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 .

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Last Week of the Eades Cure

Week 6 of The 6 Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle

It feels like I have established a new set point ten pounds lower than my start.  I dropped ten pounds easily in the first two weeks and then bounced around plus or minus two pounds for the next month.  The Cure is simple and effective.

The First Weeks of The Cure

The 6 Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle was written by Drs. Mary Dan and Michael Eades to efficiently lose abdominal visceral fat and tone the abs.  It starts with two weeks of three whey protein/cream/leucine shakes and one high fat/protein-low carb veggie meal per day.  This surprisingly tolerable regime (without all but essential medications, no alcohol and no grains) helps to reduce fatty liver and use up visceral fat around the abdominal organs.  I noticed the impact immediately and lost about a pound a day.  This also eliminated hunger and exposed snacking habits.

The Middle Weeks of The Cure

The second two weeks of The Cure permits occasional alcoholic beverages and three low carb meals per day, but without dairy.  That is basically meat/fish/eggs and low carb veggies for each meal.  Most calories were from fat rather than carbs.  Portion control became a new issue, but hunger was still not a problem.  The meals were very satisfying.  Energy for exercise returned, but weight loss ebbed.  It was harder to stay away from old snacking habits, since meals were back to a more normal pattern.

The Last Weeks of The Cure

During the last weeks of The Cure there is a final turn to what may be for some a new, low carb, higher fat eating style.  I chose The Cure, because I already knew that the eating philosophy of the Drs. Eades was consistent with my own anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle.  I did not expect to be surprised by The Cure, but I was.  I learned a lot about my own eating habits.

Gut Flora Matter

I started The Cure, because I thought that the progression of dietary components would destabilize my gut flora and simultaneously destabilize my weight set point.  I anticipated that my gut flora would reorient, and they did.  There were all kinds of changes and some of the weight loss and gain was probably elimination of a pound of gut flora and reestablishment of a new bacterial order.  The new order also came with a lower body weight.

Hunger Comes with Carbs

For the first month of the diet, I was only hungry if I went longer than six hours without eating or if I slipped on the diet and introduced some extra carbs.  Straight protein early in the morning can cause an insulin rise and a blood sugar dip that leads to a little hypoglycemia, but it produces dullness, rather than hunger.  The only problem with the easy weight loss first two weeks, was that there was less energy with the protein shakes.

BMs Are Bacterial Motivated

The noticeable changes in bowel movements during The Cure, should have been expected, but they forced me to contemplate stools.  When I first realized the absurdity of eating breakfast cereals, because of their high carb/grain content, I went in search of alternative day-starters in other cultures.  At that time, I was still hesitant to embrace saturated fats, so I ran across salsas and stewed tomatoes.  The addition of stewed tomatoes to my breakfast (usually stewed tomatoes on a poached egg) made my gut happy and regular. 

The point in this context, is that my studies of BMs and constipation brought pectin to my attention again.  I had previously considered pectin (poly galacturonic acid) as a competitor for biofilm acidic polysaccharides, but in this context pectin is also recommended to aid the development of probiotic biofilms.  Thus, I added apples to The Cure, to help the establishment of a new bacterial order.  The rapid result was a return to a happy, regular gut.  This was the duh moment.  Apples = pectin, tomatoes = pectin, and pectin = happy gut flora.  Adding either apples or tomatoes to your diet can make your gut flora happy.  An apple (or tomato) a day keeps the antibiotics away.

The Cure Works

The Cure did what I expected and more.  My wife was also pleased with the rapid initial weight loss and an ongoing loss of about a pound per week.  The continued loss is due to alteration of diet with a further reduction in carbs.  The Cure makes the connection between weight retention and a high carb diet.  Elimination of grains/starch makes weight loss much easier.  Absence of sugar, high fructose corn syrup and other sources of fructose also makes weight loss easier.  The inclusion of saturated fats and elimination of omega-6 vegetable oils is anti-inflammatory and provides an improved sense of well being.  I recommend The Cure, because it simply works.


