A 40-year-old mother has approximately a 6% to 8% risk of giving birth to a child with a birth defect. Since the likelihood of most types of birth defects increases with maternal age, a 44-year-old woman could be assumed to have a risk over 8%.
by the 1980s the antibiotics penicillin and tetracycline were no longer effective against it. Next, gonorrhea resistant to fluoroquinolone antibiotics emerged, leaving only one class of antibiotic drugs, cephalosporins, left to treat it. Now, it looks like the sophisticated bacteria responsible for gonorrhea are mutating again and developing resistance to this last line of treatment. Although cases of cephalosporin-resistant gonorrhea have not yet shown up in the United States, it is already circulating in Japan and Europe — a similar trend to what happened when the last widespread resistance developed.
In intervals of two to five days, the volunteers in the study received one of the following food variants on an empty stomach: (1) raw milk; (2) the same milk conventionally cooked; (3) pasteurized milk; (4) the same raw milks cooked in a microwave oven; (5) raw vegetables from an organic farm; (6) the same vegetables cooked conventionally; (7) the same vegetables frozen and defrosted in a microwave oven; and (8) the same vegetables cooked in the microwave oven. Once the volunteers were isolated, blood samples were taken from every volunteer immediately before eating. Then, blood samples were taken at defined intervals after eating from the above milk or vegetable preparations.
Leukocytes are often signs of pathogenic effects on the living system, such as poisoning and cell damage. The increase of leukocytes with the microwaved foods were more pronounced than with all the other variants. It appears that these marked increases were caused entirely by ingesting the microwaved substances.
Microwaving prepared meats sufficiently to insure sanitary ingestion caused formation of d-Nitrosodienthanolamines, a well-known carcinogen.
Microwaving milk and cereal grains converted some of their amino acids into carcinogens.
Thawing frozen fruits converted their glucoside and galactoside containing fractions into carcinogenic substances.
Extremely short exposure of raw, cooked or frozen vegetables converted their plant alkaloids into carcinogens.
Carcinogenic free radicals were formed in microwaved plants, especially root vegetables.
Decrease in nutritional value
So the first set of studies suggests that the microwave oven creates new substances that our immune system needs to fight against. It sufficiently changes food from something our body is familiar with to something that’s a threat. Chronic inflammation taxes our body and is linked to heart disease, cancer, and a variety of other diseases. The second set of studies are self-explanatory, detailing some of the changes that take place and how microwaves transform foods into carcinogens.
After the oranges are squeezed, the juice is stored in giant holding tanks and, critically, the oxygen is removed from them. That essentially allows the liquid to keep (for up to a year) without spoiling– but that liquid that we think of as orange juice tastes nothing like the Tropicana OJ that comes out of the carton.
When the juice is stripped of oxygen it is also stripped of flavor providing chemicals. Juice companies therefore hire flavor and fragrance companies, the same ones that formulate perfumes for Dior and Calvin Klein, to engineer flavor packs to add back to the juice to make it taste fresh. Flavor packs aren’t listed as an ingredient on the label because technically they are derived from orange essence and oil. Yet those in the industry will tell you that the flavor packs, whether made for reconstituted or pasteurized orange juice, resemble nothing found in nature. The packs added to juice earmarked for the North American market tend to contain high amounts of ethyl butyrate, a chemical in the fragrance of fresh squeezed orange juice that, juice companies have discovered, Americans favor. Mexicans and Brazilians have a different palate. Flavor packs fabricated for juice geared to these markets therefore highlight different chemicals, the decanals say, or terpene compounds such as valencine.
The formulas vary to give a brand’s trademark taste. If you’re discerning you may have noticed Minute Maid has a candy like orange flavor. That’s largely due to the flavor pack Coca-Cola has chosen for it. Some companies have even been known to request a flavor pack that mimics the taste of a popular competitor, creating a “hall of mirrors” of flavor packs. Despite the multiple interpretations of a freshly squeezed orange on the market, most flavor packs have a shared source of inspiration: a Florida Valencia orange in spring.
33 percent of them show signs of body dysmorphic disorder, or BDD, a chronic mental illness characterized by excessive worry over appearance that interferes with daily life. The condition does not improve after plastic surgery, and oftentimes, symptoms worsen post-surgery.
Symptoms of BDD include extreme self-consciousness, excessive grooming, frequent examination in the mirror or avoiding mirrors all together and steering clear of social situations because of one’s appearance.
As Stephan highlights, one study showed that 29% of asymptomatic (read: not celiac) people nonetheless tested positive for anti-gliadin IgA in their stool. Anti-gliadin IgA is an antibody produced by the gut, and it remains there until it’s dispatched to ward off gliadin – a primary component of gluten. Basically, the only reason anti-gliadin IgA ends up in your stool is because your body sensed an impending threat – gluten. If gluten poses no threat, the anti-gliadin IgA stays in your gut. And to think, most Americans eat this stuff on a daily basis.
I recently discovered the work of Dr. Kenneth Fine of EnteroLab. He has developed an assay that detects anti-gliadin IgA in stool. Gliadin is one of the problematic proteins in gluten that is implicated in gluten sensitivity. Dr. Fine has been conducting informal research using his fecal anti-gliadin IgA test (data here). He has found that:
100% of untreated celiac patients are antigliadin IgA positive by fecal test, compared to only 76% by blood (n= 17).
76% of microscopic colitis (a type of chronic diarrhea) patients are positive by the fecal test, compared to 9% by blood (n= 57).
57% of symptomatic people (digestive problems?) are positive by the fecal test, compared to 12% by blood (n= 58).
62% of people with autoimmune disease are positive by the fecal test.
29% of asymptomatic (healthy) people are positive by the fecal test, compared to 11-12% by blood (n= 240).
Baby and cow feces are 0% positive by the stool assay.
It gets worse. Gluten sensitivity is determined in large part by genetics. A gene called HLA-DQ is intimately involved. It encodes a protein that is expressed on the surface of cells, that serves to activate immune cells when certain foreign substances are present. Different versions of the gene are activated by different substances. HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8 are classically associated with celiac disease. Roughly 42% of the US population carries DQ2 or DQ8. According to Dr. Fine, every allele except DQ4 has some association with gluten-related problems! Only 0.4% of the U.S. population carries HLA-DQ4 and no other allele. in a preliminary study… Researchers took gut biopsies from celiac patients and asymptomatic controls. Five out of six asymptomatic controls showed elevated interleukin-15, a marker of innate immune activation, upon exposure to gliadin. An activated innate immune system (commonly called ‘inflammation’) is associated with a wide array of chronic diseases, from obesity to cancer to cardiovascular disease. Inflammatory cytokines are elevated in celiac patients and may play a role in their bone pathology.
