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elemental diet versus juice fast

Discussion in 'The Gut: De Meirleir & Maes; H2S; Leaky Gut' started by mike1127, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. mike1127

    mike1127

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    My symptoms include (1) gut pain, especially after eating, (2) bipolar, (3) OCD, and other things. I've noticed in the past that when I go on a juice fast, my gut feels much happier and even more so my bipolar and OCD improve.

    But a juice fast is hard on the body (even though I happier on it)--and it can induce rapid detox leading to muscle pain and other symptoms.

    I just learned about something called an elemental diet which is another way to give the gut a rest. It's eating a liquid diet with all nutrients in pre-digested form.

    It's one way to starve bad bacteria in a SIBO (small intestine bacteria overgrowth) condition.

    I wanted to get some opinions on whether I should try another juice fast, or perhaps try this elemental diet. The best elemental diet powder mix I can find is this one

    http://www.absorbplus.com/index.php
     
  2. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    Midwest, USA
  3. Ripley

    Ripley Senior Member

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    Sounds like an inflammatory bowel disorder, such as ulcerative colitis, perhaps?

    Not surprising. Research suggests they may very well be related to gut issues.

    The dietary fiber and plant matter (non-starch polysaccharides, resistant dextrins, inulin, lignin, waxes, chitins, pectins, beta-glucans, and oligosaccharides) is likely fermenting in your colon and feeding your beneficial bacteria. This in turn is having a beneficial effect on your gut flora, which has been shown to stimulate the production of serotonin and other beneficial neurotransmitters.

    Though, of course, some of that plant matter will be insoluble, which can have a negative impact on the gut lining. Soluble fiber and fermentable carbohydrates are better for supporting healthy gut flora without the negative impacts of insoluble fiber.

    There are other ways to give the gut a rest without resorting to an extreme synthetic/liquid diet. GAPS and SCD are more nourishing choices that tend to include bone broths, which are known to have a very therapeutic effect on the gut. These diets are excellent at restoring the gut. However, I wouldn't recommend GAPS or SCD for more than a few weeks or months.

    Ideally, I would recommend a more balanced diet that aims to support a healthy gut flora and immune system. My favorite is the Perfect Health Diet. The fermentable carbs (sweet potatoes, for instance) feed the beneficial gut flora and improve the muscosal integrity of the gut. The results are very impressive.

    Please pay note to the long list of positive experiences by those with mental issues:

    Perfect Health Diet — Reader Results : Mental Health

    and

    Perfect Health Diet — Reader Results : Digestive Disorders

    and

    Perfect Health Diet — Reader Results : Fibromyalgia & CFS

    We are talking about a wide range of health issues that this diet is helping with.

    It's a bit of a myth that you can starve out bad bacteria over the long term. Most of these pathogens will form biofilms and hunker down while you attempt to starve yourself of food that nourishes your beneficial flora and your immune system. Those diets that profess to "starve" out the bad bacteria also starve the good bacteria. The end result is a poorly functioning gut and a leaky gut, since the building blocks to support a robust and healthy gut flora are absent. In short, you will never fully heal on those starvation diets.

    I am not discounting the effectiveness of SCD or GAPS in terms of their ability to heal over the short term. Those diets do work. But, most people should not be on those diets for long periods of time unless they are absolutely unable to tolerate anything else (which, in and of itself, may be proof that those diets do not offer full recoveries when adopted for the long term). A more balanced diet, such as the Perfect Health Diet, is far more ideal for supporting overall health and gut integrity over the long term.

    In general, the bulk of your beneficial bacteria live on fermentable carbohydrates, such as resistant starch (as well as those non-starch polysaccharides (NSP), resistant dextrins, inulin, lignin, waxes, chitins, pectins, beta-glucans, and oligosaccharides that were in your juices). If you don't feed your gut a well balanced diet with those fermentable substrates, your are starving the good and the bad flora — and that isn't a long term solution. A better long term solution, if possible, is to feed the beneficial bacteria and crowd out the bad bacteria.

    I would highly recommend the Perfect Health Diet, from personal experience. It fixes all sorts of health issues by eating a very well-balanced spread of macronutirents with high nutrient density. And the food tastes amazing.

