal microbiota and the immune system, the authors examined articles on atopic* diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases and treatment of these conditions with probiotics. They  concluded that the evidence strongly points to the intestinal microflora’s having important “protective, metabolic, trophic** and immunological functions” and that the micro-organisms comprising the gut microbiome are “able to establish a ‘cross-talk’ with the immune component of mucosal immunity…. When one or more steps in this fine interaction fail, autoimmune or auto-inflammatory diseases may occur. Furthermore, it results from the data that probiotics, used for the treatment of the diseases caused by the dysregulation of the immune system, can have a beneficial effect.” (Purchiaroni et al, 2013)
* Atopic: A predisposition toward developing certain allergic hypersensitivity reactions
** Trophic: Of or relating to nutrition; promoting cellular growth, differentiation, and survival

 

(Source; www.slideshare.net)
(Source; www.slideshare.net)

 

 

Here’s my short hand version of the process:
Chronic unbalance in the content of the gut microbiome (gut dysbiosis) –> leaky gut –> chronic inflammation, which eventually –> one or more autoimmune diseases.
Some examples of autoimmune diseases:
  •  Acne
  •  Allergies
  •  Asthma
  •  Cardiac myopathy
  •  Celiac disease
  •  Chronic inflammatory liver disease (autoimmune hepatitis)
  •  Eczema
  •  Lupus
  •  Lyme disease, chronic
  •  Multiple sclerosis
  •  Peripheral neuropathy
  •  Psoriasis
  •  Psoriatic arthritis
  •  Raynaud’s phenomenon
  •  Rheumatic fever
  •  Rheumatoid arthritis
  •  Rosacea
  •  Scleroderma
  •  Ulcerative colitis
  •  Vitiligo
See AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS for a more complete list of the autoimmune disorders and more information about them.

(Source: www.operationshootingstar.com)
(Source: www.operationshootingstar.com)

 

 

 

 

HOW TO PUT AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES IN REMISSION

In talking about how to prevent autoimmune diseases disorders and how to reverse them if you’re already suffering with one or more, I’m going to focus on the work of a very smart scientist, writer and mother, Dr. Sarah Ballantyne in this discussion. As you read on, you’ll see why.

 

 

(Source: www.thepaleomom.com)
Sarah Ballantyne, PhD (Source: www.thepaleomom.com)

 

 

Sarah Ballantyne, PhD, earned a doctorate in medical biophysics at the age of 26 and then spent the next four years doing research on innate immunity and inflammation before becoming a stay-at-home mom. After the birth of her second child, she began experimenting with the Paleo lifestyle – which greatly improved her health.
Over time, she healed herself of a long list of autoimmune conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, and Lichen Planus (an inflammatory skin condition).
Inspired by this success, Dr. Ballantyne created the popular health blog ThePaleoMom.com and became co-host of a top-rated podcast, The Paleo View.
Ballantyne is passionate about providing straightforward explanations of the science behind her diet and lifestyle recommendations for managing autoimmune disease. A lover of food and cooking, the next logical step for her was to write a book called The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body. (Ballantyne, 2014b) This was soon followed by a companion book called The Paleo Approach Cookbook: A Detailed Guide to Heal Your Body and Nourish Your Soul (Ballantyne, 2014c)

 

 

 

(Source: thepaleomom.wordpress.com)
(Source: thepaleomom.wordpress.com)

 

 

 

(Source: www.thepaleomom.com )
(Source: www.thepaleomom.com)

 

 

 

From Amazon.com’s description of The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body:

An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from some form of autoimmune disease. If you’re among them, you may know all too well how little modern medicine can do to alleviate your condition. But that’s no reason to give up hope. In this groundbreaking book, Sarah D. Ballantyne, Ph.D., draws upon current medical research and her own battle with an autoimmune disorder to show you how you can become completely symptom-free—the natural way.

The Paleo Approach is the first book ever to explain how to adapt the Paleo diet and lifestyle to bring about a full recovery. Read it to learn why foods marketed as “healthy”—such as whole grains, soy, and low-fat dairy—can contribute to the development of autoimmune conditions. Discover what you can eat to calm your immune system, reduce inflammation, and help your body heal itself. Find out which simple lifestyle changes—along with changes in diet—will make the biggest difference for your health….

Simple strategies for lifestyle adjustments, including small steps that can make a huge difference, guide you through the most important changes to support healing.

