No grains, dairy, processed foods and sugars for active Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

In a first-of-its-kind study published today in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, researchers from Seattle Children’s and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, led by Dr. David Suskind, a Seattle Children’s gastroenterologist, found that diet alone can bring pediatric patients with active Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC) into clinical remission.

In the small, prospective study, patients were put on a special diet called the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) for 12 weeks as the sole intervention to treat their active Crohn’s or UC. SCD is a nutritionally balanced diet that removes grains, dairy, processed foods and sugars, except for honey. The diet promotes only natural, nutrient-rich foods, which includes vegetables, fruits, meats and nuts.

At the end of the 12 weeks, eight out of the 10 patients who finished the study showed significant improvement and achieved remission from the dietary treatment alone.

“This changes the paradigm for how we may choose to treat children with inflammatory bowel disease,” said Suskind.

To date, there have only been a few case reports where a whole food diet, like SCD, has been used as a potential treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This study is the first to show, not just anecdotally, that the diet is safe and effective in treating pediatric patients with IBD.

IBD refers to several related illnesses that affect the digestive tract. Crohn’s and UC are two forms of IBD.

“For decades or longer, medicine has said diet doesn’t matter, that it doesn’t impact disease,” said Suskind. “Now we know that diet does have an impact, a strong impact. It works, and now there’s evidence that it can move patients into remission.”

At most centers across the country, treatment for IBD is usually limited to either treating patients with medications or steroids, which can often lead to life-long side effects. Another concern with these traditional treatments is that they only suppress the immune system, which doesn’t treat the underlying issue of the microbiome, the bacteria that lives in the digestive tract. Researchers believe that IBD occurs when something goes awry between a person’s genetic makeup, their immune system and their microbiome.

“Each person’s disease is unique, just as each person is unique,” said Suskind. “SCD is another tool in our tool box to help treat these patients. It may not be the best treatment option for everyone, but it is an effective treatment for those who wish to try a dietary therapy.”

Healthy diet had the healthiest sleep patterns

First nationally-representative analysis reveals people who eat a varied diet have healthier sleep duration.

“You are what you eat,” the saying goes, but is what you eat playing a role in how much you sleep? Sleep, like nutrition and physical activity, is a critical determinant of health and well-being. With the increasing prevalence of obesity and its consequences, sleep researchers have begun to explore the factors that predispose individuals to weight gain and ultimately obesity.

Now, a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania shows for the first time that certain nutrients may play an underlying role in short and long sleep duration and that people who report eating a large variety of foods; an indicator of an overall healthy diet, had the healthiest sleep patterns. The new research is published online in the journal Appetite.

The image is The Fruit Vendor by  painter J W Godward. The image shows a woman sleeping next to a statue of a lion and a table of fruit.

“Although many of us inherently recognize that there is a relationship between what we eat and how we sleep, there have been very few scientific studies that have explored this connection, especially in a real-world situation,” said Michael A. Grandner, PhD, Instructor in Psychiatry and member of the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at Penn. “ In general, we know that those who report between 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night are most likely to experience better overall health and well being, so we simply asked the question “Are there differences in the diet of those who report shorter sleep, longer sleep, or standard sleep patterns?”

To answer this question, the research team analyzed data from the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NHANES includes demographic, socioeconomic, dietary, and health-related questions. The sample for the survey is selected to represent the U.S. population of all ages and demographics. For the current study, researchers used the survey question regarding how much sleep each participant reported getting each night to separate the sample into groups of different sleep patterns.

Sleep patterns were broken out as “Very Short’’ (<5 h per night), ‘‘Short’’ (5–6 h per night), ‘‘Standard’ (7–8h per night), and ‘‘Long’’ (9 h or more per night).  NHANES participants also sat down with specially trained staff who went over, in great detail, a full day’s dietary intake. This included everything from the occasional glass of water to complete, detailed records of every part of each meal. With this data, the Penn research team analyzed whether each group differed from the 7-8 hour “standard” group on any nutrients and total caloric intake. They also looked at these associations after controlling for overall diet, demographics, socioeconomics, physical activity, obesity, and other factors that could have explained this relationship.

