Tag Archive: inflammation

Apr 10 2017

LCKL 072 – Biohacks 101 – Fasting – Other Benefits…

Within this episode you will discover 5 other benefits of fasting, including digestive health, inflammation, energy, skin health and lifespan extension.

SHOWNOTES
  • How Fasting Improves Digestive Health;
  • How Fasting Decreases Inflammation;
  • How Fasting Increases Energy;
  • How Fasting Improves Skin Health; and
  • How Fasting Extends Lifespan.
TRANSCRIPT
Other Benefit #1 - Digestive HealthOther Benefit #2 - Lowered InflammationOther Benefit #3 - Increased EnergyOther Benefit #4 - Better SkinOther Benefit #5 - Promotes Longevity
  • Fasting has been used by many celebrities as a way to detox your body for many years.
  • Fasting gives your digestive system a rest from breaking down and absorbing the food.
  • Fasting has also been shown to help restore the cyclical fluctuations of gut microbes and therefore may have a protective effect against obesity and metabolic syndrome.
  • Our bodies are designed to go for a period of time without food.
  • Fasting allows time for bacteria to reset the environment. Digestive microbes are active in the process of digestion, and therefore by giving gut bacteria time without food, it sets off a mechanism that forces the bacteria to work on their own populations.
  • It is during this period that the health and diversity of the gut bacteria is maintained.
  • Fasting has been shown to be effective in treating IBD according to a research study done on patients doing Ramadam. In this study that was published in the Indian Journal of Gastroenterology in 2008 men with ulcerative colitis had a mean score of colitis activity index of 3.5 before Ramadam and this decreased to 1.7 after fasting.
  • Fasting has been shown to be a powerful therapy for treating inflammation.
  • In a study that was published in the Nature Medicine Journal described how Beta Hydroxybutyrate (BHB) directly inhibits a powerful inflammasome known as NLRP3. This inflammasome has been directly linked to several disorders such as autoimmune disorders, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, alzheimers disease and other inflammatory conditions.
  • Studies have found that inhibiting NLRP3 also reduced inflammation in the body. The three main ways that have been found to lower this inflammasome are fasting, the ketogenic diet and high intensity exercise.
  • There are many reasons why it is suspected that fasting can help with energy levels, however I am going to go over 2 of them.
    • Fasting initiates the production of beta hydroxybutyrate (i.e. Ketones). Ketones are a by product of burning fat and your brain absolutely loves them. These ketones will make you feel energetic and more alert. Once your body starts burning fat while fasting, the body will also start producing ketones and therefore make you feel good.
  • Orexin – This is a very important neuropeptide that does two important things. The first thing it does is keep you awake and then it also increases your appetite if you don’t eat. As long as you don’t eat, these levels of orexin in the brain will spike, keeping you awake and increasing mental energy. When you sleep your brain uses melatonin to help put you to sleep. The orexin system and melatonin system interact. If Orexin levels are high during the day and then you go to sleep the melatonin levels will be really high at night, therefore causing you to sleep deeper than normal. Fasting will expose you to higher orexin levels during the day, increasing energy and therefore exposing you to more melatonin at night. This will cause your sleep to be deeper and the deeper your sleep the less sleep is required.
  • Water fasting can improve skin tone. Since the skin is well hydrated it may heal itself and renew itself faster.
  • Water fasting has also been shown to help speed up scar healing and help with skin conditions like acne.
  • Some findings indicate that short term fasting may inhibit certain skin conditions and detoxify skin impurities.
  • Contact Dermatitis – Fasting has been shown to benefit Contact Dermatitis, which is a type of skin irritation that has resulted from a specific object or substance. They found that in studies with mice, the dermal swelling reduced after a short fasting period of 48 hours.
  • Hives – A study that was published in the Journal of Dermatology found that a fasting period of only 11 days was able to alleviate chronic urticaria. However, the hives returned within 3 days of breaking the fast.
  • Acne and Eczema – Studies have shown these conditions may clear up much more quickly with short term fasting. When the body is able to properly filter and eliminate wastes through the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts, the quality of the skin secretions will increase, therefore helping to prevent and treat acne.
  • There are a number of ways that fasting can promote longevity:
    • Firstly, by reducing the incidence of chronic disease;
    • Secondly, by reducing free radical damage. When more fuel is consumed than what is needed then the cells leak electrons which react with oxygen, therefore producing free radicals. These free radicals damage your cells and your DNA and are linked to an increased potential for illness and disease. Studies demonstrated that fasting in mice with lymphoma reduced the amount of free radicals, increased their longevity and reduced the death rate.
    • Thirdly, because of its autophagy and mitophagy response. This is a critical process that happens when your body begins to eat itself in an orderly pattern to remove damaged parts from your body. This process allows you to clean house and keep your body healthy.
ADDITIONAL DETAILS
DisclaimerTranscript PDFResources

Please note that this information is not intended for medical purposes or to replace the advice of your medical practitioner. It is for informational purposes only to help guide you on your journey towards optimal wellness.

 

Apr 03 2017

LCKL 069 – Biohacks 101 – Fasting – How Fasting Impacts Cardiovascular Disease

If you are dealing with Cardiovascular Disease, High Cholesterol Levels, High Blood Pressure or Inflammation then Fasting has been shown to be very beneficial. This episode will explain why…

SHOWNOTES
  • The impact fasting has on LDL Cholesterol, the different types of LDL cholesterol you may be manufacturing and the dangers of each type of LDL.
  • The impact fasting has on HDL Cholesterol.
  • The impact fasting has on Triglycerides.
  • The impact fasting has on Inflammatory Marker #1 – NLRP3.
  • The impact fasting has on Inflammatory Marker #2 – Homocysteine.
  • The impact fasting has on Inflammatory Marker #3 – IL-6/CRP.
  • The impact fasting has on Inflammatory Marker #4 – Fibrinogen.
  • The impact fasting has on Blood Pressure.
TRANSCRIPT

Unfortunately most of the research that has been done on fasting and cardiovascular disease is that of intermittent fasting or alternate day fasting and not actually extended water fasting. However, I assume that if these results appear after short periods of fasting then they would be even better with extended fasting.

