All posts in Allergies

Gluten Intolerance

The inability to digest gluten, which is the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, is affecting many patients. Celiac disease – an incurable immune reaction to gluten – is the extreme sensitivity to gluten. People who react to gluten but not as severe as Celiac Disease call  it gluten intolerance.

Celiac disease is incurable and a permanent conditions. Gluten Intolerance has some good treatment options. The only way to avoid their damage is to avoid eating even tiny amounts of wheat, rye, or barley.

I ask my patients with chronic digestive issues and chronic joint inflammation complaints to  go gluten-free for a 21 day challenge.

I recently had dinner with a friend at a local LA restaurant. The waiter and chef both knew what “no gluten” meant, and even left the bread off an appetizer plate we shared so that there would be no cross-contamination. There was no flour in anything he ate that I could see. Yet, shortly after dinner he began having digestive distress (bloating). Luckily we could walk back to my office where I had an enzyme to give him that digests gluten. Quickly his symptoms disappeared.

Going gluten free is a challenge –  even a smidgen of flour on a cook’s hands or a splash of soy sauce in a sauce can set off digestive problems or silent inflammation in some people.

Feel free to schedule an appointment to discuss if you need enzymes that digest gluten. Taking them can make the difference between being successful on a gluten-free diet and failing.

Meanwhile, watch out for the obvious: wheat, barley, rye; fish and chicken dusted with flour; and salad dressing made with soy sauce.

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Asthma nutrition

Using current nutritional research, here is what we know that can help asthma.

Fish oils (essential fatty acids) have a broad anti-inflammatory effect. It could take 9 months of supplementation to increase FEV (forced expiratory volume). FEV is a pulmonary function test used to diagnose asthma and other pulmonary diseases. I recommend 2-3 grams per day.

Pyrodoxine, vitamin B6 has been studied and found to be effective in the prevention of asthma attacks.

Vitamin B12 shots can improve tolerance to flare-ups, possibly by preventing reactions to sulfite exposure. B12, also known as cyanocobalin or hydroxycobalamin works by binding the sulfites to cobalamin, thereby blocking their allergic potential.

Rye grass extract can help to dampen bronchial hyper-reactivity.

Nettles can help prevent underlying allergic reactions to various inhalants.

Vitamin C is thought to be the major antioxidant in the linings of the lungs and bronchi. Asthmatic patients have been shown to have low vitamin C blood levels. Some studies show lessening of respiratory symptoms and improvement in respiratory function with C supplementation. It’s also postulated that vitamin C may help lower histamine levels. This effect, however, was only found to occur when supplementation continued over a six- week period.

Magnesium both orally and intravenously can help prevent flare-ups.

Antioxidants, such as quercetin, are thought to provide protection because free radicals can stimulate bronchial constriction.

DHEA can improve breathing capacity. It is typically low in-patients who have used steroids repeatedly. I like to know a persons blood levels before DHEA supplementation.

Accurate testing and treatment of both food and inhalant allergens is extremely important. Have you had a RAST panel? A blood test, to screen for allergens.

Addressing food and inhalant allergies and building a healthier immune system can go a long way in terms of prevention. Since air pollution is often cited as a cause of asthma, I can’t help but wonder if chemicals in the home or workplace are a major contributing factor. Chemicals aggravate the lungs – period!

You have to be concerned about household products, scents, wood preservatives, floor and wall treatments, carpets, rugs, drapes, and synthetic-impregnated furniture. Have any of these things changed recently? Also consider indoor natural gas from furnaces, water heaters, and stoves which generates irritating nitric oxide residues.

If you were my sister I would tell you to go to my website www.DrJeffreyTucker.com, click on Metagenics & order these products from them:

UltraInflam X (make shakes using 2 scoops per day). This has lots of natural anti-inflammatories.

Perimine (1 tablet BID)

EPA-DHA 720 (2 in the morning & 2 at night)

Include D3 (5,000 IU per day until your levels are 50-60), vitamin C (2-3 grams per day), & quercitin (dosage on the bottle). Stick to an anti-inflammatory diet using low carb – it is part of the puzzle.

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Nuts are a great snack!

I always suggest nuts as a snack. They provide  many different vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. Yes nuts have fat in them, but most nuts are full of the good fats and lower in the bad fats. If you know me, then you know I’m about low carb and not low fat diets.

Griel et al, showed that supplementing the diet for 4- weeks with nuts has tremendous benefits on lipid profiles, especially LDL cholesterol. They concluded that not only was the mono and polyunsaturated fats important in lowering cholesterol, but that nuts have may have other compounds that help alter the cholesterol levels.

Jiang et al, concluded that a diet rich in nuts can also help reduce the risk of developing Diabetes. One of the bigger concerns in this study was the level of obesity of the participants, because obesity is a higher indicator of risk for developing diabetes, but they found that increasing dietary intake of nuts did not alter body weight at all.

