How common is gluten sensitivity?

Gluten sensitivity is a broader category of which celiac disease is only a small subset.  The estimation of amount of gluten-sensitive people varies widely.  Here are some references on the web …

  • 60% to 70% of the population may be gluten-sensitive [reference]
  • I’ve long suspected that everyone has some degree of sensitivity to gluten, even if they’ve never been formally diagnosed and even if they don’t notice any overt symptoms after eating it. …  It might be 12%, or maybe 30%, or perhaps even a higher (or lower) percentage of the population.” – Mark Sisson

Milk Not Healthy as we thought

Dr. Mark Hyman writes in HuffingtonPost.com Dairy: 6 Reasons You Should Avoid It at All Costs    He has the following YouTube video …

Dr. Walter Willett said in a FrontLine interview that …

“The huge push for high consumption of dairy products is really not based on good science.”

 

Dr. Cordain writes the following about why milk is unhealthy …

“Drinking of cow’s milk or other species’ milk by children and adults is an unhealthy practice that increases the risk of many chronic diseases and adds no micronutrients to the diet that cannot be obtained from fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, seafoods and nuts. Human’s have no nutritional requirement for cow’s milk.”

 

There are some evidence that suggests there might be a link between casein and Type 1 diabetes. For example, the paper “A1 beta-casein, type 1 diabetes and links to other modern illnesses” says …

“people with Type 1 diabetes have enhanced levels of antibodies to beta-casein and in particular A1 beta-casein … high milk intake in children linked to high incidence of diabetes”

A1 beta-casein (as opposed to A2 beta-casein) is found in milk that comes from certain breeds of cows. Here they are talking about Type 1 diabetes which is an autoimmune disease.

Another study titled “Antibodies to bovine beta-casein in diabetes and other autoimmune diseases” found that subject with Type 1 diabetes, Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA), and Coeliac disease has increased levels of antibodies to beta-casein as compared to age-matched control groups.

Kurt Harris’ Archevore diet framework has one tip that advises …

“If you are allergic to milk protein or concerned about theoretical risks of casein, you can stick to butter and avoid milk, cream and soft cheeses”.

 

Butter does have very small amount of casein. But depending on your sensitivity to casein, it may or may not be tolerable. If not, try ghee (clarified butter) which has even less casein to the point of virtually none. See forum thread “Casein in Butter” on celiac.com.

Milk and dairy product contains lactose which is a disaccharide sugar and is on the “avoid list” of FODMAP foods if you are doing a Low-FODMAP type of diet.

Mat Lalonde says in a Chris Kresser podcast that …

“I say the casein can be problematic, lactose can be problematic, so the best macronutrient, the least problematic macronutrient in dairy is the fat”

 

HowStuffWorks.com writes that …

” Dairy is one of the most commonly reported food allergies”

Is It Dangerous to Eat Raw Oysters?

Potentially. It all depends on where the oyster came from, how it was handled, and how it got to your plate, and how strong your immune system is.  There is always a risk.

The danger in raw oysters is not in the mercury level, but rather the pathogens and virus that they may contain.   The mercury level of oyster considered “lower levels” category in the similar range of that of salmon.

Oysters are filter feeders and can contain pathogens and bacteria.   Immuno-compromised individuals, individuals with poor liver functions, or pregnant, or other conditions may want to avoid raw oysters.

But for healthy individuals, oysters are eaten raw as in this Executive Chef shows on YouTube how to shuck and eat one.  Shucking an oyster means to open and remove half of its shell.  They are usually opened with oyster top up.  Which side is the top?  The flat shell is top.  The rounded shell is bottom.

The Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference says …

“Oysters harvested from approved waters, packed under sanitary conditions, and properly refrigerated are usually safe for raw consumption by healthy individuals. Cooking oysters to an internal temperature of 140 F or greater for 4-6 minutes destroys the common microorganisms of public health concern.”

Wikipedia says that “oysters must be eaten alive, or cooked alive.”   That is why you do not often see frozen raw oysters.  After frozen and thawed, their texture changes so that they need to be consumed cooked, and can no longer be consume raw.   If they are canned, they are cooked before canning.

SafeOysters.org says that shucked shellfish can be kept in the refrigerator at …

“Temperatures below 35°F will minimize bacterial growth and help shucked shellfish stay fresh longer, usually 4 to 7 days or by the “use by” date printed on containers. Refrigerator temperatures greater than 40°F will decrease shelf life.”

However, if you remove half its shelf, don’t you kill the shellfish?  So personally, I get nervous at keeping shucked oyster that long.

An oyster that can not close its shell is a dead oyster.  When buying oyster, buy only those with fully closed shells. Oyster should be purchased live, as fresh as possible, and from a quality source. To avoid killing the oyster due to lack of oxygen, do not keep oysters in air-tight containers.

