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Mother’s Milk – More than Nutrition – Medicine

Just as we are starting to learn about why real food is more than simple nutrition – so we are starting to see breast milk as being more than a meal too. It also sets the baby’s immune system and gut flora and may do many other things too.

“When we come out of the womb, we make our way to the breast. We enter the world knowing we’re mammals, with milk on our minds.

But even as grown-ups, we have never known exactly what’s in that milk—or, as strange as it may sound, what the point of it is. For decades, milk was thought of strictly in terms of nutrients, which makes sense—milk is how a mother feeds her baby, after all. But providing nutrients turns out to be only part of what milk does. And it might not even be the most important part.

“Mother’s milk is food; mother’s milk is medicine; and mother’s milk is signal,” says Katie Hinde, an assistant professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard. (She also writes the fascinating blogMammals Suck, which I suspect is the only place on the Internet where you can fill out a Mammal Madness bracket.) “When people find out I study milk, they automatically think we already know about it, or it’s not important. And I’m like, ‘No, we don’t know about it, and it’s super important.’”

But first, a disclaimer—because conversations about lactation always seem to require disclaimers, especially if you happen to be someone who will never ever lactate. (I’m pretty sure.) In my new bookBaby Meets World, I write about how, contrary to myth, not nursing has never been a death sentence. Hundreds of years before halfway-decent formula, infants were fed gruesome substitutes for breast milk (mushed bread and beer, say)—and although many more died than those who were nursed, many also survived. So the lesson of the new science of milk isn’t that formula is some sort of modern evil. (It isn’t modern or evil.) It’s that milk is really complicated—and evolutionarily amazing.

Here’s how complicated: Some human milk oligosaccharides—simple sugar carbohydrates—were recently discovered to be indigestible by infants. When my son was nursing, those oligosaccharides weren’t meant for him. They were meant for bacteria in his gut, which thought they were delicious. My wife was, in a sense, nursing another species altogether, a species that had been evolutionarily selected to protect her child. (A relationship immortalized in the paper titled “Human Milk Oligosaccharides: Every Baby Needs a Sugar Mama.”) In effect, as Hinde and UC-Davis chemist Bruce German have written, “mothers are not just eating for two, they are actually eating for 2 × 1011 (their own intestinal microbiome as well as their infant’s)!” That’s what’s meant by milk serving as medicine, and that’s only scratching the surface.

But Hinde primarily studies the food and the signal elements of milk. “The signal is in the form of hormones that are exerting physiological effects in the infant,” she explains. “Infants have their own internal hormones, but they’re also getting hormones from their mother. They’re binding to receptors in the babies, and we’re just starting to understand what those effects are.”

More here

We think of milk as a static commodity, maybe because the milk we buy in the grocery store always looks the same. But scientists now believe that milk varies tremendously. It varies from mother to mother, and it varies within the milk of the same mother. That’s partly because the infants themselves can affect what’s in the milk. “Milk is this phenomenally difficult thing to study because mothers are not passive producers and babies are not passive consumers,” Hinde says. Instead, the composition of milk is a constant negotiation, subject to tiny variables.

For example, she notes, in humans skin-to-skin contact appears to trigger signals that are sent through the milk. “If the infant is showing signs of infection, somehow that’s being signaled back to the mother and she up-regulates the immune factors that are in her milk. Now is that her body’s responding to a need of the baby? Maybe. Is it that she also has a low-grade infection that she’s just not symptomatic for and so her body’s doing that? Maybe. Is it partially both? Maybe. We don’t know. It’s brand-new stuff.”

The new awareness of this sort of signaling is why there’s been a paradigm shift in the study of milk. Scientists have gone from seeing it only as food to seeing it far more expansively—as a highly sensitive variable that plays a wide range of developmental roles.

This new perspective should change how we look at formula, too, Hinde says. Instead of comparing breast milk and formula, we should accept how little we actually know about breast milk. “We need to go back to square one and look at all the variation in breast milk and where it’s coming from and what it does,” she says. “Because how could we possibly know what the difference between breast milk and formula is if we aren’t even keeping track of what the variation in breast milk is doing? And so the more that we understand about what is in milk, and what predicts how it varies, the more opportunity there is for formula to better emulate what breast milk is.”

Almost 150 years after the first infant formula, the splendidly named Liebig’s Soluble Food for Babies, was proclaimed to be “virtually identical” to human milk, we now know how much we don’t know about milk. It’s a deeply intimate mystery. And the scientists who study it are a lot like almost any parent gazing down at their sucking child: They too are full of wonder.

