Home / Articles / Cuisine / Cuisine /  The gut as a second brain
. . . . . . .
Give Through iGivefirst
Thursday, May 9,2013

The gut as a second brain

Boulder naturopaths say food allergies can cause depression

By Abby Faires
Photo by Abby Faires
Lisa Ganora teaches a class on food allergies.

We know that certain foods can affect the way we feel. But what about the way food makes us think?

An increasing number of studies have shown that allergies, food sensitivities and intolerances are linked to mental health and, more specifically, to depression. Boulder naturopathic physicians and herbalists ride on the forefront of this food-depression frontier, yet they caution that food allergies and sensitivities aren’t a be-all, end-all solution.

“I think there is definitely a link between food allergies and depression,” says Maile Green, a nurse and licensed acupuncturist. “That is not to say that there aren’t other factors, that depression isn’t from other things. But I think that frequently, food allergies play a role.”

But it’s not just allergies that can have serious impacts on the brain. Harder to test for, and perhaps even harder to define, food intolerances and sensitivities can wreak just as much havoc as allergies.

What’s the difference? Food allergies are often equated with extreme, anaphylactic responses. For example, when someone has a severe peanut allergy, tissues in their body release histamine and other substances, which can cause airways to tighten. They often experience difficulty breathing and need immediate medical attention, as their entire immune system works to fight that harmful substance. Sensitivity or intolerance won’t cause such strong physical responses, but they still matter.

“‘Food allergy’ means that the immune system is creating an immunological response to a food,” says Julieanne Neal, a naturopathic doctor. “Food sensitivity or intolerance may not have that immediate impact on the immune system, but it’s still a negative response to food.”

When a person has a food allergy, they often produce specific immunoglobulins, or antibodies, in response to the allergen. These antibodies will attach to the harmful substances so that the immune system can destroy them. Doctors can then test for specific antibodies to determine if someone has a food allergy or not.

“Sensitivities or intolerances may not have that immune response,” Neal says. “So they aren’t measurable. You can’t always test for immunoglobulins like with allergies.”

Neal and Green all agree that the “gold standard” for food intolerances and sensitivities, therefore, is an elimination/re-challenge, whereby patients eliminate a specific food from their diet for six weeks and then reintroduce that food, in order to investigate the effects it has on their health — including to see if food is contributing to depression.

“There can be a lot of problems with various tests,” says Lisa Ganora, director of the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism. “You can have false negatives, false positives, or the test might be missing certain types of antigens.”

With elimination/re-challenge, people “let all the aggravation out of their system,” according to Ganora, and can keep a symptom checklist to see what has or hasn’t improved.

“In medicine, we love our tests and love being able to have an objective test to say see, this is how it is,” says Green. “But your health is something that you live with all the time. How much do you care about a test result when you feel bad when you eat something? It’s a common sense thing.”

Food sensitivities act as a sort of constant, low-grade irritant, changing the way the body absorbs what it has been fed. When it comes to food sensitivities, people learn to get by with this sort of low-grade “ickyness,” Green says. But underneath the surface, the body is producing a constant inflammatory reaction, similar to when a person is sick with a cold or flu.

“By the second day [of having a cold or flu], you start feeling depressed on top of being fevery and sniffly,” Green says. “That’s a reaction to inflammatory molecules that are running around in your body. Part of the way that we react to them is that we start feeling bad, and the point of that is to stay in bed and rest, and we don’t feel like doing a lot.

“Gluten, soy and dairy are just so ubiquitous in our daily food that’s around, that people get accustomed to feeling bad,” Green says. “And they don’t attribute it to what they’re eating. They’re just feeling bad because it’s always there.”

More than 90 percent of the body’s serotonin is found in the gastrointestinal tract. Serotonin is a hormone and a key player in the functioning of that tract. It also regulates aggression, appetite and mood. Lower levels of serotonin, caused by a damaged, inflamed or leaky gut, could seriously affect a person’s mood.

Ganora says that she has seen over and over again, in her students and in the clinic at the Colorado School for Clinical Herbalism, that by eliminating specific food allergies or intolerances, clients and students see tremendous improvements in their mood.

For Ganora, there is no separation between the mind and the body.

“It’s all the same blood, the same neurotransmitters, same cytokines, the same molecules,” Ganora says. “People tend to forget that and think that depression is all in the mind — it’s all in their head. But there is no separation. If food is causing an ongoing, low-grade, chronic inflammation in your body, it’s gonna affect your mind, energy and spirit.”

Green, Ganora and Neal all argue that conventionally trained doctors grow out of a tradition where emergencies are priorities. But when a health problem doesn’t present an emergency, there isn’t an immediate need to solve the problem.

“When an allergy is anaphylactic, there is a chance it could kill you,” Green says. “A food allergy isn’t so bad.”

Green says that we are an incredibly varied species, and wellness isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept. It’s highly individualized.

“Our bodies are designed to help us figure out what’s good for them,” Green says. “I think that naturopaths can be helpful allies in trying to sort things out, but there’s not really one answer that’s true for everybody. If it were that simple, it would have gotten figured out a long time ago.”

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
No Registration Required

Karl Lagerfeld, Germany famous fashion designer,Christian Louboutin Shoes was born in 1933 in Hamburg.Speaking of Karl Lagerfeld,Christian Louboutin Outlet head first is the artistic director of Chanel's trademark expression forever,Roger Vivier Shoes wearing dark glasses,and holding a catch fan,Roger Vivier Outlet the back of the head with pigtails,is this eternal sunglasses white hair long braid was actually occupying commanding point of fashion. People refer to him as the fashion of Julius Caesar, and Galeries Lafayette.He's always like eat ginseng as energetic,Kate Spade Outlet fluent in German,English,French,Italian,and witty,Kate Spade Handbags his love of traditional,and look forward to the future,dubbed by the media representatives of the UGG Outlet contemporary renaissance.Comments in November 2013 for alleged discrimination against fat had been France women's group sued.Karl lagerfeld every year Cheap UGG Boots for the production of eight series of Chanel clothing,including ready-to-wear and haute couture,Michael Kors Outlet for the production of 5 series, Fendi also do design for his own brand. He this kind of super ability to his global lead in the fashion industry.He is also Michael Kors Handbags a famous photographer.