If you eat at a restaurant, eat them from a place you trust.  The chef should know all of the above and be able to detect bad oysters (including by smell) and toss them out.   Some bad oysters can look the same as good ones.

If you cook the oyster, scrub and wash the shell thoroughly and then it can be smoked, boiled, baked, fried, roasted, stewed, canned, pickled, steamed, broiled.

Boiling is a good way to kill pathogens.  If you boil them in the shell, they will open on its own, saving you the need to shuck them.  Boil them until the oyster flesh edge curls.

Here on YouTube is what Oysterologist Daniel Notkin says about oyster and his reply to eating raw oysters: “Get them as fresh as possible, with a chef that you trust.  There is always a risk. … But if you look at the grand scheme of things, there are more recalls on peanut butter, meat, eggs, than anything we heard of oysters.”

WiseGeek.com says …

“Eating raw oysters can potentially be dangerous. Taking the time to cook an oyster will greatly reduce the risk of picking up a food-borne illness. People who are pregnant or who have compromised immune systems should always cook an oyster before eating it”

 

Disclaimer:  I am not a profession chef.   Everything I learned about oysters, I’ve learn from the Internet.

Why Everyone with Autoimmune Condition Should Avoid Gluten

This is just my own personal opinion.  I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice.   It may sound extreme for anyone with any autoimmune condition to avoid gluten.  But this article list some reasons and references as to why.

If not avoid gluten, then at least get screened for gluten sensitivity.  The article Reversing Autoimmune Disease is a Real Possibility writes and I quote

“If there is any autoimmune disease in your family immediately get tested for gluten intolerance. This is not just a celiac test but also a test for gluten sensitivity.”

It is true that autoimmune conditions can be caused by many other factors besides gluten.  However, gluten is of the things that can contribute to or exacerbate autoimmune conditions in gluten sensitive people.   There are ample evidence that many people with autoimmune conditions also have gluten sensitivity.

While there are tests that test for gluten sensitivities, false negatives are common — meaning that the test says you do not have sensitivity to gluten, yet you really are.  The test only tests a subset of antibodies and a subset of the type of gluten that people may be sensitive to.  It does not catch everything.   Also a antibodies blood test will come out negative even if you are gluten sensitive if you happen to not be eating gluten at the time of the test.

Since there is no way to know for sure if you are gluten sensitive or not, it is best to avoid gluten as there is a plausible mechanism for which gluten causes autoimmunity.

For gluten sensitive people who continue to consume gluten, gluten causes openings in the tight junctions in the gut.  This is known as a leaky gut, or increased intestinal permeability.   This means that partially digested proteins and foodstuff may leak into the bloodstream where they normal would not.

Your immune system see these as foreign invaders and initiates an inflammatory response.  Over time, one experience chronic systemic inflammation and eventual dysregulation of the immune system, which is what autoimmune conditions are.

In the same line of reasoning, even healthy individuals with no autoimmune symptoms may choose to avoid gluten as a preventative measure against autoimmune disease.

The short of it is that we know that autoimmune disease is characterized by an leaky and inflamed gut.  And gluten is one of the things that can inflame the gut.  Therefore, gluten can simply do no good.  And it is not like avoiding gluten is that terrible.  Our ancestors in the Paleolithic era didn’t eat gluten.   The Paleo diet and the “Gluten-Free Casein-free” diet some example ways of eating that does not include gluten.

Autoimmune diseases is when the immune system attacks own self.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis is when immune system attacks the joint.
  • Celiac disease is when immune system attacks the small intestines.
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (hypothyroidism) and Graves’ disease (hyperthyroidism) is when immune system attacks that thyroid.
  • Type 1 diabetes is when immune system attacks the beta cells in the pancreas.
  • Lupus is when the immune system attacks the skin
  • Multiple sclerosis is when the immune system attacks the myelin sheaths of nerves
Many autoimmune conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis) has an inflammatory condition.  NaturalNews.com reports on how gluten causes rheumatoid arthritis.

Some people consider autism an autoimmune condition (see New York Times piece) and autistic children have inflamed gut.  Many people treating autism are putting them on gluten-free (and sometimes casein free) diet.

