Ess gezunt – the global fresh produce trend

Fowl, rabbit and duck will be available at MoW

Borough market is London’s oldest fresh produce market. You will find fresh game, fruit and veg here every Thursday to Saturday. Having been there you will notice where Greg Anderson got  the inspiration from: this charming market and it’s community spirit. Like London, we will have our own resident Cook Sista at the Market on the Wharf: Masterchef SA 2012 runner up Sue-Ann Allen.
Modena’s Mercato Coperto, not being Italy’s biggest market, but -being Modena – having the world’s best aged balsamic vinegar selection. We are curious what our local vineyards will have to offer and think the vinegars will go well with an olive oil tasting. Go to the Market on the Wharf website and subscribe to their newsletter to be the first to know as slot’s might be limited for these exclusive tasting events.

Caviar Schwarz Rot Gold

Yeliseyevsky… sounds russian to me! The czarist splendor with it’s crystal chandeliers and Art – a befitting home for delicacies like Siberian dumplings and countless different caviars. Being a pleb from the Platteland, I’d love to taste more than 7 little pearls on my Salmon Roses… who’s over there sometime soon?

Mercat de la Boqueria is probably Spain’s most Mediterranean market and you will find Barcelona’s top chefs up early in the morning picking shell fish, colourful game birds and pencil-thin asparagus for their menu. Like Boqueria the MoW will have it’s own cooking school. Have a look at our ThinkFood workshops that will make kids forget that they don’t like vegetables, teach your teenager how to eat healthy, and prove to you that carrots aren’t round. Look up our  timetables on thinkfood.co.za and book now (8 entrants only!).

nom nom – a little lamb from Down Under

MoW’s compatriot in the southern hemisphere is Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market http://www.qvm.com.au/. Not only will you find whole lamb sides and Tasmanian seafood, but you can easily see the influence on Australia’s kitchen while listening to an Asian vendor with an Aussie accent. They have cooking classes every Sunday. If you’re ever feeling homesick, go to Tribal Tastes and dig into their South African products: 100% natural, preservative free, gluten free, dairy free, low GI & sugar free. I would love to see some Kilishi (West African biltong look alike) offered at the Waterfront too!

Our green yardstick for real food should be the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Like Capetownians the citizens of San Francisco are rather health conscious and the Paleo avalanche was probably kicked loose in a little box (CrossFit gym) in Northern California: Robb and his team strike a balance between performance, health and longevity by integrating sound nutrition, smart training and the benefits of a community oriented fitness approach.
You can have a look at Robb Wolf‘s best selling book The Paleo Solution in MoW’s library of cook books.. you should actually just buy one to give to your dearest family member in need for a sustainable health solution – xmas is around the corner. Give me shout and I will join you on the market to compile a healthy food basket to go with it.

Having listed all these famous fresh produce markets, I need to mention Union Square Farmer’s Market in New York even though it still remains on my bucket list. The last and only time I’ve been in the Big Apple, I was still campaigning for Big Pharma at an advertising agency. The one instance in terms of food in NYC I hold in dear memory is Katz’s Deli. Not exactly Paleo – I know – but I would risk my gut going a little leaky anytime for one of their famous pastrami sandwiches… the bread/meat ratio being very favourable: Ess gezunt and add a pickle!

ThinkFood workshops at the Market on the Wharf

In partnership with the V&A Market on the Wharf we are hosting health conscious cooking classes. Learn what food can do for you (Diabetes, Arthritis, ADHD, Chronic Fatigue, Hormonal Imbalances, Vascular Disease, etc) and how to prepare and optimise meals for your individual needs. ThinkFood workshops make kids forget that they don’t like vegetables, teach your teenager how to eat, and prove to you that carrots aren’t round.

Grown ups will enjoy: ‘Eat some more’, your teenagers: ‘Plastic Food?’, or your kids; ‘Catch a carrot’. ‘Paleo Principles’ demonstrates rather than talks about primal cooking, while demand specific (auto-immune conditions etc) workshops will be catered for. 
Look up our timetables below and write us a mail with the subject of the workshop and date you’d like to attend. Fee’s for a workshop including the food and a goodie are R400,-/pp for the 2h workshop (Catching a carrot) and R550,-/pp for our 3h workshops (Eat some more, Paleo Principles, Plastic Food). Please click on the workshop in the calendar below for more details:

ThinkFood Beginners Guide

Here is your Beginners Guide to survive the one month of ThinkFood30 and it’s probably going to change your life for good:

Chuck it. Buy it. Cook it. Walk n sleep.

Chuck it

Self discipline is an honourable trait, but not to be tested here. Chuck the bread, rice, pasta, oats, sodas, chips, snickers, cookies, soy sauce, ketchup, baking mixes, cans and soup concentrates. And don’t forget about the ice cream in the freezer. Desperate times call for desperate measures and you will remember the long forgotten ice cream when the time comes. Sorry. Gone.

Buy it

Since you can’t farm it, you’ll have to buy it. And now that you’ve got ample space, cram it full of

Protein

Meat of free ranging and pasture raised animals. Not in a warm fluffy overcoat wrapped in ‘mammas pies’ wrap but bare and naked.
Land
Pig, Beef, Lamb, Game
Water
Salmon, Trout, Mackerel, Sardines, Crab and Crayfish… all the smelly stuff.
Air
Chicken, Duck, Ostrich, Turkey, Eggs

otherwise canned tuna in olive oil will do for a quickie on the road.

Vegetables

If your neighbour grows organic veggies… otherwise the supermarket will have plenty. Get as much organic as you can. An ‘inorganic’ avo has about one third of the nutritionally valuable content left compared to the organic. No, organic is not all just a marketing ploy and overpriced. It takes hard work to produce good food. In spite of that, you will probably be surprised that your weekly shopping bill will not add up to more than usual. What veggies?

Rainbow colours for the rainbow nation. As varied as you can get and bear to eat. I hate peas.

Fruit

This is where it gets a bit ‘unconventional’ if it hasn’t already. Eat fruit more sparingly than you are used to, especially if you are wanting to lose weight. Fructose isn’t a good player for all, in fact, not at all good for most. If need be, keep to melon, berries, citrus fruits, good old apples – hands off pink ladies. Depending on how far they needed to travel to arrive on your table, their nutritional value will be. Bananas will make you smile, but leave them to the sporty folk for now or start running.

Fats

Olive, coconut, palm oil, gee and lard, avocados and avocado oil, macadamia nuts and oil, almonds, walnuts… BUT if you’re standing on the scale every morning or you are chronically inflamed, take it slow on the nuts. Do the nutcracker version, you won’t eat as many.

Spices

You won’t believe how much more you taste with decent amounts of oil in the preparation, so all those braaivleis mixed spices will kill your taste buds. Chuck it. Keep the basil, coriander, oregano, thyme, maiorane, rosemary, onions, garlic, chives, parsley, sage, lemongrass, dill, aniseed, cumin, celery, lavender, licorice, curry, piri piri, chili, curcumin, cinnamon, 3 differently coloured pepper corns, sesame seed and oil, ginger, juniper, lime leafs and what not. Who said salad was boring?

