Volume 12 • Number 11 • November 2011

Neils Bohr, one of the founders of Quantum Physics,[1] stated that “deep truths are negated by deep truths.” He meant that scientific paradigms held as incontrovertible truths eventually are negated or superseded by new science that then is itself held as a “deep truth” until a new scientific truth comes along to replace it. In other words, it is best to keep an open mind and view all data, especially strongly held scientific views, as mere approximations to a truth we will continue to pursue for the rest of our lives. So, we do well to maintain an open mind and to question strongly held views, particularly when they don’t seem to be serving us well, such as the pharmaceutical paradigm that reigns in our broken Health Care System.

Emulating our teenagers may not be a bad idea, according to the new science described in the October 2011 cover issue of the National Geographic journal. Even though teenagers may be a challenge to us all, particularly parents, they behave exactly as they should. Their maddening oppositional attitude is exactly what they must do as they prepare to leave the nest and forge a new world for themselves. They must question how their parents’ generation views the world. The wisest of teens will keep the good things they find in their “old foggies” and abandon the ones that they and their peers will not need as they face a fresh new world.

We are entering a time when many old “deep truths” in all walks of life, especially health care, are about to be dethroned.. for our own good. Hugo Rodier, MD

The Brain “Meta-inflamed.”

Industrialization has brought us a much better and easier lifestyle that has prolongued our lifespan. But, as it is with practically all things, we have reached a point of “diminishing returns.” This is the case in both our countries’ economies and in people’s health, which is corroborated by the fact that our children are the first generation documented to have decrease longevity than their parents’.[2] Polluted environments,[3] (especially toxins that have a neuro-endocrine function)[4] refined foods and stress have been well documented to compromise how we metabolize at the cellular level, a key issue in maintaining life and health (see “White Paper” on my website www.hugorodier.com.)

Just as our machines get “hot” when they don’t get optimal fuel and are exposed to challenging environments, our cells get inflamed (and oxidized) in the process of “metabolizing energy,”[5] a problem now referred as “meta-inflammation.”[6]Meta-inflammation occurs in all cells; it seems to be at the root of practically all our chronic health problems, which is why we see an association between meta-inflammation in the lining of arteries (the main conduit of “fuel” or energy delivery to our cells) and the brain of even adolescents and young women.[7] Think of depression as “meta-inflammation” of the brain.[8] Again, it is caused by environmental toxins, stress and, yes processed foods that Americans eat on a regular basis.[9]Of course, we may need to prescribe Prozac to some of these patients; but, most readers may opt for changing the factors that lead to meta-inflammation.

 

Key to lower Meta-inflammation: optimizing gut function

Eating unprocessed plant-based food, detoxifying well in the gut and heeding our “gut feelings” so that we handle stressful situations better are functions that are inextricably connected; they also have a “common denominator,” the gut. This is why having healthy gut flora goes a long way in controlling meta inflammation, even in the developing brain.[10] Here are more articles highlighting this simple concept:

Dietary Intake and Risk of Developing Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Systematic Review of the Literature.”[11] Some patients are told “diet has nothing to do with intestinal inflammation..”

Transforming Growth Factor-β, a Whey Protein Component, Strengthens the Intestinal Barrier by Upregulating Claudin-4 in HT-29/B6 Cells.”[12] Ok, complicated title; it only means that whey protein reduces “leaky gut” which is a vicious cycle entangled with meta inflammation

Enterotypes in gut: different kinds affect people differently.”[13] Each of us are colonized by different gut bacteria; this accounts for different metabolic rates and how we process the food we eat and pharmaceuticals. Each of us has different genetic interactions with the gut flora which in some cases produces more met inflammation.[14]

Dysbiosis of the faecal microbiota in patients with Crohn’s disease and their unaffected relatives.”[15] Dysbiosis = altered intestinal flora. Relatives of patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease seem to be affected, too, probably due to sharing the same diet and intimacy.

Antibiotic Therapy in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.”[16] Poor diets, chlorinated water and antibiotics upset the balance of intestinal flora. Correcting it with selected antibiotics helps reduce inflammation in IBS, UC and Chron’s.

Some gut microbes do not recover for 6 months after antibiotics, J. PLoS Biology 2008;6:e280

Probiotic Therapy Halved UTI Risk, J. Clin Infect Dz 2011;52:1212

Allergic people have different gut flora, J. Clin Experimental Allergy 2000;30:1590

Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis have less Bifodobacterium and Bacteroides fragilis,  J. Rheum 2008;35:1500

Diabetes is influenced by gut flora, J. Annual Review of Medicine 2011;62:361

Pediatric eczema is helped by probiotics, J. Inflamm Allergy Drug Targets 2010;9:192

Gut problems increase risk of heart attacks in young patients with low risk,  J. Family Practice News, June 15th 2011, p16

Environment, cancer and meta inflammation

Meta inflammation will also increase our risk of cancer. Dr. Virchow showed that 150 years ago, a concept that also won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1931 (Dr. Warburg.) Think of meta inflammation causing DNA mutations that may lead to cancer. Consequently, plant based foods lower our risk of cancer as reported ad nauseum in this newsletter. Having reviewed this simple fact you may make more sense out of these articles:

Low Plasma Coenzyme Q10 Levels and Breast Cancer Risk in Chinese Women.”[17] We may supplement CoQ10 and eat more cashews, spinach and sardines.

