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David Seaman: Inflammation From Our Diet Is Killing Us Slowly

Learn how to protect yourself from it
Sunday, February 23, 2014, 1:18 PM

"It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage."

Harrison Ford, Raiders of the Lost Ark

Science continues to shed new light on how nutrition has a huge effect on the status of our health. In particular, medicine is zeroing in inflammation as key factor in the aging process - that, over time, diet-caused inflammation wears down our internal systems, resulting in impaired performance (e.g., leaky gut, weight gain) and disease (e.g., Diabetes, heart disease).

This week, Chris speaks with Dr. David Seaman, Professor of Clinical Sciences at the National University of Health Sciences, one of the leading experts on clinical nutrition for pain and inflammation. They discuss inflammation, what causes it, the damage it does to our bodies, and the dietary changes we can make to reduce our exposure to it. This exploration is heavy on the science, but still very accessible to the interested layman:

Inflammation related to diet is a very, very subtle process. So for example, just waking up in the morning, going over to the coffee shop, and having a donut that actually leads to low-grade inflammation after you eat, but you just do not feel it. It is a very distinct process.

The problem with dietary inflammation is it basically builds up on us over time. And then out of the blue, we can be diagnosed with any number of possible diseases and you can think, I wonder what caused this. And it was the last 10 – 30 years, depending upon how aggressive one was in their pursuit of the disease. I call it 'pursuing disease' with dietary inflammation.

Depending upon how aggressive one is, it can appear that the cause/effect relationship is lost because compared to a sprained ankle or a bee sting you do not do a 'drive-by self-shooting', as I call it. It is not like you eat fast food at a restaurant and all of a sudden feel aches and pains everywhere. It takes time to progress. So you have the acute inflammation with an injury that is very obvious. Then you have the more subtle low-grade inflammation that you cannot even feel initially. But they are generally the same. It is just that with an acute scenario, there is actual tissue injury and it is much more robust, more overt versus subtle.

So for the chronic inflammation example, you go and do a 'drive-by self-shooting' or you stop at a coffee shop and have whatever you are going to have: a bagel, a cup of coffee or tea, or you'll even have a donut. But that will cause, after you eat it, a postprandial, (postprandial means "after we eat it"); you will get a surge of blood sugar because you just consumed a refined carbohydrate. That surge of blood sugar is going to get dumped into a muscle. And that will take place as a consequence of insulin being released. That surge of blood sugar it is typically not normal for us to experience, based upon our genetic disposition in terms of food sources. So you will have rapid movement of the blood sugar into immune cells, for example. And when the immune cells get hit with this high blood sugar surge, they generate free radicals. And these free radicals lead to the production by the immune cell by inflammatory chemistry. So there is an immediate, a postprandial, post-eating inflammatory response to hyperglycemia. It is subtle dietary trauma versus overt physical trauma.

Of great value in this interview is the identification of the worst dietary offenders (refined sugars, flours, Omega-6 and trans fats) and the strategies we can use in our eating to keep inflammation at bay.

Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with David Seaman (40m:35s):

Transcript: 

Chris Martenson: Welcome to this peakprosperity.com podcast. I am your host, Chris Martenson. One of the core tenets of resiliency is being and staying healthy. And of course, we have all heard, "you are what you eat." But our understanding of what that really means is growing by leaps and bounds. And more to the point, you are as healthy as what you eat. Curing a disease is not nearly as important as avoiding that disease in the first place. But if you are unhealthy then curing that takes precedence over everything else. Fortunately, both of these conditions, staying healthy and curing disease, can be addressed in many cases by being selective about what you eat. More and more we are beginning to appreciate the role of food's impact on metabolic processes and how that initiates or modifies both health and certain disease conditions.

Well, today’s podcast is about how we can make the right eating choices for robust health. And that begins by understanding the context and the scientific data that undergirds this growing awareness. Speaking with us today is David Seaman, Professor of Clinical Sciences at the National University of Health Sciences, Florida Site in Pinellas Park where he teaches evaluation and management courses for the musculoskeletal and cardiorespiratory systems as well as (this is the biggie) nutrition. Graduate of Rutgers University and New York Chiropractic College, Master’s degree in nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, David authored a book on clinical nutrition for pain and inflammation. He has written several chapters and articles on this topic. In 2002, he wrote the first detailed clinical article that described the relationship between diet and inflammation. He started studying the connection between diet and inflammation way back in 1987. His website is deflame.com. He is currently working on a new book for the general public. David, welcome to the program.

David Seaman: Thanks for having me on Chris.

Chris Martenson: Well now much of your work centers on the role of inflammation and its role in promoting unhealthy conditions. So let us start there. What is inflammation?

David Seaman: Inflammation is kind of interesting depending upon one’s training. If you speak to healthcare practitioners, and this could be myself as a chiropractor, medical doctors, physical therapists, across the board, we all learn inflammation out of, usually, a common physiology book called Guyton’s Physiology. That is the biggest one. There is about three pages in there on inflammation. And there is about three pages in there on pain. And that is the extent of our learning regarding pain and inflammation before you get into how to treat various conditions. So there is a big gap in there.

When you look at inflammation in that context, it is always described in the context of an infection or an overt injury like a sprained ankle where you see obvious swelling, it can get warm... And the outcome then is just very obvious and it is painful. And that is not inflammation related to diet.

Inflammation related to diet is a very, very subtle process. So for example, just waking up in the morning, going over to the coffee shop, and having a donut – that actually leads to low-grade inflammation after you eat, but you just do not feel it. They're two very distinct processes.

The problem with the dietary one is it basically builds up on us over time. And then out of the blue, we can be diagnosed with any number of possible diseases and think, I wonder what caused this? And it was the last 10–30 years, depending upon how aggressive one was in their pursuit of the disease. I call it "Pursuing disease with dietary inflammation."

Depending upon how aggressive one is, it can appear, but the cause/effect relationship is lost because, compared to a sprained ankle or a bee sting, you do not do a "drive by self-shooting," as I call it. It is not like you eat fast food at a restaurant and all of a sudden feel aches and pains everywhere. It takes time to progress. So you have the acute inflammation with an injury that is very obvious. Then you have the more subtle, low-grade inflammation that you cannot even feel initially.

Chris Martenson: I love knowing how things work. What is the process of inflammation? Now I know this could get very, very complicated. We do not need all the biochemical processes. But generally speaking, when we were talking about inflammation you mentioned that if I twist my ankle, I am going to feel the heat, I am going to feel the swelling, and I am going to feel the pain. What is going on in that type of inflammation? How does that differ maybe from chronic inflammation or is there any difference between low-grade, chronic, or acute inflammation or are they the same process?

David Seaman: Well they are generally the same. It is just that with an acute scenario, there is actual tissue injury and it is much more robust, more overt, versus subtle. So for the chronic inflammation example, you go and do a drive by self-shooting, or you stop at a coffee shop and have, whatever you are going to have – a bagel with butter and a cup of coffee or tea or you will even have a donut. But that will cause, after you eat it – so postprandially, "after we eat it" – we will get a surge of blood sugar because we just consumed a refined carbohydrate. That surge of blood sugar is going to get dumped into muscle – and that will take place as a consequence of insulin being released. But then that surge of blood sugar is typically not normal for us to experience, based upon our genetic disposition in terms of food sources. So you will have rapid movement of the blood sugar into immune cells, for example. And when the immune cells get hit with this high blood sugar surge, they generate free radicals. And these free radicals lead to the production by the immune cell of inflammatory chemistry. So there is an immediate, postprandial, post-eating inflammatory response to hyperglycemia. It is subtle dietary trauma versus overt physical trauma.

Chris Martenson: Now what I just heard you say is that ordinary table sugar is an inflammatory compound.

David Seaman: Yes.

Chris Martenson: And so where do we find ordinary table sugar besides in a jar on our table? That is in sodas. It is in pretty much everything you could possibly imagine that has glucose written on the back of it?

David Seaman: Yeah, anything that is sugary or floury – sugars and flours.

Chris Martenson: And flours too, so refined flours.

David Seaman: Oh yes.

Chris Martenson: So anything with a refined starch in it and/or table sugar, we are going to get that same inflammatory response that is going to be kicked out.

David Seaman: Yes.

Chris Martenson: And how do we know that? How is that measured right now?

David Seaman: That is the problem with this. Initially, it is hard to measure. But there are subtle ways to do it through markers that are just not commonly used in clinical settings. So I can give you a couple examples. They actually use this as a test meal, for example. They used three pieces of white toast with butter on it, a cup of tea, which would be one test meal. And then they actually used an egg McMuffin and one of those deep fried hash brown patties, each equaling 900 calories. Now if you are looking at it, there is zero vegetation, zero bioflavonoids, which help to kind of quell or calm down the inflammatory process.

They have identified two postprandial ways to measure this dietary inflammation. One is actually by measuring an elevation of something called "bacterial endotoxin." And what that is is this part of the cell wall of gram negative bacteria that are in our small intestine. So eating those foods causes us to get a low grade endotoxemia, and has been measured in lean 23-, 24-, 25-year-olds.

Chris Martenson: Well, hold on. What is happening here? I need to know this. So these gram negative bacteria, their cell walls are getting leaky and they are leaking some sorts of toxins in response to being hit with these inflammatories? Is that the process?

David Seaman: Okay.

Chris Martenson: Or did I misinterpret?

David Seaman: No, it goes like this. So our gut gets hit with this refined flour and sugar and lipid – fat. And an hour or two later, you can measure the blood and you can actually identify increases in bacterial endotoxins.

Chris Martenson: Oh.

David Seaman: So we get a transient leaky gut event. And you may not feel anything. So when you are young and you are a kid, you are playing baseball and running around doing whatever you are doing. You feel fine. You cannot feel anything because it is low-grade.

