Gastrointestinal problems run rampant in todays Westernized society. With the availability of fast foods, our fast-paced workaholic lifestyle, and complete ignoranace of the FDA concerning preventative nutrition, is it any wonder?
Crohn's disease is one of the more serious of the disorders, and if not caught early on, may be very hard to remedy holistically. Crohn's is commonly classified as an autoimmune disorder.....where the body attacks itself. You will understand why after you read the following information. In addition to the seriousness of the disorder, if/when drugs are used, the myriad of side effects attached to them often results in secondary disorders - which are, again, treated with drugs. I have known people with Crohn's disease who were concurrantly being treated for hypertension, cholesterol, depression, thyroid problems, and bladder/kidney problems. As is often seen in allopathic medicine....what a vicious circle.
For people already diagnosed with Crohn's, prevention is out of the question for now. It is necessary to focus on healing. Nutrition and supplementation will play a VERY prominent role in this healing process. After the healing takes place, it is then extremely important to continue proper nutritional and supplemental choices to avoid recurrence.
Continuing studies on biochemical individuality or polymorphism (the blood type ), has found that individuals with blood type O have a very strong predisposition to gastrointestinal disorders. This is found to be due to the fact that the blood type O digestive system is very high in hydrochloric acid and intestinal alkaline phosphatase; making it necessary for them to eat predominantly high meat protein diets. Increased carbohydrate intake (especially refined carbohydrates) in these people creates an acidic condition throughout - among other things. This does not mean to imply that individuals of other blood types do not get digestive disorders (or Crohn's, in particular); anyone making poor nutritional and lifestyle choices is vulnerable to all disorders. It is simply that studies have found a prevalence with blood type O because it is the only blood type that is genetically meant to eat a high amount of meat protein and a small or no amount of grains and refined carbohydrates..... unlike the recommendations of most ADA licensed nutritionists and MDs, all trained by the pharmaceutical industry and FDA regulations.
High carbohydrate consumption may not be the only reason for this prevalence of GI disorders for the blood type O person... it may often be the choices of foods. This holds true for blood types A, B, and AB. It is known that, due to biochemical individuality, all foods contain "lectins". These are glue-like proteins that may or may not be compatible with the blood type antigen of a person - depending on the lectin, and on the antigen. Blood type is very important – it is the key to the entire immune system. It controls the influences of viruses, bacteria, infections, chemicals, and stress. Your blood type defines “self” from “non-self”. All cells have antigens – the most powerful antigen in the body is the blood type antigen. When the body finds foreign antigens (food, bacteria, etc) it creates antibodies to that antigen. These antibodies tag the foreign antigen for destruction. When eating foods that contain lectins that are not complimentary to the blood type, antibodies are formed that agglutinate the foreign antigens on that food…the same is true with viruses, bacteria, and parasites. When agglutination occurs, clumps are formed in order to allow the immune system to destroy the "non-self" invader. When you eat a food with lectins incompatible with your blood type, these lectins may target an organ or bodily system (liver, brain, stomach, intestines) and begin to agglutinate the cells. This enables the immune system to detect and destroy. It is known that lectins are also resistant to digestive juices, and may either react with the stomach lining, or get into circulation with the food. In many cases, the lectins penetrate the intestinal lining (leaky gut) and get into the blood stream where they attache to the various organs, as mentioned. Incompatible lectins are considered “non-self” or toxins and once they settle in the body begin to agglutinate cells for destruction (IBS or Crohn’s in the intestines, cirrohis in the liver, or blocking flow of blood through kidneys).
In the best interest of health, it is always best to avoid all foods with lectins that are incompatible with your blood type antigen. This is especially true when you are dealing with a disorder such as Crohn's. Actually, it is important when dealing with any health problems. When dealing with a specific health issue, the recommended compliance with the "Blood Type Diet" is 100%, if one is healthy, a 70% compliance is recommended. That would mean that you could make 7 good food choices, and 3 not-so-good choices. Since you are reading this, I will assume that you have a health problem.
When antibodies attach to antigens, immune complexes are formed to signal destruction. If these immune complexes are in an organ or bodily system, the body will attack itself at that area. The immune complex also initiates “complements”. These complements are the body’s powerful defense system. They will destroy unwanted cells(cancer, bacteria, viruses) by bursting them open (lysis) or by coating the foreign particles with a complement protein to be used as a marker for destruction. If unwanted antigens constantly appear in the system, there can be an over abundance of antibodies. These attach to the antigens as they are found, and form complexes. The complexes are then found by other antibodies and are agglutinated again to form larger complexes. Eventually, these large complexes settle in the tissues. This activates the immune system's “death squad”, which brings about inflammatory reactions and tissue destruction.
