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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dairy, Allergies and Alcohol

Our bodies make serotonin from the amino acid tryptophan. The protein in milk is high in tryptophan; but the amount of tryptophan in food is decreased by heating1 such as pasteurization, a practice that modern refrigeration makes unnecessary. The World Health Organization says that the primary proteins in dairy provide amino acids in the general ratio in which humans need them.2

Lactose is the carbohydrate in dairy. It has a much lower glycemic index than sucrose (cane sugar), but a glycemic load of lactose stimulates the secretion of a huge amount of insulin for a glycemic load of that size.3 Insulin helps tryptophan enter the brain, so this high insulinemic response helps promote serotonin production so a baby doesn't panic and can sleep in a world it doesn't understand.

Dairy lipids consist mostly of saturated fats and, if from grain-fed livestock, omega-6 acids; so I get fat-free dairy.

rBGH, sometimes called rBST, is a synthetic hormone given to cows to make them produce more milk. This not only strains their levels of the nutrients they put into milk but also make them extremely susceptible to bacterial mastitis; so farmers who use these synthetic hormones must continually give their cows anti-biotics, resulting in the depletion of more nutrients and anti-biotics being passed into their milk. If you live in the US, assume that all dairy at your grocery store comes from cows treated with rBST/rBGH unless its packaging makes reference to the hormone.

For many people milk is an allergen that insidiously affects their minds.4 Many autistics improve when wheat and dairy are removed from their diets.

Chemical sensitivities are often called 'allergies', but allergies are an unusually extreme immune response to anti-bodies. In the case of milk, such anti-bodies are often formed when milk proteins are absorbed from the intestine into the bloodstream (usually proteins are first broken down by proteases - digestive proteolytic enzymes - and then absorbed as individual amino acids); when this happens it is usually the result of intestinal hyper-permeability.

Alcohol can cause intestinal hyperpermeability.5 The body detoxifies alcohol by turning it into acetaldehyde6, a toxin which is known to damage DNA and epithelial cells6. The intestinal lining which separates the intestines from the bloodstream is composed of epithelial cells.

In an auto-immune disease, an organism's immune system attacks specific types of healthy cells in its own body. Anti-bodies that form in response to one antigen can tell the immune system to attack not only that antigen but other things depending on their chemical structure in relation to the anti-bodies7. Intestinal hyperpermeability comes with a chance an antigen that will trigger an autoimmune disease will enter the bloodstream, although this is by no means the primary causal factor in Crohn's disease.


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