Fasting Lowers Cholesterol LevelsLDL CholesterolHDL CholesterolTriglyceridesNLRP3HomocysteineIL-6/CRPFibrinogenBlood Pressure
  • I have done a podcast specifically on Cholesterol in Episode # 009 so if you would like to learn more about that then it is a good place to start.
  • However, I am going to state a few small overly simplified facts about cholesterol…
    • LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins) are labelled as “bad cholesterol” and high amounts are often linked to cardiovascular disease. However, there are different types of LDL which will determine how dangerous they are. The small, dense LDL is the most dangerous type as they are able to seep through the walls of the arteries and lead to CHD. However, the large, fluffy LDL is much less dangerous as it is unable to get through the walls of the arteries.
    • HDL (High Density Lipoproteins) are labelled as “good cholesterol” and high amounts are often linked to lowered risk of cardiovascular disease. We do not want to see HDL decrease.
    • Triglycerides is the type of fat which is used to store excess energy from our diet and high levels have actually been associated with cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance. Our ultimate aim is to lower triglyceride levels and what is interesting is that it is not actually fats which cause high triglyceride levels but actually carbohydrate consumption. Therefore, by lowering your carbohydrate level you can reduce the risk of triglyceride levels.
  • Alternate day fasting has been found to lower LDL Cholesterol by up to 25% when done for 70 days.
  • Remember that it is the number of small dense LDL which will determine your risk factor for heart disease.
  • IF has been shown to not only decrease total cholesterol, but also the number of small, dense LDL particles.
  • In fact, a research article in the Lipids Health Disease Journal in 2011, titled “Comparison of Effects of Diet versus Exercise weight loss regimens on LDL and HDL particle size in obese adults”, showed that although only exercise actually increased the levels of HDL cholesterol, Alternate Day Fasting actually decreased plasma LDL/decreased the proportion of small LDL particles.
  • Alternate day fasting was also found to increase the proportion of large, fluffy LDL particles in the body.
  • There have also been other studies showing the same thing.
  • Fasting has been shown to have minimal effects on HDL Cholesterol and therefore is not dangerous in any way.

Alternate day fasting has been found to lower Triglycerides by up to 32% when done for 70 days.

  • This is an inflammasome which is involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.
  • It has been found to increase in the presence of myocardial infarction and its deficiency has been found to improve myocardial infarction.
  • A review titled “The Role of NLRP3 Inflammasome in Cardiovascular Disease” which was published in 2015 by Jasna Ajdukovic came to the conclusion that modulating this particular inflammasome may represent a unique therapeutic strategy to limit cell death and therefore prevent heart failure after a myocardial infarction.
  • This review is amazing and in fact contains so much great information I think I will actually write a blog post on this inflammasome.
  • Well, one of the benefits of fasting is that it has been shown to actually reduce the production of this inflammasome. In fact, a research article in the Journal of Clinical Investigation by Traba et al titled “Fasting and Refeeding differentially regulates NLRP3 inflammasome activation in human subjects” showed that individuals showed less NLRP3 inflammasome activation in the fasted state compared to the fed state. This increase is also linked to an increase in mitochondrial oxidation and free radical production.
  • Homocysteine is a well known amino acid which is an intermediary on the metabolic pathway between methionine and cysteine.
  • They have found that mild to moderate elevation of plasma homocysteine levels increases the risk for development of atherosclerotic vascular disease.
  • Therefore, hyperhomocysteinemia is an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis and people with high levels of homocysteine have been found to have impaired arterial endothelial function.
  • In fact, there was a study in 2007 in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism which discussed the positive changes in inflammatory markers that are brought about by intermittent fasting during Ramadam. This showed that levels of homocysteine were reduced during the fast. What is even more interesting is that when they tested the studies for Vitamin B12 and Folate during the fasting period they noticed that the levels were increased substantially, despite not consuming any more food with these nutrients than the non fasting subjects. This is probably the reason homocysteine was lowered.
  • IL-6 is a pro-inflammatory substance that is released from the macrophages and other inflammatory cells which reach the circulation and the liver. When IL-6 levels are high they stimulate an acute phase response in the liver. During this response the liver will release a number of proteins, including CRP.
  • CRP also known as C Reactive Protein is a plasma inflammation marker that has been known to play a role in the development of cardiovascular disease and is an important biomarker which is useful in the prediction of early cardiovascular risk.
  • The Ramadan study just given has shown that fasting not only decreases IL-6 and CRP levels during the fasting period but also for 20 days after completing Ramadam.
  • I believe one of these reasons is because increasing levels of CRP are linked to elevated fasting insulin amongst both lean and obese individuals.
  • This is a blood plasma protein that’s made in your liver and it is one of 13 coagulation factors that are responsible for normal blood clotting.
  • It has been identified as a major independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease due to a number of factors:
    • It contributes to platelet aggregation.
    • Promotes fibrin formation.
    • Major contributor to plasma viscosity.
    • Increased in inflammatory states.
  • In fact, there was a clinical trial that was carried out at a University Hospital with 65 male volunteers with metabolic syndrome during the Ramadam period. They found that after the fast the values of fibrinogen were significantly decreased from 251.7 mg/dL to 239.4 mg/dL.
  • One study titled “Acute effects of short term fasting on blood pressure, circulating noradrenaline and efferent sympathetic nerve activity” by Andersson B et al found that a 48 hour fast showed a reduction in systolic blood pressure from 158 mmHg to 146 mmHg and reduced diastolic blood pressure from 96 mmHg to 89 mmHg.
  • Another study that was done on Ramadam showed that this intermittent fasting caused a drop in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in normotensive patients.
ADDITIONAL DETAILS
DisclaimerTranscript PDFResources

Please note that this information is not intended for medical purposes or to replace the advice of your medical practitioner. It is for informational purposes only to help guide you on your journey towards optimal wellness.

