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, April 23, 2009

Allergy, Asthma, Autoimmunity Start the Same Way

Inflammation is the current medical buzzword. Name the disease and inflammation is there.

Reproduction Requires Controlled Inflammation
Aspirin blocks many of the steps in triggering inflammation and thus, aspirin administration can be used to reveal a role of inflammation in many unexpected places. Aspirin is effective in blocking some forms of infertility, inhibiting miscarriages and ameliorating postpartum depression. So inflammation is a critical part of reproduction. But, also notice that depression is a symptom of chronic inflammation.

Cancer Requires Inflammation
High dose (IV) aspirin has been successfully used to treat cancer. Inflammation is required for cancer growth, because both use the same transcription factor, NFkB. The aberrant signaling of cancer cells would normally lead to programed cell death, apoptosis, but inflammation blocks apoptosis. Aspirin can in turn block NFkB and in the absence of inflammation, cancer cells die by apoptosis.

Inflammation is Self-Limiting
Aspirin also transforms the COX/lipoxidase system to produce anti-inflammatory prostaglandins/eicosinoids. Inflammation normally progresses into anti-inflammation. Blocking this progression leads to chronic inflammation and a shift from local to systemic inflammation with the rise of inflammatory interleukins in the blood stream.

Immune Response Requires Inflammation
The signal molecules (IL-1, IL-6, TNF) and transcription factor, NFkB, associated with inflammation were all initially identified in the development of lymphocytes. Hence, IL stands for interleukin, a hormone that triggers leukocyte (literally white blood cells or cells associated with the lymphatic immune system, i.e. lymphocytes) development. The nuclear factor, i.e. transcription factor, involved in expression of the large chain, kappa, of immunoglobulins in B cells, was called NFkB.

Genes Expressed by NFkB Cause Symptoms of Inflammation
About five dozen genes are under control of NFkB. Among these are COX-2, the enzyme that converts omega-6 arachidonic acid to inflammatory prostaglandins; iNOS, the enzyme that produces nitric oxide that dilates blood vessels to produce hot, red skin; and the inflammatory interleukins, IL-1, IL-6 and TNF, associated with autoimmune disease, fatigue and cachexia (wasting).

Autoimmunity and Allergy Start with Inflammation
Medical treatments focus on symptom abatement and ignore cause. What causes obesity, allergy or autoimmune disease? The answer appears to be chronic systemic inflammation plus exposure to unusual proteins. The unusual proteins are immunogenic, i.e. interact with the immune system to produce antibodies or reactive T-cell receptors, and are subsequently recognized as autoantigens or allergens, that are the targets for immune attack. Inspection of these autoantigens and allergens shows that they all have one thing in common, they bind to heparin via a strong heparin-binding protein domain that is typically a triplet of adjacent basic amino acids.

Heparin is a Short, Highly Sulfated Fragment of Heparan Sulfate
Commercial heparin is purified from the intestines of hogs and cattle. Heparin is released from mast cells (made fluorescent for microscopy using berberine) along with histamine and is released into the intestines to block pathogens from binding to the heparan sulfate that is part of the intestine surface. The heparin is anti-inflammatory and it contributes to minimizing the inflammatory response of the intestines to food.

Inflammation Reduces Heparan Sulfate Production
Pathogen-generated inflammation of the intestines reduces heparan sulfate production and increases immune response to food antigens. NFkB activation by inflammation turns off the production of some genes needed for heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) synthesis. Since HSPG is a major component of the basement membrane that holds tissues together, the reduction of HSPG results in protein loss (proteinuria) from kidneys, leaking of intestines, and disruption of the blood/brain barrier.

Reduction of HSPG Results in Immunological Presentation of Autoantigens/Allergens
Proteins are brought into cells by specific binding to protein receptors. In many cases, particularly involving signaling or growth factors, both the signal molecules and the receptors bind to heparin. In addition, there is a robust circulation of HSPG, which is secreted and internalized with a half-life of approximately six hours. The sweep of the HSPGs take heparin-binding proteins with them for internalization, e.g. HIV-TAT, heparanase, tissue transglutaminase. I think that this HSPG sweep under inflammatory conditions also internalizes basic autoantigens and allergens with strong heparin-binding domains. This internalization is the first step toward immunological presentation and the immune response to autoantigens and allergens.

