Blog Iatus: Food intolerances in Babies

Some of you might wonder what I have been doing lately and why the posts have stopped. I have been busy taking care of our young son, a two year old with multiple food intolerances. We still don’t know for sure how to call the cause of our son’s symptoms (abdominal distension, constipation, sleep trouble, growth delay), be it intolerance, hypersensitivity, non-IgE food allergies. We know that taking gluten and dairy out of our son’s diet helped but was not enough, and that reducing his diet without using a diet rotation created other food intolerances, restricting his diet even more. It has been challenging, frustrating and discouraging at times but we are hopeful. Now with a no-grain, no-dairy rotation diet supplemented with probiotics and digestive enzymes, our son is growing again and sleeps much better, and is not constipated anymore. Not everything is easy and requires a lot of organization but it works.

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Is your high cholesterol really bad?


Cholesterol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are like me, you have received threats from your doctor after your last checkup. Actually, I have heard those threats my whole life. My cholesterol has always been high. At some point, it reached a comical level: I weighed no more than 110 pounds, exercised at least an hour a day, had been a vegetarian (understand, plant-based eater) for more than 10 years, had never smoked, ate very, very little fat, and received a pamphlet advising me to lose weight, exercise more, eat less fat, stop smoking and eat less meat. I laughed. But I still had high cholesterol, so what did that mean? MDs eventually told me that my bad cholesterol was probably genetic. So, does that mean I am at higher risk for cardiovascular diseases? And… is there anything we can do? Continue reading

products containing gluten

Nonceliac wheat sensitivity: A new clinical entity

About 20 years ago I completed an internship in a small company specializing in the formulation of gluten-free bakery products for patients with celiac disease. At the time, celiac disease was pretty much unknown from the general population. Few people were affected, and few products existed to replace the staples of general diets that the affected individuals needed to avoid to remain symptom-free, such as bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, breakfast cereals, and all products containing (or made from) wheat, rye and barley.

Today, it is hard to escape discussions of intolerance to gluten. What happened? Did the frequency of the celiac disease suddenly skyrocket? Apart from an increased awareness of celiac disease per se, clinicians are starting to recognize the existence of another type of food intolerance triggered by wheat, namely nonceliac wheat sensitivity. Continue reading

Cancer-fighting diet.

Foods can prevent and slow cancer growth

English: Most common cancers in the United Sta...

English: Most common cancers in the United States 2008. See Epidemiology of cancer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cancers are a major health problem, resulting in one fourth of deaths in the United States. During their lifetime, almost one in two men and more than one in three women will develop cancer. Conventional methods of cancer treatment heavily rely on surgery, radiotherapy (exposure to a radioactive substance) and chemotherapy (injection of highly toxic substances), but all these techniques have significant and potentially harmful side-effects. Continue reading

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Probiotics can help fight allergies

Mast cells are involved in allergy. Allergies ...

Mast cells are involved in allergy. Allergies such as pollen allergy are related to the antibody known as IgE. Like other antibodies, each IgE antibody is specific; one acts against oak pollen, another against ragweed. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Allergies, such as asthma, food allergies and eczema are a plague of our modern society, affecting between 20 and 30 percent of the population in western countries. The prevalence of those allergies has significantly increased in the past few decades, raising questions about the causes of such epidemics.

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Ketogenic diet: variations on a classic (including the Atkins diet)

Ketogenic diets pie

Ketogenic diets pie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The ketogenic diet is a high fat, low-carbohydrate and adequate protein diet, which was originally developed to treat epileptic individuals (see my previous posts about the use of the diet for epilepsy and the mechanisms of action of the diet). The diet produces remarkable  results on subjects suffering from intractable seizures but also revealed quite useful for a variety of other conditions, such as narcolepsy and autism and shows promises for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Multiple Sclerosis, migraine headache, depression and type-2 diabetes (see my post on the use of ketogenic diet beyond epilepsy).

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The ketogenic diet: beyond epilepsy

The ketogenic diet was developed in the 1920′ as a treatment for intractable epilepsy. In more than 20% of individuals, the diet offers complete remission from seizures, and it decreases by 75% the frequency of attacks in more than half of the patients (see my previous post on the use of the ketogenic diet for epilepsy).

English: PET scan of a human brain with Alzhei...

English: PET scan of a human brain with Alzheimer’s disease (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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How does the ketogenic diet work?

English: of beta-hydroxybutyric acid. Created ...

English: of beta-hydroxybutyric acid. Created using ACD/ChemSketch 10.0, and vim. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The ketogenic diet is a high fat, adequate protein, low carbohydrate diet, which has been used for almost a century to treat cases of epilepsy resisting to anticonvulsant medications (see my previous post for more details). However, although its efficiency is now widely accepted, the exact mechanisms by which it operates are still not completely understood. Continue reading