He not only for Chanel shooting pictures and product catalogue,also held the exhibition of his own.As a knowledge of English,French,German and Italian,he is not willing to miss the publishing industry also.In Paris he Rue Lille on opened a bookstore called 7 l,Michael Kors Outlet books published by the topic he is interested in all kinds of fields, including fashion,photography,literature,Michael Kors Outlet Online advertising,music,newspaper,mythology, illustration,humor works and buildings.However,one of the most popular is unabashed Lagerfeld himself Michael Kors Outlet published in 2002 "Karl unabashed Lagerfeld guide to lose weight.In September 1938,was born in Hamburg,Germany.Karl,Michael Kors Handbags who was born in 1938,but various evidence that he is actually understates his 5 years old! Karl lagerfeld's father was selling condensed milk businessman,Michael Kors Outlet mother is lingerie salesman. 14 years old when his family moved to Paris, and the finished school.

In 1954,he received champion of Michael Kors Wallets the fashion design award wool jacket.

In 1955,selected by judges Pierre Balmain fashion design award for Assistant, studying under its brand.Chanel Outlet

In 1958,as the fashion designer Jean Patou. Five years after the official departure of freelance.Chanel Handbags

In 1964, he became Chloe Designer, brand positioning in the classical-romantic style.

In October 1972, Karl Lagerfeld designed the Chloe spring/summer 1973 collection was a success,Cheap Oakley Sunglasses and became headline news. Again in 1992 as the brand's designer.Oakley Sunglasses In 1965,has been in charge of design for the FENDI brand,while famous double f FENDI logo is from the hand of Karl.

Oakley Outlet Carl dramatic design Fendi (FENDI) brand clothing received worldwide attention and praise in the fashion,Ray Ban Sunglasses FENDI to Haute Couture line positions.

In 1983,he became designer CHANEL brand,Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses generally are not optimistic about the situation in the outside world, successf ully resurrect brand,Ray Ban Outlet

CHANEL became one of the most profitable fashion brands in the world. Carl perfect essence of refined elegance of Coco Chanel,Louis Vuitton Outlet Online modified,retaining loyal customer,while moderation into the sport,rock elements,attracting a young,Louis Vuitton Handbags consummate skill and Haute Couture flourish, Chanel leads a pair of successful Louis Vuitton Outlet postwar modern and elegant stay. While button square Desrues Lemari Louis Vuitton Outlet Online,embroidery, feather ornaments Fang Fang Lesage Massaro, hat, shoe Fang Fang Michel Goossens and floral,Louis Vuitton Outlet Stores gold and silver ornaments Fang Fang Guillet one by one in the Pocket.

In 1984, the personal name brand Karl Lagerfeld, in his own brand,Gucci Outlet Karl full embodiment of the characteristics: fit,Gucci Shoes skinny,short sleeve outwards along cutting lines,classical style Tiffany Outlet combined with the sentiment on the streets,forming a lot of innovation.

In 1987 for branding purposes,began his photographic career,Tiffany Jewellery after CHANEL,FENDI and most taken by its namesake brand advertising. Photography and fashion magazines have many times together.

Ed Hardy Clothing In November 2004, Carl and Sweden leading fast fashion brand M work,Ed Hardy Outlet the launch of the Karl M limited edition fashion,Cheap Jordans is considered sold out after 2 days.

On December 8,2006,Carr announced the launch of brands under Air Jordan the same name brand k Karl Lagerfeld,Coach Factory Outlet Karl Lagerfeld positioning young recreational fashion,Coach Outlet Store Online menswear Ladieswear,churning out of Tee and jeans.

In October 2007, the FENDI at the great wall of China organized the press conference,Coach Purse kaercheng the first designer of the wall held a press conference.Coach Outlet June 10, 2008, ~9 7th,Versailles Karl Lagerfeld launched the Sun Coach Outlet Online in the light of the Palace of Versailles photography exhibition, a totally original perspective,Coach Outlet Store Online through light and shadow to capture brilliant Coach Factory interpretation of Versailles unique cultural and historical heritage.

In 2008,France road safety under the invitation of the Minister,Coach Factory Outlet Online outside his fluorescent yellow clothes wears a dark suit and Coach Outlet wearing his favourite fingerless black gloves, and trademark black sunglasses,Coach Factory Outlet the campaign slogan is: it's yellow, it's ugly, and it doesn't fit anything,Burberry Handbags but it does protect your life. He also boarded the French dictionary Le Petit Larousse,Burberry Outlet (the Larousse encyclopedia dictionary) cover of the 2009 Edition.

Michael Kors Outlet Germany introduced the teddy bear shape being similar to Carr's Michael Kors Store limited-edition Teddy bear. With black sunglasses,Coach Factory dark black suits with white striped shirt and thin black tie,as well as with KL bright diamond logo waistband.Coach Outlets Carl was involved in the design of artificial islands luxury Isla Moda.

Talking about his pet cat, the fashion guru is in full flight, he said my cat is like a walk in the Park, frolicking in the garden or enjoy shopping. The cat has a dedicated maid caring for each week are full-time doctors to cut their nails. She is very naughty and always laugh by the maid to take care of her.