"Life Without Bread"

Laura

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anart said:
Nienna Eluch said:
truth seeker said:
(I find niacin in particular to be really great at knocking out persistent inflammation)

Truth seeker, how much niacin are you taking a day, if you don't mind telling me? I think I read Laura is taking 50 mg a day.

I also have a question on the niacin - do those of you taking it regularly get niacin flushes?

I only occasionally get a mild flush with 50 mg taken after eating. Others in the house can take 100mg with no flush. I don't like the flush so I avoid it. I recently got so "no-flush niacin" that I will try. I'm not into taking high doses or anything, I'm just easing along with this experiment.
 

shellycheval

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Laura
I only occasionally get a mild flush with 50 mg taken after eating. Others in the house can take 100mg with no flush. I don't like the flush so I avoid it. I recently got so "no-flush niacin" that I will try. I'm not into taking high doses or anything, I'm just easing along with this experiment.

A few years ago I was taking Niacin regularly and learned quickly to take it only on a full stomach, start with small doses-- 50mg, only increase the amount when you stop experiencing the flush, and take it every day.

I think I leveled off about 200mg a day with little to no flush. I stopped taking it because I was getting involved with the diet and was eliminating a lot of foods and supplements to see what and how they were affecting me. I planned to add it back but have not until now. I am starting over with the 50 mg and experience a mild flush that passes in a few minutes.

Like with most things, some people appear to be more sensitive to it and need more or less of it than others. In the past,
I read some research that said that said taking the no-flush niacin was defeating the purpose because the flush comes from the opening up of the smallest capillaries, which greatly increases circulation, improving the delivery of nutrients and removal of waste from the body--which is one of the major benefits of taking niacin.
shellycheval
 

Nienna

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Laura said:
anart said:
Nienna Eluch said:
truth seeker said:
(I find niacin in particular to be really great at knocking out persistent inflammation)

Truth seeker, how much niacin are you taking a day, if you don't mind telling me? I think I read Laura is taking 50 mg a day.

I also have a question on the niacin - do those of you taking it regularly get niacin flushes?

I only occasionally get a mild flush with 50 mg taken after eating. Others in the house can take 100mg with no flush. I don't like the flush so I avoid it. I recently got so "no-flush niacin" that I will try. I'm not into taking high doses or anything, I'm just easing along with this experiment.

I've not started on the niacin/d-ribose because of still experimenting with the vitamin D (which I may be seeing some results, but not sure). So I'm iffy on starting it while doing the vitamin D thing and not knowing what is doing what - if anything is doing anything. :)
 

Gimpy

The Living Force
Laura said:
I only occasionally get a mild flush with 50 mg taken after eating. Others in the house can take 100mg with no flush. I don't like the flush so I avoid it. I recently got so "no-flush niacin" that I will try. I'm not into taking high doses or anything, I'm just easing along with this experiment.

Just a note on the 'no flush' version of niacin: if its niacinimide, keep the dose small, and be careful if you're also supplementing with the full spectrum of B vitamins. If you take too much of a 'no flush' version, it can make you vomit, or feel as if you will.

Found that out the hard way. :rolleyes:

I'm currently off niacin until after the next dr appt. I was gritting my teeth through the flush at 500mg, looking like a boiled lobster. Attempts to break up the capsules ended with niacin powder all over the kitchen, which put an end to the experiment for now. ;D
 

Laura

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Gimpy said:
Laura said:
I only occasionally get a mild flush with 50 mg taken after eating. Others in the house can take 100mg with no flush. I don't like the flush so I avoid it. I recently got so "no-flush niacin" that I will try. I'm not into taking high doses or anything, I'm just easing along with this experiment.

Just a note on the 'no flush' version of niacin: if its niacinimide, keep the dose small, and be careful if you're also supplementing with the full spectrum of B vitamins. If you take too much of a 'no flush' version, it can make you vomit, or feel as if you will.