Nicholas Day’s book on the science and history of infancy, Baby Meets World, will be published in April. His website is nicholasday.net.

 

Your baby’s gut health – the platform for good or poor lifetime health – what to know and to do about this

It is clear now that a child’s gut flora drives many allergies – including eczema – Here is a short and illuminating article on this that joins the growing literature on the importance of gut health generally and how, in infants, gut health drives lifetime health.

This is yet one more study that highlights the importance — and complexity — of gut bacterial composition and development in early life. As we say, optimal digestive health is the foundation upon which total body health is built.

They key finding here is that prolonged breast feeding – well into 18 months – helps set up the ideal gut flora. But this is hard to do in today’s culture. The consequences of limited breast feeding are poor though. Maybe as we get to know more, it will be more acceptable. In the interim the author suggest this workaround.

It has been known for more than 30 years that children who continue at least partial breast feedings until age 3 have lower incidences of most all infectious diseases as well as asthma, allergies, and eczema. Since that is not likely to happen with the Western lifestyle, starting an infant on probiotics, fish oil, and vitamin D may help prevent this microbial shift, but I still think food and stress are primary shifters of the microbiome.

Much more here

Brush your teeth every day? The better choice – Stop eating shit

 

 

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Image Source: Paleo Foundation

Our mouth is an ecology of bacteria. It can be a good community or a bad one. If you eat a narrow highly processed food diet, it will be a bad one. We eat food that promotes bad bacteria and we use chemicals that kill any good bacteria. The better option is to eat a better diet and to work to enhance the good. Here is a good guide to all of this:

 

“Dental bacteria aren’t necessarily bad. They’re just some of the trillions of microbes that share our body, and that are as much a part of us as our own flesh and blood. Those in our guts get the most attention and are involved in digesting our food. But microbes abound in other body parts too. Some of those in the mouth are involved in repairing damage to teeth and barring the way to more dangerous germs.

As Europeans moved from hunting and gathering to farming and agriculture, these oral communities changed from healthy, diverse ones into those that we’d typically associate with disease. The advent of processed flour and sugar during the Industrial Revolution made things even worse. “You see the diversity plummet, and the rise to dominance of opportunistic nasties such as Streptococcus mutans, which causes cavities,” says Cooper.

Our mouths are now a gentrified shadow of their former selves. And as Carl Zimmer described earlier this week, ecosystems with an impoverished web of species are more vulnerable to parasites. He was writing about frogs and lakes, but the same is true of bacteria and mouths. The narrow range of microbes in industrialised gobs are more vulnerable to invasions by species that cause disease, cavities, and other dental problems.  “As an ecosystem, it has lost resilience,” says Cooper. “It basically became a permanent disease state.”

More here

And much more here about your mouth and what we do in there

9 Articles to heal and restore your gut

Here is an excellent resource on Gut Health

Gut health is the foundation for so many other bodily functions. An unhealthy gut interferes with weight loss, athletic performance, and the immune system.  Here are 9 articles to help you restore your gut flora and prevent digestive disturbances that interfere with training and life.

Here is more on this site.

How to avoid the flu? Bump up your immune system!

You and I have an immune system. If it healthy, then it will defend us from a lot of illness. The future of Health Care will be not a fix after we are ill but taking care so that we have the best immune system possible.

So how best to protect yourself against the flu?  Here is what taking care of your immune system looks like:

 

Avoiding a serious case of influenza is not about vaccination but more about maintaining a healthy, well functioning immune system. By following these simple guidelines, you can help keep your immune system in optimal working order so that you’re far less likely to acquire the infection to begin with or, if you do get sick with the flu, you are better prepared to move through it without complications and soon return to good health.

    • Optimize Your Gut Flora. This may be the single most important strategy you can implement as the bacteria in your gut have enormous control of your immune response. The best way to improve your beneficial bacteria ratio is avoid sugars as they will feed the pathogenic bacteria. Additionally, processed foods and most grains should be limited and replacing with healthy fats like coconut oil, avocados, olives, olive oil, butter, eggs and nuts. Once you change your diet than regular use of fermented foods can radically optimize the function of your immune response.
    • Optimize your vitamin D levels. As I’ve previously reported, optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the absolute best strategies for avoiding infections of ALL kinds, and vitamin D deficiency may actually be the true culprit behind the seasonality of the flu – not the flu virus itself. This is probably the single most important and least expensive action you can take. Regularly monitor your vitamin D levels to confirm your levels are within the therapeutic range of 50-70 ng/ml.

