Anti-Inflammatory Diet

All health care starts with diet. My recommendations for a healthy diet are here:
Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Lifestyle.
There are over 190 articles on diet, inflammation and disease on this blog
(find topics using search [upper left] or index [lower right]), and
more articles by Prof. Ayers on Suite101 .

Thursday, August 21, 2008

How Your Diet makes You Sick or Healthy

The Simple Equation of Life

We have all heard that health, for good or ill, is a result of genetics and lifestyle. This is the old nature and nurture discussion played out on our bodies. We also know that diet and exercise are major determinants of disease susceptibility and aging.

• My first point is that diet can trump the other factors, so that a healthy diet avoids genetic predispositions to disease or a bad diet displays those genetic defects.

• My second point is that diet can lead to chronic inflammation, a body condition also associated with the metabolic syndrome, which is a prelude to the degenerative and autoimmune diseases that plague the population of The United States. It should not be surprising that a change of diet is the answer to this suite of diseases.

The simple relationship between diet, inflammation and disease, explains many of the problems and solutions of U.S. healthcare. As Michael Pollan described with great clarity in The Omnivores Dilemma, our corn-based agricultural economy has led to huge incentives for domination of U.S. diet by corn products: corn oil, corn starch, corn syrup and fructose. Excessive use of each of these corn products individually can lead to inflammation and their combined use synergistically undermines our health.
This website is devoted to showing the intimate relationship between diet and disease, or more hopefully, between diet and health. The most hopeful aspect of current research is the view that aging is in large part a symptom of poorly managed chronic inflammation -- the typical symptoms normally associated with aging are actually symptoms of increasing inflammation.
An inflammatory diet is the foundation for diabetes, arthritis, allergies, intestinal inflammatory diseases, cancer, infertility, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, etc. All of these diseases are initiated and exacerbated by diet-based inflammation and all of these diseases can be ameliorated by appropriate diet.
Most of the dietary suggestions that you will find here will appear to be common sense. The problem of the U.S. diet is that we have strayed from common sense and have systematically compromised our health. The vast majority of disease is preventable by relatively simple changes in or national diet. The Zone diet developed by Barry Sears is basically an anti-inflammatory diet, and it works. The No Flour, No Sugar diet of Peter Gott also works, for similar reasons. Diets rich in starch and vegetable oils (with the exception of olive oil) are inflammatory and not healthy. On the other hand, complex carbohydrates (most polysaccharides other than starch), protein, low omega-6/high omega-3 oils, modest amounts of saturated fats, low fructose, and no trans-fats leads to low insulin, moderate blood glucose, happy gut flora, lean body, avoidance of chronic inflammation and health.
This website will focus on recent research published in the biomedical literature and I will attempt to place this research into perspective on how diet, inflammation and disease are related. In the process, I will also discuss:
• Why women become infertile on an inflammatory diet,
• How your stomach digests proteins into antibiotic peptides,
• How castor oil can relieve pains and inflammation,
• How inflammation is connected to allergies and autoimmune diseases,
• How your metabolism is controlled by the bacteria in your gut,
• How spices control inflammation,
• How fructose contributes to aging of your skin,
and much, much more.


Anonymous said...

Dr. Ayers,
I just had to place the first belated comment on your first ever posting. This could have been posted today and still be as relevant.
Thanks for your selfless efforts.
My health has been positively influenced and enhanced by your blog.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Thanks for watching. Your comments and input are why I blog.

John D said...

Hi Dr Art: Really, you need to get this assembled into book form and get it out there. So impressive, and for me, your site has caused a completely transformational awakening into how the body works. (a lot of the terminology is over my head but I am a grinder!!)

I wonder if perhaps someday you might consider more thoroughly addressing mental health and inflammation; there is a history of suicide in my family. For so long we have all wondered what happened, why, what we could have done, etc. Now I am convinced it is all about inflammation and that we in our family may just have some unique cause of manifestation of inflammation in the brain.

Don't know if that is on your radar at all but if it is, I am really interested in connecting the dots from gut to brain to this horrible choice they made. More importantly, how many ptsd's, suicides, depressions, divorces, anger problems, criminal behaviors, abuse behaviors, etc can be traced to gut health. It is a staggering possibility that so much of the chaos in humans might be simply diet and gut health.

Keep up the great work and thank you again. This is powerful work you are doing.

John D.

Anonymous said...

Hello! I'm writing from the future.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. Ayers!

I've been following your blog for years. It is without a doubt my favorite. I just took the time to go back through all your posts to really absorb as much knowledge as I possibly can.

I have one quick question for you that I hope you can take the time to answer:

What is your stance on taking antibiotics prior to performing a fecal transplant? Do you think it can help improve the results from the FMT procedure/make it more likely for the new bugs to get a foothold? Or do you recommend just doing the transplant, with no course of antibiotics beforehand?