Found that out the hard way. :rolleyes:

I'm currently off niacin until after the next dr appt. I was gritting my teeth through the flush at 500mg, looking like a boiled lobster. Attempts to break up the capsules ended with niacin powder all over the kitchen, which put an end to the experiment for now. ;D

I don't take any B vitamins except a B 6 now and then since all the B vitamins are plentiful on a meat diet.

Okay, the no-flush version sounds less optimal so maybe I'll just stick with my 50 mg which is perfectly fine.
 

Gonzo

The Living Force
I found the flushing to be rather intense and lasted much longer that expected. My skin felt like the worst sun burn I ever had and was extremely itchy. This was on 100 mg.

On 50 mg, the flush was still quite uncomfortable, but bearable. After a couple of weeks the intensity declined, allowing me to increase and start the hell fire all over again.

Is it really supposed to be this uncomfortable? I could just be hypersensitive, as a result of changes my body seems to have gone through.

Hmm, if this is what they meant by hyperkinetic sensate, I'm not so sure I want any more.

It seems the better I get healthwise, the more my body finds ways of expressing pain.

Gonzo
 

Laura

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More from Chris Kresser:

Got digestive problems? Take it easy on the veggies.

A couple weeks ago I wrote an article called FODMAPS: Could Common Foods Be Harming Your Digestive Health? I described how certain classes of foods, known as FODMAPs, are poorly digested in certain people and can lead to gas, bloating, pain and changes in stool frequency and consistency. Studies have shown that conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are associated with FODMAP intolerance, and that a low-FODMAP diet offers relief in a substantial percentage of people with IBS.

Today I’ve got another tip for those of you with digestive issues, including IBS, constipation, diarrhea and acid reflux: eat fewer vegetables.

Yep, that’s right. Fewer vegetables.

Vegetables (as well as some fruits) are often high in insoluble fiber. While soluble fiber can be soothing for the gut, consuming large amounts of insoluble fiber when your gut is inflamed is a little bit like rubbing a wire brush against an open wound. Ouch.

Vegetables that are high in insoluble fiber include:

Greens (spinach, lettuce, kale, mesclun, collards, arugula, watercress, etc.)
Whole peas, snow peas, snap peas, pea pods
Green beans
Kernel corn
Bell peppers
Eggplant
Celery
Onions, shallots, leeks, scallions, garlic
Cabbage, bok choy, Brussels sprouts
Broccoli
Cauliflower

The vegetables that are high in soluble fiber, but lower in insoluble fiber (and thus tend to be safer for those with gut issues) include:

Carrots
Winter squash
Summer squash (especially peeled)
Starchy tubers (yams, sweet potatoes, potatoes)
Turnips
Rutabagas
Parsnips
Beets
Plantains
Taro
Yuca

Another helpful tip is to reduce the variety of vegetables you eat at any given meal. Instead of stir-fries with 6 different veggies, have a single steamed or roasted vegetable as a side dish. This works better for most people with gut issues.
But won’t I become deficient in nutrients if I don’t eat tons of veggies?

First of all, I’m not suggesting that you don’t eat these foods at all if you have digestive problems. I’m simply suggesting that you limit them. There are also steps you can take to make these foods more digestible and less likely to cause problems. They include:

Never eat insoluble fiber foods on an empty stomach. Always eat them with other foods that contain soluble fiber.
Remove the stems and peels (i.e. from broccoli, cauliflower and winter greens) from veggies (and fruits) high in insoluble fiber.
Dice, mash, chop, grate or blend high-insoluble fiber foods to make them easier to break down.
Insoluble fiber foods are best eaten well-cooked: steamed thoroughly, boiled in soup, braised, etc; avoid consuming them in stir-fries and if you do eat them raw, prepare them as described in #3 above.

Second, although fruits & veggies are high in certain nutrients, animal products like meat, organ meat, fish, eggs and dairy are as high and sometimes higher in those nutrients. For example, the chart below compares the micronutrient profile of beef liver and beef with blueberries and kale, two plant-foods often referred to as being particularly nutrient-dense:

liver.jpeg


It’s also worth pointing out that most traditional cultures only ate a few vegetables and fruits that were available seasonally. They couldn’t walk into Whole Foods and buy every vegetable on the planet at every time of year.