Echolight Studio said...

Dr Ayers, can you tell me (apprx) your daily macronutrient ratio?


Anonymous said...

congrats on your diet success. There's an interesting biofilm thread over at the Gluten Free and Beyond forum:

Unknown said...

Dr. Ayers,

Given your interest and extensive work with heparin can you give me any information on the mechanisms by which administration protects against recurrent pregnancy loss?

I'm also interested in your thoughts (speculations perhaps) on the increased occurrences of coagulation abnormalities and possible reasons for this.

I enjoy your blog btw congrats on your success!

Matt Metzgar said...

Congratulations on your result. However, I would not necessarily say that "it works". I am skeptical of all diet-induced weight loss holding up in the long run.

If you maintain this result for a year or two, I would be much more convinced. You might have had a similar result with a different calorie restricted diet. For example, from:

Low-fat and low-carb diets achieved similar weight loss over 12 months.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I had to keep track of my diet for a while to see how it added up.

The approx. ratio is carbs 15%, protein 45% and fats 40% by weight.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

My impression is that the LF and LC diets are uninformed by the literature on inflammation of omega-6 oils, the benefits of saturated fats and the problems of high carb diets, e.g. triglyceride elevation. Most of the LC diets add back omega-6 oil and produce dietary inflammation. The levels of saturated fats are too low. It is also my impression that the LF diets are difficult to maintain, because of the carb-induced hunger.

My goal in using The Cure diet was to see if it would be easier to use a diet that seemed designed to destabilize gut flora and then reapproach the maintenance diet I already used to produce a relatively constant weight. Simple calorie reduction would of course also produce a weight loss, but would be resisted by existing gut flora supporting a metabolic set point.

My subjective experience (an my wife's) was that The Cure was much easier than simple calorie restriction.

Under any of these circumstances the point is to maintain lost weight. It just seem easier to use a system that led to the LC diet I was already using.
Up to this point The Cure produced the results that I expected -- I lost ten pounds effortlessly and am
back at my original diet with a little more diet insight.

Thanks for your comments.

Anonymous said...

why do emphasize "weight" in "loss", wouldn't it make more sense to try to lose "fat"?

lightcan said...

Dr. Ayers,
what could you recommend to somebody who can't get the protein powders and the leucine for the first phase? Macronutrient ratio? Calories? Would it be possible to mimic the effects of that combination of factors?

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Yes, fat loss is more appropriate. I was interested in losing visceral fat around my organs to shed the health risks. Since I was getting adequate exercise that included lifting weights, I didn't worry about losing muscle mass, so I just kept track of my progress by weighing myself.

I commonly get confronted with the practice what you preach argument. Hence, if my biochemistry is correct, why don't I have a six-pack? I tired of that and so decided to display my six-pack. That meant shedding ten pounds of visceral fat and ten pounds of baby fat that concealed my abs. I am down to the last five pounds.

Thanks for the comment.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

The Cure could be translated into macronutrient ratios as you indicate, but it was designed as a prescription to make it easy to execute. Part of the power of the system is simply following instructions to eliminate bad choices and to emphasize portion control. I think those aspects will be responsible for some people's success with The Cure. I think that The Cure book is worth the money, because it solves many complex problems with simple directions, e.g. add leucine to avoid loss of muscle protein. [Using coffee to disguise the slight bitterness of leucine is useful = cappuccino shakes.]

Otherwise, you can read the book to figure out the underlying nutritional mechanism and follow the physiology. I have outlined what I think are the major points in my three articles, but there are other aspects that are important woven into The Cure.