Autoantigen/autoantibody/HSPG Complexes Kill Cells
Antibodies against self-antigens, autoantigens form antigen/antibody complexes that also bind to and cross-link HSPGs, because of the heparin-binding domains of the autoantigens. The large complexes may disrupt HSPG circulation and trigger apoptosis or abnormal physiology. There are many other examples of heparin-based complexes that are toxic, e.g. Alzheimer’s amyloid plaque, diabetic beta cell antibody complexes, celiac gluten/tRG antibody complexes, multiple sclerosis myelin antibody complexes, atherosclerotic plaque.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Lifestyle Protects
Dietary and lifestyle adjustments that minimize inflammation, e.g. low starch, no HFCS, low vegetable oil (except olive) and supplements of vitamins D & C, fish oil (omega-3) and glucosamine, reduce the risk of allergies/asthma, degenerative diseases and cancers. Simple, high level supplements with fish oil reduce numerous mental disorders, e.g. depression, ADHD; infertility, pre-eclampsia and postpartum depression; allergies, asthma; arthritis, atherosclerosis; burn recovery, septicemia and head injury.

Reducing Inflammation is a Panacea for Modern Diseases
Most modern diseases have an inflammatory component, because modern diets are rich in inflammatory components, e.g. starch/sugar, corn/soy oil, HFCS, trans fats, and exercise is minimal. The medical industry has not successfully promoted healthy eating and exercise; and in fact has promoted the devastating replacement of saturated fats with inflammatory polyunsaturated vegetable oils. Meat production has moved away from grazing on omega-3-rich plant vegetation to omega-6-rich corn and soy. Replacement of the corn/soy based agricultural economy would have predictably immense beneficial impact in reducing inflammation-based degenerative autoimmune diseases and cancers.


Anonymous said...

Hi Art,
First time commenter here,love
your blog.Even though I am scien-
tifically illiterate,my instinct
tells me you are on the right track
with the anti-inflammatory diet
and lifestyle.Question--do grass fed and/or pastured meats have more
of a profile of monounsaturated fats vs.saturated fats than grain
fed meats?Thanks in advance, Mark

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Thanks for the comment.

I think that the biggest difference in grass fed meat is that it is higher in omega-3 fats. I don't think that the saturated fats are a problem. Most studies show that saturated fats are safer, less inflammatory, than omega-6 polyunsaturated vegetable oils. Avoid corn, soy and safflower oils. The medical establishment has demonized saturated fat and shifted to something far worse.

I think that we should avoid starch, stick to grass fed meat, green/colored veggies, and olive oil. I use butter and coconut oil in the skillet. Nuts are great, but perhaps not roasted. That and careful exposure to the sun should go a long way to health.

Tanya M said...

Dr. Ayers

First time poster as well...I am recovering from surgery (latest was 6 mos, first a year ago) on my hip for FAI. Before the surgery, the only thing that relieved the horrible ache (never had sharp pain just the ache) was Celebrex, although Alleve did help some as well.

I quit taking it though in favor of natural alternatives to fight my inflammation. I was struck by optic neuritis about 6 mos after the first surgery, right after we found out my osteotomy had not healed and thus my femur was still fractured. I believe the failure to heal was ebcause the inflamm response went awry, and that inflammation spread to my eye, perhaps via my sinus on that side as I have trouble with my right side of my head/body. Don't know why that side is always the problem, but it is.

Anyway, is there any significance to be found that Celebrex was a big help? I found out this week my Vit D is 23. So, I am going to start supplementing more of that and adding beta glucans and caprylic acid.

The doctors have suggested MS, Lupus, Lyme, and RA from tests/symptoms but my symptoms don't fit all in one label.

I have a lot hardware in my leg...would the presence of metal be part of the reason my inflammation won't cool off?
My C-rP test is 1.4, down from 1.6. My eye is not healing as rapidly as 'average' for ON which concerns me as well. My MRI showed 3 lesions but nothing anywhere near my optic nerve. Calcium? Amyloids? Last time (7 yrs ago) there was only one spot and they could not pinpoint any cause for similar aches etc. They thought MS but when all was tested etc they said 'don't know...come back in 6 mos' I didn't go back until the eye troubles and they still don't know what to do with me. I won't consent to a spinal tap...

Sorry so long. Any thoughts would be welcome! As a past biology/chem major I really appreciate your blog! It approaches these things in the way my mind thinks!


Dr. Art Ayers said...

By coincidence, I think that I may have discovered the role of glucans in immunology during my study of pathogen recognition by plants. The bottom line with beta-glucans is that they produce inflammation. They are sold as immunological enhancers, but that just means that they cause inflammation. I would avoid them.

I would guess that you got into the whole joint inflammation problem as a combination of chronic dietary inflammation plus some kind of unusual (at least for you) joint use. Initial pain would have resulted in NSAID use, that caused leaky gut, bacterial transport to the site of inflammation, etc. The cure at the first pain would have been a shift to an anti-inflammatory diet and shift in joint use.