Ideally, you’ll want to get all your vitamin D from sun exposure or a safe tanning bed, but as a last resort you can take an oral vitamin D3 supplement. According to the latest review by Carole Baggerly (Grassrootshealth.org), adults need about 8,000 IU’s a day. Be sure to take vitamin K2 if you are taking high dose oral vitamin D as it has a powerful synergy and will help prevent any D toxicity. But be sure and get your level tested as that is the only way to know for sure.

  • Avoid Sugar and Processed Foods. Sugar impairs the quality of your immune response almost immediately, and as you likely know, a healthy immune system is one of the most important keys to fighting off viruses and other illness. It also can decimate your beneficial bacteria and feed the pathogenic yeast and viruses. Be aware that sugar (typically in the form of high fructose corn syrup) is present in foods you may not suspect, like ketchup and fruit juice. If you are healthy then sugar can be consumed but the LAST thing you should be eating when you are sick is sugar. Avoid it like poison while you are sick.
  • Get Plenty of Rest. Just like it becomes harder for you to get your daily tasks done if you’re tired, if your body is overly fatigued it will be harder for it to fight the flu. Be sure to check out my article Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep for some great tips to help you get quality rest.
  • Have Effective Tools to Address Stress. We all face some stress every day, but if stress becomes overwhelming then your body will be less able to fight off the flu and other illness. If you feel that stress is taking a toll on your health, consider using an energy psychology tool such as the Emotional Freedom Technique, which is remarkably effective in relieving stress associated with all kinds of events, from work to family to trauma.
  • Get Regular Exercise. When you exercise, you increase your circulation and your blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means your immune system has a better chance of finding an illness before it spreads. Be sure to stay hydrated – drink plenty of fluids, especially water. However, it would be wise to radically reduce the intensity of your workouts while you are sick. No Peak Fitness exercises until you are better.
  • Take a High-Quality Source of Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats. Increase your intake of healthy and essential fats like the omega-3 found in krill oil, which is crucial for maintaining health. It is also vitally important to avoid damaged omega-6 oils that are trans fats and in processed foods as it will seriously damage your immune response.
  • Wash Your Hands. Washing your hands will decrease your likelihood of spreading a virus to your nose, mouth or other people. Be sure you don’t use antibacterial soap for this – antibacterial soaps are completely unnecessary, and they cause far more harm than good. Instead, identify a simple chemical-free soap that you can switch your family to.
  • Tried and True Hygiene Measures. In addition to washing your hands regularly, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. If possible, avoid close contact with those, who are sick and, if you are sick, avoid close contact with those who are well.
  • Use Natural Remedies. Examples include oil of oregano and garlic. These work against bacteria, viruses, and protozoa in your body. And unlike pharmaceutical antibiotics, they do not appear to lead to resistance.
  • Avoid Hospitals. I’d recommend you stay away from hospitals unless you’re having an emergency and need expert medical care, as hospitals are prime breeding grounds for infections of all kinds. The best place to get plenty of rest and recover from illness that is not life-threatening is usually in the comfort of your own home.

The Good Poo Guide – Your Poo a key marker for your health

As we understand more about how important our gut health is (Lots here at this link on this topic), our poo becomes the key marker. Today we look at blood to see our health and only at stool to see if we have cancer. Soon stool may come first as it shows earlier than blood if there is a problem.

New research programs are springing up on Indiegogo like this one where you can have your gut health checked.

But in the interim we can pay more attention to our own poos. Here is a guide to this and we start with a visual chart:

stool-chart

Look, Listen and Smell Before You Flush

What’s normal and what’s not when you look into the toilet? The following table will help you narrow down what to look for, so that you aren’t needlessly alarmed. Of course, there are a few signs that ARE cause for concern, and those are listed too. If you have a change in stools accompanied by abdominal pain, please report this to your physician.4