“Whenever you feel tempted to pop a pimple, control the urge. “Picking can actually make the acne worse and lead to permanent scarring,” Stein says. “Better to leave it alone.” Instead of popping pimples, try an over-the-counter pimple remedy containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. If that doesn’t clear up your breakouts, call your dermatologist.”—How to Damage Your Skin
58 empirical reports on autism and heavy metal toxins, 43 suggest some link may be present, while 13 reports found no link
Mercury is a ubiquitous source of danger in fish, drugs, fungicides/herbicides, dental fillings, thermometers, and many other products. Elevated Hg concentrations may remain in the brain from several years to decades following exposure.
HFCS has been shown in certain studies to cause more harm than cane sugar. ”Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same. “ 
"In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. " 
I found this convincing, because it compares the effect of sucrose and HFCS specifically; it doesn’t just study the effect of HFCS in isolation:
"The first study showed that male rats given water sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup in addition to a standard diet of rat chow gained much more weight than male rats that received water sweetened with table sugar, or sucrose, in conjunction with the standard diet. The concentration of sugar in the sucrose solution was the same as is found in some commercial soft drinks, while the high-fructose corn syrup solution was half as concentrated as most sodas."  
At the same time, there is a lot of literature that claims that HFCS isn’t necessarily more harmful than cane sugar.
"There is, however, no direct evidence for more serious metabolic consequences of high fructose corn syrup versus sucrose consumption." 
"The progressive replacement of sucrose by HFCS is however unlikely to be directly involved in the epidemy of metabolic disease, because HFCS appears to have basically the same metabolic effects as sucrose. " 
More studies will have to be conducted to conclusively state if HFCS is indeed worse than sucrose. Neither are good for you, of course, in excessive amounts. I suppose that meanwhile, to be on the safe side, you should reduce the intake of both.
“There is more goat meat eaten in the world than any other meat animal. 65 - 70% of all red meat eaten in the world is goat meat.
There is more goat milk consumed in the world than cow milk
The goat is the one of the oldest domesticated animals in the world”—
It really depends on what you mean by “night owl”. There is a condition that is called Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome, which is a disorder that changes a person’s general sleep, peak period of alertness, and so on.
People with the disorder who try to live on a normal schedule cannot fall asleep at a “reasonable” hour and have extreme difficulty waking because their biological clocks are not in phase with that schedule.
This quote basically says that yes, quite certainly, when one with DSPS (that is, an extreme “night owl”), will have difficulty waking up in a morning, and wake up slower than an “early bird”, but only if they are being forced (by work or otherwise) to live on a schedule that their body doesn’t naturally want to do.
Imagine if a ‘regular’ person had to wake up every morning at 3am for their job. They would hit the snooze button just as much as one with DSPS does when they wake up at 8am.
If, however, they are allowed to follow their own schedules, e.g. sleeping from 4 a.m. to noon, they sleep soundly, awaken spontaneously, and do not experience excessive daytime sleepiness.
* italics not originally in text, and used to accentuate a point.
I will attest to the fact that, as someone with DSPS, when it’s time for me to wake, I will awaken instantly, and be ready for the day. I’m generally not sleepy for very long. That being said, it may be around 10:30 - 11:30, but when one sleeps at 2:30am - 3:30am that’s a full 8 hours of sleep.
So, I would have to say, in full confidence to the question “Do night owls wake up slower than early birds?”
Yes when they must wake up earlier than their normal waking time. No if they awaken on their own accord.
I know this is from “Science News for Kids,” but it reminded me of a talk I heard recently that included discussion of this research.
For every cell in your brain, bones, organs and blood, there are 10 bacteria. They’re not going anywhere, so you might as well get used to them.
Not new news, but still interesting to think about.
Even more interesting are the experiments showing that germ-free mice, never colonized with normal gut bacteria, engage in more exploratory behavior than their normally-colonized brethren. If young germ-free mice are then colonized, their behavior reverts to the norm. But it they’re not colonized until they’ve reached maturity, they remain “bold and adventurous.”
More evidence that what you eat influences the bacteria in your intestine, which in turn, affects your brain.
A landmark new study out of Texas confirms this, having found that not only do diet sodas not help with weight loss, but they actually cause both weight gain and health problems.
Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSC) at San Antonio gathered ten years worth of data on 474 participants from a larger, ongoing study called the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging. Among these participants, those that consumed two or more diet sodas a day experienced waist size increases that were a shocking six times greater than those who did not drink diet soda.
In a related study presented at the same time, researchers also found that aspartame, a commonly-used chemical sweetener in diet foods and beverages, is actually responsible for raising blood sugar levels.
US Food and Drug Administration adverse event reports going back several decades indicate that artificial sweeteners like aspartame are also responsible for destroying brain neurons, which in turn leads to a host of chronic illnesses.
These include, but are not limited to, chronic headaches, seizures, strokes, vascular disorders, heart disease, premature birth, dementia and other brain disorders, and cancer
So rather than consume artificially-sweetened beverages and foods with the hope that they will somehow induce weight gain and promote health — two notions that have proven once again to be false — the best way to begin to lose weight is to consume less processed, refined sugars and simple carbohydrates in the first place. Read the full article here.
This may not be what some of you want to hear, but it’s important that we all know the damaging effects of artificial, processed food and drink. Long-term weight loss isn’t just about “counting calories”.
RESULTS: SMRs for all causes of death were significantly below the reference level of 100 in both studies: 52 (95% confidence interval (CI) 49-56) based on 1,131 deaths in the Oxford Vegetarian Study and 59 (57-61) based on 2,346 deaths in the Health Food Shoppers Study. For all causes of death, the DRR for vegetarians compared with non-vegetarians was close to one in both studies: 1.01 (95% CI 0.89-1.14) in the Oxford Vegetarian Study, 1.03 (0.95-1.13) in the Health Food Shoppers Study. CONCLUSIONS: British vegetarians have low mortality compared with the general population. Their death rates are similar to those of comparable non-vegetarians, suggesting that much of this benefit may be attributed to non-dietary lifestyle factors such as a low prevalence of smoking and a generally high socio-economic status, or to aspects of the diet other than the avoidance of meat and fish.
Baking soda and cornstarch: Using baking soda as a deodorant is a simple way to combat body odor without subjecting your pits to a variety of chemicals. Mix an eighth of a teaspoon of baking soda with a little bit of water — don’t dissolve it — and rub it under your arms. You can also create a baking soda and cornstarch mix to fight odor and help prevent wetness. Simply mix one part baking soda with six parts cornstarch and dust a little on your underarms.
Lemon juice:The citric acid in lemon juice can kill odor-causing bacteria, and there are people who swear by the lemon deodorizing method.
Rubbing alcohol:Rubbing alcohol is another inexpensive and easy deodorant that kills odor-causing bacteria. Simply fill a spray bottle with alcohol and spritz your underarms with it. You can even add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to give it a scent — witch hazel absorbs oil and is mildly astringent, and tea tree oil can help relieve body odor.
You can also make some combination of the above, adding coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, etc.
