Nutrition


Recommending a Complete Supplement
Nutrition
Written by Paul Frank, D.C   
Thursday, 28 September 2006 22:39

vitaminsupplements

A
mericans consume large portions of highly processed, refined foods that have been stripped of nutrients.  These poor diet choices have lead to major diseases like heart disease and cancer.1,2,3,4,5  The nutritional supplement industry has attempted to rebalance the scale by supplying the nutrients that Americans are not getting from their diet.  However, rather than supplying nutrients as they would occur naturally in food, most supplement companies use mega dose amounts of synthetic vitamins in their supplements.

 

Additionally, these companies produce their supplements based on results of how isolated vitamins reacted in test tube, animal, and human studies.6,7  The presumption is that, if the isolated nutrient acted as an antioxidant in a test tube, it would then contribute in a similar fashion to our health when provided as a supplement.  It seems that epidemiologic studies using these isolated vitamins do not show the expected benefit we assume would occur from supplementing with isolated nutrients.6,8  However, the expected benefit does occur from consuming whole foods.  Where did we go wrong?          

Let’s look at the reductionist approach to producing drugs, which has been applied to the supplement industry.  Many drugs are derived from chemicals found naturally within living organisms.  These chemicals are isolated, chemically modified, and ultimately produced synthetically through organic chemistry.  These chemicals have selective effects on human physiology and are used to mitigate disease symptoms.9  In a similar fashion, vitamins were identified and isolated from food and produced synthetically.  Science presumed that adding these synthetic vitamins back into the diet would create the same health benefit that you get from whole food.6,10

The problem?  Plants do not just produce isolated chemicals; rather, they are complex mechanisms for functional value.  Plants contain hundreds of components which have synergistic and complementary functions.11,12  Scientists have discovered only a small percentage of phytochemicals, the thousands of other nutrients that are unique to each plant.6,11  New research being conducted on phytochemicals will help us understand the complete contribution of food to our quality of health. 

Just as cars are more than their component parts of iron, plastic, rubber and glass, the potency of a food for human health is not merely individual constituents.  Rather, it is the functional interaction of those nutrients.  For example, the antioxidant activity of the entire apple is approximately equal to 1500 mg of ascorbic acid.  But the amount of ascorbic acid in an apple (5.7 mg) contributes to only 0.4% of the total antioxidant activity, indicating the importance of other compounds as antioxidants.13  The entire whole food rather than the dose of isolated compounds contributes to the entire potency of a supplement.

The whole food mechanism that exists in the plant is needed in full to completely support each animal species.  Deviating from the whole food path seems to demonstrate a premature decline in our health.  It is important to remember that, if scientists could isolate and synthetically produce all of the phytochemicals in a plant, they could not combine them in a package that would germinate and grow.  The real value of the plant is more than its chemical makeup.14  Having all of the pieces of a car in a crate does us no good, if we desire the function of a car.

In conclusion, there is increasing evidence that the value of food in human health cannot be reduced to a few important isolated nutrients; rather it is the complexity of foods from which we derive the greatest benefit. Furthermore, epidemiological evidence suggests that deviation from a whole food diet (refined/processed foods) contributes to declining health and greater incidence of chronic diseases.  Based on this argument, it is logical that replacing a few nutrients, whether mega-dosed or not, will not complete the health picture,8,15 as this approach departs from the true potency of nature.13  To complete the health picture, we, as health care professionals, need to provide our patients with all the nutrients that nature intends.16 

Paul Frank, D.C., graduated cum laude in 2001 from the Cleveland Chiropractic College. Shortly after opening a joint practice in Overland Park, Kansas, Dr. Frank realized that the power of chiropractic could be augmented with whole food nutrition. He introduced Standard Process products into the practice and soon realized how this enhanced the practice. Dr. Frank recently accepted a position with Standard Process where he has the opportunity to both practice chiropractic and educate colleagues, students, and patients about these unique products.

