Why Gut Health Is Essential For Healthy Children
People often tend to view children in one of two categories: weak constitution or strong constitution. Some children tend to struggle from day one, battling sickness, ear infections, stomach problems, reflux, sleeping issues, and more, while others hardly ever get sick. What is the difference between these two categories? Can we really blame it all on genetics?
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While genetics play a large role in a childs health, there are also other factors that have a strong influence. Diet and gut health are largely ignored by mainstream medicine at this point, but research shows that the diets of children in modern cultures are dramatically different than those who exist in more Paleo-like, pre-agricultural environments. Children who are raised on less processed diets have guts that are populated with good bacteria that are more protective against inflammation and colon disease.
While babies who are born via cesarean miss out on the exposure to vaginal microbes, they can still get good exposure to these good bacteria by skin-to-skin contact and breastmilk. If breastfeeding is not possible, infant probiotics can be used to supplement and are designed to meet the needs of newborns to one-year-olds.
Systemic Inflammation Whats That
When most of us think of common childhood illnesses, we may think of inflammation and see images of a hot, puffy, red, irritated, and painful body part, like when a cut gets infected. However, inflammation is more than an acute response to injury, and its not localized to one part of our body. Inflammation is an intricate and complex response by the whole body to what it perceives as a threat.
This means the body can have an inflammatory response for many reasonsnot just from infection, but also from irritants, allergies , and even stress .
If we think of inflammation as the bodys self-protection mode, we can understand how and why inflammation can become chronic and spread throughout the body.
To some extent, we need inflammation. If we cut a finger, we need the inflammatory process in that area to stop the bleeding. If we sprain an ankle, we need white blood cells to go to that area and repair the damaged tissues. But when inflammation goes unchecked, the body keeps mounting an inflammatory response to the same trigger, and this leads to chronic inflammation and disease. Integrative medicine teaches us that we need to look not only at why the body is responding to a trigger, but also at what that trigger is.
Scientists Reverse Food Allergies By Targeting The Microbiome
Scientists report that their polymeric micelles are effective against peanut allergies in mice. The treatment could someday counteract many types of food allergies and inflammatory diseases.
Many people with dietary allergies only experience mild symptoms when exposed to triggering foods. However, some face potentially fatal consequences. A bacterial compound called butyrate thats made by healthy microbiomes has shown promise against allergic reactions in lab tests. The problem is that its nasty to take orally. Today, scientists describe a more palatable way to deliver this compound. They also report that their polymeric micelles are effective against peanut allergies in mice. Someday the treatment could counteract many types of food allergies and inflammatory diseases.
The scientists will present their results at the fall meeting of the American Chemical Society . ACS Fall 2022 is a hybrid meeting being held virtually and in-person August 2125, with on-demand access available on August 26-September 9. The meeting features nearly 11,000 presentations on a wide range of science topics.
Most importantly, dosing allergic mice with the micelles was shown to prevent a life-threatening anaphylactic response when they were exposed to peanuts. This type of therapy is not antigen specific, Cao notes. So theoretically, it can be broadly applied to any food allergies through the modulation of gut health.
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Diet Diversity And Early Allergen Introduction
Early, regular feedings of nuts and eggs can help reduce your childs risk of developing allergies by training your babys body to recognize and tolerate certain foods. And new research shows that the more different foods a baby eats, the more calm their immune system stays. By adding 6 foods into a babys diet every week, Lil Mixins Infant Powders allow parents to increase diet diversity and safely introduce common allergenic foods to babies as early as 4 months.
What Are The Complications Of Food Intolerance
People who are lactose intolerant may not get enough calcium and vitamin D if they completely cut out dairy products. You can take supplements or use over-the-counter lactase enzymes to consume dairy products without getting an upset stomach.
People who cut back on products with gluten may need to eat more fresh vegetables, fruit and gluten-free whole grains to make sure they get enough fiber and other nutrients such as B vitamins in their diets, which are important for health.
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Intestinal Barrier / Intestinal Permeability
Prevention of the entrance of toxic or infectious molecules, such as solutes, antigens and microorganisms, is ensured by the gastrointestinal lining. A key structure of the intercellular space is the tight junction, which plays a major role in regulating the paracellular passage of luminal elements.9,10 Therefore, proper functioning and regulation of tight junctions is crucial. These junctions are under the influence of intestinal microflora, inflammation and even alimentary components, which can compromise tight junctions. Detailed information on the structures involved in tight junctions and their connections with the immediate anatomical environment can be found in dedicated reviews.11,12
Active debate has focused on the causal mechanisms of increased IP. This phenomenon may be directly due to local contact with luminal stimuli or may be secondary to increased transcellular transfer of antigens, thereby activating mast cells and disrupting tight junctions via inflammation.11,13,14 Cytokines such as TNF- and various interleukins play a prominent role in tight junction disruption15,16
Taken together, these data strongly support the hypothesis that in cases of elevated IP, the increased passage of substances that are normally largely or completely blocked by the intestinal barrier do gain systemic access. These substances may cause deleterious effects on health, producing allergies and metabolic and/or vascular changes.