Drinks

WATER, bubbly, non-bubbly, flat, bubbly, bubbly and non-bubbly. At mealtimes, yes, you may have ONE tea with your meals, isn’t that great? Hey, you can choose which one: herbal chamomile, mint, rooibos or green tea… inbetween meals the tap is your best friend and you might want to add some mint leaves, lemon slices, cucumber slices or strawberries for flavouring (NO, NOT FOR EATING). As you might have guessed by now, alcohol and coffee is not a good idea during the ThinkFood00 protocol. Not good at all. Not even a drop.

Cooking

What’s that? Easy. Don’t despair. Even I discovered I can cook. It’s quicker than waiting at the McDonald’s Drive Inn. Pan. Heat. Oil. Quick fry. Salt&Pepper. Dish. Knife. Fork. Eat.
One handful of protein(100-200g)
Two to four handfuls (an abundance!) of vegetables – raw, steamed (it gets better) or fried! The final touch is a dash of truffle oil, olive oil, and avocado or a (small hands only and no stacking!) hand full of unsalted nuts.
Short and Sweet:

  • Protein: 1 hand
  • Vegetables& salad (not pasta, rice or mielie salads) 2-4 hands full
  • Fruit: one portion a day, preferably not in the evening
  • Nuts: small hand per day
  • WATER. Tea with meals, not sweeteners, none at all not even the ‘natural stevia’!

Exercise

Everyone can walk, even if you don’t want to. You don’t have to run on the treadmill or kill yourself on the circuit, take a walk in beautiful Cape Town: Table Mountain, Mouillie Point, Sea Point, V&A, Long Street, Government Gardens, Kirstenbosch, Camps Bay beach, Clifton, Noordhoek, Rhodes Memorial… need I carry on? Take it easy. If you are not used to training, take it slowly and if in doubt, consult a fitness coach. The first 1-3 weeks are different for everyone. Your metabolism readjusts itself and some people suffer from fatigue, others from headaches or haziness, while others excel and feel better than ever. Listen to your body and what it tells you.

Sleep

No artificial light sources in the room please. Yes, that does include the TV. And the computer. And the iPhone. Switch it off. Put it somewhere else. Get used to a natural dark-light rhythm and fall asleep without the TV on. The last email gets checked an hour before bedtime. No compromises. No Tweets. 8-9 hours would be great and waking up on time without feeling like annihilating the alarm clock is even better.

Questions? Confused or exceptional case? 

I suggest you read our links before you ask anything or decide anything. A prerequisite to successful treatment is not a programme or an analysis, but your will to wanting to make it better and understanding why you have to do what you are being told. There is no half-way or exception in this case. It will not work and we will be wasting our time. So if you’re good and serious we’re here and waiting. And we will try all in our might and to the best of our knowledge to advise and assess condition-relatedly.

Conventional quick fixes and symptomatic treatments are one thing. Think Food is the other.

Payback

Sorry. No buy one and get twos. But we would love to get feedback from you. Recipes, questions, corrections, queries, experiences, problems, successes… without you we would not have gotten this far and we direly need your input to help others and update our profiles. Please tell us your story on our Testimonial page. Thank you.

Empfehlungen für Angehörige von Menschen mit der Diagnose Multiple Sklerose (MS)

MS was ist das?

MS oder Multiple Sklerose ist eine Autoimmunerkrankung des Nervensystems. Dadurch kommt es im zunehmenden Maße zu Beeinträchtigungen von Körperfunktionen. Kann man dieses Fortschreiten nicht stoppen enden Erkrankte letztendlich im Rollstuhl.
Bei einer Autoimmunerkrankung werden bestimmte Gewebe des Körpers vom eigenen Immunsystem angegriffen. MS ist nicht zu verwechseln mit “Muskelschwund”, unter diesem Namen fasst man eine Gruppe von Muskeldystrophien zusammen bei denen zu einer Degenaration der Muskulatur aufgrund von mangelnden oder defekten Eiweißen kommt.

MS Entstehung

Die Forschung hat die Krankheitsentstehung weitestgehend aufgedeckt. Um MS in den Griff zu kriegen, sie aufzuhalten oder besser noch der Krankheit vorzubeugen, versteht man am besten was passiert und welche Auslöser dafür verantwortlich sind.
Bei MS wird ein Gewebe im Zentralen Nerven System (ZNS) in einer Autoimmunreaktion angegriffen. Autoimmun bedeutet, das Immunsystem greift den eigenen Körper an. Bei der MS sind die Myelinscheiden unter Beschuss. Diese Hülle aus Fett und Eiweiß ist eine Art Isolierung für schnellleitende Nervenfasern. Wenn schließlich kein Myelin mehr da ist wird die Nervenfaser selbst beschädigt und zerstört. Normalerweise transportieren diese Nervenfasern (Axone) Informationen vom Gehirn in alle möglichen Körperteile. Sind diese Axone nicht mehr intakt, werden die Informationen verlangsamt weiter gegeben oder kommen gar nicht mehr an. Dadurch kommt es zu den typischen Beeinträchtigungen bei MS.
Studien zeigen, dass MS schon in der Jugend beginnt, häufig aber erst 20-30 Jahre später symptomatisch (sichtbar und durch ärztliche Diagnose feststellbar) wird.
Möchte man MS also verhindern, macht man das am besten schon in der Jugend.

Typischen Beeinträchtigungen bei MS

Doppelt sehen weil das Auge nicht mehr ordentlich nach links und rechts gestellt werden kann.
Kribbeln und Stechen an den Extremitäten weil Nerven die Gefühle nicht mehr vollständig übertragen.
Gangunsicherheit (Gehen wie Betrunken) weil die Balance nicht mehr gehalten werden kann.
Sachen fallen lassen weil man nicht mehr ordentlich zupacken kann.
Verwaschene Sprache weil einem die Zunge nicht mehr gehorcht.
Häufiges Pinkeln müssen weil die Blasenfunktion eingeschränkt ist.
Verstopfung weil die Darmbewegung nicht mehr ordentlich ist.
Chronische Müdigkeit bei der man sich einfach zu nichts mehr aufraffen kann.
Vergesslichkeit von einfachen Sachen: z.B. macht man sich aus der Küche auf den Weg ins Badezimmer und hat vor dem Waschbecken vergessen, dass man sich die Zähne putzen wollte.
Gereiztheit und Ungeduld, viele Betroffene leiden an Depressionen und Angehörige berichten von “Persönlichkeitsveränderungen”.

MS Genetisch vererbt?

