*Starch, or the Decline and Fall of the AS Organism!*

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ouinon
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28 Feb 2009, 3:30 pm

Just found a very interesting article about a study done recently on the effect of immune system activity on both mood and memory, at: http://mentalhealth.about.com/library/w ... 52101a.htm

"Immune System Activation May Impair Short term Mood; New study suggests that both emotions and memory are affected".

Quote:
Reichenberg and Yirmiya injected 10 healthy male volunteers with a low dose of endotoxin, a bacterial toxin, [ the kind produced by those bacteria living in such huge numbers on undigested starch in many AS guts ], which triggers immune system activity. ... ... They found that in each trial the group who received the injection showed significant short-term increase in depressive symptoms, ... and in addition found a decline in memory function among subjects whose immune systems were activated ... which lasted for a full 10 hours.

... ... ... I am finding more and more studies/articles on the subject of the effect that immune system activity has on mood and function. It is a hot topic, ( for obvious reasons ), now that scientists have spotted the link, ( and not just the "old" one of how happiness can make you well, etc, etc, but in the other direction ).

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Sublyme
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28 Feb 2009, 5:41 pm

I once did a paleo type diet a few years ago (for a health issue unrealated to my autism or mood disorder). It basically consisted of eating no complex carbohydrates, no grains, no legumes, no starchy vegetables. Just lean meat, eggs, fats, and fruits and vegetables. This diet really didn't work for me. I actually felt even worse than I had before. I have issues with hypoglycemia, and I couldn't keep my blood glucose stable. I've never done well on low carb diets....

Low blood sugar makes me anxious, jittery, shaky, and I can't concentrate on anything (worse brain fog ever). I also feel sick to my stomach, I might get a headache. I might get so nauseous that I'll vomit if I try to eat. And the lower my sugar gets I start to experience neuroglycopenia. I lose the feeling in my hands and feet. I can't walk strait. My vison gets fuzzy, and my speech becomes slurred like I'm drunk. If my blood sugar gets low enough I could have a seizure. If I am hypoglycemic eating a fat or a protein won't impact my blood sugar fast enough. Eating a piece of fruit like a sweet tangerine will make me feel better in minutes, but it doesn't last very long, and I might end up worse later if I don't eat something more substantial...

Lucky for me complex carbohydrates are a cheap and effective way to keep my boold sugar stable. They take much longer to digest than simple sugars found in fruits. I actually feel better if I have a piece of whole grain toast with my spinach omelet at breakfast than if I just ate the omelet alone.....For me complex carbohydrates keep my blood sugar more stable in between meals, so I don't feel sick.

Feeling sick actually makes my autistic traits worse. When I feel sick I'm more likely to stim to comfort myself and I'm more likely to be non-verbal. Low blood sugar makes me feel sick.



ouinon
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28 Feb 2009, 6:00 pm

Sublyme wrote:
I once did a paleo type diet a few years ago.

How long did you keep it up for?

But this is why I have only been referring to scientific/controlled studies rather than relying on anecdotal support for my hypothesis, because there are thousands of anecdotal reports that this and that diet does this and that to people, ( transforms their lives for the better, or, as in your case, doesn't work ), etc.

If you know of a scientific study investigating the effects of a paleo diet on people I would love to read it.

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ouinon
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01 Mar 2009, 6:29 am

ouinon wrote:
http://mentalhealth.about.com/library/w ... 52101a.htm
"Immune System Activation May Impair Short term Mood; New study suggests that both emotions and memory are affected".
Quote:
10 healthy male volunteers were injected with a low dose of endotoxin, a bacterial toxin, [ the kind produced by those bacteria living in such huge numbers on undigested starch in many AS guts ], which triggers immune system activity. ... ... the group who received the injection showed significant short-term increase in depressive symptoms, ... and a decline in memory function ... which lasted for a full 10 hours.


