Fermented Foods Fight Flu & Viruses

  Consuming Fermented Foods Daily May Be Better Than A Flu Shot

Consuming Fermented Foods Daily May Be Better Than A Flu Shot

Study finds lactic acid bacteria can protect again influenza A virus

Probiotics isolated from fermented foods provide protection against bacterial infections as well as cold and flu viruses according to Professor Sang-Moo Kang, Georgia University, Biomedical Sciences.

“Fermented vegetables and dairy products contain a variety of lactic acid bacteria, which have a number of health benefits in addition to being used as probiotics. Studies have found some lactic acid bacteria strains provide partial protection against bacterial infectious diseases, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, as well as cold and influenza viruses.”

https://news.gsu.edu/2017/12/13/lactic-acid-bacteria-can-protect-influenza-virus-study-finds/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15288079.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17767461

http://www.jarrow.com/articles/release/id/417/Lactobacillus_Plantarum_299v,_Natural_Solutions_to_GI_Problems

Inflammation, Alzhiemers & Insulin Resistance

When we eat too many sugars and starches our body does not make ketones - alzheimers is now being called diabetes of the brain.  To help our body recover and decrease inflammation a ketogenic diet based on coconut oil has helped many people.

Dr. Bruce Fife is a Nutritionist and Naturopath, author of many books about the health benefits of coconut.
Dr. Fife recommends add 3 tablespoons per day minimum and build up to around 5 tablespoons per day if you have Inflammation or Alzheimers - you may need to add psyllium husk to this while your body gets used to digesting fat instead of carbs. He has written a book called Coconut Oil Ketogenic Diet

SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE FOR USING COCONUT OIL IN PLACE OF CARBS

Microbiologist Studying Human Microbiota for 15 Years

 Erica Sonnenburg PHD is a Senior Research Scientist at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in Stanford University School of Medicine. The bacteria living in the human gut (a.k.a. the "microbiome") is constantly changing and adapting with diet and lifestyle. In this two-part presentation, Erica Sonnenburg,  explains her research on this phenomena and describes how she promotes a healthy microbiota through a fibre heavy diet. Her lab is not funded by pharmaceutical companies or business so her research is not "filtered" in any way. Her & her partner`s work has been published in many peer reviewed scientific journals and has been quoted by many others in medical/nutrition circles.

  • She and her family eat a high fibre diet, grow some of their own food and eat milk kefir and cultured vegetables every day to improve the diversity of microbiota species in the gut. 

 

This lecture is well worth watching for a deeper understanding on the impacts of a reduced diversity of the microbiota and direct links to all aspects of our health.

erica sonnenburg.jpg
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Anti Oxidant GLUTATHIONE

HOW TO RAISE GLUTATHIONE WITH COFACTORS

 

The Whey in Dairy Milk Kefir contains compounds that make Glutathione - this is your master antioxidant made in your body if you have enough ingredients and is crucial to good health. Your body is a vast chemical factory.  Drink 1 cup of milk kefir every day. 

Vitamins - in one trial, blood GSH levels rose nearly 50% in healthy people taking 500 mg of vitamin C per day for only two weeks. Vitamin C raises Glutathione by helping the body manufacture it.

Vitamin E acts in a similar way as vitamin C - it recycles Glutathione and depends on it for proper function and recycling as well.

Vitamins B6, B12, B1 and B2 are also required in the synthesis of Glutathione. B1 and B2 maintain Glutathione and its related enzymes in their active forms. B2 helps combine amino acids into proteins, and Glutathione is one of them. B6 is crucial for the metabolism and proper function of many amino acids, for example, for converting homocysteine into cysteine. B12 acts as a coenzyme in the production and regulation of red blood cells.