Good article. Main point is that your car’s interior surfaces release benzene into the air, so it’s smart to open your windows before turning on the AC if at all possible…
On a sunny day, the temperature in a parked car can be more than 40 degrees (Fahrenheit) higher than the outside air.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has a limit for short-term (15 minute) workplace exposure (3.2 mg per cubic meter) and for average workday exposure ( 0.32 mg per cubic meter).
Several other studies — from Germany, South Korea, and the United States — have looked at benzene levels in moving cars. These levels have ranged from 0.013 to 0.560 mg per cubic meter
It’s impossible to know whether these guidelines for benzene levels are high or low, nor are you likely to get your car tested for interior benzene emissions.
Of course benzene is only one of many chemicals leached by your car’s interior.
The upshot is that it’s good to let in some fresh air when you first get in your car and to leave the windows if you can.
The big idea with K2 is that it’s important in having your calcium get deposited in the right places (bones/teeth) and not the wrong places (blood vessels etc.) It also helps with other types of mineral deposition.
K2 is found in low concentration in meats and eggs :
Here is a more complete table. It’s also found in dairy products and chicken. Note that 1 egg yolk is 17 grams, so you’d need to eat about 6 egg yolks to get the amount listed above. K2 is found in higher concentrations in organ meats
The brain contains one of the highest concentrations of vitamin K2 in the body; only the pancreas, salivary glands, and the cartilaginous tissue of the sternum contain more.
It’s interesting to note that K2 is found in cartilage.
Some theorize that vitamin k2 is one of many quinones that perform important functions but are not well studied,
Vitamin K2 is further sub-divided into several forms but the most understood are menaquinone-4 (menatretrenone-MK4)
The MK-4 version of K2 is exclusively made by animal tissues and is found in foods like butter, cheeses, liver and liver pate [especially so if those animals are mostly pastured/grass fed and not fed loads of soy/corn]. MK-7 on the other hand is made by our intestinal bacteria (about 10% of total dietary K1 is converted in this manner, although most experts agree that it contributes minimally to vitamin K2 status in humans due to the minimal amount of absorption that occurs), and fermented foods such as natto [photo in the top, left hand corner] and sauerkraut.
vitamin K2 activates a type of protein called matrix gla protein (MGP) where it helps to keep calcium out of the blood vessels. Calcification of arteries is a strong (some argue the best) predictor heart disease. In a large epidemiological study, those with higher intakes of vitamin K2 were found to be 52 per cent less likely to have vascular calcification, 41 per cent less likely to develop heart disease and 57 per cent less like to die from it.
K2 has been found to improved dental health as the salivary glands excrete vitamin K2 provided there is an adequate dietary supply. In fact the salivary glands have the second highest concentration of K2, second only to the pancreas.
I view this as an additional argument that one should eat grass fed meat in addition to fish.
Calcium supplements & milk can disturb your mineral balance, increasing risk of depression, osteoporosis, heart disease, more...
First, I’ve posted a few times about milk. Skim milk is linked to heart disease, mental health issues, and immune system disorders among other things. For more on that, click here. One of the other problems with dairy in my mind is that it provides the body with too much calcium.
Regardless of dairy, some choose to take calcium supplements. Based on the studies I’ve seen, calcium supplements may be totally unnecessary if you have a healthy diet with enough vegetables. There is more information on that in the osteoporosis studies below.
Calcium supplements disturb the balance of minerals in your body. Calcium flushes out minerals you might otherwise need, and you end up with more calcium in your system than you might otherwise want.
Of course, it’s also somewhat stressful for your system if large amounts of calcium are dumped in to your blood stream rather quickly which can happen, depending on what kind of meal you’re eating with the pills. That in itself is unhealthy.
So if you take in calcium, what happens? Well first of all you’d have more calcium than you otherwise need, and less of other minerals that you do need. So I won’t even talk about the effects of the potential deficit in other minerals that calcium might cause.
Now if you take too much calcium, or you drink dairy, the degree to which you get any of these symptoms is dependent on the amount of calcium you take. A little bit of extra calcium might go unnoticed when you are young, but as you get older your body is less able to handle, so why stress it out.
Anyway, let me go over a few of the symptoms associated with excess calcium:
Symptoms are partially due to the depressing or inhibiting effect of calcium upon the central nervous system. Calcium raises the voltage at which nerve cells fire. This has a deadening, numbing or depressive effect on the central nervous system. Thus it is not surprising that lethargy, depression and psychological withdrawal would occur.
Calcium toxicity symptoms may include fatigue, depression, defensiveness, muscle weakness, pain, arteriosclerosis, arthritis, kidney stones and gallstones. Others are bone spurs, rigidity, slow metabolism, constipation, social withdrawal and spondylitis (rigidity and inflammation of the spine).
In fact, excess calcium can actually cause osteoporosis
Not only is osteoporosis not caused by a lack of calcium, but it appears that excessive calcium intake may actually cause greater bone porosity and bone fracture rates later in life! After all, the average Chinese peasant eating a plant-based diet ingests approximately 150mg of food calcium a day – not the 1200mg a day the National Osteoporosis Foundation claims is necessary for women and men over 40 to maintain strong bones.
Paradoxically, not only does the afforementioned Chinese peasant have less dense bones than your average Westerner, but s(he) also has incomparably stronger bones. In fact, the Chinese language has no word for osteoporosis. These facts beg for a scientific explanation. A Dutch researcher by the name of Thijs Klompmaker, in his 2000 article “Excessive Calcium Causes Osteoporosis” provides a brilliant explanation as to why too much calcium interferes with bone health. According to Klompmaker’s analysis, excessive calcium introduced through diary products and mineral supplementation coerces the bone-building cells known as osteoclasts to replicate prematurely, in effect causing a rapid and premature aging of the bone. Excess calcium in the blood can lead to the accumulation of plaque in the arteries and can exert both a hypertensive effect on the heart muscle and increase the risk of heart attack.
Excess calcium can also deposit into soft tissues, leading to osteoarthritis, muscle cramping, insomnia, constipation, kidney stones, and increased rates of breast and prostate cancers (note: calcium is mitogenic, stimulating proliferation of cells). To prevent this, the body shunts the extra calcium into the bone, where it is stored until it can be safely excreted. The problem with this protective measure is that when osteoblasts replicate approximately 60-70% die as they become part of the new bone mineral matrix they lay down. Because there are only a fixed number of replication cycles available to the body in a given lifetime, the bone density of those consuming excessive amounts of calcium may be greater earlier in life, but later in life there would be insufficient osteoblastic activity to countermand the bone-deconstructing activity of the osteoclasts.
Indeed, in Asia where calcium consumption is relatively low (100-200 mg daily), peak bone mass is reached later in life, and bones remain stronger and more resistant to fracture later in life.
There is a longer article on the same subject here.
Only about 200 mg is absorbed into the blood, on the average, whether we consume 300 mg or 700 mg calcium daily, or sometimes even when we consume up to 1200 mg supplementary calcium daily. (13) In order to absorb the right amount of calcium, absorption rate decreases when we consume more calcium.