At this point, I would think that your biggest problem is vitD deficiency and an inflammatory diet. I expect that your internal hardware will provide a continual potential source of inflammation, but you should be able to compensate by a low carb, higher meat/fish protein and fat diet, as I outline on this blog.

You need to work on your vitD and keep testing. You probably can't get it to budge upward at even 5000 IU per day. You probably also don't produce much even from prolonged sun exposure, because of your high inflammation. I would also suspect celiac and remove grains. I would expect you to have produced a bunch of nuisance food allergies. These would all be made more problematical by gut biofilms. All of this stuff is explained elsewhere on my blog. You should benefit from most of the simple remedies that I suggest.

Let me know of your progress.

Tanya said...

Thanks, Art. I had femoralacetabular impingement (FAI). In my case, it was a mis-shapen femur head/neck causing troubles. I have no arthritis or cartilage damage (thank the Lord!) and once the hardware comes out, hopefully full recovery.

I went low carb 10 yrs ago, although less strict for the last few, mostly because the hip pain made it hard to be motivated to do anything including watching my food. I was also drinking diet pop/using Splenda, which I quit twice, the second time for good. One of the things that I was told was good was sprouted breads and toasting the rice before boiling it, otherwise avoid anything 'white'.

The FAI most likey came from a combo of injury to one side which caused overuse during growth of the other side, and martial arts combined. It took a long time to find a doc who didn't want to call me/give me antidepressants, and the original threat of MS which it was not.

Interestingly enough I recently (before the latest flare up) had been avoiding eggs and dairy as well as grains because of the inflamm properties (esp scrambled vs you buy that) and the mucus issues. But, since putting them back in I am feeling so much better!

I started 6000 IU Vit D today, and bought some vicks, including an inhaler to help calm my TMJ/sinus/ear fluid hopefully, as well as to try on the bursitis in my leg. You said 5K might not do much...I am thinking of doubling that, perhaps... My C-rP test was 1.4, down from 1.6 six months ago.

Saw the surgeon yesterday and he wants to remove the hardware and possibly remove some of the bursa that are inflamed.

I read some other comments about estrogen/progesterone cream. I remember feeling best when I was on prog. only birth contral post partum, and also had success with prog creme. I am 39. My second child had galactosemia...couldn't tolerate anything but pre-digested Nutramigen formula. I was on teh prog only BCP while I nursed her the first 6 wks until I finally got the pediatrician to listen to me about the screaming adn the projectile vomiting at each feeding. Can you expound on the values of one or the other hormones? I find the week-10 days after my perios are the WORST ever for all symptoms. What are your thoughts on DHEA supplements?

I had an appendectomy as a kid...found those post/comments intriguing as well. I am also supplementing with a lot of Magnesium to help with muscle cramps...bad idea?

What about bromelain? I didn't see it mentioned as an anti-inflam. here. I have also done a 'cleanse' that was 2t olive oil, 1t apple cider vinegar, and juice of 1/2 lemon 2x a day that helped. I also do espom salt baths...had a nasty bought of explosive diarhea (sp) the next day the last time...related? Only other unusual thing that night was asparagus...which I don't recall bothering me before...

I also gave up my coffee, but am going to take it back with cream and xylitol! Not the same as sugar but a better choice, and I can't do it plain! I love dark cocoa covered almonds, and even plain almonds. They seem to be a good fiber choice for me

I read your post about resveratrol but not sure I got the whole message. I have been taking OPC's (Isotonix brand) and have seen some results, but it is expensive. Any thoughts? That brings another question...what form should vitamins be taken in? caplet, capsule, liquid (powder you mix with water) sublingual....

I found your blog when I was looking for the cause of my inflammation rather than how to treat the symptom and I am really greatful to see the science that backs up my antecdotal evidence. I've lost 45 lbs in a year since my first surgery, so feeling worse should not be the result! Here's to the hardware removal surgery coming up and recovery!

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I interpret the rise and fall of symptoms during menstrual cycles as an indication of ongoing inflammation that is periodically suppressed by hormones. So, I don't worry about the hormones, but focus on the sources of inflammation.

You seem to be getting the vit.D under control and most of the dietary components seem reasonable. What remains is the omega-6/3 fatty acid ratio ratio.

You have lots of symptoms, so I would just start to gradually increase fish oil capsules up to 12/d and expect to see relief in just a couple of days to weeks.

I don't know much about muscle cramps, but I usually avoid them by using some sodium/salt substitute (potassium chloride). I think that much of the sodium problem is actually a sodium/potassium balance problem. So I would try some potassium to avoid the biofilm issue with the magnesium.

I would think that lack of an appendix would make getting rid of biofilms easier, but would make a healthy gut flora more fragile.