Inherited Variants in Mitochondrial Biogenesis Genes May Influence Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Risk.”[18] Mitochondria = energy = metabolism = meta inflammation = cancer

Most Plastic Products Release Estrogenic Chemicals: A Potential Health Problem That Can Be Solved.”[19] Eat a lot of cruciferous veggies and supplement Indole -3-carbinol

Coffee Consumption (lowers) Prostate Cancer Risk and Progression in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.”[20] Don’t drink it if you have gastric problems, GERD and/or hypertension.

Roles of Sildenafil (Viagra) in Enhancing Drug Sensitivity in Cancer.”[21] Even if it does not, you may be getting “pleasant” side effects..”

Studies Probe Role of Telomere Length in Predicting, Modulating Cancer Risk.”[22] The longer the tale of the chromosome the lower the risk of cancer. And what makes the telomere longer? Antioxidants: they lower meta inflammation of the DNA.

Colon cancer: higher risk when eating red meat (3.5 oz) 5-6 times a week.[23] While this may be true, I suspect that eating organic game does not have the same association. A study showed that eating kangaroo meat did not raise meta inflammation.[24]

Meta inflammation and toxemia of pregnancy

As noted above, meta inflammation is also seen in young women.[25] It also affects blood vessels, which is why some pregnant women, particularly the ones with metabolic issues such as pre diabetes, may develop preeclamsia (high blood pressure, swelling, and clotting.)[26] Now that you know whence meta inflammation, you may understand why these women are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease as they age.

New research is looking into how the environment the fetus is exposed to sets the “thermostat” that will govern baby’s metabolism as an adult. So, mothers who don’t eat good diets may be increasing the risk of metabolic diseases, meta inflammation and obesity[27] in their offspring.[28]

 

[1] Cover issue: “Living in a Quantum World,” J. Scientific American, June 2011

[2]A Potential Decline in Life Expectancy in the United States in the 21st Century,” New England J. of Medicine 2005;352:1138

[3]Lead and PCBs as Risk Factors for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder,”   J. Environ Health Perspect 2011;118:1654

[4]Immunology: Blocking brain inflammation,” J. Nature 473, 257 (19 May 2011)

[5]Mitochondrial complex II has a key role in mitochondrial-derived reactive oxygen species influence on plant stress gene regulation and defense,” J. PNAS 2011;108:10768

[6] 8th Academic Board Members Meeting of the International Chair on Cardiovascular Risk; Boston, October 2009

[7]Multiwave Associations Between Depressive Symptoms and Endothelial Function in Adolescent and Young Adult Females,” J. Psychosom Med 2011;73:456

[8]Association Between Depression and Inflammation-Differences by Race and Sex: The META-Health Study,”  J. Psychosom Med 2011;73:462

[9]The Association Between Habitual Diet Quality and the Common Mental Disorders in Community-Dwelling Adults: The Hordaland Health Study,” J. Psychosom Med 2011;73:483

[10]Molecular mechanisms of probiotic action: it’s all in the strains!” J. Gut 2011;60:1026

[11] Am J Gastroenterol 2011;106: 563 & “Diet Drives Convergence in Gut Microbiome Functions Across Mammalian Phylogeny and Within Humans ,” J. Science 20 May 2011: 970

[12] J. Nutrition 2011 141: 5:783

[13] J. Nature April 20th 2001. Doi:10.1038/nature09944 ahead of print & “Development of the Human Gastrointestinal Microbiota and Insights From High-Throughput Sequencing.”  Journal Gastroenterology 2011;140:1713

[14]NLRP6 Inflammasome Regulates Colonic Microbial Ecology and Risk for Colitis,” J. Cell 2001;145:745

[15] J. Gut 2011;60:631

[16] Am J. Gastroenterol 2011;106: 661

[17] J. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2011;20:1124

[18] J. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2011;20:1131

[19] J. Environmental Health Perspect 2011;118:989

[20] J. Natl Cancer Inst (2011) doi: 10.1093/jnci/djr151 First published online: May 17, 2011

[21] J. Cancer Res June 1, 2011;71:3735

[22] JAMA 2011;305:2278

[23] USDA and ACS; Med Scape News June 2, 2011

[24] “Differences in postprandial inflammatory responses to a ‘modern’ v. traditional meat meal,”  Br J. Nutr. 2010;104(5):724-728

[25]Multiwave Associations Between Depressive Symptoms and Endothelial Function in Adolescent and Young Adult Females,” J. Psychosom Med 2011;73:456

[26]Preeclampsia, a Disease of the Maternal Endothelium: The Role of Antiangiogenic Factors and Implications for Later Cardiovascular Disease,” J. Circulation. 2011;123:2856

[27]Should obesity be the main game? Or do we need an environmental makeover to combat the inflammatory and chronic disease epidemics?” J. Obes Rev 2010(2):237-249

[28]Epigenetic mechanisms of perinatal programming of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal function and health,”                 J. Trends Mol Med 2007;13(7):269-277

Hugo Rodier, MD is an integrative physician based in Draper, Utah who specializes in healing chronic disease at the cellular level by blending proper nutrition, lifestyle changes, & allopathic practices when necessary.

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