The Roundup - Edition 12

The Roundup


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Here is The Roundup, Edition 12, bringing you the best from around the web from the past two weeks!

Blast from the Past

Chronic infections have been a major research interest of mine as of late. Many of you probably know that I just got back from the Ancestral Health Symposium, where I presented a talk on helminth therapy and the ‘old friends’ hypothesis. I discussed this hypothesis with Moises Velasquez-Manof on a previous podcast, and it’s based on the idea that our immune system has become dependent on certain organisms during its evolutionary development, and that the disappearance of these organisms from our environment has negative health consequences. Helminths are increasingly considered to be ‘old friends,’ and chronic helminth infection can actually help modulate the immune system and reduce autoimmune and inflammatory disease.

I’ve also been reading a lot recently about “stealth infections” like Lyme, bartonella, mycoplasma, chlamydophila pneumonia, and others. Unlike our ‘old friends,’ these chronic infections can be detrimental to health, and are likely contributing to the burgeoning epidemic of chronic, inflammatory disease. I came across this program last week, which describes the connection between stealth infections and autoimmune disease. The problem is that few clinicians are aware of this connection, and even when they are, by definition these infections are difficult to test for—not to mention treat. Chronic infections such as these have been a popular topic on past podcasts: I discuss Lyme disease here and here, and Paul Jaminet give his take on chronic infections here.

I think chronic infections will be popping up in the research more and more, between potentially helpful infections by ‘old friends’ and harmful ‘stealth’ infections. If you’re interested in learning more about helminth therapy and ‘old friends,’ stay tuned for when my AHS talk is posted online!

Research Report

  • This study shows a greater sensitivity to casein and gluten and more intestinal permeability in kids with autism compared with healthy children.
  • A recent study suggests that engaging in light-intensity exercise while studying can improve learning and later recall of information. Another point in favor of a treadmill desk!
  • Researchers found that food rituals increase the taste and enjoyment of food. I’d wager they help with digestion, too.
  • Gallup reports that Hawaii remains the least-stressed state in the nation. They also have the greatest healthy life expectancy from age 65. Coincidence? I think not.
  • A new study found that adding the mouse-equivalent of three cans of soda per day to mice’s diets decreased male fertility and increased female mortality.

Worth a Look

  • SuppVersity describes some natural supplements that can help control migraines, including riboflavin, alpha lipoic acid, magnesium, CoQ10, feverfew, melatonin, and more.
  • 180 Degree Health reviews the studies suggesting that thyroid hormone is effective for high cholesterol and CVD prevention.
  • The first lab-grown burger made big news in the ancestral health community two weeks ago. Here’s Mark Sisson’s take on the matter.
  • Questioning Answers discusses a case study on the use of N-acetylcysteine for treating autism symptoms in an 8-year old boy.

For the Foodies

  1. I have arthritis rheumatoid for about 9 years. I’m being followed by a naturophatic doctor who prescribe me the paleo diet that I follow since 2010.
    It took me almost 3 years to be symptom free. After getting well, I occasionally ate a “prohibited” food without getting symptoms back. In the meanwhile after my second pregnancy, breastfeeding twins, my appetite grew so much that things got a little out of control and I was eating more carbs and gluten (1 or 2 slices of bread a day) almost everyday. Pain came back after 4 months of birth (in last August) and right now they are really strong. I got back on track with the diet but symptoms are getting worse. A new symptom came along, leaky gut, and my doctor thinks that I have Mycoplasma infection. I also have receding gums which studies associates with AR. My doctor suggests the treatment with a specific antibiotic but I can’t do it right now because I’m still breast-feeding twice a day.
    I’m always taking several supplements with minerals and vitamins, but I don’t eat everything organically growth, although I live in Portugal and we don’t problems with GMOs. I do eat grass fed meat.
    Is there an alternative treatment for Mycoplasma?

    Thank you.

  2. I just read your article on Chronic infections, inflammations, immune systems etc. I would love for you to be able to share and talk to my Drs. I have Celiac and have had a chronic cough for a year. This week I finally found out I have inflammation of sinus area on left side of face, right lung going in to left and in my gut. Pulmonary Dr is trying to figure out the connection between all of the inflammations. I have an appt with Internal med Dr that ” knows about” gluten intolerance etc. but that isn’t until the 10th of Sep. Sorry for the long message but why can’t I find a Dr like you ? I’m very concerned about my health.
    Sarah Bowden.

  3. Hi Chris,

    I’m about 70 pages into “An Epidemic of Absence,” and find the “Old Friends” hypothesis very plausible, and worm therapy very interesting and exciting, if not a bit gross. Wondering if there would be any benefits of worm therapy in healthy people as well?

    Another thing that struck me was an odd connection between your previous AHS talk (iron overload) and this years (helminth therapy). One of the things that Francesco Facchini mentioned in “The Iron Factor of Aging” is that early humans almost all had low body iron stores, and that intestinal parasites, especially hookworm, were probably a cause of this. So you could also put hemochromatosis and iron overload in general as something that our old friends helped to prevent. Also, ferritin tends to spike during inflammation, and it seems that worms control inflammation in general. Could there be an even bigger connection between our old friends, iron, and autoimmune disorders and allergies?

    Anyway, looking forward to listening to your podcast with Moises, and your AHS presentation once it becomes available. The Iron Overload one was excellent.

  4. Hi Chris
    Just wondering if Cryptosporidium Parvum would come under these “stealth infections”? I ran a BH410H on our beautiful 2 year old daughter, and it came back with crypto. Researching, it seems like a tricky one to treat in general- let alone in a 2 year old. I remember you saying on a podcast that you worked with a group in Australia who were pretty clued up on parasites etc. Are you able to give me any contact details for them?
    Thanks alot

  5. This is from Wikipedia…….how does a high fat diet cause medabolic syndrome?

    Helminth infection causes an increase in eosinophils. In the study, the authors fed rodents a high-fat diet to induce metabolic syndrome, and then injected them with helminths. Helminth infestation improved the rodents’ metabolism.[23] The authors concluded:

  6. Thanks for the info about the chronic infections. I seriously got happy butterflies in my stomach when I found out you were writing a book about the gut! I’m one of those people who was really sick and got better by doing the GAPS diet, so any new information about this is FASCINATING :).