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, May 1, 2014

SweetMyx Taste Enhancers, Alapyridains?


---  Here are the other 200 blog posts ---
I was just reading announcements of new synthetic chemicals (SweetMyx) to enhance the taste and help reduce sugar and salt in "health foods".  The new taste enhancers have already been approved by industry organizations that designate the chemicals as GRAS, generally recognized as safe.  I, of course, was curious about how the SweetMyx chemicals made food taste sweeter with less added sugar.  Notice how convenient it is that the food industry has found a way to charge more for less sugar, just as labels have been changed to specifically designate "sugar added:".

Alapyridains are Taste Enhancers
I searched the chemical literature for new taste enhancers, since the chemical ingredients in SweetMyx are trade secrets and will not be disclosed on food labels.  It didn't take long to find that the likely suspects are called alapyridains.  This group of related chemicals are synthesized with a central pyridine ring familiar from the related cytosine and thymidine of nucleic acids, the plant alkaloid nicotine and the vitamin niacin.  A guanide group (half of the diabetes drug metformin, which is a biguanide) is added to make a salt enhancer, and a benzene ring is added to make a sugar enhancer.  Without these additions, the central structure inhibits the ability to taste the bitterness associated with "healthy plant antioxidants," phytochemicals and essential oils.

Will SweetMyx Just Tickle your Taste Buds?
The alapyridains that I expect to be in SweetMyx seem to be similar to common plant alkaloids, which are natural pesticides and antibiotics, i.e. phytoalexins.  So I would expect these compounds to also be antibiotics with unknown impact on our gut flora, nervous and immune systems, just like all of the medical antibiotics.  Based on the general putative structure of the taste enhancers and similarity to other molecules with known reactivities I would also expect these molecules to react with enzymes that bind sugars, e.g. glycosidases, or with hundreds of other proteins that bind to heparin, e.g. embryological growth factors, clotting factors, cytokines, amyloids, etc., etc., etc.  It would also be expected that these enhancers will encourage consumption without satiety and therefore, just as artificial sweeteners, contribute to further obesity.  In other words, these taste enhancers can be expected to have numerous, unpredictable medical and ecological side effects that will not be understood for decades.

16 comments:

Raj said...

My parents believed in canola and sunflower oils heart healthy slogan , I wish I have a time machine to go back and reset that message.

I saw this one in John Oliver talk show,
POM juice has almost negligible pomegranate and its been touted as prostate saver. FTC can't do much because of First amendment abuse.

http://www.foodpolitics.com/tag/juice-drinks/

Thanks for this article Dr.Art !!

Raj


Tim Steele said...

Hi, Art - Very interesting new sweetener. Natural antibiotics produced by microbes in natural amounts seem to be handled very well by the body, but when doused with industrial strength antibiotics, microbes may interpret this as a signal to form biofilms and activate resistance genes.

I hope you are wrong about SweetMyx!

Raj said...

Tim,

Its such an irony that Clostridium spp that can help develop suppressive Treg don't survive or get activated to form bio film when judgement day happens,when we drop anti biotics.

[proof that I like terminator movie/sky-net :)]

If not for resistant starch our resistance is futile.

Industrial science is like trying to pluck a rose flower from garden using Axe but all we need is gentle fingers. Nature always triumphs.

Anonymous said...

Doctor, there doesn't seem to be a contact form to email you on this page, so I'll post my question here even though it's off topic. I hope you don't mind.

Your recommended diet says no wheat/grain. I eat tons of sandwiches so am looking for a substitute. I've managed to bake useful gluten free bread with buckwheat flour. You can also get 100% buckwheat pasta noodles (e.g., the right brand of soba) and make pancakes and such with it. It seems to be a great, gluten free substitute for wheat and is technically not a cereal grain.

Before consuming copious quantities of my would-be wonder product, I wanted to run buckwheat by you to make sure it doesn't have inflammatory properties or other badness I'm not aware of.

Thank you, sir.

Kira said...

Anonymous,
Would you consider changing your eating patterns? I can't speak for Art, but I suspect that it is as much about adding in anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense foods as it is about removing inflammatory foods with less value. You could bring a baked sweet potato with a bit of butter, salad and a bit of left over meat for lunch for example, and be very satisfied without a sandwich.

Vladimir Heiskanen (Valtsu) said...

Hi Dr. Ayers,

Just a quick comment: Glycine could be an important part of an anti-inflammatory diet. Check this out if you have any time:

http://valtsus.blogspot.fi/2013/12/glycine.html

Vladimir

Anonymous said...

Dr. Art, if you do check back here, I'd also appreciate any comments you might have on this:

http://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2014/05/gluten_sensitivity_may_not_exist.html

Richard said...

With the possible side effects, it makes you wonder how manufacturers can produce these products and get away with it.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Anonymous,
Re: gluten sensitivity
That is an interesting article. It looks like someone put a gun to the head of the investigators who demonstrated gluten sensitivity and told them to invalidate their results.
The new study is based on three groups: gluten, low gluten + whey, and low inflammation. The first two caused bowel irritation and the last didn't. The claim was that gluten was no worse than other proteins.

This ignores the common use of whey to wipe out gut flora to augment bariatric surgery. Whey is in milk as a source of natural antibiotics to prevent the establishment of adult gut flora during bowel development in newborn animals.