 
The Omega-6 Mobile—only diesel vehicles should eat n-6’s
Nutrition
Written by David Seaman, D.C., M.S., D.A.B.C.N., F.A.C.C.   
Monday, 28 August 2006 20:03

As discussed in previous columns in The American Chiropractor, our consumption of omega-6 (n-6) fatty acids is excessive and pro-inflammatory. In a recent TAC article, I discussed how most Americans have been corn-oiled. It takes some eighteen cups of corn to make just one tablespoon of corn oil. All of our processed foods, particularly our packaged foods, like chips, contain about a tablespoon of corn oil, or an equivalent pro-inflammatory oil, such as sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, or peanut. Humans are absolutely NOT designed to consume these oils in their concentrated states when separated from the food.

The biochemistry of our human vehicle demands that we consume a <4:1 ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids. Above 4:1, and the human vehicle begins to express pro-inflammatory conditions. Dr. Artemis Simopoulos is one of the most well known researchers in the field of omega-3 fatty acids, and several of her fine review articles can be accessed via pubmed.

The reason for needing a 4:1 or better ratio of n-6 to n-3 has do to with their concentration in cell membranes and their subsequent conversion into eicosanoids, such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes. A new family of eicosanoids was discovered in 2000, called resolvins, and their function is to resolve inflammation. Resolvins are formed exclusively from EPA/DHA, the fatty acids found in fish oil supplements.

When the balance of n-6 to n-3 exceeds 4:1, the body shifts to a state of chronic inflammation; the pro-inflammatory eicosanoids are not balanced by a sufficient quantity of those that are anti-inflammatory.

All foods contain n-6 fatty acids, and those with appropriate ratios include fruits, vegetables, and potatoes, which are low fat foods, just as grains are low fat foods. However, grains contain a 20:1 ratio. The best animals products to consume are grass-fed animals or wild game. We can also buy omega-3 eggs from most supermarkets. Flaxseeds are a well-known seed that contain a 1:3 ratio of n-6 to n-3.

During one of my nutrition classes at Palmer Chiropractic College Florida, I mentioned that chia seeds also have appropriate ratios of n-6 to n-3. I had never eaten chia before, although now you can go to the health food store and get Cocochia bars.

As it happens, there are always a couple of bright students who take an idea and run with it. In the case of chia, one student (Thaddeus Gala) decided to investigate chia. He went out and got all the available scholarly articles and books about chia. Next thing you know, he was bringing in homemade chia chips and other chia delicacies he’d created. Next thing I know, I bought 10 pounds of chia. It is fun when students can be so inspiring to fellow students and teachers.

Thaddeus is always doing something different, and inspiring others do to the same…. The next thing he did was special order a VW van that had been outfitted with a diesel engine. Thad did this because he discovered that diesel engines can run on vegetable oil; that is, diesel engines are just as happy to run on corn, safflower, soy, sunflower, peanut, and cottonseed oils. And this oil can be the waste oil from restaurants. All restaurants have a waste oil pit—and most are happy to let you have the oil, which needs to be run through a simple filter and it’s ready for use in a diesel engine. In other words, you can almost eliminate your gasoline expenses.

Be aware that you cannot simply put corn oil into your gas tank; you need to add an additional fuel tank that has separate hoses, which run from the tank to the engine. All of this information can be acquired at greasecar.com, a Massachusetts-based company that does conversions at their facility and supplies conversion kits for those interested in making the switch. Understand that you don’t really convert your car/truck; you just get an additional tank for omega-6 oil, such that the vehicle will run on either omega-6 or regular diesel. In fact, the rule is to start the car in diesel and then switch to omega-6.

Thaddeus first influenced his housemate, Ryan, who went out and bought a Volkswagen Jetta, which they promptly converted to omega-6. I was very intrigued by all this because, while omega-6 oils are pro-inflammatory to the human engine, they are perfect for the diesel engine. In fact, burning omega-6 oils as fuel in a diesel engine is actually anti-inflammatory for the environment.

