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Autoimmunity

GMO vs Real Foods

You’ve no doubt heard about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) but perhaps not understood why many countries have already banned them and why so many people in the US want foods containing them to be labeled so we can make the choice to avoid eating them. GMO stands for GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM. GE (GENETICALLY ENGINEERED) and GM (GENETICALLY MODIFIED) are other names for the process of genetically altering foods we eat – and more.

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Antibiotics

Christian John Lillis, of the Peggy Lillis Foundation, sent this text to me yesterday:

At a talk by Bruce Hirsch on FMT and he just said, referring to antibiotics, “What happens in the gut doesn’t stay in the gut.” I thought that was well put.

–   Christian John Lillis on 3/9/2016

 

Well put indeed! Dr Hirsch succinctly summed up, in one short sentence, antibiotics’ huge, deleterious impact on the probiotic bacteria living in our gut microbes … and from there to the rest of the body. Wreck your gut microbiome and you’re wrecking your health.

Alzheimer's & Other Dementias

Even more important than figuring out ways to TREAT Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia once they’ve developed, is taking steps to PREVENT it in the first place.  See Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts for what you can do to keep your brain functioning well into old age.

 

“The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that by mid-century someone in the U.S will develop Alzheimer’s disease every 33 seconds.” (Mercola, 2017)

* Optogenetics (from Greek optikós, meaning ‘seen, visible’) is a biological technique which involves the use of light to control cells in living tissue, typically neurons, that have been genetically modified to express light-sensitive ion channels. (Wikipedia, 2017)

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Cancers

The concept of ‘teaching’ the immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells has been around for 100 years. During this time, much has been learned about the immune system and specific immunotherapeutic strategies for cancers are being developed. Two new immunotherapeutic anticancer drugs have recently received approval and several other drugs are in late-stage development, ushering in a new era in anticancer immunotherapy.

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Heart Health

A recent study published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine found that using an antiseptic mouthwash twice daily kills off the good bacteria that help blood vessel walls relax, increasing the risk of coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke and a variety of other health issues. Approximately one third of American adults have high blood pressure, often without any signs of symptoms. Chronically high blood pressure can damage the body and affects how the blood is pushed against the arterial walls while the heart is pumping blood.  (Borreli, 2014)

 

Using an antiseptic mouthwash kills off  beneficial bacteria living on the back of the tongue, thereby interfering with the body’s ability to create nitric oxide. A reduction in plasma nitrite levels is associated with elevations in blood pressure.

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Mental Health

Autoimmune conditions have been found in chronic stress and in a number of psychiatric disorders, including psychotic disorders. An example of connection between the gut and severe psychiatric symptoms is being studied by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. People with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are known to have elevated levels of inflammation in their blood and nervous systems from a heightened sensitivity to gluten proteins. This sensitivity produces elevated antibodies against gluten. The antibodies leak outside the GI tract, enter the bloodstream and invade the central nervous system, generating an immune reaction causing inflammation.

Sinus Conditions

Sinus infection (acute sinusitis): When a viral or bacterial infection lodges in the sinus cavities, a painful condition call sinusitis results. The tissues become inflamed, mucus production increases, the nose runs or is congested, a pressure headache develops and thinking becomes foggy. There can also be facial pain in the forehead, around the eyes, and cheeks; a feeling of weakness; and a postnasal drip as the mucus drains down the back of the throat, often producing a sore throat. A cough may result, frequently more severe at night.  Sinus headaches can also trigger a nasty migraine in people with a predisposition to them.

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Autoimmunity: How It Develops Over Time

Most of this site is about how a chronically imbalanced, unhealthy gut microbiome can cause a large variety of diseases and conditions in the body – and how to fix your gut microbiome so you can live a long life in good health.

80% of the body’s immune system is located in the gut microbiome. When this microbiome becomes unhealthy, it can’t keep the rest of the body healthy. Eventually autoimmune diseases and conditions can develop.