Do you have a complicated condition that requires medical intervention, medication, or supplements? Dr. Ballantyne also walks you through the most useful medical tests, treatments, and supplements (as well as the most counterproductive ones) to help you open a dialogue with your physician.

 

 

 

(Source; consciouslifenews.com)
(Source; consciouslifenews.com)

 

This comment about Ballantyne’s first book on its Amazon.com page struck me as summing up the battle against autoimmune diseases – and sound advice on how to live a satisfying life in general. The writer describes how she used Ballantyne’s guidelines to make her autoimmune diseases go into remission and get her life back on track. The comment is long but I think very much worth reading:

 

How The Paleo Approach Saved My Health (after years of low-carb paleo)

By Stacy & Matt, the Paleo Parents on January 28, 2014

 

paleo-parents2

 

While you all have waited patiently for years as Dr. Sarah Ballantyne wrote The Paleo Approach, I was lucky enough to begin following her protocol well before it was available to the public. I started my journey on healing when Practical Paleo first came out and I started with the methodologies Diane put forth for autoimmune conditions (autoimmune protocol: AIP).

Problem was, after following the AIP for nearly 3 months I wasn’t seeing healing. Some of the super negative symptoms were alleviated, like adrenal fatigue, clumps of hair falling out and terrible acne, but when I reintroduced foods I would get flares again. I distinctly remember it being SO. HARD. Like, temper tantrums in the car hard because everything, EVERYTHING I was used to eating had eggs or nightshades and I was overwhelmed at the idea of living the rest of my life that way. All of which contributed to my ongoing struggles with depression – the obsession with food was beginning to overwhelm me, it was starting to cause disordered eating again, as I looked for ways to “get around” the AIP.

I was so frustrated, I began talking with Sarah about what her thoughts and recommendations were. It was at this time that Sarah was hundreds of thousands of words deep into writing The Paleo Approach (no, seriously, it’s a tome). There were a few things she shared with me about what she found in the scientific literature about recommendations she was going to make, versus things I’d read in Practical Paleo and other resources.

And so it began, in 2013 I started following The Paleo Approach. Mostly this meant that I focused more on what to add to my diet instead of what to remove from it. Sarah and I talked every week on The Paleo View and nearly each episode each one of us would get more and more geeked out on nutrient-density, our new favorite word. We began exploring healing foods; Matt and I became so inspired that we wrote the nose-to-tail cookbook, Beyond Bacon – almost every recipe of which includes bone stock and/or lard (high in Vitamin D and easy for me to digest).

I’d been following a low-fat, low-carb version of paleo for years. Turns out, it made me sick. It affected my adrenals, thyroid function, and ability for my body to heal itself. I was nutrient-poor, despite eating what I thought was the best diet possible. Perhaps for some people eating that way is healthy for them, but for me as a busy woman with no gallbladder and previous metabolic syndrome, it ended up as a disaster long-term. Turns out, a high protein diet (especially when the protein is mostly poultry) wasn’t doing what I thought it was for my health. I got over my fear of fat and incorporated more nutrient-dense healing fats, specifically lard, coconut oil and ghee/butter (I was shocked how well I tolerated ghee and butter after a lifetime of being dairy intolerant). I switched my proteins to a majority of grass-fed red meat and pastured pork, added seafood and incorporated the true superfoods: organ meat and bone broth.

One of the things I learned from Sarah is the importance of vegetables. I’ve popularized #morevegetablesthanavegetarian in social media – but it was Sarah’s focus on the importance of vegetables – specifically a variety of colorful ones – that really made me focus on them. For a while, I’d actually reduced the types of vegetables I was eating because I wanted to stay away from foods high in insoluble fiber – which I personally let affect the quantity of veggies I was eating. When Sarah told me she had research that greens rich in insoluble fiber, even cruciferous ones, showed to be positive healing foods from her research it was a big change in how I approached nourishing myself. As I started adding in much more vegetables, especially leafy greens, it was amazing how much it affected my digestion and how I felt.

From the prior AIP protocol I was already consuming fermented foods rich in probiotics, which is another big important factor in helping to heal the gut through food. So then I turned to lifestyle factors.

I learned to love myself and let things go. I know… it’s hokey. And intangible. And something I can’t possibly define for you to replicate… although I’ve tried to articulate it a zillion times on The Paleo View. Stress Management was defined and something I began when I first started Practical Paleo`s AIP. But it’s not something one can fix overnight. Over time, and through Sarah’s repeated reminders of the scientific backing behind stress being a leading causes of health deterioration, I learned how to slay the stress monster.

