When it comes to fish oil, more is not better

fish.PNG

The benefits of fish oil supplementation have been grossly overstated

Article summary:

  • Most of the studies showing fish oil benefits are short-term, lasting less than one year
  • The only fish oil study lasting more than four years showed an increase in heart disease and sudden death
  • Fish oil is highly unstable and vulnerable to oxidative damage
  • There’s no evidence that healthy people benefit from fish oil supplementation
  • Taking several grams of fish oil per day may be hazardous to your health

A new study was recently published showing that 3 grams per day of fish oil in patients with metabolic syndrome increased LDL levels and insulin resistance [1].

Unfortunately, I don’t read Portuguese so I can’t review the full-text. But this study isn’t alone in highlighting the potential risks of high-dose fish oil supplementation. Chris Masterjohn’s latest article on essential fatty acids, Precious yet Perilous [2], makes a compelling argument that fish oil supplementation – especially over the long-term – is not only not beneficial, but may be harmful.

This may come as a surprise to you, with all of the current media hoopla about the benefits of fish oil supplementation. Yet the vast majority of the studies done that have shown a benefit have been short-term, lasting less than one year. The only trial lasting more than four years, the DART 2 trial, showed that fish oil capsules actually increase the risk of heart disease and sudden death [3].

A 2004 Cochrane meta-analysis of trials lasting longer than six months suggests that the cardiovascular benefits of fish oil have been dramatically over-stated [4]. They analyzed 79 trials overall, and pooled data from 48 trials that met their criteria. The only effect that could be distinguished from chance was a reduced risk of heart failure. Fish oil provided no reduction in total or cardiovascular mortality.

Too much fish oil can wreak havoc in your body

Omega-3 fatty acids are highly vulnerable to oxidative damage. When fat particles oxidize, they break down into smaller compounds, like malondialdehyde (MDA), that are dangerous because they damage proteins, DNA, and other important cellular structures.

A study by Mata et al demonstrated that oxidative damage increases as intake of omega-3 fat increases]. The results of this study were summarized in the Perfect Health Diet [6], by Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet:

toxin.PNG

Notice the clear increase in TBARS (a measure of oxidative damage of the LDL particle) with omega-3 fat. It’s important to note that this was only a 5-week trial. If it had gone on for longer than that, it’s likely the oxidative damage caused by omega-3 fats would have been even worse. This isn’t surprising if you understand the chemical composition of fats. Polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) are highly vulnerable to oxidative damage because they’re the only fatty acids that have two or more double bonds, and it’s the carbon that lies between the double bonds that is vulnerable to oxidation (as shown in the figure below):

chains.PNG

 

Another thing worth noting, if you haven’t already, is that intake of saturated and monounsaturated fats does not increase oxidative damage by a significant amount. This is illustrated in both the table and the diagram above: saturated fats have no double bonds, which means they are well protected against oxidation. MUFA is slightly more vulnerable, since it does have one double bond, but not nearly as much as PUFA which has several double-bonds.

A randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial likewise showed that 6 grams per day of fish oil increased lipid peroxides and MDA in healthy men [7], regardless of whether they were supplemented with 900 IU of vitamin E. And consumption of fresh, non-oxidized DHA and EPA has been shown to increase markers of oxidative stress in rats [8].

Fish oil not as beneficial as commonly believed

To be fair, at least one review suggests that fish oil supplementation is beneficial in the short and even intermediate term. A recent meta-analysis of 11 trials lasting more than one year found that fish oil reduced the relative risk of cardiovascular death by 13 percent and the relative risk of death from any cause by 8 percent.

But the effect seen in this review was mostly due to the GISSI and DART-1 trials. They found that fish oil may prevent arrhythmia in patients with chronic heart failure and patients who have recently survived a heart attack .