I have nothing against vegetables. In fact, I like them quite a bit and I do think they’re beneficial. But the advice to eat 6-8 servings a day is not based on solid scientific evidence, and may cause unnecessary distress in people with gut problems.
Fermented vegetables: a better alternative?

Fermented vegetables like sauerkraut, kim chi, sauerruben and cortido are excellent alternatives for people with gut issues. First, the fermentation process “pre-digests” the vegetables and makes them easier to absorb. Second, fermented veggies contain probiotic microorganisms that help heal the gut.

Although sauerkraut and kim chi contain cabbage, which is high in insoluble fiber (and a FODMAP to boot), I’ve found that many patients with gut problems can tolerate it quite well. FODMAPs are sugars and sugar alcohols, and fermentation breaks down sugars. This is probably why fermented FODMAPs are better tolerated than non-fermented FODMAPs.

If you’re new to fermented vegetables, you have two options:

Make them yourself. Check out this page for a great primer. It’s really quite easy, and cheap.
You can buy them at a health food store. Make sure that it says “raw” on the jar, and they’re in the refrigerated section. The sauerkraut you can buy in the condiments section has been pasteurized and won’t have the same beneficial effect.

Now I’d like to hear from you: have you tried reducing your intake of vegetables high in insoluble fiber? Did that help your digestion? Let us know in the comments.

P.S. Next week I’ll be presenting at the Ancestral Health Symposium in Boston, and thus may not be able to post an article to the blog. I look forward to meeting those of you that will be there.
 

aragorn

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Megan said:
Another installment is coming up in the paleo "safe starch" debate, from Nora Gedgaudas. I am sure it will be interesting. It is happening Thursday at 7 PM EDT USA -- 2300 UCT?? (see the link below).

Nora Gedgaudas
‏@NoraGedgaudas

Do you have any questions for about “safe starches” that you’d like me to tackle in this week’s ATLCX episode?...
_http://fb.me/1FkMedLh8

I listened to this a few days ago, and Nora G. clearly dismissed the benefits of any sort of "safe startches". But, at least to me, there was a VERY interesting segment where she talked about how some poeple who are eating a helthy, low carb paleo diet still seem to be hitting a wall - what comes to energy levels, because of too low cortisol levels. This is partly explained in the PBPM mind book (chapter: Adrenal exhaustion).

Since I suspect that I'm suffering from this very thing, I transcribed the relevant part:

Gedgaudas on low cortisol levels
Ask the low carb expert, no 21: Are Starches Really Safe?
Nora Gedgaudas

at 47:30min ->

"Now, there are some people who may have issues with cortisol. Where they have just abnormally depressed cortisol levels, and of course cortisol is one of these…basically a blood sugar hormone, it's part of what regulates our blood sugar levels, you know, we need a tiny little bit. We can do at least 85% of everything we need to do with nothing but ketones.

But that said, some people have a real problem with their cortisol levels being overly depressed. And, there are some folks that seem to eat perfectly well ketogenically, who really should have plenty enough blood sugar to get by, you would think, based on their diet. And yet, somehow they still seem to be suffering explicably low blood sugar symptoms.

And when you run an ASI on these people, which is an Adrenal Stress Index, that is designed to measure the fluctuations in your cortisol levels throughout the day and look at your overall cortisol burden…there are some folks who's cortisol levels are just really, really depressed.

And…cortisol is typically mitigated by something called the HPA-axis, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and…it's not in other words…your adrenals are just a gland, they're just a hormone factory. It's not your gland that decides how much hormone you get, it's actually your brain, it's feedback loops, and it's your brain…it's what going on with your hypothalamus basically. There's something called the central integrative(?) state(?) of the paraventricular nucleus, which is these clustered cells in your hypothalamus.