Now here is what is interesting. If we do this over time – we have actually identified this, following patients for five years. If you eat an anti-inflammatory diet, which is basically wild game, lean meat, fish, fowl, that type of stuff, vegetables, fruits and nuts, and then you compare that to a fast foot type of diet. Five years later, the fast food dieter is much more likely to have depression. And there has actually been a correlation between progressively elevating levels of endotoxin with the expression of both diabetes and depression.

Chris Martenson: And so part of this process then, if you are eating these highly refined carbohydrates (I will just lump them in there) and you also mentioned lipids there for a minute. So we will get into that in a second. But at least if you are taking in these highly refined carbohydrates, you might get a leaky gut syndrome. You might get these bacterial endotoxins coming in. You keep that on long enough and we are going to now find that you are more highly correlated with depression and, what was the other thing you mentioned?

David Seaman: Diabetes.

Chris Martenson: Diabetes, Type I or – Type II, I assume, right?

David Seaman: Yeah, Type II.

Chris Martenson: Type II, okay. So how long does that have to go on before – so let me make sure I got this right. As long as people are on this regime of eating that kind of a diet, they are giving themselves low-grade inflammation and some part of that cohort, some part of that group, will go down a path of having what we would call full blown, identifiable disease progression result out of that?

David Seaman: Absolutely, it is well documented.

Chris Martenson: And so, it is a bell curve, so some people probably could do this quite a bit and not harm themselves. But other people are going to be more sensitive to it. Where do you think the center mass of the population is? Is this basically okay for the center mass, but it is only a problem for people at the edge of the bell curve? Or is this a problem for everybody but maybe a very select few?

David Seaman: I would say the latter.

Chris Martenson: The latter.

David Seaman: Yeah. And here is where you know you start moving into it. I would say that this would be an absolute marker that was obvious. This is where someone can maybe not feel necessarily sick yet, but this will happen to the average person once they go from being normal body weight, their body mass index rises, and then they move to where they are overtly obese – and you do not need to be that large to be overtly obese. At some point, although I do not know where it is, its all individual, but around the time that your waistline starts to exceed your chest measurement, you ask these people, "After you eat and you feel full, does your brain tell you that you are still hungry even though you have the sensation of fullness?" And if they say yes, you can bet that they have got multiple markers of inflammation that are elevated.

That is a big sign of – actually, the hypothalamus in that case, the brain – hypothalamus, becomes inflamed so that it does not respond to the satiating – the feel full signals – that you are supposed to get from insulin and another hormone called leptin. So the whole body becomes inflamed.

Chris Martenson: So what has happened here – if you can identify that you still have the sensation – I am going to say maybe the "brain sensation" of hunger even though you have the "stomach sensation" of being full, this means that you are in a metabolic state where you are probably inflamed to the point that your body is no longer processing signals appropriately.

David Seaman: Exactly.

Chris Martenson: All right, so we have talked about these processed carbohydrates. I just want to make sure we get the big buckets before we go into the next part of this. So we got your basic starches and sugar itself. You mentioned a lipid before. Is that – what were you referring to there?

David Seaman: The lipid part is interesting. And to me it is kind of a sensitive issue to talk about just because people have weird ideas about lipids because they think of cholesterol and triglycerides.

The first thing to understand about cholesterol and triglycerides (and we will get back to the other part of it) is that the best way to – if you really want to get high cholesterol and high triglycerides, eat a lot of sugar and flour. That is how you get high triglycerides and high cholesterol. Because if you follow the pathway from eating refined carbohydrates, sugars, and flours – we convert it into glucose. And the glucose pathway – from glucose it goes right down and it makes triglycerides and it makes cholesterol.

You will find this pretty amazing. When you eat the refined carbohydrates, it turns on insulin because your body needs to dump the glucose. The insulin stimulates the enzyme that statins inhibit. I will say it again. So this enzyme called "HMG-CoA reductase" – so statins are HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. HMG-CoA reductase is stimulated by insulin, which is stimulated by sugar.

So when I say lipid – when you eat fat, you tend not to get fat because fat satiates you. When you eat fat, even saturated fat, your HDL cholesterol tends to get better. But the problem is, if you just take, for example, organic heavy cream made by the most magnificently taken care of cows –you drink heavy cream and that is all you do, you will also get some endotoxin absorption because the body in nature is really designed to consume vegetation with our other sources of calories. It has been done around the world like that forever and ever. So your gut is just not wired to just get pure lipid, or pure starch, or a combination of the two.

If you add vegetation to both of those, you'll get less of an inflammatory response afterwards. Now I always say that carefully because people say, "I can go do a drive by shooting and then have some vegetable juice and I will be fine." No, because those same calories will still screw you up slowly down the road. But you will be less bad off if you add the vegetation to these more pro-inflammatory meals.

Lipid, when it is mixed with refined carbohydrate – that gives you a double dose of endotoxin. Plus you get the high blood sugar response that initiates a similar inflammatory reaction. That is measurable. That is measureable.

Chris Martenson: Very interesting, and I need to back up just a second because I love that part about the statins. So maybe a lot of people listening to this are or know somebody who is on a statin. So the idea of a statin is it targets a specific enzyme, HMG-CoA reductase. And it down regulates that or it shuts it down. And because of that, less cholesterol lipids are produced. And so conventional scientists said, "Wow, look at high cholesterol. And it is correlated with heart disease, atherosclerosis, and stuff like that. So if we can just knock the cholesterol down. We are going to target this enzyme." But that is shooting your fire hose basically at the top of the fire because the bottom of the fire is the fact that that same enzyme is up regulated or turned on because people are eating sugar.

David Seaman: Yeah.

Chris Martenson: So the way to have really targeted this, rather than taking a statin to try and short circuit this thing in the middle of the path, is to not eat the sugar and the refined starches, correct?

David Seaman: Exactly.

Chris Martenson: Yeah. So as an aside, say what you can as a practitioner in the field, but how is it that medical science misses something like that? That seems like a very Rube Goldberg way to go about something that could be more readily addressed through nutrition than a pill.

David Seaman: Yeah, well I have just been impressed in a sense where, after hitting my 50’s, I am like, You know, everyone is prone to dogma and conditioning based upon their training. So if you are trained to think that eating fat will make you fat, or if eating fat will elevate your cholesterol, and there is some subtle associations – and depending upon how you use statistics – which you know very well you can look at something in terms of relative risk versus absolute risk, and they will look innocuous from the absolute risk perspective. So it depends upon on how you manipulate statistics.

Here is the problem with this when you start looking at heart disease. They look at the end result. They see some people who are – the average person with diabetes or heart disease has bad cholesterol. But that is because of the sugar issue and the lack of exercise. Because what the cause is – and you and all of your listeners have heard this – it is the LDL that goes up, and LDL they say is bad. The HDL goes down. And they say, "Well that is good – we are losing the good stuff." But that actually misses a huge part of the story. LDL is very good. HDL is very good. And both HDL and LDL can become pro-inflammatory. They can actually metabolically shift. And what makes them pro-inflammatory is sugar and flour. And Omega 6 fatty acids.

Yeah, so if you eat sugar, flour, and trans fats, you will elevate LDL and you will lower HDL. And if sugar stays elevated long enough, like blood sugar stays elevated long enough, we now transform our LDL into a smaller, more dense LDL that is harder to break down. Then it becomes oxidized and now LDL cholesterol acts as a free radical. And that is what damages and initiates the atherogenesis process. And it could be heart, brain, peripheral arteries, all over the place. It is the sugar that does it.

Chris Martenson: So we have these little hard, dense LDL particles rummaging around, but they have been radicalized in essence.

David Seaman: Yeah, exactly.

Chris Martenson: They are just like little tiny scrub brushes running around sort of abrading the insides of our delicate, beautiful arteries. And then those become inflamed maybe just almost by a chemically mechanical process, like little chemical scrub brushes just having at it day after day.

David Seaman: That is interesting. It is actually a little bit different Chris. So what happens is: Because we have these weird, dense, small LDLs – and that is totally abnormal for humans to have because we are not supposed to have high sugar and trans fats – so it becomes like an antigen, a foreign substance that the immune system must react to.

Chris Martenson: Oh, yeah.

David Seaman: So once you are small and dense and then the hyperglycemia (the high blood sugar) continues and the consumption of sugar continues, the small, dense LDL become radicalized. And these oxidized, small, dense LDL the immune systems recognizes as an antigen and they initiate a low-grade – which will literally be a low-grade autoimmune reaction. And that is what is taking place in vessels around the body, wherever it happens to be. And furthermore, what is very interesting, is that you can have all these changes and – think about where they draw the blood from. They draw the blood from veins. And you never have atherosclerosis in veins. It is only in the arteries. If you transplant a vein to where an artery was and it starts to function like an artery, it will develop atherosclerosis because the turbulence initiates a reaction.

Normally, the body is supposed to deal with the reaction and not create plaquing. But when we have oxidized, small, dense LDL, the reaction does not turn off. A chronic inflammatory process in the vessel wall does not turn off. And that is what leads to the clogging event.

Chris Martenson: Fascinating, thank you for that description. That makes a lot of sense to me. Now let us finish up on the lipids. We have mentioned a couple of them. But there are a lot of people that are interested in Omega 6 versus Omega 3. You mentioned a trans fat. So let us break down lipids a little bit in the role.

We already understand that, obviously if we just clog our system with any kind of lipid no matter how wonderful, we are not ready for that digestively. So that can lead to some of its own issues. But within the world of fats, obviously there has been a lot of confusion. We were actually spreading trans fats on our toast for health reasons and then that did not turn out to be a good idea. Help us to understand lipids.

David Seaman: In terms of fats, the lipids would include cholesterol and then other fats and oils. But we will look at the fats and oils. So you have olive oil and then you have say butter. And each of them is made up of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. And they call the unsaturated fatty acids mono or poly. So people say, "well olive oil is really good." And they say it is really good because it has a lot of mono unsaturated fatty acids. It is called oleic acid. About 75 percent of olive oil is this mono unsaturated fatty acid. About 15 percent of olive oil is saturated. And 10 percent, roughly, is polyunsaturated, and that's where you have the Omega 6-Omega 3 breakdown. So when we look at olive oil it's very simple.