If such brief/limited immune system activation produces depressive symptoms and impairment of memory function then think about the effect that chronic immune system activity, provoked by the constant presence of endotoxins in the AS gut because of the large numbers of bacteria living on the undigested starch there, ( undigested/very slowly digested because of dysfunctional/different sulphation pathways in AS ), must be having on many AS.

To return to my Lord of the Rings analogy; :wink: the over-active/inflamed immune system is like Saruman, supposed to be on the side of the "good", but who instead suffers from the misguided belief that recruiting armies of orcs to cut down trees, burn forests, make weapons by the thousand, and attack men, elves, and hobbits, will enable him to withstand Sauron's onslaught.

Put sentries up at the borders of your forest, ( intestines ), keep out starch, and not only might your gut, recovering from the ravages of the immune-system response triggered by endotoxins, turn out to be as powerful an ally as an Ent, but you may find that memory function and mood, ( among other things ), once "freed" from the effects of an inflamed immune system, ( Saruman ) improve dramatically. :D

But I am aware that starch/complex carbos are very seductive/addictive, very hard to reject/exclude. I have already tried on at least three other occasions to cut it out. This time I have more data, and it is convincing. Three weeks starch-free now. :)

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philosopherBoi
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01 Mar 2009, 6:36 am

So sweetie are you saying that Kalle Reichelt was in fact correct in saying that autism and schizophrenia are caused by Casein and Gluten?


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philosopherBoi
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01 Mar 2009, 6:36 am

So sweetie are you saying that Kalle Reichelt was in fact correct in saying that autism and schizophrenia are caused by Casein and Gluten?


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ouinon
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01 Mar 2009, 6:38 am

philosopherBoi wrote:
So sweetie are you saying that Kalle Reichelt was in fact correct in saying that autism and schizophrenia are caused by Casein and Gluten?

That is not what I am talking about here. Please read at least some of the thread.

I am hypothesising that starch may be partly/largely responsible for the grievous state in which so many AS find themseves.

Production of amylase, the enzyme necessary to digest starch, may be dysfunctional in AS, ( as a result of sulphation pathway differences ), resulting in a proliferation of bacteria that feed on starch, and abnormal amounts in our guts of bacterial endotoxins, which have been shown to trigger immune-system activity, which has been shown to affect brain function.

We may be suffering from depression, inertia, fatigue, brain-fog, cognitive impairment, anxiety, overload, sleep disturbance, etc, etc, etc, ... "sickness behaviour", because of starch/complex carbos. And that it is this, more than AS itself, which is disabling many of us.

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solinoure
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01 Mar 2009, 2:57 pm

ouinon,

I'm with you regarding the guts nervouse system. I totally buy that it is like another lobe of the brain. And I have no doubt that our modern diet (and exersize) habbits are at odds with the diet we evolved on.

However, I'd say that the problem is what we don't eat enough of - that is greens. Greens were the most abundant food source for virtually all of our evolutive history while fats, protiens and carbs were relatively scarce in comparison - and its is these that we have a natural craving for. Its only natural they are very dense forms of metabolizable energy. Now, these fats, proteins and carbs that we naturally crave are superabundant. They are now our main staples and the greens that we used to eat huge amounts of, are virtually non-existant in our diet.

Greens are the main source of many trace nutrients that have many posotive effects oun our health. Among these trace nutrients are anti-oxidants. And there is some scientific evidence that people on the autistic spectrum are anti-oxidant deficient.

So eat yer greens... :)



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01 Mar 2009, 4:54 pm

ouinon wrote:
philosopherBoi wrote:
So sweetie are you saying that Kalle Reichelt was in fact correct in saying that autism and schizophrenia are caused by Casein and Gluten?

I am hypothesising that starch may be partly/largely responsible for the grievous state in which so many AS find themseves.

No, you are trying to convince us that you're right, relying primarely on one studie and things you think sounds good.

If, and I stress IF, your diet would work on most people, I'd agree with Solinoure, it would be becouse they started eating vegetables, not cuting of starchs.