Folate or folic acid (known as B9) - its role as Glutathione booster lies in folate’s ability to divert cysteine preferentially towards Glutathione production rather than homocysteine production, thus helping supply the cells with more cysteine for building intracellular Glutathione. Maximum recommended dosage of folate is 400 mcg/day. Best dietary sources are spinach, turnip greens, lettuce, dried beans and peas, sunflower seeds, peanuts, avocado, asparagus, fortified pastas and cereals. When cooking veggies they should be steamed instead of boiled – less folate leaches into the water this way.

Selenium - the trace element that functions as an antioxidant. It also participates in protein synthesis and other metabolic processes and acts together with other antioxidants, especially vitamin E. Selenium elevates the levels of glutathione peroxidase; the cysteine molecule appearing in the process of digestion of plants grown in selenium-rich soil contributes to GSH production. Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for adults is 55 mcg. Best dietary sources are Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, oatmeal, tuna, turkey, chicken breast, beef, eggs and brown rice.

Magnesium - magnesium is necessary for proper functioning of enzyme gamma glutamyl transpeptidase which is important in the synthesis of Glutathione. RDI is 400 mg, but optimum daily intake is considered at 490- 700 mg. Best dietary sources are halibut, spinach, squash, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, toasted sesame seeds, beans, walnuts, almonds, peanuts and Brazil nuts.

Zinc - zinc deficiency leads to low concentrations of reduced (non-oxidized) Glutathione, especially in red blood cells. This is detrimental to Glutathione metabolism. However, high levels of zinc may reduce Glutathione because zinc has a certain toxicity. RDI for adults is 8-11 mg. Best dietary sources are oysters, beef shanks, chicken legs, pork shoulder and tenderloin, and Alaskan King crab. Zinc from beans, legumes and grains has very low bioavailability compared to meat sources.

Vanadium - this element depends on Glutathione to stay in non-oxidized state and to increase vanadium’s bioavailability. It may recycle Glutathione under certain conditions. Vanadium is not considered a crucial cofactor and at high levels it may even deplete glutathione due to its toxicity. Vanadium’s role in health has not been studied very well, so there is no RDA established. Average diet provides 6-18 mcg a day. Safe upper limit is 1.8 mg (1,800 mcg). Dietary sources are: mushrooms, shellfish, dill, parsley and black pepper.

Adequate amounts of vitamins C, E, B1, B2, B6, B12, folate, selenium, magnesium and zinc, either from diet or with additional supplementation, are necessary for raising Glutathione levels.

Psychiatrists Are Now Using Probiotic Treatments Instead of Drugs

Reprinted from Green Med Info: Written By Dr. Kelly Brogan

Every functional medicine psychiatrist has case stories of the 'probiotic cure' – of a patient with debilitating symptoms, often obsessive compulsive range, whose symptoms remitted completely with dietary change and probiotic supplementation. Is this voodoo or is it based on a growing understanding of the role of the microbiome in mental health and behavior?

For two decades now, pioneering researchers have been substantiating inflammatory models of mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.  Research has focused on markers that indicate immune distress in an important subset of patients, many of whom are labeled "treatment resistant." Through this body of literature, we have identified that depression can be induced, in animals and in humans through inflammatory agents, that it is correlated with blood levels of inflammatory markers, in a linear way (more markers = worse depression), and that symptoms can be reversed through pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories.

Inflammatory Models of Mental Illness: The Role for the Gut

Working with this premise, where is the best place to begin when we consider how to modify inflammatory states in the body, naturally? You guessed it, it's the gut. Housing >70% of our immune system, the gut is our interface between the outside and inside world, separated by one-cell-thickness. The resident microorganisms, outnumbering by 10:1 by our human body cells, develop an ecosystem through postnatal exposures, in the vaginal canal, through breastfeeding, and the immediate environment.  Disruption to the balance of bacteria through medication exposures, gluten, herbicides, stress, and infection can set the stage for the innate immune system to prepare for attack. Depression, associated with compromised integrity of this intestinal barrier, becomes the swirling storm of inflammation, impairment of cellular machinery (i.e. mitochondria), oxidative stress, and inflammation in a carousel-like forward rotation. Specifically, depression is associated with elevated levels of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a nutrient-binding, inflammatory toxin produced by bacteria that are intended to remain in the gut.