Inzwischen steht fest, dass die Gene eine entscheidende Rolle bei der Entstehung von MS spielen. Bestimmte Gene müssen vorhanden sein damit die Krankheit auftreten kann. Es handelt sich hauptsächlich um Gene die Einfluss auf die Immunfunktion haben. Aber das bloße Vorhandensein dieser Gene reicht noch nicht aus um auch MS krank zu werden. Es spielen auch sogenannte Umweltfaktoren eine Rolle. Das Gute ist, dass man diese zum Großteil kontrollieren kann.
Betrachtet man die gesamte Bevölkerung, so tragen wohl 0,5% der Europäer und Nordamerikaner diese Gene in sich. In Regionen mit hohem MS Risiko erkranken ca. ein Drittel bis zu der Hälfte dieser Genträger auch an der Erkrankung (ca. einer aus 500). Frauen sind doppelt so häufig betroffen wie Männer. Die beste Erklärung dafür ist derzeit der genetische Unterschied der Hormonproduktion zwischen Männlein und Weiblein.

MS Risiko bei Kindern und Geschwistern

Bei Geschwistern ist das MS Risiko verglichen mit der Allgemeinheit 40x größer. Frauen haben ein höheres Risiko. Dadurch ergibt sich das höchste Risiko für Schwestern von MS kranken Frauen.
Kinder von MS Kranken haben ein Risiko von 1 aus 30. Auch hier ist das Risiko für Frauen größer und man schätzt, dass Töchter von MS kranken Müttern mit einem bestimmten Immun-Gen ein Risiko von 10% haben. Eine erschreckend große Zahl.
In letzter Zeit laufen viele Untersuchungen, die die sogenannte Epigenetik im Zusammenhang mit MS und anderen Autoimmunerkrankungen untersuchen. Dabei werden bestimmte Schalter umgelegt, die Gene sozusagen aktivieren, bzw. abschalten können. Einmal umgelegt dauert es mehrere Generationen dies wieder rückgängig zu machen. So lässt sich erklären, wie in manchen Familien die Wahrscheinlichkeit an MS zu erkranken noch wesentlich höher ist als die oben genannten Zahlen.
Um diese Quote zu senken und die Zahl neuer Erkrankungen von lieben Kindern, Brüdern und Schwestern zu verhindern sollte man ein paar vorbeugende Maßnahmen treffen.

Das Umfeld verändern

An dem Einfluss von Umweltfaktoren bei der Entstehung und dem Fortschreiten von MS besteht überhaupt kein Zweifel mehr. Diese Umweltfaktoren sind die Ursache von MS. Am einfachsten vorbeugen vor MS kann man dadurch, dass man sich einigen dieser Faktoren nicht aussetzt bzw. fehlende ergänzt.
Umweltfaktoren könne entweder eine Autoimmunreaktion hervorrufen oder sie setzen die Unterdrückung dieser krankhaften Reaktionen herab.

4 Ursachen für MS

1. Virale oder bakterielle Infektionen
Ein paar bekannte Viren und Bakterien spielen eine Rolle bei der Entstehung des Immunangriffs auf die Myelinscheiden.
2. Lebensmittel (LM)
Milchprodukte (Milch, Käse, Joghurt), Gluten aus Getreide (Hülsenfrüchte (Bohnen, Soja, Erdnüsse, Cashews) aktivieren das Immunsystem im Darm.
3. Vitamin D Mangel
Ein Vitamin D Mangel verhindert die Unterdrückung des Immunsystems und es kann über reagieren.
4. Fischöl Mangel
Auch ein Mangel an Fischöl (die ideale Mischung von Omega 3 und 6 Fettsäuren) verhindert die Unterdrückung des Immunsystems.

Virale oder bakterielle Infektionen

… führen zur Aktivierung der Autoimmun Antwort und legen den Grundstock für die Erkrankung. Weil das Immunsystem eigene Körperstrukturen für fremdes Eiweiß z.B. von Viren, Bakterien oder Lebensmitteln hält, die mal als gefährlich eingestuft wurden, kommt es zu dem Autoimmun-Angriff bei genetisch vorbelasteten Personen.
Ausgelöst wird diese Immun-Antwort durch Infektionen im Kindesalter. Für Epstein-Barr Virus und einen Herpes Virus hat man diesen Zusammenhang bereits bewiesen. Beide enthalten eine Eiweißstruktur, die dem Myelin recht ähnlich ist. Diese Aktivierung ist wahrscheinlich der Anfang der Erkrankung bereits im Jugendalter.
An der Rolle dieser Infektionen bei der Entstehung besteht wenig Zweifel, allerdings kann man dagegen bisher kaum etwas unternehmen. Vielleicht wird es einmal entsprechende Impfungen zum Schutz geben. Bis dahin kann man andere Strategien zur Prävention einsetzen.

Lebensmittel

Drei Lebensmittelgruppen hat man in Zusammenhang mit der Entstehung von MS und anderen Autoimmunerkrankungen (Rheuma, Diabetes I, etc.) gebracht.
Milcheiweiß aus Milchprodukten, Käse, Joghurt, etc.
Glutenhaltiges (Getreide wie Weizen, Roggen, Dinkel, Hafer)
Sicher ist Reis
Hülsenfrüchte (Bohnen, Soja, Erdnüsse, Cashews)
Genauso wie die Erreger von Infektionen enthalten diese Lebensmittel Eiweißstrukturen, die potentiell Immunzellen aktivieren, die das Myelin angreifen. Diese Lebensmittel sind auch die wohl am häufigsten verzehrten in unserer westlichen Welt. Für ein Kind oder einen Jugendlichen ist es fast unmöglich oder zumindest äußerst schwierig, diese LM komplett zu vermeiden. Meistens würde man auch keinen direkten negativen Einfluss auf die Gesundheit feststellen können. Wohl aber einen positiven wenn man richtig gesundes Essen isst. Betrachtet man die reine Prävention von MS gibt es aber einfachere Möglichkeiten mit sehr guten Erfolgsaussichten. Ein Ausschluss von zumindest Kuhmilcheiweißen macht das ganze aber ziemlich Niet- und Nagelfest.
Folgende Nahrungsmittel sollte man wegen der Entzündungsförderung meiden bzw. nicht im Übermaß zu sich nehmen:
Süßes und Softdrinks
Transfette (ranziges Frittenfett), Salatöle (Raps, Sonnenblumen, Soja, Margarine)
Alkohol (besonders Bier)

Unterdrückung der Autoimmunreaktion

Damit schädigende Autoimmunreaktionen unterdrückt werden können hat der menschliche Körper ein Sicherungssystem eingebaut, um größere Schäden verhindern zu können. Das Fehlen dieser Umweltfaktoren erschwert diese Unterdrückung und dieser Mangel ist dadurch maßgeblich an der Entstehung von MS beteiligt.

Vtiamin D Mangel

Vitamin D ist wohl der wichtigste Unterdrücker einer überschießenden Immunantwort. Vitamin D kann mit Hilfe eines gesunden Maßes an ultravioletter Strahlung auf die Haut vom menschlichen Körper selbst synthetisiert werden. Das Problem in mitteleuropäischen Breiten ist, dass wir viel zu wenig Sonnenstrahlen abbekommen um einen ausreichenden Vitamin D Spiegel im Blut zu bekommen. Im Sommer würde es gerade ausreichen wenn wir den Großteil unserer Tage an der Sonne verbringen würden. Studien zeigen klar einen Anstieg der MS Erkrankungen, je weiter man sich vom Äquator entfernt.