However, there is no evidence that people other than those with arrhythmia and chronic heart failure benefit from taking fish oil or that doses higher than one gram of omega-3 fatty acids per day provide any benefit over smaller doses. And then there’s the rather disturbing result of the DART-2 trial, the only fish oil study lasting more than four years, showing an increase in heart disease and sudden death.

It’s logical to assume the effects of oxidative damage would take a while to manifest, and would increase as time goes on. That’s likely the reason we see some benefit in short- and intermediate-term studies (as n-3 displace n-6 in the tissues), but a declining and even opposite effect in the longer-term DART-2 trial (as increased total PUFA intake causes more oxidative damage).

The danger of reductionist thinking in nutritional research

The current fish oil craze highlights the danger of isolated nutrient studies, which unfortunately is the focus of nutritional research today. Kuipers et al. eloquently described the risks of this approach in a recent paper. 

The fish oil fatty acids EPA and DHA (and their derivatives), vitamin D (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D) and vitamin A (retinoic acid) are examples of nutrients that act in concert, while each of these has multiple actions(7,8).

Consequently, the criteria for establishing optimum nutrient intakes via randomized controlled trials (RCT) with single nutrients at a given dose and with a single end point have serious limitations. They are usually based upon poorly researched dose–response relationships, and typically ignore many possible nutrient interactions and metabolic interrelationships.

For instance, the adequate intake of linoleic acid (LA) to prevent LA deficiency depends on the concurrent intakes of α-linolenic acid (ALA), γ-LA and arachidonic acid (AA). Consequently, the nutritional balance on which our genome evolved is virtually impossible to determine using the reigning paradigm of ‘evidence-based medicine’ with RCT.

Interest in fish oil supplementation started with observations that the Inuit had almost no heart disease. It was assumed their high intake of marine oils produced this benefit. While this may be true, at least in part, what was overlooked is that the Inuit don’t consume marine oils in isolation. They eat them as part of a whole-food diet that also includes other nutrients which may help prevent the oxidative damage that otherwise occurs with such a high intake of fragile, n-3 PUFA.

It’s also important to note that there are many other traditional peoples, such as the Masai, the Tokelau, and the Kitavans, that are virtually free of heart disease but do not consume high amounts of marine oils. What these diets all share in common is not a large intake of omega-3 fats, but instead a complete absence of modern, refined foods.

Eat fish, not fish oil – cod liver oil excepted

That is why the best approach is to dramatically reduce intake of omega-6 fa , found in industrial seed oils and processed and refined foods, and then eat a nutrient-dense, whole-foods based diet that includes fatty fish, shellfish and organ meats. This mimics our ancestral diet and is the safest and most sane approach to meeting our omega-3 needs – which as Chris Masterjohn points out, are much lower than commonly assumed.

Some may ask why I continue to recommend fermented cod liver oil (FCLO), in light of everything I’ve shared in this article. There are a few reasons. First, I view FCLO as primarily a source of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, K2 and E) – not EPA and DHA. Second, in the context of a nutrient-dense diet that excludes industrial seed oils and refined sugar, and is adequate in vitamin B6, biotin, calcium, magnesium and arachidonic acid, the risk of oxidative damage that may occur with 1 gram per day of cod liver oils is outweighed by the benefits of the fat-soluble vitamins.

So I still recommend eating fatty fish a couple times per week, and taking cod liver oil daily, presuming your diet is as I described above. What I don’t endorse is taking several grams per day of fish oil, especially for an extended period of time. Unfortunately this advice is becoming more and more common in the nutrition world.

More is not always better, despite our tendency to believe it is.

Article by Chris Kresser on October 25, 2010 @ 8:55 am In Food & Nutrition,Heart Disease.

Digestive Health Ann Arbor now offers a complete Metabolic Health Assessment.  It is extremely comprehensive and provides considerably more information about the current state of your health then most doctors will provide.  If you are interested in a very detailed assessment of your health, please click here for more information. (This assessment is covered by your health insurance).

