Europeans and Chinese are affected by the same intestinal condition, caused by different food clusters


21084253_mCondemning a certain food as the main pathological trigger has become an outdated way of thinking.

If one condition (for instance, Crohn’s disease) has been linked to certain food clusters (such as wheat, yeast and milk) for European patients, the same disease may depend on soy, rice and corn in China.

Part of the public opinion would recognise this as a logical, wise statement, based on the regional dietary habits of a population. Too bad it goes against the current medical belief, which usually condemns something as the culprit of a disease without appeal, instead of understanding the meaning of it from an evolutionary point of view.

Moreover, many doctors often ask for a certain food or food cluster to be removed from someone’s diet in response to a certain condition, without realizing that, by eliminating gluten and replacing it with rice, the development of a new form of reactivity towards rice will most likely be triggered, perhaps with a similar symptomatology as before.

Instead, hands-on experience, together with scientific evidence, helps us understanding that problems do not depend on the individual food, but on the way in which food reacts with our body.

If the reaction is not specific to a single food, the inflammatory response triggered by an excessive intake of food should be taken into account.

For this reason, patients eating yeast-derived food in high quantities will find a correlation between their disorders and fermented substances, while people eating always the same things will identify the cause of their food-related inflammation to be dependent precisely on those food groups excessively eaten. This finding has been recently confirmed by Ligaarden and Ferrazzi (Speciani AF, Piuri G, Ferrazzi E (2014). Comment to Ligaarden SC et al, BMC Gastroenterology 2012, 12:166. BMC Gastroenterol. doi: 10.1186/1471-230X- 12-166).

Such evidence can also be translated epidemiologically: therefore, conditions such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), including CD and UC, often arising in Europe from gluten-, milk- and yeast- derived inflammation, are correlated with soybean, rice and corn in China, as published in PLoS One (November 2014) (C Cai et al, PLoS One. 2014 Nov. 13;9(11):e112154. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112154. eCollection 2014).

For years, DocSalus has been proposing a different view, based on a new scientific interpretation of food-related IgGs, not anymore to be considered antibodies “against” food, but simply recognition antibodies, which can rise when someone’s intake of a specific food cluster overtakes an individual threshold level.

This way, it is possible to describe an individual food profile (through tests such as Recaller or BioMarkers) and help the definition of the correct diet for the patient affected by CD, UC or any other inflammatory bowel condition.

Interestingly, the article published in PLoS One (here in full) shows high values of “egg IgGs” both in healthy subjects and in those suffering from IBD. This results from the fact that egg proteins are phylogenetically distant from mammal ones; therefore, the standard (i.e. non-pathological) “egg IgG” threshold may be high for everybody, both healthy or sick, and there is no need to be too restrictive with the presence of egg in someone’s diet.

The comparison of IgG values between healthy and sick subjects is the most significant aspect of the report (as shown in Figure 3 in the suggested publication), indeed showing a great difference for rice, soy, corn and, at least in some cases, for tomato.

Two other important observations emerge from the study: the fact that also IgM antibodies tend to increase in people with increased levels of food-related IgGs, and the fact that IgG production increases in parallel to the number of substances involved, indicating a progressive growth of the food-related inflammatory reaction.

This confirms what we have been clinically observing in patients able to recover tolerance towards a certain product and succeeding along the path leading to full recovery.

Even though of small scale, the study highlighted a correlation between milk reactivity and beef reactivity. Interestingly, for a few years we have been suggesting to reconsider the presence of beef in the diet when milk-related reactivity emerged in the patient.

A few authors reported that IgGs may also react to sialic acid, easily found in milk, cheese and especially in beef.

This represents an interesting consideration, since sialic acid is a foreign signal for humans, while a common marker for all bovine-derived products (like milk and beef), as reported since 2003 by Tangvoranuntakul and his colleagues from University California, San Diego (Tangvoranuntakul P et al, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2003 Sep 14; 100 (21):12045-50. Epub 2003 Oct 1).

Therefore, the comparison between the European and Chinese data does support the idea that each aliment is “good” to us, while it’s the quantity of food that makes it temporarily inflammatory.

The right approach to the problem is based on rotation diets (never elimination ones), designed upon the measured inflammatory values (BAFF and PAF) in order to achieve the recovery of food tolerance.