The authors found that total caloric intake varied across groups. Short sleepers consumed the most calories, followed by normal sleepers, followed by very short sleepers, followed by long sleepers. Food variety was highest in normal sleepers, and lowest in very short sleepers. Differences across groups were found for many types of nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

In a statistical analysis, the research team found that there were a number of dietary differences, but these were largely driven by a few key nutrients. They found that very short sleep was associated with less intake of tap water, lycopene (found in red- and orange-colored foods), and total carbohydrates, short sleep was associated with less vitamin C, tap water, selenium (found in nuts, meat and shellfish), and more lutein/zeaxanthin (found in green, leafy vegetables), and long sleep was associated with less intake of theobromine (found in chocolate and tea), dodecanoic acid (a saturated fat) choline (found in eggs and fatty meats), total carbohydrates, and more alcohol.

“Overall, people who sleep 7 – 8 hours each night differ in terms of their diet, compared to people who sleep less or more. We also found that short and long sleep are associated with lower food variety,” said Dr. Grandner. “What we still don’t know is if people altered their diets, would they be able to change their overall sleep pattern? This will be an important area to explore going forward as we know that short sleep duration is associated with weight gain and obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Likewise, we know that people who sleep too long also experience negative health consequences. If we can pinpoint the ideal mix of nutrients and calories to promote healthy sleep, the healthcare community has the potential to make a major dent in obesity and other cardiometabolic risk factors.”

Notes about this neurobiology research article

Other authors for Penn include Nicholas J. Jackson and Jason R. Gerstner, PhD.

This research was supported grants from National Institutes of Health (T32HL007713, 12SDG9180007 and P30HL101859).

Contact: Jessica Mikulski – Penn Medicine
Source: Penn Medicine press release
Image Source: The image of J.W Godwards “The Fruit Vendor” is available via Wikimedia Commons and licensed as public domain. Feel free to use.
Original Research: Abstract for “Dietary nutrients associated with short and long sleep duration. Data from a nationally representative sample” by Michael A. Grandner, Nicholas J. Jackson, Jason R. Gerstner and Kristen L. Knutson in Appetite. Published online January 19 2013 DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2013.01.004

Folate – Vit B9 deficiency or MTHFR gene mutation


Folate – Vit B9 or MTHFR deficiency has a frequency of 1 in 1.9 .

Those with potentially “severe” mutations should check homocysteine with their doctor. Folate deficiency: A deficiency in folic acid (folate) could be linked to MTHFR mutation and is worth checking out. Common symptoms include extreme fatigue, light-headedness, and forgetfulness.

Homocysteine is an amino acid and breakdown product of protein metabolism that, when present in high concentrations, has been linked to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Elevated homocysteine levels are thought to contribute to plaque formation by damaging arterial walls.

Homocysteine is an amino acid thought to damage the lining of your arteries and other cells of the body. It is naturally formed in the body, but gets broken down (recycled) by 5-MTHF.  Elevated homocysteine levels in the blood is an independent risk factor for heart disease, stroke and other forms of cardiovascular disease.  It has also been linked with a wide range of other health problems including macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, hearing loss, depression and cancer.

MTHFR mutation/gene variation can impact how well your body metabolizes folate and folic acid. Both are forms of vitamin B9, required for numerous critical bodily functions.  A fault in this metabolic cycle is linked to many serious health problems (neck pain,others).

MTHFR, short for Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase, is a very important enzyme in the body.  It’s necessary for Methylation to occur, a metabolic process that switches genes on and off, repairs DNA and many other important things.  Methylation is also essential to convert both folate and folic acid – each a form of Vitamin B9 – into its active, usable form called 5-MTHF.

One reader, a Rehab, Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach, Josh Rubin from California notes:

“…Folic acid def[initely] leads to catabolism of histadine. Low levels of histadine creates catabolism in the body and has been shown to be as a marker to arthritic and RA conditions.

“Low folate levels can lead to inhibition of DNA synthesis, impaired cell division, and alterations in protein synthesis.”

Histidine can even help protect tissues from damage caused by radiation or heavy metals. High histidine foods include beef, lamb, cheese, chicken, turkey, soy, fish, nuts, seeds, eggs, beans, and whole grains. The recommended daily intake for histidine is 10mg per kilogram of body weight, or 4.5mg per pound.