And, whether or not there's sufficient exidatory input or if there's a dampening effect there that's based on some kind of either neurochemical imbalance, where you're just not producing enough of a certain neurotransmitter or whatever, but especially the presence of cytokines, certain cytokines. And some of these…basically cytokines are inflammatory compounds that the body produces in response to various stressors. So, if you have somebody that haves a chronic infection, say maybe they've got a Hep-C infection or something like that. They're gonna be producing interferon in response to that as a way of elevating their natural killer cells. It jus so happens that interferon and certain other cytokines by the way, which again are what create inflammation, they have an extremely dampening effect on these PVN-cells {paraventricular nucleus} - they have an extremely dampening effect on your hypothalamus. And so…you can see somebody's cortisol levels in the toil, and it's not because their adrenals burned out on them. It's because their brain is responding to something going on in a way that prevents cortisol levels from functioning normally. And when your cortisol levels are abnormally depressed, you may feel hypoglycemic. That doesn't mean that you have a starch deficiency, it means that there's something going on that needs addressing on a different level.

And chronic infections are really, really common issue. Those folks with a chronically depressed cortisol, they're gonna be chronically fatigued and they're gonna be tired and inflamed. And they're not gonna be able to elevate their own glucose levels if they need it in this particular case, because of that inflammatory dampening of the hypothalamus. So, the problem really isn't the glucose deficiency again, but it's an infection or an inflammation, an inflammatory condition that really needs to be addressed. It's sort of like, you know, if your cholesterol levels are "high" that doesn't mean that cholesterol needs to be dragged down. What it means is that there's something going on for which cholesterol is needed. And that, you just need to dig a little deeper to figure out what's going on in order to address that, so that your body naturally reduces those cholesterol levels. But, you know, the cholesterol has a reason to be there, so you just need to be a little bit more of a detective sometimes.

But that's one of the few cases where I see people kind of hitting a wall all the time, and having a really hard time getting into a state of keto adaptation that works for them. Because, they've got some underlying cortisol issue. And for those folks, you know, go to your qualified health care provider or somebody who is experienced and knowing how to read, you know, blood chemistries…preferably somebody who's got a functional background in blood chemistry analysis. And get that looked at, and see if there isn't something to it."

In the book, she says that the so called adaptogens can sometimes help in restoring adrenal health.
 

sebbe

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Re: Re: "Life Without Bread"

Aragorn :

I listened to this a few days ago, and Nora G. clearly dismissed the benefits of any sort of "safe startches". But, at least to me, there was a VERY interesting segment where she talked about how some poeple who are eating a helthy, low carb paleo diet still seem to be hitting a wall - what comes to energy levels, because of too low cortisol levels. This is partly explained in the PBPM mind book (chapter: Adrenal exhaustion)

Since I suspect that I'm suffering from this very thing, I transcribed the relevant part:
.


Thank you for this.

It reminds me, like a bell, there is always a cause for an effect.

Sometimes, we can forget to always go back (to sail up ?) to find the real cause of the things.
And if the diet has very very good effects, we can see, beyond, it is never perfect.
And, again, brain and hypothalamus are always around here.
 

Oxajil

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Re: Re: "Life Without Bread"

Got this in the mail inbox today from Dr. Carolyn Dean:

From saliva testing, I learned that a client had high histamine levels that explained her symptoms of asthma, diarrhea, headache, irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, rashes, hives and itchy skin. We did saliva and blood histamine levels after treatment for yeast overgrowth didn't produce as much benefit as expected. Histamine was high on both tests.

Histamine naturally occurs in the body and is released during allergic reactions and times of stress. It's also present in certain foods. Between 2-10% of the population can't break down histamine fast enough before they experience one or more of a wide array of symptoms. Besides the symptoms my client experienced, high histamine can produce severe fatigue, flu-like symptoms, fibromyalgia, joint and muscle pain, symptoms of IBS, acid reflux, migraines, hay fever. Avoiding allergic foods, de-stressing and avoiding foods with histamine can alleviate or prevent symptoms. Histamine Intolerance is one site you can use to research this condition more fully.