In summary, you still seem to have inflammation, but it should respond to fish oil.

Good luck, if you take out the metal. Let me know how it goes.

Tanya said...

Thanks. I am taking 8 a day fish oil now and will do an increase. Do you have an opinion on the source (sardines vs deep sea fish) or EPA/DHA amount/ratio? What about ALA included or not?

I read more about the vagus nerve and am wondering if that explains why my symptoms are on the right side?

My TMJ on the right is flaring now (sinuses/eye with optic neuritis also) and I see the vagus nerve runs thru/near the jaw/ear. My neck/shoulder worsen when my hip is sore, which it is now from compensation, so hopefully when the hardware comes out next month progress will be to full recovery. I may explore getting another night splint for the jaw,though.

Do you think OPC's (Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins is what I mean)help or are just hype?

Thanks so much!

Dr. Art Ayers said...

TMJ, bursitis, joint pain are all classic symptoms of chronic inflammation. From my limited experience, the most common sources of inflammation are diet (high omega-6s, high glycemic starch, low veggies) and lifestyle (low exercise, low sun). These sources of inflammation can yield secondary sources, e.g. gut and oral biofilms, cryptic tissue bacteria, autoimmunity. Of course, trauma and other infections can produce localized inflammation.

You seem to have most of these sources under control, with the exception of the secondary sources. It will take a while for your vit.D to get to an optimal level and you may want to get lots of brief sun exposure to hasten the process.

The fact that 8 capsules of fish oil (at this point, I don't think that the details of DHA/EPA are important) don't bring relief from your symptoms, points to a major source of inflammation that is fomenting the TMJ, etc. It may be your embedded hardware. You also need to be careful taking the capsules with a fat-rich meal to make sure that you trigger bile production to permit absorption of the omega-3 oils. I would spread the capsules over several meals and increase to 12 per day.

I would also recommend the vagal stimulation exercises posted in Nigel's comments on my recent post. These should be consistent with resting positions for your hip.

Vick's and castor oil, applied topically near the aching sites, should be helpful. I would appreciate hearing about the effectiveness of Vick's (menthol) applied at various positions around the jaw and neck for the TMJ.

Tell me how it all works out.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I didn't comment previously on the OPC's (Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins.)

OPCs bring up the whole subject of plant phytochemicals, antioxidants and prebiotics/gut flora. I know believe that most plant phytochemicals act in the gut by altering the gut flora/biofilms and the gut thymocytes. This is a poorly understood, complex interaction and the results of eating any particular phytochemical vary widely depending on the current status of the gut.

The bottom line, is that I wouldn't spend much money concentrating on one phytochemical. I think that it is more efficient to eat whole grapes than to take purified OPCs.

Gut biofilms may be a problem in your case and you have already observed a lowering of inflammation from a modest attack on the biofilms. You might pursue nattokinase (a protease effective against some biofilms, found in fermented soybeans, natto),

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. Ayers,
It's the first time that I have been on your site. In 1990 I was diagnosed with EBV. Since then I have a great problem with swelling up. My face is usually swollen and on the occassion that it isn't, I look 20 lbs. lighter. I have made many dietary changes. I have probably eliminated 3/4 of my usual foods. Now I have been diagnosed with very high cholesterol and triglycerides. My eating habits do not support these high numbers. Could the inflammation be the reason? And yes, now I have rocesea too. I have trouble with foods that are supposed to reduce inflamation ie garlic, onions, ginger, tumeric etc...They seem to swell be further. I was put on crestor for the cholesterol. Although I had to stop taking it due to severe muscle spasms, it seemed to help with the inflammation. I am also allergic to fin fish, so Fish oil is out. Any ideas??? Any information that you can share on this subject would be much appreciated. Thank You, Mary

Tanya said...

I have been taking them with breakfast (cottage cheese or yogurt with berries mixed in) and at night before bed. I will change it up as you suggested.

The Natto sounds good except the blood clotting issue before surgery. I did have a hematoma last time that I hope to avoid this time. Fish oil is a thinner also, so not sure what to do to prep for surgery.

I live in SD so sun is slim but am trying. I have used Vicks since reading that here, and also Biofreeze which has more menthol in it than vicks (and is a roll on...less messy!) Using it twice a day and it does seem to be making some progress.

Also been using a nasal spray with menthol,xylitol, GSE, and some other stuff in it which has helped the sinus pain. Still jaw and eye movement pain so need to get that inflammation down...I want my optic nerve to heal up!

My dentist is amazed at how good my mouth is, and compliments me on it, even though I only brush once a day (battery operated brush helps). So, hoping that is a good sign of my internal health.