Healthy Stool Unhealthy Stool
Medium to light brown Stool that is hard to pass, painful, or requires straining
Smooth and soft, formed into one long shape and not a bunch of pieces Hard lumps and pieces, or mushy and watery, or even pasty and difficult to clean off
About one to two inches in diameter and up to 18 inches long Narrow, pencil-like or ribbon-like stools: can indicate a bowel obstruction or tumor – or worst case, colon cancer; narrow stools on an infrequent basis are not so concerning, but if they persist, definitely warrant a call to your physician5
S-shaped, which comes from the shape of your lower intestine6 Black, tarry stools or bright red stoolsmay indicate bleeding in the GI tract; black stools can also come from certain medications, supplements or consuming black licorice; if you have black, tarry stools, it’s best to be evaluated by your healthcare provider
Quiet and gentle dive into the water…it should fall into the bowl with the slightest little “whoosh” sound – not a loud, wet cannonball splash that leaves your toosh in need of a shower White, pale or gray stools may indicate a lack of bile, which may suggest a serious problem (hepatitis, cirrhosis, pancreatic disorders, or possibly a blocked bile duct), so this warrants a call to your physician; antacids may also produce white stool
Natural smell, not repulsive (I’m not saying it will smell good) Yellow stools may indicate giardia infection, a gallbladder problem, or a condition known as Gilbert’s syndrome – if you see this, call your doctor
Uniform texture Presence of undigested food (more of a concern if accompanied by diarrhea, weight loss, or other changes in bowel habits)
Sinks slowly Floaters or splashers
Increased mucus in stool: This can be associated with inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis, or even colon cancer, especially if accompanied by blood or abdominal pain

The Appendix and Gut Health – Not so useless after all

February 14, 2013 Gut Flora/Bacteria 1 Comment

Why do we have an Appendix? New research is suggesting that the Appendix has an important role in Gut Health. It may well be the safe house for the good bacteria.

The Gut Health arena as the core of health is emerging as a very strong idea. Here are several links that explore this more broadly and deeply.

Here is the summary of the longer piece on the Appendix

 

In 2007, Parker and his colleagues suggested that the appendix has an immunological role, acting as a “safe house” for beneficial gut bacteria. These bacteria help train the immune system and can prevent diseases by outcompeting dangerous pathogenic bacteria—but there are times when the dangerous microbes gain the upper hand and overrun the gut. The researchers reasoned that when this happens, the beneficial bacteria could retreat to the safety of the appendix, which remains unaffected. Once the immune system has beaten the infection, the beneficial bacteria emerge from the appendix to quickly recolonize the gut.

The “safe house” idea makes sense, says Indi Trehan, a pediatrician at the Institute for Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis who recently studied the importance of maintaining gut bacteria when treating people with malnutrition. “The appendix has a unique anatomical location that is out of the way,” he says. “Bacteria can be kept safe there for repopulation as needed.”

The safe house hypothesis is reasonable, Nesse agrees, but he points out that just 50 of the 361 mammalian species included in the analysis have an appendix. “One wonders why such a trait with such a function would not be universal,” he says. That suggests it is possible we still haven’t completely cracked the mystery of the appendix, he says.

How you were born will affect your gut flora and so your health

It is becoming more and more clear that our gut flora is the central issue for health. (More here on that)

It is best to start with the the healthiest gut flora possible. This means that it is best that we are born vaginally. We are a blank slate in the womb. Being born vaginally gives us our mother’s flora.

Evidence is now coming out about how important this is. Leaving mothers with a more informed choice. If you can have a vaginal birth, you are giving your child the best start possible.

Here is the summary:

The researchers found that infants born by cesarean delivery were lacking a specific group of bacteria found in infants delivered vaginally, even if they were breastfed. Infants strictly formula-fed, compared with babies that were exclusively or partially breastfed, also had significant differences in their gut bacteria.

“We want parents (and physicians) to realize that their decisions regarding c-section and breastfeeding can impact their infant’s gut microbiome, and this can have potentially lifelong effects on the child’s health,” says postdoctoral student and first author Meghan Azad, University of Alberta.

“The potential long-term consequences of decisions regarding mode of delivery and infant diet are not to be underestimated,” write the authors. “Infants born by cesarean delivery are at increased risk of asthma, obesity and type 1 diabetes, whereas breastfeeding is variably protective against these and other disorders.”

Beginning before birth, CHILD collects a range of information on environmental exposures such as pets, air pollution, household cleaning products, maternal and infant diet and more, and child health outcomes (including biological samples and clinical assessments). The researchers will use this information to study the development of the gut microbiome and its relationship to conditions such as wheeze and allergies in future studies.