But if we consume too much calcium, the absorption rate cannot be sufficiently decreased; about 5% of dietary calcium on top of 1500 mg a day is yet absorbed into the blood. For example: Consuming 5-fold more calcium than before, a group of girls did, in fact, absorb twice as much calcium (as before) into the blood.
Calcium in mg / 100 g
[110 cows milk]
44 Black berries
32 Human milk
Osteoporosis is caused by consuming too much calcium year after year. The body tries to counteract this by taking up as little calcium as possible. Vitamin D increases the calcium-absorption rate. So to prevent the uptake of excessive calcium, the body composes as little vitamin D as possible.
If always very, very little calcium is consumed (less than 300 mg / day which is a very hard thing to achieve), a lack of vitamin D / calcitriol can cause osteoporosis by making it impossible to increase calcium absorption.
In the past decade, and into the 21st Century, many well known doctors from across the globe have broken ranks with the conventional “Lipid Theorists” in espousing what they believe to be a more likely cause of arterial disease, and that is the accumulation of excess calcium plaque in coronary arteries.
The amount of calcium in coronary arteries can be measured. The Agatston Score refers to the amount of calcium based upon the size and the density of the calcified plaques. Absolute Agatston scores of less than 10, 11-99, 100-400, and above 400 have been proposed to categorize individuals into groups having minimal, moderate, increased, or extensive amounts of calcification, respectively. The amount of calcification can give, to some extent, an indication of the overall amount of atherosclerosis (arterial disease).
It is well established that individuals with Agatston Scores above 400 have an increased occurrence of coronary artery procedure (bypass, stent placement, and angioplasty) and events (heart attack and cardiac death) within the 2 to 5 years after undergoing a coronary artery calcification assessment. Individuals with very high Agatston scores over 1000 have a 20% chance of suffering a heart attack or cardiac death within a year
Natural Antidotes To Arterial Calcifications
Vitamin D: Numerous studies have shown the correlation between adequate levels of Vitamin D in the body and the absence of extensive arterial calcification.
Magnesium: Magnesium has been found to be another natural calcium blocker and is another natural antidote to arterial calcification (7).It is interesting to note that Magnesium addresses the same biological target as the statin drugs - the enzyme that controls cholesterol production in the liver. Both statin drugs and magnesium inhibit the enzymatic pathway. Magnesium lowers cholesterol and triglycerides and raises HDL cholesterol. It turns out that magnesium is a natural statin (8).
Vitamin K: Vitamin K has been shown to reduce coronary heart disease mortality and aortic calcium scores by more than 50% in groups who consume high amounts from direct dietary sources. Vitamin K is naturally found in spinach, broccoli, and turnip greens.
Vitamin C: Still another way to inhibit calcifications on the inside of arterial walls is Vitamin C. Smooth cells called endothelial cells line the inside of arteries. When these cells are disrupted, in disrepair and cannot be regenerated fast enough, blood vessel disease can begin. Without proper maintenance of endothelial cells, cholesterol can be deposited underneath them, and calcification and blood clots can form. Among young men, ages 18-30 years, low circulating levels of Vitamin C more than doubles the deposition of calcium inside coronary walls (9). Low Vitamin C intake will likely result in a problematic artery scan. It is suggested that approximately 2000 mg – 4000 mg of Vitamin C should be supplemented daily for effective maintenance of arterial walls.
Better than 90% of patients that experience a heart attack have coronary calcifications. It is also of interest to note that some 45% of patients that experience a heart attack and are admitted to a hospital have a “normal level” of cholesterol
In an editorial published in the International Journal of Cardiology, Dr. Stephen Seely of the University of Manchester argues that excess calcium intake is a major cause of atherosclerosis in Western countries. He contends that, contrary to recommendations established by nutrition authorities in the US and other countries, young adults need only 300-400 mg of calcium daily, and older adults need even less. A diet devoid of dairy products supplies about 300-400 mg/day of calcium. However, in Western countries, many people consume one-half liter of milk daily, adding an extra 600 mg of calcium to their diets.
The author argues that epidemiological data support the claim that calcium excess is associated with atherosclerosis. “First, the general observation can be made that, in countries where the daily calcium intake is 200-400 mg, arterial diseases are non-existent. Blood pressure does not increase with age. In countries where the daily intake is 800 mg, arterial disease is the leading cause of mortality. A more specific indicator is the strong positive correlation between consumption of milk and mortality from coronary arterial disease.”
Calcium most likely exerts its harmful effect, according to this author, because excess amounts can be deposited in soft tissues, notably the aorta. Calcification of the aorta decreases its elasticity; consequences may include increased work for the heart, reduced filling of the coronary arteries, and increased blood pressure.
Relatedly, arterial hardening and deposits leads to impaired blood flow which can cause all sorts of problems : erectile disfunction, impaired ability to oxygenate the brain and thus think, etc.
One of the potential dangers in taking calcium supplements lies in the fact that excess calcium can be redistributed to deposit in soft tissues, causing arthritis, arteriosclerosis, kidney stones, and other problems.
Even though you may be getting sufficient quantities of calcium, if you take too much of another mineral, the calcium can become depleted. The opposite also holds true. If you take excess quantities of calcium, you can deplete other minerals in your body.
So really we should think of calcium supplement just as we’d think about any other food not available to our paleolithic ancestors. It’s likely something that upsets the balance in our body - in this case the balance of minerals, and can cause a wide array of problems.
Some people argue that you should use bones to make soup, but our ancestors didn’t hit the bronze age until 5000 years ago, so really they didn’t have access to any calcium soups. Some argue that our ancestors might have gnawed on bones - and that may be true for our more distant ancestors who had ridiculously strong jaws and sets of molars, but the reality is the calcium in bones, for the most part was not accessible to our ancestors, thus abrogating the need for any sort of calcium supplement for those considering the paleolithic diet.
It’s been drilled into our heads that we need to get enough calcium for teeth and bones etc. This is partly because of lobbying by the dairy industry. It’s also partly because our country consumes a diet that isn’t conducive for calcium retention. In other words, we need the calcium to balance out other unhealthy things in our diet. Grains contain phytate which leaches calcium. Beans contain lignin, which binds to minerals. We, as country, probably consume too much protein, and much of that comes from milk - anyway excessive protein consumption causes calcium leaching. However, if you adopt a diet composed of fruits, vegetables and lean meats, your need for calcium is likely reduced relative to the traditional acid forming diet.
In other words, if you actually have a healthy diet, avoid dairy, and don’t eat like the typical american, you might not need to take supplementary calcium pills. If you eat enough fruits, vegetables, and lean meats you should get a good balance of minerals in the way nature intended.
For me, this is obvious. I avoid municipal water when possible, because it often has chlorine in it. Even for showers, a shower filter can make sense to reduce the amount of chlorine absorbed through your skin.