Foods high in histamine include but aren't exclusive to the following:

1. Fish: tuna, sardines, mackerel and herring
2. Sourdough bread
3. Yeast products
4. Foods with artificial colors and preservatives
5 Alcohol: with beer, champagne, and wine being the highest in histamine
6. Cheese and Meat that are fermented, aged and processed. Meat: salami, sausage, ham, hot dogs, deli meats and dried meats. Cheese: blue cheese, parmesan, gouda, camembert, cheddar, emmental, swiss, brie, and gruyere.
7. Pickled or preserved vegetables like sauerkraut, pickles, olives
Fermented soy products and fermented dairy

The high histamine levels in fermented and pickled foods explains why some people can benefit from the anti-fungal and probiotic effects of these foods and some people feel worse.

It's not my intent to give you yet another restrictive diet. What I do want to do is give you information that may make a difference in you health. For example, if you've been eating sauerkraut and fermented vegetables every day because someone told you these foods have healing properties, yet you feel worse each day, then do an experiment and go off them for a week and then try them again.
 

mb

The Living Force
Re: Re: "Life Without Bread"

Aragorn said:
...I listened to this a few days ago, and Nora G. clearly dismissed the benefits of any sort of "safe startches". But, at least to me, there was a VERY interesting segment where she talked about how some poeple who are eating a helthy, low carb paleo diet still seem to be hitting a wall - what comes to energy levels, because of too low cortisol levels. This is partly explained in the PBPM mind book (chapter: Adrenal exhaustion)...

Other writers have been discussing this as well, and I think it could involve more than cortisol.

As my next step, I am doing a "reset" of my low carb knowledge, kind of like stepping out and coming back in again for a fresh look. I have been absorbing a large amount of real food/paleo/primal/low carb information and finding that it doesn't entirely fit together, let alone fit with my personal experience. I could write off the last part (my personal experience) to "individual variation," but the discrepancies seem to me to be bigger than that. I don't think that everything I am hearing can all be true. There are errors that need to be weeded out.

After apparently figuring out the FODMAP fermentation problem, I am trying to understand metabolic and hormone issues that I have had all my life. They have never been serious enough for an ordinary doctor to know what to do or even care much (they always ran the same tests, that showed nothing), but these issues have presented a drag on everything I do. I had high hopes for ketogenic diet, but the results seem to be a wash -- some things improve while others worsen. While the basic idea of eating real foods and avoiding industrial ones seems to be sound, I am not so sure right now about the rest. In particular, I believe that the "safe starch" debate could be pointing to a misunderstanding about carbs, and that everyone involved could end up learning something new.

I am going to experiment for a while, trying new things, to see if I can sort out what is going on with me. I am not drawing any conclusions or making any recommendations at this point, and I don't even know exactly what to try, but I have a few ideas and some material to study, and I am going to try to find a physician I can work with. I am not sure I can do much more without that.

Some of the material, such as some of Ray Peat's information about hormones, has been familiar to me for several years but I can't say that I understand it yet. What I do see is that some of his material clearly describes some of my personal issues in a way that no paleo/primal/low carb writer has yet done, although some come close. I am not saying I believe everything he has to say, but when he has so much to say about metabolic issues that are critical for me, he's hard for me to ignore. It's a match!

If you are having issues with "hitting a wall" or low energy or stalled weight loss or anything that might suggest metabolic dysfunction, you might want to look through some of Danny Roddy's information to see if anything rings a bell. I have not evaluated it and this is not a recommendation, but he has a "Stress Proof" email series that you can sign up for at _http://www.dannyroddy.com/diet that contains a lot of information, some of which is definitely "not paleo" but all of which I found pretty interesting. He draws heavily on Ray Peat. Some of the information is also included in his blog on that same website. Without having some tests done and then doing some experiments, though, I can't say if any of it is useful.
 

