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The Importance of Bioindividuality of Diet + The One Promising Diet For Brain Health

THE IMPORTANCE BIOINDIVIDUALITY OF DIET

Most of you know by now that I’m a doctor that really loves to encourage the plant based lifestyle. I follow it myself and am trained as a Gerson therapy practitioner. I always encourage whole foods and organic choices. Following a clean, plant based or even vegan diet may be right for MANY people. It is a great way to prevent disease while you are young or on your journey to health, but that does not mean it is right for every single person. What if I told you that some people get vitamin deficiencies on a vegan diet? Or that some people have to cut out meat to improve their constipation? Everyone is different. Because we all have a different genetic makeup with unique genetic codings or mutations, then certain foods, nutrients and even medications are absorbed at varying rates, in different ways or not at all. It is not plausible that one diet can be suitable for everyone on the planet.

For example, even the Gerson Institute acknowledges that liver capsules or bone marrow/broth is needed for parasympathetic dominant conditions such as lymphoma or leukemia.  They will often add kefir, organic yogurt, hemp, chia, or bone broth to the Gerson diet, especially in someone who needs to add weight. Often, in the elderly or cachetic (those wasting away due to disease), you must urgently rescue them in order to reverse their disease. This may mean incorporating a diet high in protein and often patients cannot do this with plants alone-even under the supervision of Gerson. People with adrenal fatigue, sympathetic driven, or type A may be prone to constipation. If this is the case, they should not be consuming meat for the most part. Other people are sensitive to gluten or even fiber and still others excel as a vegetarian or vegan. My point is that I believe in bioindividuality of diet. Did you know that there is a diet that has been scientifically shown to drastically improve certain conditions that affect the brain?

WHAT IS THE KETOGENIC DIET?

YES. This diet is the Ketogenic diet. And wait–don’t jump the gun on me here-its not your typical Atkins bacon indulgence fest. The ketogenic diet is being taught to everyone from children with epilepsy and autism to patients with Lou Gehrig’s disease, brain tumors, traumatic brain injury, Parkinsons and other mitochondrial disorders. Epilepsy affects some 2.3 million adults in America and close to half a million children. Further, about one in 26 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy at some point in their lives.

The strict diet consists of about 90% fat and 7% protein and 3% glycemic carbohydrate ratio. Note that veggies other than potatoes are considered non glycemic carbohydrates and are therefore allowed. A more lax version of the diet is 80% fat, 15% protein, and 5% carbohydrate; the ratio of fat to carbohydrate plus protein ranges from 2:1 to 4:1. Higher ratios are more restrictive but also more effective!

No one is quite sure how the diet works so well for epilepsy. However, multiple anecdotal events and even studies have shown that when it is quite beneficial for children who have been resistant to standard anti seizure medications.  One theory in the ketogenic diet’s success is the state of ketosis is produces and how this affects the brain. It is thought that hyperpolarization of neurons occurs, stabilizing synaptic function and increasing resistance to seizures throughout the brain. And studies show this may be similar to how fasting works!

Prolonged fasting can produce a metabolic state called ketosis. It is difficult to achieve and hang out in continually, but when done properly, the body will use fat for energy as opposed to carbohydrates/sugar. The brain can also use fat for energy and this has a profound affect on how the brain functions and interacts, although it is not fully understood quite yet. Eating a diet which increases the availability of fat and limits the amount of carbs and proteins has a similar effect as fasting. In fact, a proper ketogenic diet is kicked off with a 24-48 hour water fast.

“Now a report, appearing several weeks ago in the journal Neurology, reveals that in fact, a ketogenic diet is also profoundly helpful in treating adult forms of epilepsy as well. This research, published by investigators in Maryland, found that there was at least a 50% reduction in seizures in 32% of patients treated with a ketogenic diet as well as in 29% of patients who went on a modified Atkins diet. In fact, 9% of those placed on the ketogenic diet and 5% of those placed on the modified Atkins diet had a greater than 90% reduction in the frequency of their epileptic seizures. These diets were designed such that the bulk of calories, between 67% and 75%, came from fat. The study revealed that “the anticonvulsant effect occurs quickly with both diets, within days to weeks.” Interestingly, the most common side effect was weight-loss which the office indicated “maybe advantageous inpatients with obesity.”

Another clinical trial at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2008 showed that the diet significantly reduced the number of seizures in some children whose seizures did not respond well to automatic electrical devices. After three months, 4 in 10 (40%) children who started the diet had the number of their seizures reduced by over half and were able to reduce their medication.

