Pico de Orizaba

Pico de Orizaba
Taken from Huatusco, Veracruz, the closest town to Margarita's family's ranch.

Monday, September 8, 2014

More thoughts on epigenetics

It is hypothesized that if the environment can modify gene expression through epigenetic mechanisms, it may contribute to autoimmune disease in a genetically predisposed person.  And genetic damage has been demonstrated in different dietary situations.  It is therefore possible that epigenetics may play a role in the recent increase in celiac disease prevalence -- Peter H.R. Green, M.D. Director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.

Keeping this in mind and keeping in mind that Celiac Disease, FAP and Gardners Syndrome are genetic diseases that take place in the same region of the body, the digestive tract and moreso sharing the region of the small intestine, although FAP displays itself more intensely in the large intestine and rectum, you can extrapulate from the idea of epigenetics that what can happen with the villi of the small intestine in Celiac Disease can also happen with the mucous membrane (and later on the polyps) of the colon and the rectum.  So, if we know what in our diet may put us in a greater risk of a certain gene expression typical of something we inherited, then it should be worth while removing that certain something from our diet in order to reduce that risk.

For Celiac Disease, gluten is the risk factor.  For cancer, glucose is risk factor.  

As you may have read in what I wrote yesterday, I had been experiencing peripheral neuropathy or carpal tunnel syndrome from my right shoulder to my right hand.  In the past it caused extreme discomfort driving, difficulty falling asleep, difficulty writing or typing and threatened my ability to paint.  I believed the issue was a form of repetative movement work injury that may have begun with the gourmet cupcake business in Xalapa, but was exacerbated by working the frappe machines in the coffee bar the past 7 years.  However, as I mentioned yesterday, removing the simple carbs from my diet in March (which includes all wheat products), I removed the peripheral neuropathy--carpal tunnel syndrome.  I knew that excess glucose in the blood stream caused inflamation of the nerves and could result in destruction of the myelin sheath that protects the nerve fibers.  In fact, the second problem that presents with Alcoholics (since Alcohol is the sugar that enters the blood stream the quickest and reaches the liver for metabolism in less than 30 minutes, since it is the only thing that enters our mouth absorbed by the stomach, other than Aspirin), after "craziness" and before diabetes--which presents itself before cirosis of the liver, is peripheral neuropathy.  However, at the time, I believed that my sugar intake was very low after leaving the gourmet cupcake business behind in April 2007.  What I wasn't understanding is that my diet heavy on white rice, bread and corn and wheat tortillas over-compensated for the lack of sweets or sugar in my diet.  

That said, Dr. Green of "Celiac Disease; a hidden epidemic" explains that the way to rid his patients of peripheral neuropathy is to remove gluten from their diet (gluten is the protein found in wheat, barley and rhy).  If the only gluten product a person places in their mouth is beer, that is enough to trigger off celiac disease or the lesser gluten intolerance and peripheral neuropathy.  You may have noticed that I will mention wheat products before mentioning gluten.  The reason being that many people are not only affected by gluten in wheat, but other proteins or fibers in wheat.  In fact, it is possible to have problems with wheat without having problems with gluten, just as it is possible that people with problems with dairy products may not be lactose intolerant but casein (milk protein) intolerant.  Since humans are the only mammals on the planet that consciously drink the milk from other animals, and well after infancy, I would suggest that it is logical that if you have a problem with dairy products, maybe you should remove them from your diet be it for lactose intolerance or not...

In thinking about my comment about a tendency towards a diet low in sweets and sugar, in Gary Taubes' book "Good Calories, Bad Calories", investigating dietary roots of metabolic disorders that lead to late 20th century epidemic of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, alzheimers and cancer, a group of scientists studying the effects of sugar on obesity in England mentioned, "most obese people when asked mention that they lean towards eating sweets on a regular basis (they have sugar or carbohydrate cravings).  If any of them say that they don't crave sweets or carbs, rest assured they drink a ton of beer!  You may say, 'but beer isn't sweet!'"  No, but it is full of sugar in the form of malt."  

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