Rates of digestive diseases are rising—ranging from widespread digestive discomfort (“belly bloat,” “spastic colon,” Irritable Bowel Syndrome) to serious and sometimes life-threatening diseases such as ulcerative colitis and colon cancer.
For decades, scientists conducting laboratory animal experiments using the common food additive carrageenan have found higher rates of gastrointestinal inflammation, colitis-like disease, and even colon cancer.
Carrageenan is a convenient and unique food additive for the food industry, and selling carrageenan is a profitable enterprise for a handful of chemical corporations. For decades, these companies have spread misinformation—often, outright lies—about carrageenan’s safety.
Carrageenan can be found in many foods, even foods labeled “natural” and “organic.” It is widely used in dairy products (chocolate milk, whipping cream, ice cream, nonfat sour cream), frozen dinners, dairy alternatives (soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk), prepared poultry and cold cuts, nutritional drinks, and even infant formula.
And who has been more than willing to listen to the corporate scientists rather than to the scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health? That’s right: the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In June 2012, the FDA rejected a citizen petition by the nation’s preeminent publicly funded scientist and carrageenan expert, who formally requested that carrageenan be removed from our food supply.
Find out what physicians are saying about IBS—balancing gut ecology is the key to your recovery!
IBS may be the result of a gut infection.
Since the 1970s, physicians have labeled IBS as a psychological disorder. This is because IBS symptoms are frequently made worse by stressful life events. And a physical exam shows no damage to the gut.
Over the last 20 years, research has revealed that the brain and our emotions share a strong relationship with the gut and the immune system.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a collection of symptoms that often point to poor digestion, including:
Although IBS can be aggravated by stress, it is much more than a psychological disorder. Theories behind the cause of IBS include bacterial overgrowth, gut infection, serotonin imbalance, or even depression and anxiety. (more…)
The peppermint herb is considered by many cultures to be a true “superfood”. Superfoods are foods and herbs that have a unique concentration of nutrients that synergize together to boost potential. These foods and herbs are typically loaded with a combination of critical fatty acids, anti-oxidant phytonutrients and essential amino acids.
Peppermint is a natural hybrid cross between mint and spearmint and thrives in Europe and North America. The plant and oil are commonly used in fragrances, soaps, cosmetics, foods and drinks. Peppermint has been shown to improve digestion and stimulate higher level brain function. (more…)
More than 50 million Americans suffer from some form of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a mysterious health condition that can manifest itself in many forms including upset stomach, constipation, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, flatulence, and heartburn. Though distinctly less severe than inflammatory bowel conditions like Crohn’s disease, which can cause damaging ulcers in the bowel, IBS is still a greatly discomforting condition that deprives its victims of vitality and well-being. (more…)
Among thoughtful and informed medical providers and public alike, there is an ongoing transition toward recognizing adverse health effects from grains as being common and normal rather than rare and abnormal. Not all medical providers, of course, support this change in perspective and some are downright hostile toward it. Likewise, a segment of the public seems to be irritated by the gluten free trend and consider it just a silly fad.
Yet, if medicine is to be science based, no credible medical provider can dismiss the possibility that a large proportion of the U.S. (and possibly world) population may be sensitive to certain molecules present in most grains. Similarly, those that belittle the gluten free movement as a fad might, in fact, be an unknowing victim of grain sensitivity.
Celiac disease may have been described by the ancient physician Aretaeus of Cappadocia in the first century CE. It was not until the 1940′s, however, that the Dutch physician Willem Karel Dicke connected the disease to wheat as a result of the Dutch famine of 1944, in which wheat was scarce and those suffering from the disease seemed to dramatically improve. Since that time, modern medicine has narrowly defined the disease as an autoimmune disease resulting from the ingestion of gliadin, a component of wheat gluten. (more…)
Gluten Sensitivity, Autoimmune and Neurological Disease
by Jeffrey Dach MD
This article is Part Three of a Series.
For Previous Parts,
Click Here: Part One and Part Two
Two Very Mysterious and Complicated Cases caused by Gluten Sensitivity
What is wheat gluten?
Gluten is a protein in grains such as wheat, rye, barley, spelt, triticale, kamut,and possibly oats.
In susceptible individuals, about one per cent of the population, Wheat Gluten stimulates an immune response which may damage the inner lining of the gastrointestinal tract, or cross-react with other tissues in the body producing auto-immune, neurological and psychiatric illness.
Upper left image: A variety of foods made from wheat, all containing gluten. Courtesy of the USDA and Wikimedia Commons.
Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity ? Shag Carpet or Flat Carpet ? (more…)
The digestive tract is loaded with trillions of microorganisms that form a natural ecosystem commonly called the gut flora. This ecosystem is designed to be symbiotic in that it benefits both the individual and the microbes. Certain lifestyle stressors throw off the natural symbiosis and cause a rise in pathogenic microbes, chronic gut inflammation and damage to the gut lining. (more…)