The diet should be followed for approximately three years. There are many stories like 11 year old Charlie at the charliefoundation.org-who adopted the ketogenic diet for five years and became seizure free. He is now in college and eats whatever he wants!

Believe it or not this information has been well studied in the neurology field since the 1920s. There are multiple studies validating its efficacy.

WHAT OTHER BRAIN DISORDERS CAN THE KETOGENIC DIET HELP?

  1. Brain Tumors and Possibly Other Cancers: Remember I talked about how the ketogenic diet produces ketosis which forces the brain to use fats for energy and drop glucose utilization? Normal tissue can adapt readily to using ketones (instead of glucose) as a substrate, but malignant cancer cells probably do not have the same degree of metabolic flexibility. Therefore, cancerous tumor cells are preferentially killed over healthy cells! Although I love Gerson Therapy, I have to question the fat restriction (other than flaxseed). Gerson therapy seems to work well for certain cancers while the ketogenic diet seems to support other cancers. Ketogenic diets have been associated with decreased tumor growth in animal models of gliomas, prostate cancer, and gastric cancer.
  2. Traumatic Brain Injuries: Again the theory here is that ketosis provides a new and novel way for the brain to extract energy, better known as ATP.  Sadly, human studies are lacking. “Several animal studies have investigated the effect of ketone bodies in traumatic brain injured rats. A state of ketosis from either fasting or provided by a ketogenic diet has been shown to improve recovery. In direct contrast to the benefit of ketogenic diet on brain recovery is the negative effect of high-sugar, high-fat diets given to brain injured rats. The recovery in these rats was measurably worse.” Can we have some human studies please?
  3. Autism:  A study published in 2003 demonstrated that some children with autism on an intermittent ketogenic diet experienced a significant reduction in autistic symptoms. It has been hypothesized that this is due to the production of adenosine. It seems this diet may be very restrictive for children with autism, who often have a limited variety of foods they choose to eat. A casein and gluten free diet has also shown to be promising, so you can imagine how difficult it might be for parents to follow another diet on top. More studies are needed to confirm the extent at which the ketogenic diet could help those with autism.
  4. Alzheimers/Parkinsons/ALS Disorders: In a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of 152 people with Alzheimer’s, a ketone agent extracted from medium-chain triglyceride oil was given as a medication along with a normal diet. The degree of memory improvement was significant in the study group who had Alzheimer’s and was positively correlated with the blood levels of the ketone agent. Aging mice were able to navigate mazes and recognize objects better while on a ketogenic diet compared to a control group of mice on a regular diet. Another animal study showed that ketogenic diet fed to brain-injured mice protected neurons from damage and even allowed them to regenerate! Moreover, a few of my patients have made vast strides concerning their neurodegenerative condition using medium chain triglyceride fats, better known as coconut oil. Studies are now showing the diet may hold promise in repairing faulty mitochondrial (powerhouse of the cell) dysfunction too.

WHAT DO YOU EAT ON THE KETOGENIC DIET?

Think tons of heathy fats, nuts, seeds, oils like olive or coconut, grass fed creams and butters. This diet is not for everyone. It is for those with a brain condition, and even then, is not recommended long term because of side effects such as kidney stones, elevated cholesterol, constipation and in some, weight loss. There are a number of fabulous recipes over at charliefoundation.org-think almond flour crackers, spinach souffle, avocado ice cream, broccoli slaw, high fiber rolls and flaxseed porridge.

Again this diet is not for everyone and all patients should begin by talking to their trusted healthcare provider to see if it may be right for them. It is not meant for longterm strict adherence.

This is just one example of a diet that is not the norm for what many of us would consider healthy. Although the plant based diets is what is normally touted, the ketogenic diet has proven that it too holds a place in the healing realm. This is why I personally believe in bioindividuality of diet and nutrition choices. We could all use some more fruits and veggies in our lives, but perhaps we should have a bit of compassion for people who choose a different path than us.

You are becoming your own best doctor!

Much love

Dr Jess

 

 

REFERENCES:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2902940/
  2. http://www.drperlmutter.com/new-study-validates-ketogenic-diet-epilepsy-treatment-adults/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2898565/
  4. https://www.charliefoundation.org
  5. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/08830738030180020501

 

Recovery Methods for a Brain with Aluminum and Glyphosate Exposure

Please see my previous post on the importance of understanding the pathophysiology of Glyphosate, better known as Monsanto’s RoundUp. This pesticide which has far reaching effects, has been shown to bind up aluminum and bypass the gut barrier, decimating all  immunity and amino acids made by our beneficial gut bacteria.

