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 .

Monday, December 23, 2013

Dr. Oz’s Pain: Constipation and Bursitis

Dr. Oz has complained several times about his constipation and the pain he feels in his shoulders during surgery.  He has recommended numerous treatments.  Since I feel a friendly affection toward Mehmet after talking/shouting at his image on the screen for hours, I think that I should give him some advice to relieve his pain.

Hot, Cold, Topical Treatments Are Effective, but Don’t Penetrate Themselves
Dr. Oz keeps talking about how various topical applications penetrate the skin.  He has even recommended the use of an electrical system to carry pain relieving steroids into his tissue by what looks to be electrophoresis.  This is dubious.  I would recommend that he stick to the topical chemicals, e.g. capsaicin, menthol, that target the hot and cold sensors of the superficial layers of the skin and result in deep penetrating nerve signals that trigger anti-inflammatory responses in the underlying bursa.

Constipation Is Caused by Damaged Gut Flora or Dysbiosis
Dr. Oz, like most physicians, does not usually explain the causes of diseases, such as bursitis.  Unfortunately, when he tries to explain problems, such as constipation, he overlooks important aspects of the problem for a facile physical model.  In the case of bursitis, it is important to realize that the patient, Dr. Oz, is also constipated.  Constipation can be aggravated by dehydration or “holding it”, but in Dr. Oz’s case, the combination of bursitis, an autoimmune disease, with constipation (and gas) suggests the more complete explanation of dysbiosis or damaged gut flora.  Dysbiosis is what causes constipation, because bowel stools, poop, is mostly packed, hydrated bacteria that grow in the colon by digesting soluble fiber.  If you eat an apple a day, there is enough pectin and other plant polysaccharides, i.e. soluble fiber, to increase the volume of the stools to make one regular.  [Don’t be confused by the misconception promoted by Dr. Oz that the volume of stools results from insoluble fiber, such as in whole grains.  The husk part of whole grains is useless or unhealthy and grains in general are not needed for a healthy diet.]  

Flush Toilet Hero
Dr. Oz’s constipation suggests a damaged gut flora.  Since he is a physician, one would suspect that he has used antibiotics in the past few years and wiped out essential types of gut bacteria.  Dr. Oz probably followed his own advice and attempted to patch up his damaged gut flora with probiotics.  Unfortunately, as I have repeatedly explained, dairy probiotics don’t survive in the gut and cannot repair damaged gut flora.  But Dr. Oz is even harder on his gut flora.  He has recommended the use of colloidal silver throat spray when he has been exposed contagious germs.  Silver, although ineffective for its intended use, is very toxic to gut flora after it is swallowed.  Dr. Oz also subscribes to numerous approaches to house and body hygiene, which are probably occupational hazards for surgeons.  Hygiene is the enemy when it comes to ingesting bacteria lost to antibiotics.  The atomizing flush toilet is my gut flora hero for spreading contagious health.

Damaged Gut Flora = Damaged Immune System
Constipation is bad enough, but damaged gut flora can mean that some of the bacteria needed for the gut-based development of cells regulatory T-cells (Tregs) that keep the immune system under control, are missing.  Constipation can lead to deficient Tregs and that means a major predisposition to autoimmune disease and allergies.  [Fecal transplants cure autoimmune diseases and allergies.]  Antibiotics, silver, hygiene excesses and constipation suggest to me that Dr. Oz has been cruising toward some rude immunological sequelae.

Autoimmunity Results From Antibiotics, Dysbiosis and Compromised Tregs
Autoimmune diseases result when a trifecta of inflammation, compromised Tregs and appropriate antigens occurs.  Normally physical damage, such as abusive shoulder exercise, results in inflammation as the first step in healing.  The inflammation can rev up the immune cells in the local area of tissue damage and some of the proteins, such as lubricin, which lubricates the bursa, may have basic triplet amino acid sequences that lead to presentation to immune system cells.  But no antibodies against self tissues are produced, because the Tregs stop the process.  Healthy gut flora produce healthy Tregs and block autoimmunity.