The study actually showed that the gut can be irritated by direct attack by gluten or indirectly by attacking gut flora using whey.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Vladimir,
Glycine seems to be very interesting and of course it is a major constituent of connective tissue, e.g collagen, and therefore gelatin. I always thought that gelatin was a lousy protein source, until you brought up this special use.

Thanks.

Lori said...

"This ignores the common use of whey to wipe out gut flora to augment bariatric surgery. Whey is in milk as a source of natural antibiotics to prevent the establishment of adult gut flora during bowel development in newborn animals."

Does this mean that a daily whey protein drink is not only not helpful, but would actually be doing damage?

Ivan said...

Hi Dr Ayers.
I wasn't sure where to post this comment so I decided to do it in the last post.

I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto Thyroiditis since 10 years already and I have to take 150mg of Levotiroxin.

3 Years ago I moved into a new country and was under a lot of stress and arrived home after work and eat a joghurt and a banana and had the worst stomach ache in my life. I couldn't move as I felt that my whole stomach was under a lot of pain.

Since then I couldn't recover. I have been diagnosed with too much stomach acid, had an endoscopy and was just told me to take pantoprazol every day.

I changed my diet, it took me about 5 months of eating boiled vegetables to be able to start incorporating new foods into my diet. I found out that Yoghurt in the morning helped me to lower the inflammation, or the feeling of it.

1 Year later, under a lot of stress and after an infection in the throat I developed what the doctors called leukocytoclastic vasculitis. The doctos suspect the trigger was the infection.

I must add the fact that I was having economic problems, forgetting to eat, and also my diet was basically bread, pasta, eggs and rice.

I spent 2 months recovering, I was under a cocktail of prednisolone, ibuprofen and pantoprazol.

I was cured and found the paleo diet. I was doing a lot of weight training and cardio.

Even with paleo I had several episodes of indigestion and some bloating.

I cut the paleo after 4 months due to a very small kidney stone episode and decided that I wouldnt restrict myself from eating. So I started eating pasta, bread, etc again.

Since then I had several flare ups of my vasculitis, especially in my legs. Its very difficult to understand what is the trigger.

It has become cyclical. Every month I am healthy 2 weeks, and then I wake up with sore throat that lasts 3 - 4 days, and 3 days later I get a reflare in my feet that lasts 1 or 2 weeks and then it goes away.

Walking for 1 or 2 hours helps a lot and the recovery is much faster.

I have also discovered that when I drink alcohol, specially white wine or sweet cocktails the next day I wake up with red spots on my feet.

And I started to make the connection between my stomach and the flare ups.

I went back to Paleo 3 weeks ago, and discovered the auto immune diet which im following more thoroughly.

I was actually very happy, I'm taking Yakult and ActiMel daily, some natural yoghurt in the mornings, green tea and coconut oil sweetened with manuka honey and recently started with fish oil supplements and keeping a food journal where i take note also of mood, symptoms, etc.

In the past month I had one really bad case of food poisoning, fever and diarrhea. 10 days after cutting all the grain and sugar and following the anti inflammation - auto immune diet, also making my own sauerkraut. The first 4 days my mood changed, I didnt feel depressed anymore, my energy levels boosted and I was much more in focus.

I find also that eating red meat makes me feel great.

5 days ago I eat a salad and had a really bad stomach pain, the next day followed by bloating and intestine pain and the following day, again diarrhea.

Ive had blood work tests that indicate that my vitamins, zinc, selenium, etc. Is in normal levels, but the gluten antibodies seem to be a little bit higher than normal, and I have to schedule a gastro endoscopy to confirm the celiac disease.

I also have severe dandruff since I can remember and some hair loss.

I actually feel that I am running out of options specially since even a salad seems undigestible to me.

My other concerns maybe are the time of recovery. Because everybody suggests changing diet, but the period of recovery is seldom mentioned in articles, comments etc.

Do you have any suggestions or comments regarding my case?

Thanks a lot in advance and for all your articles in the blog.

Best,

Ivan

Hopeful for Good Health said...

Hi Dr. Ayers,

Your work is deeply appreciated. Your take on bacteria/gut health/cleanliness reminds me of one of my mom's sayings: "You have to eat a peck of dirt before you grow up or you won't be right in the head." This seems to be a case where an old saying is true.

I have read about people going on the paleo diet/low-carb to recover from candida, but experiencing a severe relapse after a few months with no carbs, saying that the candida is spreading in search of food since it has been starved. Can you comment on that? My entire family of four is showing signs of candida after being on antibiotics at different times and we are taking resistant starch/fermenting veg/reducing-eliminating grains, etc. to improve our health. I think I would have a hard time convincing the kids to do a PEG, though. I have also read serrapeptase is effective against the biofilms, but can't find your opinion on that as well. Also, do you have ideas about simple techniques to rid the body of parasites?

I don't want to re-ask something someone else has asked, but can't find your ideas regarding those issues. We have been dealing with these candida issues for years, but no doctor had a solution, even though it was obvious that our issues were all related to living together, sharing bacteria (rashes, psoriasis, parasites). Thank you for all you do.

...lost said...

Last line of the article is chilling.

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Anonymous said...

Spot-on! Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25231862