First, I gave myself permission to do something(s) for me. Without guilt or remorse. It was really hard in the beginning to know I was missing out on time I could (or as I thought, should) be doing: helping with dinner, spending time with the kids, staying later at the office, etc. But then I realized I deserve to take care of the only body I’ll have to carry me through this life. My children deserve a role model to show them that sometimes it’s OK to stop and put the gas mask on yourself before helping others – I learned to take care of myself first before putting others ahead of me. This, was huge.

I learned to breathe. There was a point at which my stress levels had caused an eye twitch I couldn’t get rid of for months. And I had begun grinding my teeth and experiencing frequent headaches from it. I even had about a 6 week period of time where I was experiencing frequent anxiety attacks in crossfit, unable to breathe when something ended up being harder than I anticipated. It made me want to quit, and I’ve never been a quitter. It was at this time Sarah talked to me about relaxation techniques she highly encouraged. It was so bizarre for this scientist to be telling me to do some hokey-pokey-crunchy-granola-meditation… but she was right. My body was overwhelmed and needed a break. So several times a day I intentionally stood up and walked around the office, finding someone to smile with and change my environment while activating happy hormones. During crossfit I learned to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth with deep, intentional breaths. Soon, the twitching and anxiety attacks just went away!

I learned to let things go. This was the hardest for me and is something I’m still actively working on. I talk out loud about what I can or cannot do. It’s about acknowledgement, doing what you’re able the best you can, and then forgiveness. What a concept… all backed by science to help you be healthier!

Be positive! No, really. Of course not everything’s great. But almost everything has something positive about it. So I learned to frame things to myself positively and it helped me have an overall positive outlook and attitude.

Sarah goes over LOTS more stuff in The Paleo Approach but these are the things that I personally applied to my own life.

The results?

I’ve resolved ALL of the autoimmune related health issues I experienced in 2011 and 2012.

Let me restate that, because I want to make sure it’s heard. I no longer have symptoms of autoimmune disease, adrenal fatigue, micro-nutrient deficiencies, skin breakouts or depression (at all). My body has not only recovered fully from the autoimmune flare, but I’ve actually been able to heal my body even further – now able to consume foods like high quality heavy cream and cheeses without distress! And when accidentally exposed to gluten or intentionally eat things I know my body has a difficult time with (like nightshades or grains) I find each and every time my body responds better than the time before. I have successfully reintroduced nuts, seeds, chocolate, egg yolks and seed spices (all in moderation) but have found that egg whites and nightshade vegetables (except peeled white potatoes) are something I can not (yet) tolerate.

I plan to continue my healing journey and hope to be a role model for those out there with autoimmune conditions. Keeping in mind that 2 years ago I was depressed with barely enough energy to slog through the day (thyroid and adrenal issues), I now am a fully charged woman who manages this blog, a podcast, writing books, a full-time job, raising 3 boys AND am training for a StrongMan competition in just a few months. I’m happy to report that The Paleo Approach quite literally gave me my life back.

 

 

(Source: The Paleo Mom)
(Source: The Paleo Mom)

 

 

On her own  blog, ThePaleoMom.com, Sarah Ballantyne says this about how  autoimmune diseases develop and how to put them into remission (Ballantyne, 2014a):

Autoimmune disease is caused by the immune system losing the ability to differentiate proteins belonging to your own body with proteins belonging to a foreign invader (like a bacteria, virus or parasite). What causes symptoms is the build up of damage to cells, tissues and/or organs in the body–damage caused by your own immune system attacking those cells. Which proteins/cells are attacked is what separates once disease from another. In Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, the thyroid gland is attacked. In Rheumatoid Arthritis, the tissues of your joints are attacked. In psoriasis, proteins within the layers of cells that make up your skin are attacked. However, the root cause is the same.

Genetic predisposition to autoimmunity makes up about one third of your risk of developing an autoimmune disease. The other two thirds of your risk come from environmental factors, which include: diet, lifestyle, infections (both prior and persistent) exposure to toxins, hormones, weight, etc. While you cannot control your genetics or whether or not you had mono as a kid, you do have an immense amount of control over your diet and lifestyle (and the extent that these affect hormones and weight and even toxin exposure). By removing the foods that contribute to a leaky gut, gut dysbiosis (the wrong numbers, relative quantities, or types of microorganisms typically growing in the wrong locations in your gut), hormone imbalance, and that stimulate inflammation and the immune system, you can create the opportunity for your body to heal. By addressing important lifestyle factors and changing your focus to eating nutrient-dense foods that support optimal gut health (and optimal health of your gut microorganisms), that restore levels of important nutrients and provide all of the building blocks that your body needs to heal and properly regulate the immune system, that help resolve inflammation and support organ function, you create an environment in your body conducive to healing.

