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Nutritional Anthropology's Bible:
Of Your Gut a Herb Garden (Part II)
Last month I reviewed how nature designed our bodies to be hosts to trillions of bacteria in our colons. In a state of nature these bacteria are “friendly” types. Today, because of the foods we put down there, these bugs are “bad”; they undermine our health in many ways. Let’s look at some more examples:
and Auto-Immune Diseases
Dr Dan Littman at the NYU School of Medicine finds that even in the small intestine bacteria have a similar effect on immune cells. They regulate the balance between Treg cells and T-helper 17 (Th17) immune cells. Th17 cells encourage inflammation. An overload of fiery Th17 cells results in intestinal immunity, intolerance, and susceptibility to inflammatory bowel diseases.
Along with Dr. Eberl’s studies which I mentioned last month, Belkaid’s and Littman’s studies indicate how, by upsetting bacterial regulation of the immune system, we allow inflammatory diseases like Crohn’s Disease and Irritable Bowel to take over. Scientists have linked this phenomenon to many other auto-immune disorders too such as psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and Type I diabetes. Dr Li Wen, University of Chicago, finds that gut bacteria can actually prevent the onset of Type I diabetes.
Ironically, Type I diabetes is considerably more prevalent in the West due to over-enthusiastic hygiene, particularly in infancy. As a result, children’s immune systems are not sufficiently “challenged” and so do not mature properly. One consequence is that out-of-control killer cells might attack and destroy the pancreas’s insulin cells. Another consequence of extreme hygiene is that children are more likely to suffer asthma and allergies.
Bladder Irritation and Pelvic Pain
I have frequently pointed out the harm that strongly spicy foods do to the colon directly; now we find it also causes mischief at a distance.
the Good Guys, Starving the Enemy
The wrong kinds of residues come from foods that our bodies do not recognize: all starches (e.g. bread, pastas, potatoes, breakfast cereals, etc…); dairy products, especially milk and yoghurt; beans and lentils (including soy bean); and a high animal protein diet generally. It is all there in Deadly Harvest -- plus all the detailed guidance you could wish for!