Thaddeus and Ryan got a kick out of my excitement and interest in the omega-6 mobiles, and so they sent me an email and offered to convert a vehicle for me. This was in the middle of April 2006 and, like most of you, I didn’t happen to have a diesel car sitting around. So, I decided to sell my 1-year-old gas-guzzling Mustang, and get a 2006 VW Jetta TDI.

By the end of Memorial Day weekend, my omega-6 mobile was ready, and now I run on omega-6’s. And, NO, the car does not smell like a deep fryer as it drives along, so no one sits next to me at stoplights looking to see if I might give them some French fries.

Getting an omega-6 mobile has been one of the more fun things I have done recently. Anyone interested should visit greasecar.com and see how this phenomenon is slowly catching on.

Dr. Seaman is the Clinical Chiropractic Consultant for Anabolic Laboratories, one of the first supplement manufacturers to service the chiropractic profession. He is on the postgraduate faculties of several chiropractic colleges, providing nutrition seminars that focus on the needs of the chiropractic patient. He is also a faculty member at Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida, where he teaches nutrition and subluxation theories. He can be reached by e-mail at
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
What Is Wellness?
Nutrition
Written by Barry Sears, Ph.D.   
Monday, 28 August 2006 19:55

We assume we have it, yet we take it for granted until we’re sick. I’m referring to “wellness.” Webster’s dictionary defines wellness as the quality or state of being in good, health especially as an actively sought goal. This means we have to make an effort if we want to be healthy—something many of us don’t do.

You probably think of wellness as simply the absence of chronic disease. If you aren’t sick, then you must be well. Well, that definition simply won’t cut it because it can take years, if not decades, for diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s to finally emerge. The seeds of chronic disease are planted at an early age, sometimes even as early as our childhood. Our genes, body weight, dietary habits, and physical fitness all determine whether we are in a state of wellness, and whether we are already moving toward chronic disease in the years to come. And they determine whether we have a stealth killer: silent inflammation. Having increased levels of silent inflammation means you are not in a state of wellness. In fact, here’s my personal definition of wellness: wellness\well’ness\n: the absence of silent inflammation.

You may be asking yourself, “What on earth is silent inflammation?” Even more perplexing, how can inflammation be silent? Silent inflammation is simply inflammation that falls below the threshold of perceived pain. That’s what makes it so dangerous. You don’t take any steps to stop it as it smolders for years, if not decades, eventually erupting into what we call chronic disease.

I can’t emphasize enough how strong the link is between silent inflammation and life-threatening chronic diseases. If you have high levels of silent inflammation in your body, even if you are not actively sick, it means that you simply cannot be well.

Ironically, inflammation is the life-saving component of your immune system that helps fend off bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbial invaders. It also helps damaged tissue repair itself from injury. Without inflammation, we would be sitting ducks in a very hostile world, with no way to repair the damage constantly being inflicted on ourselves. But inflammation also has a dark side if it isn’t turned off. Study after study points to myriad ways in which chronic inflammation does great harm to the body.

• It has a damaging effect on arteries, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
• It destroys nerve cells in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
• It depresses the immune system and helps promote the formation of cancerous tumors.

In essence, silent inflammation is the polar opposite of wellness. It lays the groundwork for chronic disease. What’s more, it has become an epidemic in America—and threatens to destroy our health care system as we know it.

The good news is that you can do something to alter your future if you’re now on a course to chronic disease. You can achieve a state of wellness when it’s still early enough to head off heart disease or diabetes. This, of course, requires you to take action. First, you need to find out whether you’re on the path to wellness or on the path to disease. If you carry excess body fat, eat poorly, and get little exercise, you’re probably heading down the wrong track. That should be fairly obvious, but measuring the extent of silent inflammation in your body will reveal just how bad off you really are. What’s amazing, though, is that your state of wellness can now be measured scientifically. Blood tests can reveal whether you are doing everything in your power to stay healthy for life—in other words, whether you are doing everything you can to reduce silent inflammation. If you have high levels of silent inflammation, you need to take the next course of action—to move into the Anti-Inflammation Zone, which is the pathway back to wellness.