Diet should include greens, whole foods, lemon, Vit B and Vit C rich whole foods, potassium and iron-rich foods) and vinegar (to aid in absorbtion of nutrients). Vit C and vinegar help in the absorption of nutrients from whole foods.

K and FE.JPG

What is folic acid/vitamin B9?

Vitamin B9, more commonly known as folate or folic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is part of the B vitamin family. B vitamins/folate help support adrenal function, help calm and maintain a healthy nervous system, and are necessary for key metabolic processes. Folate occurs naturally in foods, while folic acid is the synthetic form of folate.

Why is vitamin B9 necessary?

Vitamin B9 is essential for human growth and development, encourages normal nerve and proper brain functioning, and may help reduce blood-levels of the amino acid homocysteine (elevated homocysteine levels have been implicated in increased risk of heart disease and stroke). Folic acid or folate may also help protect against cancers of the lung, colon, and cervix, and may help slow memory decline associated with aging.

Pregnant women have an increased need for folic acid: it supports the growth of the placenta and fetus, and helps to prevent several types of birth defects, especially those of the brain and spine. Pregnant women and women of child-bearing age should take extra caution to get enough folic acid (see below for recommended amounts).

What are the signs of a folic acid deficiency?

Deficiency has been linked to birth defects, low birth weight, pregnancy loss, depression, memory loss, and cervical dysplasia. Alcoholics, pregnant women, and people living in institutional settings are at a higher risk of vitamin B9 or folate deficiency.

Folate and Depression

Many studies, going back to the 1960s, show an elevated incidence of folate deficiency in patients with depression.2 Studies vary depending on the criteria used to define folate deficiency, but often, about one-third of depression patients were deficient. Given that depression is often accompanied by decreased appetite and weight loss, the high incidence of folate deficiency in depression patients is not surprising. However, there is some evidence, though not conclusive, that folate deficiency may be involved in the etiology of depression in a minority of patients. Alternatively, depressed mood may decrease appetite, lower folate levels and thereby help to prevent recovery from depression. A recent review and metaanalysis looked at the results from the limited number of studies that investigated the effect of giving folate to depression patients and concluded that “there is some evidence that augmentation of antidepressant treatment with folate may improve patient outcome.”3 Whether the putative beneficial effect of folate is limited to those with folate deficiency is not clear.1,3

If folate deficiency can contribute to depressed mood and folate supplementation is beneficial in patients, a plausible mechanism implicates serotonin. In most,4–8 but not all,9,10 studies on patients with neuropsychiatric disorders, folate deficiency was associated with low levels of the serotonin metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). In one study, supplementation with folate restored CSF 5-HIAA levels to normal.8

There is also a decrease in serotonin synthesis in patients with 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) deficiency, a disorder of folate metabolism.11,12

While the mechanism relating folate deficiency to low serotonin is not known, it may involve S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe). SAMe is a major methyl donor formed from methionine. Folate is involved in a cycle that regenerates methionine from homocysteine after SAMe is demethylated to S-adenosylhomocysteine, with subsequent conversion to homocysteine. Folate deficiency decreases SAMe in the rat brain.13 In humans, SAMe is an antidepressant14,15 and increases CSF 5-HIAA levels.16 Thus, there is some consistency in what is known about the interrelations of folate, SAMe and depression.

Personalized Diet = genes, environment, lifestyle,family history,exercise, current health issues and more

By Connie Dello Buono

Email to get the first draft of an ebook on Personalized Diet that comes with work from partner genetic counselors, current science and patient related research, from results of your own health data and Whole Exome Sequence DNA test ($500 test, free ebook, free health coaching and health concierge).

Gene-based diet weekly schedule

Gene-based heart healthy recipe

A personalized recipe recommendations to meet your dietary needs and preferences.

Notes for Sunday and Saturday prep tips: Seek farmer’s market produce, cut fruits/veggies in cubes and store in portion bag in freezer for Mon-Friday smoothie, soup, or steamed veggie recipe.  If you cook a big batch of chicken or beef broth soup, store in freezer some portion (liquid) to be added to soups later.

