Anti-Inflammatory Diet

All health care starts with diet. My recommendations for a healthy diet are here:
Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Lifestyle.
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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Eades Cure Week 4

Meals, Alcohol, Caffeine, but no Dairy

I embarked on The 6 Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle to drop ten pounds and reveal my 6-pack.  Now in week 4, I am half way there.  I lost ten pounds (from 188 to 178 lbs) and the visceral fat under the muscle of my belly is greatly diminished, but my 6-pack is yet to be revealed.  My wife dropped a couple of more pounds.  Her blood stats also improved: glucose dropped 10, total cholesterol dropped 30, LDL dropped 20 and triglycerides dropped 26.

The Cure Weeks 3&4
The middle third of The 6-Week Cure is more like a normal low carb diet.  There are three meals a day, but dairy is excluded.  Alcohol, limited to two drinks a week and caffeine (dash of cream, no sugar) are OK.  Plenty of no/low carb veggies, but minimal fruit.  I enjoyed the eggs and bacon for breakfast and popped a whole chicken in the crock pot, after slipping some herb-saturated butter under the skin of the breast.  The second day I pierced the surface of a couple of thick steaks with slivers of garlic and grilled them to produce some lusciously browned edges of fat.

Bad Habits and Portion Control
Alas, I had forgotten that the main reason for going on this gut transition diet, was to destabilize my gut flora, so that I could more easily change my metabolic set point to lose some visceral fat.  I apparently succeeded, because after a couple of days my weight had very easily increased again.  I was clearly taking in too many calories and there was little resistance to weight loss or gain.  During the first two weeks on protein shakes, it was easy to eliminate bad snacking habits and carbs, but the return of normal meals in the 3rd and 4th weeks, made portion control harder.  Before the diet, I would have a poached egg with two strips of bacon.  The Cure version had crept up to two fried eggs, two strips of bacon and a sausage patty.  I was satisfied, but it wasn’t a cure for the middle-aged middle.  The harsh lesson, was that portion sizes still matter.

Energy for Exercise
More normal meals also meant a return of energy and an interest in exercise.  I had only a few times when I felt that my low carb/ high protein & fat meals, stimulated some insulin and lowered my blood sugar.  Common sense prevailed.  I limited my portion sizes, enjoyed coffee and occasional drinks.  I also started walking three miles a day watching the construction for the new community college along Indian Creek.  Another interesting result was my weight training.  I started testing my strength and found that for the first time in forty years I could bench press and crunch my weight, and I could squat twice my weight.  Hand stands and pull ups were also much easier with less weight and more strength.

Altered Gut Flora
Absent PCR tests of my gut flora rRNA genes, I have to settle for empirical changes.  My diet is still predominantly protein and fat, and I haven’t put back as many veggies as The Cure recommends.  [It is winter in Idaho and the veggies in the market are not that appealing.]  That also means that my gut flora are not getting very large meals either, so my stool volume has been cut about in half, compared to before The Cure.  The largest impact is the impression that I can gain or lose weight with each meal.  That makes further weight loss to remove the baby fat covering my 6-pack very approachable.  Unfortunately, I can just reach out and ... feel it jiggle.


Anonymous said...

I am confused about milk. I know on this diet you are avoiding it during this phase. Do you drink it normally? I consume non - homogenized low temp pasteurized whole milk as well as kefir i make from the milk. Is this ok? I follow a primal diet which as you know is similar to your food suggestions but I include dairy. Is dairy inflammatory?

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I haven't found dairy to be a problem for me. I think that cow's milk can be a problem for some people and I think that inflammation combined with modified milk (homogenized, pasteurized, etc.) may be more risky.

I enjoy milk products and don't worry about it for myself, but if I turned back the clock and was having kids, I would not encourage my pregnant/lactating wife to drink milk or would I have milk products (including formula) around a newborn.

If you want some fun, look up casomorphin in Wikipedia.

Thanks for your comments

Dr. B G said...


Congratulations on your AWESOME progress! Your pecs totally appear HOT! Very impressive to squat double your weight.

Do you think our protective abilities toward thermogenesis slows wt loss (as related to cold weather)? I find this to be (annoyingly) the case when I start a swimming regimen because the water is cool.

I'm going thru 6-wk cure and probiotics are not discussed (ck'd the index -- maybe I missed it). Do you think there is a complimentary value of probiotics for inflammation or even weight loss from what you have investigated?


Dr. Art Ayers said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence and the flattering comments. I had the same pecs in high school (gymnastics) and college (karate). Thanks for noticing.

