Friday, November 27, 2009

Paleo Diet Q & A - 11.27.09

Dear Readers,

We hope you're gaining insight into The Paleo Diet and nutrition from the Q &A provided by the TPD community. Here's today's edition of Q & A.

Q: I've got a 10-year old boy who is 1.48m tall and weighs 36kg. He is very fit, with resting heart beat of 60 (he's been checked and has first degree AV heart block which is nothing to worry about). He's a high-performance tennis player and footbal player, training/playing 4 times per week. He also has a magnificent appetite and a real love for meat, chicken, salads and dairy products.

I want to gradually introduce the diet to him, which means a significant shift from his Readybrek (a sort of refined porridge for children) with chopped fruits, 3 pots of fromage frais, 250 ml of fruit smoothie and a slice of wholemeal toast. This is because after I introduced solids to his diet at the age of 10 months he developed this skin condition that has been misdiagnosed as eczema until now, when one of the many dermatologists he has seen, has suggested he might have keratosis pilaris rubra fascia, with the differential diagnosis being comedonal acne vulgaris. On examination he showed follicular white papules across both cheeks with background erythema which appears telangiectatic in areas. He also has one or two similar lesions on his upper arms and thighs.

However, I believe that there must be something in his diet that is causing this (although the doctors here seem to disagree) since he had never suffered from this skin condition until I stopped breastfeeding him at the age of 9 months, so I want to give this new way of eating a try. He's not in to junk food or sweet things (bless him!!), and he really wants for his skin condition to improve as he was recently bullied at school.

My questions are:
  1. Is his calcium intake going to be affected and how to prevent it from happening?
  2. Can I still give him soya milk/youghrt or even greek youghart instead of cow's products?
  3. Where can I find appetising paleo recipes for children, including healthy breakfasts that will satisfy him?
  4. I have purchased 2 of your books for the whole family as a starting point, as although we are all slim and eat pretty well, my husband and I have begun to put on a bit of weight around our waistlines and tend to feel quite drained with 2 children to take care of, so again, I want to give this diet a try.
I would really really appreciate if you could point me in the right direction as I am a great believer that you are what you eat and I am desperate to help my boy before he becomes a teenager with low self-esteem because of his facial appearance: he's already a bit shy.

A: Keratosis Pilaris is linked to elevated androgens and insulin serum levels leading to keratinocytes hyperproliferation (increased keratinocytes division). Both hormones are involved in another skin condition, namely acne. We receive many testimonials and I see many acne patients in my practice who have achieved outstanding results with The Paleo Diet. So, maybe The Paleo Diet can improve Keratosis Pilaris in your child, as it has a very positive response with androgens and insulin metabolism. The Paleo Diet relies on low-glycemic foods, and is free of dairy products, both of which are one of the causes of hyperinsulinemia and subsequent keratinocyte hyperproliferation.

You can find more details regarding acne treatment in our book The Dietary Cure for Acne available at our web site.

Regarding your questions:
  1. No, calcium metabolism is not going to be negatively impacted, but rather improved with The Paleo Diet. Calcium metabolism is not only the amount you eat but also the amount your body eliminates. Calcium is one of the minerals able to reduce metabolic acidosis, produced by meat, fish, eggs, dairy and grains. Conversely, metabolic alkalinity is produced by vegetables and fruits. The Paleo Diet is rich in vegetables and fruits, meat and fish, and low in dairy and grains. This results in a net alkalinity state, meaning your body excretes less calcium. Broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts and cauliflower are good calcium sources.
  2. Soy is not part of the Paleo Diet as soy is a bean/legume. Soy is a source of harmful substances, namely lectins, which could induce so-called leaky gut and low-grade inflammation.
  3. Please visit our web site for a list of recommended recipes:
  4. The Paleo Diet is free of some of the known foods that cause insulin resistance and therefore central fat, such as grains and legumes, dairy, refined sugars and vegetable oils.

Q: I have read all of your website about curing acne naturally through diet and purchased the book. I had a baby a month ago and my face broke out very badly afterward, so I decided to try this. I've been doing it solidly for a week and a half and my face has gone from bad to ABSOLUTELY WORSE! There are nodules that are so inflamed on my upper lip that my lip itself is swollen. I have two on my forehead that are making the area between my eyes swollen. Not to mention--they hurt so bad!!

My questions is if going Paleo makes the acne worse before it gets better? If that's not it, I need to see a dermatologist and get on meds. I can't handle this much longer if it doesn't mean it is a sign of improvement. I really don't want to go on meds since I'm nursing my little one, but I need something because of how swollen and inflamed my face is.

A: The majority of acne patients see improvement in their symptoms within weeks. They typically don't get worse in the beginning. I am aware of some patients who see their symptoms dramatically worsen in the beginning--typically they are Rheumatoid Arthritis patients. This is due to the fact that in order to resolve inflammation an acute response is compulsory. Maybe this could be your case. Moreover, these RA patients noticed great improvement in 6 weeks. We don't know if your case will take the same amount of time.

However, this is a extremely strange phenomenon. We strongly recommend you use some helpful supplements:
  • Vitamin D start with 5000 IU per day and measure your blood levels
  • Omega-3 take between 3-4 grams of DHA+EPA per day
  • Zinc 50 mg per day
  • Probiotic 6-9 billion per day
Please keep us posted.

Follow-up response: Thank you for your response. You gave me enough to know that this probably wasn't normal. I went to a naturopathic doctor today who said I have impetigo. After doing my own research online, I see that this is probably the correct diagnosis for me.

Once the impetigo clears up, I think I'll stick with the Paleo Diet to clear up my regular acne. I will keep you posted!

1 comment:

  1. I'm interested in metabolic acidosis. Can you describe how meats, fish, dairy and grains lead to acidosis and vegetables and fruits lead to alkalinity? Are there any good resources on the web about it?


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