The Insidious Nature of Silent inflammation

All pain is ultimately due to inflammation. Remember, inflammation is how the body defends itself against alien invaders (bacteria, fungi, viruses, parasites) and initiates the healing process the body requires to repair itself from injury. You generally begin to notice inflammation if you have swelling in your joints and tissues, but you really begin to pay attention when it creates pain. This kind of inflammation manifests itself as what I call screaming pain. You know it when you have it, and probably deal with it by reaching for an anti-inflammatory drug, like aspirin or ibuprofen. And, if those over-the-counter drugs don’t work, then you may reluctantly go to your physician for more powerful drugs.

If you ask your physician what inflammation actually is, he or she may simply tell you that it’s very complex. This is medical shorthand for saying, “I really don’t know, but it’s probably bad.” In fact, the primary focus of medicine since the beginning of time has been the search for compounds that reduce pain without actually treating the underlying problem. Although pain medications can be very effective at providing relief, they are powerless to stop what’s causing the inflammation in the first place.

Let’s take this one step further. Let’s say you are lucky enough not to have a condition that causes chronic screaming pain. Let’s say you think you’re feeling just fine. You might still be suffering from the dangerous effects of chronic inflammation that is below the threshold of perceived pain. Your body suffers in silence from this silent inflammation. You might even consider this to be silent pain. You don’t feel the pain of this type inflammation as it relentlessly takes a toll on your brain, your heart and your immune system.

The Path to Chronic Disease

Having silent inflammation means that you are no longer well, and already on your way to chronic disease. You just don’t know it yet. I know this can be hard to believe, but the truth is that virtually all chronic diseases work like this. They just don’t happen overnight. Most people with cancer are shocked when they get their initial diagnosis.

“But I’m feeling just fine. How can I be sick?” is a common question they ask.

That’s why we call cancer insidious. A tumor can lurk undetected, often for years, in the body before it makes its presence known. Silent inflammation is the same way. It may not announce its presence to you by causing you pain, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. And if you have high levels of silent inflammation, you simply aren’t well anymore—even if you aren’t feeling sick at the moment.

Achieving wellness means not only altering the pathway to chronic disease but, also, the pathway to successful aging. Of course, you can’t avoid getting older, but can you maintain your quality of life as you age? Can you avoid spending the last years of your life debilitated and dependent on nursing care? If you follow the simple dietary and lifestyle advice taught in the Zone Anti Inflammation Diet Program, the answer is an emphatic yes. The longer you maintain yourself in that state of wellness, the better your quality of life will be now and in the future.

The Zone Program is not science fiction. Its concepts have been verified in various studies, including those conducted at Harvard Medical School. Even if you think your quality of life is pretty good at the moment, you’ll be amazed at how much better you can feel. Over the years, countless Zone advocates have told me that they never realized how great they could feel until they entered the Zone. Don’t take my word for it, try the program for yourself. Get the blood tests. See whether you’re in a state of wellness. Then get into the Zone and get your blood tested again. You will see improvements if you follow the plan. And you’ll realize what it feels like to be truly well.

Dr. Barry Sears, leading authority on the dietary control of hormonal response, author of the New York Times #1 best seller, The Zone, is a former research scientist at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For more information about The Zone program call 1-800-404-8171 or visit www.drsearszonefast.com.

