Today we take a close look at how diet can affect the diseases that attack the immune system. We start with the benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet with a study from a notable new medical journal.
The International Journal of Disease Reversal and Prevention, a new peer-reviewed medical journal created to document the science of nutrition and lifestyle to prevent, suspend, and reverse disease, with an editor-in-chief no less prestigious than Dr. Kim Williams, chief of cardiology at Rush, and past president of the American College of Cardiology. I was honored to join their editorial advisory board, along with so many of my heroes. And the best part is it’s free! Go to IJDRP.org and put in your email to subscribe for free, and you’ll be alerted when new issues are out, which you can download in full for free in PDF form.
Instead of preventing chronic lifestyle diseases, we doctors just tend to manage them. Instead of curing, we just mitigate. Why? Because of ﬁnance, culture, habit, and tradition. Many of us envision a world where trillions of dollars are not wasted on unnecessary medical care.
For this reason comes the International Journal of Disease Reversal and Prevention. After all, “without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.”
Just to give you a taste, how about pitting plants against one of the most inflammatory diseases out there—lupus, an autoimmune disease in which your body can start attacking your own DNA. Kidney inflammation is a common consequence, and even with our armamentarium of immunosuppressant drugs and steroids, lupus-induced kidney inflammation can lead to end-stage renal disease, meaning dialysis, and death, unless, perhaps, you pack your diet with the some of the most anti-inflammatory foods out there, and your kidney function improves so much you no longer need dialysis or a kidney transplant. And another similar case is also presented with a resolution in symptoms and normal kidney function, unless he deviated from the diet.
Even just cutting out animal products, randomizing people to cut out meat, eggs, and dairy, without significantly increasing fruit and vegetable intake, can cut C-reactive protein levels, a sensitive indicator of whole-body inflammation, by nearly a third within eight weeks. But with lupus, they weren’t messing around. A pound of leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables a day like kale, fruits like berries, and lots of chia or flax, and a gallon of water a day. Basically, a green smoothie diet to extinguish lupus flares. Note, though, if your kidneys are already compromised, this should be done under physician supervision so they can monitor your electrolytes like potassium, and make sure you don’t get overloaded with fluid. Bottom line, with such remarkable improvements due to dietary changes alone, the hope is that researchers will take up the mantle and formally put it to the test.
Autoimmune inflammatory skin disease reversals can be particularly striking visually. A woman with a 35-year history of psoriasis, unsuccessfully managed for year after year with drugs, suffering from other autoimmune conditions like Sjogren’s as well. But put her on an extraordinarily healthy diet packed with greens and other vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, avocados, some whole grains, and boom, before and after. Within one year, she went from 40 percent of her entire body surface area inflamed and affected down to 0 percent––completely clear. And her Sjogren’s syndrome symptoms resolved as well as a bonus, while helping to normalize her weight and cholesterol.
Speaking of autoimmune diseases, what about the treatment of type 1 diabetes with plants? We’ll find out next.