This is not a cure (once your body learns to attack itself, it can never un-learn this), but you can put your disease into remission, often permanently.

 

 

And a little humor to close:

 

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(Source: www.uphs.upenn.edu)
(Source: www.uphs.upenn.edu)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

 

American Association for Clinical Chemistry. (2014). Autoimmune disorders. Lab Tests Online. See: http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/conditions/autoimmune/?gclid=CLOyz8GNy8ECFSZo7AodHwgAKQ

Ballantyne, S. (2014a). The Autoimmune Protocol. ThePaleoMom.com. See: http://www.thepaleomom.com/autoimmunity/the-autoimmune-protocol

Ballantyne, S. (2014b). The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body. See: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1936608391?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=1936608391&linkCode=xm2&tag=wwwthepaleomo-20

Ballantyne, S. (2014c). The Paleo Approach Cookbook: A Detailed Guide to Heal Your Body and Nourish Your Soul. See: http://www.amazon.com/Paleo-Approach-Cookbook-Detailed-Nourish/dp/162860008X/ref=la_B00B0QLZ5W_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411740448&sr=1-2

Ballantyne, S. (2014d). The Paleo View Podcasts. See: http://www.thepaleomom.com/podcast

Hardin, J.R. (2014). Autoimmune Disorders. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/symbiosis-versus-dysbiosis/autoimmune-conditions-diseases/

Purchiaroni, F. et al. (2013). The role of intestinal microbiota and the immune system. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, 17:3, 323-33. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23426535

 

 

 

© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 

The Standard American Diet (SAD)

What a McDonald's Commercial Should Look Like
What a McDonald’s Commercial Should Look Like
I decided to return to the subject of the Standard American Diet after seeing this comedian’s skit “What a Chicken McNuggets commercial would look like if McDonald’s were being honest”.

 

 

This is the Standard American Diet – aptly abbreviated as SAD – shown as a pie chart:

 

SAD-pie-chart1

 

 

Here’s another way of looking at the Standard American Diet – as percentages of calories derived from plant, animal and processed foods:

 

 

 

Standard American Diet as Percentages of Calories Consumed
Source: USDA Economic Research Service, 2009

 

 

 

 And the SAD as represented in another pie chart – this one showing the number of calories we get from various sources:

 

 

standard-american-diet2009

 

 

No matter how the Standard American Diet is represented, it’s clearly bad news for our health.

 

the-soda-pop-board-of-america-1950s

 

 

The Standard American Diet is how the vast majority of Americans eat.  It is characterized by high intake of sweets, animal products, cooking oils, high-fat and processed  foods. People living on SAD have a higher incidence of  heart disease and cancers. (Fuhrman, 2011) (Hardin, 2013 -a)
It is well known that factory farmed and processed foods are more likely to cause illness than organically grown, unprocessed foods. Yet 90 percent of the American food budget is spent on processed and fast foods.  (Schlosser, 2001)

 

 

 

sad-american-diet-is-made-for-warehouse.preview

 

 

The Standard American Diet is high in refined sugars and red meat, both of which severely acidify the body, producing inflammation – the gateway to many serious ailments. An overly acidic diet is at the core of many symptoms such as fatigue, digestive imbalances, emotional imbalances and anxiety. Adding foods to our daily diet that alkalinize the blood, urine and saliva can help restore balance and health again. (Hardin, 2014 -a)

 

 804-health-food-choices-95

 

 

We all know that adult and childhood obesity has become a serious health issue in the US and elsewhere. Beginning in the 1950′s, when calorie-dense/nutrient poor foods and beverages started becoming standard fare in this country, the number of people consuming the Standard American Diet has steadily risen – much to the detriment of both our microbiota and our overall health. (Hardin, 2013 -c)

 

 

Evolution-of-Obesity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE NITTY GRITTY ON CHICKEN MCNUGGETS

 

McDonald's Chicken McNuggets
McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets

 

Chicken McNuggets, introduced by McDonald’s in 1983,  consist of small pieces of processed chicken meat that have been battered and deep fried.
As of October 9, 2010, the ingredients in McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets within the United States are as follows (Wikipedia, 2014):

Chicken, water, salt, sodium phosphates.