Dr. Oz abuses his shoulder bursa during surgery, but it can’t heal properly, because he has damaged his gut flora and compromised his Tregs.  The result is the autoimmune bursitis from which he now suffers.  He can reduce the symptoms and inflammation with topical anti-inflammatory natural chemicals, but he needs to repair his gut flora to repair his Tregs and reduce autoimmunity.  In the mean time, he is contaminating his local environment, family and friends with his unhealthy bacteria.  I wonder if Dr. Oz’s friend, Dr. Mike Roizen also suffers from autoimmune diseases?

Prescription to Repair Gut FloraAnti-Inflammatory Diet, Soluble Fiber, Fermented Vegetables, Less Hygiene


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Antibiotics, Gluten, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and Baldness

My impression is that Hashimoto's is caused by a combination of an initial immune attack on the thyroid and incompetent regulatory T cells.  In most cases the immune attack on the thyroid is a secondary consequence of celiac/gluten intolerance, in which anti-transglutaminase antibodies attack transglutaminase bound to gluten in the intestines.  Transglutaminase  is an enzyme that is also produced by the thyroid (and hair follicles) and attack by celiac antibodies can enhance or inhibit thyroid hormone production (or baldness.)  Both Hashimoto's and celiac do not occur if the suppressive part of the immune system, i.e. regulatory T cells, is functioning.  

Antibiotics Compromise the Immune System
The major point here is that antibiotics disrupt normal bacterial biofilms that line the intestines and these healthy gut bacteria are required for development of regulatory T cells.  Compromise of Tregs leads to autoimmune diseases, e.g. celiac, Hashimoto’s and baldness, and also allergies.

Antigens/Allergens Have Basic Amino Acid Triplets
The antigens targeted in autoimmune diseases, e.g. tTG, anti-nuclear, TPO, and allergies form an obvious pattern.  All of these antigens and allergens have simple amino acid sequences (rare patches of three basic/positively charged amino acids) that enhance their presentation to the immune system to produce antibodies.  Nuclear proteins, for example, are frequent autoantigens and most of these proteins interact with nucleic acids (negatively charged) and have predictable patches of positively charged amino acids (arginine and lysine).  Other common autoantigens have basic amino acid (arg/lys) patches, because they interact with phospholipids (also negatively charged.)  Proteins with basic patches, e.g. HIV-TAT or heparanase, are also readily transported into cells and nuclei.  Peptides with these sequences are produced by action of stomach enzymes on proteins, e.g. milk lactoferrin, and are antimicrobial.

Allergies / Autoimmune Diseases Are a Predictable Consequence of Antibiotics
Doctors treat with antibiotics, but they fail to repair damage that they cause to gut flora.  The gut flora of most patients treated with antibiotics, especially those who are most fastidiously hygienic, never fully recover.  Constipation is a common symptom of severe dysbiosis and related immunoincompetence.  Probiotics are gut flora bandaids and do not survive as components of gut flora.

Gut bacteria are also needed for development of the aggressive part of the immune system.  Thus, autoimmune diseases can be treated with even more intense use of antibiotics, that will eliminate the rest of the immune system.  Since all vitamins are produced by gut flora as quorum sensing signals, antibiotics can also produce the exotic symptoms of vitamin deficiencies.

Antibiotics are essential to many therapeutic approaches, e.g. surgical procedures or therapy for chronic Lyme disease, but they must be used responsibly and treated patients must be subsequently tested to ensure a repaired gut flora and a functional immune system have been reestablished after antibiotics.  Long term antibiotic use needs special attention, e.g. deliberate Repair of Gut Flora or a fecal transplant.

Thus, I think that it is most likely that ever increasing antibiotic exposure and processed foods, coupled with obsessive hygiene have led to crippled gut flora (as observed in the simplified gut microbiomes of Americans), a net decline in suppressive Tregs and the observed increase of autoimmunity and allergies.  The competence of the immune system may be a major determinant in the course of infection with a pathogen that can produce chronic infections.