When we look at, say, corn oil, which then became margarine because of the way they hydrogenate the corn oil, it contains, I think, about 15 percent saturated – I forget the exact amount in mono. But it has about 60 percent polys, which means a tablespoon of corn oil is 60 percent Omega 6. Never in mankind’s history were we ever exposed to that.

In fact, in the old days, they only used butter when that became available. They used olive oil. They used coconut oil. All these other oils were used for mechanical lubrication, machinery, and illumination. They were never used for anything besides that. They are cheap and easy to grow. So we consume them.

So the Omega 6, the polys – it has to do with where the first double bond is. And so Omega 6 is just a fatty acid. And it is found concentrated in (and I will give you the big list) in corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, peanut oil, and soybean oil. They have way high Omega 6.

You are supposed to have a dietary balance. You want to be below 4:1. Each of those is well above 4:1. In fact, safflower, sunflower, they have virtually no Omega 3 and they are almost pure Omega 6. So when we eat Omega 6 fatty acids, our body takes the seed oil, Omega 6, and converts it into a larger Omega 6 fatty acid. So we convert it from a linoleic into an arachidonic, and the arachidonic in our body becomes part of our cell membranes. And when the body gets perturbed, the body converts the arachidonic acid into prostaglandin E2. And prostaglandin E2 causes pain and inflammation. So we literally eat pain by eating those foods. We literally eat pain and inflammation if we eat corn fed, grain fed cattle.

Now here is another thing about drugs. If I take an NSAID for my joint point or my osteoarthritic pain, I am inhibiting the enzyme that converts the dietary arachidonic acid into the prostaglandin.

Chris Martenson: Say that again.

David Seaman: So if I eat corn oil, safflower, sunflower, I will eat that and my body will convert the linoleic acid into arachidonic acid. If I eat grain fed animal products, I will get preformed arachidonic acid. And that has to go somewhere. It goes into cell membranes. And when the body gets perturbed, whether it is a subtle or more dramatic injury, the body uses the arachidonic acid in the cell membrane to produce prostaglandins. So when you have joint pain, and you take an NSAID and the pain gets better, it is because you have too much dietary Omega 6 fatty acids in cell membranes within the body.

Chris Martenson: Well that is amazing to think that corn oil is – 60 percent of that is Omega 6. Now epidemiologically, we should be able to detect this. Of course there is the so called "Mediterranean" diet, which is correlated with lower heart disease and what not. But you are mentioning a pain pathway. Is there anything epidemiologically to suggest that people who are eating the Mediterranean diet, or perhaps live there, have lower incidences of chronic pain or the types of pain management that are more prevalent maybe in other areas?

David Seaman: The data is pretty weak in that regard. So you have to look at it from the pure chemistry perspective. Unfortunately, there is just not a lot of data on dietary change or lifestyles and pain expression. But we do know this when it comes to pain expression, anybody who has metabolic syndrome or their body mass index starts to rise up, the odds favor that they are going to experience more pain. And that is across all joints. That is disk herniation in the neck and the low back. That is tendon pain, tendinopathy as they are called in the knee, the ankle, the elbows, and the shoulder. There will be widespread pain like someone might think they have fibromyalgia and they have just got this chronic inflammatory state related to this metabolic syndrome. That is much more documented. So if you are living a lifestyle where you do not eat those foods, you would be less likely to express those pains. But they have not done the kind of study that you are talking about.

Chris Martenson: Okay. But certainly the incidence of heart disease and other things like that has been pretty well correlated.

David Seaman: Oh, absolutely, absolutely.

Chris Martenson: And much of what I understand about heart disease specifically if it is around the atherosclerotic process there, we are talking about that is an inflammatory process in your mind at this point, right?

David Seaman: Yeah, that is the oxidized, small, dense LDLs that are the drivers of it.

Chris Martenson: Okay, so great. So we have been through sugars. We have been through carbohydrates. We have been through the lipids or fats. What about proteins? You and I had a very interesting conversation the other day and it was around everybody’s favorite protein de jour, gluten – talk to us about that interesting compound.

David Seaman: Yeah, gluten is a problem. Again, humans were not really exposed to these grains until the last couple hundred years or so – more like a thousand, I suppose. I do not know the exact timing on it. But when we consume gluten, gluten is made up of individual molecules called gliadins and glutenins. And when the GI tract is exposed to the gluten proteins, the gluten peptides, they stimulate a reaction in the gut cell wall that causes the actual body gut cell wall cells (they are called enterocytes) – our body produces this chemical called zonulin when we eat gluten.

Zonulin breaks down the barrier between the very important intestinal cells and allows for antigens from food and bacteria to be absorbed, causing an immune response in the gut. And if you are unlucky, you get celiac disease. If you are unlucky, you can get really nasty gluten sensitivity syndromes like chronic headaches, depression, and the list goes on and on actually, widespread pains, numbness and tingling type of neuropathies. Some people get no reaction like that, but they still get a low-grade inflammatory response.

So when you consume gluten, it binds to the gluten receptor in the gut. And it causes the gut – the gluten causes the gut cell to produce this chemical called zonulin. And your listeners can just Google "gluten and zonulin" and see all these papers show up. They are shocking.

The gluten protein causes the gut to get leaky and allows for these antigens to come through. And the gene, the chromosome that zonulin is related to is chromosome 16, which is related to multiple different diseases like autoimmune diseases, cancer, multiple sclerosis and certain autoimmune diseases as well.

Some people can get these awful illnesses because of gluten consumption throughout their lifetime. If a rheumatologist was listening to this or maybe a neurologist, they might think this is crazy. But it is well documented actually. The problem is that it is not like you sprain your ankle and it hurts. You do not eat a bagel and get neuropathy. It takes time. You do not eat a bagel and go, "God, I got rheumatoid arthritis today. How did it happen? I just did it yesterday." It takes several decades for the body to really transform. The body literally transforms from a normal humanoid state, (there are very few of those left, by the way) into an inflamed human that is disposed to multiple diseases. And gluten pushes that because it initiates an immune reaction. And because we keep eating gluten again, and again, and again, we keep pushing the reaction.

Chris Martenson: All right, so let me get back to my bell curve of humans. Is this just some people are sensitive to gluten? Because I know some people, when they eat gluten they get flat out sick. So they get that instant cause and effect response that allows them to tie it and say, "Wow that is bad. I am not going to do that." I would not purposely sprain my ankle every day, so they are on it. Or would you say that this is something where everybody has a response or a reaction to it, it is just some are subclinical and do not present but that there is always some inflammation going on?

David Seaman: Everybody is going to have an immune response to it. The immune cells release this cytokine called interleukin 15 in everybody. So everybody reacts to it, but not everybody gets symptoms from it.

Now with that being said, if you look at gluten, which comes in wheat – it is really interesting, just for fun, do you know what gluten protein's name is?

Chris Martenson: No, I do not.

David Seaman: It is spelled S-E-I-T-A-N.

Chris Martenson: Satan?

David Seaman: There you go. You said it right. Here is how they say it in the health store, "No, it is called 'say tan,'" really. That is like me saying, "My name is 'Se a man.'" My name is "Seaman." You can imagine the jokes I've had to deal with, right?

Chris Martenson: I can imagine.

David Seaman: "No, my name is Se a man." So it is called seitan. So gluten is Satan. I think that is kind of humorous. So where do we get gluten from? We get it from wheat, rye, and barley. And if you look at the nutritional profile of wheat, rye, and barley compared to vegetables, it is a disaster. People will say, "Oh, but you get good fiber there." No, you get almost no fiber compared to vegetation on a caloric basis. And what we also get almost none of in our grains, across the board, which includes the gluten grains, is potassium. And potassium is a very important mineral that has gone from – in our Paleolithic days we consumed up to 10,000 milligrams per day, now we are 2,000. That is a violent – when I say violent, I am exaggerating. It leads to progressively more robust, low-grade inflammatory processes that eventually lead to stroke, heart disease, or whatever it might be.

Chris Martenson: So this sounds like – obviously diet plays a very important role in either promoting or suppressing inflammation. This all sounds very complex. Are there are simple rules for eating then? Is this the Paleo diet? Does that make sense? We have seen all these diets come and go, right? The ketogenic diets. You have got your Atkins and what nots and other diets where people are going pure vegan. What do you think is, in your experience and what you have seen, what is a middle path? Where is a place for somebody to start on thinking about how to go about eating now?

David Seaman: Well I think that people need to sit down and have a chat with themselves in their brain.

Chris Martenson: Yep.

David Seaman: They need to sit down and say okay, "last night..." – because, a lot of people will not eat dessert or not overeat on the previous night. They do not wake up going, "God, I wish I would have eaten more last night. I should have that third – I should have eaten three pieces of pie as opposed to none." So people have to have talks to themselves about their behavior. That is the most important thing. So we need to look at this from a non-emotional perspective. And what they should do is get some blood work done, look at their body waist measurements. Get these measurements and find out. If they wanted, they could just Google my name – "David Seaman, BMI, pain." The first paper to appear, they click on it. They can go through the paper and they can see an entire checklist of things to look at it and bring that to their physicians. They want to get normal.

What they should do is say, "I want to be a normal human. How do I do this? Well sugar, flour, wheat, and all the rest of that stuff is not going to get me normal. So what is going to get me normal?" What did we eat historically? And I would say the Paleo diet – but I do not like naming diets based upon a guy’s last name; "Atkins diet," that is kind of dumb. I do not mean dumb – "What does it mean?" "It means this guy eats a lot of fat," and it confuses people. The idea should be to eat healthy, anti-inflammatory foods. And that means, to the best of our ability, lean proteins. And that could mean fish, chicken across the board. And fatty fish are fine because they are actually rich with Omega 3. Eggs are great. I would go with Omega 3 eggs. So stick with those healthy proteins, and then lots of vegetation. And that means green vegetables, more green vegetables, and then fruits. The best fruits are really berries. And then if you are still hungry, for a snack have a small, small handful of nuts and a lot of water. And avoid sugar, flour, Omega 6, and the trans fats.

