From the Desk of Carolyn Dean MD ND
Apparently, some people are interested in my diet, but since I’m always “experimenting,” I really don’t have specific recommendations beyond eating an animal protein diet, avoiding processed food, cooking from scratch, eating several vegetables and only 2 pieces of fruit a day.
The last time I exposed my diet was on a November 2022 Radio Show. In it I talked about doing Intermittent Fasting and enjoying 2 meals a day. I also said I was taking my picometer minerals with vitamin C berry powder in water WITH psyllium seed powder to see if the psyllium “bound” up the minerals.
The result of that experiment is that the minerals are not bound, I still have the same positive reaction to my minerals, especially magnesium. If magnesium was being bound and not absorbed, I would have experienced magnesium deficiency symptoms. The purpose of doing this is to see if I could drag my minerals further down into my intestines. And I believe that occurred because I’ve noticed less burping, less gas, and less flatulence as my picometer magnesium and all my other minerals have easy access to intestinal wall cells.
I think we all should be experimenting on what diet feels best for us. We all know the basics but sometimes it’s easy to fall into bad habits. So, what I’ll talk about in this article is what not to eat. I assume people know what’s bad and act accordingly but that’s not always the case.
What gets in the way of making good choices is that the marketing of processed food has become so slick that we get suckered into the deceptive labeling of “Organic” or “Gluten Free” or “Sugar Free.” Of course, Sugar Free means something that’s a substance is sweetened with the known poison, aspartame, and should be avoided like the plague.
If we’re going to read labels, we have to know exactly what we should avoid. I recently got trapped in an addictive cycle of snack foods that promised me healthy organic eating. I put up with feeling some joint pain in my hands for a few weeks but then I finally read the label of my most recent snack food and I found sunflower oil as one of the top ingredients.
To be clear, I’m already monitoring my snacks for sugar, gluten, and anything that looks vaguely synthetic. But I hadn’t paid attention to the sunflower oil. Even though it’s a seed, it’s called a vegetable oil – that’s the first deception. You do a little research and find out that it’s an Omega-6 oil. Then, along came an animal study about soybean oil being associated with gut inflammation.
Omega-6 Fats are not our Friends
Soybean oil is a common ingredient of processed foods – probably because it’s cheap. The U.S. consumption of soybean oil has been steadily rising, increasing from 7.4 metric tons in 2000 to approximately 11.8 in 2022. That’s a huge jump. However, my biggest concern may be that 94% of soybeans are genetically engineered.
In a UC Riverside and UC Davis study, mice that were fed a diet high in soybean oil were at risk of developing colitis. They say that the likely culprit is linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid that comprises up to 60% of soybean oil. And that is likely true, but the researchers aren’t even taking into account the genetically engineered component. Many European studies have noted that genetically engineered food can affect the gut. So, we’ve got a double digestive whammy with soy oil.
We are told that linoleic acid, the main fatty acid component of omega-6 oils, is an important structural component of cell membranes and affects cell membrane properties like fluidity, flexibility, and permeability. But like most foods, consuming them in excess can be problematic. It’s easy to consume too much linoleic acid because these oils are typically used to make processed foods, which are eaten too often in Western societies. Currently, processed foods make up 60% of our diet. Children’s diets consist of 68% processed foods.
The bottom line is that it’s important to consume the right balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, at about a 1:1 to 2:1 ratio. Linoleic acid can break down into arachidonic acid, which is then converted to compounds called eicosanoids. These compounds are important but, in excess, they can also cause inflammation and are associated with a number of chronic diseases.
Keeping the proper balance of omega-6 and omega-3 foods, can help to boost cardiovascular health, brain function, immunity, skin health and bone strength. But in the U.S., we consume as much as 10% of our daily calories from linoleic acid, when experts say we may only require 0.5%.
For the new study, the researchers wanted to drill down into how linoleic acid affects the gut. In mice, the soybean oil diet upset the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. This led to a decrease in enzymes that help make endocannabinoids, which are lipid-based molecules made from omega-3s that help block inflammation. The endocannabinoid system has been linked to reduction of pain in the gut. This means that instead of using cannabis products medicinally to treat inflammation, we should dec the amount of omega-6 fats we consume and increase our omega-3s.