Vitamin D Produktion

Das Sonnenschein Vitamin wird hauptsächlich durch die Ultraviolette Strahlung (UVB) auf die Haut hergestellt. Die UVB Strahlen reagieren mit dort zirkulierendem Cholesterin zu Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D₃). In der Leber wird das Hormon dann noch weiter verarbeitet und in sämtliche Körperteile verschickt. Dort kann es dann von verschiedenen Zelltypen aktiviert werden und wichtige Vorgänge dort steuern. Der bekannteste ist die Einlagerung von Kalzium in die Knochen. Genauso wichtig ist die Immunregulation durch Vitamin D. Einige Zellen des Immunsystems weisen Bindungsstellen (Rezeptoren) für dieses Hormon auf, wodurch deren Aktivität gesteuert werden kann. Genau diese Funktion stellt den Zusammenhang zu MS dar.

Fischöl

Auch Fischöl ist sehr wichtig für die o.g. Unterdrückung einer überschießenden Immunantwort. Wie beim Vitamin D ist auch für Fischöl in Beobachtungsstudien (Epidemiologische Studien) ein Zusammenhang von Mangel an Fischöl und Zunahme der MS Erkrankungen aufgezeigt worden. Auch in Tierversuchen wurde dieser Zusammenhang bestätigt, so hat man Versuchstiere durch Gabe von mehrfach ungesättigten Omega 3 Fettsäuren vor MS schützen können.
Ein Mangel an mehrfach ungesättigten Fettsäuren ist bei uns die Regel, weil wir weder ausreichend Fisch essen, noch enthält unser Fleisch durch die Überzüchtung genügend gesunde Fette. Glückliche, weidende Kühe haben auch gutes Fett zu bieten.

Wieviel Vitamin D und Fischöl ist ausreichend?

Die Datenlage ist klar. Eine Gabe von Vitamin D und Fischöl ist wirksam um das Auftreten von MS in den meisten, wenn nicht sogar allen Fällen zu verhindern. Da Kinder und Geschwister von MS Kranken ein erhöhtes Risiko haben zu erkranken ist es wichtig eine ausreichende Versorgung mit Vitamin D und Fischöl sicher zu stellen. Jetzt kann man sich natürlich wieder streiten über das Hautkrebsrisiko bei zuviel Sonne. Hier gilt: schön braun ist gut, rot werden ist schlecht. Also bei Bedarf einen geeigneten Sonnenschutz verwenden oder frühzeitig aus der Sonne gehen. Derzeitige Empfehlungen für “Risikokinder” unter 10 Jahren sind 800 IU täglich. Jugendliche und Erwachsene über 10 Jahren sollen ca. 2-3000 IU täglich einnehmen. Diese Dosen können auch problemlos einmal wöchentlich verabreicht werden weil der Körper überschüssiges Vitamin D speichert. Die maximal zulässige Dosis wird dabei nicht überschritten. Eine weitere Quelle für Vitamin D ist Lebertran – ca. 400 IU pro Teelöffel – (es gibt inzwischen Sorten mit angenehmem Minz- oder Zitronengeschmack). Der Vorteil von Lebertran ist, dass man sowohl Fischöl, als auch Vitamin D zu sich nimmt. Lachsölkapseln sind aber neutraler im Geschmack und man nimmt einfach einmal wöchentlich eine ausreichende Vitamin D Dosis dazu (z.B. 1×20000 IU Dekristol, verschreibungspflichtig!).

Regelmäßige (jährliche) Bluttests
Vitamin D    – Ideal 40-50μg/l (bei Werten >50μg/l für 2 Monate stoppen und erneut überprüfen)

Zusammenfassung

MS (Multiple Sklerose) ist eine Autoimmunerkrankung, die zu schrecklichen körperlichen und seelischen Beeinträchtigungen führen kann. Eine genetischer Zusammenhang ist unumstritten und Angehörige von MS Kranken sind einem erhöhten Risiko ausgesetzt ebenfalls an MS zu erkranken.
Das Risiko ebenfalls an MS zu erkranken kann durch einfache Änderung der Ernährungsgewohnheiten erheblich eingeschränkt, wahrscheinlich sogar ausgeschlossen werden.
Eine Unterversorgung mit den beiden Nahrungsergänzungen Vitamin D und Fischöl steht nach aktuellem Forschungsstand mit der Entstehung von MS im Zusammenhang. Fischöl oder Lachsölkapseln und Vitamin D können einfach jeden Tag eingenommen werden:
Kinder <10 Jahren sollten 800 IU Vitamin D und 2g Omega 3 Fettsäuren täglich bekommen.
Jugendliche >10 und Erwachsene sollten 2000 IU Vitamin D und 4g Omega 3 Fettsäuren täglich bekommen.

Mit dem Schutz sollte noch heute angefangen werden!

Anmerkung für MS Kranke und deren Partner

Natürlich soll diese Info nicht den Besuch beim Arzt ersetzen und es ist wichtig für sich einen Arzt und Neurologen zu finden, der euch bei eurem Gesundung unterstützt und ein offenes Ohr für “alternative Behandlungsmethoden” hat. Dieser Arzt sollte sich auch zur Prävention äußern können.

Ein schwieriges Thema ist auch Familienplanung. Aus eigener Erfahrung kann ich sagen, dass sich das ganze Thema erledigt, sobald ihr eure eigene Gesundheit in den Griff bekommen habt. Dann schwebt nicht mehr dieses Damokles Schwert der Ungewissheit und “was ist wenn” über einem. Im Gegenteil, man ist voll nie geahnter Lebenslust und Kraft und solche Entscheidungen werden euch viel leichter Fallen.

Zu guter letz

Falls ihr Anmerkungen habt, Fragen, Wünsche etc. würde ich mich freuen diese in einer mail zu bekommen oder sie in den Kommentaren zu finden, damit andere auch davon profitieren können.

10kg of Artichokes – a Lesson in Patience

I am such a lucky swine. Wendy who was attending an info night on last week nonchalantly told me the story about poor Luther and his dilemma with the Hearts of the Gods. The poor okie decided to try something new in on his fertile soil up the coast, got a batch of cynara cardunculus seeds (globe artichokes) and is now that they are in season facing the problem not only to harvest a ton of them every day but to get rid of them in a country, where artichokes are relatively new on the menu.

Cholesterol Denialists do not Eat Eggwhite Omeletts

Reading the newspaper and following tweets, I found last weeks news extremely exciting and have come to believe that I was meant to write this looong, overdue blog post about chocolesterol. It began with me attending a lecture offering CME (continued medical education) points, listening to one of the signees of THE letter sent to the Cape Times earlier this month (September 14, 2012): Bottom line: according to the writer, every diabetic should be on a by now low cost statin (cholesterol lowering drugs) – regardless, while the aim of the therapy should be to decrease the ‘bad LDL cholesterol’ below a ridiculously minute number. Not a single word was lost on ‘lifestyle changes’ like nutrition, exercise, sleep or smoking cessation.