This last bit of information is somewhat of an overview of what may likely happen in the progress of Crohn's disease when poor dietary choices are constantly made. In Crohn’s disease, tissue destruction and inflammation has been found to be halted by dietary changes and the use of enzymes – which are known to stop the complement cascade. It breaks the vicious cycle that leads to continual destruction, making this a chronic disorder. Studies show that a proper diet is effective in stopping the production of an over abundance of antibodies, and enzymes will degrade the protein coating around the invaders, stopping the severe immune reaction and inflammation and tissue destruction. Systemic proteolytic enzymes have been found to be able to cleanse and remove immune complexes before they attach to organs or tissues. One thing to keep in mind, however, when first starting to use systemic enzyme therapy, is that there may be a temporary exacerbation of the condition. It does not mean the condition is coming back, but is simply your body’s reaction to the complexes present and their destruction. Digestive enzymes may also be of benefit. It is known through extensive study that the body is supplied with a set amount of enzymes at birth. This "enzyme pool" is used for every bodily function throughout your life. When a person constantly makes poor nutritional choices or chooses to overeat, our precious enzymes are being used up consistently to digest food. The other bodily functions that utilize enzymes for health and wellness, will come up short. It is always beneficial to take digestive enzymes at least with the two largest meals of the day. Proteolytic enzymes need to be taken on an empty stomach, or they will simply digest food.
Here are some basic nutritional guidelines, based on biochemical individuality:
FOR BLOOD TYPE O
BLOOD TYPE A
- I have already made mention that a higher amount of meat protein is beneficial - specifically red meat. This is due to the high amount of alkaline phosphatase and hydrochloric acid in their system. The HCL digests the protein, and the protein triggers the alkaline phosphatase to break down cholesterol. Unfortunately, most meat sold in the stores is high in synthetic hormones, pesticides, and steroids. If it is at all possible, I recommend buying organic meat, since that should be your primary source of protein. There are several sources of grass-fed, free range buffalo or beef online. Large chain grocery stores are also starting to carry both. Recent studies are showing that bison may be better than beef in that it is higher in CLA(conjugated linoleic acid) and lower in saturated fat.
- It is known that people with blood type O cannot tolerate most dairy products. Therefore, aside from a small amount of mozzarella or feta cheese, they should avoid all dairy. (Milk, yogurt, ice cream, cheese).
- Grains are another problem. They contain lectins that will agglutinate the Blood Type O antigen. In the blood type O body, most grains pose a problem, and it may be best to simply avoid them. On occassion, once the healing process has begun and symptoms have resolved, eating some brown rice, buckwheat, amaranth, or Ezekiel bread may be acceptable.
- Most vegetables are acceptable and are considered a beneficial source of carbohydrates to balance the Blood Type O diet. It is important to avoid all starchy vegetables – carrots, corn, potatoes, kidney beans, navy beans, and lentils especially. Not only do they contain unacceptable lectins, they can interfere with the metabolism of insulin. Brassica vegetables( broccoli, kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts...)are known to contain goitrogenic properties. This means that they can adversely affect the thyroid. It is best to steam them slightly before eating to alleviate this concern.
- Research has found that the best fruits for the blood type O system are the dark red or purple ones (Blueberries, cherries, grapes, plums). Sources recommend prunes, figs and dates, but, I don’t recommend them. They are a source of concentrated sugar, and influence insulin levels too much. Most other fruits are acceptable in small amounts. Always remember that it is never advised to eat fruit at a meal with protein. The most recommended time to eat fruit is in between meals and with a handful of walnuts or almonds, lightly roasted.
- Studies are concluding that it is best to avoid all vegetable oils. Most oils purchased in a grocery store have a very high rate of rancidity in addition to the fact that vegetable oils are a source of omega 6. Excess amounts of omega 6 are known to increase inflammatory conditions in the body. This is not something that a sufferer of Crohn's disease needs. If it is necessary to use oils for cooking or salads or anything, the best to use olive oil (salads only), ghee( which is very high in butyrate and extremely beneficial for the intestinal tract), or coconut butter ( which is very good for metabolism and the thyroid). If you should choose to fry foods, always be sure to take a tablespoon of liquid chlorophyll in a little water after eating. This has been shown to detoxify, purify, and counter the free radical damage.