Quote:
If such brief/limited immune system activation produces depressive symptoms and impairment of memory function then think about the effect that chronic immune system activity, provoked by the constant presence of endotoxins in the AS gut because of the large numbers of bacteria living on the undigested starch there, ( undigested/very slowly digested because of dysfunctional/different sulphation pathways in AS ), must be having on many AS.

You do realise that when your immun system is activated you'll have a fever becouse of the production of white blood corpuscles.


And the average lifetime for an eskimo is about 45 years (in Sweden it's ~75 for a man and ~85 for a woman). The reason they survive at all is becouse their food has such high concentration of fat. So unless you often eat a lot of whales, seels or something like that you'll want to avoid a high protein diet for any longer period of time.


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ouinon
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02 Mar 2009, 8:10 am

Silvervarg wrote:
ouinon wrote:
I am hypothesising that starch may be partly/largely responsible for the grievous state in which so many AS find themseves.
No, you are trying to convince us that you're right, relying primarily on one study and things you think sound good.

1) Study showing different/dysfunctional sulphation pathways in AS, impacting on amylase production and starch digestion
2) Studies showing presence of abnormally large numbers of pathogenic bacteria in AS guts
3) Studies showing the effect of lipopolysaccharides, ( endotoxins produced by those bacteria ), on the immune system
4) Studies showing that immune system activity has an effect on mood and cognitive function
5) Studies showing that many immune-system pathways, ( eg. the cytokines ) are different/disrupted/dysfunctional in AS

One study? :roll:
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Last edited by ouinon on 02 Mar 2009, 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mysty
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02 Mar 2009, 8:19 am

Everytime I see this subject heading, I think, "AS Organism?". We are individuals, not a united single thing.

Perhaps you meant species, not organism. Not that we are a separate species from other humans, but it's certainly much less ridiculous to talk of "the AS species" than "the AS organism".



ouinon
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02 Mar 2009, 8:37 am

Silvervarg wrote:
Quote:
If such brief/limited immune system activation, ( the procedure used in the study which I posted link to on previous page ), produces depressive symptoms and impairment of memory function then think about the effect that chronic immune system activity must be having on many AS.
You do realise that when your immune system is activated you'll have a fever because of the production of white blood corpuscles.

It's interesting that you should mention fever. Thank you for bringing it to my attention! :wink:

The process of inducing fever is not simple. Production of white blood corpuscles has little or nothing to do with whether the body's temperature rises.

Apparently it is the "Locus Coeruleus", in the brain, which is responsible. The LC is one of the most complex areas of the brain. ... It is the brain's major source of norepenephrine which is involved in the fight or flight activation response. It has been implicated in post-traumatic stress disorder, neurodegenerative diseases, and depression. ... Its functioning is particularly vulnerable to immunological stress or inflammation.

If cut the nerves leading from the LC the "fever" response to bacteria does not occur.

A recent study, which established that fever reduces or even eliminates some AS behaviours, suggests that the LC is in some crucial way connected to AS. LC dysfunction/malfunction may be responsible for some of the differences in AS, ( and include a disruption of the "fever" pathway ).

Studies of the immune-system pathways have found that there are far higher levels of both activating and suppressing cytokines in AS than in "normal" control subjects.

If the AS body cannot easily, or reliably, "achieve" fever, which is a biologically costly, but important, defence mechanism in response to the presence of bacteria, it may be that the immune system produces more and more cytokines in an attempt to trigger it, and this immune hyper-activity produces the depression, cognitive impairment, etc, which I already posted about, ( the connection between immune system activity and depression etc ).

PS. Perhaps the LC dysfunction is not genetically determined, but the result of serious early/infant immune-system activity/inflammation, in response to all the bacterial endotoxins produced by bacteria living off the indigestible ( to AS ) starch in our guts.

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02 Mar 2009, 1:30 pm

Uhh... starch is not indigestible... or we'd be having severe problems every time we had oatmeal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and mashed potatoes for dinner. And surely with the Atkins craze, some Aspie or other might have noticed dramatic improvement? It would have been all over the news by now. At the height of Atkins, a full one in ten of the population was on it. That's a huge natural study right there--and yet there wasn't even a blip on the AS radar.