That diet that I just described will actually push you into ketosis. Now the ketogenic diet – the problem with that is that they made it like, "drink – eat butter, drink cream, and just eat bacon." That is crazy. Humans never did that. You get into slight ketosis doing what I just described.

The goal should be to get to be at least 80 percent healthy in terms of your choices. So it would be lean meats, fish, chicken, et cetera, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and then very small amounts of whole grains and legumes.

Chris Martenson: That sounds like obviously very good advice. And I was talking with an herbalist, a long practicing herbalist, and his tag line was that health begins in the kitchen. And one of the things that he recommended that people start to do is to bring more of the capsaicin and turmeric related spices in because those were anti-inflammatory. That if you looked at places where people’s diets were rich in those spices, culturally speaking or geographically, that you would see certain disease markers had lower incidences. So are those actually anti-inflammatories in your mind? And is that good advice too?

David Seaman: Yes, and thank you for bringing that up because that is the other big thing. Spice the meals like – spice everything. Spice everything as much as you can take is the best way to do it. Every morning – well not every morning, but most days I will either make a vegetable juice or I will do huge pieces of ginger rolled to a blender kind of – I forget what they are called.

Chris Martenson: Juicer?

David Seaman: Not a juicer, but it is a blending thing. But I forget what it is called.

Chris Martenson: VitaMix?

David Seaman: It is NutriBullet. VitaMix is fine. I broke my NutriBullet because I put too much kale in there. I use a Ninja, which has blades. So I put raw kale, big chunks of ginger, entire lemons and limes and blend the whole thing up to get all those bioflavonoids. Now the reason for ginger is it's highly anti-inflammatory, turmeric, all your spices around the world are highly anti-inflammatory. So people should spice as much as they want. Now let us assume that they have – they are not on a drug like Coumadin, which is a blood thinner. If you are on multiple medications – it is kind of sad Chris, but if you are on multiple medications, you need to talk to your medical doctor to see if getting healthy is safe for you.

Chris Martenson: Oh gosh, that is kind of sad, but good advice obviously. I mean there can be a lot of contraindications and side effects. And who knows what happens there. Yeah, but for people who – I think that this is just fantastic. What rings true from here is this idea of just getting normal again, because the more – as a past scientist just studying how complex the body is and looking at the ability that our body can tell Self from Not Self is such an extraordinary feat of engineering that if it goes a little haywire, I am totally okay with that. The idea here though is to not be poking at it, prodding it, and forcing it to go haywire when it does not have to because it is extraordinarily good with what our immune system can do. But it is a very finely tuned system. So you do not want it to be doing inappropriate things. Autoimmune diseases are among the worst things I know about because there is no escaping yourself in that story. So that all makes perfect sense to me.

Your website is deflame.com. But we mentioned before, you have a new book coming out. When is it coming out? And who would benefit from it?

David Seaman: Well it is to be written for the general public. It will be somewhat challenging, I guess, to get through in certain parts. And I say that only because people get confused with what is good to take. "Should I take this for that or should I take that for this?" That is a real problem. You do not take something for a condition that is caused by an underlying chronic inflammatory state. So it will be very educational. And it will have chemistry in there. But it will be explained in a way that will make sense.

It will be written for a layman. It will be written for high school graduates. College graduates will probably do best with it. And my goal is to have it out – I am about two-thirds of the way through it. I am really working hard to get it done so hopefully two months – three months max.

Chris Martenson: Well fantastic. We will look forward to that. And of course, we will announce it. You will let us know and we will announce it on our site to our listeners because this is a really important topic. And the more I delve into this, the more I realize health does begin with what you eat and that our bodies are tuned for health. That is their normal condition. But we are not doing that normal condition much favors with the types of things we have been putting in there. And of course, we are learning more and more about this. And, we do not have time for it, but the other part I would love to maybe later on connect with you is the idea of how our gut flora and that whole balance is really, really essential to our health – that I am not Chris The Human, I am Chris The Human plus 100 trillion other things, and we live in balance. And there is a symphony there. And if that symphony becomes discordant or very much out of balance, that that itself can become a real impactor of my condition, health, and sense of well-being and all of that. And I am sure diet plays a huge role in keeping that balance going as well.

So I would love to talk to you. Just real quickly, so I know, is that a part of the story that you have been looking into?

David Seaman: Absolutely.

Chris Martenson: Oh yeah, so, we do not have time for that. But we are going to. So let us bookmark that and have that conversation because that seems to be just an extraordinary new field that is just opening up. So again, reminding us as humans, there is a whole lot we know, a lot we do not know, and there is a whole lot we ought to know because the data is there and the observations are there. We are just not taking advantage of them in many cases. So with that David, thank you so much for your time today.

David Seaman: Oh, well thanks for having me on. It was great to do it.

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48 Comments

FreeNL's picture
FreeNL
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Posts: 112
Life is also killing us

Life is also killing us slowly. Any losses i take in digestive inflammation can easily be made up by not worrying about it.  :) 

 

 

suziegruber's picture
suziegruber
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American Gut

Chris,

Thanks for addressing this issue.  I want add to this by passing along a link to American Gut . They offer the opportunity to get a report on the composition of the microbiome in your gut and in the process they compare it to others with similar and different diets and lifestyles.  I learned about this from an interview with Michael Pollan I heard on NPR recently.  There is an increasing amount of research linking gut health to all kinds of health issues.

--Suzie

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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Don't worry, be happy.
FreeNL wrote:

Life is also killing us slowly. Any losses i take in digestive inflammation can easily be made up by not worrying about it.  :) 

Stress, lack of sleep, and poor diet are the self-reinforcing trifecta of poor health.

So, to paraphrase Yoda; Don't stress.  There is no stress.  Only eat well or not eat well.

:)

FreeNL's picture
FreeNL
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cmartenson wrote: FreeNL
cmartenson wrote:
FreeNL wrote:

Life is also killing us slowly. Any losses i take in digestive inflammation can easily be made up by not worrying about it.  :) 

Stress, lack of sleep, and poor diet are the self-reinforcing trifecta of poor health.

So, to paraphrase Yoda; Don't stress.  There is no stress.  Only eat well or not eat well.

:)

How about

Prepare, Dont Worry, be Happy.

KugsCheese's picture
KugsCheese
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Counter Example: Traditional Eskimos

Regarding fat, it becomes bad when it is cooked or refined through heat/chemical process.   Cooking meats and fish to rare or medium/rare will help much and you can still enjoy.   Charring meat is big no no.  

Did the government apologize to us regarding its trans fat directive???

suziegruber's picture
suziegruber
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Stunning Piece of Data re: Prescription Drug Use

I just came across a stunning piece of data regarding prescription drug use.  Accoridng to this article in 2011 in West Virginia and Kentucky, 19.3 prescriptions were filled per capita.  Wow!  Over 30% of the population in those states is obese.  It really hope Dr. Seaman's information about diet and inflammation becomes generally accepted.  What a change we would see in the pressures on our health care system.

FreeNL's picture
FreeNL
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Im curious about the

Im curious about the endotoxins. Dont bacteria usually only release endotoxins when they die or initially grow vigorously. What possible mode of action could the refined carbohydrate have that would react so violently with these bacteria?

is it possible that were eating too much sugar to the point where it cant all be absorbed and thus some becomes available in the gut promoting vigorous growth of gram negatives and then die off, releasing the endotoxins in both stages.

Is it possible that people are just eating too much refined foods.  

Other than that, all jokes aside, i agree that unrefined foods and historical foods are better for us. Personally i think that Corn is the most devious food, considering that it can be turned into corn sugar or corn oil. sweet corn variety to be specific, not maize (healthy corn).

The American Natives were more devious than we thought! They gave us tobacco to break down our arteries with artherosclerosis and sweetcorn to prevent them from being repaired properly. Diabolical extreme long term warfare.

 

 

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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The stuff of Madness.

That was the best, (as always.)

Whew! I was waiting for David to mention beer. My understanding is that the peanuts are the problem.

I went on the Ketogenic diet for a while to give any cancer cells in my body a hard time and that was fun. You can measure the ketones in your urine each morning.

I eat omega three fatty acids by the handful in a desperate attempt to ameliorate the effects of the beer Peanuts.

Horrobin in his book "The Madness of Adam and Eve" mentions the lack of arachidonic acid as a leading cause of that Great Creative condition called schizophrenia. The hydrolipids that form the cell membranes of the neurons leak causing adjacent random firing of inappropriate thoughts. (Settle down girls. I am not having inappropriate thoughts.)

I have found it again. The pages are yellowing. Did you know that the only clinical test for schizophrenia is to inject niacin under the skin? It causes a spectacular red rash in "nermal" people. But not in the Talented.You might find pp 196 interesting.

I realized what bound together my patients failure to flush, the failure to feel pain,the resistance to arthritis and the beneficial effect of fever.

They were all linked by arachiodonic acid (AA) and its conversion to cell-signalling molecules called prostaglandins.......and so on and so forth.....)

petski's picture
petski
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Paleo Sustainability?

I am not implying that a paleo diet is in any way wrong or a sham, but I get the impression that if the entire population were to switch to this recommended diet that it would precipitate the rapid extinction of all meat sources. Consider how many calories must now be sourced from meat and vegetables that were obtained from carbohydrates. Is there a sustainable source for the quantity and quality of these food types available for the entire population? Just look at the decimation of our wild fish stocks.

colleensc's picture
colleensc
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OH Sheesh (another self help article/book)...

 

When will the guilt trips end and allow me to live as I do. Happy, stress free as I can make it, and just enjoy life. I have lost out on some really cute boys when the other girls decided DD's bought and paid for was the ticket to easy street. They were right but I persevered. They have to have them ridicules things now into their best years, retirement years, and they do look silly are my thoughts. 

