Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Food Hospital: Interesting....

Here is the rundown of this week's episode of TFH:
  • This week The Food Hospital welcomes patients with conditions from the common to the bizarre. Anne is a menopausal woman with hot flushes that are affecting both her daily life and her self confidence. Teenager Taigh seems to be a healthy fitness instructor but is terrified of eating vegetables. A photographer, Kate, also comes to The Food Hospital with a disabling disease that food may in fact be causing, and a pair of body builders with incredible appetites find out whether their diets really are healthy. Also Dr Pixie McKenna investigates how reliable DIY food intolerance tests actually are and the results of the Insomnia Big Food Trial are revealed.
Three things stood out.  The first was the Anne, going through the menopause.  The recommendation was to eat a oestrogen rich diet, including plenty of soya because of its high oestrogen content.  People with testicles might want to avoid such foodstuffs.

And secondly, the case of Kate who suffered from Ankylosing Spondylitis:
  • Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of long-term arthritis that causes pain in the muscles, ligaments and bones of the spine. The condition is more common in men than women and can develop from the teenage years onwards but it rarely starts in old age. Treatment involves medication and physiotherapy but, as yet, there is no cure. The condition can result in total stiffness of the back.
The program suggested that this condition was triggered by bacteria which grows on starchy foodstuffs such as bread.  This bacterial flourish is thought to lead to an immune response which leads to the condition.  The (unproven), solution was to cut right back on starch:
  • [Dr] Gio started Kate on a starch exclusion food plan because there is a theory within the scientific community that symptoms of A.S. can be improved by reducing the amount of starch in your diet. However this food plan is controversial. It was devised in the 1990s and the theory is that when A.S. sufferers digest starch it comes into contact with a type of bacteria, called Klebsiella, which causes the production of antibodies that attack a molecule found in the spine because the autoimmune system wrongly identifies it. The body reacts by sending calcium to the damaged joints which can cause spinal fusion. Lucy cut out major starchy foods such as potatoes, pasta, bread and pulses. But meat, fish, most fruit and vegetables, dairy products, nuts and seeds were fine.
Kate felt her symptoms were much improved - but it was seldom likely that a condition that developed over years would resolve in a matter of weeks. 

Finally, just when you thought things were improving we meet Rob and Vanda who eat an enormous amount of food in general, but specifically eat a lot of CHOLESTEROL-laden red meat (four times the amount recommended, which, you know, can cause ahem heart disease)!  They took a cholesterol check and "dan dan daaaaaa!" - their readings were 6 and 5 respectively.  Notwithstanding the problems with the Friedwald equation, what was funny was that their cholesterol laden diet does not seem to really be reflected in their serum cholesterol.  Whodathunkit?

Here are my TV rants from week one, two, three and five of TFH (week four was too dire to comment on).


Anonymous said...

Lots of nasty soya for menopause, (so 1980s) might help with oestrogen, but what about her other hormone levels - progesterone and testosterone, which are just as likely to cause her symptoms. And eating lots of unfermented soya depresses thyroid function. Not a good idea. Did you notice that the poor womwn was still getting around 6 hot flushes a day.

Asclepius said...

Six a day!? I missed that!

David said...

A paleo diet success story regarding Ankylosing Spondylitis has just appeared on robbwolf.com

Link: http://robbwolf.com/2011/12/12/testimonial-my-journey-with-rheumatoid-arthritis-and-ankylosing-spondylitis/

Asclepius said...

Hi David. Thanks for the link. Interesting stuff!