“Children born by cesarean delivery or fed with formula may be at increased risk of a variety of conditions later in life; both processes alter the gut microbiota in healthy infants, which could be the mechanism for the increased risk,” writes Dr. Rob Knight, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist and an Associate Professor with the BioFrontiers Institute and Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Computer Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, United States, in a related commentary.

“These issues are of direct relevance to pregnant women and health practitioners and should be considered when choices such as elective cesarean delivery and other interventions are discussed,” state the commentary authors.

 

Why legumes are not good for us #LeakyGut #GutFlora

Part of the established wisdom is to eat more healthy legumes. If you are a vegetarian, they offer you one of the few protein sources possible. If a vegan then the only source. They are inexpensive and they can be very tasty. Baked beans are a staple of kids food in England where I grew up.

But they are not good for us. In fact they are amongst the least healthy foods that we can eat. Here is the opening of a comprehensive post that will tell you why.

From Paleo Diet Food List

Agents of gastric turbulence

Known for causing digestive inconsistencies, legumes are storehouses of anti nutrients called lectins. A natural defense mechanism for plants, lectins do wonder to protect plant species. They are low grade toxins that when consumed by humans can cause many inflammatory and gastrointestinal complications. Highly undesirable for our consumption, lectins are hard to break down.

While lectins are present in all plant and animal products, grains and legumes are a more concentrated source than others. Modern cooking methods of soaking, fermenting and sprouting promise to neutralize these toxic substances but their consumption can still lead to direct gastric issues like flatulence, bloating, cramps and other non gastric aggravations like headaches, painful joints and fatigue. Moreover, foods that do not agree with the digestive system compromise the body’s immune system as well.

Leaky gut syndrome

One of the more particular conditions associated with consuming lectins is known as leaky gut syndrome in which intestinal permeability is increased. The damage incurred by the lining of the intestines allows toxins and partially digested food particles to pass through its protective coating and enter the bloodstream. Here the unwanted components wreak havoc and may trigger an autoimmune reaction.

Leaky gut syndrome can be a convenient precursor to food sensitivities, chronic inflammation, asthmaand even rheumatoid arthritis.

More on this long post here

More on Gut Flora here

Do you have Celiac Disease? Here is a great resource

Many people who have Celiac Disease now eat food that is labelled Gluten Free. I even saw Gluten Free Ham for sale the other day. Most labelled Gluten Free food is just more factory food and will only make you more ill. For Celiac is not just an allergy to Gluten but is a sign of Leaky Gut.

Here is a great resource for all of this.

“The bottom line is: If you have Celiac Disease, you have leaky gut and bad gut flora.

We’ve talked about how prolamines and lectins cause inflammation and leaky gut.  We’ve talked about how SIBO causes inflammation and leaky gut… and all within the confines of a gluten-free diet.

When your gut flora is out of balance and your gut barrier is damaged, your gut is going to be inflamed.  Inflammation triggers leaky gut and leaky gut triggers inflammation[19].  They all feed on each other in a vicious cycle that looks like this:

leaky-gut-inflammation-cycle

The only way to begin treating Celiac Disease is to break this inflammation-leaky gut cycle… and the first step is to recognize that gluten-free isn’t enough.  There’s a better way to eat that can begin to halt this process.

So what can a Celiac eat to feel better?

The answer is: eat easy-to-digest, low-toxin, real foods.  Foods that don’’t feed bad bacteria or promote inflammation… but at the same time provide adequate nutrition and improve intestinal permeability.

In other words the ideal Celiac Disease diet:

  • Doesn’t contain processed foods filled with added sugars, vegetable oils, additives, or dyes that damage health
  • Eliminates disaccharides and polysaccharides to starve out overgrown bad bacteria (SIBO)
  • Eliminates the most toxic food groups: cereal grains and soy
  • Encourages consumption of low-toxin whole foods in their natural state
  • Encourages plenty of nutrient dense animal products filled with protein and healthy fats
  • Encourages plenty of good bugs (probiotics) through fermented foods or supplements

The gluten-free diet doesn’t fit the bill…

Simply eliminating cereal grains that promote inflammation and leaky gut is a step in the right direction.  But if you remove the other 3 toxic foods I mentioned above (soy, industrial seed oils, and sugar) you’ll be one step closer to recovery.  At that point, you’ll be eating a whole food, non-processed diet – which is ideal for optimal health based on what we know.”

Much more on the site itself here

 

Why the meat industry is so bad for us

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Source

The massive use of antibiotics is essential to how meat is produced today. Mass confinement and the feeding of corn to grass eating vows demands the use of antibiotics in massive quantities.