Thanks for you comments.
Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Ayers, when you first published this topic, I was surprised that you were carrying visceral fat.
Respect for your successful results.
I have lost alot of lean muscle as well as successfully losing body fat and visceral fat.
I am following Dr. Doug McGuff's, Body by Science regime as well as other physical activities to increase muscle.
Supplementing with 20gms daily BCAA's, I find that they mix very well with 200gms of live greek full fat yoghurt. My stools have improved with the probiotic, hopefully indicating improved gut flora.
I realise that it will be 3-6 months before I start to see any real gains.
I can't start preaching until I gain at least 7 lbs of lean muscle.
At 6 feet and 140 lbs, although relatively fit I am definitely weak, especially in my upper body.
What's your view on creatine for somebody in my position? Or should I persist with the BCAA's? My supply is depleting and I need to repurchase soon.
My target is 147 lbs by midsummer's day.
I am strictly paleo (+ the yoghurt) and rarely stray.
I've only to look at beer to gain bodyfat, yet full bodied red wine to excess occasionally, doesn't affect my weight.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

My impression is that it is much easier to gain muscle mass along with more than ample calories. I think that special supplements outside of having calories beyond maintenance is just optimizing. Many others are more knowledgeable than I about diet and muscle.

I think that your gut flora would be happier adding leeks (inulin) and apples (pectin) or appropriate equivalents.

Good luck with your goals. I am just trying to be stronger, with less fat and more agility.

Anonymous said...

Dr Ayers, your blog is fascinating. I have ulcerative colitis and my body weight set point is now up 5 pounds, so your theory about gut flora causing changes in body weight makes sense to me. I have been working on changing my gut flora with a strict paleo diet, probiotics and eating raw sauerkraut. After reading your blog, I will be sure to add more onions, leeks and an apple a day to my diet.

Do you think the Six Week Cure would work with hemp protein powder? Hemp is the only protein powder I can tolerate.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I wouldn't bother with The Cure in your case, since your have already transitioned to mostly protein and fat.

How do you respond to the PEG in total bowel irrigations prior to colonoscopy? That should be more effective than The Cure for restarting your gut flora and eliminating biofilms.

I think that the pectin and inulin should be helpful.

It is interesting that you respond to whey powder, since the major active protein present seems to me to be lactoferrin. Do you also respond poorly to lactoferrin capsules? This would suggest that the lactoferrin specifically attacks a gut bacterium that then causes you problems.

Do you react to fish oil? What about fish oil in the presence of plenty of saturated fats?

Do you respond to anti-histamines or mast cell stabilizers?

Thanks for your comments.

Anonymous said...

The underlying key of this diet ironically is the control of leptin. Once the appropriate sequence is laid out many people will realize that timing matters as much as the substrate. I see that you are a substrate driven guy because the gut flora issue seems to be the source of all inflammatory bowel diseases. But timing you will come to find out is just as important. Pectin is a critical soluable fiber that does the alimentary canal a ton of good. The key is know how and when to use it.

Dr. K

Anonymous said...

"How do you respond to the PEG in total bowel irrigations prior to colonoscopy? That should be more effective than The Cure for restarting your gut flora and eliminating biofilms."

I went almost asymptomatic after the colonoscopy. My doctor gave me a prescription, which I only used a few weeks, until I abandoned it for a food as medicine approach. My digestion is no longer weak and I can eat red meat, veggies and fatty foods without a problem. The difference is remarkable.

"I think that the pectin and inulin should be helpful.

It is interesting that you respond to whey powder, since the major active protein present seems to me to be lactoferrin. Do you also respond poorly to lactoferrin capsules? This would suggest that the lactoferrin specifically attacks a gut bacterium that then causes you problems."

I have never tried the lactoferrin capsules, but I will experiment with them and let you know. After reading your site, I may try whey again.

"Do you react to fish oil? What about fish oil in the presence of plenty of saturated fats?"

No problems with fish oil. I use Carlson's Liquid Fish Oil and take 5g a day. I still have some lingering acne issues (although improved) and joint inflammation from too much Crossfit. In the past, I upped the dose to 15g for a couple of weeks but I didn't see any effect.

