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Current Nutrition & Food Science


ISSN (Print): 1573-4013
ISSN (Online): 2212-3881

Processed Foods, Dysbiosis, Systemic Inflammation, and Poor Health

Author(s): Stig Bengmark

Volume 9, Issue 2, 2013

Page: [113 - 143] Pages: 31

DOI: 10.2174/1573401311309020006

Price: $65


Modern Western food contains less than twenty per cent of the ingredients on which our paleolithic ancestors lived and other primates like the wild chimpanzees live today. Fresh greens, fruits, seeds, piths, bark and insects were the foods to which humans had been adapted during millions of years. A recent study found that 80% of diet of wild chimpanzee consists of ripe and unripe fruits, young leaves, flowers and fresh and dry seeds, and roots/tubers used only in times of draft. In contrast Western food consists of more than fifty per cent refined carbohydrates (cooked, rice heated to very high temperatures, bread, pasta, potato and other tubers) and in another 25-30 per cent animal products and refined oils, leaving less than 20 per cent of their foods similar to those of our ancestors. The situation is even worse in critically ill patient, whose nutrition usually contains no greens at all. It is fully documented that these Western foods, when consumed in larger quantities are detrimental to health: inducing increased systemic inflammation; increased supply of and stimulation of IGF1, stimulation of Toll-like receptors, leading to obesity and an epidemic of chronic diseases, which has increased and continue to increase dramatically.

Modern molecular biology techniques have made it possible to explore the mechanisms behind these catastrophic effects of modern living. It is a 50-year-old observation that beneficial bacteria like lactobacilli do not grow well when exposed to food ingredients such casein (dairy) and gluten (wheat, rye and barley). More recent Studies demonstrate that human microbiota and its functions compared to rural minorities, are more than 90 % reduced in Western individuals, and further reduced by exposure to chemicals, including pharmaceuticals. The ultimate consequence of these changes is that body membranes lose their tightness and start leaking; such leakage often documented for all body membranes; effects observed in barriers such as in the gut, airways, skin, oral cavity, vagina, nose, eye cavity, placenta and blood-brain barrier. The consequence of this is leakage over the membranes of various damaging toxins of microbial origin such as endotoxins, but also food-derived proteotoxins such as casein, gluten and zein and toxins producing by heating foods to high temperature (grilling, roasting, baking etc) and production of glycated and lipoxidated molecules (AGEs and ALEs). Furthermore, bacterial debris and whole dead or live bacteria will leak and found in the fat of obese and the plaques of individuals with arteriosclerosis. Recent studies report not only reduced numbers and diversity of bacteria in microbiota of individuals with various diseases, but also totally different microbial species in individuals with obesity and various diseases.

Attempts to treat diseases by supplying probiotics have only been partly, and at the best temporarily, successful, when applied without any changes in food habits. Furthermore, probiotics are not compatible with pharmacological and other toxic chemicals. Eco-biological treatments, with plant-derived substances, or phytochemicals, e.g. curcumin and resveratrol, and pre-, pro- and synbiotics offer similar effects as use of drugs referred to asbiologicals, although milder but also without adverse effects. Such treatments should be tried as alternative therapies; mainly, to begin with, for disease prevention but also in early cases of chronic diseases. Dramatic alterations, in direction of a paleolithic-like lifestyle and food habits, appear, as we see it today, the only alternative to control the present escalating global health crisis.

Keywords: Microbiota, microbiome, microbial translocation, probiotic bacteria, Lactobacillus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus paracasei, microbial translocation, inflammation, infection, toll-like, neutrophils, pharmaceuticals, biological, ecobiologicals, nutraceticals, curcumin, resveratrol, antibiotics, chemotherapeutics, barriers, leakage, gut, airways, oral cavity, skin, vagina, placenta, amnion, blood-brain barrier, growth, replication, apoptosis, mucosa, endothelium, plaques, cytokines, IL1, NF-kB, TNF, growth factors, insilunogenic, insulinotrophic, IGF-1, prebiotics, plant fibers, greens, fruits, vegetables, minerals, fat diet, refined carbohydrate diet, advanced glycation end products (AGEs), advanced lipoxidation end products (ALEs), endotoxin, LPS, proteotoxins, casein, gluten, zein, Western lifestyle, Paleolithic, Schimpanzee, ADHD, AIDS, Allergy, ALS, Alzheimer, Arteriosclerosis, Atheroma, Autoimmune, Autism, Bipolar, Cancer, Celiac disease, COPD, Coronary Heart Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Renal Disease, Cognetive, Diabetes, HIV-1, Encephalopathy, Irritable Bowel Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Liver cirrhosis, Liver steatosis, Obesity, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Pancreatitis, Paradontosis, Parkinson, Polycystic Ovary Disease, Rheumatoid Disease, Schizophrenia, Stress, Stroke, Uveitis.

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