When humans started eating grains and dairy products, they got shorter and fatter & hit puberty sooner (aged faster)
The advent of agricultural marked a chaotic period for our bodies to adjust to these foreign foods. The fossil record shows a massive decrease in average height, health, and rapid increase in disease, obesity, and population for cultures that survived the transition from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a agricultural dependent one. Women on high grain/carbohydrate diets become mature at an earlier age than their hunter-gatherer counterparts; thereby out-breeding and out-producing hunter-gatherers.
Dating back 1.8 million years dental grooves have been found on fossil teeth to suggest cavemen picked their teeth. Grass stalks were most likely used. Study concluded early humans were concerned about their dental hygiene and used implements to pick food from their teeth. Source(s): Leslea Hlusko, a palaeontologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
It’s interesting to me that drugs like Propecia - which a lot of people take for hair loss - increase the risk of high-grade prostate cancer.
Propecia inhibits the formation of DHT - a hormone that is linked to hair loss - but that also is part of a delicate balance of other hormones in the body.
At this point, it’s not well understood how disturbing the hormonal balance leads to an increased risk of high-grade prostate cancer.
This adds a bit more color
9,060 men underwent biopsy during the trial or at the end of 7 years. It was found that ‘finasteride prevents or delays the appearance of prostate cancer’ by 24.6% [fi nasteride, 803/4,368 (18.4%); placebo, 1,147/4,692 (24.4%)] but ‘increased the risk of highgrade prostate cancer’ by 67% [finasteride, 280/757 (37%); placebo, 237/1,068 (22.2%) (p
The glans of the circumcised penis is less sensitive to fine touch than the glans of the uncircumcised penis. The transitional region from the external to the internal prepuce is the most sensitive region of the uncircumcised penis and more sensitive than the most sensitive region of the circumcised penis. Circumcision ablates the most sensitive parts of the penis.
So you might think uncircumsized men get more pleasure from sex. Not true.
Compared to before they were circumcised, 64.0% of circumcised men reported their penis was “much more sensitive,” and 54.5% rated their ease of reaching orgasm as “much more” at month 24.
This study was part of a program in Africa promoting circumcision for its health benefits.
I’ve seen some who suggest that a circumcision reduces sexual pleasure, but the majority of evidence seems to suggest that’s just a myth and if anything circumcision marginally improves sexual pleasure. Wikipedia summarizes some of the controversy here and here.
A few drops of eucalyptus oil can be applied directly to the scalp and massaged to stimulate blood flow. It can also be mixed with shampoo or conditioner to revitalize dull and lifeless hair, which encourages hair growth.
Interesting idea and interesting use of a natural product :)
So, a typical cow has about 200 lbs of ground beef and 13 lbs of liver.
One must assume that animals were leaner in paleolithic times, so likely the animal would have less meat.
So that means that for every 15 or maybe even 10 servings of meat, there would be one serving of liver. If one eat a pound of meat per day that means half a pound of liver per week - or two servings - which is considerably more than most eat.
Of course there are other organs as well and other meats…
Fruit browns because various enzymes leak out of cut cells and hasten oxidation. The sharper the knife, the fewer cells get damaged. The goal is to slice through the cell, not push through it and bruise it along with nearby cells.
How NAC might help with depression, bipolar disorder, OCD, and anxiety
There is actually some decent evidence that NAC does a good job. So how does it work?
NAC is N-acetyl cysteine. If your brain gets stressed out, cysteine gets depleted which causes multiple problems. NAC can give your brain the cysteine it may need. Cysteine can also help reduce glutamate levels. Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter, whose levels may be too high in bipolar disorder & OCD & anxiety.
[NAC] is an easy way to deliver an amino acid called cysteine, which otherwise does not easily reach brain cells. … Glutathione (GSH, L-gamma-glutamyl-L-cysteinylglycine) is the predominant anti-oxidant in the cytoplasm of cells. Virtually all cells require glutathione for viability and function. Glutathione is synthesized from three amino acids in a two-step process, beginning with the combination of glutamic acid & cysteine and ending with the addition of glycine. … Glycine & glutamic acid are plentiful in cells, so it is the availability of cysteine that controls the reaction rate. http://www.psycheducation.org/depression/meds/n-acetylcysteine.htm
Cysteine assists in the regulation of neuronal intra- and extracellular exchange of glutamate through the cystine–glutamate antiporter. Whereas this antiporter is ubiquitous throughout all cell types, in the brain it is preferentially located on glial cells. The dimer, cystine, is taken up by astrocytes and exchanged for glutamate, which is released into the extracellular space. This free glutamate appears to stimulate inhibitory metabotropic glutamate receptors on glutamatergic nerve terminals and thereby reduce the synaptic release of glutamate. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3044191/
Catecholamines are a group of chemical compounds responsible for physiological responses to stressful conditions, and as such are dubbed “fight or flight” hormones. These hormones produced and released by the adrenal glands enter the circulatory system and act on the nervous system. However, the adrenal glands are not capable of synthesizing catecholamines without L-tyrosine. First, L-tyrosine is converted into L-DOPA, which crosses the blood-brain barrier and increases the level of catecholamines in the brain and the rest of the central nervous system in response to stress. At the same time, it assists the peripheral nervous system in conditioning the blood vessels and skeletal muscles to respond to stress factors appropriately, allowing us to feel a sudden rush of energy
Stress and depression are very related in that depression is very stressful for the brain - in the sense that the same neural pathways that get worn out with stress also get worn out with depression.
Disclaimer : I actually don’t take any supplements myself, but I’m interested in the mechanisms of how some supplements work.
Veryfew foods actually boost neurogenesis (the production of new brain cells).
brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) … plays a key role in creating new neurons. … The gene that turns on BDNF is activated by a variety of factors including physical exercise, caloric restriction, curcumin and the omega-3 fat, DHA.
2) omega 3 fatty acids (mostly found in fish, but also present in other foods)
Gómez-Pinilla analyzed more than 160 studies about food’s affect on the brain; the results of his analysis appear in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience. Omega-3 fatty acids — found in salmon, walnuts and kiwi fruit — provide many benefits, including improving learning and memory and helping to fight against such mental disorders as depression and mood disorders, schizophrenia, and dementia, said Gómez-Pinilla, a member of UCLA’s Brain Research Institute and Brain Injury Research Center.
Salt is healthier: One of the most important advantages of salt water swimming pools is that they are much friendlier to the skin and general health. Salt is much softer on the skin and doesn’t cause any medical problems. Chlorine on the other hand, has the tendency to irritate eyes or even discolor hair. Salt swimming pools are much safer to those who make use of their pools frequently, since they don’t have to suffer from symptoms related to chlorine exposure.
Maintenance: Salt water swimming pools require lower maintenance and fewer expenses. They have the ability to clean themselves and they do not require that much attention. On the other hand, the chlorine pools need an array of chemicals in order to maintain a good level of hygiene. Water sanitation can be easily achieved in a salt water pool.