 
Why Cholesterol Has Very Little to Do with Heart Attacks And Why Silent Inflammation Does
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Nutrition
Written by Barry Sears, Ph.D.   
Friday, 23 June 2006 17:24

heartandstethoscope

O
ne of the best ways to live a longer and better life is to reduce your likelihood of dying from heart disease. If we could eliminate heart disease tomorrow, the average life expectancy of every American would increase by an estimated ten years. Although mortality from heart disease has decreased due to medical advances, the incidence of heart disease is on the rise. More of us are getting heart disease because we aren’t doing enough to address the underlying cause: inflammation in the arteries. Like all silent inflammation, this arterial inflammation results from an increased production of "bad" eicosanoids. Rather than pinning your hopes on some new surgery or drug that may or may not be developed in the future, why not just avoid getting heart disease in the first place?

We are led to believe that elevated cholesterol is the cause of heart disease. As a result we have declared war on dietary cholesterol, and that has also meant a war on dietary fat. The result of that dietary approach has been an epidemic of obesity. That is why the focus of the medical community has shifted to reducing blood cholesterol levels to the lowest levels possible. Not surprisingly, the most profitable drugs (statins) known to the pharmaceutical industry are the primary weapons in this continuing war. But what if cholesterol were only a minor, secondary player in heart disease?

Protecting yourself against heart disease requires far more than just simply lowering your cholesterol levels. In fact, 50 percent of the people who are hospitalized with heart attacks have normal cholesterol levels. What’s more, 25 percent of people who develop premature heart attacks have no traditional risk factors at all. So, if elevated cholesterol isn’t the primary cause of heart disease, what is?

Silent Inflammation = Bad Heart

A heart attack is simply the death of the muscle cells in the heart, due to a lack of oxygen caused by a constriction in blood flow. If this lack of oxygen is prolonged, enough heart muscle cells die, and your heart attack becomes a fatal one.

There are several things that can cause the stoppage of oxygen flow to the heart. A rupture could occur in a piece of unstable plaque lining the artery wall. This causes the activation of platelets, which clump together and block blood flow. You could have a spasm in the artery, that blocks blood flow to the heart. More often, it may be due to an electrical flutter, which disrupts the synchronized beating and causes the heart to stop functioning altogether. None of these heart attack causes has much to do with increased cholesterol levels, but they have everything to do with silent inflammation.

You may be asking yourself, "What on earth is silent inflammation?" Even more perplexing, how can inflammation be silent? Silent inflammation is simply inflammation that falls below the threshold of perceived pain. That’s what makes it so dangerous. You don’t take any steps to stop it as it smolders for years, if not decades, eventually erupting into what we call chronic disease.

Eicosanoids and Heart Disease

Eicosanoids were the first hormones developed by living organisms and are produced by every cell in your body. They control everything from your immune system to your brain to your heart. There are two kinds of eicosanoids: those that promote inflammation (pro-inflammatory) and tissue destruction and those that stop inflammation (anti-inflammatory) and promote healing. You need to have both kinds in the proper balance in order to be in a state of wellness. Unfortunately, most of us produce too many pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, which leads to increasing levels of silent inflammation and, eventually, to chronic disease. The Zone Diet was developed primarily to put these hormones back in proper balance.

A variety of factors forge the linkage between silent inflammation and fatal heart attacks. First of all, pro-inflammatory eicosanoids inside an unstable plaque can trigger the inflammation that increases the likelihood of rupture. Often these unstable plaques are so small that they can’t be detected by conventional technology, like an angiogram. When such a plaque bursts, cellular debris is released and platelets rush to the site in an attempt to repair the rupture, just as they would a wound. New blood clots formed from aggregated platelets may plug up the artery, stopping blood flow completely. This helps explain why many people do not die of heart attacks even through they have highly clogged arteries, whereas others do, even though they have seemingly normal arteries. It all depends on the levels of inflammation in these small, unstable plaques.

These same pro-inflammatory eicosanoids are also the culprits behind vasospasm, the second cause of fatal heart attacks. Pro-inflammatory eicosanoids act as powerful constrictors of your arteries and can lead to a vasospasm, a potentially fatal cramp or "charley- horse" that prevents blood flow to the heart.