Gut Health And Allergies
The link between gut health and allergies is circular. Leaky gut can trigger allergies and leaky gut can be due to allergies.
Leaky gut allows particles to enter your bloodstream that shouldnt, which confuses your immune system. It recognizes these foreign particles as antigens and the immune cells begin to fight them off.
This triggers an inflammation response throughout the body which can cause a wide range of unpleasant symptoms. If left untreated, it can also contribute to and exacerbate auto-immune conditions.
Further more, this can trigger reactions to usually harmless foods due to confused immune cells and high inflammation levels. This can contribute the development of food allergies and sensitivities. Food allergies and sensitivities further drive inflammation levels and inflame the intestinal lining, consequently exacerbating leaky gut.
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Add Paleo Foods To Existing Favorite Dishes
Does your child like spaghetti? Begin by cooking your childs pasta in bone broth, which will be tasteless to them, but will be absorbed by the cooking pasta. Add a few tablespoons of bone broth to the pasta sauce, too. This can also be done with chicken soup or any other kid favorite soups or pasta dishes. You can also work vegetables into these same kinds of dishes by pureeing them .
How Do You Build A Healthy Microbiome
The most critical time to build the right — or wrong — microbiome is during pregnancy, delivery, and the first few months of infancy.
Your microbiome is born with you. When a baby is born and passes through the birth canal, he picks up a coating of bacteria all over his skin and in his stomach from the fluid he sucks in with the first cry.
Good bacteria is given to a baby through the process of breastfeeding, skin to skin exposure, and from the mothers saliva. After a baby starts eating solid foods, their microbiome changes. Babies who eat a diverse diet, with no sugar, and lots of vegetables and fruits build the healthiest microbiomes and are the least likely to end up with allergies.
The microbiome can easily get messed up by overuse of antibiotics, because antibiotics kill all bacteria in your body, not just the ones causing an ear infection.
Breastfeed if you can, feed your baby many different vegetables with no sugar, and do not give them antibiotics for every cold – limit antibiotics to only when its necessary.
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Familiarizing Yourself With The Inflammation Spectrum
Ultimately, leaky gut and other conditions are on one end of a larger inflammation spectrum, which can really be broken down into three separate stages:
1. Silent autoimmunity: When there are positive antibody labs but no noticeable symptoms.
2. Autoimmune reactivity: When there are positive antibody labs and symptoms.
3. Autoimmune disease: When there’s enough body destruction to be diagnosed with a specific condition.
The autoimmune condition celiac disease, for example, is the end stage of gluten sensitivity. Only 10 percent of people with celiac disease have obvious digestive symptoms but battle with other seemingly unrelated symptoms such as acne or other inflammatory skin problems. This leaves only 5 percent of true celiacs to be diagnosed with around 20 percent of people struggling through gluten intolerance.
Histamine And Cytokines Measurement Via Elisa
The total protein of ileal tissues was extracted by hypothermic ultrasonication and quantified by BCA assay . Histamine in tissue and serum was measured by a Rat histamine ELISA kit . The histamine content in the tissue was normalized by dividing the total protein concentration of each sample . IL-4 and IL-10 were evaluated using Rat IL-4 high sensitivity ELISA kit and Rat IL-10 high sensitivity ELISA kit and normalized in the same manner . Both BCA and ELISA assays were performed according to the manufacturers instructions. OD values less than 0.1 were regarded as undetectable and excluded in this assay.
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Firmly Say Goodbye To Things That Have No Value
Sugar, Im looking at you. While the occasional treat is fine for children, if theyre used to eating sugar on a daily basis, this is something that will need to be phased out. While some children will take issue with having their sugar taken away cold turkey, you can wean them off, gradually making sugar snacks more and more rare. You can occasionally reward them with a Paleo-friendly sweet treat just remember that sugar, including Paleo desserts and fruits, is not good for you in excess.
It may be hard, but if you dont help a child break a sugar addiction when theyre young, it will stick with them for the rest of their life. If you, as a parent, struggle with sugar, then now is also the time to kick your habit, too.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Food Intolerance
Common food sensitivities include:
- Lactose: People who are lactose intolerant dont make enough lactase enzyme to break down lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products. This food intolerance is the most common.
- Histamine: Histamines are naturally occurring chemicals in foods like cheese, pineapples, bananas, avocados and chocolate. Red wine and some white wines also have histamines. People who are histamine intolerant dont make enough diamine oxidase enzyme to break down this chemical.
- Gluten: Gluten is a protein in wheat, rye and barley. Gluten sensitivity isnt the same as having celiac disease, a type of autoimmune disease. When you have celiac disease, gluten damages the small intestines. If you have a non-celiac gluten sensitivity, your body has a harder time digesting gluten.
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Limitations Of Food Sensitivity Testing
As a Functional Dietitian, I believe in testing, not guessing along with taking a detailed health history from clients. So it may be a surprise that Im not the biggest fan of food intolerance testing as a first step in addressing symptoms!