 

Feb 06 2017

LCKL 052 – Vitamin K2 – Vitamin D’s Partner in Crime – Use It To Help Protect Against Cancer, Heart Disease, Insulin Resistance and Osteoporosis…

Vitamin K is an incredible vitamin, that when used alongside Vitamin D can repair bones, repair wounds, prevent cancer, prevent alzheimers disease, improve insulin resistance and much much more…

SHOWNOTES
  • What Vitamin K is;
  • Food Sources of Vitamin K1;
  • Food Sources of Vitamin K2;
  • 9 Dangers of Vitamin K Deficiency;
  • 7 Symptoms of Vitamin K Deficiency;
  • 6 Causes of Vitamin K Deficiency;
  • 5 General Benefits of Vitamin K;
  • How Vitamin K helps your Heart;
  • How Vitamin K helps your Bones;
  • How Vitamin K helps Cancer;
  • How Vitamin K helps Alzheimers Disease;
  • How Vitamin K helps Inflammation;
  • How Vitamin K helps Insulin Resistance/Type 2 Diabetes;
  • Vitamin K Dosages;
  • Vitamin K Toxicity; and
  • Contraindications for Vitamin K.
TRANSCRIPT
What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?What is Crohn's Disease?What is Ulcerative Colitis?What are the Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease?What are the Complications of Inflammatory Bowel Disease?What are the Causes of Inflammatory Bowel Disease?Healing Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Group of inflammatory conditions of the colon and small intestine.
  • Consists primarily of Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
  • Both Autoimmune Conditions.
  • Affects the small intestine, large intestine, mouth, esophagus, stomach and anus.
  • Swelling and scar tissue can thicken the intestinal wall.
  • This will narrow the passageway for food that is being digested.
  • Deep ulcers may turn into tunnels, called fistulas, that connect different parts of the intestine.
  • Affects the top layer of the large intestine, the colon and the rectum.
  • Causes swelling and tiny open sores, or ulcers to form on the surface of the lining.
  • These ulcers can bleed and produce pus.
  • Ulcers may also weaken the intestinal wall so much that a hole develops.
  • The contents of the large intestine, including bacteria, will spill into the abdominal cavity or leak into the blood. This causes serious infection and requires emergency service.
  • Abdominal Pain;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Vomiting;
  • Rectal Bleeding;
  • Internal Cramps/Muscle Spasms in the Pelvis;
  • Weight Loss;
  • Joint Pain;
  • Skin Problems;
  • Fever;
  • Anemia.
  • Anemia;
  • Arthritis and Joint Pain;
  • Weak Bones and Bone Breaks;
  • Inflammation in the Eye and Eye Problems;
  • Liver Inflammation;
  • Gallstones;
  • Ulcers on the Skin;
  • Kidney Stones;
  • Delayed Puberty;
  • Growth Problems in Children and Teens;
  • Lung Problems.

Microbiota

  • IBD Affected Individuals have 30-50% less biodiversity of bacteria and generally have decreases in firmicutes and bacteroidetes.
  • IBD Affected Individuals are also more likely to have been prescribed antibiotics in the 2-5 year before their diagnosis.

Leaky Gut

  • When you have a defective mucosal barrier it results in an increase in intestinal permeability. This then promotes exposition to luminal content (toxins etc) and triggers an immune response which promotes intestinal inflammation
  • Studies have shown that IBD patients actually display defects in specialized components of the mucosal barrier, all the way from the mucus layer composition to the adhesion molecules.
  • These alterations have been shown to represent a primary dysfunction in Crohn’s Disease and perpetuate chronic mucosal inflammation in ulcerative colitis.

Bacteria and Fungi

  • There are many bacterias and fungi which may play a part in the development of Crohns Disease:
    • Mycobacterium Paratuberculosis – Prevents white blood cells from killing E Coli Bacteria. This bacteria is present in larger amounts in those with Crohns Disease. Cows milk is a common route of exposure. In fact one study found that Mycobacterium Avium Paratuberculosis (MAP) was present in 92% of patients with Crohns Disease. MAP is present in 2% of all pasteurised milk.
    • Aflatoxin, a Mycotoxin made by aspergillus molds has been found in patients with Crohns Disease.
    • Serratia Marcescens and E Coli is found in greater amounts in Crohns Patients.
    • Fungus Candida Tropicalis is also found in greater amounts in Crohns Patients.

Foods to Stay Away From When You Have IBD

  • Dairy Products – There have been numerous reports indicating that when they eliminate dairy products then symptoms such as Diarrhea, Abdominal Pain and Gas improves as well.
  • Carbohydrates – Adopting a ketogenic diet is incredibly effective at helping with inflammatory bowel disorders. One of the reasons for this is because the ketogenic diet reduces inflammation in the gut. The second reason carbohydrates are bad for IBD is because the sugars and carbohydrates are not absorbed when they pass through the bowel and when they get into the colon they ferment and produce gas and pain.
  • High Fiber Foods – If you have IBD, high fiber foods like fresh fruits and vegetables may make symptoms worse. Therefore, try steaming, baking or stewing them. You may have particular problems with foods like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, nuts, seeds, corn and popcorn.
  • Caffeine , Alcohol and Soft Drinks – All of these stimulate the bowels so make diarrhea worse.