Costs: One of the most important and significant advantages of salt water swimming pools is the low cost of maintenance. They are definitely much more expensive when built, but they pay off the initial costs within a few years, as they require less chemicals and maintenance by a professional technician. According to estimates, the cost of a salt water swimming pool is almost half the cost of a chlorine pool – including its maintenance.
Medical problems: studies show that the typical chlorine only pools tend to create some substances, called organo-chlorines, which imitate the regular human hormones. They are associated with several medical conditions and diseases, among which are infertility, low immunity, hormonal imbalances and even cancer. These substances are also related to asthma and respiratory diseases. Of course these diseases don’t occur overnight, but since the users of residential pools tend to swim often, the dangers are increased. Salt water pools, on the other hand, have low levels of chlorine, which cannot cause any of these diseases.
“A three-year prospective study of 9-15 year old girls found a 20% increase in acne prevalence in girls that had 2 or more servings of milk per day compared to less than 1 per week. This association held true for total, whole, low fat, and skim milk.6 The same researchers found a similar association in boys who drank skim milk (milk highest in protein).7 Furthermore, in the Nurses’ Health Study, dairy products eaten during high school were associated with acne during women’s teenage years.8”—
it’s widely known that statins lower your CoQ10 levels by blocking the pathway involved in cholesterol production — the same pathway by which Q10 is produced. Statins also reduce the blood cholesterol that transports CoQ10 and other fat-soluble antioxidants.
The loss of CoQ10 leads to loss of cell energy and increased free radicals which, in turn, can further damage your mitochondrial DNA, effectively setting into motion an evil circle of increasing free radicals and mitochondrial damage.
There are actually over 900 studies showing the risks of statin drugs, which include:
Cognitive loss Neuropathy Anemia
Acidosis Frequent fevers Cataracts
Sexual dysfunction An increase in cancer risk Pancreatic dysfunction
Immune system suppression Serious degenerative muscle tissue condition (rhabdomyolysis) Hepatic dysfunction. (Due to the potential increase in liver enzymes, patients must be monitored for normal liver function)
Move over, Lyme disease: Another tick-borne illness is on the rise in various parts of the country, and this one can kill.
many people with babesiosis have no symptoms and never know they’re harboring the parasite. For others, symptoms can include high fever, severe headache, fatigue, chills, and muscle aches and pains. It is treated with antimicrobial drugs, such as antibiotics.
Some people develop nonspecific flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, sweats, headache, body aches, loss of appetite, nausea, or fatigue.
Because Babesia parasites infect and destroy red blood cells, babesiosis can cause a special type of anemia called hemolytic anemia. This type of anemia can lead to jaundice and dark urine.
These diseases are scary. Lyme disease has transformed the outdoors. Chronic is even worse, with all its neurological symptoms. It used to be that you could spend time outdoors without worrying. With the spread of lyme and now this, one has to be a bit more careful.
Scientists for the Belly Button Biodiversity project have done a little navel-gazing, studying the belly buttons of 95 volunteers and counting. So far they have turned up 1,400 different bacterial strains, 662 of which appear to be new to science. “We’re probably the only ones studying human belly buttons on such a large scale,”
Our hunter-gatherer ancestors consumed a diet very different from what’s typical today.
Grains were introduced into the diet after the appearance of stone tools. Refined grains were available after the invention of automated rolling and sifting devices.
Milk, cheese and other milk products were introduced with the domestication of livestock.
Salt consumption rose when technology to mine, process, and transport it became available.
Meat consumption increased with animal husbandry. It further increased with the advent of technology that enabled grains to be efficiently fed to cattle, which allowed cattle to be fattened quickly.
Sugar consumption has risen since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
Grains, fish, meat, poultry, shellfish, cheese, milk, and salt all produce acid, so the introduction and dramatic rise in our consumption of these foods meant that the typical Western diet became more acid-producing.
Some practitioners recommend the alkaline diet if a person has the following symptoms and other illnesses have been ruled out.
Lack of energy
Excessive mucous production
Frequent colds and flu
Anxiety, nervousness, irritability
Ovarian cysts, polycystic ovaries, benign breast cysts
There’s actually a lot of controversy about the alkaline diet. Some smart people think it is complete BS. Skeptics actually run the wikipedia page on the alkaline diet and link to fellow skeptics. They simply believe the body can adjust to the radical change in foods consumed with no problem. These people also tend to be advocates of bean and dairy consumption. They claim that blood ph is unaffected, but that’s not the point. The point of the diet is that a more alkaline diet leads to more calcium retention and less fat accumulation.
There are studies like this one that see no association between bone mineral density and acid load (although even that one saw a correlation in older men). In this case the study looked at an older study and made estimates of net asset load and renal acid load - which I assume were based on the dietary data available - and then compared that to bone mineral density. So that’s certainly a reason t be skeptical. It’s possible that bone mineral density is more correlated with things like exercise and physical size.
Actually if you’re overweight, your bone mineral density actually increases.
it was noted that overweight (BMI > 25 < 29.9) was neutral or protective for BMD
So it’s very possible that those on poor diets simply got fatter, which put more stress on their bones, which led to them having more dense bones.
So what other ways can this data be looked at?
There is evidence that having an alkaline diet increases calcium absorption. Here’s a link to a cool study where they basically fed people alkaline chemicals. As it says, calcium retention went up.
The effects of neutralization of dietary acid load (equimolar amounts of NaHCO3 and KHCO3 substituted for NaCl and KCl) in nine healthy subjects (6 men, 3 women) under metabolic balance conditions on calcium balance, bone markers, and endocrine systems relevant to bone [glucocorticoid secretion, IGF-1, parathyroid hormone (PTH)/1,25(OH)2 vitamin D and thyroid hormones] were studied. Neutralization for 7 days induced a significant cumulative calcium retention (10.7 ± 0.4 mmol) and significantly reduced the urinary excretion of deoxypyridinoline, pyridinoline, andn-telopeptide. Mean daily plasma cortisol decreased from 264 ± 45 to 232 ± 43 nmol/l (P = 0.032), and urinary excretion of tetrahydrocortisol (THF) decreased from 2,410 ± 210 to 2,098 ± 190 μg/24 h (P = 0.027). No significant effect was found on free IGF-1, PTH/1,25(OH)2 vitamin D, or thyroid hormones.
In a recent study estimating the net acid load (NEAP) of 159 hypothetical pre-agricultural diets, 87 % were found to be base producing, with an estimated mean NEAP of negative 88 mEq/d. In comparison, calculations from the US Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) found the average American diet to be acid producing, with an NEAP of positive 48 mEq/d.
Diet net acid load can be estimated from measurements of urinary excretion of ammonium, titratable acids and bicarbonate (called net acid excretion; NAE), or can be calculated from dietary constituents (called net endogenous acid production; NEAP).