Continue reading “Cholesterol Denialists do not Eat Eggwhite Omeletts”

Gefilte Fish

We are based in Sea Point in the heart of the Jewish community in the Cape. When I went shopping yesterday the whole of Sea Point seemed abandoned. Everybody was at home celebrating the Jewish new year. L’Shana Thova

A traditional dish for Shabbat and holidays is Gefilte Fish (German: Gefüllter Fisch). Because more and more people from the community are avoiding wheat and grains these days I would like to offer a gluten free alternative for this traditional recipe.

Gefilte Fish Gluten Free

 

1 pound halibut ore hake filets, skinned and boned
½ pound salmon filets, skinned and boned
2 Tblsp grapeseed oil
1 large onion, rasped
2 free range eggs
1 teasp sea salt
1 teasp ground black pepper
1 Tblsp agave nectar or honey
1 Tblsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
¼ cup fresh dill, finely chopped
1 cup grated carrots
½ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • The fish is cut into large chunks and placed in a food processor
  • Pulse until finely ground; do not puree!
  • Heat oil in a large frying pan
  • Saute onion over medium-low heat until soft and transparent, cool.
  • Pulse onions, eggs, salt, pepper, agave and lemon juice into fish mixture
  • Pulse in dill, carrots and parsley
  • Refrigerate mixture for 3 hours
  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil
  • Shape fish mixture into 1 ½ inch balls; wet your fingers in cold water
  • Drop balls into boiling water and cook for 15-20 minutes until cooked through
  • Place balls in a baking dish and refrigerate to cool
  • Serve with Horseradish Sauce and garnish with fresh sprigs of parsley

Leaking Brain or Leaky Gut? Part 3 – Diagnosis

By the time a cognitive impairment (memory, attention, etc) manifests itself, a certain amount of damage has been done… otherwise no overt symptoms would be observable or experienced. Inflammation is the cause of virtually everything that ails us, and certain hormones like insulin or cortisol, influencing and modifying inflammation, are big players. 

What you put in is what you get out. Diagnosis. 

It should be clear by now, that a good look at the inflammatory state of the body, stress as well as nutritional building blocks supplied plus environmental influences such as toxins, relate to a communication failure of some sort. Depending on the type of failure and the system affected, the breakdown will take its toll. This article has but vaguely touched on the actual processes within digestion and the usage and essentiality of certain building blocks. Cholesterol, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease arise out of the same thematic pool and are just as problematic within the scope of neurodegenerative diseases affecting memory – so are gene expressions and DNA mutations, but will have to be included in another discussion. 

The ‘take-out’ so far is: Imbalances are the precursors to the signs and symptoms detected by diagnosing. 

Next to Neuropsychological assessment, concerned with the individual’s attention and concentration, visuo-motor and visuo-spatial, construction abilities, language abilities, executive functioning and intellectual abilities, assessment in relation to memory (according to currently practiced medicine) focuses specifically on testing the individuals capacity to retain information and the use thereof for adaptive purposes. Neuropsychological memory assessments are commonly started by obtaining information about the patient’s attention and concentration abilities, including the use of a Digit Span Test or the Serial Sevens/ Threes test (Lezak, Howieson&Loring, 2004). 
A comprehensive memory assessment usually includes the orientation of time, place and person, assessing the learning and retention of meaningful information resembling a conversation (verbal recall tests, e.g. Wechsler’s Logical Memory Stories), the rote learning ability (free and recognition trials rendering a learning curve as in the Auditory Verbal Learning Test or the Californian Verbal Learning Test), the Complex Figure Test assessing Visuo-spatial memory (followed by a recognition trial on availability) and remote as well as personal & autobiographical memory (Lezak et al, 2004). 
In order to scope a patients strengths and weaknesses in their totality, three aspects are commonly considered according to current assessment methods: 
  1. A delay trial is necessary to examine learning and possible slowed integration ability of new info, 
  2. Continuous Rehearsal Prevention is achieved by interference during delay, manifesting whether recall following delay was of studied material, or of info held in continually rehearsed temporary storage, 
  3. Test learning by recognition cued tasks to determine whether reduced retrieval is due to a retrieval problem or a learning dysfunction. (Lezak et al, 2004

The inclusion of a rather vague but poignant glimpse of the important influences such as nutrition in the disease progress is but one factor to be considered as part of an interconnected web impeding on optimal functioning. Despite the crumbling health systems around us, we are adhering to a system of differential diagnosis, biochemical homogeneity and pharmaceutical therapy as the answer to most chronic lifestyle and long-latency deficiency diseases (Hyman, Baker&Jones, 2010). The current paradigm of diagnosis and classification of diseases into organ system pathologies (in correspondence to medical specialities) becomes less useful considering the basic mechanisms of dysfunction in the human body. 
‘One disease can have multiple causes, and one initiating factor may cause multiple diseases’ (Hyman et al 2010 p.59
As we have seen in the formation of plaques, the development can be triggered by multiple factors including insulin resistance, folate deficiency, occult infections, heavy metal toxicity, stress and other factors  increasing inflammation. Having barely touched on nutrition-genomics, proteomics, as well as metabolomics must not be forgotten. For a detailed elaboration on the topics of an integrated, functional medicine approach to disease and health please consult the referenced ‘Textbook of Functional Medicine’ (2010). 

In many cases, a single nutrient catalyses hundreds of chemical reactions, where suboptimal levels lead to molecular and cellular dysfunction. 

Contrary to stipulated RDA’s, higher dose administration of vitamins and minerals might not be at all wrong, especially considering the evidence of sub-optimal nutrient status contributions to long-latency deficiency diseases, which have reached epidemic proportions: cardiovascular, cancer, osteoporosis, neurodegenerative disease and immune dysfunctions. A protocol of having homocysteine levels checked in conjunction with performance on function tests (elevated homocysteine has been directly linked to dementia, causing direct damage to the hippocampus) in the knowledge of high homocysteine co-occurring with high levels of inflammation, could be extremely useful as well as being a reliable function predictor (Colman&Perlmutter, 2005). 
High inflammatory markers as well as the assessment of toxin exposure can only add to any diagnosis in order to optimise treatment: e.g. usage of ‘good’ fats versus trans saturated fats (lipids are essential for any brain) and vitamin supplementation to decrease the free radical attack – are both proven methods of slowing down the progression of neurodegenerative disease/ dysfunction (Colman&Perlmutter, 2005). All degenerative diseases of the brain benefit from reducing the free radical attack and cooling down inflammation. Not only is this possible by correctly administering supplementation, but by keeping the insulin levels (generally assessing chemical system imbalance) in check and advising on optimal nutrition in light of the respective individual’s concurrent disease deficiencies. 

If the patient takes all supplements and drugs (if so prescribed) necessary, but continues to pass his mealtimes at McDonalds (or even adheres to std. government heart healthy fat free diets) and rather watches Rugby than plays it, the Healthcarer’s efforts will be in vain. 