All these years I thought it was the fact that babies were born (infant mortality rate), and didn't die at birth that effected the quality of life and longevity of ones life. Dah! (not living would make Podcast mute, don't you think?). In living the babies skewed the data. 

We are ego eccentric people, and Lord knows we must have the reason for everything so we can live forever. No? Well, vanity is the humanoids Achilles' heel. Me, I have a very small dose of vanity. I don't mind a few extra grams (ok, pounds) of fat laying around just in case I miss a meal or two. It feeds me instead of starving. I am comforted by fat and especially when I get really old and have to chose between meds for inflammation (humor?) or going without a meal. The meal is covered! Plus, I favor the odd treat with globs of fudge over a bowl of ice cream more than a rice cake. Everything in moderation is still the best practice. "Hey Mom, are those cookies for me?". "Just one honey, take one". My bad if I took two. Well, off for a walk now.

PS:  I am musing now and thinking of the Dark Ages. They didn't die of old age at least the Men didn't, they died because they got stabbed, cut, infected or had their throats sliced clean through, and heads cut off. If they were late for dinner then boy did all hell break loose!! Hmmm, I wonder if this is why I/women live longer. Besides the fact that we don't pump as much garbage into our systems that we do our Boy/Men.

RoseHip's picture
RoseHip
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Biofeedback

In the spirit of putting the health back into Health Care. It would be interesting to imagine a biofeedback reality similar to the blood glucose contact lens system that can real time monitor the low-grade inflammation tracers. Providing the wearer what habits are beneficial, to be continued, what habits are anti-productive to be discontinued, and what new habits to begin. This may prove upsetting. But also may be unavoidable. Honestly, would you want a personal response for what that cookie just did to you? How about if your battling some terrifying disease, unbeknownst?

Now to contemplate if Terance was correct and we developed our Parietal Language skills in a short period of time due to diet entheogenics (Natures natural biofeedback system) interventions?

Rose

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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Hi Rose.

I am a big fan of Terrance too. My understanding of the great encephalization (How we go a big brain so quickly) has a number of inputs.

  1. Apes are always trying to outwit each other and the evolutionary pressure to get a big brain is intense. Therefore apes have as big a brain as they can. Any bigger and they cannot get rid of the excess heat. We have the subcutaneous layer of fat from the Pig and also his vascular system, which is more efficient in getting rid of heat. We have got bigger brains because we Can have bigger brains.
  2. We became semi aquatic (Due to the Other parent's love of mud?) which gave us a plentiful supply of omega 3 from the delicious little critters that live in that environment.. It was no longer so critical to produce our own and the pathways became inefficient.
  3. When we started wondering around away form a diet source rich in Omega threes we became mad. See above. The madness is very creative-without it we would not be human.
  4. The retreat of the glacial caused us to breed young and fast and the advance of glaciers had the opposite effect- it took more effort to successfully raise offspring. They had to be around mommy and daddy for a lot longer leading to infantilism, which enabled us time to develop a large cunning brain.
  5. We had a diet rich in endocrine disrupters from the apes diet of fruit- we no longer have (had) these disruptor and that has caused us to loose our wits in the modern times.
  6. Since the enlightenment there has been an imbalance in the power relationship between the Left and Right hemispheres leading to an over-reliance on models.

I consider factors 1 and 2 and 3 to be strong, 4 and 5 less so.

And 6 to be related to the etheogens. McKenna points out that they produce a more "authentic" experience. Which is telling me that they re-establish the right hemisphere as the Master. There is more gestalt.

RoseHip's picture
RoseHip
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Hi Arthur!

Your pig monkey hybrid theory is truly a strange attractor. But no less than my own. And I find that maddening! So I recognize that I might be misled, which makes me think of my interactions like I do the carnival, its all so (also) stimulating! So I question the link between size and function. It's my humaness that intrinsically makes me hypocritical.

On subjects like Schizophrenia, I never liked labels and never will. Or maybe I just find our collective neurological labels to be much more relevant (Wetico). Why is it blasphemous to question the lighting technology?

Science relays upon a tremendously alienating mentality to explain reality, coning in the bandwidths of experience thru control and even sometimes outright manipulation. That doesn't push the envelop very far or very fast. It creates a reality that is understandable sometimes predictable, but also undesirable in my opinion. I'm not totally bashing science here I understand that it is a valuable tool and serves a purpose. It's just that I don't understand why we don't play with the other tools in our collective tool belt? Why do the professors that share office space in the same building have to travel to distant experiences where they meet and realize the common connection over a controversial subject matter? I not sure but I think it has to do with the difficulty to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it. 

Lastly, I find intoxicants such as TV and butterscotch to be intolerable. Not because I don't allow myself to consume trash but when I do, I do so with the recognition for what it's doing to me and it was my choice. And I think this makes me a good parent to my children, a good educator to myself, and less sociopathic toward you. Arthur, I am highly appreciative of your mind opening original comments and perspectives, keep them coming. Thanks, Rose

colleensc's picture
colleensc
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Hi Rose, Hi Arthur,

 

after reading you both (forgive my intrusion) I allowed for a deep breath and a slow and hypnotic exhale to my own day dream, and trip, to the time where there was no space and time. Not for me anyway, I was lighter than air. Above now, where I see all that lay before me, and I see all the struggles of the me inside of me. I suddenly understood my traits and destiny far greater than I could have conceived before I took breath. It is now that the God took breath and I am awoken that I feel a purpose, tamer, more understanding and delighted to be a chosen one. That was delightful, thank you both.

C

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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A Pinch off Salt Rose.

Take what I wrote with a pinch of salt Rose. Neanderthal had a bigger brain, lived in a harsher environment was an obligate carnivore and never went mad. His culture hardly changed throughout his long existence. We will have to come up with something more robust.

This constantly changing culture is the defining mark of H.Sap.

 

mmclaren's picture
mmclaren
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Time To End My Subscription.

National University of Health Sciences?  Unfortunately, Chiropractic, Naturopathy and Acupuncture are 3 prime examples of pseudo-science.  I have been subscribing to Peak Prosperity as an alternative to the main stream but I also assumed that Dr. Martenson's science training included drawing conclusions from hard evidence, not from anecdote or ancient wisdom or  practices such as chiropractic or homeopathy neither of which is based on science.  The last two were invented and have nothing whatsoever to do with science or the scientific method.  I was a little concerned when I heard the Podcast with Mish and his alternative cancer treatments, now I realize it is time for me to end my subscription.

Pseudoscience and religion are two very serious inhibitors to clear thinking and finding answers for our increasing complex world.

Rector's picture
Rector
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Thanks for letting us know

Bye.

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cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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Evidence and beliefs
mmclaren wrote:

National University of Health Sciences?  Unfortunately, Chiropractic, Naturopathy and Acupuncture are 3 prime examples of pseudo-science.  I have been subscribing to Peak Prosperity as an alternative to the main stream but I also assumed that Dr. Martenson's science training included drawing conclusions from hard evidence, not from anecdote or ancient wisdom or  practices such as chiropractic or homeopathy neither of which is based on science.  The last two were invented and have nothing whatsoever to do with science or the scientific method.  I was a little concerned when I heard the Podcast with Mish and his alternative cancer treatments, now I realize it is time for me to end my subscription.

Pseudoscience and religion are two very serious inhibitors to clear thinking and finding answers for our increasing complex world.

Thank you!  

I am going to use your comment as a training example in the future.  It's really a perfect example of the power of deeply held beliefs to limit if not entirely prevent good information from penetrating an existing belief system.  

Certainly you could be right that traditional medicine understands everything and does everything as well as can be done today, but that somewhat and elegantly ignores the fact that medical errors alone kill anywhere between 100,000 and 350,000 people in the US each year depending on whose data you follow.  Or perhaps the fact that despite spending 2x the amount of Germany on US style, modern medicine, that the US has a lower life expectancy and worse health outcomes.

But even then you'd be ignoring the fact that the placebo effect is not some random noise to ignore, but so powerful that the modern test for a new drug is that it has to exceed this known and really quite pronounced effect.

That is, there is more to what we know about healing than just the administration of a pill and then see what happens next.  The data could not be more strikingly clear.

So I suspect you are either somehow a beneficiary of the traditional medicine machine (MD?  Nurse?  Health insurance?) or have a lot personally and currently vested in that belief structure (i.e. have a lot riding on the treatment of existing conditions within the medical system).

It is entirely your prerogative to believe in such a system, as it is other's prerogative to determine what works best for them.  There is, at yet, no one right answer, and that is a great thing.

However, David Seaman is working from scientific data using biochemical markers and well elucidated pathways to make the case that chronic inflammation is quite often a result of eating habits and this not only makes sense but is backed up by hard science.

However, by abruptly slamming the door and walking away in a virtual huff (with your first post, nonetheless), all you've done is reveal what your deeply held beliefs happen to be.  And perhaps yours are wiser and more correct, but nobody will know because instead of engaging with the material and presenting your case, you've walked away.

Well, that too is your prerogative.  However, along the spectrum of persuasiveness that's on the ineffective end of the scale.  

I am happy to keep presenting evidence and then accepting or rejecting various positions based on that evidence as I hold the belief that there's still a lot left to learn and that makes the world a more interesting place to live.

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On Science and the Importance of Curiosity

I always like my data well tested and as vetted as possible, of course. In the case of David Seaman, the work we were discussing followed the outline of an extensive article he wrote for Practical Pain Management that went through editorial board review.

Here are the editorial board members at the present time (All MDs and DOs and no Chiropractors):

http://www.practicalpainmanagement.com/editorial-board

Here is a link to an online pdf of this article for those who like their science:

http://www.practicalpainmanagement.com/printpdf/11314

Having read that article I was convinced there was solid biochemical pathway evidence for everything we talked about.

But, again, I remain even more open than that to the idea that we do not yet understand everything there is to know about the human condition and health. I confess to believing that there is still a huge role for direct observation and common sense to unearth even more new and fascinating discoveries about the ways in which we thrive and heal.