WHAT ABOUT ALLERGIES? If you are allergic to nuts, you are s@#* out of luck, and will obviously need to avoid them.

WHAT ABOUT WEIGHT GAIN?  Sure, extra weight gain can occur from eating too many nuts – remember I’m recommending nuts as a snack, not making a meal out of them. To me a snack means around 15.  
Typical nuts have higher than normal levels of the good fats, which are mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids.  Nuts are lower in saturated fats, which are the fat’s that lead to altered cholesterol levels and excess weight gain.  

 

Not only do nuts have the potential to help lower cholesterol and prevent metabolic disorders, but nuts can also have a satiety effect on the body.  Satiety refers to the satisfaction that happens when we eat a meal and feel full or satisfied.

Nuts should be a staple in everyone’s diets (except of course people who have severe allergic reactions to nuts) for the cardio-protective effects of the healthy fat levels, the satisfaction of ingesting a healthy snack and finally the potential benefits.

I recommend Macadamia nuts and marcona almonds – relax, be primal!

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Anti-inflammatory Foods

Grass-fed beef and other animal foods. As opposed to traditional, grain-fed livestock, meat that comes from animals fed grass also contains anti-inflammatory omega-3s, but in lower concentrations than coldwater fish. Free-range livestock that graze in pastures build up higher levels of omega-3s. Meat from grain-fed animals has virtually no omega-3s and plenty of saturated fat. Cooking tip: Unless it’s ground, grass-fed beef may be tougher, so slow cook it.

Olive oil. Olive oil is a great source of oleic acid, another anti-inflammatory oil. Researchers wrote in the October 2007 Journal of the American College of Nutrition that those who consume more oleic acid have better insulin function and lower blood sugar. Shopping tip: Opt for extra-virgin olive oil, which is the least processed, and use it instead of other cooking oils.

Spread Olive Oil on dark-green lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, and other salad veggies. These are rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, nutrients that dampen inflammation.

Cruciferous vegetables. These veggies, which include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale, are also loaded with antioxidants. But they provide one other ingredient — sulfur — that the body needs to make its own high-powered antioxidants, such as one called glutathione.

Turmeric. This spice contains a powerful, natural anti-inflammatory compound, according to a report in the August 2007 Biochemical Pharmacology. Turmeric has long been part of curry spice blends, used in southern Asian cuisines. To use: Buy powdered curry spice (which contains turmeric and other spices) and use it as a seasoning when pan-frying chicken breasts in olive oil. Turmeric
 

Ginger. This relative of tumeric is also known for its anti-inflammatory benefits, and some research suggests that it might also help control blood sugar. Suggestion: Brew your own ginger tea. Use a peeler to remove the skin off a piece of ginger, then add several thin slices to a cup of hot water and let steep for a few minutes.

Garlic Clove

Garlic. The research isn’t consistent, but garlic may have some anti-inflammatory and glucose-regulating benefits and it may also help your body fight infections. At the very least, it won’t hurt and makes for a tasty addition to food. Kitchen tip: Dice garlic and fresh rosemary, and rub them on a whole chicken before roasting.

Green Tea Green tea. Like fruits and vegetables, green tea contains natural anti-inflammatory compounds. It may even reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Suggestion: Drink a cup a day — or brew it like sun tea, refrigerate, and serve.

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Anti-Infammatory Diet Updates

 
Eating right and getting regular exercise is the best way to achieve and/or maintain health. I remember hearing Jack LaLanne say, “Diet is King & exercise is Queen, and when you put them both together you build a Kingdom.” 

Inflammation can be low-grade or it can flare up or progress into chronic or acute disease states, including serious autoimmune problems such as arthritis.  Although inflammation should lead to tissue repair and remodeling, when it becomes chronic, it prevents healing and should be viewed as a disease process. 

Nutritional imbalances  (deficiencies and excesses of various nutrients) can cause inflammation .

The Diet
The most important thing is too  eat fresh food, whatever it may be. Avoid packaged or processed foods—the more a food is processed, the less healthful it will be. Consume lots of plants. Plants have antioxidant properties and phytonutrients that quench inflammation.

Vegetables are always at the top of the list. Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids are also anti-inflammatory, including fish and, to a lesser extent, plant foods like flax seeds and walnuts.

Because plant-based foods are among the richest sources for powerful antioxidants and phenolics (including flavonoids) that reduce inflammation, the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fresh plant-based foods and phenolic-rich olive oil, has grown in popularity.

I recommend not eating  grains and enjoy high-fiber foods like beans, peas, lentils, oatmeal, nuts, and avocados. Consume more fish, especially salmon, tuna, and other fatty fish that contain those omega-3 fats.

Processed Foods and Meats

Avoid anything with more than a very small amount of sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, white flour products, sodas and sweet drinks, chips, and fried foods of all types, other than lightly stir-fried vegetables.

White flour increases inflammation.