Ingredient lists for shopping

Organic chicken or beef meat with bones, onions, garlic, carrots, celery, cilantro, yams, plantain banana, potatoes, wild salmon (broiled with rosemary and ginger), ginger, bell pepper, mushrooms,parsley,bay leaf,thyme

Heart healthy soup


Prep tips

Make a broth from chicken or beef bones and divide into portion and store half of the liquid for future use in soups. Add more onions, carrots, celery and garlic and use a blender for easy digestion for seniors or babies. Be sure to throw bones before serving. Always start with sauteiing garlic and onions and meat before adding other ingredients and water for the soup. Broiled wild salmon with garlic, ginger, salt and onions, serve with brown rice and chicken or beef broth soup.

Schedule tips

Saturday, Sunday and Wed

Health benefits of ingredients

Omega 3, Vit E and D, Vit C, magnesium and calcium, potassium-rich, sulfur-rich

And more…..

Gene-based immune system healthy recipe

Ingredient lists for shopping


Prep tips

Schedule tips

Health benefits of ingredients: Sulfur-rich foods, Vit C rich, zinc and Vitamin D, greens, rich in potassium, phosporous, omega 3 and greens

Gene-based circulatory system healthy recipe

Ingredient lists for shopping


Prep tips

Schedule tips

Health benefits of ingredients: Ginger, onions and garlic, red and green colored whole foods, good fats (avocado and walnuts),

Gene-based cleansing system for liver and kidneys healthy recipe

Ingredient lists for shopping


Prep tips

Schedule tips: Served daily in small portions

Health benefits of ingredients: Lemon for cleansing, garlic, onions and sulfur rich (yellow) foods, more soups, less on raw foods (greens are half cooked), and all foods consumed between 11am to 8pm.

Gene-based regenerating healthy recipe

Ingredient lists for shopping


Prep tips

Schedule tips

Health benefits of ingredients: Yellow and red colored whole foods, pickled veggies, good protein (softer), whole foods (mostly cooked-not over cooked)

Gene-based wholesome for the teens healthy recipe

Ingredient lists for shopping


Prep tips

Schedule tips

Health benefits of ingredients: more on healthy carbs (yams), protein rich and equal amount of good fats (avocado, walnuts,others)

Please email any suggested recipes to



More breast and prostate cancers among African American women and men

breastprostateThe current epidemiological data suggest that the epidemic of breast and prostate cancers may be partially attributable to increased fat consumption, increased caloric intake during growth, low fiber, vegetable, and fruit consumption, and other lifestyle factors including exercise, alcohol, and smoking.

African American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer compared with Caucasian men and are nearly 2.4 times as likely to die from the disease. Although scientists do not yet understand why prostate cancer incidence and death rates are higher among African-American men, it is widely believed that it is a combination of genetic differences, lifestyle, nutritional habits and medical care may all play a role in the statistics.

Black women in the U.S. continue to die from breast cancer at a significantly higher rate than white women, a new study says. Black women were 43 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than their white counterparts, based on the most recent available data from 2014.

The study, conducted by Sinai Urban Health Institute in collaboration with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, found that the breast cancer mortality rate for black women is 30.7 deaths per 100,000 women, compared to 21.4 deaths per 100,000 for whites. It also found that the disparity between those two rates has grown since 1990.

The study examined race-specific mortality from breast cancer in the 50 largest cities in the U.S. between 2005 and 2014. (New Orleans was not among them.) Atlanta showed the largest increase in black-white disparity, whereas Memphis, Philadelphia and Boston showed small but statistically significant decreases in the disparity.

Connie’s comments: Both prostate and breast cancers are hormone related and can be influenced by over use of plastic materials.  Both cancers are prevalent in western countries. Both organs (prostate and breasts) require gonadal steroids for their development, and tumours that arise from them are typically hormone-dependent and have remarkable underlying biological similarities.  We should consume hormone-free milk, eggs and meat. Maintain a healthy weight and avoid sugar.

Both cancers result from the accumulation of genetic lesions in a variety of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes.

Both cancers share some genetic abnormalities that could contribute to the acquisition of the malignant phenotype by both mammary and prostatic epithelial cells.