If depression is a downstream collection of symptoms, and inflammation, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial dysfunction are driving these symptoms, what is at the source? It appears, from data in animals and humans, that disruption to our gut ecology may be a major player, and the microbiome has stepped to the forefront of cutting-edge psychiatric research.

Enter psychobiotics: "a live organism that, when ingested in adequate amounts, produces a health benefit in patients suffering from psychiatric illness."  A review by Dinan et al. encompasses the clinical basis for the use of probiotics in mental health with reference to animal studies in which behavioral changes resulted from exposure to bacterial strains such as bifidobacterium and lactobacillus. In placebo-controlled trials in humans, measures of anxiety, chronic fatigue, and depression and anxiety associated with irritable bowel syndrome.

The therapeutic clinical applications of probiotics have been limited to a handful of strains out of the more than 7000 at last count. It appears that colonization is not an expected outcome of probiotic supplementation, and that genomic communication between bacteria and immune receptors may account for anti-inflammatory effects.

Ancient Wisdom

Given how little is known about therapeutic applications of different strains, it may make sense to defer to ancestral practices that confirm the importance of probiotic exposures. In these foods such as lactofermented kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, and other traditional vegetables, microbes are acting on the food, and the food is then acting on our microbes.

 

What do bacteria accomplish in the gut? Do they just help with digestion? According to Selhub et al., they:

• Direct protection of the intestinal barrier;

• Influence on local and systemic antioxidant status, reduction in lipid peroxidation;

• Direct, microbial-produced neurochemical production, for example, gammaaminobutyric

acid (GABA);

• Indirect influence on neurotransmitter or neuropeptide production;

• Prevention of stress-induced alterations to overall intestinal microbiota;

• Direct activation of neural pathways between gut and brain;

• Limitation of inflammatory cytokine production;

• Modulation of neurotrophic chemicals, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor;

• Limitation of carbohydrate malabsorption;

• Improvement of nutritional status, for example, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, dietary

phytochemicals;

• Limitation of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth;

• Reduction of amine or uremic toxin burden;

• Limitation of gastric or intestinal pathogens (for example, Helicobacter pylori);

• Analgesic properties.

Given widespread fermentation practices in traditional cultures, it appears that this dietary wisdom may serve to ameliorate gut-based inflammation and promote optimal nutrient assimilation as described in this review: "Traditional dietary practices have completely divergent effects of blood LPS levels; significant reductions (38%) have been noted after a one-month adherence to a prudent (traditional) diet, while the Western diet provokes LPS elevations ."

In addition to increasing bioavailability and production of minerals, neurochemicals, and fatty acids, fermented foods actually produce methylfolate, an activated form of folate required for methylation: brain chemical synthesis, detox, and gene expression.

Because of the complex coevolution of bacterial strains, cultivated through our food supply, and complementary to our inner microbiomes, we have an opportunity to use therapeutic foods to reeducate an immune system that has been drawn off course. Psychobiotics have the potential to modulate multiple different relevant factors at once:

"This could manifest, behaviorally, via magnified antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, reduction of intestinal permeability and the detrimental effects of LPS, improved glycemic control, positive influence on nutritional status (and therefore neurotransmission and neuropeptide production), direct production of GABA, and other bioactive chemicals, as well as a direct role in gut-to-brain communication via a beneficial shift in the intestinal microbiota itself."