I think that our metabolic set point incorporates the thermogenic responses. I think that it also involves communication and alteration of gut flora, but with diet superimposed. We should be able to adjust our gut flora to facilitate dietary goals. All we do however is totally disrupt gut flora with random antibiotic treatments that may help or hinder overall therapeutic goals. Exercise also has an impact, e.g. the gut colonization by C. difficile in hospitals caused by immobilization in beds.

I think that probiotics that we typically use head the gut flora toward the neonate flora. I don't know what the gut makes of that. It must be different from what the gut needs, but perhaps it is better than where it was. Maybe a Bifidobacteria-dominated flora is a good starting point from which to regenerate an injured flora toward a health floral community.

Most people haven't put the gut flora into the picture yet. I would like to experiment with probiotic alteration of The Eades Cure, just because I like full-fat Greek Yogurt (especially the honey sweetened, but fructose bad). There are so many temptations. Is dark chocolate a prebiotic?

Thanks for being there.

Byron said...

Congrats Dr. Ayers!
Amazing results.
I took your advice from last time and add some chicory to my keto diet. With the pro-/prebiotics already taken the diarrhea is better now. But I´ve got to kick out my n-3 supplementation too. Do you think an overactive immune system may become worse on doing too much of a good thing? AAMOF even my asthma got better since without n-3. Regards.

zach said...

Congrats on your success. I wonder why some fruit would be ok, but dairy wouldn't? For me, high fat, low carb has meant significant, spontaneous reduction in portions and calories. I've gone from eating "like a man" to like a teenage girl, and I'm not hungry. My inflammation is way down, and my constipation (or is it lack of need to go?) has increased.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

A decrease in asthmatic symptoms upon removal of omega-3/fish oil would be in my mind paradoxical. I check the literature for inflammation-based diseases by checking to see the results of studies using fish oil to provide prevention or remedy. Asthma is one of those inflammatory/allergy-based diseases.

Did I misunderstand your comment? Have you had prior antibiotic treatment and did your colonoscopy reduce your symptoms?

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I think that your results with low carb, high fat are typical. I don't understand the impact on gut flora or the role of gut history prior to the shift.

The Eades Cure diet has lots of ramifications for gut flora that I am trying to understand. Very small amounts of fruit are included with meals. That amount of fructose in the fruit is probably no big deal versus the negative effects of fruit juices. The prohibition on dairy may be empirical rather than based on gut flora impact. I think that they mention that excessive dairy at that stage was a stumbling block for some people. I know for me it is a temptation and yogurt especially is typically loaded with tons of sugar.

Dairy is strongly prebiotic and control of gut flora is a primary function of milk for newborns. Unfortunately calves and newborn humans have significantly different guts and the prebiotics are also different. In neonatal intensive care nurseries cow's milk based formula is a major risk factor for necrotising colitis. I take that as an indication that the formula produces the wrong gut flora. Perhaps we have the same problem, to a less dramatic extent, as adults.

Thanks for your comments.

Byron said...

Dear Dr. Ayers,
no I didn´t have an antibiotic treatment. Colonoscopy was only for checking the reason for chronic diarrhea. Even in SAD times I had always loose stool. I´ve tons of allergies and incompatibilities but no fish allergy (so far). So I dropped into keto nearly b accident. Eczema vanished. Already supplementing D3. I´ve also Asperger´s so maybe something like leaky gut problem. As a hint casein and gluten are somekind of addictive brain opiodis for me. And keto brings huge improvements. Sorry for my english. Greetings from Munich.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

There are some interesting treatments for ASDs. Fevers apparently produce a return to normal affectation for some ASDs, suggesting that much of the brain circuitry is essentially intact and there is some overshadowing physiology. Also the biofilm stripping suggestions that I have made elsewhere on this blog were adapted from autism treatments in children. It may be that your dietary adjustments to put you in ketosis actually work by altering your gut biofilms, which in turn could alter your immune system or nervous system via the gut.

I thought that you might have had a reaction to the total bowel irrigation in preparation for your colonoscopy. That sometimes strips biofilms too.

Allergies and incompatibilities are classic symptoms of chronic diet-based inflammation.

Gluten is a classic for celiac and a slew of autoimmune diseases.

Casein is cleaved by pepsin in the stomach and trypsin in the intestines to produce casomorphins, that interact with receptors of neurotransmitters.

You might also benefit from fructan oligosaccharide and pectin prebiotics. How do you respond to lactoferrin, berberine and turmeric? Have you tried vagal stimulation exercises?

Let me know if any of these ideas are successes or big failures.