My PT had recommended the stomach breathing because it strengthens certain muscles that can't really be isolated either way. Will start doing it again!

I found the cold shock intriguing. I have an instant shut down of my bronchial tubes when walking or jumping into cold water. Also when I submerge in my jacuzzi over my shoulders my throat feels like someone is choking me. The whole vagus nerve damage idea is intriguing me here as well. I have trouble with moving air (fans), aerobic excercise, and cold winter air causing tightness and coughing but it doesn't respond to the meds for excercise/mechanically induced asthma.

Usually whenever I have had health problems, the final solution came down to mechanical/structural troubles causing havoc.

I am mining your articles & comments to piece together a more 'black & white' diet do's and don'ts. I tend to eat more whole fruit than veggies, which are harder to come by in variety here (very small town). I had gotten a book that scored foods based on their inflammation factor and gave goals for day of ending number. However it is conflicting since sweet potatoes and carrot juice are two of the highest rated for anti-inflam. and I recall you said no to swt potatoes and juices (which I assume would be veggie as well as fruit). I used to avoid yellow/orange veggies & fruits which seems to align with you. Trying to figure out what qualifies as a complex carb/coarse...barley? rice? cauliflower instead of potatoes?

Dr. Art Ayers said...


I think that your approach is sound. I think that your body would have tolerated past mechanical abuses, if you had less inflammation going on in the background. Healthy bodies just adapt, they don't wear out.

I have found that many of the foods that are recommended as anti-inflammatory are frequently hyperglycemic or high in fructose. They usually just contain some phytochemicals that have been measured for antioxidants. I would say that leafy vegetables are best followed by those low in starch/sugar, with fruit at the bottom.

I don't think that ingested natto is an inhibitor of blood clotting, since the enzyme can't get into the blood. I also doubt that omega-3 oils alter blood clotting for more than a couple of days.

Let me know of your progress.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I would switch to a low carb, higher protein/fat diet to lower triglycerides. Starch/sugar are the main contributors to high triglycerides. Vegetable oils (except olive) could contribute to the problem. I would stick with saturated fats, if I were in your situation.

You might try krill oil as a source of omega-3s.

EBV leads to many allergies and autoimmune diseases. It is similar to celiac as a start to these diseases. It is bad to combine EBV with chronic inflammation.

You also probably have a vit.D deficiency. It would be very useful if you can get many short exposures to full, unprotected sunlight (never burn). You may still have to supplement with 5000 IU D3 per day. For some people vit.D is the key.

You should also try the vagal stimulation maneuvers recommended in Nigel's comments on my blog post last week. These may provide a lot of relief.

You could try topical applications of menthol or castor oil on various parts of your face and neck. They act on the surface nerves, so messaging is not necessary.

Let me know your results.

Mistica said...

Hi Mary,

Part two:


You might try taking a Quercetin/Bromelain supplement to relieve some of the facial swelling. This worked quite well for others, including myself. Some of those with phymatous rosacea have found this more helpful than accutane.
It also has anti inflammatory effects, plus bromelain helps break down the gut biofilms. You can read about how to attack these elsewhere on this excellent blog.
Start out with 1000IU D3 to test the waters. 'Die off' effects might occur as vitamin D acts like a broad spectrum antibiotic and antiviral. Ramp up the dose only as fast as you can handle. Too much too soon could make your rosacea much worse. Expect flu type symptoms, headaches etc as well. It is a rocky road with periods of deterioration followed by improvements.
Aim to take 8000IU to 10,000IU daily with a blood serum level of between 80ng-100ng/mL. Four monthly blood tests are recommended. It will take many months to work up to these dosages and levels. Despite old fears, hypercalcaemia is not thought to be a problem at these amounts. Many scientists endorse this. The idea is to take higher doses until the body is healed and then to drop back to around 5000IU. Articles and studies are available.

Do read the gut biofilm eradication suggestions on this blog. If you live in America, you will have a lot more choices.

Unfortunately, Quercetin (in particular) Bromelain and others, while being helpful in some ways, can (some studies show), increase bacterial load and may interfere with D3 doing it's job properly, so I would suggest not to take any of these long term. Take as needed initially and then in short bursts.

Eat an anti inflammatory diet. Dairy and grains and certain other foods seem to fuel the disease in many of us.

Remember, this is a new treatment. No one can predict the outcome, but that goes for all rosacea treatments.
If you should decide to undertake this path, I wish you all the best.
And don't forget, it helps to belong to a group.

Mistica said...

Hi Mary,

For some reason this 'first part' of my comments didn't appear in my initial attempt.

