Causes of Autoimmune and How to Reverse

While there is an genetic component involved making certain individual more vulnerable, the causes of autoimmune conditions and disease falls in three main categories:

  • Leaky gut / Food sensitivity
  • Toxicity from chemicals, heavy metals, mold
  • Chronic hidden infections

Autoimmune diseases and conditions are a dis-regulation of the immune system, where the immune system attack self instead of invaders.  The majority of immune system resides in the gut.  That is why almost all people with autoimmune have some gut and intestinal issues.  As the intestines get damaged, the gut become leaky and undigested food particle molecules flow into the bloodstream where it is not supposed to be.  So the immune system goes on the attack.  But due to molecular mimickery, it sometimes confuses body cells with the food particles or with the infectious agents that it is aiming for.

When gut become leaky, this causes food sensitivity.  The foods that are most allergenic are …

  • gluten
  • dairy
  • corn
  • soy
  • eggs

All five of these are on JJ Virgin’s avoid list.   She also has peanuts and sugar on her avoid list.  Peanuts can often have aflatoxin which is why many people are allergic to peanuts.  Others have found that avoiding sugar can improve autoimmune conditions.

Gluten and dairy are the big ones and I feel that everyone with an autoimmune condition should avoid those two.  Corn and soy (if not labelled organic or non-GMO) are likely to be genetically modified.  Gluten and GMO’s are contributing causes of leaky gut.  The Paleo Diet avoid gluten, dairy, and legumes.  And many people find the “Autoimmune Paleo”  diet to be helpful in reducing autoimmune symptoms.  Here is a list of autoimmune paleo foods to avoid.

Ways to Heal Autoimmune

Read Dr. Amy Myers Understanding the True Cause of Autoimmune Disease to learn what causes it and how to reverse autoimmune.  Besides healing the gut and going Paleo, she recommends testing for heavy metals, mycotoxins, and infections.  And finally, managing stress which can disregulate and weaken the immune system.

In addition avoid GMOs and foods that you are sensitive to (test with Cyrex Labs). If you are eating out, take digestive enzymes.

Optimize vitamin D (go outdoors in the summer and supplement in the winter) and gut microbiom flora.  Take probiotics.   Be careful of vaccines and antibotics (use only when you really need to).

Heal leaky gut with bone broth.  Other nutrients that can help with autoimmune are glutamine, omega 3, curcumin, colostrum, zinc, and vitamin A.  Consider anti-parasite supplements. has additional items on its list.

Walking after eating helps with blood sugar spike writes …

“Researchers studying older adults with pre-diabetes found that 15 minutes of easy-to-moderate exercise after every meal curbed risky blood sugar spikes all day” has article writes …

“a short walk after dinner was much more effective at lowering blood sugar levels than a longer one earlier in the day”


This is good news for those trying to control their diabetes or blood sugar.

For those who are testing their blood sugar can perform some measurement to see the difference in blood sugar spike with and without walking after similar meals at same time of day.


Facts you may not know about your gut

The gut is one of the most important organs in the body.  Not only does it process your food, but it is the seat of the immune system.  When thing goes wrong with the gut, things eventually go wrong with the body.

The gut is how our body absorb vital nutrients. It is a rain-forest of bacteria — 3 pounds of them with over 500 different species of bacteria. Without them, we can not live.  Our bodies have more bacterial DNA than our own DNA.  There are 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells in our body.[reference]  So you can say we are more bacteria than human.  There are 100 trillion bacteria (that’s 100,000,000,000,000), weighing in at about 3 pounds (about the weight of your brain).  60% of your stool by weight is bacteria.

Some are good bacteria and some are bad bacteria. The good bacteria helps us digest food, make vitamins, detox poisons, produce energy, balance pH, and other tasks. The bad bacteria produce toxins, ferment starches, causes bloating, and wreak havoc on your gut which can cause all sorts of symptoms in your body including affecting your brain.

If the surface of our gut is laid out, it would cover a tennis court — that’s about 100 times the surface area of your skin. But this surface is not very thick (only one cell layer). Damage to this layer is called “leaky gut” or intestinal permeability. When partially digested food “leaks” through, then it triggers your immune system to respond with inflammation.

Quoting from the book Digestive Wellness

“You have somewhere between 500 and 1000 types of bacteria in your digestive system, each type having hundreds of different strains. … They weigh several pounds and have the same metabolic capacity as your liver.”

You have good bacteria and bad bacteria. This balance of bacteria and the interaction of our genes has a profound effect on our metabolism and immune system.