Another important finding is that the gut microbiome of the mice also showed increased amounts of invasive E.coli, a type of bacteria that grows by using linoleic acid as a carbon source. Invasive E.coli has been linked to human IBD.
What do I suggest?
Cook with coconut oil and olive oil to help increase omega-3: omega-6 ratios and eat a varied diet that includes omega-3 fats, such as flaxseed and walnuts, and minimal amounts of processed foods, all of which contain omega-6 fatty acids.
Here is a valuable list of omega-6 oils from a recent paper called “Linoleic Acid: A Narrative Review of the Effects of Increased Intake in the Standard American Diet and Associations with Chronic Disease.” You can read it in its entirety in the journal Nutrients 2023, 15, 3129.
NOTE: You can use and in-home finger prick blood test to determine your Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratios. If you are deficient in Omega-3s, you can take an Omega-3 Algae A+E formula.
Death by Sugar
I know we all love sugar but it doesn’t really love us. There are many reasons why we should avoid sugar – yeast overgrowth; it provides no nutrition; it wastes magnesium; it causes weight gain; it leads to insulin resistance; and decreased immunity but let me just highlight:
Sugar and the Immune System
The following mind-blowing words are taken from a 2006 article by the late Dr. James Howenstine and represent the strongest inditement I’ve seen against sugar and its detrimental effects.
“Ascorbic Acid Competes with Sugar in the Immune System”
Insulin moves both glucose and ascorbic acid into cells including phagocytic immune cells (white blood cells). The phagocytic cells like leukocytes attack and remove microbes, tumor cells and debris from the blood. The level of ascorbic acid in leukocytes may be 80 times greater than that found in plasma. Glucose and ascorbic acid are constantly competing for insulin transport so diets high in sugar and carbohydrates will decrease the amount of ascorbic acid that enters cells and thus create undesirable effects on the immune response.
Dr. Howenstine makes another complex comment about the ascorbic acid/glucose competition disrupting superoxide – a pathogen killer and inhibiting the ability of DNA and RNA to make new white blood cells. He says:
There is another form of competition between glucose and ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid stimulates the hexose monophosphate (HMP) shunt and glucose inhibits it. The HMP is a series of chemical reactions that reduces niacin coenzyme NADP to NADPH. Phagocytes need NADPH to create superoxide and other reactive oxygen species that are used to destroy pathogens. In addition to creating NADPH ascorbic acid has the ability to deactivate excess quantities of NADPH and oxidative substances that could harm normal tissues.
The hexose monophosphate shunt also produces 5-carbon sugars (ribose and deoxyribose). These 5-carbon sugars are needed to make DNA and RNA. When the immune system faces microbial invasion, it immediately signals for production of new immune cells that need these genetic materials to produce DNA and RNA. If the body has too much glucose and too little ascorbic acid, there will be a lack of genetic material and inadequate DNA and RNA for creation of needed new leukocytes. Clearly high sugar intake will reduce the potential health benefits of this pathway.
On my March 30, 2020, radio show, Dr. Thomas Levy made the following statement in agreement with Dr. Howenstine.
Ascorbate is derived from glucose – it’s a very simple molecule. Ascorbate uses the insulin transporter of glucose to get into cells. It even crosses the blood brain barrier. There’s not a cell in your body that does not utilize vitamin C as the primary source of electrons, donating them to glutathione which is the most concentrated antioxidant inside your cells. But, in addition to that, vitamin C donates 2 electrons per molecule. Most other antioxidants donate only one. So, this gives ascorbate more power.
Other foods to avoid include anything that’s been genetically engineered. Why is that so? Because GE foods are completely resistant to pesticides and herbicides and mineral-stealing glyphosage, so they can be saturated with them. This means GE food are not only non-natural and laced with genes of other species, but they are also loaded with poisons and toxins. They are dead and barren foods that have no life to give us.
There’s more to be said about what foods to avoid, but I think that’s enough to digest for now.
Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future