As if all this weren’t enough, lack of sufficient levels of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids ( found in fish oil) in the heart muscle can also lead to a fatal heart attack caused by chaotic electric rhythms in the heart. This condition, called sudden death, accounts for more than 50 percent of all fatal heart attacks.

The Cholesterol Myth

I am not saying that cholesterol has no role in heart disease, only that it is a secondary factor that plays a far lesser role in fatal heart attacks than silent inflammation. If your goal is to reduce the chances for a fatal heart attack, then it’s far more important to decrease silent inflammation than to decrease cholesterol. So how did the importance of inflammation get lost, and, how did hype over cholesterol get started? To answer that question, you have to go back nearly 150 years.

One of the greatest physicians in the nineteenth century was Rudolf Virchow. Nearly 150 years ago, he stated that atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease, based on his observations of autopsies of the very rare number of people who had actually died of heart attacks. At the turn of the twentieth century, the greatest physician in America was Sir William Osler. When asked why he didn’t include a chapter on heart disease in the classic textbook of medicine, he replied, the disease is so rare that most physicians would never see it. However, all this began to change.

In 1913, studies by a Russian scientist demonstrated that feeding a large amount of cholesterol to rabbits induced atherosclerotic lesions. As a result of this experiment, physicians began to believe that dietary cholesterol might be the primary cause of heart disease. Unfortunately, further studies found that dietary cholesterol induced atherosclerosis in rabbits, because it depressed thyroid function. If thyroid extracts were given at the same time as the dietary cholesterol, then there was no damage to the arteries. What’s more, studies in primates suggested that a high-cholesterol diet only led to accelerated lesions on the arteries, if the arteries were significantly inflamed in the first place. Although these findings should have put a damper on the primacy of the cholesterol connection causing heart disease, this was not the case.

The High-Serum Cholesterol Myth

Physicians used to think that we only had to worry about our total cholesterol levels. Then research found that this wasn’t such a strong predictor of heart disease. The fact that the most important drug (aspirin) to prevent heart attacks had no effect on reducing cholesterol (but it does a great job of reducing inflammation) was not going to get in the way of the great story on the benefits of lowering serum cholesterol levels as much as possible. Today, lowering cholesterol is the number- one priority of every cardiologist in America.

I challenge the Holy Grail of cardiology that high serum cholesterol is the cause of cardiovascular mortality for one reason only: the data. Various epidemiological studies have found that increased serum cholesterol levels occurred more often in heart disease patients. But that increase was 5 to 10 percent higher in those who developed heart disease than those who didn’t. To show how small this difference is, 38 percent of the heart disease-free patients in the Framingham study had a total cholesterol level of 220 mg/dl or less, whereas 32 percent of patients with heart disease had a total cholesterol level of 220 mg/dl or less. Further analysis of the same data indicated that high total cholesterol levels after age forty-seven appeared to have no impact on cardiovascular death. The MONICA study in Europe confirmed this lack of linkage between high cholesterol and death from heart attacks. In France, subjects with cholesterol levels of around 240 mg/dl had only one-fifth the number of fatal heart attacks as subjects in Finland who had the same cholesterol levels. This is called the French Paradox. Really, though, it’s only a paradox if you choose to believe that total serum cholesterol is the primary cause of death from heart disease.


Dr. Barry Sears, leading authority on the dietary control of hormonal response, author of the New York Times #1 best seller, The Zone, is a former research scientist at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For more information about The Zone program call 1-800-404-8171 or visit www.drsearszonefast.com

 
When Bread Consumption Causes Neurologic Disease
Nutrition
Written by David Seaman, D.C., M.S., D.A.B.C.N., F.A.C.C.   
Friday, 23 June 2006 17:22

bread

M
ost are aware that gluten consumption will ignite the expression of celiac disease in those who are genetically susceptible. Readers should also be aware that the expression of gluten sensitivity need NOT be celiac disease. In about 50% of those with gluten sensitivity, the gastrointestinal symptoms begin in childhood. About 22% will manifest gastrointestinal symptoms after childhood. Almost 30% of patients will manifest non-digestive symptoms, short stature, chronic fatigue, amenorrhea, anemia, and others will be asymptomatic.1