    If your gut is in terrible shape, I would read this four part series on Bowel Disorders by the author of the diet:

    Bowel Disorders, Part I: About Gut Disease

    Good luck!

    (PS, if you do attempt to do the Perfect Health Diet, I recommend you weigh your food and enter into a calorie tracker like cronometer.com for the first few days to make sure you are eating the correct spread of macronutrients. Safe starches are very calorie sparse, so you have to eat a lot of safe starches just to hit the right amount of carbs).
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014
    Wayne likes this.
  4. mike1127

    mike1127

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    Just a note, these are filtered juices, so there is very little solid matter. I don't know if your list of all the things in juices are found in the liquid juice only.

    I've sometimes tried pulp-based juices, things that have banana or pear or kiwi etc, while on a juice fast, and they really irritate my stomach. The gut pain comes back immediately, and so do the anxiety/OCD symptoms.

    I tried having an oatmeal bar (not sure if there was any wheat in it) last night and the gut pain and anxiety/OCD came back instantly and lasted for about two hours.

    Generally the folks who talk about starving the bad bacteria also understand it will starve the good bacteria, but the point is that you take probiotics afterward to restore the good bacteria. I don't want to use antibiotics, but rifaximin has some proven data that it helps IBS.

    I'll look into the Perfect Health diet. I like sweet potatoes. Maybe that will be the first food I try to add back after the juice fast. Basically I want to try to add foods one at a time and test if they irritate my gut.
     
  5. Ripley

    Ripley Senior Member

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    I would start with healthy servings of bone broth before anything else. Bone broth is rich in collagen, gelatin, arginine, glycine, and proline which are all very healing for the lining of the gut. This article covers the benefits and how to make (it's pretty easy).

    http://www.draxe.com/the-healing-power-of-bone-broth-for-digestion-arthritis-and-cellulite/

    Next, I would start with white rice, perhaps with a little fat (see list) or acid. White rice is extremely easy to digest and very low in toxins. White rice is an easy way to get the proper level of safe starches without reactions — so it's the safest of safest starches to start with, for most people. If you have trouble with white rice — which is rare — sometimes it can help to try different types of white rice (long grain, vs short grain, for example).

    The whole point of the Perfect Health Diet is to eat a nourishing diet that is low in toxins and sufficient in whole food carbohydrates, protein and fat. So, everything on it has been vetted for low toxicity (after proper cooking) and overall macro/micronutrient balance.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014
  6. Ripley

    Ripley Senior Member

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    I get the theory, but the truth is that prebiotics are far more effective for re-populating the gut flora than probiotics are.

    http://pmid.us/20920376

    Think of probiotics as seeds when you are missing key flora. But, prebiotics are what actually re-populates the gut.

    So, what I'm saying is that feeding your microbiome — when you are ready to do that — is best achieved with a diet like the PHD that has healthy levels of resistant starch and fermentable fibers (resistant starch is probably the most gentle and effective prebiotic).

    For what it's worth, here's another individual who solved their anxiety using the PHD (Perfect Health Diet) as well as supplemental Resistant Starch.

    It's an anecdote of the awesome power of natural prebiotics and the PHD (Perfect Health Diet). There are a lot of n=1s, like this individual, who have improved their neurotransmitters and gut simply by eating whole foods and feeding their gut flora. For instance, gut bugs eat resistant starch and fermentable fibers, and they produce more GABA, which of course suppresses the neurotransmitter responsible for anxiety.

    Perhaps you aren't ready for supplemental levels of resistant starch yet, but the PHD alone will give you more resistant starch than you've probably ever consumed before and your neurotransmitters will thank you for it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014
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  7. mike1127

    mike1127

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    Thanks. I'll study this idea of resistant starch. I looked at the PHD website and I noticed they OK butter. I know that milk products make me sneeze, but is butter somehow different? Can butter be okay when other milk products are not? That would be great because I love putting butter on things (in moderation).
     
  8. Ripley

    Ripley Senior Member

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    Butter isn't just "OK". It's encouraged! If you love butter, you will love this diet. This is a high cholesterol diet — lard, lots of eggs, butter, coconut oil, tallow. It goes against conventional wisdom and the results speak for themselves. Luckily, there is solid science to support these unconventional recommendations of increased SaFA and MUFA.