Battered and breaded with bleached wheat flour, water, modified food starch, salt, spices, wheat gluten, paprika, dextrose (sugar), yeast, garlic powder, rosemary, partially hydrogenated soybean oil and cottonseed oil with mono- and diglycerides, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, ammonium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate), natural flavor (plant source) with extractives of paprika.

Fried in vegetable oil (canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid).

Dimethylpolysiloxane is added as an anti-foaming agent.

Chicken McNuggets’ ingredients can vary outside the US.

 

 

 

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Nutritional value in 10 pieces of Chicken McNuggets – not including sauce (McDonalds, 2014):
Chicken McNuggets
Nutritional value per 10 pieces (162 g) No sauce
Energy 440 kcal (1,800 kJ)
Carbohydrates 30 g (10%)
Sugars 0 g
Dietary fiber 2 g
Fat 30 g (44%)
Saturated 5 g (25%)
Protein 22 g
Vitamins
Vitamin A equiv. (0%)0 μg
Vitamin C (2%)2 mg
Trace metals
Calcium (2%)20 mg
Iron (8%)1 mg
Sodium (60%)900 mg
Other constituents
Energy from fat 270 kcal (1,100 kJ)
Cholesterol 65 mg (22%)
May vary outside United States.
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.

 

 

This list doesn’t even include the sauce! The second-most plentiful ingredient in the McDonald’s Sweet Chili Sauce shown below is sugar. The whole ingredients list for this sauce is:

Water, Sugar, Distilled Vinegar, Cayenne Peppers, Modified Food Starch, Salt, Garlic Puree, Dried Red Peppers, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative)

(McDonald’s 2014)

 

 

McDonald's Sweet Chili Sauce for Chicken McNuggets
McDonald’s Sweet Chili Sauce for Chicken McNuggets

 

And … you can be sure the ingredients in Chicken McNuggets, their various sauces and the other items on the McDonald’s menu aren’t organic so you’re getting a good dose of genetically modified organisms with each serving.

 

 

Seven Side Effects of Soda
Seven Side Effects of Soda

 

 

In case you’re interested in looking at what’s in other McDonald’s dishes, here’s a list of ingredients published by McDonald’s: McDonald’s USA Ingredients Listing for Popular Menu Items.

 

 

Our Western Diet - SAD
Our Western Diet – SAD

 

 

 

See INFLAMMATION to read more about how the Standard American Diet adversely affects  our health.

 

 

FOODS-THAT-CAUSE-INFLAMMATION

 

 

See GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS – OUR FOOD  for more information on the problems with consuming genetically engineered foods.

 

images-1

 

 

 

 

how_to_avoid_gmo_foods1

 

 

 

 

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REFERENCES

Fuhrman, J. (2011). Super Immunity: The essential nutrition guide for boosting your body’s defenses to live longer, stronger, and disease free.

Hardin, J.R. (2013 -a). Intriguing Facts About the Gut and Brain.  AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/the-gut-brain-axis/intriguing-facts-about-the-gut-and-brain/

Hardin, J.R. (2013 -b). Inflammation.  AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See:  http://allergiesandyourgut.com/symbiosis-versus-dysbiosis/inflammation/

Hardin, J.R. (2013 -c). Weight and Food Intake Regulation. AllergiesAndYourGut.com.  See:  http://allergiesandyourgut.com/symbiosis-versus-dysbiosis/weight-and-food-intake-regulation/

Hardin, J.R. (2014 -a). Umeboshi Plums – Tasty and Alkalinizing. AllergiesAndYourGut.com.  See:  http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/04/16/umeboshi-plum-vinegar-tasty-alkalinizing-food/ “Umeboshi Plums – Tasty and Alkalinizing

Hardin, J.R. (2014 -b). Genetically Modified Organisms – Our Food. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/?s=genetically

HealthFreedoms.org. (2014). WHAT A MCDONALD’S COMMERCIAL SHOULD LOOK LIKE. See: http://healthfreedoms.org/2014/07/08/what-a-mcdonalds-commercial-should-look-like/

McDonald’s. (2014). McDonald’s USA Ingredients Listing for Popular Menu Items. See:  http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/getnutrition/ingredientslist.pdf

Schlosser, E. (2001). Fast Food Nation: The dark side of the all-American meal.

Wikipedia. (2014). Chicken McNuggets. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_McNuggetsChicken McNuggets

 

 

© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.