The Nobel laureate Albert Szent-Györgyi stated in his later years: ‘Whenever we seperate two things, we lose something, something which may have been the essential feature’ (Szent-Györgyi, 1988, p.193). Transition is needed from an acute care, reductionist model to a systems model based on networks of biological function and biochemical individuality. The core clinical imbalances needing to be addressed and considered in relation to any disease or mood/ cognitive dysfunction are: Hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances, oxidation-reduction imbalances and mitochondriopathy, detoxification and biotransformational imbalances, immune and inflammatory balances, digestive, absorptive, and microbiological imbalances plus structural imbalances from the cellular membrane function to the muscoskeletal system. Functional tests will serve to support the results of imbalance testing, aiding to assist in determining the extent or progression level of the damage – and making a final decision on what treatment the patient can benefit from most. 
I have always found it difficult to look at any diagnosis from a viewpoint of absolute determinism based on one causal domain, knowing that a brain is just as individual as the body – both manipulated by the environment, various inputs and stressors, psychosocial factors etc. 

All technical advances the human race has made within our organic systems biology seem to lead us back full circle: that the human body is better equipped and far more capable of self-repair than any patented drug ever put on the market – if only we would let it.

It does not simply self-destruct or happen to be schizophrenic, be born with autism or loose its memory. What we put in is what we get out. 

Related articles:
1. Banich, T.M., Compton R.J. (2011). Cognitive Neuroscience. USA: 3rd Edition 
2. Wadsworth Colman C., Perlmutter D. (2005). The Better Brain Book. Kindle Edition 
3. Embry, A. (July 7th 2010).  PDF: New Studies Show the MS Drugs Don’t Slow Progression. 4. Retrieved on 10.07.2012 from http://www.direct-ms.org 
5. Guyton, A.C., Hall, J.E. (2006). Textbook of Medical Physiology. Philadelphia: Elsevier 
6. Saunders Hyman M. , Baker, S.M., Jones, D.S. (2010). Functional Medicine and Biochemical Individuality: A Paradigm Shift in Medicine. In Jones, D.S., Quinn, S. Textbook of Functional Medicine, pp. 55-60. Gig Harbour: The Institute Of Functional Medicine 
7. Lamb, J.J. (2012). Homeostasis: A dynamic Balance, In Jones, D.S., Quinn, S. Textbook of Functional Medicine, pp.93-96. Gig Harbour: The Institute Of Functional Medicine 
8. Lezak, M.D., Howieson, D.B., &Loring, D.W. (2004). Neuropsychological assessment (4th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press 
9. Liska, D.,Lukaczer, D. (2010).  Web-like interconnections of physiological Symptoms.  In Jones, D.S., Quinn, S., Textbook of Functional Medicine, pp.97-99. Gig Harbour: The Institute Of Functional Medicine 
10. Liska, D.A., Quinn, S., Lukascer, D., Jones, D.S., Lerman, R.H(2006). Clinical Nutrition: A Functional Approach. 2cond Edition. Gig Harbour: Institute Of Functional Medicine 
11. Runow, K.D. (2011). Der Darm denkt mit (The GI thinks). Munich: Südwest Verlag, Random House 
12. Runow, K. D. (2012). Wenn Gifte auf die Nerven gehen (When Toxins attack Nerves). Munich: Südwest Verlag, Random House 
13. Sult, T. (2010). Digestion and Absorbtion. In Jones, D.S., Quinn, S.,Textbook of Functional Medicine, pp.435-444. Gig Harbour: The Institute Of Functional Medicine 
14. Szent-Györgyl, A. (1988). To see what everyone has seen, to think what no one has thought. Bio Bull, p.193 
15. Tatum, J. (2010). Psychosocial influences. In Jones, D.S., Quinn, S., Textbook of Functional Medicine, pp.137-140. The Institute Of Functional Medicine 
16. Vasquez, A., (2010). Organ System Function and the Underlying Mechanisms: The Interconnected Web. In Jones, D.S., Quinn, S., Textbook of Functional Medicine, pp.99-103. Gig Harbour: The Institute Of Functional Medicine 
17. Wolf, R., (2011). The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet. Kindle Edition 

Lunch Bar 2

Often moms and dads looking for gluten or grain-free alternatives ask us what to include in their kids lunch boxes. In a recent blog post for CapeTownKids we explained Why the Lunch Bar shouldn’t be in the Lunchbox. 

It’s time to use some common sense.. non – fortified, added,
pasteurised, aromatised, colourised and flavourised. Good old
vegetables, fruit , meat, nuts and full fat dairy products are nothing
to be afraid or be ashamed of when having it in the lunchbox.

Especially if your kids suffer from allergies, asthma or eczema we strongly recommend you begin adapting a Paleo lifestyle according to ThinkFood00 (avoiding grains, dairy, legumes, sugar, processed foods and all chemicals). 
This post should give you

Leaking Brain or Leaky Gut? Part 2 – Communication Failure

Considering the evolution of memory in the most basic terms would look something like this: 
Stimuli (internal or external) –> attention/ focus –> info relay and selective processing (electro-chemical fluctuations, structural cell/ membrane, nucleus changes) –> cortex storage and/ or consolidation –> response and execution/ action. 

A system of overlap, integration and symbiosis, signal transduction being its most functional element. 

The groundwork: A failure to communicate 

To put it simply, a behaviour or cognitive process is based on a conscious or subconscious experience. The experience is encoded via learning, turning into memory. Memory enables optimal attentional focus as well as selective attention, which in turn relies heavily on reward-behaviour or expectancy/ fulfillment aptitude. Stimuli as well as attentional function (critical for memory and in turn reliant upon it) depend on physical capability, e.g. whether adequate energy requirements are met (for cell function and execution), inferring the optimal functioning of neurotransmitters and their environment or signal pathways (proteins, amino acids, hormones). 

If neither requirements are met or functional outcomes are mislead, our signaling pathways malfunction or stop and the system communication breaks down, much the same as a car without petrol. 

At the heart of signal transduction are the cellular receptors that respond to changes in the environment. Change implies stimulation: which could infer ‘over’, ‘under’, ‘nonexistent’ or adequate stimulation to achieving or obstructing optimal results for the functioning of the organism. In the case of memory formation, the Glutamate/ NMDA Receptor pathway has been implicated in many neurological (memory/ amnesia) disorders, such as stroke, dementia, epilepsy, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. 

While the etiology of various memory related diseases appears to be different in causality and outcome or regions affected, the pathophysiology is surprisingly similar. 

Overstimulation of the NMDA receptor (STRESSOR) can lead to increased nitric oxide and concomitant high levels of oxidative stress, making the overstimulation of the NMDA receptor at least partially responsible (Liska, 2006). Cell stressors (signals/ stimulants/ messengers) like that cause energy and mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress and inflammation manifested by glial activation resulting in neurodegenerative diseases (Lamb, 2010). These carriers/ signals/ stimulants/ messengers are commonly understood to be amino acids, proteins, enzymes and hormones, which become potential system stressors when a failure in communication sets in. To cut a long story short, lost and overtly strong or weak signals are potentially dangerous, turning into organism stressors rather than facilitators such as an overexcited NMDA receptor. The excitotoxic NMDA pathway leading to oxidative damage is a direct stressor/ pathway dysfunction in relation to memory. 