The result is that we will lose antibiotics soon AND that we will be exposed to pathogens that we have no immunity too. The meat business also produce meat that is full of Omega 6’s – from the corn – and that drives more systemic health risks.

And finally, the ethics of treating animals like this!

So what to do? Vote with your wallet. Buy local pasture raised meat. When enough of us do this, the old system will fall over.

Why dentists are such a risk

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It is increasingly clear that the health of our gut flora my be the single most important driver of our health. If this stands up, then this may be why oral health is so important too.

But a problem with oral health is how dentistry is performed today. Massive fillings with mercury and invasive root canal work set us up for more infection and contamination.

But there is good news. Just as massively invasive surgery is going away, so there is a rise in minimal dentistry. An approach that is aligned to real oral health and so to gut health and so to total health. And we too can do our own part. If we eat right, then the preconditions of dental decay and disease do not arise. We can take charge of our teeth!

“Contrary to conventional dentistry, minimally invasive dentistry, like biological dentistry, is not about “drilling and filling;” creating an endless loop of revisits and retreating the same tooth again and again.

Instead, by using dietary prevention to create a healthy cavity-fighting bioflora in your mouth; dental prophylaxis such as brushing and irrigating with baking soda, and oil pulling; combined with minimally invasive restorations starting as early as possible, you can prevent about 80 percent of future dental problems.”

The full story + video is here on Dr Joseph Mercola’s site

The best introduction to why Gut Flora is the key to your health

intestinal-microflora-4101

Sebastien Noel is one of my favourite resources. He makes the science easy to understand and he deals with the practical aspects very well. 

It is becoming clear that the central issue for health is the health of our gut flora. Here is Sebastien’e excellent review of all that you need to know.

The goal of this article is to tackle gut and gut flora problems and what to do about it. Granted, following a Paleo diet will often provide great relief and maybe even cure whatever ailment you’re dealing with. Also, other than being very strict with the diet, complete elimination of dairy, egg whites, nightshade vegetables, nuts and seeds and limiting fruit intake should be a priority, as discussed in my articles about dealing with autoimmune diseases and about the benefits of egg yolks.

With all these tactics implemented though, some diseases or conditions related to the gut still persist and can prove to be a real challenge to deal with. This article will dig deeper into the subject and I will recommend a general strategy to cope with most gut and gut flora ailments. Note that each condition usually also requires a special approach, but the general ideas discussed here usually applies to all of them.

Here is a summary of the subjects discussed here:

Note that in case of a hard to treat condition, I would tackle the problem with a shotgun approach. This basically means that I would eliminate any possible offending foods at the same time as I would try and maximize my immune system strength, gut healing and good flora rebuilding. Forgetting a step or doing things only partially often leads to poor results unfortunately. I’ve been dealing with tough problems myself and it sometimes seems that even the stars have to be aligned to start seeing progress, so hang in there and make anything possible to regain health as soon as possible so you can laugh about it afterwards.

Here is the link to the full piece

 

Constipation – The Truth

man-straining-on-loo

Apparently 63 million people in the US suffer from constipation. That’s about 1 in 4 people. At one time or another I bet we all suffer from this. We are told to add more fibre, but in the long term we do this and this does not help. In extremes, we take laxatives. But over time, we become dependent on these too and we lose the ability to have a natural poo.

So what to do? For the medical system has no answers other than the ones we have learned do not work.

Kris Cleary is a pioneer in the non medicine approach to constipation. Here is our online interview. You will see why fibre and laxatives don’t work and you will see the pathway to being well – Having Healthy Gut Flora

The intro goes to the fold and the full interview follows. Read and get well!

So what did you learn from these people who had cured their own constipation?

There were dozens of key lessons I learnt.
However, some of the most important things I’ve learnt in curing constipation are:

  • The essential importance of overall gut health, especially gut flora
  • Reducing stress (especially the stress one is not even aware they have)
  • Eliminating toxins and eating real food for proper nutrition
  • Eating normal amounts of fiber rather than the ‘high fiber’ diet that is widely preached in our modern world
  • Including plenty of natural fats which is a core part of true health

All that I learnt from these people started me on the path of self-discovery in relation to my bowel health and my health overall.