It is therefore compelling to consider the power of reconnecting to the natural world through our food; communicating through our guts to our brains, that nutrients are plentiful, our bodies are safe, and that our inflammatory systems can be put at ease. It is under these circumstances that the infinite complexity of the endocrine, immune, and gastrointestinal systems can play out, unhindered in support of mental health and wellness

 

 

Dr. Brogan is boarded in Psychiatry/Psychosomatic Medicine/Reproductive Psychiatry and Integrative Holistic Medicine, and practices Functional Medicine, a root-cause approach to illness as a manifestation of multiple-interrelated systems. After studying Cognitive Neuroscience at M.I.T., and receiving her M.D. from Cornell University, she completed her residency and fellowship at Bellevue/NYU. She is one of the nation’s only physicians with perinatal psychiatric training who takes a holistic evidence-based approach in the care of patients with a focus on environmental medicine and nutrition. She is also a mom of two, and an active supporter of women's birth experience. She is the Medical Director for Fearless Parent, and an advisory board member for GreenMedInfo.comVisit her website.

Prof. Simon Carding Gut Microbes & Health

Prof. Simon Carding Gut Microbes & Health

Prof. Simon Carding, Leader of the Gut Health and Food Safety Research Programme, Institute of Food Research and Norwich Medical School at the University of East Anglia, describes our current understanding of the human gut and its relationship with its human host and introduce the provocative proposal that gut microbes influence when, what and how often we eat and whether we stay healthy or succumb to disease.

Read More

Saturated FAT - Good or Bad?

Misinformation surrounding coconut oil and saturated fats, University of NSW

We're so indoctrinated that saturated fat is bad that we don't listen to the science

Image 20141203 3636 v9yhp0.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
Coconut oil, comes with 90% saturated fat and health benefits. Tree-species, CC BY
Craig Scott, University of Hull

Government nutrition guidelines recommend a high carbohydrate diet regardless of the ample evidence of the health risks it promotes. Yet, chronic diseases and obesity rates have risen in correlation with a reduced intake of dietary fat. The Food Standards Agency states all individuals’ diets should contain “plenty of starchy foods such as rice, bread, pasta and potatoes”. In addition to this, “just a little saturated fat”.

While science has moved on, nutritional advice lags behind. And in a new study published in Open Heart, a group of researchers concludes that national dietary advice on fat consumption issued to millions in the 1970s to reduce the risk of heart disease which suggested that fat should form no more than 30% of daily food intake lacked any solid trial evidence and shouldn’t have been introduced.

While more circumspect, cardiologist Rahul Bahl wrote in a linked editorial:

There is certainly a strong argument that an over-reliance in public health on saturated fat as the main dietary villain for cardiovascular disease has distracted from the risks posed by other nutrients, such as carbohydrates.

Fat and high-carb meals

Some fats aren’t good – trans fats, for example, which are mostly man-made – while others, such as monounsaturated fats found in olive oil are seen as having beneficial qualities.

Today, government guidelines recommend that fats should compose no more than 35% of an individual’s daily calorie intake – and that saturated fat, in particular, ought to supply less than 11%.

Fat intake decreased from 36.6% to 33.7% from 1971 to 2006, while the intake of carbohydrates rose from 44.0% to 48.7%. Yet obesity levels have escalated.

Fat contains more than twice the calories (9kcal) per gramme than carbohydrates (4kcal). So if you eat a high-fat meal it is more calorific than a high-carb one, but there is evidence to also show that carbohydrates can lead to feelings of increased hunger. A recent study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating carbohydrate foods with a high glycemic index (bread, rice, pasta) caused effects on the brain that led to feelings of increased hunger, which could in turn lead to eating more.

Overloaded. Carbohydrate by Shutterstock

Another study in 2013 found high-carb meals could leave you feeling hungrier hours later compared to a low-carb meal with more fibre, protein and fat. The team behind the research attributed this to the plummeting levels of blood sugar that regularly follows high-carb meals.

The diet-heart hypothesis

At the University of Hull we’ve been also looking at the effects of saturated fats on triglyceride levels – a type of fat (lipid) found in the blood. Using coconut oil because of its high (90%) saturated fat content, we found that when coupled with exercise, it significantly reduced triglyceride levels. A recent Brazilian rat study also found that coconut oil and exercise could lower blood pressure.