Standard American Diet (SAD)

The Standard American Diet is how the vast majority of Americans eat.  It is characterized by high intake of sweets, animal products, cooking oils, high-fat and processed foods. People living on SAD have a higher incidence of  heart disease and cancers. (Fuhrman, 2011) (Hardin, 2013 -a).

 

It is well known that factory farmed and processed foods are more likely to cause illness than organically grown, unprocessed foods. Yet 90 percent of the American food budget is spent on processed and fast foods.  (Schlosser, 2001)

Allergies

If you’ve read the SYMBIOSIS VERSUS DYSBIOSIS page on this site, you’ll recall that keeping our GUT MICROBIOME (the large colony of bacteria, yeasts, viruses, parasites, etc living in our guts) well balanced is essential to our overall health – and that we get ill when it’s out of balance.

 

Having an unhealthy gut microbiome disrupts or skews the constant two-way communication that takes place between our gut and the rest of our body, allowing pathogenic bacteria, fungi or parasites to proliferate.  When the imbalance crosses a threshold, the body develops a recognizable  disease – often an allergy.

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Asthma

Asthma is an obstructive lung disease caused by over reaction of the airways to various stimuli. It is classified as an autoimmune disease. In asthmatics, the air passages in the lungs become inflamed, affecting the sensitivity of the nerve endings there so they become easily irritated. During an attack, the lining of the passages swells and produces extra mucus, causing the airways to narrow and reducing the flow of air into and out of the lungs. Asthma is characterized by shortness of breath and wheezing, varying in intensity from person to person. It can occur at any age but generally starts in childhood. A severe attack can be life-threatening.

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Diabetes

Among the numerous health benefits offered by goldenseal is reducing blood glucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. Berberine (an active compound in goldenseal) is responsible for this beneficial effect. “In a preliminary trial, supplementation with 1 gram per day of berberine … for two months significantly lowered blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.” (University of Michigan Health System, 2015)

Goldenseal’s other health benefits include its antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, immune enhancing, digestive stimulating actions. See this 2015 article on Goldenseal by the University of Michigan Health System for more information.

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Inflammation

But prolonged, chronic inflammation in the body – also known as low-grade or systemic inflammation – is a different story. It is a maladaptive response leading to a progressive shift in the type of cells present at the inflammation site. Chronic inflammation is a precursor of chronic disorders and diseases: For example, all of the many autoimmune disorders (such as allergies, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis), skin conditions (such as acne, eczema and rosacea), digestive problems (such as irritable bowel disease, gut strictures and Crohn’s disease), the combination called Metabolic Syndrome (elevated blood pressure, elevated fasting plasma glucose, high serum triglycerides and low high-density cholesterol (HDL) levels), Alzheimer’s disease, repeating sinus infections, yeast infections, gum disease and tooth decay, cancers … and many more. Inflammation accumulates in the body until it can’t deal with it any more.

Mouth Microbiome

Thousands of studies have linked oral disease to systemic disease. Meaning, the health of your mouth, teeth and gums has a direct connection to health in the rest of your body. (Mercola, 8/27/2016)

Most of the billions of bacteria living in the mouth are harmless – even necessary for good health. Maintaining good oral health supports those good bacteria and enables the body’s natural defenses to keep bad bacteria under control. But, without proper oral hygiene, pathogenic bacteria can reach levels that lead to tooth decay and gum disease – and also create disease elsewhere in the body.

Skin Microbiome

AO Biome, the brilliant skin microbiome company that’s bringing us the live, Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacterial spray AO+ Mist, is now beta-testing two new products especially formulated to be supportive to the live bacteria (Nitrosomonas) in their spray: A shampoo and a skin cleanser, both skin biome friendly.

Having signed up to be an early user of AO+ Mist, I’m one of the lucky people to have received free samples of their new shampoo and cleanser. Both arrived yesterday so I’m looking forward to testing them out.