If the bad bacteria overpowers the good bacteria, it can result in health issues. Bacteria have a technique known as “quorum sensing” where they activate when they sense that they have sufficient numbers.

From the book, Digestive Health with Real Food, it says there are 800 species and 7000 strains of bacteria.  95% of the neurotransmitter serotonin is found in the gut (not the brain).

Some Drinks — Are They Healthy or Not?

No, not alcoholic drinks, I just mean beverages.   This article is about some thoughts on a few beverages.

Most of us know to not drink soda anymore due to harmful effects of sugar and artificial sweeteners and sometimes even high fructose corn syrup. But what do we drink instead? Let’s look at some alternatives which are definitely healthier.

We’ll look at water, green tea, coffee, vegetable juice, coconut water, kefir, and kombucha. But are they really healthy? Unfortunately, I can not answer this question because it all depends on the individual and the situation and how much. They all have their pros and cons.

Water – sure it is healthy, except…

The only exception is water, which in nearly all cases is healthy — unless it is contaminated with chloride, fluoride, or other toxins.  But you thought fluoride in water is good for the teeth?  Not really, and here is why.

Water is not healthy is when you drink insane amounts of it which dilutes all your electrolytes from your circulatory system. There have been reports that a person died in a water-drinking contest.[reference]

Six researchers did a study to determine what was the best healthy beverage to drink. It turns out to be water, followed by tea and coffee (both drunk plain that is).[6]

Article on Harvard School of Public Health says …

“Water should be the beverage you turn to most of the time”

Water has zero sugar, zero calories, and zero saturated fat. We all need water and cannot live without it. It is a basic element of life.

One report states that woman needs 11 cups of fluid a day and men needs 15 cups. Note that this amount includes the fluids from all foods and other beverages. The best gauge is to let your body dictate how much water you need. Definitely drink when you’re thirsty. But try to drink so that you do not get thirsty. By the time you feel thirst, you are already a bit dehydrated.

However, drinking plain water can be a bit boring. And for some people drinking plain water means going to the bathroom more frequently because it just passes right through.

So let’s look at other healthy beverages.

Green Tea

Probably the second most healthy beverage after water.  See the health benefits of green tea.


Is coffee healthy or not?

Vegetable Juice

Is Vegetable Juice Healthy?

Coconut Juice

Yes, coconut juice is healthy, but watch the sugar.


Kefir has good probiotics.  But not for someone who is sensitive to dairy, casein, or lactose. Learn more.


Kombucha is an effervescent fermented tea drink. It is fermented with a combination of healthy bacteria and yeast.  So perhaps those with yeast overgrowth may need to be cautious.

Because of the fermentation processes, some natural alcohol may be formed. But it is often less than less than 0.5% ethanol.  Because of the fermentation process, kombacha contain live probiotics that can be of benefit to health. Other healthy byproducts may include B vitamins, amino acids, organic acids, and enzymes.

However, many doubt the health claims of kombucha and there are incidences of complications in some individuals. There are cases contamination due to home-brewing. If you are going to try kombucha, try the commercially produced brands such as GT’s or Synergy first. If you look at the food label on the bottle, you will see that it is usually quite low on sugar.

Dr. Andrew Weil writes that he knows of no health benefits and that he is …

“concerned about the possibility of contamination in home-brewed kombucha. Some batches contain aspergillus, a toxin-producing fungus. This would be a significant risk for individuals with compromised immune systems, such as those with AIDS or in chemotherapy for cancer. There have been reports in the medical literature of adverse reactions, including nausea, vomiting and headaches, in people drinking more than four ounces of kombucha tea daily.”

Article on writes …

“If you are a child, are pregnant, have a compromised immune system, or have kidney disease you may want to talk with your doctor or caution your intake of kombucha.” article writes …

“In short, there isn’t good evidence that kombucha tea delivers on its health claims. At the same time, several cases of harm have been reported. Therefore, the prudent approach is to avoid kombucha tea until more definitive information is available.”

The media such as MSNBC and the New York Times have written about kombucha as well.

In general, probiotic beverages are healthy. This may include kefir and kombucha. Another probiotic drink is KeVita that was mentioned by as being great by Mira and Jayson Calton in the episode “Rich Food, Poor Food” on Underground Wellness radio podcast.

Dr. Axe has good things to say about Kombucha…


Beverages to Avoid

Avoid soft drinks and other sugary drinks that contains lots of sugar. This includes any sport drink and vitamin water that contains a lot of sugar. Excessive amounts sugar is one factor that contributes to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and obesity.

Dr. Jonny Bowden says that soda is one of the two worst foods one can eat. The other is french fries.