For example, epigenetics is a brand new field and it is clear that we know far less than remains unknown. I would not be surprised to see epigenetics reveal a complex pathway of communication from the environment back to our DNA that could even go as far as to rehabilitate the work of Lamarck to some degree.

 

And then there’s the gut biome which, truthfully, I probably would have dismissed as “junk science” myself a few years ago, but which is now rapidly gaining mainstream acceptance and prominence as treating and/or modifying the gut flora has been shown to be extraordinarily effective at curing some formerly very severe, chronic and untreatable diseases. Who knew?

Well, not the scientific orthodoxy, that’s clear. But some groovy new age types with their probiotics seem to have been on the case from an observational standpoint many years ago.

This is why I never dismiss a set of observations that run counter to or cannot (yet) be explained by science. Indeed all of science is merely a story of curiosity leading to (hopefully) intelligent inquiry.

The world remains a place of mystery, thankfully.

So here’s to remaining open and curious,

 

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Agreed that remaining open is key

Thanks for the excellent post on curiosity, Chris.  Probably none of us would be here at PP if at least some part of us were not interested in different possibilities for explaining the world, other than the way that conventional wisdom informed us.  And the field of medicine is certainly not the only area in which we have a long way to go, and a lot to learn.  

There is nothing better than gazing in wonder at the stars, the snow on the ridge, or a sparkle of light on a droplet of water.  

Some can be sustained by such wonders longer than others, but we all have to eat eventually too, which means we must hunt, farm, go to the office, or otherwise take action in order to put dinner on the table.

And doing that means that we have act according to some pre-formed ideas - the crude models that Arthur is right to question.  That means there is a time for questioning a theory or model, a time for writing new hypotheses and new stories, and a time to act in a way that assumes the model is more or less correct.

One thing I really like about this virtual community is the balance between thinking differently and taking a pragmatic approach to our understanding of the world, and how to act according to the little that we do indeed seem to understand.

Cheers,

Hugh

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mmclaren
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I didn't really mean to leave

I didn't really mean to leave in a huff.  I must admit that my frustration did get the better of me though when I saw that the service that I had been supporting financially seemed to be supporting or encouraging pseudo science if only indirectly.  I have nothing to do with health care.  I am just a frustrated science teacher who's students are bombarded with bad science or non-science in an overwhelming way.  The short comings of science based medicine are real and unfortunate, but that is no reason to throw out using science as a tool to understand our world.  Science simply involves drawing conclusions based on evidence.  What is not so simple, is getting people to understand what actually constitutes evidence.  Chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathy, reflexology, phrenology etc. are based on beliefs and traditions not evidence.  That's not to say they have no benefit, as you say the placebo effect is powerful.  However the placebo effect relies on outcomes that  are subjective and self reported like chronic pain or nausea for example.  The power of the placebo decreases immensely when outcomes are objectively measurable, for instance with a blood test, or an x-ray or an MRI etc.  Imagine using a placebo to protect against measles or polio or malaria.  (That is exactly what some homeopaths try to do.)

I don't think for a second that medicine has all the answers. I am just tired of hearing about alternatives that are popular because they have no down side.  They thrive, because they are not tested.  And their benefits are indeed based on beliefs: the placebo effect.

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Some more context on the science behind this discussion

This podcast discussion addressed the findings published by David Seaman for Practical Pain Management. This publication serves doctors and other licensed medical practitioners. From their website:

Practical Pain Management keeps the practitioner in mind. PPM strives to provide practicing pain specialists, including PCPs, rheumatologists, pediatricians, orthopedics, neurologists, and emergency medicine specialists—in short, clinicians on the front lines of pain—with practical clinical information on a variety of pain topics.

Because of his respected expertise on the subject, David was invited by the magazine's editor to contribute a report on inflammation, which was then selected to be the magazine's cover story.

For those of you curious about the rigor of the analysis, the report had to be vetted and approved by PPM's Editorial Board, which is composed nearly entirely of MDs, with a few PhDs and DDSs also in the mix.

If you listened to the podcast, I don't need to tell you that it went deeper into the underlying science (biochemical processes, in this case) than nearly any other podcast we've done to date. 

If there are issues with the science discussed in the podcast, please, surface them here to be debated. But please don't summarily dismiss our invited guests out of a gut assumption (pun intended) of what the boundaries of their expertise are.

After all, Chris' PhD is in neurotoxicology. What possible insights could he have to offer on the economy or energy systems? smiley

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More Context

I have lost my sources (I think it was in a book about Chelation) where it was stated that 65% of standard medical procedures have never had a double blind crossover test.

Sometimes I think that the double blind crossover criterion is insisted on because it is very expensive and a barrier to novel treatments offered by smaller organizations. This is monopolistic behavior.

The double blind crossover is very nice, it is the nearest thing we have to "proof"- but who is going to pay for it?

For me evidence is enough. If I find a balm for whatever ails me and it works, I do not need expensive proofs. I have the evidence of my eyes.

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"Medicine is an art as much as a science."

"Medicine is an art as much as a science."

My colleague, a chemistry & physics teacher who has also done a fellowship at CERN, said that.  A good reminder of the provisional nature of our medical knowledge.

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Adding Clarity

To a very complex and confusing discussion.

This is a huge topic, but as a medical professional with a basic science doctorate, I felt I had to weigh in.

I'll try to keep it to a few paragraphs, assuming no one wants to read an Hrunner 10 page treatise.

I respect Dr. Seaman's inquiry and theses, as I respect any honest scientific inquiry.  Science historically has often been far too dismissive of good ideas in defense of orthodoxy.  Part of this negative reaction is justified because there can be a lot of perhaps well-intended but not well founded scientific work and outright quakery.

I think Dr. Seaman has ideas worth investigating and following up.

Readers, and Chris as well, should understand that biomarkers are surrogates, or 'stand ins' for so-called hard endpoints.  Hard endpoints are usually measures of things that we as patients and providers ultimately care about and are hard to disagree that have occurred, things like actual heart attacks, death, progression to diabetes, progression of cancer.

Biomarkers can be very useful, but must be viewed with great caution.  They are pointers, but not the final answer.  Hard endpoints are the final answer.   History is littered with the bodies of promising therapies that had good results based on biomarkers, only to turn out to have statistically no effect when the more difficult but more definitive studies with hard endpoints were done.

I cannot tell you the number of therapies that were put forward based on large amounts of precursor scientific experiments, based on sound logic, and good biomarkers.  And completely failed the key test of "do they work in patients".

The problem is simple- the human body and it's response to disease is far more complex than we know. 

Your comment about "traditional medicine that understands everything and does everything" is out of line.  I don't know a single medical profession out of thousands who has said that or believes that.  It sounds to me like you are transposing some anger or belief system onto a profession.  Can modern medicine be smug and over confident, even egotistical- yes.  I have seen the anecdotal bad behavior.  My general experience is much more to the other side of the equation which is humility, frustration over lack of tools, acknowledgement that healers are limited.

But you are entitled to your beliefs, ill-informed or due to lack of experience as they are.

Your comment about U.S. life expectancy is simplistic and also under-informed.  Start with the understanding that the WHO is agenda-driven (which is their right, just understand where they are coming from) as an anti-U.S., anti capitalist organization.  The life expectancy data you cite are used relentlessly by left-of-center folks to bash "Big Medicine", however the truth is much more complex and less supportive of your belief system.  The U.S. has lower life expectancy for several reason, including 1) due to our vast and heterogeneous population (as opposed to Germany's more homogenous population) we tend to deliver a lot more premature and high risk babies that the rest of the world.  Since a large subset of these babies die shortly after birth, this dramatically affecting the "life expectancy" data, I am confident WHO are scientifically competent enough to understand this, but refuses to normalize the data- you have to ask them why 2) we have unhealthy lifestyles in the U.S., meaning low exercise, bad diets, high stress, low sleep.  I think we would agree on this point.  Unfortunately, these are cultural and value issues, and American medicine is often left to pick up the pieces of this wreckage, to me it's a miracle we are not more unhealthy and incapacitated than we already are.  However, this is not the fault of U.S. doctors- I promise you all family practice docs I know promote healthy lifestyles, 3) we have a chaotic payment system that rewards activity and not value for dollar, the result of disconnecting the healthcare consumers from the providers.  This was a result of the takeover of healthcare by employer insurance and third party payment processors (HMOs, insurers).  Unfortunately we, and Germany, are replacing a bad system with a worse system- a disconnected, ineffective, corruption-prone government insurer payer.  This situation was lead and is still lead by government left of center progressives, albeit in collaboration with insurers and large corporate interests.   Not by doctors by and large.   In summary, you should be more circumspect and more balanced in the future before you demigogue American medicine.

We have 100,000 deaths because we treat millions of often very ill people with powerful medicines.  Are there improvements to be made and deficiencies- yes and many are being implemented.  Will we ever have a risk-free healthcare system with serious diseases being treated with serious medicines and surgeries- no.  It is a bit naive and simplistic to think otherwise.  You said you wanted to have adult-size conversations, so here is one.

While on the subjects of statistics, obtaining scientific evidence from clinical trials, that is statistically convincing is one of the hardest endeavors on the planet.  There are numerous confounders that can cloud results.  There is statistical noise, including the placebo effect that Chris mentions.  There are stochastic fluxuations that are simply dumb luck that no one can control.  There may be several useful therapies that we have likely dismissed because they failed to meet a hard statistical bar in a clinical trial.

That said, these rigorous clinical trials are done with noble intent, and with some success, to weed out what "works" from what "doesn't work".  It is an imperfect tool.  It is one of the best we have.  Without it, we have at best speculative, ineffective therapies and at worst, snake oil salesmen.

All this said, I lean Libertarian.  I support every person's right to treat themselves in the best way they are led to.  I would vote for more freedom and a less patronizing, nanny-state system than we have currently.  Information should be voluminous, available and as highly vetted as possible. 

