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, June 9, 2011

Udder Nonsense

Recent articles in the popular press have heralded the genetic engineering of cows with some human milk proteins.  Milk produced by these transgenic cows is advertised as being similar or the same as human  breast milk.
This is like claiming that the udder in the picture is an all natural, low BPA container for fortified water.  

The breakthrough in humanized cow's milk, announced by Chinese researchers in PLoS One, actually documents replacement of cow lysozyme with the corresponding human enzyme.  That does not make the milk human anymore than adding egg white lysozyme would turn the cows into chickens. If it moos like a cow...
Cow's milk-based formula harms infants, because the carbohydrates it contains do not support the normal development of infant gut flora.  The result is gut inflammation, and not normal gut and immune system development.  Even human proteins produced in cows will have characteristic cow sugars attached.  It is these cow sugars on milk proteins that are associated with colic. The chains of sugars (milk oligosaccharides) free and/or associated with milk proteins are different in cows and humans, and cow carbs are a problem in formula.
I think that it is silly to support humanizing cow's milk formula, when the sensible solution is to support breast feeding and licensed human milk banks.  The natural approach is much cheaper and far healthier.  Only human milk and human milk-derived fortifiers should be used for infants (especially preterm) in hospitals.  It is time for the healthcare industry to realize that disruption of gut flora by antibiotics or artificial formula is a health risk.  The data are clear -- cow's milk (including transgenic cow’s milk) in the hospital may be profitable, but it is unhealthy, e. g. contributes to Clostridium difficile and necrotizing enterocolitis infections, and contributes to long term health problems, such as inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.


Peter said...

Couldn't agree more


Kathy Habel said...

Any chance you would go into your google dashboard and add the follow by email feature to this blog. I just found it and want to be sure I don't forget to come back!

Pete B said...

No, no, NO! We can NOT support mothers breast feeding their children!! Children MUST have all of the fortified, formulated, processed, and engineered food-like substances that our modern industry can provide!! What are you, a Luddite?

Thanks for this post.

Medjoub said...

Breast milk and the early establishment of healthy immunity brings a couple of questions to mind. In your current thinking, do you think it's possible to rectify highly problematic autoimmune conditions (like celiac's or hashimoto's) through gut flora improvement alone? I assume that gut flora are part of a complex system that, once compromised, might never quite return to total functionality. By way of example: I've met several people with Crohn's disease who cannot tolerate fiber -- is avoidance just a temporary amelioration of a problem that could be approached in a different way...? I'm interested, particularly because so many autoimmune conditions seem to be a downhill slide that, even after they're under a course of treatment, seem to gradually worsen or complicate further...

Anonymous said...

Thankyou for Dr Ayers for another interesting read. Off topic, but did you have any thoughts on the new gut enterotypes paper ?


minniemom said...

Dr. Ayers,

This is OT, I know, but I just got introduced to your blog and have been reading all morning.

Question for you: I have no doubt that I have some major gut dysbiosis going on. I have numerous food intolerances (gluten, soy, dairy, etc, etc), hypothyroidism, candida and probably CFS or FMS if you consider those diagnosable diseases.

My main problem is that I believe this is all due to mercury toxicity which has also caused me to have oxalate issues and be sensitive to sulfur foods. This severely limits the veggies or foods I can eat. How do I increase the diversity of my gut flora when I'm told eating those veggies will worsen other conditions? The sulfur is said to cause mercury to redistribute in my body and the oxalates of course cause oxidative stress.

Any suggestions for someone in this case? I don't tolerate hardly any supplements either.

Bill said...

Great post Dr. Ayers.
“Even human proteins produced in cows will have characteristic cow sugars attached,“
I totally understand where you’re going with this, but aren’t “bovine,” not “human,” hormones used in dairy cows?
Thanks, Bill

Gabriel said...

Wow, very interesting. The same was done in Argentina

and it seems to be for the proteins.

To Inspired Kathy: you could subscribe to the comments feeds ot the posts feed using e.g. Google reader.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Hi Medjoub,
I think that we could look closely at cultural practices around the world and identify food/microbe strategies that could cure most diseases. Medicine is slowly being forced to reveal some simple dietary cures for disease, but these will be competing with the expensive treatments of the pharmaceutical industry.

We are not good at managing ecosystems, whether they are rain forests or gut flora. Extermination of individual species can produce rapid or slow collapse of the ecosystem. We can also end up with replanted forests that are good for harvesting, but are ecological dead zones. The gut equivalent results from eating a fast food or government-guided diet. In that case, the gut flora produces an ideal consumer for the medical industry.