I started to experiment with the various ideas and approaches I received from them and I was able to finally start joining the dots. The more I experimented, the better I was able to figure out what was actually triggering my symptoms and, on the flip side, what was allowing my bowels to work how they should naturally. It was a really exciting time to be honest. I was making so much progress quickly that I started to feel I was cracking the constipation code, so to speak.

I started to look into health and nutrition from an evolutionary view-point which was another game-changer for me. The more I researched and experimented, the more crucial information I was able to obtain. ‘Seek and you shall find’, I guess. I started to get in touch with research by guys like Loren Cordain and Staffan Lindeberg that really opened my eyes and had me jumping down the rabbit hole so-to-speak.

… Continue Reading

The Do’s and Don’ts for Gut Health

If you are to have good Gut health – then you have to eat a diet that fits what your gut is evolved to eat. Another reason why diet is so important.

Here is an excellent manual for how to avoid what is bad and eat what is good. Snip here:

1.  What is the “gut” anyway?

The gut is the intestinal tract.

2.  Why is gut health so important?

(Quotes below are from the Weston A. Price review of the book, GAPS/Gut and Psychology Syndrome)

Poor bacterial flora and digestion are at the heart of serious health problems. When children are born with intestinal bacterial imbalances or gut dysbiosis, they tend to have a compromised immune system and are prone to illness. Campbell- McBride brings to light the profound statements of Hippocrates that “All diseases begin in the gut.

“Although genetics is often provided as an explanation for brain disorders like autism and ADD/ADHD, as well as for psychiatric illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, genetics cannot explain the exponential increase in these health and developmental problems, says Dr. Campbell-McBride,because genetic changes work much more slowly.

Through studying the health of hundreds of patients with autism, learning disabilities, psychiatric illness and other problems, Campbell- McBride discovered that in virtually all cases these children and adults suffer from digestive problems, often of a severe nature. Through her research, she has determined a distinct correlation between unhealthy intestinal flora, poor digestion and toxicity from chemicals created by undigested foods, which can severely affect brain chemistry. She coins this relationship the Gut and Psychology Syndrome, or GAPS.”

3.  What wreaks havoc on gut health?

  • Sugar, grains – especially empty carbs (white grains/pasta/rice, sugar – even the more natural sugars)   “A child or adult who eats a diet high in difficult-to-digest carbohydrates such as grains and processed foods will continue to encourage the underlying condition of gut dysbiosis. Dr. Campbell-McBride states that people with damaged flora will crave the very foods that support the survival of the unhealthy bacteria, often to the exclusion and refusal of others.”  (Have you seen the post about the proper preparation of grains for optimal nutrition?)
  • Antibiotics: “anti” = against; “biotics” = bacteria – yes they clear out the bad bacteria causing an infection, which is sometimes needed, but they also take the good bacteria with it – only take if absolutely necessary.
  • A diet that is off balance between omega 6’s and omega 3’s. Most of us are too high in the omega 6’s, which are found in unhealthy vegetable oils and processed foods.  Some omega 6’s are needed, but they should be balanced with omega 3’s.  “Recent research has revealed that too much omega-6 in the diet creates an imbalance that can interfere with production of important prostaglandins. This disruption can result in increased tendency to form blood clots, inflammation, high blood pressure, irritation of the digestive tract,depressed immune function, sterility, cell proliferation, cancer and weight gain.” From The Skinny on Fats.
  • Trans fats:  “Altered partially hydrogenated fats made from vegetable oils actually block utilization of essential fatty acids, causing many deleterious effects including sexual dysfunction, increased blood cholesterol and paralysis of the immune system.”  From The Skinny on Fats.
  • Stress. If you feel like you can’t eliminate it, then change how you react to it.
  • Toxins all around us, including those in our food, such as pesticides, preservatives, hormones, fake colorings, etc.  (Read your food labels!  Even better, eat food without labels!)
  • What else did I forget?

4.  What supports gut health? More here at the link

Dirt is mainly good for you – especially for children

Dirt is mainly good for us. Here is a helpful post that explains this. First a Snip:

Bacteria has a bad reputation, as though any and all of it will hurt you. Parents keep immaculate houses in attempt to eliminate the “threat” of bacteria, removing shoes indoors, washing hands with anti-bacterial soap, moping with disinfectants, cleaning the counters with bleach. All of this is not only unnecessary for health but harmful to the immune system. It’s surprising just how many benefits there are to getting (and staying) dirty.

