Saturday, December 6, 2008

Candida, Celiac, Thyroid Connection, Vitamin C, Not Statins for Inflammation

In this post:

The Candida, Celiac, Thyroid Connection
Vitamin C is as effective as statin drugs at reducing inflammation



The Candida, Celiac, Thyroid Connection


Candida can cause celiac disease complications
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that is associated with inflammation and malabsorption when gluten containing foods such as wheat, barley, or rye are consumed.

We are now finding that celiac related problems are much more common than we used to think. Why all the celiac disease? Why would our immune system start reacting to something as common as wheat? Part of the answer is related to a very common condition - the overgrowth of candida in the gastrointestinal tract. If you have ever taken antibiotics, been pregnant or taken birth control pills you most likely have an overgrowth of yeast or Candida. Candida overgrowth in our intestines appears to trigger the production of antibodies that not only attack candida but also react to gluten - found most commonly in wheat. Candida contains amino acid sequences that are identical to or very similar to those found in the celiac induced immune response. When we eat gluten containing foods, we then experience an inflammatory response characteristic of celiac disease.

While anyone can get celiac disease, people of Irish descent are significantly more prone to celiac disease and should be very reluctant to take antibiotics or do anything else that promotes candida overgrowth.

Candida and celiac disease can cause thyroid problems
Celiac disease is not just about the GI tract. The immune response can also damage our nervous system and even our thyroid gland. People with the diagnosis of celiac disease have a high rate of being low on thyroid. About 10- 14% of celiac patients are hypothyroid and they have 10X increased chance of having thyroid nodules and autoimmune antibodies. Candida appears to cause “friendly fire” and the collateral damage is widespread.

Bottom Line: Yeast overgrowth in our intestines causes our immune system to malfunction and it will attack our own thyroid and causes inflammation when gluten containing food is eaten.
If you want to be healthy, a healthy GI tract is essential. If you have not done a yeast cleanse you need to do this. The general approach we have to yeast overgrowth at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center is on my website: www.naturalwellnesschoices.com under Health & Wellness Center Guests/Yeast Free Eating Program.

Vitamin C, Not Statins Should be Used to Fight Inflammation
Recently the media has been reporting the results of the JUPITER study which looked at 17,800 people who had high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) - a marker of inflammation. Ongoing silent inflammation quietly can cause damage to our body and damage the blood vessels causing atherosclerosis/heart disease.

This study simply demonstrated that statin drugs can lower the CRP in individuals with a normal cholesterol level. Since we already knew that statins lower the CRP, what would be the motive for this study? The answer is to boost statin sales by encouraging healthy individuals with normal cholesterol levels to start taking statin drugs - daily for the rest of their lives.

I am afraid that many mainstream doctors will be recommending statin drugs to even more of their patients but this would not be smart medicine. Missing from the press releases concerning statins and the CRP issue has been any discussion of the true causes of inflammation and what can be done naturally to lower it.

Folks, the cause of inflammation is not a deficiency of statin drugs! There are many known causes of inflammation which include:

Gingival disease from not flossing daily
Chlorine in our drinking & bathing water damaging our blood vessels
Low intake of antioxidant fruit & vegetables
Low intake of omega 3 rich foods
Eating partially hydrogenated oils with trans-fatty acids
High consumption of sugar and starchy processed foods
Inadequate Vitamin C intake

Statin Drugs are not the answer
While statin drugs are effective at lowering the CRP, they have far too many negatives to recommend their use for the purpose of lowering the CRP. These negative effects include tripling the rate of cancer, nerve and muscle damage, nausea, irritability, homicidal impulses and poor memory. On top of this, these drugs are not effective at achieving their actual goal – the primary prevention of heart attacks and stroke (the NND – Number Needed to Treat is 70 to 100, i.e. only 1 out of about 70-100 see any benefit in 5 years of daily use. Most who take statins are just getting their side effects and filling the pharmaceutical industries’ pockets). For more details see the blog posting on September 15th and August 3, 2008 at www.NaturalWellnessChoices.com


Natural Solutions to Inflammation

1. Vitamin C 1-6 gram/day
A new study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley found that 1000 mg of Vitamin C is just as good at lowering CRP as statin drugs! The researchers stated that “It has recently been suggested by some researchers that people with elevated CRP should be put on statins as a preventive measure. For people who have elevated CRP but not elevated LDL cholesterol, our data suggest that vitamin C should be investigated as an alternative to statins…..” (emphasis mine)

2. Floss Daily – gingivitis causes inflammation throughout the body
3. Fruits & Vegetables: Eat 5-9 serving of fruit & vegetables and add fruit/vegetable caps if you are not getting enough daily (2 fruit caps in am, 2 vegetable in pm – this can be order via www.naturalwellnesschoices.com)
4. Take Nordic Naturals ProOmega Fish Oil 2-12 caps a day (1/2 -3 tsp) Physicians Preference carries this quality product www.physicianspreference.com
5. Avoid sugar and starches and maintain an optimal weight
6. Use a filter to remove chlorine from your tap water and shower – you can order these from www.aehf.com. For more information read my posting on October 6, 2007 on Chlorine.
7. Eat less processed foods
8. Eat organic to avoid pesticides
9. Get enough sleep


Selected References:

Gut 1994;35: 844-846 Counsell et al. Coeliac disease and autoimmune thyroid disease.

European Journal of Endocrinology 1994;130:137-140 Collin et al. Autoimmune thyroid disorders and coeliac disease.

Lancet. 2003 Jun 21;361(9375):2152-4. Is Candida albicans a trigger in the onset of coeliac disease? Nieuwenhuizen WF, Pieters RH, Knippels LM, Jansen MC, Koppelman SJ.

Free Radic Biol Med. 2008 Oct 10 Vitamin C treatment reduces elevated C-reactive protein Block G, Jensen CD, Dalvi TB, Norkus EP, Hudes M, Crawford PB, Holland N, Fung EB, Schumacher L, Harmatz P.