Please call 734-726-0153 to schedule a free consultation and evaluation. At Digestive Health Ann Arbor we are known for providing professional and compassionate care. We strive to guide people towards a comprehensive and holistic healing strategy. Restoring your body to health will restore the quality of your life.

Epigenetics: A Doctors’ Perspective

We have the power
            When an aging parent develops dementia, or a child struggles with ADHD, we feel powerless. It seems like some people are just unlucky, and we chalk it up to “bad genes.” For years, scientists have debated nature vs. nurture, pitting genetics against experience. Now we know that the two are not mutually exclusive, and actually work in tandem. According to Dr. Perlmutter, Board-certified neurologist, 70% of the genes that code for health and longevity are under our control. So if Mom or Dad starts forgetting where they put the keys, we can help them find the right tools to boost their brain functioning. Epigenetics, the belief in the dance between nature and nurture, puts the keys in our hands, so that with the right tools we can drive ourselves along a course towards vitality and long life. To learn more about Dr. Perlmutter and epigenetics, clickhere.
 
Dr. Perlmutter’s advice: 3 Reasons why epigenetics is important
            Once we have heart disease, how much Lipitor should we take? Once we have high blood sugar, how often do we use metformin? Modern medicine provides band-aid solutions to illnesses that are easily preventable.
 
1.      In the US, we spend more on chronic disease than any other health challenge. Of total health care costs in the United States, more than 75% is due to chronic illness.
2.      The U.S. spends more on healthcare than national defense. In fact, the U.S. spent 16.2% of its GDP on healthcare in 2008, which exceeds the combined federal expenditures for national defense, homeland security, education and welfare.
3.      Chronic disease will become the chief financial burden of the world. By 2020 it is predicted that non-communicable (i.e. chronic) disease will account for 80% of the global burden of disease.
 
Instead of reacting to disease, we have the power to prevent it. Understanding epigenetics can help us to find a better way. As Dr. Perlmutter says, “the foods we eat and the lifestyle behaviors we choose are literally instructing our genome.”
 
4 ways to beef up Brain health   
1.      Exercise. A recent study of elderly individuals who exercised for 20 minutes, 3 times a week for 1 year, showed an increase in the hippocampus. The hippocampus, part of the limbic system and located in the brain, plays a huge role in the formation of short-term memory. This study is noteworthy because usually our hippocampus shrinks as we age, so the fact that these participants experienced a growth is astounding and proves that degeneration can be reversed.
2.      De-stress. Stress plays a powerful role in our ability to form memories. Persistent exposure to cortisol, released by our bodies when we are stressed, atrophies the hippocampus. However, we can rebuild hippocampus function, just as the elderly individuals proved.
3.      Cut sugar intake.  Glucose increases stress and disables the hippocampus. In one study, researchers measured participants blood sugar levels for 4 years and found those with the highest blood sugar levels had a greater degree of hippocampal atrophy. It is important to note here that in this study no one had diabetes, they all had normal blood sugar levels. Even with these normal levels, they were adversely affected by glucose.
4.      Eat fat, less carbs. According to Dr. Perlmutter, 70% of our calories should come from fat. A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, proposes that low-carb, Mediterranean diets beat out high-carb, low-fat diets any day.
 
Digestive Health Ann Arbor: How we can help
The study of epigenetics has revolutionized how medical practitioners approach medicine. We can now help our bodies to recover from seemingly insurmountable ailments, all through the power of food and supplements. Hippocrates once said “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” At Digestive Health Ann Arbor we can help you to uncover food allergies or intolerances that may be causing health issues, and develop an action plan to begin healing.

Please call 734-726-0153 to schedule a free consultation and evaluation. At Digestive Health Ann Arbor we are known for providing professional and compassionate care. We strive to guide people towards a comprehensive and holistic healing strategy. Restoring your body to health will restore the quality of your life.