Unknown said...

Would it make sense, however gross it might sound to some, to consume non-pasteurized human milk in order to rebalance one's flora?

zach said...


I don't know where you would find it! The thought is a little disturbing. In the caucases (i don't know how you spell that) the traditional people there felt raw fermented cow/goat/horse milk was very important for immune health. Perhaps for adults it's fine. I know that in the years I've been drinking fermented raw cow milk, I haven't had so much as a cold. I used to get several head colds a year, even after I stopped the junk food.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Bertrand, Zach,
I think that the use of milk for adults is misguided for resetting gut flora. Human milk is adapted to establish a monoculture of Bifidobacteria and the newborn fed exclusively on breastmilk has a thymus twice the size of formula fed babies with adult gut flora. There is still not enough human milk available for all of the babies in neonatal intensive care and thousands still die from what I consider uninlightened use of formula.

It would make much more sense to explore the simple dietary practices that establish healthy gut flora after extensive disruptions such as antibiotic use. Many people have their gut flora essentially permanently damaged by casual long term use of antibiotics and physicians don't even notice the consequences.

I think that fermentation of milk has a dramatic impact on the prebiotic content, e.g. digestion of any fructo oligosaccharides. This and storage stability may explain why some cultures rely on particular fermentation practices when eating large amounts of milk.

I think that a major problem with nutrition is the lack of information on the maintenance and reconstruction of healthy gut flora. We are spending far too much on exotic medical procedures and pharmaceuticals, when appropriate diets could eliminate the need for the procedures and expensive drugs.

Thanks for your comments.

Unknown said...

It might seem just as exotic, but what about the idea that hunters/gatherers ate unwashed root vegetables etc., thus absorbing soil, which supposedly has a much more diverse flora than yoghourt or even kefir? I read that native human flora has hundreds of varieties of bacteria.

What dangers do you see in eating small quantities of one's garden soil, or one's own organically grown carrots without washing them?

Dr. Art Ayers said...

The hygiene hypothesis posits that exposure to a wide variety of organisms informs the development of the immune system. Perhaps the point is that organizing a plethora of bacteria into gut biofilm communities is what permits the normal, controlled development of the immune system where it resides in the lining of the gut.

The problem may common for modern humans with compromised immune systems who embark on a paleo experiment and succumb to the first opportunistic bacterium that can exploit their weak immune system and turn them into nutrients.

Most modern people survive marginally in a hygienic environment and suffer repeated from food poisoning. I don't think they could survive in the real world. I had a student once who was from New York City and she had never touched soil. Would you give her one of your carrots to munch?

Thanks for your comments.

David said...

Dr. Ayers,

I've been aware of many of the impacts of malicious gut biofilms for some time, but am only recently starting to see the possible impacts of gut flora on weight loss/gain. Your blog has been enlightening in this way, and I'm still trying to understand some of the implications.

I wonder if eventually biofilm stripping/removal and repopulation of gut flora will serve as a normal prelude to weight loss attempts? It seems as though removing such a major source of body-wide inflammation and subsequently "resetting" the gut flora through probiotics, probiotic foods, and prebiotics, would possibly have a profound effect on weight-loss efforts.


Dr. Art Ayers said...

Those are my thoughts exactly.

Going one step further, I was inspired by the comments of a famous orthopedic surgeon. Everyone attributed his success on rebuilding the knees of pro athletes. He pooh-poohed the surgery and said that his success was due to prior proper preparation of the muscles that stabilized the knee and swift rehabilitation to maintain proper range of motion and stress on the knee during healing. In this context, I think that having the proper flora present in the gut before treatment and proper maintenance diet is essential. I think that many people with prior antibiotic treatment have oversimplified their gut flora and are lacking key players. The question is what is the source of the new flora?

Thanks for the comments.

Garry said...

Dr. Ayers,

I gather that you prefer foods as sources of pre- and probiotics. Do you see a role for prebiotic/probiotic supplements (powders, capsules, etc.)? There are some multi-strain products available which could assist in populating the gut with desirable flora.

caphuff said...

following up on Garry's post, does yogurt and other food sources provide a much greater diversity of probiotics than that found in supplements?

zach said...

There is no question that antibiotics play a role in this. I had a friend who was on Septra for a month last year for MRSA (which turned out not to be), and his stomach and immune system were torn up, let me tell you. Giving him the raw yogurt (plain, no sugar added) really seemed to help him get back to normal, and he thought so too.

C. Ialis said...

I know that in the years I've been drinking fermented raw cow milk, I haven't had so much as a cold.