Red meat isn’t necessarily bad. It is what we do to red meat that makes it bad for us by feeding cattle grains such as corn, instead of allowing them to eat the field grasses that they were intended to eat. An alternative to beef is buffalo or bison—these animals are grass-fed and, interestingly, will not eat corn.

For the carnivores among us, the preferred protein solution is buffalo or bison, grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and wild-caught fish, particularly salmon and tuna.

For those with rheumatoid arthritis: Increase EPA intake from marine sources such as oily fish (salmon, sardines, herring, trout, black cod) and oysters, aiming for consuming these foods several times a week, and to reduce dietary sources of arachidonic acid (meat, high-fat milk and cheese products, eggs) as much as possible. Make sure your diet is low in arachidonic acid and supplement with fish oils.

 

In a recent study at Lund University’s Antidiabetic Food Centre in Sweden, 44 healthy, overweight subjects aged 50 to 75 were fed an anti-inflammatory diet consisting of antioxidants, slow-release carbohydrates, omega fatty acids (oily fish), whole grains, probiotics, and viscous dietary fiber. After only four weeks, the results showed LDL cholesterol had dropped by 33 percent, blood lipids by 14 percent, blood pressure by 8 percent, and a risk marker for blood clots by 26 percent. A marker of inflammation in the body was also greatly reduced.5

A diet free of gluten has positive effects on symptoms and clinical signs of inflammatory diseases. Such a diet would be void of arachidonic acid, free of potentially allergenic wheat, dairy, and egg products, and high in plant-based antioxidants and other potentially anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.

What Sodas Bring to the Table
Soda is the beverage of choice for many Americans, especially children. In addition to the high sugar content, which causes blood sugar levels to spike, soda is loaded with phenylalanine and phosphate, which affect pH and deplete bone density. A 2007 study found that “The caramel content of both regular and diet drinks may be a potential source of advanced glycation end products, which may promote insulin resistance and can be proinflammatory.” In addition, “Consumption of one or more soft drinks per day was associated with increased odds of developing metabolic syndrome, obesity, increased waist circumference, higher blood pressure, hypertriglyceridemia, and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.”6

Supplement with anti-oxidants – these will stimulate the immune system, decrease platelet aggregation, modify cholesterol metabolism, reduce blood pressure, and possess anti-bacterial and antiviral activity. One of the most effective supplements I use for inflammation is using the UltraInflamX protein powder by Metagenics. This can be taken as 2 scoops with water or fresh juice twice daily. 

References

1. Seaman DR. Clinical nutrition for pain, inflammation, and tissue healing. Self published. 1998.

2. Seaman DR. The diet-induced pro-inflammatory state: A cause of chronic pain and other degenerative diseases. J Manip Physiol Ther. 2002; 25:168-179.

3. Adam O, et al. Anti-inflammatory effects of a low-arachidonic acid diet and fish oil in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatol Int 2003 Jan;23(1):27-36.

4. Salas- Salvadó J, et al. Effect of a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts on metabolic syndrome status: one-year results of the PREDIMED randomized trial. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(22):2449-2458.

5. Hafström I, et al. A vegan diet free of gluten improves the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis: the effects on arthritis correlate with a reduction in antibodies to food antigens. Rheumatol 2001;40(10):1175-79.

6.Dhingra R, et al. Soft drink consumption and risk of developing cardiometabolic risk factors and the metabolic syndrome in middle-aged adults in the community. Circulation 2007;116:480-88.

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Low Vitamin D Status Could Boost Children’s Allergy Risk

Low vitamin D levels could increase the likelihood of children developing allergies, researchers from the Department of Medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago concluded after studying the blood tests of 6,500 people. Lead researcher Michal Melamed, MD, MHS, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology and population health said: “It is one link in the puzzle, or a first step. It is not the definitive study to show this link but one of the first large studies that shows that this association exists. There are many other reasons to make sure that children and adolescents receive the daily recommended intake of vitamin D—including, importantly, bone health.” Melamed and her team examined serum vitamin D levels in blood collected from a nationally representative sample of more than 3,100 children and adolescents and 3,400 adults in 2005-2006. The study defined children and adolescents as participants aged one to 21. The samples were derived from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children across the U.S. One of the blood tests assessed was sensitivity to 17 different allergens by measuring levels of Immunoglobulin E (IgE), a protein made when the immune system responds to allergens. No link was found between vitamin D levels and allergies in adults. But, for children and adolescents, low vitamin D levels could be linked to sensitivity to 11 of the 17 allergens tested. Those included both environmental allergens, such as ragweed, oak, dog, and cockroach, and food allergens such as peanuts. Children who had vitamin D deficiency—defined as fewer than 15 nanograms of vitamin D per milliliter of blood—were 2.4 times as likely to have a peanut allergy than were children with sufficient levels of vitamin D—defined as more than 30 nanograms of vitamin D per milliliter of blood.

I recommend children take 1000-2000 IU of vitamin D daily. 

Order D3 from Metagenics @ www.DrJeffreyTucker.meta-ehealth.com

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