References:

[1] Centers for Disease Control. Accessed March 30, 2013, at http://www.cdc.gov/chronic disease/resources/publications/AAG/chronic.htm

[2] Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. NHE Fact Sheet. Downloaded fromHttp://www.cms.hhs.gov/NationalhealthExpendData/25 NHE Fact Sheet.asp on March 31, 2013

[3] Boutayeb A, Boutayeb S. The burden of non communicable diseases in developing countries. Int J Equity Health. 2005; 4(2). Online access at http://www.equityhealthj.com/content/pdf/1475-9276-4-2.pdf

[4] Cherbuin N, et al, “Higher normal fasting plasma glucose is associated with hippocampal atrophy,” the PATH study, Neurology September 4, 2012 vol. 79 no 10 1019-1026. http://www.neurology.org/content/79/10/1019.abstract

[5] Shai I, Schwarzfuchs D, Henkin Y, et al. Weight loss with a low-carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or lo-fat diet. N Engl J Med 2008; 359:229-241.

 

Eating Paleo

What is the Paleo Diet and How it can Work for You

We live in an age of skyrocketing health insurance costs and mounting public health epidemics. Many American bodies can no longer fit comfortably in airplane seats, pass a few hours without monitoring insulin levels, or run outside during allergy season. We are increasingly technologically advanced yet the simple question “what should we eat for dinner tonight?” continues to stump families across the country. Since the answer is so convoluted, many Americans unknowingly make poor dietary choices for themselves and their families, leading to unnecessary illness. Our nation spends 16% of its GDP on healthcare, more than any other nation in the world, yet our families struggle with increasingly dangerous ailments.

The Dangers of Poor Health
According to the National Institute of Health, the U.S. has:

  • 5 times more children with ADD and ADHD then any country in the world.
  • one of the highest rates of cancer in the world
  • a rank of 49 out of 52 developed countries for life expectancy.

The Paleo Diet: How to Achieve Simple, Easy Health

            The Paleo Diet is deservedly getting more press and exposure lately. It improves performance, increases fat loss, and helps mitigate chronic health problems. Once you understand the basics, it’s also pretty easy to do.

“The Paleo Diet” by Loren CordainThere Are MANY Different Paleo Diets

The main point of Paleo is to give our bodies the foods that they evolved to eat. The payoff being improved health, performance, longevity and superior digestion.

            Paleo theory says that our digestive systems and bodies are much better adapted to meat, fruit and vegetables than to things like grains, dairy, processed foods and the pesticides and hormones that get into our modern food. If you stop and think about the fact that two of the most common food sensitivities are to gluten and casein (a protein in cow milk), it makes sense.

Below is a food time line diagram from Adam Farrah’s book, “The Paleo Dieter’s Missing Link.”

            In this first article, we’ll talk about Paleo fundamentals and some of the best ways to classify different foods. The classification of foods that we use here is based off of Paleo but unique, which we will explain later. What’s important to understand is that Paleo is really a broad diet philosophy as opposed to a set and rigid diet – or worse, a fad diet. Yes, there’s the book , but there are many other interpretations of Paleo and variations based on the “Hunter-Gatherer” template. If you want to understand the context of Paleo as a diet genre, check out my post “.”

            Our genes have remained virtually unchanged for a long time. While there is some disagreement on the numbers, humans spent about 2.5 million years eating nothing but meat, vegetables, fruit, and little else. Only about 15,000 years ago that we moved from hunting and gathering to agriculture. This is when grains and dairy became widely available.

What’s a Paleo Diet?
Meat
Fruit
Vegetables

Most of what you’ll find on Paleo will classify foods in two categories – Paleo and Not Paleo. This system is limiting. Instead we prefer Adam Farrah's 5 Paleo categories.

Here are Farrah's five categories of Paleo foods:

1) Foundational Paleo Diet Foods – Base Your Diet on These

Meats from animals fed their appropriate diet (cows fed grass, for example)
wild-caught fish
organic vegetables and fruits.