Food intolerance testing can be helpful in some unique circumstances, but its often limited, expensive and can even be harmful. For example, it often only tests IgG antibodies. There are actually numerous ways that your body can react to a food including IgA and IgM antibodies. Histamine reactions are another nonallergenic compound in foods that an cause reactions that wont show up on a test.
But eating certain foods can often increase the presents of IgG antibodies which can be a sign of tolerance not sensitivity .
There is more to food reactions than just the immune system we must consider how much certain foods feed bacteria and fungus. We can also react to foods that feed bacteria or fungus and cause certain symptoms. These types of reactions arent immune related so wouldnt be able to show up on any test.
Food sensitivity testing also cant determine how foods will impact your blood sugar which is also one important consideration when it comes to what you should eat to support health .
Also, you may react differently to the same food when its raw versus cooked because the protein structure changes, and tests dont take this into account. So you may end up unnecessarily take nutrient dense foods out of your diet.
The Causes Of Garys Inflammation
After a thorough discussion of Garys medical history, I examined the inside of his nose. His nasal mucosa was pale, almost bluish, and swollen shut, so he had to breathe through his mouth.
Environmental allergies often cause the nasal mucosa to be pale and swollen. When I was first out of residency, I used medications to treat the symptoms of patients like Gary. I would have prescribed an inhaled steroid for him, along with an antihistamine for allergies, a topical steroid for the eczema, and a nasal steroid spray for the nasal congestion. This would have addressed most of his inflammatory symptoms during the time of year when his allergies and asthma flared. On top of that, if he had constipation, I would have also given him a laxative.
When I know a child has an increased risk of asthma or any other type of inflammatory issue like allergies, constipation, or reflux, I now look at the bigger picture and ask, How can I reduce this childs overall systemic inflammation and improve all of his symptoms, not just one of them?
As luck would have it, Garys previous pediatrician had done allergy testing through blood work and discovered a severe dust mite allergy. My first question when a child has a dust mite allergy is: How old are his mattress and pillows?
Mattresses and pillows are dust mite havens. One study, conducted at a London hospital, found that up to a third of a pillows weight could comprise bugs, dead skin, and dust mites.
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Symptoms Of Food Allergy And Intolerance
It can be difficult to tell the difference between the symptoms of food allergy and food intolerance. Usually, symptoms caused by food allergy develop very soon after consuming the food. While symptoms caused by food intolerance can be immediate, they may also take 12 to 24 hours to develop.Food intolerance reactions are usually related to the amount of the food consumed. They may not occur until a certain amount of the food is eaten, but this amount varies for each person.The symptoms of food allergy and intolerance can also be caused by other conditions, so it is important to see your doctor for a medical diagnosis.
What Causes Food Sensitivities
As always, the answer to this question is the key to healing and overcoming food sensitivities.
Because food sensitivities are a symptom, not a root cause.
Food sensitivities arent caused by the food itself but rather something deeper thats compromising the health of your digestive system.
So simply taking a food intolerance test and removing your trigger foods can cause you to miss out on a BIG opportunity to heal the root cause of your food sensitivities root causes that are likely contributing to other symptoms as well!
Plus, when you work to address and heal these root causes, theres a very good chance that youll be able to reintroduce that food in the future with no reaction .
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Food Allergies Treatments And Natural Remedies
Despite the risk of severe allergic reactions and even death, there is no current cure for food allergies. The condition can only be managed by allergen avoidance or treatment of food allergy symptoms.
However, fortunately there are natural food allergies treatments and supplements that can help to boost the immune system and enhance the gut microbiota, helping to reduce the development of food allergies and food allergy symptoms.
Food Allergy Is Strongly Associated With Changes In Gut Microbiota Caused By Cs
We postulated that variations in intestinal microbiota between CS and VD groups were the underlying cause of disparities in clinical features, intestinal barrier permeability, and immunological responses. Therefore, 16S rRNA gene sequencing was performed to profile the gut microbiota composition of the CS and VD groups on Days 7, 21, and 70. PCoA on OTU level showed that the structure of the microbial community significantly differed in the CS offspring on Days 7 and 21 compared with VD . We also detected a significant difference in microbiome composition between the sensitized and control groups among CS rats, but no comparable change was observed for the VD rats , which implies that CS magnified the alteration in the microbial community between PBS- and OVA-treated groups . This could also account for the differences in levels of tight junction proteins. On Day 7, Shannon index indicated a higher alpha diversity in the feces of the CS rats. Ace and Chao indices also showed that the CS group had more microbial diversity than the VD group . At the end of sensitization , bacterial richness and diversity based on these three indices did not differ significantly between VD_PBS and VD_OVA groups. Despite no difference in Shannon index, the CS_OVA group had higher Ace and Chao indices than the CS_PBS group . These data reveal that changes in microbiota composition caused by CS persist in rats with OVA food allergy.
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