    In a nutshell, Saturated fats are extremely shelf and heat stable, are good sources of fat soluble vitamins, and cofactors, and they don't oxidize in the body very easily. Blood cholesterol is recommended to be higher than what your doctor's drug companies would recommend (see the PHD book for details), as it has a beneficial role in the body, the brain, mental health, and the immune system. Most doctors are oblivious to this and have been brainwashed by drug companies to lower cholesterol at the expense of overall health and longevity. The truth is that overall mortality increases with low cholesterol, since cholesterol is the precursor for all of our hormones and our serotonin production.

    See: Emily Deans, M.D.: Low Cholesterol and Bipolar Disorder

    See how this is all tying together? More healthy fats and a diet rich in resistant starch will improve your mood and gut.

    If your cholesterol skyrockets on this diet, the author has information in the book, as well as articles to help troubleshoot those biomarkers and look for an underlying cause (thyroid, LDL receptors, infections, etc). Very rarely, some people have trouble clearing LDL from the bloodstream (hyper-responders or those with familial hypercholesterolemia) and those individuals will probably need to proceed with caution.

    I'm not sure, but I know that butter is mostly fat with a little bit of milk solids. I would try a high quality grass-fed butter like Kerry Gold (look in the cheese section if you can't find it). Most people do very well on that. If that gives you trouble, try making ghee with it, which is super easy. Ghee is just the butter fat with the milk solids removed. Usually it's the milk proteins that give people trouble and making ghee just removes those proteins and leaves the concentrated beneficial fat behind.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014
  9. mike1127

    mike1127

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    Also, I have the CBS C699T +/+ SNP, the most severe form of CBS upregulation. Dr. Yasko advises to avoid sulfur-containing foods. Many if not most of the foods you list above are sulfur-containing. I wonder if it's even possible to do the PHD and avoid sulfur.

    EDIT: also a low-protein diet is advised for CBS 699T +/+
     
  10. Ripley

    Ripley Senior Member

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    I have CBS 699T +/+ as well and, personally, I believe that it's bullshit. At least it was for me (though, I don't have ME/CFS). I eat three eggs per day and half a pound to a pound of meat every day. I eat butter, and vegetables and have no issues.

    In fact, if you Google "CBS upregulation" the first result you get is a detailed description of why the medical literature does not support Yakso's hypothesis for CBS upregulation for adults and non-autistic children:

    CBS Upregulation, Myth or Reality?

    Please read that article carefully. If I hadn't read that a year ago, I'm 100% positive that I never would have healed my gut.

    The next hundred or so results for "CBS upregulation" in Google are just hits to this forum. I could be wrong, but, it looks like people in this forum have latched onto Yasko's CBS upregulation as if it were a proven fact without any solid evidence to back it up.

    The concluding line to that article says:
    As best as I can tell, the CBS upregulation was only a hypothesis for treating autistic children, and everyone here applied it to adults with ME/CFS without vetting it properly. Now, I don't have ME/CFS, but my suggestion is that, if you can apparently tolerate sulfur foods, to at least consider the fact that the CBS Upregulation might be a myth. From my experience as a CBS 699T +/+, I believe it is.

    I thrived on the Perfect Health Diet. If I had listened to Yasko's recommendations, I would have never solved my health issues. I'm sure she does an excellent job at treating autistic children, but I think we need to at least consider the idea that the CBS upregulation might be a myth — particularly for non-autistics.

    EDIT: I'm not the only one here to notice the bad science that perpetuated the CBS myth. Here's another conversation about it. The CBS upregulation hypothesis looks like extremely bad science when you look more closely.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014
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  11. mike1127

    mike1127

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    Thanks, this is very useful information. Good news, too, because I felt very stuck with the CBS upregulation... not a whole lot that can be done about it other than take Dr. Yasko's very expensive proprietary supplement, not something I want to do. And limit all these yummy foods like garlic and eggs, and get stuck with a low protein diet (not fun for me).

    What about Dr. Yasko's take on the methylation cycle support through folate, B12, PS/PE/PC, SAMe, etc. Is there more evidence to support that?