As a fellow long term rosacea sufferer, I wonder if I might offer some advice.
I have been through the works regarding treatment, including numerous IPL's, so I have a pretty good database as to what helps and what doesn't. I also belong to a large rosacea group where information is shared. If you haven't done so already, I suggest you join one of these online groups.
You obviously have other things going on barring rosacea, but I feel the common denominator is inflammation.
It would be helpful to know your exact rosacea symptoms, barring the swelling. Perhaps you could post about them?
Are you currently taking any medication?

I was a severe case.
Like you, all the recommended anti inflammatory supplements, including fish oil exacerbated my symptoms. I found this is not uncommon. There had to be a reason for this. If rosacea is solely an inflammatory disease, anti inflammatory supplements ought to help, shouldn't they? But they often don't. There has to be a reason for this.
Some rosaceans, including myself believe rosacea is actually due to cryptic bacteria in the tissues. It turns out, some scientists are in agreement with this. What to do then? The plan is two fold. Attack the cryptic bacteria and also the biofilms in the gut.

I must emphasize, not many rosaceans have undertaken the following, so we can't claim it will help everyone, but so far, the results are extremely promising so far.
There are two options. Embark on a very long triple antibiotic therapy, under the care of a doctor who specializes in cryptic bacteria, or, take high doses of Vitamin D3. The former treatment will make most people very sick.
In the group I belong to, those of us who are taking D3 are doing very well. Two, who had severe rosacea are now clear. One of these was also riddled with numerous other health issues. All have resolved.
I was severe with a swollen, burning, crimson blob for a face, with additional severe, prolonged flushing.
I couldn't even speak or breathe without more flushing.
It is like day and night now, but I have a long way to go. The road is rocky.

This is the end of part one. The above post is part two.

Cristian said...


maybe your problem with turmeric, ginger ecc. is that they are rich in salicylates, and there's definitely a connection between salicylates and rosacea:

and maybe zinc deficiency too:

Tanya said...

I went over to Nigel's blog looking for food/fiber/menu ideas per your suggestion to another person in a comment

I was intrigued by the saliva pH info in this post:

I have started testing my saliva pH based on recommendation of my chiro. It was a 6 about 3 wks ago. I tested it last couple of days and it is 6.5. (Went back to dairy, eggs, etc. and avoiding wheat as much as reasonable)

Any thoughts on pH and inflammation and sources/treatments?

I also am intrigued by the NO/humming/arginine topics I found intermingled in your blog. I took l-arginine after my first surgery and I thought it really helped but it made me emotionally a wreck after a few weeks. My chiro said arginine is contraindicated for people with depression. Does this trigger any ideas/connections for you?

Also, MSM made me feel the point of 'high' from its initial detox effects. Then...I got a horrible itchy rash on my legs from it. I can't do Sulfa drugs (make me horribly nauseous) and there is dispute about if these are related. I read an antecdote that the rash was toxins being released but doctor said allergy and so I stopped using it. Even a small dose made my legs itch, although I haven't tried it for almost a year now. THe antectdote said to use MSM cream to help the itch...which both did and didn't make sense! Again...prompt any thoughts?

Sorry to dominate wiht my comments.
I do want to say that the Vicks really seems to be helping. Thanks for that suggestion.

Oh...and Casey suggests castor oil in the eye for optic neuritis...but I read that it is not supposed to be used in your eye because of irritation/ cytological effects...yet is used in eye drops (like restasis). Would rubbing it around my eye/eyelid reach the inflammation of my optic nerve? Large doses of freeze dried cherries seem to have a positive effect but short lived if that helps...

Oh and as for surgery...if NSAIDS are bad, what kind of pain meds would be less bad for post surgical pain? Thanks again so much.

Tanya said... again. While reading on Natto, I was struck by the thought that it could help with scar tissue, which I found some antecodotes online in support of. Then I decided to look for scar tissue and inflammation and found this

"Another excellent remedy to help with bringing down inflammation is to apply a pack made of regular flour, turmeric powder, milk cream and clarified butter. This should be thoroughly mixed till it makes a wet pack and applied to the area. This will reduce inflammation as well as help to heal the general area. " from

I might try it...

Mistica said...

Hi Christian,

I am familiar with the woman in the link you supplied.
It is true she achieved great success by reducing the salicylates, amines and glutamates in her diet and by supplementing with zinc. Her face looks significantly improved these days.
However, she still has pink cheeks, still has periods of increased redness, still flushes at times and thus, she still has rosacea.
However, maybe she will continue to improve over time. It does seem there is more than one road to rosacea.

