Dr. Jay's Blog

Coconut Oil Or Cocoa Butter May Help Crohn's Disease

Date: September 1, 2017 | Time: 7:23am | Posted By: Jay Cullinane

Medical science is searching for the cause of inflammatory bowel syndromes such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's Disease. As of yet, medical science has not identified a cause.
Part of the problem is that the scientific method used in most research tries to isolate one thing to see how it affects something else. This works well for simple problems such as this bacteria causes this and only this disease. Unfortunately, most health issues are not simple problems. The human body is a complex system in which everything can affect everything else. The scientific method is good for identifying individual pieces of the puzzle which are needed to see the big picture. However, most often the focus remains on the puzzle piece. Rarely does anyone try to look at all the other pieces to try identify the big picture.

The result of research done at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine released in 2017 found that the type of fat can alter the bacteria in the intestines and reduce the inflammation associated with Crohn's Disease in a mouse model of the disease. In particular, they looked at coconut oil and cocoa butter. The researchers hope that this might also help humans with the disease, but, they haven't tested the idea yet. They are taking one small step at a time to see how it works.

I applaud their efforts and welcome then to the decades old knowledge of alternative medicine. The answer lies in the big picture. To help you see that some very basic knowledge is needed.

Fats are chains of carbon atoms linked together in a line. If there are few carbon atoms linked together, it is a short chain fatty acid. A moderate number of carbon atoms create a medium chain fatty acid. A large number of carbon atoms produce a long chain fatty acid. The manner in which the carbon atoms are attached to each other will change the shape (straight or bent) of the fatty acid. Saturated fat is straight. Unsaturated (omega) fat is bent. It is the combination of the number of carbon atoms and the shape of the chain that determines the how the fat is used in the body. An omega 6 fatty acid is used by the body to produce inflammation. An omega 3 fatty acid is one of the fats used to turn off inflammation.

It is estimated that there are 10 times more bacteria in your intestines than cells in your entire body. The balance of the species of bacteria in your intestines is the key to good intestinal health. Those bacteria can feed off of the protein, fat and carbohydrates you eat.

The bacteria that are supposed to be there in the largest amounts feed off of soluble fiber which you get from fruits and vegetables. These bacteria produce nutrients for your body including a short chain fatty acid that feed the cells of your intestines and keeps them healthy. Coconut oil and cocoa butter are rich sources of this fatty acid. These bacteria also protect you from harmful bacteria.

The bacteria that are supposed to be in small amounts in your intestines feed off of sugar and starch. These bacteria do not produce any useful nutrients for you. In the long run, they starve the cells of your intestines and make them weak. These bacteria do not protect you from harmful bacteria either.

Caveman's diet was high in protein, vegetables and fruit. It had little sugar, starch or grains. This creates the correct balance of bacteria in the intestines. The typical western diet is high in grains, sugar and starch and low in fruits and vegetables that is conducive to the growth of pathogenic bacteria.

All grains (wheat, corn, rice, etc.) contain a lot of starch. They are also high in omega 6 fatty acids and low in omega 3 fatty acid. This combination makes all grains, even whole grains, pro-inflammatory. Inflammation is a factor in all of our chronic diseases including Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis. Caveman's diet is anti-inflammatory.

The fat in this study will help feed and heal the cell wall of the intestines. That alone may be what reduced the symptoms of Crohn's Disease. The coconut oil or cocoa butter did change the proportions of the types of bacteria in the intestines. That may have allow for the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Just through competition for food, it may have killed off pathogenic bacteria that were contributing to the Crohn's Disease or ulcerative colitis. It could be both.

The big picture is eliminating sugar and starch from your diet will reduce the symptoms of Crohn's Disease or ulcerative colitis. Seeking help from a knowledgable healthcare practitioner to reestablish the normal balance of bacteria in the intestines will most likely be needed as well.

Please feel free to share the health with your friends and family.

I endorse no products.

The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information provided is not a substitute for medical counseling. The information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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Can Your Heartburn Medication Kill You?