Nutrients

  • Blueberries – Can help alleviate and protect against intestinal inflammation like ulcerative colitis. They are rich in polyphenols which have antimicrobial and antioxidant effects. When these are combined with probiotics they are known to reduce inflammation inducing bacteria but also helps to increase Lactobacilla.
  • Coconut Oil – Has been shown to soothe inflammation and help heal injury in the digestive tract. It has antimicrobial properties that promote intestinal health by killing microorganisms such as Candida which cause chronic inflammation.
  • MCT Oil – Caprylic Acid is a potent antifungal and so should be implemented in an IBD preventative diet.
  • Butyrate – This is a short chain fatty acid which is critical for the general homeostasis of enterocytes. Found in large quantities in the ketogenic diet.

Supplements

  • Vitamin D – Low Vitamin D increases your risk of Crohns Disease. Blood levels of Vitamin D were found to be significantly lower in patients with Crohns Disease.
  • Oregano Oil – This is a great way of killing off bad bugs and parasites in your gut.
  • Zinc – Trace element essential for cell turnover and repair.
ADDITIONAL DETAILS
DisclaimerTranscript PDFResources

Please note that this information is not intended for medical purposes or to replace the advice of your medical practitioner. It is for informational purposes only to help guide you on your journey towards optimal wellness.

TBA

 

Jan 27 2017

LCKL 048 – How Inflammation Can Contribute To Weight Gain and What You Can Do About It

Are you suffering with chronic pain or weight gain that doesn’t seem to want to budge? Are you tired of waking up in the morning with stiff and aching joints and muscles? If you are dealing with these symptoms, then it is likely you are chronically inflamed. In this episode, I will be going through what inflammation is and how you can lower inflammation naturally.

SHOWNOTES
  • What Inflammation Is;
  • What Acute Inflammation Is;
  • What Chronic Inflammation Is;
  • Dangers of Chronic Inflammation;
  • Why Inflammation causes Pain;
  • How Inflammation affects Autoimmunity;
  • How Inflammation affects Weight Gain;
  • How reducing Inflammation can help you to lose Body Fat;
  • 7 Lifestyle Causes of Inflammation;
  • 4 Nutritional Causes of Inflammation;
  • How to Test for Inflammation;
  • 3 Conventional Therapies Used To Combat Inflammation and the Pain Associated with it;
  • 14 Common Foods that can help you reduce Inflammation levels;
  • How Exercise affects Inflammation;
  • How Water Fasting helps with Inflammation; and
  • Where you can get even more information on Reducing Inflammation.
TRANSCRIPT
What Is Inflammation?Why Is Inflammation Important?Acute InflammationChronic InflammationDangers of Chronic InflammationWhy Does Inflammation Cause Pain?Autoimmunity and InflammationWeight Gain and InflammationCauses of InflammationTesting For InflammationTreatments
  • Inflammation is the body’s attempt to protect itself, in the hope to remove harmful stimuli such as damaged cells and pathogens and begin to allow the body to heal itself.
  • When something harmful happens to the body, there will be a natural response to want to remove it and this is the immune system takes charge and inflammation results.
  • Without inflammation, our infections, wounds and tissue damage would never heal. The tissues would just continue to get worse and worse and your body would finally shut down.
  • Acute inflammation will start rapidly and become quite severe quite rapidly.
  • Signs and symptoms of acute inflammation can last anywhere from a couple of days all the way to a few weeks.
  • There are a number of situations where acute inflammation may result:
  • When you get a cut/scratch;
  • When you get a blow to the head;
  • Acute Sinusitis;
  • Acute Bronchitis;
  • Sore Throat from Colds/Flu; or
  • Ingrown Toenail.
  • Did you know that even high intensity exercise can lead to acute inflammation.
  • There are five signs that you may be suffering from acute inflammation:
  • Pain – The inflamed area is likely to be painful, especially when it is touched. The area will become very sensitive due to the release of the chemicals that stimulate nerve endings.
  • Immobility – You may have difficulty moving or using that particular part of the body. For instance, if you have a sore throat you may have difficulty swallowing or talking.
  • Swelling and Heat.
  • With acute inflammation, the inflammation will either get better, develop into an abscess or become a chronic inflammation.
  • Also known as long term inflammation it can last for several months or even years.
  • Chronic inflammation can be especially harmful because if it persists it can lead to some pretty serious conditions such as heart disease and cancer.
  • Chronic inflammation may occur because of its inability to eliminate the cause of the acute inflammation (i.e. persistent cough after a cold or flu) or because of an autoimmune response which is making your body attack itself.

There are many conditions which can be classified as chronic inflammation, some of which are:

  • Athma;
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (AI Condition);
  • Ulcerative Colitis;
  • Crohns Disease;
  • Chronic Sinusitis; OR
  • Chronic Hepatitis.
  • With chronic inflammation it can lead to the destruction of tissues, fibrosis and even death of tissue (as is the case with heart disease).
  • Heart Disease – Chronic Inflammation has been linked to Cardiovascular Disease. Cholesterol begins to get deposited in the lining of the blood vessels. Cytokines which respond to this cholesterol are in the bloodstream and can lead to systemic inflammation. These inflamed blood vessels and fatty plaque can lead to blockages and blood clots. On top of this, they have found that those with gum disease may be at greater risk of heart disease due to the fact that the bacteria can make its way into the heart or blood vessels.
  • Diabetes – Cytokines have actually been found to interfere with insulin signalling, resulting in increased insulin resistance and spiked blood sugar.
  • Lung Issues – Chronic inflammation in the lungs can lead to asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and infections. When the lungs become inflamed, fluid can accumulate and the airways can narrow, therefore making breathing difficult.
  • Bone Health – A study in the Journal of Endocrinology showed that Chronic inflammation is associated with increased bone loss and lack of bone growth. Inflammation in the gut can also decrease the absorption of nutrients which are important to bone health, like calcium and Vitamin D.
  • Depression – A study published in the JAMA Psychiatry showed that people with depression had 30% more brain inflammation than those who were not depressed. On top of that inflammation itself has been linked to symptoms of depression.
  • Some people respond to inflammation and pain very differently. It is individualised.
  • The reason inflammation primarily causes pain is because the swelling pushes against the nerve endings, which will then send pain signals to the brain.
  • These nerve endings send pain signals to the brain all day. However, it learns to ignore most of them, unless the pressure against the nerve endings increases.
  • There are a number of different types of pain:
  • Somatic Pain – This is often pain felt in the muscles, joints, bones, ligaments and on the skin. This type of pain tends to be sharp and localized and therefore touching or moving the affected area will result in more pain.
  • Visceral Pain – This type of pain is sensed deep down in the body, in the internal organs and main body cavities (i.e. heart, lungs, bowel, liver, kidneys, bladder etc). This pain tends to be described as a deep ache.