You don't have multiple studies. You have one person proposing an unproven theory by pulling together a lot of research, most of which doesn't involve AS, without properly citing it so we can't even read the original studies, and without providing really clear links between the ideas that exclude other possibilities.

What you have is a vague theory with more holes than Swiss cheese.


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ouinon
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02 Mar 2009, 1:50 pm

Callista wrote:
Uhh... starch is not indigestible...

Maybe not for people whose production of pancreatic amylase is not dysfunctional.

But it has been shown that AS sulphation pathways, ( among several other key metabolic processes ), are different/disrupted and this impacts on amylase production, which is essential for starch digestion. See Rosemary Waring 1990, 1999, and 2000.

Also a study of AS children presenting with gastro-intestinal problems discovered that they had 10,000 times as many pathogenic bacteria in their guts as NT children presenting with GI problems. The bacteria flourish on the partially digested polysaccharides/starch which the person is providing them with.

I discovered when I was 29 that I was intolerant to gluten. Why didn't I notice this before? Because my body plodded on, adapted as best it could, etc, until exhaustion/breakdown occurred. Many people apparently only discover in their late twenties and thirties that they have food intolerances/allergies, which were not suspected so long as the only health problems that they seemed to have were headaches, occasional bouts of bloating and constipation, crazy reactions to mosquito bites, frequent colds, and a slightly spacy feeling after eating a lot of bread, for example.

But it takes a toll. And the toll can include chronic depression, mood disorder, increasing brain-fog/impaired cognitive function, aswell as physical symptoms, for years before realise what the culprit is. Just because you can eat oatmeal for breakfast, ( I ate bread three times a day for 29 years, etc ), does not mean that you can digest starch completely or even partially.

It is why food intolerances/allergies are so often referred to as "hidden", precisely because it can take many years for people to find out.

What was the real figure of people eating the Atkin's Diet? And were these people monitored to make sure that they really did cut out starches? How long did people trying it do it for? If, like the person on the last page who tried it, they only lasted a week or so obviously they would still be suffering ketonic transition problems, not see any deeper mental/psychological effects.

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02 Mar 2009, 3:20 pm

Callista wrote:
You don't have multiple studies. You have one person proposing an unproven theory by pulling together a lot of research, most of which doesn't involve AS, without properly citing it so we can't even read the original studies, and without providing really clear links between the ideas that exclude other possibilities.

What you have is a vague theory with more holes than Swiss cheese.


Agreed.



ouinon
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02 Mar 2009, 4:46 pm

MR wrote:
Callista wrote:
What you have is a vague theory with more holes than Swiss cheese.
Agreed.

Swiss cheese is pretty solid stuff. :wink:

I hadn't noticed anyone providing links or references to studies refuting any of the facts/discoveries etc that I have been posting.

Another one: "Gastrointestinal abnormalities in children with autistic disorder" K. Horvath et al. 1999. Publ. in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Quote:
In a study of 36 children with autistic disorder ... Normal values for pancreatic enzymes were taken from 215 normal children, and intestinal values from 104. ... The most frequently detected abnormalities in children with autistic disorder included a high prevalence of reflux oesophagitis, hyperplasia of Paneth cells, and an intestinal carbohydrate enzyme deficiency. ... 58% of the AS children had disaccharidase/glucoamylase enzyme activity below the normal range. ... 10 out of the 36 had decreased activity in two or more enzymes. ... Low levels of lactase were also frequent.


Disaccharidase and glucoamylase are necessary for the digestion of starch/polysaccharides.

Reduced levels of these enzymes will seriously affect ability to digest complex carbohydrates, which will lead to proliferation of pathogenic bacteria which produce endotoxins, well known for triggering immune-system activity, which it is increasingly being found has an effect on mood and cognitive functioning, eg. memory.
.



Last edited by ouinon on 03 Mar 2009, 5:38 am, edited 1 time in total.