Systemically seen however, the most directly observable stressor is often not the causative factor of disease but the final malfunction of the last working instance within a system. While the psychosomatic angle is well taken care of in conventional medicine, the somato-psychiatric side lacks attention. 


What is being treated, cause or symptomatic outcome? 

In the case of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), the axonal demyelinisation explains sclerosis and the scarring explains interrupted brain function. The immune system has started attacking parts of its own nerve cells, interrupting communication. Because the immune system being identified as the ‘terminator’, immunosuppressant drugs have been administered as controlling measures, initiating numerous side effects without proven efficacy (Embry, 2010), (Colman&Perlmutter, 2005). 
Parkinson’s Disease is characterised by a decrease in dopamine production as a result of neuronal degeneration in the dopamine-captiol, the substantia nigra. 
This ‘terminator’ has already dealt out its cards and disabled the production of dopamine. It would seem logical then to supplement dopamine, which the standard drug treatment of levodopa (L-dopa) attempts to do. L-dopa evokes a tolerance in the patient over time, so that the dosage has to increase rather rapidly, and with it do its side effects: rising homocysteine levels levels (causing oxidative stress) which in turn increase the risk for dementia, stroke and heart disease (Colman&Perlmutter, 2005). 
Alzheimer’s disease is characterised by the accumulation of a protein called beta amyloid in the brain, which, over time, increases free radical production and inflammation, killing neurons, resulting in a loss of memory, belatedly in a loss of body function control  and ultimately death. Low acetylcholine (AC) has been implicated as the Alzheimer ‘terminator’. Paradoxically, drugs administered to boost the AC levels seemingly lead to a ‘sudden worsening’ (Colman&Perlmutter, 2005). The cause-effect pathway considered does not answer the problems at hand satisfactorily. 

Since all diseases (MS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s) have similar originating ‘groundwork’, contrary to the identified and ‘treatable’ ‘terminators’ mentioned above, the baseline should be re-assessed before treatment or preventative methods are attempted. 

In the case of Alzheimers, a relatively recent ‘rediscovery’ to treatment is a drug called memantine, blocking the action of the amino acid glutamate, which has been linked to free radical production in the brain (Colman&Perlmutter, 2005). The good thing is, that attention is being redirected to the critical role free radicals play in brain degeneration diseases. ‘Bad News’ is, a couple of more steps back are needed to be able to consider the broader picture of systemic inflammation and communication failure leading to cell death. 

Now for the food part. 

Looking at memory loss related diseases, one will find numerous commonalities, all of which involve a change in neurotransmitter release, glucose metabolism, blood flow, oxygenation and alterations in axonal structure and function. While all this might be attributed to a closed head-injury (neuronal damage, compromising of the cholinergic, dopaminergic, noradrenergic system, oxygen deficiency, etc) humans are quite capable of recreating similar impairments on their own, spanning over several decades if necessary.  Human life is dependent upon an intricate balance of minerals, water, organic molecules, and high energy bonds (Lamb, 2010). Being characterised by cellular organization, growth and metabolism, reproduction and heredity, it will not seem surprising that any stressors compromising the homeostasis of this dynamic balance would upset the system as a whole. The body’s response to acute or chronic stress, positive or negative, involves both the peripheral and the nervous system, extending far beyond memory implicated systems and structures, the ‘fight-flight’ response being exemplary. 

Imagine a drug that could cure a fatal disease within weeks or even days, using a small dose, non-toxic and 100% success rate. Regrettably, it does not exist and probably never will, but this is the power and potential of nutrients. 

‘They function within the genetic and evolutionary necessities of the cell to enhance and facilitate optimal biological functioning. They are vital to our very survival. Their effectiveness in curing deficiency diseases is dramatic, but their role in the prevention and management of long-latency chronic disease is increasingly relevant in daily clinical practice.’ (Hyman, Baker, Jones, 2010,pp. 56). 
Much alike the NMDA pathway scenario, neurodegenerative conditions alike suffer from oxidative stress. We are well aware of the final destructive causative factors of the disease, but what triggers the initial inflammation? The identification of the final communication meltdown culprit has not aided us much in treatment seemingly. So why not look at the necessities in overall system communication, moving away from a single-agent-single-outcome-paradigm? 
Since the status of the gut and liver has a profound effect on the functioning of the brain (Vasquez, 2010), affecting either would implicate the immune system, disrupt cellular signaling capacity by not delivering on necessary fuel or hormonal requirements and place constant stress upon the system as a whole. If the acute stress has turned into constant stress, several systems collapse, leading to cell degeneration/ death or mutation. 

‘Stress has been associated with many health conditions including cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disease and hormonal dysfunction’ (Tatum, 2010). 

Different stressors elicit different patterns of activation of the sympathetic, nervous and adrenomedulary hormonal systems. 
The gut has been termed the ‘second brain’ by many scientists. Not that surprising, when one considers that the GI system is the primary gateway by which the external environment interacts with the body and that the intestinal mucosa contains -+100 million neurons of which 90% conduct to the brain, whereas only 10% relay from the brain (Runow, 2011). ‘An undamaged esophagus is a potent barrier, but the selectively permeable membrane lining the GI tract from stomach to anus is critical to the homeodynamic function of the body. Even small aberrations in its function can have problematic results.’ (Sult, 2010) So let us consider the implications of a compromised GI lining. 

Leaking Brain or Leaky Gut? 

‘Not only is the gastrointestinal tract the recipient of massive amounts of ‘external information’ in the form of nutrients, toxicants, and allergens that weigh more than 700 kg per year, but the gastrointestinal tract is also a reservoir for the several hundred species and subspecies of yeast, bacteria and other microbes with the potential to modify hepatic function (e.g. detoxification) and overall health (e.g. immune response) by numerous mechanisms and with positive effects or negative consequences.’ (Liska&Lukascer, 2010, p.97). 
Compromise of mucosal integrity due to injury from antigens, infection, systemic inflammation, or toxicants (e.g. alcohol or anti-inflammatory drugs) increase the absorption of potentially harmful substances normally excluded when mucosal integrity has not been breached. 

In the case of Parkinson’s, impaired mucosal integrity would imply elevating the already Empire-State Building high toxic uptake level (one of the Parkinson triggers) even more, while disabling detoxification at the same time. 

In Feb. 2010 experiments by Dr Francisco Pan-Motojo et al at the University of Dresden established that toxins such as pesticides can reach the brain directly from the GI tract without entering the bloodstream. The animal model sets the stage for the Parkinsonian causal pathway (cited in Runow 2011).  
L-Dopa will merrily increase the toxic load if nothing is done about the GI sanitation. When rejected by the selectivity of the intestinal mucosa, materials that are harmless can serve as a source of inflammatory and immunogenic stimuli for the embedded macrophages in the liver and also for the systemic immune system and the brain’s embedded astrocytes and microglia on inappropriate absorption. (Liska&Lukascer, 2010). 
When dietary antigens like gluten cross a damaged mucosal lining (a leaky gut), thereby ‘escaping’ the liver-filtration, an inflammatory response is produced that can manifests itself clinically as a neurological disease: in this case complications and focal white matter lesions seen in the brains of patients sensitised to the dietary antigen gluten – very similar to the lesions seen in MS patients. The gut as the locus of immunogenic stimulation and neurogenic inflammation sets a better stage for disease onset and treatment than previously assumed (Runow, 2012). 