2) Foods of Early Agriculture – Foods to Consider Adding if Well-Tolerated

Eggs
raw dairy
organic brown rice
grains
fresh ground organic coffee

3) Paleo Foods to Use Sparingly

Starchy foods like yams and sweet potatoes best left to post-workout
concentrated foods like coconut milk, dried fruits, raw nuts and seeds, nut and seed milks and raw honey.

4) Supplements

Coconut oils and fish oils to round out the fat content in the diet
protein powders (if necessary, well tolerated and of high quality)
fiber supplements certain nutrient supplements

5) Modern Foods – Avoid These

Processed foods
Processed grain products
Soy products
Beans and legumes
Roasted nuts
Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup products
Alcohol 

In Conclusion…
These are Adam Farrah's Paleo basics. In the next post, we’ll go more into the diet details and explain how to make Paleo work for you. While the Paleo diet is a great baseline, we aren't cavemen and women anymore. At Digestive Health Ann Arbor we strive to adapt dietary lessons from the past to the realities of our present day.

Article excerpted from Adam Farrah, “A Practical Approach to the Paleo Diet, Part 1”

The Practical Paleo Approach: Modern-day Application of the So-Called “Caveman” Diet

In January we sent out a newsletter about the Paleo dietary basics. However, there is a lot of confusion about what is and what is not a part of the Paleo diet. Many supporters of the Paleo diet believe that we have to eat like cavemen and cavewomen to be healthy today. Unfortunately, these kinds of attitudes can lead to restrictive nutritional guidelines that are impossible to follow in our everyday lives. We need solutions that are practical and tailored to our specific needs. We need solutions for working Moms, athletes, and growing kids. We need solutions that are adaptable yet rooted in the same scientifically-backed fundamentals. We need a Practical Paleo Approach.

What are “Old” foods?

In many Paleo diets we hear people classifying foods into “Paleo” or “Non-Paleo.” Again, this kind of thinking can be very limiting. We suggest thinking about food in terms of “old” or “not processed” and “new” or “processed.” The more processed a food is, the more unhealthy it is. If you try to eat “old” foods instead of “new” ones, you are already on the right path to a successful Paleo diet.

3 Examples of “old” and “new” versions of the same food:

1.

“New” Yogurt: Sweetened, non-fat Dannon.

“Old” Yogurt: Full-fat, greek yogurt with live, active cultures.

2.

“New” Rice: Bleached white rice.

“Old” rice: Brown rice.

3.

“New” Milk: Pasteurized, homogenized, antibiotic-and-hormone-laced milk.

“Old” Milk: Fresh, raw milk.

Why say “Old” instead of “Paleo”?

By old food we mean a food that existed in in its given form for a long time. However, a lot of foods that seem “old” at first glance are in fact very processed. Here are a couple of examples:

         Roasted mixed nuts versus organic brown rice

Paleo diets often advocate a diet which includes nuts but completely avoids all grains. However, nuts roasted in a refined oil that is corn or soy based is much worse for us than a small helping of unprocessed, organic brown rice. The brown rice in this example is “old” because its given form is almost exactly the same as it has been for thousands of years. Those roasted nuts, however, are considered “new” because they were doused in unhealthy refined oils which have existed for only a decade or so.

         Conventional tomatoes versus fresh, raw milk

Paleo enthusiasts urge people to stay away from dairy since it is one of the newer food groups introduced to the human diet. However, the fresh milk in this example, which is rich in probiotics, would be a much better choice than conventional tomatoes, which are often genetically modified and saturated in pesticides.

What Kind's of “new” foods are OK to eat and why?