Celiac disease it the prototypical autoimmune disease related to gluten intolerance.  Anyone with celiac must be off gluten for life — without question.   However, many other autoimmune diseases and conditions may have similar mechanism and therefore other autoimmune conditions may benefit from a gluten-free diet as well.
Examples where eliminating gluten improves autoimmune conditions:

More References:

  • Peter Osborne in YouTube video explains why blood test for gluten sensitivity may not be accurate.  Why gluten-free may not be free of gluten.  When other grains which is so called “gluten free” may still trigger same problems of gluten sensitivity in some people.
  • Dr. Lo Radio explains how gluten can affect thyroid.  She says that if you have a thyroid problem, 80% to 90% that you have an autoimmune condition.  She says “Gluten is the devil” and is one of the first things she takes out of her patients diet when they have thyroid issue.
  • Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride on YouTube talks about how she cured her son of autism via diet and nutrition.  She explains how gluten and the gut affects autism.
  • Article by Dr. Vikki Petersen Is Gluten Intolerance the Cause of Autoimmune Disease? says “A study from Italy showed that the longer gluten sensitive people eat gluten, the more likely they are to develop autoimmune diseases.
  • Dr. Rhea Parsons writes in Why I Eat a (Mostly) Gluten-Free Diet: “More and more research is showing a link between inflammation, autoimmune diseases and gluten sensitivity.”
  • Book: Thinking Outside the Pill Box writes “Most patients I see with chronic fatique syndrome, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and various other autoimmune disease issues have gluten sensitivity as part of their problems.”
  • Book: Digestive Wellness for Children writes “The incidence of celiac disease is high in people with autoimmune disease including lupus, insulin-dependent diabetes, liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjogren’s syndrome.”
  • Dr. Alessio Fasano says on the Chris Kresser podcast: “We don’t know what makes people sick with diabetes or MS, but it’s indisputable gluten, this strange protein contained in many grains, including wheat, rye, and barley, to be the culprit that leads to autoimmunity on that specific genetic background.”
  • HealthNowMedical.com: “research reveals that perhaps a vast number of autoimmune diseases may also involve an immune response to dietary gluten.
  • Book: Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests are Normal?  says “As is the case with most, if not all, Hashimoto’s victims, eating wheat and other gluten-containing foods only makes Hashimoto’s worse.”  Hashimoto is the most common autoimmune disease characterized by low-thyroid function.
  • Dr Susan Blum in her book The Immune Recovery Plan writes “if you have any autoimmune disease — not necessarily celiac disease — it is good to do the tests above, but if they are negative, you should still remove gluten from your diet, based on research showing a connection between gluten and many other autoimmune diseases.” [page 26]

Is Coconut Oil Healthy?

Short answer is, “Yes, it is”.   Some people are taking it as a supplement.  Great for brain health.  And many people consider it to be the best cooking oil to use.

Here are some references to why coconut oil is healthy….

  • In the question and answer section of an Hawthorn University webinair (which you can watch on YouTube linked here), Jeanne Wallace says she is favorable of coconut oil. Because coconut oil is already medium chain triglycerides that the body can readily use, the body does not need to metabolize it as much as other fats. So it can be a quick source of energy.
  • There are doctors who believed in the health benefits of coconut oil. Dr. Mercola’s and Dr. Howard Talbot’s YouTube videos are just a couple.
  • Dr. Mercola wrote on HuffingtonPost an article with references about all the benefits of coconut oil. For cooking, Dr. Mercola uses coconut oil exclusively.
  • Dr. Mary Newport uses coconut oil to treat her husband’s Alzheimer. [reference YouTube]
  • UCHealth talks about use of coconut oil in Alzheimer’s.
  • Article on NaturalNews.com by Dr. David Jockers writes that …
    “Coconut oil is considered one of the best fuels for healthy brain function.”
  • There are a few anecdotal testimonies on YouTube here and there about how coconut oil has eliminated brain fog and enabled clearer and sharper thinking.
  • A study found that “Elevation of plasma ketone body levels through an oral dose of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) may improve cognitive functioning in older adults with memory disorders.” [reference]
  • video of a discussion of a panel on the benefits of coconut oil on the brain.
  • Essay by Stephanie Seneff writes …”Coconut oil, a saturated fat, has been shown to benefit Alzheimer’s patients”

What about the saturated fat?

Saturated fat has gotten a bad rap.  Many people now believe that saturated fat is not as bad as they once were told.

Mary Enig writes article New Look at Coconut Oil which says …

“coconut oil is at worst neutral with respect to atherogenicity of fats and oils and, in fact, is likely to be a beneficial oil for prevention and treatment of some heart disease.”

And she further states that coconut oil may have antimicrobial and anti-cancer properties.

Dave Asprey’s recipe on how he drinks coffee is that he adds butter and MCT oil to his coffee and eats 50% of his calories from fats.

Is there a link between mercury, vaccines, and autism?

There are many different possible causes of autism.  The possible connection between vaccines and autism is a controversial topic no doubt.  A part of it involves the mercury containing preservative thimerosal that is found in some vaccines.   Insist that your doctor uses only mercury-free vaccines. Another part is that too many vaccines too soon may overwhelm the immune system of a small percentage of susceptible individuals.

Although vaccines are probably safe for the majority of the population; however, there may be an very small percentage of the population that have a combination of genetic susceptibility and nutritional deficiency that sets them up for sub-optimal detoxification of mercury and/or decreased immune function that may allow vaccines to affect their brain and/or immune system.