I note that pain areas, such as Dr. Seaman is working in, is notoriously difficult to measure success in, as pain is so subjective and at present, we cannot measure pain with a blood marker or a reliable lab test.  We must be extremely careful in relying on results of studies whose primary endpoint is how they subjectively feel.

That said, I'm all for folks trying different approaches, and if it works for you, great.  As I think I said in a recent post defending you, it is possible that more than one person is right.

Enjoy your day,
H

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Human Microbiome FAQ

While doing my own investigation into this emerging issue, I came across the Human Microbiome FAQ published by the American Society for Microbiology in January 2014.  This document is freely available as a pdf on the society's website.  Here's the blurb on it:

"The human microbiome, the collection of trillions of microbes living in and on the human body, is not random, and scientists believe that it plays a role in many basic life processes. As science continues to explore and better understand the role of the human microbiome. A new report from the American Academy of Microbiology addresses questions about this growing area of research."
 

I found this document well-written, easy to read, and very helpful in understanding more about the 100 trillion microbes that live with each of us.

treemagnet's picture
treemagnet
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Why does gluten free

food make me feel so - full.  Sorry if this has been covered - but just wondering....my wife is a great gluten free cook.  Its good I guess to fill up so quickly (something you've got to consciously think of when eating), but whats the deal? 

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About That Clarity

Hrunner,

all I was doing was attempting to identify what the possible beliefs were of the poster, not displaying mine.  Mine are spread wide across the landscape of healthcare and I freely choose from a wide spectrum of possible treatment modalities and always, always, do my own research and get multiple opinions if the health question is serious enough.

Interesting that you see a WHO agenda in what I wrote...but since you are interested, I get my mortality data from the CDC which does a very credible of parsing through the data with a fine tooth comb:  http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr61/nvsr61_06.pdf

I have seen both incredibly good and caring allopathic doctors and I've seen truly horrible examples.  There's no such thing as 'western medicine' in my mind, only a spectrum or practitioners who are people...and as always some of them are quite good and some less so.  Pick carefully.

But, generally speaking, very broadly here, my personal approach is that western allopathic medicine is where I go for acute injuries an conditions and to other more comprehensive lifestyle/eating/stress reduction modalities for chronic conditions.

My experience has been that western medicine and its practitioners tend to treat everything as if it were a chronic condition - a pill or surgery or some other form of intervention - and tend not to spend the time necessary to figure out what exactly it in in the person's lifestyle (in combination with their specific encoding) that is creating the condition.

One example, I have talked with numerous MD,s including cardiologists, who never took a single course on nutrition during their training.  Hmmmm....that seems really odd to me and cannot be laid at the feet of our defective insurance and regulatory environment.  That exposes the belief system of the medical training system and by extension the medial community writ large.

I know this is shifting, but as one doctor told me, after a new treatment is proven to be far superior in outcome it takes a minimum of ten years for it to fully penetrate the medical space....and may never reach some corners.

After all, science progresses one funeral at a time.

So my personal approach is to never assume anything.  I no longer assume that the practitioner I am talking to is operating with the most current information, or has the right belief system in place.  I know that the medical residency system was designed by alpha male types and the person in the white coat with the stethoscope may just be freshly minted and operating on just a few hours of sleep over the past 24.  I don't take or allow anything to be injected unless I personally read the label because mistakes happen.

Some of those mistakes are just part of life...as you say things are risky.  But some of those mistakes are fully preventable and there's still a whole lot of work to be done in that regard.

I do agree with you that we are replacing a poor system with a worse one and that's just maddening especially since my costs to pay for this system are gong to vault upwards of 30% this year, instead of the usual 10% - 15% , because the current crop of ""leaders"" (needed double quote marks for that one) in DC are in the pockets of the health insurers.

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cmartenson
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I understand
mmclaren wrote:

(...)

I am just a frustrated science teacher who's students are bombarded with bad science or non-science in an overwhelming way.  The short comings of science based medicine are real and unfortunate, but that is no reason to throw out using science as a tool to understand our world.  

I understand...believe me I, too, am deeply frustrated by the inability of the center mass of my country, but especially those in power, to understand and use basic science.

Obviously I am vexed even by the inability to perform simple math; as is the case with people who think that we can easily replace 400 quads of fossil fuels with a patchwork of alternative energy forms that are coming on at a pace that will take literally forever to close the gap, because the rise in fossil fuel energy consumption is rising faster than the pace of alternative installations.

Barely a week passes where I do not read some appallingly scientifically-inaccurate description in a newspaper.

And yet, there's also a hubris within some portions of the science community that irks me because it pretends that we know more than we really do...I am of the mind that we know far less still about nearly anything and everything than we do know.  That is, we are still early to the game of discovery and inquiry - which is exciting! - and the main thing that holds us back, more than anything else, are entrenched beliefs.

My favorite scientists are humble and curious....

Thank you for coming back and providing context.  I get it.  I really do.

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H, medicine has been in my life it seems forever,

 

and you did a wonderful job of expressing a professional(s) point of view. It was direct, real, and showed a broader spectrum of realities that actually occurs and is maintain in todays medicine.

Moderation seems the best advice, still, as I see it.

C

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Thanks, Suziegruber

1.  I found the Human Microbiome FAQs to be a wonderfully written, colorfully illustrated summary of this emerging field of medicine and health.  Thanks for posting.  With articles on the interaction of gut microbiome and human health now numbering in the many thousands, an easy to read summary article is much appreciated.

 

2.  Let me suggest another:  

Human nutrition, the gut microbiome, and immune system: envisioning the future.  

Originally published in Nature in 2011, it is now free at Europe PubMed Central.  Figure 2 as a great  summary figure.  (Metabolic sensors that help co-ordinate immune responses).  A few of the known interactions between specific immune receptors and cells, nutrients, and the antigens and signaling molecules release by our gut community.  This figure has been used in the courses I have been taking at the Institute of Functional Medicine.

 

3.  Another is:   Bugs & us: The role of the gut in autoimmunity.   Rheumatoid arthritis is triggered and maintained by complex interactions between the gut microbiome, environmental toxins and the human immune system.

 

4.  Wendy Garrett, MD, MPH,  Harvard University, Assistant Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases.

  

I heard an interview with her where she summarized a number of signaling mechanisms by which gut microbes turn down the immunologic response of the human host.  This is an ancient system.  We have been living together for a very very long time.

 

 

 

 

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Chris, God bless your journey

I think you have a great foundation of nutrition and exercise.  Even if I personally disagree with your approach, your self determinism and sovereignty and free choice is more important to me than convincing you of my position.

I wish you the best on your journey to find your best health.  Just keep your mind open if you ever get unsatisfactory results from allopathy, or any therapeutic approach that doesn't work.  Be prepared to try a different medicine or therapy, if only for a limited experiment.  That's actually the tradition of American medicine, for what it's worth.

H

FreeNL's picture
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you could always drink

you could always drink chamomile tea if you buy into the gut inflamation idea. I drink a cup every evening. Not for that reason, i just find i sleep better.

don't underestimate the power of herbal teas. Rosehip and chamomile teas are my favorite. Careful if your taking any medications for things like diabetes or high blood pressure.  

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Back to the point of the podcast

 

The topic of the podcast was how diet can influence inflammation. This is a topic that has been studied by “real scientists” for the past decade with vigor and rigor and has been widely published. When Chris asked me to do a podcast about the topic, I decided to do it from the perspective of the paper I wrote for Practical Pain Management (PPM). This would enable listeners to read the article for more information or supportive evidence if they questioned the veracity of my comments that were designed to be more conversational and practical for an audience of predominantly laymen. Several of the posts above may have served to muddy the waters and confuse interested listeners. These posts should not deter one from the facts or from considering the adoption of an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.

In short, the evidence is quite clear that our current diet is a disaster. Approximately 40% of calories in the average American’s diet consist of refined sugar and flour products. Another 20% of calories come from refined omega-6 seed oils and trans fats. These calories generate a low-grade inflammatory state, which, over time, has been linked to the expression of chronic disease. The action step is to avoid these calories and consume non-inflammatory foods and further deflame by achieving adequate sleep, managing stress effectively, and exercising regularly. This anti-inflammatory lifestyle need not be confusing or complicated and it is certainly not controversial, no matter who delivers the information.

This anti-inflammatory lifestyle will allow individuals to pursue and hopefully achieve normal values/levels for the various biochemical, physical exam, and anthropometric markers of inflammation, most of which, as stated in a recent post, act as surrogate markers – for the laymen, this does not demean their utility from a practical perspective. This means that if you achieve “normal” surrogate marker levels/values, the specific mediators of inflammation, such as rarely tested pro-inflammatory cytokines, will also likely be normal if measured. See the PPM article for more details and the list of markers if interested. Adam posted a link to the PPM article in an earlier post.

Can pursuing an anti-inflammatory diet take care of all one’s health problems? I do not know and did not make such a claim. The best evidence suggests that we should avoid lifestyle choices that are known to promote inflammation, because this leads to disease, and rather, embrace lifestyle choices that are anti-inflammatory, which gives us the best chance of living a healthy life. This approach is very simple and uncomplicated. And from the perspective of practical application, it is especially suited for individuals who have embraced Chris’ idea of resilient living. 

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http://www.princegeorgecitize

http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/news/national/who-urging-people-to-li...

 

TORONTO - The World Health Organization is again urging people to lower the amount of sugar they eat, suggesting there are health benefits to restricting so-called free sugars to less than five per cent of one's dietary intake. - See more at: http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/news/national/who-urging-people-to-limit-sugar-calories-to-below-10-or-below-5-if-possible-1.876415#sthash.n3tbpdjW.dpuf
WHO urging people to limit sugar calories to below 10% or below 5% if possible - See more at: http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/news/national/who-urging-people-to-limit-sugar-calories-to-below-10-or-below-5-if-possible-1.876415#sthash.n3tbpdjW.dpuf
WHO urging people to limit sugar calories to below 10% or below 5% if possible - See more at: http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/news/national/who-urging-people-to-limit-sugar-calories-to-below-10-or-below-5-if-possible-1.876415#sthash.n3tbpdjW.dpuf

WHO recommends sugar no more than 5 percent of caloric intake....