Thanks for your comments.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Enterotypes may means something, but I think that there is an over emphasis on rational species definitions that don't apply, instead of looking at the genes that are present.

Part of the difficulty of evaluating experiments on the impact of gut flora comes from the pressure on researchers to identify focal points for drug development. No one is thinking how simple changes in diet can alter gut flora and cure diseases. Part of the problem is insufficient examination of causes and the role of diet and common medical pracices in disease development. Gut flora is the big black box between diet and disease.

Thanks for the questions/comments.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I would tend to doubt that mercury was the key rather than other diet problems. In any case, I think that diet and restructuring your gut flora is the answer to your problems. The intolerances that you observe merely reveal problems with your gut flora.

The simplest answer would be to clean out your dysfunctional gut flora and introduce new gut flora with a new diet to feed it. Alas, that is not currently easy to do.

You need to introduce new bacteria and feed them. Unfortunately the current residents of your gut respond to changes in diet by releasing products that stimulate a response from you gut.

Most people in your situation have fewer symptoms if the bowel contents are kept moving. I think that you should see which soluble fibers you can use to feed your bowel flora and keep things moving. What about pectin (apples) and leeks (inulin)? Are you constipated?

Heavy metals can be stored in biofilms. How do you respond to the total bowel irrigation with PEG that is used to prep for a colonoscopy? I would expect that the irrigation, which can remove both gut flora and biofilms, should reduce your symptoms and make it easier to restructure your gut flora.

Let me know what works.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Hi Bill,
In the case of these transgenic cattle, human genes were introduced into the DNA of bovine embyos and grown into dairy cows. The cows then expressed the human gene for an enzyme in their mammary tissue and the enzyme ended up in the milk. (Growth hormones are injected as proteins into a cow's blood stream and do not alter its genetics.) The researchers will also attempting to develop a commercial way of producing human lysozyme from transgenic cow's milk.

minniemom said...

Thanks for responding Dr. Ayers. I have avoided fruit for over a year now due to suspected candida issues, but I'm going to try some apple this weekend.

I've also avoided leeks since sulfur foods seem to cause the mercury to redistribute and create problems, but I'll give that a try too!

I've never had a colonoscopy. What is PEG that you referred to? I have times where I am constipated and have done some home enemas. I generally don't feel much different after these. I did recently start doing coffee enemas, however, and I always get a burst of energy and feel great after those.

As long as I can consume enough fermented foods I generally become pretty regular with BM's and can avoid constipation.

suz said...

Hi Dr. Ayers, wonderful blog!
I have just found my way here, due to developing Dysbiosis after going low carb - from what I can gather it was already an underlying problem with me due to lots of antibiotics. I am desperate to continue following a primal / anti inflammation type diet as it makes sense to me.
A few questions for you, I hope you can help:

Would the sudden change to an acidic (mainly red meat, high fat and dairy)diet have caused this? My diet before was mainly wholegrain, low fat,legume and vegetable based for many years. The constipation took 8 weeks to transition to small dry lumps, accompanied with strange gut pains.

As a lactating mother, I have started to drink my own breast milk in small doses with the thought that it will help re populate my gut with good bacteria. In theory would this work? As I will have my own supply for the next 2 years it seems a pity not to use this resource, even though strange in concept.

I have also started on a recovery programme with bits and pieces of info I have picked up, but there is a lot of conflicting advice out there.
Eating home made french onion soup and butter, small portions of soaked brown rice, broccoli, yoghurt with garlic and turmeric and cinnamon,lemon juice, minestrone veg soup, and chicken, eggs and fish.

Supplements -taking fish oil, vit D3, multi vit, bovine colostrum, probiotics and prebiotics,with slippery elm and aloe. not taking L glutamine due to breastfeeding.
Is this diet the way to go and is there anything you can add to optimize this patchwork prescription of my own making? or subtract?
I am NZ based and my GP has not been much help.
thanks for your time and great blog.

William said...

Dr. Ayers,

What would you recommend for the breastfeeding mother who struggles to produce enough milk for her 8 month old son? Not wanting to disrupt gut flora and all. We are currently struggling to come up with an acceptable answer.

Anonymous said...

Dairy allergy in breastfed infants finally makes sense to me. I, too, have a PhD in molecular bio and did not believe that a protein ingested by the mom could make it intact through the mom's digestive system to her breastmilk. Of course - it's the bovine oligosaccharides that are getting to the breastmilk!

Can you suggest a couple of scholarly articles on the subject of the mechanism of breastfed infant allergies to dairy/soy/etc so I can read up on this more?

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