A chiropractor recently told me the story of his son who suffered with a severe case of eczema from about year one of life until the age of five. At times, the eczema was so severe that this little boy’s feet would bleed and ambulation became difficult. Two years prior, this DC attended a seminar, in which I explained the intense pro-inflammatory potential of grains which, in part, is due to their gluten content. This doc went home after the seminar and eliminated all grains from his house and the child’s diet. Within two weeks of grain removal, the eczema had cleared up, and has not returned to date.

We should also be aware of several neurologic complications associated with celiac disease, including ataxia, peripheral neuropathy, epilepsy, epilepsy and cerebral calcifications, anxiety/depression, headache, dementia, cerebral vasculitis, encephalitis, neuromyotonia, inclusion body myositis, and polymyositis.2

Additionally, gluten sensitivity can be primarily and, at times, exclusively a neurologic disease.3

Consider the following case history: A 50-year-old man presented for a neurologic consult because he had recently developed right-sided headache and nausea associated with confusion and agitation. He had experienced episodic headache for 4 years but, recently, the attacks had become more frequent and more severe. There was no family history of migraine. Neurologic examination indicated disorientation in time and place, right homonymous hemianopia, and gait ataxia.

He was treated with analgesics and antiemetics and recovered fully within 24 hours. At the time of presentation, several tests were performed. It appears from how the history was written that test results were available after the patient responded to the pharmaceutical intervention. Visual evoked potentials and CSF examination was normal. However, blood tests showed positive IgG and IgA antigliadin antibodies. A CT scan showed diffuse hypodensity within the white matter. An MRI showed extensive high signal lesions in the periventricular white matter of both hemispheres with further abnormalities in the internal and external capsules, the basal ganglia, the left thalamus, and the pons.

A few weeks later, he developed intermittent diarrhea and pale stools. The duodenal biopsy was abnormal. His HLA genotype was DQ2, which is consistent with celiac patients. The patient started a gluten-free diet and, within two weeks, his balance improved rapidly, and his headaches resolved completely.

Two years later, he reported intermittent headaches that were similar to, but less severe than, those he experienced previously. A diet history revealed poor compliance with a gluten-free diet. A repeat MRI scan a year after poor compliance showed progression of the brain abnormalities with changes in the right thalamus. At the time the case history was published, the patient was on a strict gluten-free diet and was free of headaches.

We docs and our patients need to embrace the fact that grains are the only food that contain gluten, and no other natural food (fruits, vegetables, nuts, or animal products) has ever been implicated as the primary cause of so many conditions. Grains also contain lectins that possess potent pro-inflammatory properties, which makes grains the worst food to consume as a staple. If one must have grains/grain products, condiment size portions are best, and rice is likely to be one of the better choices.

Fruits and vegetables are two foods that are universally accepted as health-promoting and disease-preventing. So, it is a grave mistake to consume grains in the place of fruits and vegetables. Loren Cordain, Ph.D., has written an excellent review article on the pro-inflammatory nature of grains.4 It is an article that all should read who are looking for details regarding the dark side of grains.

My impression, at this point, is that we need to eliminate or drastically reduce our grain intake, and replace grains with fruits and vegetables. Additionally, I would suggest taking a multivitamin, magnesium, fish oil, coenzyme Q10, lipoic acid, ginger/turmeric, garlic, and probiotics.

Dr. Seaman is the Clinical Chiropractic Consultant for Anabolic Laboratories, one of the first supplement manufacturers to service the chiropractic profession. He is on the postgraduate faculties of several chiropractic colleges, providing nutrition seminars that focus on the needs of the chiropractic patient. He is also a faculty member at Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida, where he teaches nutrition and subluxation theories. He can be reached by e-mail at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
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