Here are today's Q & A from the Paleo Diet community.
Q: If I am a longtime Juvenile Diabetic (45 years), in very good shape despite the length of time with this disorder, would this diet work for me?
I am 5'3" tall and weigh 140 lbs. Recent complete blood work shows no problems of any kind.
I am wondering if the Paleo Diet would work for me despite my dependence on Insulin and refined sugars at times to reverse hypoglycemic onset.
A: Yes, The Paleo Diet will work well for you. Indeed, in our newsletter (v_5#36 2009) we reported how The Paleo Diet influences the different pathways involved in the disorder.
There're are several known factors of the western diet that trigger Type 1 Diabetes:
- Proteins found in cow's milk: Beta-Lactoglobulin, Bovine Insulin, Bovine Serum Albumin and Beta Casomorphin-7
- Proteins found in cereal grains: Gluten is a well known trigger of an autoimmune disease associated with T1D called Celiac Disease. A gluten-free diet led to improvement in insulin response during a glucose tolerance test.
- Another factor at the root of almost all autoimmune diseases is increased intestinal permeability. Certain substances found in the typical western diet (lectins, saponins, gliadin, alcohol and capsaicin) may increase intestinal permeability.
- Other factors such as diet's fatty acid composition or vitamin D deficiency contribute to the pathogenesis of T1D.
Finally, a low glycemic load will help you to better control your blood glucose levels in the long run.
Q: What is the calculation when prescribing fish oil? I am not intending to prescribe it to anyone I was just curious.
A: From an evolutionary standpoint, it seems that hunter/gatherers consumed around 1 gram a day of EPA+DHA, as stated by Dr. Cordain in his paper Dietary intake of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids during the paleolithic, World Rev Nutr Diet, 1998.
Taking into account that the intake of vegetable omega-6 fatty acids in the paleolithic was considerably lower than the western diet, 1 gram of DHA+EPA was enough for healthy people to achieve a 1:1 ratio of omega-6/omega-3 (which was the estimated ratio for late paleolithic hunter-gatherers). In the western diet the omega-6/omega-3 ratio is between 10-15:1, so we recommend to cut down vegetable omega-6 oils and increase the intake of fish oil (omega-3) to 2 grams of EPA+DHA (not all omega-3 is DHA and EPA and we need 2 grams of EPA+DHA). In case of an inflammatory and/or autoimmune disease increase this amount to 4 gram a day of EPA+DHA.
So, the bottom line is to eat fish 3-4 times per week plus a supplement of 2 grams a day, at least during the first 4-6 months. All of this depends on how much you adhere to The Paleo Diet. In case of autoimmune and/or inflammatory disease increase this amount to 4 grams a day.
Q: What is the effect of the Paleo Diet on seniors with respect to gout? I've heard that protein in one's diet can have an adverse effect.
A: Gout is considered as part of a metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance is at the root of gout. Along these lines, gout was rare among pre-agricultural populations (Hunter-gatherers). Serum uric acid levels depend on the amount entering the blood and the amount leaving the blood.
The amount of uric acid entering the blood depends on the amount of it produced by the liver (1/3 from the diet and 2/3 from the body turn-over of cells) and the amount of uric acid leaving the blood depends on the kidneys' excretion capacity. The metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance induce kidney underexcretion of uric acid. On the other hand, when the kidney is
faced with high protein purine-containing foods, serum uric acid levels decrease because the kidney increases uric acid excretion (this is an evolutionary trade-off).
So, the real problem is increased liver production of uric acid and kidney uric acid underexcretion. High glycemic load foods (as found in the typical western diet and not in The Paleo Diet) and subsequent hyperinsulinemia halt the kidneys' capacity to excrete uric acid. Regarding liver production of uric acid: fructose, and particularly High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), decreases inorganic phosphate in the liver and this increases the production
of uric acid from purines.
The Paleo Diet helps to fight gout as is based on low glycemic load foods, high protein and no HCFS foods.