    I'm also COMT +/+ and I know from experience that taking methyl B12 makes me EXTREMELY irritable, which is the predicted response for COMT +/+ people. According to Yasko I should focus on hydroxy B12 and limit supplements which are methyl donors.
     
  12. Ripley

    Ripley Senior Member

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    I had a terrible reaction to methyl b-12 as well and my genetics are a bit different than yours. Jaminet, the author of the PHD, does not recommend these elaborate methylation protocols to the best of my knowledge. He was recently asked if methyl folate was worth taking for someone with MTHFR defects and he said that they don't recommend any synthetic folate, in any form for anyone. This might sound hard to believe, but the diet works without those elaborate protocols. Methylation is supported by nutrient-dense food and a few B vitamins once a week. If you need extra methylation support, you can eat more folate rich foods, etc.

    I think these elaborate Yasko protocols are designed for bad diets. And it's no wonder considering the dietary recommendations that Yasko was making. (Plus, they were designed for autistic children who won't choose to eat a balanced diet).

    If I were you, I would ditch the elaborate methylation protocols until you have given the PHD a chance to fail. (Imagine you never had your genome tested). Research is suggesting that the genes in our microbiome may be more powerful than our own genes. So, I would give the diet a chance on its own (with the benign recommended supplements) and see if it works or not. Unless you are getting tremendous benefit from these methylation protocols, I would give them a rest until you see how well or poorly you do without them.

    That's just my opinion though. I personally did better once I ditched the elaborate methylation protocols and favored food. Be sure to source your liver from a local grass fed source if you can.
     
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  13. acer2000

    acer2000 Senior Member

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    Well in theory if you have SIBO, a "juice fast" should exacerbate it. Well I should qualify that. A juice fast with mainly fruit juice should exacerbate. Although I suppose it would depend on what type of bacteria are overgrown. Fructose seems to be one of the main substances that exacerbates SIBO. The diet recommended for SIBO is usually the "FODMAP" diet, in which it prescribes (among other things) not to eat Fructose containing substances where the ratio of Fructose to Glucose is more than 1:1. The idea is that, even in people with healthy GI systems, your body uses one molecule of Glucose to absorb each molecule of Fructose. Any extra just causes a bunch of inflammation and problems. It also can feed overgrown bacteria in the small intestine. The FODMAP list shows fruits that contain 1:1 ratios or less. However, some people can't even tolerate that much Fructose so its best avoided much more strictly in those people. I'm curious which types of fruits/vegetables you used in your juices? I personally have not tried the elemental diet but I have been thinking about trying it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
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  14. mike1127

    mike1127

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    It's all vegetable juices. No fruit juices. Carrot is the largest component, but also tomato, celery, kale, various leafy greens, broccoli, and wheatgrass. I need to drink enough carrot so that I'm getting energy and not starving, but the overall calorie count is pretty low.

    I know from past experience that I "run better" on low-calorie fasts. After a week of adjustment, I generally have more energy and I'm losing weight quickly. The adjustment period was up until two days ago and included extreme fatigue and pain; but starting yesterday I felt normal and today I feel downright terrific.

    EDIT: oh, also I have some fish oil capsules and some rice protein powder.
     
  15. Ripley

    Ripley Senior Member

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    The juices may also simply be a low toxin diet, which is one of the reasons why the PHD is so successful and elaborate methylation support may not be necessary. Cut out food toxins and only eat the nourishing "safe foods" and your body may be able to heal itself gradually.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
  16. mike1127

    mike1127

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    My "gut" feeling is that my gut feels better on a juice fast because I stop putting in foods that irritate it. There are many other possibilities, for sure. Such as

    A low-protein diet affects neurotransmitters.

    So does a ketogenic diet which is shown to be beneficial for schizophrenia, which has a related dopamine behavior to bipolar (I even take a neuroleptic medication, used for both schizophrenia and bipolar).

    It could affect the balance of gut flora.

    Maybe I'm just getting more vitamins and minerals from food sources.

    The problem with these latter theories is that they refer to effects which would take time to build. But I feel better almost instantly on a juice fast. Also, when I put in certain solid foods, I get almost instant pain and anxiety/OCD coming back.

