Volume 16 • Number 3 • March 2015

At last!

I have been faithfully reading the journal Annals of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology since I was in Medical School 1980-1984. I never gave up hope of finding therein a report on the fact that most of the immune system is in the gut, a concept now well covered in many other peer review journals, especially Gastroenterology journals. The journal SCIENCE, a non medical journal, selected this very issue as the number two most important for the year 2012. You would think that this Nobel-Prize winning fact would have had a few articles in that immunology journal since I graduated. But, no, that is, until now!

It reported in February on a symposium on Immunology held this year in Houston, where researchers showed that a child’s microbiota determines the future risk of allergies and asthma. The more compromised their gut flora is, the higher the risk of having those immune issues. Other articles through the years have shown that the chance of a child developing these problems is higher when they take antibiotics under a year of age.[1] That has been a big clue.

Keeping an eye on many other journals has been very rewarding for me. Applying their simple findings on the immune system, and maximizing good nutrition, my patients have been able to resolve or improve common problems like asthma and allergies. Most of them stop taking allergy medications and inhalers. But, it is still prudent to keep the latter handy; you never know when a serious attack of asthma may strike.

BTW, you may want to try a combination of herbs for asthma if the above does not work for you. It is well documented to work in the same immunology journal mentioned above.[2]

Hugo Rodier, MD

Still drinking soda pop?

As previously documented, soda increases morbidity and mortality. It is associated with a higher risk for strokes, heart attacks, cancer and metabolic problems like diabetes. Since most health problems involve inflammation and its related problem, insulin resistance, it is reasonable to suspect that soda’s negative impact is also mediated by those mechanisms. If you have been reading this newsletter you are already ahead of me in suspecting soda also has a negative effect on our gut flora. Indeed, “Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota.[3]

So, giving up soda and eating unprocessed foods high in fiber (prebiotics) will decrease insulin resistance[4] and inflammation, thereby adding years to your life and a more youthful appearance.[5]

Alzheimer’s update

We all worry about our memory. Is forgetting where you put the keys a sign of early Alzheimer’s? Does not remembering what’s-his-face’s-name mean I am already down that road? Probably not, if you are eating well and are maintaining a good gut and circulation.

There have been many studies on memory in recent years.[6] They agree that deficits in recent memory may in some cases be an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease, along with smelling deficiencies. But, there are still many things one may do to reduce the risk of AD. Avoiding, if possible, anti-clotting drugs,[7] processed fats (TFAs)[8] and sugars is helpful.

As you can imagine, nutrition and minimizing environmental toxins are the sine qua non of prevention. Surrounding yourself with people is also advised, as is music. Best learn to play a new instrument.[9] And if you still have time left, learn a new language.[10]

 

More brain news

Inflammation in pregnancy increases the risk of less optimal brain wiring in fetus, Society for Neuroscience, Washington DC-J. Neurology News February 2015, p21

Shock Medicine.” Stimulation of the nervous system could replace drugs for inflammatory and autoimmune conditions. Best example is Rx of Parkinsonism. J. Scientific American 2015;312:28.

“Metabolomics (how we process energy) predicts stroke recurrence after transient ischemic attack,” J. Neurology 2015; 84:36

Childhood abuse increases risk of emotional and impulse problems, Soc for Neurosci, Washington DC-Neurology News Feb 2015, p22

“Mortality in children, adolescents, and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a nationwide cohort study.” Mortality is doubled in people with ADD, probably because of detrimental lifestyles due to impulsivity. I suspect that includes poor food choices. J. Lancet Epub Feb 25 2015

“Methamphetamine/amphetamine abuse and risk of Parkinson’s disease in Utah: A population-based assessment.” Lots of folks here crave these drugs to treat ADD which I feel is over diagnosed. Many of them find the amino acid GABA helpful, a sign that they have an inflamed brain and perhaps subpar absorption of nutrients in the gut. J. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2015;146:30

GABA is often too low in patients with Multiple Sclerosis. J. Neurology News Feb 2015, p6

 

Getting arthritis for the first time?

A study has determined that the first sign of DJD arthritis, the degenerative type triggered by poor diets and old trauma, is knee pain when negotiating the stairs.[11] That may indeed be the case in many patients. But, in my practice it seems that the first sign of DJD is pain and swelling of one or more fingers.

I discourage patients from self-treating with NSAIDs like ibuprofen and Tylenol on a regular basis. They are associated with more heart attacks and strokes, and kidney, gut and liver issues. Tylenol itself is involved in ½ of liver failure cases in the USA. If a drug is to be used I refer to a Rheumatologist who most certainly will recommend agents that have been associated with significant side effects. This is why a nutritional approach with certain supplements is best. As noted adnauseum in this newsletter, a healthy diet is anti-inflammatory, whereas processed foods promote inflammation. You know that if you have a dog. Does it not have more DJD when feed processed dog food only?

These agents[12] have been shown to help DJD with no side effects: MSM sulfur (topical and oral,) SAMe (B vitamin derivative,) Curcumin tea, Cherry juice (organic concentrate,) and the herbs Boswellia, Stinging nettles, and Devil’s claw. Getting into TaiChi, Yoga, acupuncture and massage is also helpful.

Gut Update

 

Common Food Additives/preservatives increase risk of Crohn’s Disease, Colitis by altering gut flora: this is what drives inflammation of the intestinal lining cells. J. Nature March 2015

 

“Association of Coffee Intake With Reduced Incidence of Liver Cancer and Death From Chronic Liver Disease in the US Multiethnic Cohort,” J. Gastroenterology 2015;148:118

 

“Epigenetic Regulation of Genes That Modulate Chronic Stress-Induced Visceral Pain in the Peripheral Nervous System.” Translation: food, environment, and thoughts influence your genes’ programmed reactions to stress in the gut. J. Gastroenterology 2015;148:148

 

Probiotics for Infantile Colic: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial Investigating Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938.” J. Pediatrics 2015;166:74

“Bidirectional Associations between Fussy Eating and Functional Constipation in Preschool Children,” J. Pediatrics 2015;166:91

[1]Antibiotics in fetal and early life and subsequent childhood asthma: nationwide population based study with sibling analysis,” BMJ 2014;349:g6979

[2] “Maternal Antiasthma Simplified Herbal Medicine Intervention therapy prevents airway inflammation and modulates pulmonary innate immune responses in young offspring mice,”
J. Annals Allergy Asthma Immunology 2015;114:43

[3] J. Nature 2014;514:181-186

[4] J Ann Int Med 2015 Feb 17

[5] “Long term adherence to a healthy diet,” Am J Med 2015;128:152

[6] Medscape Psychiatry Feb 13 2015 “How Memory Works (and How to Preserve It)”

[7] American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, Chicago 2014

[8] American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, Chicago 2014

[9] Soc for Neuroscience, Washington DC-Neurology News Feb 2015, p20

[10] J. Neurology November 6 2013

[11] “Toward a Clinical Definition of Early Osteoarthritis: Onset of Patient-Reported Knee Pain Begins on Stairs. Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative,” J. Arthritis Care Res 2015;67:40-47

[12] Email hrodier@pcmclinic.com for references previously documented herein.

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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