"Do you respond to anti-histamines or mast cell stabilizers?"

Since I've changed my diet, I no longer struggle with allergies. In the past, I've used four different Rx eye drops for allergies and nothing helped. Claritin did help somewhat with my old pollen allergies.

Thank you for your reply.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Hi Dr. K,
By substrate vs. timing, I assume that you mean what is eaten vs. how, over time, it is eaten. Is this along the lines of Stephan's discussions:

Pectin is not simple, since it serves as a biofilm matrix mimetic (anionic polysaccharide), as well as an energy source for gut flora.

Please share more of your insights.

Anonymous said... this book and I think it will fill the hole in your thinking. It clearly will help stimulate your thinking. You and I areon parallel paths. I am not focusing in on the gut I am actually focusing in on lifespan which includes a healthy gut. I am looking for a much broader view of the human condition while you are looking at a very specific issue. While we have the same goal I think you need to tweeck yours and I think the leptin issue is what you are missing. The name of the book is Mastering Leptin by Byron Richards. 3rd edition. Give my your thoughts when you finish it. I think where it takes you may surprise you.

Dr K

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Dr. K,
I just finished reading Mastering Leptin. I am familiar with leptin and leptin resistance. I take it that the new element that you are emphasizing is the circadian stimulation of leptin production and the relationship to appetite. I think that that is a practical aspect of diet. I agree with the overview provided by the book and I accept most of the recommendations. I think that my diet suggestions are essentially identical.

My emphasis, as you point out, is substratist and I would extend it to be mechanistic and molecular. Byron Richard's perspective is too black box physiological for my comfort and his molecules (TNFa, NFkB, etc.) don't quite work the way that I imagine them. I am prejudiced as a molecular biologist and he is prejudiced as a nutritionist. At least we both come to the same conclusions.

I haven't worked leptin or steroid hormones or much of the brain into my world view. If you can provide some convenient ways to integrate them into my limited mechanistic overview, I would enjoy it.

Thanks for the input.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Your colonoscopy remission was very informative and emphasizes the importance of pathogenic biofilms and gut flora. By doing a total bowel irrigation to prep for the colonoscopy, you stripped the biofilms with the PEG and led to a remission.

The lingering acne and joint aches are indications that you still have a source of inflammation. Did you already indicate that you have a high serum vitD? Good dental checkup? Eliminate grains (gluten intolerance?). You may have some left over vitamin/mineral deficiencies from the mess up gut malabsorption. Maybe, you need to increase your antioxidants: vitC, B12, sulfur amino acids.

The fish oil results are puzzling. Maybe you needed to take them with more saturated fats for absorption and to prevent lipid peroxides.

You seem to be doing all of the right things. Just need to do a little more detail work.

Thanks for your updates.

Anonymous said...

Shows low carb is good for lowering lipids, mediterranean for glucose levels, and both and low fat decrease blood pressure which is more important than lipids...

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I think that the conditions of the study and the composition of the diet is important. These were all calorie-restricted diets, which are inherently anti-inflammatory. The low carb must have avoided the typical pitfall of using inflammatory vegetable oil to compensate for lost calories by reducing starch.

My impression is that the high fat/low carb diets are the easiest to maintain and avoid the problems of starch/sugars. Saturated fats don't seem to be a problem. Starch and vegetable oils and statins are much more dangerous than saturated fats.

Thanks for your comments.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dr. Ayers,

Long time no type. Not sure if you remember me but I posted a bit about 6-ish months ago. I was on the verge of moving back to the states, excited about the local food scene, experimenting with different things. Anyhow, due to massive amounts of stress (divorce, overseas move, new city, new boyfriend, working freelance and all the stuff that comes with starting over) and not eating as well as I should my guts are in an uproar and my ADHD is out of control which tends to exacerbate everything else. It’s a vicious cycle. Reading about your experience with the Eades 6-week Cure diet I saw that it can help shift gut flora along with losing weight. I’ve been mostly good about not eating grains, absolutely no gluten, and pretty low starch. It’s the sugars that I have the worst problem with, so I’m hoping that the diet will be the kick in the seat of the pants my guts need to start straightening out and getting my cravings under control, and I could stand to drop a few pounds in the process.