By popular demand, I will be discussing how to detoxify from aluminum and pesticide exposure. Together, heavy metals like aluminum and Glyphosate have synergistically devastating effects. My previous blog post showed that pesticides provide an easy passage to aluminum where the bloodstream filters it quickly through the brain and the kidneys. The issue with this is that the pineal gland, which sits inside the optic chiasma in the brain, is not protected by the blood brain barrier and gets the brunt of unfiltered blood. If it is exposed to aluminum and/or pesticides, it is at a higher risk to accumulate these toxic substances. The repercussions of this are thought to be far reaching but have not been substantially researched.

Glyphosate

Glyphosate, or RoundUp, is the best selling pesticide in history since going to market in 1974. Nearly 90% of all corn, soy and cotton are aerially sprayed with this toxic pesticide. A recent study showed Glyphosate was found 700 times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s legal limit in the breast milk of mothers. Another study found that Americans have ten times more Glyphosate in their urine than their European counterparts. Seeing as how recent studies have shown the devastating effects of Glyphosate on our gut bacteria, which helps to sustain mood, immunity, and overall wellbeing, all of this is quite concerning.

Aluminum

Specifically, Dr Seneff’s work has shown how aluminum works with Glyphosate to avoid our body’s defenses as it enters the body. Heavy metals in general have known negative effects on the body. Both mercury and aluminum are highly neurotoxic and can accumulate in the brain. Multiple studies have shown a direct link to aluminum toxicity and Alzheimers. Now Dr Seneff’s work has shown correlation to aluminum and pineal gland calcification, as nearly all Alzheimers patients have a calcified pineal gland. Both mercury and aluminum have vague toxic profiles including emotional instability and lability, lethargy, depression, anxiety and attention problems. Aluminum alone causes flatulence, headaches, colic, dryness of the skin, tendency to come down with colds/flus, and heartburn.

An average adult in the United States eats about 7–9 mg of aluminum per day in their food. Approximately 95% of an aluminum load becomes bound to transferrin and albumin intravascularly and is then eliminated via the kidneys. In healthy subjects, only 0.3% of orally administered aluminum is absorbed via the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, however, this statistic is not taking into account that the bioavailability becomes much higher when bound to Glyphosate.  Only when the GI barrier is bypassed, such as by intravenous infusion (think vaccines), when bound to pesticides, or if the kidneys are diseased, does aluminum have the potential to accumulate. As an example, with intravenously infused aluminum, 40% is retained in adults and up to 75% is retained in babies.

A calcified pineal gland is also linked to high fluoride consumption, which is found added to tap water, medications and toothpaste.

For more information, please revisit my blog post concerning the synergistic effects of Glyphosate and aluminum.

How To Detox From Heavy Metals and Glyphosate

I make an excellent heavy metal detox which you can check out in the Dr Jess store, but for now, lets investigate what you can do to actively clear your pineal gland and the gut of these toxic substances.