If you look at autoimmune conditions, you will understand that inflammation plays a serious part of it. For example:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – Inflammation in the joints, tissues surrounding the joints and maybe even other organs in the body.
  • Celiac Disease – Inflammation and destruction of the inner lining of the small intestine.
  • Crohns Disease – The GI tract becomes inflamed. o Fibromyalgia – Pain in various parts of the body. o Graves Disease – Thyroid gland is inflamed.
  • Lupus – Inflammation in the joints, lungs, heart, kidney and skin. o Psoriasis – Inflammation of the skin.
  • Addison’s Disease – Inflammation of the Adrenal Glands.
  • Being obese or overweight can increase the amount of inflammation in our bodies.
  • As we gain weight the fat cells expand beyond their capacity while trying to store the extra calories as fat.
  • This causes the immune system to activate and add to the inflammation already present in our bodies.
  • Losing the weight will allow the fat cells to shrink back to its normal size and turn off the signal of chronic inflammation.
  • Many studies have been done showing the relationship between inflammation and weight gain. One study showed that the more overweight somebody became, the higher their CRP levels became.
  • In fact, Dr Steven Lin wrote a great article about how inflammation causes weight gain, which are:
    • It causes inflammation in the brain – This has been shown to cause leptin resistance by interfering with the hypothalamus, therefore increasing appetite and metabolism. This puts the body into storage mode.
    • Inflammation in the Gut – This causes leptin resistance and insulin resistance. This will disrupt gut flora and lead to irregular appetite and increased sugar cravings. On top of this, it increases gut permeability, allowing more toxins to permeate into the bloodstream and be stored in the cells.
    • Inflammation in the Body – Elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines have been shown to cause weight gain and insulin resistance.
    • Inflammation in the Endocrine System – It can suppress normal thyroid and adrenal function, causing weight gain.

Lifestyle

  • Hormone Changes, such as that in Menopause. Changing levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone has a part to play in Inflammation.
  • Environmental Toxins – There are many products in the environment that can lead to inflammation, such as:
    • Synthetic Fibers, Latex, Glues, Adhesives, Plastics, Air Fresheners and Cleaning Products;
    • Pesticides;
    • Pollution; and
    • Heavy Metals.
  • Stress – Cortisol plays a massive role in chronic inflammation and your immune system.
  • Persistent stress takes a steady toll on your immune system, your adrenals and your central nervous system.
  • The more acute the stress is the more dramatic the response will be. Painful emotional baggage is just as bad as physical stress.
  • Thoughts and Negative Feelings are very powerful – and they can manifest themselves physically by triggering inflammation.
  • Smoking – This also leads to chronic inflammation.
  • Lack of Sleep – Sleep is crucial to the healing of the body. Studies have shown that if you do not get sufficient sleep at night, you may put yourself at risk of inflammation.
  • Dehydration – Becoming dehydrated, mild dehydration or not can contribute to inflammation. Drinking enough water helps to flush the toxins from the body, decrease bloating and prevent constipation.
  • Vitamin D Deficiency – This is so common in our society and can increase inflammation and slow/stall weight loss.

Nutrition

  • Polyunsaturated Vegetable Oils – Oils like safflower, sunflower, corn, peanut and soy are all high in linoleic acid which is an omega 6 fatty acid that converts into arachidonic acid. Arachidonic Acid is another omega 6 fatty acid which is primarily inflammatory.
  • High Carb, High Sugar Diets – Refined sugar and other foods with high Glycemic Values raise the blood sugar levels and put your immune system on super high alert. When insulin levels are high, eicosanoids, which are pro-inflammatory compounds become imbalanced. On top of this, high insulin levels will activate enzymes that raise the levels of arachidonic acid in the blood.
  • Allergens like Casein and Gluten (or any other type of food allergy) sparks the inflammatory cascade.
  • Trans Fats, commonly found in refined fats and packaged products also create LDL’s which feed inflammation in the arteries. They also create free radicals that damage healthy cells and trigger inflammation.
  • C-Reactive Protein – Pro Inflammatory Marker. Make sure that when you get a blood test for C-Reactive Protein you get the Highly Sensitive CRP. Anything over 1mg/dL.
  • Homocysteine – Inflammatory Amino Acid. I like homocysteine levels to be below 4 microlitres/L.
  • Apolipoprotein B is a better predictor of heart disease than HDL and LDL cholesterol. These are proteins that are found in the LDL cholesterol particles. Measuring ApoB levels in the blood gives a good idea as to the number of atherogenic lipoproteins in the blood. The higher the number, the greater the chance of the arteries clogging up. The optimal number for low risk individuals is less than 100 mg/dL and for high risk individuals it is less than 80 mg/dL.