In vivo studies have generally supported the in vitro ﬁndings that acid-promoting diets are associated with both increased Ca and increased bone matrix protein excretion (used as a marker for estimating bone loss), and that neutralising the acid intake with diet or bicarbonate supplements decreases urine Ca and bone matrix protein excretion (18 – 21) . In a trial of 170 postmenopausal women, for example, potassium bicarbonate supplementation reduced daily urinary Ca excretion, and one could predict which women would beneﬁt most – those with the greatest urinary Ca loss
In an examination of over 1000 women between the ages of 45 and 54 years, a lower dietary intake of acid-producing foods correlated with greater spine and hip bone mineral density, as well as greater forearm bone mass, after adjusting for age, weight, height and menstrual status (60) . In the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures Research cohort, over 1000 women aged 65 þ years were enrolled in a prospective cohort study.
A number of trials have shown that the bone loss can be reversed by the addition of a base…Potassium citrate combined with calcium citrate may be more beneﬁcial than either alone, as demonstrated in a cross-over trial on bone turnover in postmenopausal women. Urinary Ca excretion and markers of bone health were improved with potassium citrate, more so in those consuming a high-Na diet. … A recent study suggests that bicarbonate has favourable effects on bone resorption and Ca excretion
Kidney stones… In a study of nearly 200 renal stone-formers designed to identify the greatest risk factors for nephrolithiasis[kidney stones], it was the potential acid load of the diet which had the strongest association with stone risk…Potassiummagnesium citrate has been shown to counter renal stone formation associated with immobilisation and was associated with a signiﬁcant increase in urinary pH.
I view all this as additional evidence that a diet consisting of fruits and vegetables with some fish is healthy, and that foods like dairy and grains are not the best health choices.
As this says, ingredients like SLS (detergents/surfactants) in toothpaste temporarily blunt out the sweet taste, so you’re left with sour (orange is a mixture of sweet and sour). It’s actually a very strong sour.
And then, SLS or similar ingredients sweet away phospholipids temporarily, which does this…
Phospholipids play a very strong role in nervous signal management. They intervene on certain pathways, one of which is - you guessed it - the nerve endings on your tongue responsible for bitter taste. Remove phospholipids from the equation and those pathways fire much more violently when in contact with bitters - and all OJ has some measure of tannins and other bitter elements in it.
Megapost : First Gluten was identified. Now comes lectins, found in wheat, grains, rice, potatoes etc. Lectins can impair digestive health, mental health, cardiovascular health, and cellular function. Lectins can contribute to weight gain and diabetes, and can impair your immune system.
I continue to be interested in paleolithic diet theory. We’ve only been eating milk and grains for 10,000 years, and it takes considerably longer than that to adapt to new food groups. So it is therefore likely that we do not have the right biological structures in place to deal with those foods. As time goes by research increasingly supports this conclusion. We know that certain proteins in dairy products are linked with heart disease and poor circulation. We know that gluten can cause a plethora of problems even in those who test negative for celiac. We’re just beginning to scratch the surface when it comes to other components in other grains and dairy.
First let’s go over WGA, or wheat germ agglutinin, and the issues it brings up.
Lectin is a defense mechanism for the wheat plant, designed to ward of its natural enemies such as fungi and insects. Unfortunately, this protein is also very resistant to breakdown by living systems, and it easily accumulates in tissues where it interferes with normal biological processes and acts as an anti-nutrient.
Pro-Inflammatory: WGA lectin stimulates the synthesis of pro-inflammatory chemical messangers, even at very small concentrations.
Immunotoxic: WGA lectin may bind to and activate white blood cells.
Neurotoxic: WGA lectin can pass through your blood-brain barrier and may attach to the protective coating on your nerves known as the myelin sheath. It is also capable of inhibiting nerve growth factor, which is important for the growth, maintenance, and survival of certain target neurons.
Cytotoxic (Toxic to cells): WGA lectin may induce programmed cell death.
Further, research shows WGA lectin may even:
Interfere with gene expression
Disrupt endocrine function
Adversely affect gastrointestinal function
WGA lectin is capable of passing through cell membranes of your intestines, gaining entry into your body. Further, if your mucosal barrier is compromised, for instance from taking certain drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen or due to a viral or bacterial infection, lectin may become even more problematic.
Keep in mind that lectin is not only in wheat. All seeds of the grass family (rice, wheat, spelt, rye, etc.) have high levels of lectin.
WGA lectin is an exceptionally tough adversary as it is formed by the same disulfide bonds that make vulcanized rubber and human hair so strong, flexible and durable. Like man-made pesticides, lectins are extremely small, resistant to break-down by living systems, and tend to accumulate and become incorporated into tissues where they interfere with normal biological processes. Indeed, WGA lectin is so powerful as an insecticide that biotech firms have used recombinant DNA technology to create genetically modified WGA-enhanced plants.
Lectins are glycoproteins, and through thousands of years of selectively breeding wheat for increasingly larger quantities of protein, the concentration of WGA lectin has increased proportionately.
Lectins are designed “to choose” specific carbohydrates that project off the surface of cells and upon which they attach. In the case of WGA the two glycoproteins it selects for, in order of greatest affinity, are N-Acetyl Glucosamine and N-Acetylneuraminic acid (sialic acid).
All animals, including worms, fish, birds and humans, use N-Acetyglucosamine as a foundational substance for building the various tissues in their bodies, including the bones. The production of cartilage, tendons, and joints depend on the structural integrity of N-Acetylglucosamine. The mucous known as the glycocalyx, or literally, “sugar coat” is secreted in humans by the epithelial cells which line all the mucous membranes, from nasal cavities to the top to the bottom of the alimentary tube, as well as the protective and slippery lining of our blood vessels. The glycocalyx is composed largely of N-Acetylglucosamine and N-Acetylneuraminic acid (also known as sialic acid), with carbohydrate end of N-Acetylneuraminic acid of this protective glycoprotein forming the terminal sugar that is exposed to the contents of both the gut and the arterial lumen (opening).
WGA is an exceedingly small glycoprotein (36 kilodaltons)
Lectins … are notoriously dangerous even in minute doses and can be fatal when inhaled or injected directly into the bloodstream. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control it takes only 500 micrograms (about half a grain of sand) of ricin (a lectin extracted from castor bean casings) to kill a human.
The main source of glucosamine on the market is from the N-Acetylglucosamine rich chitin exoskelotons of crustaceans, like shrimp and crab. Glucosamine is used for reducing pain and inflammation. We do not have a dietary deficiency of the pulverized shells of dead sea critters, just as our use of NSAIDs is not caused by a deficiency of these synthetic chemicals in our diet. When we consume glucosamine supplements, the WGA, instead of binding to our tissues, binds to the pulverized chitin in the glucosamine supplements, sparing us from the full impact of WGA.
At exceedingly small concentrations (nanomolar) WGA stimulates the synthesis of pro-inflammatory chemical messengers (cytokines) includingInterleukin 1, Interleukin 6 and Interleukin 8 in intestinal and immune cells. WGA has been shown to induce NADPH-Oxidase in human neutrophils associated with the “respiratory burst” that results in the release of inflammatory free radicals called reactive oxygen species. WGA has been shown to play a causative role in patients with chronic thin gut inflammation.