As we mentioned last month, foods from early agriculture are fine to add, if well-tolerated, natural and unprocessed. Those foods are:

  1. Eggs
  2. raw dairy
  3. organic brown rice
  4. grains
  5. fresh ground organic coffee

The Practical Approach: the Paleo Diet with a Weston A. Price Twist

In the early 1900's, a dentist named Weston A. Price noticed his urban patients had worse dental hygiene than his rural ones. Intrigued, Price set off to travel the world and uncover the secret to not only dental hygiene, but true and long-lasting health. He ate dinner with the Swiss and Pigmies alike, and discovered that the none of the healthiest populations ate the same diet. In fact, the healthiest people were not determined by what they ate, but instead what they didn't - processed foods. At Digestive Health Ann Arbor we advocate for a Practical Paleo approach because it is rooted in nutritional wisdom, backed by modern-day scientific research, and adaptable to our individual needs.

 

Digestive Health Ann Arbor: Find the Paleo Diet that's Right for You

The appropriate Paleo diet should be determined by your life circumstances and the foods locally available to you. At Digestive Health Ann Arbor we help guide you through a simple three-step nutritional process to Refresh, Restart and Recalibrate your diet. People are different, so each person's diet should be, too. Digestive Health Ann Arbor can help to build a Practical Paleo Approach tailor-made for you.

Please call 734-726-0153 to schedule a free consultation and evaluation. At Digestive Health Ann Arbor we are known for providing professional and compassionate care. We strive to guide people towards a comprehensive and holistic healing strategy. Restoring your body to health will restore the quality of your life.

Article features some excerpts from Adam Farrah, “A Practical Approach to the Paleo Diet, Part 2”

 

Food Allergies: Why Do We Have Them?

We live in an age of skyrocketing health insurance costs and mounting public health epidemics. Many American bodies can no longer fit comfortably in airplane seats, pass a few hours without monitoring insulin levels, or run outside during allergy season. We are increasingly technologically advanced yet the simple question “what should we eat for dinner tonight?” continues to stump families across the country. Since the answer is so convoluted, many Americans unknowingly make poor dietary choices for themselves and their families, leading to unnecessary illness. Our nation spends 16% of its GDP on healthcare, more than any other nation in the world, yet our families struggle with increasingly dangerous ailments.
 
According to the National Institute of Health, the U.S. has:
-        5 times more children with ADD and ADHD then any country in the world.
-        one of the highest rates of cancer in the world.
-        a rank of 49 out of 52 developed countries for life expectancy.
 
Humans are like basement plumbing pipes with legs. It's an odd image, but it illustrates a critical idea. A basement pipe can easily corrode if poorly treated. Unlike pipes, however, our bodies have highly evolved absorptive systems which allow us to channel air, food and water into necessary physiological building blocks. In other words, for us it's not just the pipe that corrodes, but our entire bodies. Once our digestive tract becomes worn or permeable, our reaction is systemic. This is why it's critical to monitor the food we eat, and its influence on our internal plumbing.

What can you do to eat healthy today? 

Digestive Health Ann Arbor - A call to action

Biologist David Schubert of the Salk Institute alerts us that “children are the most likely to be adversely affected by toxins and other dietary problems.” The lack of clinical human trials for almost all synthetic chemicals means our nation's children are in fact “experimental animals.” We can help our children by removing environmental toxin exposures and taking a food allergy test to eliminate potential allergens. At Digestive Health Ann Arbor we use an Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay panel (ELISA) blood test to examine 96 of the most common food allergens such as dairy and grains. Discovering and eliminating trigger foods, avoiding industrial chemicals, and healing with appropriate vitamins and supplements will lead to amazing results. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of ADHD/ADD, make an appointment with one of the experts at Digestive Health Ann Arbor. Call (734) 222-8210 today.

Gluten Sensitivity & Celiac Disease: Different Name, Same Game

Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity sound like two totally different entities. Celiac disease sounds severe while gluten sensitivity seems pretty harmless. Unfortunately, both are very serious digestive conditions and are actually much more similar than their names would indicate.