What is interesting is that many of the foods on her forbidden list are also on the 'avoid list' for porphyria.
Dr Stratton who specialises in treating people for cryptic bacteria, believes that rosaceans suffer from a type of secondary Porphyria.
This is magnified when undergoing therapy to kill the bacteria/viruses.
The high dose vitamin D3 regime also causes this effect.
Unfortunately the only way to off set this is to eat high carb foods during an attack.
Yet, there are rosaceans who find highly refined carbs a trigger. After all, sugar is inflammatory. Perhaps in the absence of D3, that is all it is.
The world of rosacea is fascinating. Miserable if you are afflicted by the disease.

All this aside, it does appear that some people are indeed sensitive to salicylates etc and I would be very interested to know the biochemical reasoning for this. Some people are born with a sensitive constitution, others develop it due to diet, drug reactions or infections.

It would be nice if Dr Ayers could offer an explanation which ties all of this together. What goes wrong in these individuals? Is there a driving force behind the sensitivities other than cryptic bacteria?

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Gosh, I guess I have to think about these confounding, contradicting, paradoxical inflammatory diseases. I don't understanding the genesis of inflammatory diseases and now I am expected to explain diseases that produce inflammation in response to anti-inflammatory treatments.

I can hardly wait for my next post.

And just to indicate that I have read the rest of the comments and am perplexed:
I can't understand why the pH of saliva would reflect anything other than the pH of the blood. And the blood pH isn't going to change without major disruption of body chemistry. So I don't know what it means if your saliva pH changes by a half a pH unit. I would expect a measurement error.

MSM is interesting because it is a relative of DMSO, a fantastically weird chemical. There are few studies, because it is an orphan drug.

Mistica knows how to treat rosacea, but she expects me to explain how it works.

NSAIDS seem to be bad for the gut as the pills disrupt the integrity of the gut where they stick. Maybe liquid capsules would be better. Taking them with a full glass of water would be an improvement.

The magic of wound healing is beyond me. I have heard that heparin ointment is good.

Anonymous said...

Hi Art, my dad is experiencing eye pain and diplopia. He spent 2 weeks in the hospital and had MRI scan, lumber puncture and eye tests. All what they found was that he has swollen optic nerves. Neurologist diagnosis was that he has optical migraine. Which I don't believe in. Diplopia started after taking strong antibiotic, then in the hospital he was pumped up with more antibiotics while tests were done... to the time he all swell up. That was allergic reaction what makes me think he had allergic reaction to first antibiotic which made his optic nerve swell up. Am I right? My dad is home now, but his eye still hurts he has 7 medicines to take, and there is no improvement in his eyesight. What do you think ? Thanks Alicia

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I have no idea what the treatment for swollen optic nerves is and I can't possibly make any medical recommendations.

All I can do is speculate on what caused the inflammation a point to typical anti-inflammatory approaches, e.g. fish oil, vagal stimulation.

I would suspect that the optic nerve swelling is just the inflammation that is most evident and there is lots elsewhere. I would guess that the antibiotics killed cryptic bacteria in many areas throughout his body, where they had accumulated because of previous illnesses and dietary inflammation. Use of NSAID could also contribute to the load.

At this point he seems to be suffering from a big release of inflammatory cytokines and so the goal would be to relieve the inflammatory burden. Overall that would mean taking a dozen fish oil capsules and if he tolerates hot peppers, those would be good. Vagal stimulation, as mentioned in other articles on this site, would also be quickly helpful.

Treating the brain for inflammation is harder, because of the blood brain barrier. I would try warm compresses of castor oil applied over the eyes and rubbing castor oil over the face. I have no idea whether it will work, but it kind of makes sense.

The antibiotics may have also stirred up gut biofilms that could be treated with some of the approaches outlined elsewhere on this site.

If I was desperate and thought that I was suffering from high level inflammation, I would also consider some of the more extreme treatments for inflammation, e.g. nicotine.

All of this is speculation and should not be seen as medical advise.

I hope that these ideas are helpful. The medical people should know best.

Tanya said...

I was struck with optic neuritis in Feb and still have reduced vision (only one eye) and color blindness (no red).

I have been contemplating castor oil drops in my eye as suggested on and other sites. (I don't buy the psychic thing but it made sense when I read Dr. Art's stuff...) But conventional medicine says it has cytological effects on the mucous membranes, so not sure, although it is a component of Restasis eye drops, I believe I read. It can cause irritation. I was considering trying the pak idea on my eye instead, and hoping it will clear my congestion in nose/ear on that side, too. (Although vicks and xylitol/GSE nasal spray has helped with that)

Optical migraine is still inflammation (Dr. Ayers just posted on migraines also!) They tried to tell me I had MS, Lupus, Lyme, or ??? They don't know and it should have come back quickly...but alas not so...YET! Still working on reducing inflammation in hopes of clearing it and my other issues. (Had my hip hardware removed this week, which was surrounded by fluid, so am hoping we are headed to healing now!)


