What I’m Reading This Month: Dietary Intervention for IBS, Vitamin D for Brain Growth, and the Benefits of Saunas
The sheer volume of health, wellness, and medical news and commentary available on the internet can be overwhelming. Every month, get a taste of what integrative medicine leader Dr. John Gannage finds interesting (and digestible) on the web.
1. Dietary Intervention Improves Ulcerative Colitis & Crohn’s Disease Symptoms: At last, when a specialist tells you “diet has nothing to do with” inflammatory bowel disease, you can pull out this study. It tested the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) in children, and showed improvement with dietary intervention to challenge the current paradigm of treatment with steroids and other immunosuppressant medications. Diet alone can lead children with mild to moderate ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease into clinical remission.
2. Low Gestational Vitamin D and Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Research has found that low vitamin D is associated with neurodevelopmental disorders and that for pregnant women at 20 weeks’ gestation, if their vitamin D levels are low, there is a higher likelihood that they may have a child with autistic traits that will surface by the age of six. Yes, Vitamin D is important for bone health, but also for brain growth. Like folate supplementation in pregnancy to prevent spina bifida, D supplementation should be considered a very important part of prenatal care, and even better is to measure levels in pregnant women in my opinion.
3. Sauna Use to Reduce Risk of Dementia: I was going to blog about this topic, and this study adds credence to the benefit of frequent sauna use. Sauna therapy induces sweating. Sweating excretes toxins, including heavy metals. Toxins damage the brain. Sauna therapy also increases circulation to key organs like the brain. Hydration and mineral replacement are important when using saunas frequently.
4. Cured Meats and Asthma: Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition and more likely in those with allergy tendencies. As this article notes, cured meats are high in nitrites, and raise C-reactive protein, as two possible mechanisms mentioned for asthma aggravation. A third? Perhaps that they are also high in dietary histamines, contributing to histamine accumulation in tissues and leading to uncontrolled inflammation. Or, that nitrites activate mast cell release of histamines and other proinflammatory substances. Read more about histamine intolerance here.