So where does our unshakable idea that fat leads to heart disease come from? The diet-heart hypothesis, that low density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol is raised in the blood by eating saturated fat, which then leads to clogged arteries and eventual heart disease, is not a credible claim.

No proven link between saturated fat and heart disease. Heart by Shutterstock

This theory linking saturated fat and heart disease has been around since 1955 when Ansel Keys introduced his lipid hypothesis. Despite it being the foundation of dietary recommendations, it has never been proven and we have been advised to avoid certain foods including meat, dairy products and coconuts. And these myths are so deeply embedded in our minds, that recent science advocates have seen how hard it is to challenge established thinking.

Saturated fat and cholesterol

When we talk about high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or LDL – often referred to as good and bad cholesterol – we aren’t actually referring to cholesterol itself. These lipoproteins actually carry cholesterol, fat and fat soluble vitamins in the bloodstream. It appears that elevated levels of cholesterol (or more accurately, cholesterol which is transported around the blood by lipioproteins) is correlated with an increase in the risk of heart disease.

However, correlation does not mean causation. Very low cholesterol is linked with an increased risk of death (though not from heart disease). And in the very old, research suggests cholesterol can be protective. So it’s fair to say the relationship between cardiovascular disease and total cholesterol is complex.

Type of cholesterol is important. The “good” (HDL) cholesterol is strongly linked with a reduced risk of heart disease. However, LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. But it turns out that there are in fact subtypes of LDL which make this black and white picture more complicated. The actual size of the LDL particle is significant. Individuals are at a heightened risk of heart disease if they have most small, dense LDL particles, that may more easily lodge in the arteries, as opposed to those who have large LDL particles.

Your blood lipid profile is frequently used as a medical screening tool for abnormalities in lipids (including triglycerides and cholesterol). These blood lipid profile tests can identify approximate risks for cardiovascular disease and specific genetic diseases. Studies have also shown that saturated fats do not harm your blood lipid profile – and can actually improve it. Saturated fats could lower the risk of heart disease by shifting LDL cholesterol from dense small LDL to large LDL.

Numerous short-term feeding trials have shown that an increase in saturated fat consumption leads to a rise in overall LDL. Nevertheless, the result is inconsistent and weak. The methods used in a number of these research studies have been criticised – and plenty of studies support the contrary, that no association exists between total LDL and saturated fat consumption.

Cause and correlation

If it was true that saturated fat did cause heart disease, then it follows that people who consume more would be at higher risk. But observational studies – again only illustrative of correlation not cause – haven’t shown this. One study looked at a population of 347,747 subjects from a total of 21 studies and concluded that there was “no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart or cardiovascular disease”. This has also been the conclusion of other reviews.

So what about randomised controlled trials? One such study divided 12,866 male subjects at a high risk of heart disease into a low-fat or Western diet group. After six years, no difference was found between them. The Women’s Health Imitative, the biggest randomised controlled trial in diet history, comprised of 48,835 postmenopausal women who were also divided into two similar groups and came up with similar findings.

The coconut oil example

If you don’t care for the science, then take an everyday example. Look at the large populations of the Masai in Africa who consume large amounts of saturated fat but have low levels of coronary heart disease. Or the Tokelauans of New Zealand who consume a massive amount of saturated fat through coconuts: more than 60% of their daily calories come from coconuts. These populations have no history of heart disease. And the health benefits of coconut oil are now becoming known more widely.

The ConversationWe’re learning so much more about fats and that there is no evidence that saturated fat causes heart disease. Leading nutrition experts have been calling for an amendment to dietary recommendations for more than ten years. But despite these calls and the high-quality evidence assembled throughout the past decade, doctors, governments – and by extension the public – still take extraordinarily little notice. But a decade of research to the contrary would suggest it’s time we moved away from entrenched thinking, towards a more enlightened attitude to saturated fat.

Craig Scott, Postgraduate Student in Sport and Exercise Science, University of Hull

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.