Dr. Art Ayers said...

I am glad that you are hardware free and have a better chance of lowering your overall inflammation. You might find the vagal stimulation helpful as well. I think that is the effect of the "right thinking" from Cayce.

Let me know how you progress.

Tanya said...

The diet he mentions is opposite of yours, which makes me question things, but I am intrigued by the idea of using baking soda to treat inflammation based on what I have been reading. He discusses healing the small intestine mucosa and how diet as infants affects allergies etc. I realize he is hawking a product, but it seems to just be baking soda in pill form.

Leads me to thinking about alka seltzer...aspirin and baking soda, isn't it? Another easy remedy being overlooked? There are instructions on the box of baking soda for how to use it as a remedy...another thing previous generations knew but we have since lost appreciation for (like diet)?

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Most of the time I find myself trying to explain why traditional methods are effective and why most medical approaches cause problems that require more medical interventions. Most of the traditional approaches just solve the problem cheaply with minimal side effects.

I try to avoid aspirin, because it tends to cause the gut to become leaky. It is very powerful and would probably be very effective and cheap as an IV drug.

Thanks for all of your comments, they are very much appreciated.

Tanya said...

If pharmacuetical Cox inhibitors damage the gut, why don't 'natural' ones do so also? lists what the natural alternatives block/inhibit. Some of these I haven't heard of. It gives recommended doses also.

I also found out that the regimen recommended (see my previous comment) included citric acid capsules as well as different kinds of bacteria...some which seem scary to introduce to your body in a capsule form! As I read more on the soda idea, it occured to me that the Isotonix vitamins I take contain potassium bicarb...they evervesce as part of their 'effectiveness'.

Which leads me to ask, based on their claims, as well as the stomach acid comments, if it really matters whether the supplements are liquid, capsule, or tablet?

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Essentially all of the supplements and other nutrients mentioned in the article you sited are discussed in some way on my blog. There are essentially common sense biochemistry and physiology, but they are not part of established medical practice.

Simply put, if the US public followed the common sense suggestions of the Anti-inflammatory Diet, most of the healthcare system would not be needed. This is the answer to the healthcare tragedy.

It is possible to survey a thousand plant species and find hundreds of COX inhibitors. That proves only that common proteins bind phytochemicals. Which makes sense, since the phytochemicals are adaptations for strong binding to proteins.

The broader question is why do we want to inhibit COX and other parts of our immune system? We only use drugs, because we are too lazy to eat and live in a healthy way. All of the drugs lead to additional problems. Solving the problems by eating a healthy diet doesn't have nasty side effects. "Natural" COX inhibitors would include aspirin, which is a very powerful medical compound produced by willows. Natural, does not mean safe, it means, " Use with caution. Made by animal-killing plants."

Anonymous said...

Art - Love what you're writing but it occurs to me that you have missed a very important part of the picture: vaccines causing inflammation.

By injecting a cocktail of peanut oils, cow blood products, egg, wheat oils, etc., etc., we cause antibodies to identify these substances as invaders. This sets us up for allergy and inflammation. As you say, inflammation is the current medical buzz word. Vaccines explain why we (and animals) are suddenly becoming allergic to the biologically appropriate food that has sustained them for millennia. Why, for example, should dogs now be allergic to chicken, beef ... ? Look at all of the major allergens, then look at vaccine ingredients.

Anonymous said...

Dr Ayers,

BUT willow, when used as a whole plant medicine, is anti-inflammatory! Don't confuse the *isolated* aspirin like component with the traditionally used medicine. They both relieve headache pain, but where aspirin will eat away at the stomach, willow will protect it.


Nikki said...

I am absolutely devouring your website! Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I spent 3 years enduring horrible sinus allergies which digressed to asthma. Upon applying the anti-inflammatory diet, I have been completely relieved of the nasal troubles, which caused year-round extreme post-nasal drip, coughing, etc. I am still trying to fine tune things to alleviate the asthma, but I depend on my own online research to piece it all together. You offer invaluable insight - THANK YOU!!!!

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Anonymous said...

Fish oil may promote inflammation according to Dr.Ray peat

Red Rock said...

You may already be aware that berberine is as effective in controlling blood sugar as metformin.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Red Rock,
Berberine and metformin are both phytoalexins, plant antibiotics, and both act as antibiotics in the gut. Metformin regulates blood sugar primarily in the gut. Berberine probably regulates blood sugar through gut interactions also, since it has limited bioavailability.

The generalization is that phytochemicals and pharmaceuticals derived from them have physiological activity, because they are antibiotics acting on the gut microbiota.

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