Conventional Treatments For Inflammation

  • NSAID’s – Taken to alleviate pain caused by inflammation. They work by counteracting the COX enzyme which is responsible for synthesizing prostaglandins and creating inflammation. Example of these include ibuprofen and aspirin.
  • Acetaminophen – These reduce the pain associated with the inflammation but don’t actually have anti-inflammatory properties. Examples of this are paracetamol and Tylenol.
  • Corticosteroids – Classes of steroid hormones naturally produced in the cortex of the adrenal glands.

 

Nutrition For Inflammation

  • Cold Water Fish – These are very high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which are natural anti-inflammatories.
  • Avocados – These have great anti inflammatory properties.
  • Broccoli and Cruciferous Vegetables – These contain Sulforaphane which blocks enzymes that are linked to joint degeneration and therefore chronic inflammation. It may also be able to prevent or reverse damage to the blood vessel linings that are caused by chronic blood sugar problems and inflammation.
  • Watermelon and Tomatoes – These contain lycopene, which is a powerful cellular inhibitor of inflammation. Watermelon also contains choline which helps keep chronic inflammation down.
  • Onions – Potent antioxidant and also contain quercetin, which inhibit histamines that are known to cause inflammation.
  • Berries – These contain polyphenols, especially anthocyanins which moderate inflammation.
  • Grass Fed Beef – Very high in omega 3 fats it is great to integrate some grass fed beef into your diet.
  • Fermented Vegetables and Dairy – Optimising gut flora helps to ward off chronic inflammation.
  • Shiitake Mushrooms – They contain strong compounds that have the natural ability to discourage inflammation, such as Ergothioneine which inhibits oxidative stress.
  • Garlic .
  • Chilli Peppers.
  • Turmeric – This spice suppresses NF kappa B, which is an immune regulating protein that triggers inflammation.
  • Tart Cherries – These are known to have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food. They are filled with anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that are known to reduce inflammation and they do it as well as some pain medications.
  • Green Tea – Due to its high flavonoid content, this type of tea is the most anti-inflammatory.

 

Exercise

  • If you are wanting to lower your inflammation then exercise is a good daily practice to start doing.
  • Moving around releases a burst of anti-inflammatory proteins from the cells to the rest of the body.
  • When exercising, insulin sensitivity can increase for up to 16 hours afterwards and leptin levels also increase with consistent exercise. Leptin is the hormone that is responsible for decreasing appetite.
  • However, do not go overboard. High intensity exercise, at least while in an already inflamed state can just add to the inflammation due to its ability to lead to low grade acute inflammation.

 

Water Fasting

  • Most of you will know that I am a massive proponent of Water Fasting, so much so that I actually wrote a book on it called Water Fasting For Wellness which is available both on Amazon or via my website.
  • Beta Hydroxy Butyrate is a form of ketone that has been shown to directly inhibit NLRP3 (a part of a complex set of proteins called inflammasomes. These inflammasomes are responsible for driving the inflammatory response in several disorders.
  • If you are interested in trying water fasting, definitely check out my book or course by going to http://www.waterfastingforwellness.info or check out episode number 008 of the podcast.
ADDITIONAL DETAILS
DisclaimerTranscript PDFResources

Please note that this information is not intended for medical purposes or to replace the advice of your medical practitioner. It is for informational purposes only to help guide you on your journey towards optimal wellness.

 

Jan 09 2017

LCKL 038 – The Power of L-Arginine for Athletic Performance, Insulin Sensitivity, Heart Health and 6 Other Amazing Benefits

What is Arginine? Is it an Essential Amino Acid or a Non Essential Amino Acid? In this episode you will be learning exactly what Nitric Oxide really is and 9 Benefits towards L-Arginine. If you do happen to take L-Arginine then this episode is for you.