  1. Eat organic-One Swedish study showed a family who tested positive for glyphosate at the beginning of the study. They all ate organic for the next three weeks and their urinary excretion of Glyphosate dropped significantly. Avoiding GMO food, which has a considerably higher amount of pesticide used on it, avoiding soy, corn and wheat, as well as educating yourself on foods that help to eliminate these toxins by providing necessary cofactors and nutrients.
  2. Eat sulfur rich foods-sulfur is one of the nutrients disrupted by Glyphosate and proven by the Seneff study. This includes brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, legumes, bok chop, garlic, cauliflower, kale, radish and watercress. The high sulfur content of these foods provide necessary cofactors to make glutathione, the master antioxidant of the body. It is also used in step one and two detoxification in the liver.
  3. Take probiotics-since glyphosate and heavy metals can help decimate the beneficial bacteria in the gut, it makes sense that exogenously replacing these colonies with probiotics would help to rid the body of toxins. Our gut bacteria are life and provide necessary amino acids, building blocks and cofactors for immunity and stable moods, If our guts are not happy, then our brains are likely unhappy too.
  4. Silica-Research published in 2013 showed that drinking up to one liter of a silicon-rich mineral water daily for 12 weeks effectively excreted aluminum via the urine, without detrimental effects on essential metals such as iron and copper. According to the authors: “We have provided preliminary evidence that over 12 weeks of silicon-rich mineral water therapy the body burden of aluminum fell in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and, concomitantly, cognitive performance showed clinically relevant improvements in at least 3 out of 15 individuals.” Think Fiji water.
  5. Melatonin: Research shows that melatonin has a metal binding role and is a useful supplement in the treatment of neurological disorders in which oxidative stress is involved, which includes Alzheimer’s. Melatonin can travel freely across all cellular barriers, facilitating the removal of toxic metals such as aluminum. It also appears to suppress the oxidative activity of aluminum in your brain. Melatonin is also one of the hormones that is blocked by Glyphosate exposure, so exogenous support is quite beneficial to rid yourself of this toxin. New research shows melatonin also has anti cancer properties.
  6. Raise your Glutathione- Your body synthesizes this master antioxidant from three amino acids: “cysteine, glutamate, and glycine. Raw fruits and vegetables, particularly avocado, asparagus, grapefruit, strawberries, orange, tomato, cantaloupe, broccoli, okra, peach, zucchini, and spinach are rich in the precursors glutamate and glycine. Dietary sources of cysteine include eggs, meat, red peppers, garlic, onions, Brussels sprouts,  and wheat germ.” Other helpful treatments for improved glutathione metabolism are exercise and the proper vitamin D levels. (I like my patents around 50).
  7. Chlorella-this ancient blue green algae contains nearly all essential amino acids and is jam packed with protein. It not only works in unison with cilantro, but can remove the heavy metals from the body through urinary excretion.
  8. Cilantro-Cilantro works well with chlorella to chelate, or bind, up heavy metals to excrete them. The issue with cilantro alone is that although it chelates heavy metals, it does not remove them in the urine. This means they can recirculate to deposit elsewhere in the body. This is why I recommend that you always take cilantro with chlorella as chlorella does remove the metals through kidney excretion. In one study, in Japan in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, researchers found that cilantro was able to chelate aluminum. “After the 25-day trial period, the mice were checked for lead. The results showed that both the cilantro and the DMSA had “significantly decreased lead deposition in the femur and severe lead-induced injury in the kidneys.” Moreover, the cilantro increased the urinary excretion of delta-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), which is known to increase with lead intake.”
  9. Iodine/Kelp-iodine dispels fluoride and bromide as well as heavy metals from the body. Iodine deficiency has come into question for a number of cancers including breast, thyroid and prostate cancer.
  10. Avoiding fluoride/Buy a water filter-a Berkley runs around $200-300 and you can order fluoride filters specifically to remove this toxic halide from your water supply. Check them out at www.berkey.com. This absolutely helps heal the pineal gland.
  11. Third Eye Meditation-this meditation involves staring up at the point in between the eyes with your eyes closed. This can send awareness and blood supply to the area.
  12. Epsom salt baths-provide detox baths for heavy metals. Magnesium stores are depleted during heavy metal toxicity and detox. The body uses magnesium in over 300 processes in the body and heavy metal detox is one of them! Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate and sitting in a bath for approximately 30 minutes is a great way to replenish these stores.
  13. MSM supplementation-MSM is a form of sulfur which acts on cell membranes and can help to replenish sulfur stores that are disrupted by Glyphosate exposure. It has also been known to help mercury toxicity.
  14. N-acetyl L-cysteine (NAC) may also be useful. NAC is the rate-limiting nutrient for the formation of the master antioxidant glutathione. So replacing these stores can help boost glutathione levels in the body.
  15. Curcumin- Research suggests that curcumin has a protective effect against aluminum-induced damage by modulating the extent of oxidative stress. Studies have shown that curcumin can help improve memory in Alzheimer’s patients. There are some contraindications that curcumin is not recommended if you have biliary tract obstruction (as it stimulates bile secretion), gallstones, or on a blood thinner. (curcumin is a natural blood thinner).
  16. Other supplements that may help include: Gotu kola, boron, coconut oil, beets, apple cider vinegar, ginseng, bentonite clay (avoid contamination with heavy metals), milk thistle, dandelion root and burdock root.
  17. CHELATION-This is the most effective way to remove all heavy metals. It can bind up other beneficial nutrients that you wouldn’t necessarily want removed. Chelation can also be hard on the kidneys. However, I have witnessed amazing results with IV chelation with EDTA, DMSO or DMPS concerning heavy metal toxicity and heart disease.

REFERENCES:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11535365
  2. Séralini G-E, Clair E, Mesnage R, Gress S, Defarge N, 1, Malatesta M, Hennequin D, Spiroux de Vendômois J. Republished study: long-term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Environmental Sciences Europe 2014, 26:14.
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1130580/
  4. [2] Wolff J (1964) Transport of iodide and other anions in the thyroid gland. Physiol Rev 44:45-90