1. Mycobacterium vaccae improves mood
There are all sorts of beneficial bacteria living in the dirt but one that has been well researched is called Mycobacterium vaccae (M. vaccae). This bacteria has been shown toallay depression.

It is not entirely clear why but researchers have found that contact with the bacteria releases cytokines which activate the nerves in our bodies to relay signals to the brain and release serotonin into the prefontal cortex – the part of the brain involved in mood regulation (exercise has been shown to have similar effects).

2. Mycobacterium vaccae is linked to higher IQ
This same release of serotonin that occurs when playing in M. vaccae laced dirt, has also been shown to improve cognitive function. The serotonin that is released whilst playing in the dirt temporarily boosts the IQ so that learning is facilitated.

3. Staphylococci heals wounds
Staphylococci often gets a bad rap but it has it’s benefits as well. Staphylococci can prevent inflammation. After an injury if staphylococci is present on the skin, the redness and swelling which often accompanies cuts and scrapes can be prevented. Forget the ointment, just use a good smearing of dirt before you bandage up!

4. Soil microbes boost the immune system
Playing in the dirt introduces the immune system to bacteria which it can then store in memory. The memory of the immune system is profound and protects a growing body from getting sick later in life. A strong immune system also provides resistance to allergies.

5. Clay improves digestion
Dr. Weston A. Price noted in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (one of my favorite books on earth by the way) that clay was “the treatment used by several primitive races forpreventing and correcting serious disturbances in the digestive tract. This consisted in the use of clay or aluminum silicate which modern science has learned has the important quality of being able to adsorb and thus collect toxic substance and other products…” He also noted a common thread running through all of the primitive cultures he studied was that they carried clay in their backpacks. 

Clay isn’t found in every dirt mound but it always seems that kids are magnets to it. It lays deeper in the soil and is fun to play with.

More here on Primal Parent – an excellent site

You “Fit” with your nature includes your gut flora

Part of the mythology of the modern world is that because some germs are bad ‘ “ALL Bacteria” must be bad. Related to this myth is complete ignorance that our gut depends on an ecosystem of bacteria. There is a growing body of knowledge that is shedding light on the subject. Here is the intro of a great place to start. I will add more soon.

Healthy intestinal flora is vital for forming stools, maintaining immunity, synthesizing essential vitamins, and protecting from colorectal cancers. After bacteria are damaged by antibiotics, laxatives, heavy metals, surgeries, or colonoscopies, fiber is broadly recommended to restore and form stools.

Unlike live bacteria, the dead cells of plants — which is what fiber is — can’t perform bacterial functions, essential for humans. The loss of these functions contributes to impaired immunity, diabetes, obesity, hair loss, eczema, seborrhea, anemia, internal bleedings, ulcers, strokes, cancers, and common gastrointestinal, respiratory, and autoimmune disorders.

Despite all of these well known and thoroughly studied facts, the American medical establishment adamantly refuses to recognize the role of intestinal flora in health and longevity, and does everything possible to obliterate bacteria, starting at birth. Then, it profits enormously from treating the resulting diseases. This guide outlines the role of intestinal flora in human health and explains how to restore it.

Please click here for the post on Gut Sense

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  • Anita: Amen to this article. Too many people receive disability as...
  • matt: isn't the "sugar" in soda high fructose corn syrup? why do y...
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What is the Missing Human Manual All About?

Do you want to age well? Most of us do. If you are my age, 60, this is more important a question that if you are 30. But most of us would not wish to have heart disease, cancer, dementia when we get old.

Most of us think it is normal that we will get ill like this.

But science today tells us that this is not "Normal". Our evolutionary past designed us to be active and fit until we drop dead. Why? Because raising human children takes so long. Mature adults had to do most of the hard work enable us to invest up to 25 years in our kids.

We are designed by our evolution to reach a plateau of fitness in mid life. So why do most of us not live like this?

We don't because, we have strayed away from the best way of living that fits our evolution best. Our culture has got too far ahead of our biology. We eat foods that make us ill. We have lost our social identity and power and that makes us ill. And we have lost touch with the circadian rhythms of the Natural World, and that has made us ill too.

We have lost our fit with our true nature.

This site will be a Manual. It will show you what the best fit is. It will show you the science behind this. It will share with you some methods for getting your fit back with your true human nature.

So welcome to the "Missing Human Manual" . I hope that we can help you and I hope that you can help others as a result.

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Your baby’s gut health – the platform for good or poor lifetime health – what to know and to do about this

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