SHOWNOTES
  • What Arginine is – Is it an essential Amino Acid or a Non Essential Amino Acid;
  • Three amino acids require Arginine for its production;
  • What Nitric Oxide is;
  • Relationship between Nitric Oxide and L-Arginine;
  • Benefit #1 of L-Arginine – Fights Inflammation;
  • Benefit #2 of L-Arginine – Improves Cardiovascular Health;
  • Benefit #3 of L-Arginine – Improves Guy Health and Fights Infection;
  • Benefit #4 of L-Arginine – Improves Immunity;
  • Benefit #5 of L-Arginine – Improves Impotence, Erectile Dysfunction and Male Infertility;
  • Benefit #6 of L-Arginine – Improves Kidney Function;
  • Benefit #7 of L-Arginine – Improves Athletic Performance;
  • Benefit #8 of L-Arginine – Improves Brain Health;
  • Benefit #9 of L-Arginine – Improves Insulin Sensitivity;
  • The causes of low Arginine levels;
  • Correct Dosages of L-Arginine Supplementation;
  • Side Effects of taking L-Arginine;
  • Contraindications to L-Arginine Supplementation;
  • Top Food Sources of L-Arginine; and
  • My favourite L-Arginine Supplement available on Amazon.
TRANSCRIPT
What is L-Arginine?L-Arginine and Nitric OxideBenefit #1 - Fights InflammationBenefit #2 - Improves Cardiovascular HealthBenefit #3 - Improves Gut Health and Prevents InfectionsBenefit #4 - Improves ImmunityBenefit #5 - Improves Erectile Dysfunction, Impotence and Male FertilityBenefit #6 - Improves Kidney FunctionBenefit #7 - Improves Athletic PerformanceBenefit #8 - Improves Brain HealthBenefit #9 - Improves Insulin SensitivityCauses of Low ArginineDosages of ArginineSide Effects of taking L-ArginineContraindicationsFood Sources of L-Arginine
  • L-arginine is an amino acid that is part of a collection of amino acids used as building blocks for the body.
  • Although it is not classified as an essential amino acid (meaning the body is unable to make its own and therefore it must come from the diet) it is actually considered essential in many ways because it is highly important for many functions while unfortunately being present in low quantities within the body, especially as you get older.
  • There are two types of Arginine, known as Arg 1 (Cytosolic Arginase 1 – abundant in the liver as part of the urea cycle) and Arg 2 (mitochondrial arginase – found mostly in extrahepatic tissue such as kidney, brain, gut and hematopoietic cells).
  • L-Arginine (especially Arg-2) plays a main role in the production of L-Ornithine, L-Proline and L-Glutamate.
  • Nitric Oxide is a reactive gas that is produced by both plants and animals.
  • To create nitric oxide, L-arginine is required. L-Arginine is needed by the endothelial cells in order to form enough nitric oxide to keep the blood flowing freely.
  • Nitric Oxide is very important for cardiovascular health and is known to improve circulation by dilating the blood vessels. If people do not have enough nitric oxide in their arteries, then heart disease risk is much higher.
  • On top of this, Nitric Oxide is very important for keeping blood pressure levels within a normal range.
  • As you age, your ability to produce sufficient nitric oxide in the artery lining decreases.
  • L Arginine has been found to have substantial free radical scavenging abilities because of its effect on superoxide dismutase.
  • L arginine is commonly used alongside other antioxidants (vitamin C, astaxanthin etc) and omega 3 fatty acids, so as to help slow the aging process and prevent chronic disease.
  • Inflammation is associated with a reduced availability of nitric oxide in the vasculature. There was a study that was done in 2011 that showed that systemic inflammation was linked to low arginine and high ADMA plasma levels.
  • Other studies have also shown that oral supplementation of L-arginine can ameliorate intestinal inflammation, therefore showing that supplementing with this amino acid can be utilized to regulate gut health.
  • Research has shown that L-Arginine is beneficial in improving the health of the blood vessels and cardiovascular system.
  • It is one of the most recommended supplements by cardiologists.
  • In people who are at risk of cardiovascular or coronary heart disease, L-Arginine supplementation is one way to help prevent a heart attack or stroke.
  • L-Arginine offers numerous cardiovascular benefits, such as:
    • Prevents high blood pressure (hypertension);
    • Improves blood flow in people with clogged arteries;
    • Lowers high cholesterol;
    • Helps relieve congestive heart failure;
    • Improves stamina; and
    • Reduces claudication.
  • Commonly used to treat angina pectoris.
  • According to research, L-Arginine Supplementation decreases the degree of tissue damage in intestinal ischemia and also promotes healing of the intestinal mucosa.
  • On top of this, they have actually found that infection by various intestinal pathogens such as Citrobacter Rodentium actually lowers the level of serum L-arginine concentration and then this infection being reversed after supplementation with L-arginine.
  • In the cases of malaria, L-Arginine has been found to be incredibly protective. When L-arginine is depleted due to the malaria it ends up impairing the intestinal barrier function and predisposing the gut to coinfection with salmonella.
  • Arginine is incredibly important for the functioning of the immune system.
  • Traumatic events, including surgery, increase the body’s need for arginine, which is required for protein synthesis and the production of white blood cells.
  • It is involved in wound repair and therefore helps the body to heal more quickly.
  • T lymphocytes in the immune system depend on arginine for proliferation, zeta-chain peptide and T-cell receptor complex expression, as well as the development of memory. T-cell abnormalities, including those observed with arginine deficiency is observed in cancer and after trauma.
  • Dietary arginine has been found to increase the weight of the thymus in healthy animals, therefore being directly correlated with an increase in the number of thymic T lymphocytes. Intravenous infusion of arginine has a direct effect on T Cell activity in vivo and in vitro.
  • Macrophages use L-arginine as a major substrate for many of their functions. Nitric Oxide is very important when it comes to macrophages.
  • Arginine also enhances phagocytosis by neutrophils and adhesion of polymorphonuclear cells, which are all activities that help produce nitric oxide for immunomodulation.
  • Studies have found that dosages as low as 12.5g per day of arginine can improve immune function by improving T-Cell Count, Lowering Infection Rates and Shortening Hospital stays.
  • They have found arginine supplementation to be beneficial both before and after surgery so as to lessen the infection rates (at a low dose of 12.5g per day).
  • It is especially beneficial when taken with Omega 3 Fatty Acids and RNA.
  • Nitric Oxide which is a metabolic product of arginine plays a vital role in the cardiovascular system. This causes the arteries to relax and ilate, therefore increasing blood flow. When this happens in the penile arteries it facilitates erections.
  • In fact, Viagra works in a similar way to arginine without the added benefits.
  • A study that was published in 1999 by Chen J et al showed that men who had erectile dysfunction and took a dose of 5g of arginine per day yielded greater results than placebo groups. In this study they showed that 31% of the people taking the arginine were satisfied with their sexual performance when only 12% of the placebo group were.
