Hole-y crap, the thunder keeps striking from down under. The more I want to leave the nether regions of our digestive system, the more I hear about it. Today I read about a study by U of Illinois:
“The microbes….affect our susceptibility to conditions as varied as type 2 diabetes, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer, and autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.” - http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-06-dietary-fiber-gut-bacteria-gastrointestinal.html
Several years ago, research from U of Maryland showed that increased intestinal permeability results in celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
Zonulin versus Larazotide: Not A Star Trek Duel
Zonulin is a protein triggered by gluten. It increases intestinal permeability and is found to be higher in autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and insulin-dependent diabetes (play matching game with above!). This led to a double-blind study on Larazotide Acetate which remarkably showed:
“Tests on 110 coeliac patients revealed that 86% of those taking the drug and exposed to gluten remained symptom free.” - http://www.foodsmatter.com/digestive_conditions_coeliac/cd_management/cd_manage_articles/goodbye_to_gf_diet.html
Damn I feel sorry for the celiacs given the placebo! Hope they got paid a year’s supply of GF bread. The drug is now in phase 2B, which means I have time to father a starting five on a basketball team while waiting for approval. Now, now: it’s unknown what type of effect this drug would have on autoimmune diseases other than celiac, but I’m guessing if it gets FDA approval for celiac, trials will be done on the other diseases.
In the meantime, what can we do to heal a hole-y gut? As part of an earlier 4-part series, I discussed Kefir and a few other natural therapies, as well as human probiotic infusions (cough, fecal transplants, what?) for the more courageous and experimental souls. Many of us however cannot tolerate even goat milk, and based on conversations with doctors & DIY patients, dairy by and far seems to be the best medium for culturing kefir. Recently, I’ve heard a ton of hype about camel’s milk (shout out to Thane!), and this may apply to autoimmune patients for 2 main reasons:
1) Penetrative IGGs and unique IGGs not found in human reportedly helps autoimmunity:
“One theory about autoimmune disease is that the body attacks itself because it’s trying (in vain) to get at the bacteria buried in the intestinal tissue. Camel milk’s antibacterial activities and the special immune response allow for their penetration into the intestinal tissues when the “quiet” bacteria turn pathogenic” - http://nourishinghope.com/2011/11/camel-milk-healing-or-hype/
2) It’s being touted as well-tolerated by patients that have utter dairy intolerance (me!) because of its “unique casein.”
“upon entering the stomach the casein micelles do not breakdown into casein and whey and therefore do not break into casomorphins. Casomorphin creation from cow milk consumption is a common problem in autism that increases autistic symptoms.” - http://nourishinghope.com/2011/11/camel-milk-healing-or-hype/
There’s a closed facebook group named Healing With Camel’s Milk, and it’s growing fast at 1310 members. We should begin to see the real picture in a few months. (The truth with these latest & greatest treatments usually ends up somewhere in between, but I always hope for exceptions! Kefir in general has not seemed to disappoint.)
Cholestyramine And Me
Along with drastically reducing my exposure to environmental toxins such as mold, taking the binder Cholestyramine (CSM) has probably been my biggest mover-and-shaker. Although I can’t say if this decreased my gluten sensitivity – I’m not that adventurous! – but it’s improved my sugar tolerance and a myriad of symptoms such as brain fog in the morning & blurry vision. Other patients have told me that upon doing a similar avoid & bind protocol, they’ve been able to tolerate gluten again.