Laura

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Re: Re: "Life Without Bread"

Megan, one thing I came across in a stack of papers on ketogenic diets I was reading yesterday which I don't have to hand at the moment, was a comment that individuals with mitochodrial disorders might have some troubles transitioning to the ketogenic diet because of some kind of overload on a particular system. That struck me as true in my case. I'm one who got so tired and weak during transition that I had to go back to having SOME carbs just in order to function. However, the possibility that the KD can upregulate mitochondria makes me think that if I can find a way around this catch 22, it would be worth it for all the other benefits. I'm a little frustrated being stuck at this sort of plateau where, now and again, I get a bit of movement, but mainly, just hover here.
 

mb

The Living Force
Re: Re: "Life Without Bread"

Laura said:
Megan, one thing I came across in a stack of papers on ketogenic diets I was reading yesterday which I don't have to hand at the moment, was a comment that individuals with mitochodrial disorders might have some troubles transitioning to the ketogenic diet because of some kind of overload on a particular system. That struck me as true in my case. I'm one who got so tired and weak during transition that I had to go back to having SOME carbs just in order to function. However, the possibility that the KD can upregulate mitochondria makes me think that if I can find a way around this catch 22, it would be worth it for all the other benefits. I'm a little frustrated being stuck at this sort of plateau where, now and again, I get a bit of movement, but mainly, just hover here.

I am thinking somewhat along those lines. My main focus at the moment, however, is to change health insurance plans and find a doctor in the new network (not necessarily my primary care physician) that I can work with to at least do the needed tests. I have two possible doctors at the moment, one of which is Dr. Cate. With my present HMO I would have to pay for everything out of pocket and that would likely be a problem.

My energy problems are different, though, in that they have been lifelong, and the issue with ketogenic diet is more that they don't improve, rather than that they become worse. I think there is a mitochondrial/endocrine problem, but the keto diet doesn't touch it. Some of the Ray Peat material I have read seems to address this chronic condition. A "pregnenolone steal" as mentioned by Kruse and others is likely also part of it. That turned up in lab tests in 2004, and I found Peat's website while researching it.

When I started the keto diet last year, I did feel worse for a couple of months, and then I returned to "normal" (not so great) as I both adapted and increased carb intake, and then I began to gradually lose weight. When I changed my diet to low-FODMAP a couple of weeks ago, the adaptation symptoms returned again, but for only a week or so this time, and now I am losing weight at a very good rate. I am using sweet potatoes and artichokes to boost my carbs into the 30-40 g/d range. I strongly suspect that I experienced a microbial die-off of some sort after reducing FODMAPs, and that my balance of gut microbes is changing now, hopefully for the better.

Within the last several days I have found myself back at the place where I may only need two meals in a day, and I have no interest in having a third meal. There is no increase (or decrease) in energy, but I sure like what it does for my weight. I am still 10 pounds overweight (by medical "standards") and I will be quite happy if this continues for a while. I am not very active -- I can't be in my situation -- and it makes sense that I wouldn't really need 3 meals a day.

When I skip a meal I am in effect restricting my eating to an 8-hour window. That is one form of IF, so I guess I am doing it! I don't have a schedule for it because I do it only when I can do so without becoming hungry, so as to not interfere with weight loss.

One of my energy level problems is that I may sometimes feel very weak after meals. I have long suspected that this has something to do with the movement of material within my GI tract, and now it looks as if it might specifically have to do with the movement of fermenting FODMAP foods. I am seeing much less of it now. This probably isn't the "solution," but I do believe now that it can be difficult to diagnose other problems when FODMAP intolerance is present.

While I am here, I will mention a few aspects of paleo/low-carb "lore" that I personally plan to examine more closely, because I am concerned about the possibility (or in a few cases likelihood) of error.

  • The idea, generally, that "(good) fat is good; carbs should be limited/minimized."
  • Ketones are "optimal fuel"; glucose is not
  • Carbs tend to cause "insulin spikes" (when said without qualification) and should limited/avoided to avoid weight gain
  • Omega-3's are good for you; we need lots
  • Specific claims about what paleolithic humans did not eat
  • The idea that protein restriction can extend lifespan (some say yes, and some say "no way")
  • Humans have not evolved/cannot evolve in 10,000 (40,000, or whatever) years

I am not saying these are wrong (other than the last one), but I think they need a closer look.
 
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