  • Studies have shown that because of the nitric oxide in the vascular endothelium, arginine is very important for the kidneys.
  • In fact, one study done by a group of Japanese researchers gave participants 15g of arginine per day and then another group took placebo.
  • After analysing the results, the researchers concluded that arginine has a beneficial effect on the kidneys, especially the ability to filter wastes, maintain sodium and water balance and maintain homeostatic balance – all in people with chronic heart failure.
  • Arginine is utilized by a number of different pathways that produce a variety of biologically active compounds such as nitric oxide, creatine, agmatine, glutamate, polyamines, ornithine and citrulline.
  • Plays a pivotal role in the exogenous excretion of human growth hormone. Arginine suppresses endogenous somatostatin secretion. In order to infuse enough human growth hormone you require 12-30g of arginine per day. When it was taken alongside lysine, the peak plasma growth hormone concentrations increased 8 fold. The ingestion of 1.5g of lysine and 1.5g of arginine together resulted in a 2.7 fold increase in plasma HGH concentrations in resistance trained males. The growth hormone response may be reduced in exercise trained individuals.
  • Plays a pivotal role in the synthesis of creatine, however limited studies have been done on the effectiveness of this in improving athletic performance.
  • Plays a pivotal role in augmenting nitric oxide.
  • It is found that arginine supplementation is useful for those with little athletic endurance or those with congestive heart failure but not so much with those that are very athletic.
  • L arginine plays a prominent role in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers. In fact a study done by Dr Jing Yi in 2008 found that L-arginine can affect the origination and development of Alzheimers.
  • A study published in the June 2010 Frontiers of Integrative Neuroscience found that administration of L arginine protects against cerebral edema because of the nitric oxide production. L arginine reduces this edema formation in the brain, especially after a brain trauma.
  • Nitric Oxide gas molecules relaxes the smooth muscles of the arteries that supply blood to the heart and therefore enhance blood flow to the areas of the brain. It is also helpful in fostering easy and efficient flow of blood through the blood vessels to the brain.
  • The Nitric Oxide in L arginine stimulates the release of human growth hormone and reduces the signs of aging.
  • Arginine has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity.
  • In fact, a team of researchers in Italy and England published a study showing that insulin sensitivity can be enhanced by an increase in nitric oxide.
  • In this study they took 12 lean adults with type 2 diabetes who had good metabolic control and were being treated for the disease with diet alone.
  • For one month the patients were monitored while on their usual diet. They were then put into two groups. One group was treated with diet and placebo for two months and then the second group was treated in the same way for the first month and then for the second month they received arginine. This dose was 3g per day administered orally 3 times per day. This is the lowest dosage that would elicit NO synthesis without changing insulin secretion by the pancreas, which arginine is known to stimulate.
  • Insulin sensitivity was then monitored.
  • They found in this study that insulin sensitivity increased by 34% in the arginine group. On top of this they also found that there was a significant increase in the blood levels of cGMP which is an indicator of NO synthesis from arginine. They found that the blood levels of cGMP in type 2 diabetics was significantly lower than in normal individuals.
  • On top of this, the study found that there was a decrease in blood pressure and an increase in the blood flow.
  • Catabolic Stress;
  • Dysfunction of the Kidneys;
  • Dysfunction of the Small Intestines.
  • The dosages of L arginine can vary (depending on the research study you are looking at) but one of the most common dosages is 2-3g x 3 times per day.
  • However, both higher and lower dosages have been taken. In fact, according to studies there are differing dosages given for different conditions (info can be found at http://www.wikihow.com/Use-L%E2%80%90Arginine-to-Improve-Inflammation-and-Health):
    • Altitude Sickness – 4g x 3 times per day while ascending to altitude and while at altitude;
    • Cognitive Function – 1.6g per day for 3 months; o Coronary Artery Disease – 3g x 3 times per day; o Peripheral Neuropathy – 3g x 3 times per day; o Erectile Dysfunction – 5g daily for 5 weeks;
    • Exercise Performance – 6g Single Dose, 6g x 2 times daily for 28 days, 6g for 14 days and 14.2g for 6 months;
    • Heart Failure – 5.6-12.6g per day for 6 weeks, 15g per day for 5 days, 2g x 3 times daily;
    • Hyperlipidemia – 7g x 3 times daily;
    • Hypertension – 12g daily for 4 weeks, 2g per day, 0.5-1.5g per 10g of body weight for 1 week;
    • Heart Attack – 3g x 3 times daily for 6 months, 3g x 3 times daily for 30 days;
    • Peripheral Vascular Disease and Claudication – 24g per day for 8 weeks, 3.3g x 2 times daily, 8g x 2 times daily for 3 weeks;
    • Pre-Eclampsia – 3g daily for 3 weeks, 3g every six hours until 10 days postpartum, 4g per day for 10-12 weeks;
    • Raynauds Phenomenon – 8g daily for 28 days;
    • Respiratory Infections – Taken by the mouth for 60 days (dosage unknown); o Wound Healing – 17g in 3 divided doses for 2 weeks.
  • There are few side effects of taking L-Arginine.
  • However, on occasion, it can cause nausea, cramps, diarrhea, allergic reactions and asthma.
  • It can also cause low blood pressure and changes to glucose and blood chemical levels.
  • Although it is a relatively safe supplement to take, there are certain medical conditions whereby you should speak to your practitioner first:
    • Cancer;
    • Asthma;
    • Allergies;
    • Liver or Kidney Problems;
    • Low Blood Pressure;
    • Sickle Cell Disease;
    • Bleeding Disorders; or
    • Pre-Existing Heart Disease.
  • There are also certain medications which could interfere with arginine supplementation so you should check with your medical practitioner first.
    • Birth Control Medicines; o Hormone Therapy Drugs; o Blood Thinners;
    • Painkillers;
    • High Blood Pressure Medications; o Diabetes Medications; and even
    • Natural herbs such as ginkgo biloba, garlic, ginseng and potassium.
  • L Arginine is found in high quantities in animal sources of foods, such as:
    • Beef;
    • Lamb;
    • Pork;
    • Poultry;
    • Fish;
    • Nuts;
    • Seeds;
    • Chocolate;
    • Eggs; and
    • Dairy Products.
  • Therefore, those following a low carbohydrate, high fat, moderate protein diet should in principle be getting sufficient arginine from their diets.
  • Vegans are definitely likely to be deficient in arginine and so should supplement but vegetarians who are consuming dairy and/or eggs should be OK.
ADDITIONAL DETAILS
DisclaimerTranscript PDFResources

Please note that this information is not intended for medical purposes or to replace the advice of your medical practitioner. It is for informational purposes only to help guide you on your journey towards optimal wellness.