Well known modifying risks of breast cancer related to age at first full-term pregnancy, age of menarche and menopause, number of menstrual cycles in a lifetime, oral contraceptive use, number of pregnancies, etc. However, despite the wealth of literature on steroid hormone involvement in breast cancer, we do not as yet have definitive answers to even simple questions such as:

  • Are steroid hormones carcinogens?
  • Do steroid hormones control breast cancer cell proliferation and growth rates (2)?

More recently, it has become evident that steroid hormones not only have direct actions on certain types of cells, but they can trigger additional effects through growth factors that are regulated by them; the latter act on neighboring cells in an autocrine/paracrine fashion (3). Lately, it has also been shown that steroid hormones are produced locally by cells that then use them intracellularly. Usually, the parent molecules are precursor steroids produced by the adrenals. This mode of hormone action is now referred to as ‘intracrine‘ and further expands the possible implications of steroid hormones in breast cancer pathogenesis in humans.

Major risk factors include age, ethnicity, family history, and steroid hormones. While the rate of increase of breast cancer incidence declines postmenopausally in women (1), the rate of increase of prostate cancer incidence increases continually with age. This phenomenon is likely linked to the continuation of testicular function in males throughout life and the cessation of ovarian function during the female menopause. The involvement of steroid hormones in the pathogenesis and progression of prostate cancer has been suggested for many years.

Tulinius et al. (16) in a large cohort study including 1539 Icelandic women with breast cancer, reported that the risk of prostate cancer was significantly raised for all male relatives, as well as for first-degree relatives, and second-degree relatives of breast cancer patients. It is noteworthy that in this study the information concerning which family members had cancer was obtained from the Icelandic Cancer Registry, whereas genealogical trees were constructed by using information from records of the genetics committee of the University of Iceland, thus avoiding possible bias generated by directly asking the family members about the structure and cancer cases in their families.

In addition to these genetic alterations in the first breast cancer susceptibility gene, studies of families linked to BRCA2 have revealed that prostate cancer risk is significantly increased in these families.


Dietary factors are widely believed to play an important role in determining the risk of many cancers, including those of breast and prostate. Vitamin A and carotenoids are considered anticarcinogenic in experimental systems. Fruits and vegetables seem to confer protection (23). Heterocyclic amines, consumed with charbroiled food, have carcinogenic potential (24). Plant estrogens found in soy products such as tofu have been suggested to confer protection against breast cancer in Asian populations (25, 26). Vitamin D has been proposed as an anticarcinogenic compound for breast (27) and prostate cancer (28). High circulating levels of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D were associated with low incidence of prostate cancer. In the United States, it was found that prostate cancer mortality rates exhibit a marked North-South gradient with higher rates observed in the North (29, 30). This gradient correlates well with ambient levels of UV radiation, giving rise to the hypothesis that low UV exposure may be a risk factor for prostate cancer. Many reports suggest that vitamin D has potent antitumor properties, and its analogs may be modifiers of the growth of various cancers including those of breast and prostate (27, 28, 31-34). A recent report suggests that the higher levels of vitamin D in men at low risk of developing prostate cancer are associated with vitamin D receptor polymorphisms (35).

Among all dietary factors, fat consumption has received the greatest attention (36). The connection between high-fat diet and increased cancer risk is supported by animal studies (37). In humans, breast cancer risk (22, 36) and prostate cancer risk (22, 38, 39) were found to increase with increased fat consumption. Although such associations are consistent between many studies, others question the validity of the data because of the presence of many confounders and the poor accuracy of obtaining food intake data (40, 41). It is expected that the role of dietary fat in the development of breast cancer will be further elucidated when a primary prevention trial among women age 50-79 is complete (1, 10). The Women’s Health Initiative is a randomized, placebo-controlled trial with three different interventions, one of which is dietary, aiming to reduce fat intake to 20% of total calories (from about 40% currently) and to increase intake of fruits and vegetables. In the same trial, another intervention includes vitamin D and calcium supplements (1). Other chemoprevention trials are underway in many countries (10). Prentice and Sheppard calculated, based on fat disappearance data, that a 50% reduction in fat consumption may reduce the relative risk of women of age 55-69 yr for breast cancer from 1.00 to 0.39 and in men for prostate cancer from 1.00 to 0.17.

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