Date: August 1, 2017 | Time: 5:43am | Posted By: Jay Cullinane

Many people suffer from heartburn, acid reflex or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). I have never heard of anyone dropping dead after taking any kind of medication for it. But that does not mean any of these medications are without risk of causing harm.
When people first start having heartburn, they usually take an antacid to relieve the symptoms. And it works. Well, it works for a while. The heartburn often gets worse and something more powerful is needed to have the same symptom relief. So, the next step is to take a drug that blocks the production of stomach acid. The two common types are PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) and H2 blockers. Histamine in the stomach stimulates the production of stomach acid. H2 blockers keep histamine from doing that.

These drugs are meant to be used for a short time. The Food and Drug Administration guidelines state that PPIs should be use for 4 to 8 weeks to treat the symptoms of GERD. They may be used for up to 6 months for people who are taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They may be used long term for the rare condition Zollinger- Ellison Syndrome. But how many people are taking them for longer periods than are recommended by the FDA?

PPIs are more commonly prescribed than H2 blockers. PPIs include dexlansoprazole (Dexilant, Dexilant SoluTab, Kapidex), esomeprazole (Nexium, Nexium 24HR, Vimovo), lansoprazole (Prevacid, Prevacid 24HR, Prevacid SoluTab), omeprazole (Prilosec, Prilosec OTC, Zegerid, Zegerid OTC),pantoprazole (Protonix)and rabeprazole (Aciphex, Aciphex Sprinkle). There are two PPIs that are combined with amoxicillin and clarithromycin to treat H. pylori infections. There are Omeclamox-Pak (omeprazole) and Prevpac (lansoprazole).

All PPIs have the common possible side effects of diarrhea, headaches and vitamin B12 deficiency with long-term use. Most PPIs also have common possible side effects of abdominal pain, flatulence, nausea and vomiting. All PPIs have the possible serious side effects of anaphylaxis, C. difficile-associated diarrhea, fractures, hypersensitivity reactions, low serum magnesium with long term use, interstitial nephritis, lupus erythematosus, Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis.

Until 2017, not much was known about how PPIs affect all cause mortality. Then a study that used data from the US Department of Veterans Affairs was published that followed new users of PPIs and H2 blockers for an average of 5.71 years. Compared to the H2 blocker users, PPI users had a higher mortality rate. PPIs did not kill anyone directly, but, they increased the risk of death. That was within six years of starting to take a PPI. The authors of the study concluded that "Limiting PPI use and duration to instances where it is medically indicated may be warranted."

This certainly sounds terrible, but, it is worse than it sounds when you look at it from another perspective.

Since antacids, PPIs and H2 blockers relieve the symptoms of acid reflex, it is assumed that too much stomach acid is being produced. What else could it be? Well, when you look at how the body works, a very different answer becomes obvious.

You produce stomach acid to breakdown protein and ionize minerals so they can be absorbed easily. There are bands of muscle (sphincters) around either end of the stomach that squeeze shut to keep the acid in the stomach.
Think of protein as if it were a ball of yarn. The stomach acid unrolls the ball. An enzyme that is produced in the stomach cuts the yarn into small pieces. When the contents of the stomach become acidic enough, the bottom sphincter opens and lets a little of the food out. The stomach acid triggers the release of bicarbonate from the pancreas to neutralize the acid and also triggers the release of enzymes to further breakdown the food, including the small pieces of protein that were broken down in the stomach.

Protein stimulates the production of stomach acid. Carbohydrates don't. The typical Western diet has a lot of carbohydrates compared to protein. So, the stomach acid production is reduced. The decreased stomach acid does not ionize minerals, including zinc, as well as it should and that decreases their absorption. Zinc is needed to make stomach acid, so, less stomach acid is made. And on and on it goes.

The sphincter at the junction of the esophagus and stomach closes in the presence of stomach acid. If you don't want stomach acid burning the esophagus, doesn't it make sense that the sphincter there should close if there is stomach acid present?

In over 90% of cases when a doctor actually runs a test to see how much stomach acid is being produced, too little stomach acid is produced in cases of acid reflux. That esophageal sphincter does not close completely because there is too little stomach acid to do the job. What little acid is there now can get into the esophagus and cause the symptoms.

If you have heartburn, acid reflex or GERD, consult a doctor who understands this. The treatment will include changing the diet and correcting nutritional deficiencies. If you don't have an ulcer or severe gastritis, a supplement of stomach acid will also be part of the treatment until you can once again make enough of your own stomach acid.

I endorse no products.

The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information provided is not a substitute for medical counseling. The information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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