    Note that I can tolerate a few foods I've tested while on this juice fast. Banana and peas, those are the two that I've learned don't trigger symptoms.

    Nuts in small quantities are slightly irritating. I haven't tried large quantities. it's good to avoid sudden introduction of large quantities of any solid food while on a juice fast.

    Cereal bars (which incidentally contain gluten) are brutal--high levels of anxiety/OCD come back instantly.
     
  17. acer2000

    acer2000 Senior Member

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    Immune reactions can certainly trigger anxiety/OCD type symptoms. I have experienced that before when on IVIG. I also experienced it when taking very high doses of VSL#3, a probiotic. Its also a well known phenomenon that can occur in reaction to strep infections. See PANDAS. I almost wonder if thats what was happening to me... something about the strep strain in the VSL#3 and or an overload of strep antibodies in IVIG. Strep can also overgrow in the GI system, so maybe the foods that cause this reaction feed strep overgrowth. Not really sure. Its pretty nice that you have narrowed it down, at least partly, to Gluten/cereal. If it is in fact Gluten, its pretty easy to avoid now-a-days. Almost everything is labelled.
     
  18. Ripley

    Ripley Senior Member

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    Yes, which is why the PHD recommends low-toxin foods that aren't harsh on the gut.

    The PHD is only 10-15% protein — hardly a high protein diet. The breakdown is 30% carbs, ~10% protein and ~60% healthy fats. The macronutrient spread is derived from breast milk (adjusted for higher carb requirements for children) and nutrient breakdowns observed from fasting as well as animal cell composition.

    The author acknowledges that and offers a ketogenic version of the PHD for those who require it. The ketogenic version still has sufficient carbs to support microflora and a healthy gut barrier. I don't recommend the ketogenic version if you have Candida though. (Candida will adapt to ketones over time).

    Can you confirm if white rice is one of those foods? White rice "congee" is an ancient Chinese preparation of rice that has been used for treating highly sensitive guts for thousands of years. It's extremely digestible and is very low in toxins. Bone broths? Egg yolks? These are not foods that typically irritate guts.

    Again, not surprising, since they are high in toxins. Which is why I'm suggesting a low-toxin diet that isn't harsh on the gut and rebuilds the gut.

    My overall point is that a juice fast is not a long term solution. If you don't eventually feed your gut-bugs prebiotics, eventually your gut-bugs will eat your gut lining for food (known as "mucin degraders", which proliferate when prebiotics aren't available). And without sufficient (safe) starches, you won't be producing enough mucin to replenish your gut lining. So, it becomes a downward spiral.

    And a diet of mostly fructose isn't something you want to live off of if you can help it. Fructose has its own toxicity issues. So, at some point, you'll need to focus on a long term solution.

    I wish you the best of luck and am only trying to point you in the right (long term) direction.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  19. mike1127

    mike1127

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    Ripley, I want to give my gut a rest for a few weeks. Either stay on the juice fast or switch to an elemental diet. And don't worry, I've read much of what you've written and I understand some of the problems with these as long-term diets. You are very enthusiastic about the PHD, but it may not address all my issues. For instance, methylation may continue to be a problem with me. I will continue to experiment.

    After giving my gut a rest, I want to introduce easy foods, including bone broths and white rice. I want to start probiotics (and I now understand the importance of prebiotics and your argument in favor of RS). I want to find a group of foods that don't irritate my gut, and are tasty to boot.

    I want to look into candida. I want to learn how to get tested for it. I want to learn what to do about it.

    I recently had my mercury fillings replaced. I'm looking into the Cutler protocol for metal chelation. I read your post on metal detox, but I am highly skeptical that anything you mention can draw metal out of the cells and brain. I go with the chemistry on this one.

    Mike
     
  20. Ripley

    Ripley Senior Member

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    Methylation may arguably be less of an issue on a low toxin diet, but do what makes sense for you.

    Well it worked for me, so you can choose to "believe it to not." There is plenty of scholarly evidence that acupuncture can help with brain detox. You can literally feel the blood rushing through your brain and clearing it out right during the treatment. It's like having a shower for your brain. Do what works for you. The choice is yours.
     

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