Hippocrates said, “Let food be they medicine and medicine be thy food.” Our amber waves of grain are no more. Our wheat is currently only 18 inches high. We have been eating wheat for only 10,000 years, and our genetic armentarium has not adapted to the ingestion of grass and wheat products. Before the consumption of grains, there was no known tooth decay. Human brains and bodies were larger. Over time, wheat has been hybridized making it more foreign to the human body. Wheat has been modified to tolerate glycoside. Weeds surrounding our wheat will die, but our wheat survives. Gluten is in many food products such as soups, frozen dinners, cold cuts. It has also been found in make-up and vitamin supplements.
Celiac disease is estimated to occur in about one out of 133 persons, most of whom do not know they have it. Gluten sensitivity has been estimated as high as 30 %. Those that are sensitive to gluten have no histological changes in their intestines, and may have no symptoms. Yet, even without symptoms, gluten does serious damage If wheat germ gluten is given to a rat, it will destroy the rat’s intestines and result in inflammation and an ultimately autoimmunity disease. Glyden, a component of gluten, opens the tight junctions in the bowel resulting in permeable intestines and undigested food particles entering the blood stream. It is possible that components in corn and oats could also adversely affect the gut as well.
These undigested foods in the blood stream are seen as foreign by the immune system, and an immune response is mounted. The ultimate effect of permeable intestines (leaky gut) is the development of autoimmune disease. In the case of gluten, an autoimmune response can occur against they thyroid; the insulin producing cells in the pancreas; and the Purkinje cells in the cerebellum. This creates a pathway to Hashimoto’s disease (half of the persons with Hashimoto’s disease have gluten sensitivity), insulin dependent diabetes, and “gluten ataxia”.
Wheat germ agglutinin, a lectin in wheat, may be the instigator of leptin resistance. Leptin is the substance that turns off the appetite and induces satiety. When the body is leptin resistant, there is no satiety signal resulting in weight gain. Leptin resistant persons may become obese with high levels of leptin which they don’t respond to.
According to Dr. Davis, the author of Wheat Belly, finger and wrist pain as well as seborrhea on the nose are pathognomonic for wheat consumption. Abdominal pain, eczema , headache, foggy mind, fatigue, diarrhea, depression and anemia can result from gluten sensitivity. It has also been implicated as a possible exacerbating factor in schizophrenia
When wheat is taken out of the diet, people have improved energy and sleep, a decreased appetite, reduced blood sugar, reduced join pain, reduced inflammation, reduced creative protein (crp) reduced hypertension, reduced triglycerides and increased HDL levels. Typically, people lose 5 – 7 pounds in the first week and may have withdrawal side effects which include nausea, fatigue and headaches.
While our government and nutritionists may recommend consumption of whole grains, white bread has a glycemic index of 69. This is higher than the glycemic index of a snicker’s bar, not that I am recommending Snickers as a nutritional supplement. Whole wheat bread, which has been touted as a healthier alterative to the wonderous white bread, has an even higher glycemic index of 72. Heart healthy cheerios has a glycemic index of 74. There are few foods with a higher glycemic index except for gluten free grains and dates (Of course this excludes coconut flour and almond flour)
Foods with a high glycemic index result in high blood glucose levels, high insulin levels and glycosylated end products. (AGEs) Glycated proteins activate intracellular signal transaction pathways leading to inflammation, the production of oxidative stress and mitochondrial failure. Glycated proteins produce fifty times more free radicals than non-glycated proteins. This process also leads to oxidized/ glycosylated which is the culprit in vascular distress. This leads to cardio vascular disease and cognitive decline and can ultimately DNA and RNA damage. Oxidized LDL play a heavy role in cognitive decline and have an impact on carotid intimal thickness.
Fructose glycosylates protein 50 times that of glucose.
In looking for sugar substitutes , foods with asparatane should be avoided. Glutamate and aspartate are neuroexcitoxins impair memory retention and damage neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalmus. Aspartate decreases arcuate nucleus signaling and the appetite can keep increasing thus resulting in an increasing propensity for diabetes.
Food choices affect the microbiome in the gut. The blood brain barrier receives direct signaling from the gut and foods advdersely affecting the gut can adversely affect the blood brain barrier as well High levels of glucose are associated with hippocampal and amygdalar atrophy. The brain starts shrinking even at fasting blood sugar levels of 85 -90. (per David Permutter, MD). Glucose levels either high or low can increase the risk of dementia. High glucose fasting blood sugars affect the part of the brain involved in Alzheimer’s unrelated to Apoe4 status. Glycated proteins modulate beta amyloid, activates NFkB (an inducer of inflammation) , microglia and enhances production of the superoxide radical and nitric oxide thus exacerbating oxidative stress.. Glycosylated proteins is the cornerstone of cognitive distress (Tania Dempsy, MD)
A low carbohydrate diet will drop the triglycerides and improve fasting insulin. Some researchers find that high cholesterol levels decease the risk of dementia and that cholesterol lowering attempts may enhance amyloid peptide generation. (David Permutter, MD) What is important in lipids is that the size of LDL particles and the number of VLDL decrease.
Approaches that can help mitigate glycation include caloric restriction and the supplements
benfotiamineals, alpha lipoic acid, taurine, resveratrol, NAC, aspirin, carnosine and DHA.
A good proxy to measure the extent of LDL oxidation is the blood test Hemoglobin A 1c. .
Fructose is even worse as it does not affect the satiety center in the brain whereas glucose does. As long as one does not have an allergy to eggs, eggs can improve the atherogenic lipid protein profile. Eggs increase the size of LDL particles and decrease the number of VLDL particles. Eggs glycemic index is rated as zero.
Rather than asking aunt Bea for dietary advice, a heart and brain promoting diet should be ketogenic. This promotes the growth of mitochondria, enhances ATP production, decreases apoptosis (cell death) and increases fats ability to make butyrate. Coconut oil, MCT and carbohydrate restriction enhance ketones , increases mitochondrial biogenesis, enhances ATP production, reduces oxidative stress and reduces NFkB activation.