Both celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are forms of gluten intolerance. Gluten and gliadin are proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye that give flour its elasticity. Gluten and gliadin can be found in cookies, breads, pastas, anything that uses flour and certain kinds of alcohol. An allergy to gluten can lead to both gluten sensitivity and eventually celiac disease.

Gluten sensitivity and celiac disease should be thought of as progressing points on the same continuum. Both are caused by gluten intolerances, and gluten sensitivity can quickly evolve into the more severe celiac disease.

Celiac disease sufferers are defined as those who have unhealthy, deteriorated villi. When gliadin and gluten trigger an allergic reaction, it inflames the small intestine. This inflammation flattens and destroys the lining (villi) of the small intestine, impeding nutrient absorption. Celiac disease is diagnosed through a biopsy of the small intestine which shows the villous atrophy.

Below is an image of healthy villi on the left, and villi worn down due to gluten consumption on the right. The villi are responsible for capturing and transmitting nutrients to the rest of the body. Flattened and deteriorated villi are much less functional.

Though it is well-known in the medical community that gluten sensitivity is a precursor to Celiac disease, it is often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all. Why? Because most doctors test only for Celiac disease. Though the villi biopsy cannot measure gluten sensitivity, it is the most common test among medical professionals. Unfortunately, many people who have Gluten Sensitivity continue to suffer for years, leading to unnecessary villi damage and pain. It's time to demand preventative measures when it comes to your health.

The 30-foot miracle: Discovering our Digestive Tract

Our digestive tract is a 30-foot-long muscular tube that begins at our mouth and ends at our anus. Its 3 main functions:

1. Transform food into absorbable nourishment.

2. Fend off invading organisms and toxins.

3. Expel waste products.

Ingested food travels down the digestive tract through a process called peristalsis, a wave-like muscle contraction. During peristalsis, different enzymes, bacteria and acids critical to digestion are secreted in a highly specialized and coordinated process. When food is completely broken down it passes through the digestive tract's tissue wall and is absorbed by the body’s cells.

Around 70% of our immune system is located in our digestive tract. Its primary role is to “ok” or “attack” a food we ingest. When our immune system doesn't like something in our tube, it uses inflammation and excess mucus as ammunition. If the immune system is constantly on the offensive, these reactions can damage our digestive tract. Inflammation deteriorates the intestinal lining, resulting in something called “Leaky Gut syndrome.”

Why do some medical professionals refuse to talk about the connection between poor health and poor digestion? Clearly our bodies have evolved a highly complex digestive immune system for a reason. Denying the fact that food plays a crucial role in our overall well-being seems misguided and potentially dangerous. It is critical that we start addressing digestion as a key element in human health.

A 3-Step Solution for Digestive Health: Testing Methods for Food Allergies

Digestive Health Ann Arbor’s 3-step method offers relief from food allergy symptoms and digestive disorders. 
1. Discover what foods  are triggers. 
2. Exclude the trigger food completely from our diet. 
3. Nourish stressed systems with supplements and enzymes.
But how do we know what foods cause us trouble? If we suspect a food allergy contributes to our poor health, must we complete a tedious elimination diet for a month? Fortunately, technology has paved the way for rapid and accurate techniques. 
RAST Blood Test
Most doctors perform RAST examinations (short for radioallergosorbent test). RAST results show only acute immune reactions to food. At Ann Arbor Holistic Health we complete this test along side the ELISA blood test for more complete results.
ELISA Blood Test 
The most comprehensive digestive diagnostic tool is the ELISA blood test, which examines your body’s reaction to 96 different food allergens including gluten, dairy, eggs, soy and peanuts, and more. This simple test also allows health professionals to efficiently check for the severity of allergies, ranging from IgE (most severe), IgA (moderate) and IgG (least severe). Sound too easy? Since 70% of the immune system is located in our digestive tract, removing trigger foods can lead to radical improvements in our well-being. It is time to transform our search for solutions and it is time for solutions that will transform us.