In the below video Dr. Andrew Wakefield tells his story about the MMR vaccine.  It is shocking and jaw-dropping in regards to some of the things he mention.  He is not against vaccination.  But he is for safety-first in vaccines.  And some vaccines are not sufficiently tested and not safe in susceptible individuals.  Anyone who is interested in vaccines and its relation to autism and in particular about the MMR vaccine needs to watch this.


Note: this article was written September 2012 and is only opinion at the time of writing.  I am not a medical professional and information was based primarily from Internet web search.  As with any web search performed by a human, it is biased.   Because a human  will tend to self-select search results that is predominantly on one side of the argument.

Here are some information for you to look through…

  • The great thimerosal cover-up: Mercury, vaccines, autism and your child’s health – NaturalNews.com
  • Book: Health and Nutrition Secrets by Russell Blaylock MD: “the biggest problem with today’s immunization programs is that too many vaccines are being given too close together.” [page 168]
  • Why Current Thinking About Autism is Completely Wrong by Dr. Mark Hyman.  Article talks about an 2.5 year old boy who had just been diagnosed with autism: “He received diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles, mumps and rubella, chicken pox, hepatitis A and B, influenza, pneumonia, hemophilous, and meningitis vaccines — all before he was 2 years old. Then something changed. Vaccines may affect susceptible children through different mechanisms. In some it is overwhelming of an already taxed immune system with over 2 dozen vaccinations at a very young age, for some it is the thimerosal (ethylmercury) used as a preservative until recently in most vaccines (although it is still present in most flu vaccines).”
  • Autism and Mercury Toxicity by Dr. Mark Hyman: “But sometimes, as in the case of autistic children, their weakened immune systems can’t handle this “inactivated” live virus, and can’t fight it off. So the live virus hangs around in the body creating inflammation on a low-grade level — both in the gut and the brain.”
  • CoQ10, Vaccination, and Natural Treatment for Migraines by Chris Kresser: “there are studies that have shown vaccine injuries and particularly vaccines that contain mercury in them, and then there’s a lot of, like I said, correlations and plausible mechanisms and other data that point to the distinct possibility that vaccines cause immune dysregulation and can increase the risk of autoimmunity as kids get older.”
  • Vaccines and autism: a  new scientific review – CBSNews.com
  • Vaccine bombshell: Baby monkeys develop autism after routine CDC vaccinations – InfoWars.com
  • Book: The UltraMind Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman: “Large-scale population studies show no connection between MMR or measles vaccine and autism.  That’s because in such large populations the effect on children susceptible to MMR is “washed out.” If you study large groups of people, you won’t pick up small effects on genetically or bio-chemically unique individuals. … The vaccine probably affects only a few genetically susceptible children who are biochemical and immunological train wrecks because of toxic overload.” [page 210]
  • Dr. Tenpenny says in Dr. Lo Radio podcast that vaccines can cause a spectrum of ill effects, with autism at the worst end of the spectrum.

The other side:

 

Butter in Coffee

Butter in coffee can be a good idea for healthy individuals without cholesterol problems and who are not afraid of saturated fats.

Dave Asprey explains how he takes his coffee with butter and MCT oils.  MCT oil is medium chain triglyceride oils such as coconut oil.   He also consumes 50% of his calories as fats.

Coconut oil and butter and coffee are all healthy foods.  So his coffee recipe is not bad.

 

Chris Masterjohn explains fats and cholesterol in relational to heart disease

Chris Masterjohn presents at the Ancestral Health Symposium that it is the oxidation of the lipids and cholesterol that is what is damaging to heart disease.

Lipids gets oxidized and LDL goes from large fluffy to the more dangerous small dense type as they stay in the blood longer and more likely to get oxidized. Why causes the lipids to stay in the blood? Because the LDL receptors of the cells are not taking them up fast enough or low thyroid hormones.

He says that having nutritional abundance would offset the oxidation process.

Video Explaining Why Cholesterol and Saturated Fat do not cause heart disease

Sally Fallon-Morell presents the research of Marg Enig PhD.

The video is called “The Oiling of America” and explains why cholesterol and saturated fats do not cause heart disease. It debunks some of the studies that shows otherwise, including Ancel Keys “Seven Country Study”.

It explains how sometimes studies are either intentionally or unintentionally misleading due to things like “varying the scale”, “relative risk”, and “omitting data”.

It also explain about fats. Some studies lump trans fats with saturated fat. And saturated fats incorrectly get the blame. Trans fats really is bad because of a translocation of an atom which creates dead spots in the electron cloud and hindering cellular reactions. Polyunsaturated fats are bad because they break upon heat and causes uncontrolled reactions (inflammation).