Vitamin water is basically water with a little bit of vitamin added. You would most likely get more vitamin by juicing real vegetables. Or take a multi-vitamin pill with your water.

If you think the zero-calories beverages are good for you, think again. Many zero-calories beverages contains artificial sweeteners. Although it is true that artificial sweeteners do not raise blood sugar, some such as aspartame can damage brain cells through excitotoxicity.

Masala chai

I haven’t tried this one, but Mark Sisson says that masala chai is healthy due to its cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, fennel, and clove. But again, easy on the sugar.

He also mention “choffy” as healthy which is ground up roasted cacoa beans steeped in hot water.

Creamy tumeric tea is nice too.

Is Green Tea Healthy?

The book The Chemistry of Calmsays …

“Make pure water your main beverage. … If you like green tea, you can drink it throughout the day.” [page 69-70]

Green tea is our second most healthy beverage — second to water.

Unsweetened green tea can contain zero sugar. Its health benefit comes from its antioxidant capabilities. Green tea contains catechins such as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) which inhibits cancer growth. Green tea is also good for the heart since it helps dilate blood vessels.[reference]

In his talk about nutrition and cancer, Dr. Donald Abrams says he drinks 4 cups of green tea each day. See video above.

Although green tea has relatively low caffeine as compared to coffee. If you are concerned about caffeine, don’t drink green tea before bed so as to not affect your sleep.

How Safe Is Your Cosmetic?

You can find out how safe your particular brand of cosmetic and health care product by going to the Environmental Working Group website and look for its Cosmetics Database.

You can search over 78,000 products and it will tell you the “hazard score” from 0 to 10 (where 10 being hazardous).  The score is colored coded green, yellow, and red.

You can drill down into the product and it will tell you the ingredients that are of concern.  They look at Overall Hazard, Cancer Hazard, Developmental & reproductive toxicity, allergies & immunotoxicity, etc.

Book: “Super Brain” by Rudolph Tanzi and Deepak Chopra

Many know of Deepak Chopra a prolific writer and spiritual guru and founder of the Chopra Center.  “Super Brain” is one of the latest book he has worked on. This book has ample preview on Amazon.

Rudolph Tanzi is a neuroscientist who wrote the book “Decoding Darkness: The Search for the Genetic Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease”.

You can see him in the below TEDMED 2010 video …

What Are Some Good Gluten-Free Bread?

Here are some various gluten-free bread that is recommended by the Internet…

According to David GetOff in the Ask the Low Carb Experts podcast episode 18 (at 1 hr : 06 min), he likes the bread “Purity Bread”, “Bean Bread”, “Smart-Carb #3” by  This is based on them being gluten-free and low net carbs and the type of ingredients used.

HufffingtonPost has a slideshow of 10 best gluten-free breads based on taste test judging on taste and texture and mouth feel.  Udi’s came in number one.  And Kinnikinnik Foods came in number two.  Article dated year 2012.

Best Of Gluten Free Awards lists the “Bread & Pasta” winner of 2012.   Udi’s Gluten Free won best gluten-free sandwich bread, best gluten-free multigrain bread, and best gluten-free specialty Bread.

Some Problems with Vegetarian Diets

Some nutrients that might be lacking in a vegetarian diet may include …

  • complete protein sources
  • good source of omega-3 (DHA form) from fish and seafood
  • Vitamin B12 and other minerals from red meats and eggs.

Denise Minger talked on the Livin La Vida Low Carb Show talked about in how she started out as vegetarians for many years until they encounter health challenges. Her health improved when she added back animal products. She then got interested in nutrition and gave talk at the Ancestral Health Symposium of some believes about health and nutrition that some vegetarian believe may be wrong.

Chris Masterjohn, who studies nutritional science, talked with Dr. Mercola about how Chris was a vegetarian until he encounter health issues which resolved after adding back animal products. He believes that everyone can benefit with at least some animal products.

Nora Gedgaudas’s talk at the Ancestral Health Symposium says that vegetarian, vegan, or very high carb diets may lack sufficient complete protein source to have enough raw amino acids to build neurotransmitters.

In PaleoHacks Podcast episode #6, guest Paul Jaminet says that it is difficult to be strong when on a vegetarian diet.  But it is possible to be healthy on vegetarian diet if dairy and eggs are consume.  But a long term vegan diet would eventually lead to deficiencies.

Professor George Jelinek at site recommends a vegetarian plus seafood diet.  His “OMS” diet excludes animal meats of all kinds.  But he does advocate getting omega-3 and B12 from seafood.