It seems that a combination of dietary antigens and molecular mimicry inducts immune dysfunction, in which instance a suppressed immune system (MS immune suppressant therapy) will render the whole system more susceptible to attack and inflammation, whilst not targeting the right invaders successfully at all (Embry, 2010). 

Alzheimer’s Amyloid Plaques are triggered by free radicals, in itself enhancing radical proliferation. Similar to the Parkinson-Gut connection, it has been established, that Beta Amyloid can quite comfortably make its way from GI to the brain without needing to cross the blood brain barrier. Similar to the prions held responsible in Creutzfeld-Jakob disease (cortical dementia) being ingested, so is the responsive pattern of the beta-amyloid plaques tested in animal models. On injection with an ‘infectious’ protein intraperitoneally (in the GI tract), the plaques were found in between neurons in the brain of rodents. (Runow, 2011). 

To resist or not to resist. 

Leaky gut has not yet assumed the status of ‘low GI’ or ‘Bipolar’ in the media, but ‘Insulin Resistance’ and Metabolic Syndrome’ certainly have. Widely unknown, insulin is one of the main instigators within the inflammatory process of the gut leading to systemic complications. When hormone signaling breaks, it is the beginning of problems ranging from cancer to accelerated aging to neurological degeneration (Wolf, 2011). 
Insulin signaling, metaphorically speaking, is rendered partly ‘inaudible’ while being ‘deafeningly loud’ on impairment. When an organism is subjected to abnormally elevated (or subminimal) levels of signals, it will down-regulate its response and vice versa. Exercise increases our ability to sense it (provided the amount of exercise is within moderation) and the hormone cortisol decreases the ability to sense insulin, resulting in a loss of hormonal sensitivity, resulting in suboptimal functioning. Insulin is essential for our energy metabolism, therefore stands in direct relation to our GI system and the mitochondrial functioning of our neurons. Loss of insulin sensitivity can lead to chronically elevated insulin levels and a whole-host of health problems. 
Cortisol decreases insulin sensitivity, causes loss of collagen in the skin and other connective tissues and lowers the rate of bone formation. It increases blood pressure and acts as an anti-inflammatory by lowering the activity of the immune system. The breakdown of muscle mass by converting protein (amino acids) into glucose is triggered by cortisol (Wolf, 2011). 

Commonly referred to as the stress-hormone, it seems logical that it would influence the energy cycle, or metabolism. 

Being crucial as an anti-inflammatory, chronic systemic stress (e.g. gut inflammation, GI mucosal permeability, antigens, prions) will trigger prolonged elevated levels of cortisol and eventually insulin-resistance. It is this loss of hormonal (and a host of hormones are part of this but not possible to include within the scope of this article) communication that leads to an inability to sense our ’I‘m full’ signal and a degradation of insulin sensitivity. 
Despite the fact that the liver is ‘drowning’ in glucose (because of overeating on account of the lacking satiety signal), it perceives the ‘lack of insulin’ as low blood sugar and cortisol is brought to the rescue; more glucose is made by cannibalising body tissues (muscles and organs). Chronically high insulin levels are directly associated with diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s (Wolf, 2011). 

Although Glucose is critically important for brain functioning, it is also a toxic substance. 

‘Sugars have a nasty habit of reacting with proteins in our bodies. These complexes become oxidised and form ’advanced glycation end products’ – damaging proteins, enzymes, DNA and receptor sites on the surface of our cells (Wolf, 2011).  We have now encountered the cause of a massive communication system meltdown. If our diet is too heavy in carbohydrate (especially simple sugar carbohydrates), the damage accumulates faster than it can be repaired. We exist in a state of ‘über-oxidative’ stress with detrimental effects: neurodegenerative disease being ‘only’ one of them. 

References 

1. Banich, T.M., Compton R.J. (2011). Cognitive Neuroscience. USA: 3rd Edition 
2. Wadsworth Colman C., Perlmutter D. (2005). The Better Brain Book. Kindle Edition 
3. Embry, A. (July 7th 2010).  PDF: New Studies Show the MS Drugs Don’t Slow Progression. 4. Retrieved on 10.07.2012 from http://www.direct-ms.org 
5. Guyton, A.C., Hall, J.E. (2006). Textbook of Medical Physiology. Philadelphia: Elsevier 
6. Saunders Hyman M. , Baker, S.M., Jones, D.S. (2010). Functional Medicine and Biochemical Individuality: A Paradigm Shift in Medicine. In Jones, D.S., Quinn, S. Textbook of Functional Medicine, pp. 55-60. Gig Harbour: The Institute Of Functional Medicine 
7. Lamb, J.J. (2012). Homeostasis: A dynamic Balance, In Jones, D.S., Quinn, S. Textbook of Functional Medicine, pp.93-96. Gig Harbour: The Institute Of Functional Medicine 
8. Lezak, M.D., Howieson, D.B., &Loring, D.W. (2004). Neuropsychological assessment (4th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press 
9. Liska, D.,Lukaczer, D. (2010).  Web-like interconnections of physiological Symptoms.  In Jones, D.S., Quinn, S., Textbook of Functional Medicine, pp.97-99. Gig Harbour: The Institute Of Functional Medicine 
10. Liska, D.A., Quinn, S., Lukascer, D., Jones, D.S., Lerman, R.H(2006). Clinical Nutrition: A Functional Approach. 2cond Edition. Gig Harbour: Institute Of Functional Medicine 
11. Runow, K.D. (2011). Der Darm denkt mit (The GI thinks). Munich: Südwest Verlag, Random House 
12. Runow, K. D. (2012). Wenn Gifte auf die Nerven gehen (When Toxins attack Nerves). Munich: Südwest Verlag, Random House 
13. Sult, T. (2010). Digestion and Absorbtion. In Jones, D.S., Quinn, S.,Textbook of Functional Medicine, pp.435-444. Gig Harbour: The Institute Of Functional Medicine 
14. Szent-Györgyl, A. (1988). To see what everyone has seen, to think what no one has thought. Bio Bull, p.193 
15. Tatum, J. (2010). Psychosocial influences. In Jones, D.S., Quinn, S., Textbook of Functional Medicine, pp.137-140. The Institute Of Functional Medicine 
16. Vasquez, A., (2010). Organ System Function and the Underlying Mechanisms: The Interconnected Web. In Jones, D.S., Quinn, S., Textbook of Functional Medicine, pp.99-103. Gig Harbour: The Institute Of Functional Medicine 
17. Wolf, R., (2011). The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet. Kindle Edition