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 .

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity -- Severe Chronic Inflammation

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is a cryptic disease that may be multiple individualized manifestations of severe chronic inflammation. Sufferers respond to anti-inflammatory treatments.

A disease by any other name is still inflammatory. Wikipedia:
“MCS has also been termed toxic injury (TI), chemical sensitivity (CS), chemical injury syndrome (CI),[3] 20th Century Syndrome, environmental illness (EI), sick building syndrome, idiopathic environmental intolerance (IEI), and toxicant-induced loss of tolerance (TILT).”

All of these different names attest to the numerous symptoms and clinical presentations of this syndrome, i.e. multiple symptoms for the same cause. Since I see inflammation and heparin as integral to most diseases, it will come as no surprise that I looked for inflammation as the basis for MCS. A search of the biomedical literature brought me to work by Martin Pall at the School of Molecular Biosciences at WSU. Since he lives just north of me and I think of myself as a molecular bioscientist, I was receptive to his ideas, the nitric oxide/peroxynitirite theory.

The nitiric oxide/peroxynitirite theory basically says that numerous types of chemical injuries can give rise to an inflammatory response that generates both nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species (ROS), which in combination produce peroxynitrite. The peroxynitrite causes oxidation damage to mitochondria, which causes release of more ROS and depletion of ATP. Depletion of ATP in neurons of the brain, particularly in the hippocampus can result in increased sensitivity to chemicals. All of these components can produce cycles of nitric oxide/peroxynitirite production and the maintenance of a high level of chronic inflammation. This mechanism for the cause and maintenance of MCS also provides suggestions about treatment.

Important insights from Dr. Pall’s web site are that MCS, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and post traumatic shock all share related symptoms, underlying biochemistry and treatment. A major feature of the treatment is the use of dietary supplements, e.g. turmeric (curcumin), vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, that are anti-inflammatory. A potential mistake in therapy for a syndrome with so many triggering chemicals is to simplify the diet to just starch and protein, in an attempt to avoid triggering plant chemicals. Too much starch or any other diet that causes steep increases in blood sugar are inflammatory and pose potential problems. Small meals and exercise may be helpful.

It is not surprising that numerous dietary and environmental compounds may cause extreme symptoms when such a high level of inflammation is present. This high level of inflammation will suppress immunological tolerance, so that all molecules in the environment become potential allergens. A peculiarity of this disease, is that the allergies should keep changing, because the population of antibody-producing lymphocytes for any allergen are eliminated by constant attrition as they are displaced by lymphocytes responding to new allergens. It also seems unusual that autoimmune diseases are not commonly associated with MCS. It would appear that the high inflammatory nature of the disease is inhibiting the apoptosis that produces the cellular antigens needed for autoimmunity.

Dietary treatment of MCS should be very successful with the caveat that very high levels of anti-inflammatory materials, e.g. omega-3 oils, vitamin C, glucosamine, may be needed, because of very high rates of consumption. Normally 1000 milligrams (one gram) of vitamin C might be effective, but with MCS, the level might be very much higher. One of the unusual feature of MCS may be the depletion of all plant antioxidants in a very simplified diet. Since normal body performance may be based on small amounts of ubiquitous plant compounds, the consequences of complete depletion may be similar to unpredicted vitamin deficiencies.

Gut flora have not been discussed in MCS. It is expected that the unusual diets of MCS sufferers may lead to very peculiar gut flora that may reinforce the symptoms of the disease. Normalization of the diet and gut flora may be very important in reducing the symptoms of the disease.


Anna's Spot said...

I have to ask you then what do you think about B12 nasal spray and glutothione? We did that with much success in the beginning. We also used the multi B's IM once a week in the beginning. Isn't it that your own production of Glutothione gets messed up and your body doesn't produce enough of it? Your blog is great, and I am hoping that my family and I aren't at the worse end of the chemical sensitivity. Thanks for mentioning the books, I will definately look them up. I did find a book called the 'Inflammation Cure' by Joel Meggs MD, PhD quite informative. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Have a beautiful Sunday.

Anna's Spot said...

I believe the B12 is used to help inhibit the production of nitric oxide therefore decreasing the free radicals before the need for the Vitamin C. I remember reading something about that :) Don't get me wrong. I use Vitamin C with good results.
Have a great night.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Vitamin B12 is complex. There is also an autoimmune component to the inability to take up B12 from the diet. I will try to figure out some of the relationships to MCP and write up a quick article on this blog.
Glutathione and vitamin C are both involved in oxidation reaction in cells, but I am not familiar with the impact of extracellular glutathione. Since glutathione is a small tripeptide, I wouldn't expect it to fare well in the gut. So nasal dosing with B12 makes sense, because they would both be problematic orally. Check back over the next couple of days for related articles. In the mean time, I would recommend Pall's web site, increasing omega-3 fish oil and glucosamine in your diet and applying castor oil for pain and inflammation relief. Have you tried castor oil packs? What about acupuncture?

Anna's Spot said...

I think if you get your B12 IM or nasally and you take Glutiothione IV or Nasally they can pass the blood-brain barrier. Thanks for the tip on he website. No I have not tried acupuncture or castor oil packs.
Thanks for the info. Have a great day.

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