WGA induces thymus atrophy in rats and may directly bind to, and activate, leukocytes. Anti-WGA antibodies in human sera have been shown to cross-react with other proteins, indicating that they may contribute to autoimmunity. Indeed, WGA appears to play a role in the pathogenesis of celiac disease (CD) that is entirely distinct from that of gluten, due to significantly higher levels of IgG and IgA antibodies against WGA found in patients with CD, when compared with patients with other intestinal disorders. These antibodies have also shown not to cross-react with gluten antigens
WGA can pass through the blood brain barrier (BBB) through a process called “adsorptive endocytosis” and is able to travel freely among the tissues of the brain which is why it is used as a marker for tracing neural circuits. WGA’s ability to pass through the BBB, pulling bound substances with it, has piqued the interest of pharmaceutical developers who are looking to find ways of delivering drugs to the brain. WGA has a unique binding affinity for N-Acetylneuraminic acid, a crucial component of neuronal membranes found in the brain, such as gangliosides which have diverse roles such as cell-to-cell contact, ion conductance, as receptors, and whose dysfunction has been implicated in neurodegenerative disorders. WGA may attach to the protective coating on the nerves known as the myelin sheath and is capable of inhibiting nerve growth factor which is important for the growth, maintenance, and survival of certain target neurons. WGA binds to N-Acetylglucosamine which is believed to function as an atypical neurotransmitter functioning in nocioceptive (pain) pathways.
WGA has been demonstrated to be cytotoxic to both normal and cancerous cell lines, capable of inducing either cell cycle arrest or programmed cell death (apoptosis).
WGA may prevent DNA replication. WGA binds to polysialic acid (involved in posttranslational modifications) and blocks chick tail bud development in embryogenesis, indicating that it may influence both genetic and epigenetic factors.
WGA has also been shown to have an insulin-mimetic action, potentially contributing to weight gain and insulin resistance
WGA induces platelet activation and aggregration. WGA has a potent, disruptive effect on platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1, which plays a key role in tissue regeneration and safely removing neutrophils from our blood vessels.
WGA causes increased shedding of the intestinal brush border membrane, reduction in surface area, acceleration of cell losses and shortening of villi, via binding to the surface of the villi. WGA can mimic the effects of epidermal growth factor (EGF) at the cellular level, indicating that the crypt hyperplasia seen in celiac disease may be due to the growth-promoting effects of WGA. WGA causes cytoskeleton degradation in intestinal cells, contributing to cell death and increased turnover. WGA decreases levels of heat shock proteins in gut epithelial cells leaving these cells less well protected against the potentially harmful content of the gut lumen.
There are other lectins in the Western diet that have properties similar to wheat lectin (WGA), namely, “chitin-binding lectins.” Remember, “chitins” are long polymers of n-acetyl-glucosamine, the primary binding target of wheat lectin. Wheat lectin and “chitin-binding lectin” therefore share functional similarities.
Antigenically similar chitin-binding lectins are present in the embryos of wheat, barley, and rye, members of the Triticeae tribe of the grass family (Gramineae).
Similar lectins were not detected in oats and pearl millet, members of other tribes of the Gramineae. Rice, a species only distantty related to wheat, contains a lectin that is antigenically similar to the other cereal lectins and located at the periphery of embryonic roots and throughut the coleoptile.
Tomato and potato lectins are mentioned here and here. Here is some more on tomato lectins:
Intranasal delivery of tomato lectin (LEA) elicited a strong lectin-specific systemic and mucosal antibody response but only weakly potentiated the response to co-delivered OVA. In contrast, administration of wheatgerm agglutinin (WGA) or Ulex europaeus lectin 1 (UEA-I) with OVA stimulated a serum IgG response to OVA while the lectin-specific responses (particularly for WGA) were relatively low.
However, there is some evidence tomatoes actually reduce inflammation because they also contain a number of compounds that are beneficial to health.
Of course tomatoes and the nightshade family also contain alkaloids which have negative effects on health. These amounts are clearly sufficiently low that we don’t notice it much.
Four kinds of alkaloids in the Solanaceae family include the steroid alkaloids (the alkaloid found in most nightshade foods), tropane, pyrrolizidine and indole alkaloids. Steroid alkaloids have been shown to block certain nerve activity that can, at high levels, cause muscle shaking, paralysis and respiratory difficulty. They have also been associated with inflammation, particularly in the joints. Finally, some nightshade foods like eggplant and tomato contain trace amounts of nicotine.
The essential point of the paleolithic diet is that humans didn’t discover that cooking made grains, beans, potatoes and other foods edible until 10,000 years ago. Since it takes 100,000 years to adapt to a new food group, it is likely that our bodies can not handle these foods well.
Tomatoes are actually interesting because they are in the nightshade family - the same family as potatoes. Here is some tomato history.
The Tomato History has origins traced back to the early Aztecs around 700 A.D; therefore it is believed that the tomato is native to the Americas. It was not until around the 16th century that Europeans were introduced to this fruit when the early explorers set sail to discover new lands.
Genetic evidence shows the progenitors of tomatoes were herbaceous green plants with small green fruit and a center of diversity in the highlands of Peru.
So the idea is that tomatoes are a relatively new, foreign fruit, more related to the foods that are bad for us than the foods that are good for us. The prominent members of the nightshade family are potato (except sweet potatoes and yams), tomato, eggplant, tobacco, and peppers (except black and white pepper) (includes paprika, chipotle, & cayenne).
It’s possible that we could discover that tomato lectins are not as harmful as other lectins, but I feel that given the large number of fruits out there, cutting out one is no big deal.
Tomatoes are famous for lycopene, but watermelon and papaya are also great sources there.
Source μg/g wet weight
Raw tomato 8.8–42
Pink grapefruit 3.6–34
Pink guava 54
Some of the other effects of lectins are interesting to me. For example, here is a possible link between lectins and psoriasis. Of course grains have a number of anti-nutrients and while researching this, I came across benzoxazinoids, which are contained in wheat, maize, and rye, and apparently can be somewhat mutagenic.
Of course this is also an argument in favor of cutting out any type of meat that are fed grains. So the eliminates any meat that’s not grass fed. It also eliminates eggs, as almost all chickens are fed grains of some sort, even so-called pastured chickens. I thought this was interesting:
I’ve read anecdotes from celiacs who have reacted to eggs from chickens fed wheat, but not from chickens fed corn.
It is my bet that there are lot of problems associated with eggs that stem directly from the fact that modern chickens are fed wheat, soy and corn - 3 foods disallowed by the paleolithic diet. Just as meat is unhealthy, partly because of what cows are fed, in comparison to grass fed beef, my bet is eggs are not as healthy as they might be if chickens ate insects and other foods for which they were evolutionarily designed.