I’m also curious about Klebsiella. I have a peculiar reaction to a very specific food item, almond skins. Blanched almonds are no problem, I use them in place of grains, but the skins make me deathly ill within about an hour of eating them. Inflammation in my ankles, elbows, knees, a burning sensation that starts on the soles of my feet and moves up my shins, tendon pain and muscle spasms, brain fog, fatigue and depression. It’s a party. Wondering about this very specific symptom I googled it and found numerous links to Ankylosing Spondylitis, and its connection to Klebsiella and diet. I don’t think that AS is an issue for me, nor is RA in my opinion, which is sometimes also linked. Intestinal permeability + bacterial overgrowth = assorted inflammatory reactions, which I think is my issue here. I haven’t had any more testing done since getting back to the states and I fortunately found a fantastic doctor that takes a more holistic approach so at my next appointment I plan on bringing this up with him. I also need to have blood work done as I was deficient in vitamins D and K and need to see where I am with that. So, what I’m wondering is, do you feel like the diet might help, given the circumstances? Or are you aware of anything specific to Klebsiella?

Anonymous said...

Dr. Ayers,

While I have no trouble eating low-carb, dairy seems to add weight down the middle of my stomach which I realize is the worst possible place health-wise. This link may explain why:

At any rate, I no longer eat dairy but take probiotics instead.

Although I'm pretty lean, after reading your review of the Eades' book, I'm now eager to try mixing up the gut flora to break my weight set point to become even leaner.

Thanks for the insights!

Lanna said...

Dr. Ayers,

Thanks for your work. I've been following the paleo diet for about 4 months and feel better having cut out carbs/starches/junk (with a few cheats here and there.

Ive been suffering from back and forth diarrhea/constipation. I am considering incorporating probiotic cultures in to my diet.

Would you deem it necessary to do a full checkup at a GastroE? or simple The Cure recipe?

Dr. Art Ayers said...

My impression is that most gastroenterologists know very little about the role of gut flora and constipation. I would say that you need to persist in eating more soluble fiber from leafy vegetables AND eat raw vegetables that will provide the bacterial complexity that you need for health.

You are probably eating enough soluble fiber to maintain av diverse gut flora to avoid constipation, but you haven't taken in the hundred different bacterial species that you need for a healthy gut flora. Probiotics are only a start, since they only include a small number of species.

Let me know how you do.

Tracey said...

Hi Dr. Ayers,
Thank you so much for your informative blog. I'm having a situation that no one has been able to help me with so I'm looking for any light you can shed on it. For many years I ate a Mediterranean type diet - no junk food, limited sugar, but still high in whole grains/gluten. My digestion was fine as long as I took probiotic caps (otherwise constipated) and I also fermented my own veg and kefir.

Eventually I began to develop GERD symptoms and decided to cut out gluten, eat lower carb, higher healthy fat, and more veg. Initially this change was great and I had lots of energy (also cured the GERD and lifelong insomnia). During this time I continued to take probiotic capsules and after several weeks I began having daily diarrhea. I finally figured out that I felt worse after taking the probiotic and stopped. Since then things have stabilized somewhat (still loose bowels when eating anything raw or with much roughage) but if I try to eat anything fermented I begin with diarrhea again and it takes a week for things to get somewhat more normal (I've tried sticking with it to see if my body would adjust to the fermented veg but it just gets worse - and this is on only a teaspoon). I only weighed 115 lbs when this started and am now down to 99, so I really want to stabilize my gut so I don't lose more weight.
Any suggestions? Thanks!