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sorry I cannot fix that post :(

apologies

Sterling Cornaby's picture
Sterling Cornaby
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Nature loves to conceal herself--Heraclitus

The title sums up all the sciences for me, in its truest form (speaking as a scientist my self). 

A bit more commentary on some general attitudes, that I find both hilarious and sad:

Western Science: Until it is 'proven' it is effectively 'not true' --- This is really bad logic! It drives me nuts!

Physicist: If you have to use 'statistics' you don't really understand it. --- Well, that means we don't really understand much of anything!

Biologists:  If you have used statistics, then you have proven something 'true' ---We forget statistics allows for rare events to happen! Don't be caught off the mean!

General People (includes scientist mind you) --- I must find justifications; my small sheltered reptilian brain has a 'fear' so I must use my outer Homo sapiens brain to find justifications.  Can I order up some snake oil salesman, bad science, or good science out of context please?

We understand so much, yet we understand so little. 

Its a really tough slog, and science at the edges is 'good science' and 'bad science' swirled into a marbled pie; and please note, our science is all edges.  As a company paid scientist, weekly I have conflicts of interest between "good science or data" and "lets fudge this a bit so that executives/managers are happy".  This is tough, and even good scientist have a reptilian brain at their core to fight on this issues.

I will say that I do like the intellectual integrity on PP, I can see this effort and this is why I am here so often. 

One last thought; the podcast was very informative, well done. 

Sterling 

 

 

 

 

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Endotoxemia (specifically

Endotoxemia (specifically lipopolysacharide from gram negative bacteria) is a constant, even normal process. It's part of what actually "tunes" the immune system to recognize self from non self (very important from an autoimmunity perspective). Our collective problem is too much LPS as a consequence of "bad" bacterial overgrowth and leaky gut (intestinal permeability). Bacterial overgrowth tends to occur from highly refined carbs, suppressed immune function and a host of medications. Intestinal permeability can be caused by toxicants like gluten, glyphosphate (Roundup!!) and again, a host of over the counter and prescription drugs. Other factors in this story: Sleep, stress, exercise...it becomes very challenging IMO to pin down exactly what is the causative factor in all this. Here is a good example: Shift work takes a low level gluten intolerance and brings it up to a serious problem due to disruptions in gut function (down regulation of secretory IGA). Now that the gut is damaged, LPS causes a constant low grade inflammatory process which causes the adrenals to ramp up...which ultimately depletes serotonin (in both the gut and the brain) which further deranges sleep and exacerbates the gut permeability. I work a lot within the police, military and fire scene...the above scenario is endemic in theses populations and is common to a lessor extent in the general population. It almost becomes inconsequential what the causative factor is because we will need to tackle ALL of these issues to really fix the problem of systemic inflammation. 

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It's a great question and I

It's a great question and I do not have a concrete answer after nearly 15 years of tinkering with all this. Here are a few thoughts:

1-Current production is clearly NOT sustainable, either ecologically, nor economically. The whole CAFO system relies on gov subsidies to exist. I'd like to see that go away and then see what the market can actually sustain. This will largely answer how much animal protein there is to eat. These ideas should not be controversial: take advantage of the efficiency of photosynthesis, feed critters the diet they evolved to eat, reduce the non-renewable energy inputs to food production: 

http://www.popsci.com/article/science/8-steps-sustainable-meat-and-milk#...

2-I am a big fan and supporter of the Saovry Institute. If you have not seen Allan's TED talk I highly recommend it (I'll link below).  In talking to Allan it mirrors most everything I've seen here at Peak Prosperity. Perhaps that's confirmation bias that I'm searching for to support a broken world view I have! Or, perhaps some folks are looking at things a bit differently and seeing both similar problems and prospective solutions. The Holistic Management approach developed by these folks holds huge promise in food production, reversing desertification, carbon sequestration...important stuff. 

I would also highly recommend reading the book 1491. It looks at the pre-columbian societies of the Americas and it's worth noting they were likely 2/3 of our CURRENT population. I think we can do a lot with decentralization, permaculture and shifts away from such energy intensive production methods. Our food will cost more, travel less far, but we will likely all benefit from that. 

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Chris- A possibly interesting

Chris-

A possibly interesting bit of medical history: In 2004 if one searched Pubmed for the term "intestinal permeability" one might get about 200 search terms. Most of these  painted the topic as pseudoscience. It was nearly career suicide to even ask questions about this topic. As of today, if one enters "intestinal" into Pubmed, the 2nd suggested search term is "intestinal permeability" right before "intestinal epithelial." There are over 10K citations on the topic and it's one of the hottest areas of immunology:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=intestinal+permeability

 

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It just goes to show...
robbwolf wrote:

Chris-

A possibly interesting bit of medical history: In 2004 if one searched Pubmed for the term "intestinal permeability" one might get about 200 search terms. Most of these  painted the topic as pseudoscience. It was nearly career suicide to even ask questions about this topic. As of today, if one enters "intestinal" into Pubmed, the 2nd suggested search term is "intestinal permeability" right before "intestinal epithelial." There are over 10K citations on the topic and it's one of the hottest areas of immunology:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=intestinal+permeability

Thanks Robb.

It just goes to show that the things that science scoffs at today might be the important findings of tomorrow.  I think every age is egocentric and believes that it pretty much knows how the world works.

I encounter this belief structure all the time.  For myself, I prefer to keep an open mind, and if there are any observations that are out of alignment with current orthodoxy, I tend to weight the observations as still having something to teach us.  A thread to follow, if you will.

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Robb Wolf, Biochemist, Paleo Solutions Author

One of the tricks when reading blog posts is to figure out where the author is coming from and how educated a viewpoint he is exposing.

Robb Wolf is the author of The Paleo Solution:  The Original Human Diet, and a host of other books and blog articles.  His work is widely quoted in the functional medicine courses I have been taking.  He is a national and international star in this emerging field of how to live healthy and in accordance with our genetic design.

I want to enthusiastically recommend Robb's writing and comments to other pp'ers with a special note to others in medical and scientific fields.  Rob is a biochemist and backs up his words with sound science.

When new ideas are in the earlier portions of their several-decade-long march of diffusing into the consensus understanding, they can appear "flaky," "new-aged", "hippy-dippy", "completely unproven" and (the ultimate insult in medicine) "purely anecdotal."  Often we experience a visceral rejection of novel viewpoints initially. (I certainly do.)  But when solid scientists articulate the viewpoint well and provide references, they make an "on-ramp" for the rest of us to explore the new viewpoint and come on board.  And Robb is one of these "on-ramp" builders.  So listen up!

-----------

(Functional Medicine is a newly coined term, also described as "science based naturopathy."  A newly forming movement of MDs, DOs, NDs, DCs, Ph.Ds., RDs, psychologists and exercise physiologists endeavoring to find out how to normalize human biochemistry so that we don't get "diseases."  Diet, exercise, stress reduction, modifying gut microbiome and permeability, nutrient supplementation and avoiding environmental toxicants are some main modalities.  This is the same kind of approach that Naturopaths have been doing for decades.  What is new now is that a sufficient number of scientific underpinnings have been elucidated so that this approach has moved into legitimacy in the more intelligent and independent thinkers.)

------------

Where I am personally coming from:  I am an emergency physician in late middle age who got diagnosed with pre-diabetes, mild hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and insulin resistance syndrome.  I KNEW that I did not want to go down the path of the patients I see all day long in the ER and began to explore why these diseases have become endemic and what I could do to learn to live healthy.  I am now 100% convinced of the value of focusing on normalizing and optimizing physiology so we don't get these clusters of symptoms and lab abnormalities we call "diseases."

 

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For more on Robb Wolf

For more on Robb Wolf, listen to our podcast with him from 4 months ago:

As sandpuppy says, he's a very knowledgeable guy oriented on helping people make behavior changes towards better fitness and health.

We're honored to have him as an active member here within the PP.com community.

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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Gut Feelings.

I am an I2a (P37.2), the same as Lincoln. We were in the first wave of humans out of Africa into Europe. We were there before the last Ice Age. The Ice Age trapped us in the Balkans for ten thousand years with Neanderthal. We have more Neanderthal in our genes than other humans.

Other humans, the Celts etc, arrived after the ice retreated again. So let us examine the assumption that all humans have the same intestines. (Or the same blood, or the same skin or the same any other organ.)

I experiment with my intestines- These days I am feeding my micro-biome sauerkraut mostly because it is alive, (Unaffected by heat) and because it works for me. How can I insist that it will work for you?

We who still carry the genes, are a lot less sociable. And a lot tougher.

As a Neanderthal, I celebrate whenever I find another red haired child. We are still amongst you humans. We are not gone.

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GMO Wheat (and other grains)

Once Monsanto gets its GMO wheat on the market (will be soon) you should not eat any grain or processed food since the chances of GMO being there will be close to 100%.   Also do not drink beer anymore!!!

jgarma's picture
jgarma
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 24 2011
Posts: 2
That was good.  Added some

That was good.  Added some more to my understanding of this puzzle that is understanding metabolic syndrome.

Inflammation. LDL "Pattern B" particles, gut microbiotics (endotoxins), simple carbs, hormones -- they all play a part, but what I wonder if there's a single causal actor.

Am looking forward to listening to your next interview w/ David Seaman, Chris.  If you're interested in diving deeper into the issues here examined, consider reading:

Can The Right Gut Bacteria Fight Obesity and Slay Metabolic Syndrome: http://bit.ly/1hce94h

Yep.

-Joe

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 3941
Sugar/fat headlines

Finally more news stories are coming out that see what sugar does to your health and at the same time they stop putting so much blame on the fats:

  1. Sugar May Harm Brain Health
  2. Higher protein diet may help protect against stroke
  3. High-fat ketogenic and Atkins diets get vindicated: Saturated fat is healthy
  4. The Truth About Fat (Time...video)

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