Amino Acid Therapy: So Many Protein Choices, So Little Time

Rice ProteinsBefore any major diet modification, whether for weight loss, desire to eat healthier, or a way to treat a health concern, the body needs to go through a period of detoxification. For many of us who decide to make dietary changes in our own diet, we’re intervening eating habits that have been in place for 5, 10, maybe even 20 years. During this time, our bodies have collected and stored fat in areas of our body where we don’t exactly like to see it.  If you’re aiming for weight loss, this fat needs to be broken down and released before you see body changes.

Even if you’re changing your eating habits due to a health reason, before you see the beneficial effects, you need to detoxify the body. Just as people who are coming off of a drug habit have to clean the remaining toxins from their system before they can begin their recovery, so must we when we’re changing ours, or our child’s diet in order to begin the journey to a healthy, properly functioning body.

There are a number of products or temporary diets that exist that are designed to allow the body to detoxify. One such product is protein powder. You may have heard of this used a lot amongst men and women who work out in the gym often. This is because protein aids in building muscle. So, it kind of makes sense that they would reach for the protein. Before you get nervous and think “I don’t want muscle! I just want a healthy body”,  don’t worry. Protein serves many other purposes.

Protein Powder treatment is also known as Amino Acid Therapy, because protein itself is made up of essential and non-essential amino acids. The body needs both amino acids, but is only able to produce non-essential amino acids on its own. Essential amino acids must be taken in from an outside source, usually food.

Protein is an essential nutrient that is needed by everybody, everyday as it helps repair body cells, provides a source of energy, as well as regulates metabolism. It also activates the production of the body’s natural detoxifying enzymes. These enzymes then break down the toxins into water-soluble substances so that they can be released from the body.

Relatively easy, right? We are going to take a little bit of a turn though, and explore the different kinds of protein. Yes, there are different kinds, and each has it’s own unique benefits to the body.

Whey Protein: Whey is one of the products (along with curds) that is produced when making cheese from cow’s milk. Whey protein is a great protein for the body because it is much more soluble, meaning it can absorb more toxins to release from the body. Additionally, Whey doesn’t stick to your arteries and digestion is easy, so it is often given to infants and children to promote healthy body function.

Rice Protein: Rice Protein is favored because of its hypoallergenic properties. This is key for people who are on a Gluten Free diet as inflammation typically occurs. Rice Proteins are sodium-free, cholesterol-free, and have minimal fat content. These proteins can store in muscles, and give the body an extra boost when it needs it. Know in the middle of the day when you go through your coffee crash from the caffeine? Imagine having something in your body programmed to pick you up. Yep, that’s the rice protein. Also an interesting fact is that Rice Protein are about 70% Protein and are rich sources of amino acids, which researchers have found is very close to the profile of breast milk.

Soy Protein: Soy Protein has been researched a lot over the last 10 years and is believed to have an effect on preventing osteoporosis, lowering the risk of cancer, and reducing abdominal fat. Here’s a neat little tidbit that we found from the official Soy Website:

The most important scientific study about the relationship of soy protein intake and heart disease is the meta-study by Anderson et al (Meta-analysis of the effects of soy protein intake on serum lipids. N Engl J Med 1995;333:276-282). They concluded that the consumption of soy protein rather than animal protein significantly decreased serum concentrations of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides without significantly affecting serum HDL cholesterol concentrations.

Vegan Protein/Hemp Protein: The vegan movement has been very big in the USA and throughout the world. Many young adults as well as middle aged people are turning to the vegan diet, which eliminates foods that come from any non-human animal. Hemp protein is used by a large amount of Vegans in particular because they aren’t getting the protein that they need from the traditional sources like chicken and eggs. Hemp Protein is considered to be one of the best plant-based proteins because it contains all of the essential amino acids that your body needs. It also contains a lot of the same proteins that the human body has. Because of this it is easily digested. Hemp Protein is high in fiber and essential fatty acids, and is a great source of many vitamins and minerals.

The Why, What, and How of Leaky Gut Syndrome

leakygut

In posts past, we’ve mentioned Leaky Gut syndrome. Just last week we spoke about the importance of keeping the mucosal immune system healthy and the effects of when it’s not.  When infections break through the musocal barrier, allergies and inflammation can occur. Furthermore, if levels of certain antibodies are increased when a test is ran, this is an indication of an an excess of yeast in the body, and also symptoms of leaky gut syndrom.

But what is Leaky Gut syndrome? What causes the gut to leak? Can it be fixed? Why are children with Autusm more at risk for this condition?

That’s a lot of questions, and we only have one blog post to answer them in. Let’s get started.

What is leaky gut syndrome?

First thing’s first: Leaky gut syndrome is a condition that is said to affect millions of people world wide. Again, I’ll reference last week’s post about Mucosal Immunity. Remember when we mentioned that the immune system has a mucous like protective coating to keep microorganisms out. If the mocosal barrier weakens, toxins and other microorganisms are leaked into the blood stream from the stomach area. Hence, Leaky Gut.

How does the gut leak? How does that happen?

In order to understand how the gut can leak, it’s important to understand how the body digests, at least when it is doing so correctly.

70% of the body’s immune system is located in the digestive system. [1] In this system, the small intestine works as a filter, only allowing the breakdown of products to enter into the bloodstream. In an ideal situation, only nutrients are allowed to pass through, and toxins are held in the small intestine away from the blood.

In the intestine, villi and microvilly (small, hair-like extensions of the intestine), carry nutrients, amino acids, and electrolytes into cells.

Leaky gut syndrome, causes the intestinal lining and villi to become damaged and unable to develop the enzymes that are necessary for the absorption of nutrients. More simply said, even though you may be feeding your child healthy foods that are packed with vitamins and nutrients, they’re useless if the body isn’t absorbing them.

Sometimes, toxins can leak from the intestine. In most cases, humans will have a strong enough immune system to control the leakage. Over time, however, the leakage will erode the stomach lining and weaken the immune system, thereby giving the body a zero defense against toxins.

As the intestinal lining becomes weaker and weaker, larger molecules of toxins can enter the immune system. Because of this, toxins are produced that cause allergies and inflammation.

Leaky Gut Syndrome’s Effect On The Liver

The liver is the largest gland in the body and takes on a lot of roles and has a lot of functions in the body including producing bile, storing bile that is essential for digestion, filtering out drugs, alcohol, and other toxins, storing glucose, and removing damaged blood cells.

Leaky Gut Syndrome really kicks the liver into an unhealthy overdrive as it subjects it to harmful toxins. When the liver cannot deal with the toxins that it is being given, it releases them back out into the bloodstream.

Can leaky gut syndrome be fixed? What are the treatments?

As for the leaky gut itself, there are a large amount of treatments, and depending on the doctor you consult, your answer may be different. We aren’t hear to attack other doctors, but just as a warning: some doctors do not believe that leaky gut syndrome even exists, while others believe in a series of medications are the trick. Be sure to investigate all possible avenues before choosing a method of treatment.

Some more examples of treatment are: increased activity (sweating rids the body of toxins), a detoxification diet, a parasites cleanse, dental cleanup (if your teeth are infected, you are constantly ingesting that infection into your body), and many others.

There are many treatments available for Leaky Gut syndrome. People that are experiencing leaky gut syndrome are severely lacking in amino acids and other nutrients because again, the body isn’t capable of absorbing them.  The lacking nutrients can absolutely be attempted to be replenished using methods like Amino Acid Therapy.

[1] Spaeth G, Berg RD, Specian RD, Deitch EA, August 1990, “Food Without Fiber promotes bacterial translocation from the gut” Surgery 108 (2) pp 204-47