- Bladderwrack is an herb that is known to counter negative lectins in the blood type O system. This could be compared somewhat to anti-adhesion therapy. In the O body, the sugar fucose is the blood type antigen. When foods that contain foreign antigens and lectins go through the system, they attach to the fucose. The herb bladderwrack (fucus vesiculosis) contains the same antigen – focuse – as the O blood type. When bladderwrack is taken, the foreign lectins and antigens are known to attack the bladderwrack and not the O antigen. Since bladderwrack is also a source of iodine, it can affect the thyroid. It should be taken under the guidance of a knowledgable healthcare practitioner.
- It is known that about 80% of the people who are Blood type A find that they feel sluggish after eating a meal of high animal protein. In most cases, these are A "secretors" (secrete their blood type in all bodily fluids). The other 20% are "non-secretors" (secrete blood type only in blood and digestive fluid) who genetically have been found to be able to tolerate high protein, lower carbohydrate diets. Studies have also shown that non-secretors have a very high incidence of alcoholism, insulin resistance, and carbohydrate intolerance.
- Research has found that people with Blood Type A have a lower stomach-acid content than Blood Type O, which is why meat protein is not acceptable for them. A better source of protein for most Blood Type A people would be organic chicken, turkey, and fish.
- A decreased amount of stomach acid and low levels of alkaline phosphatase creates an increased risk of
digestive cancers, elevated cholesterol, and osteoporosis in people with Blood Type A. Due to that risk, it is also necessary to avoid smoked and cured meats.
- It is known to be very beneficial to take supplemental digestive enzymes containing HCL.
- Because most Blood Type A people are genetically vegetarian, dried beans (except kidney, navy and pinto)
are known to be acceptable; however, should you attempt to eat beans and complex carbohydrates and just not feel well, understand that Blood Type A non-secretors do not fare well with complex carbohydrates and need to focus on the meat proteins.
- All vegetables are beneficial except the starchy ones (potatoes, carrots, corn, peas - which convert to sugar once digested and cause a blood sugar and insulin imbalance), olives, cabbage, mushrooms, peppers and fresh tomatoes.
- Most fruits, except bananas, melons, and oranges, are acceptable. The darker fruits are the best and always eat in moderation. One important rule to remember is that it is best to avoid eating fruits with meat or vegetables. It is healthier to eat them as a snack with a handful of walnuts or almonds. This way, they are not eaten on an empty stomach which couls cause an imbalance ininsulin, but, they are also not being eaten in a meal with protein.
- Dairy, except organic mozzarella and feta cheese, is to be avoided. It is known to slow down metabolism and cause excess mucus production.
- Wheat is another unacceptable food for Blood Type A people. It has been found to slow the metabolism in addition to agglutinating with the red blood cells and causing other intestinal and systemic disturbances.
- Eggs are a very good choice of protein, however, it is always most beneficial to choose organic, free-range eggs.
BLOOD TYPE B
BLOOD TYPE AB
- Foods that are known to affect metabolism are corn, buckwheat, lentils, peanuts,sesame seeds,and WHEAT. This may result in fatigue, fluid retention, and hypoglycemia. Wheat or wheat products are especially intolerable for people of Blood Type B. Studies have found that it is not digested and burned efficiently for fuel and is stored as fat. This is in addition to creating inflammatory and allergenic reactions.
- Chicken and salmon have both been found to be unacceptable for people with Blood Type B. Research has found them to be very high in lectins which agglutinate with the blood type antigens. The healthiest meats to eat are lamb, rabbit, venison, beef, rabbit, buffalo, and turkey.
- The actions of some dietary lectins can be blocked by using anti-adhesion supplements such as – N-acetylglucosamine, fucus vesiculosis (kelp), or larch arabinogalactan (ARA).
- Blood Type B is the only blood type which is able to fully enjoy a variety of dairy foods.
- Eggs are known to be an acceptable form of protein.
- Soy is to be avoided by Blood Type B's, as mentioned above.
- There are many beneficial oils; olive oil, fish oil, and flax oil are all very good. No vegetable oils are recommended.
- Most nuts are not acceptable; they are known to interfere with insulin production, causing an imbalance.
- Most beans except lentils, garbanzos, pintos, and black=eyed peas, are acceptable in moderation. They are known, also, to pose an insulin risk.
- Grains, in general, should not be eaten. Exceptions are oats, brown rice, and spelt, in addition to Ezekial bread - which is acceptable for all blood types in moderation.
- Fruits, especially dark ones, are beneficial. It is known to be best to avoid eating fruits with meat or vegetables. Eat them as a snack with a handful of walnuts or almonds. In that way, the risk of an insulin imbalance will be avoided.
- Vegetables, with the exception of corn, avocados, olives, and tomatoes, are very good.
- People with Blood Type B are known to be very susceptible to food lectins which increases the risks of hypoglycemia, obesity, and “leaky gut”.
- Blood Type AB is known to be the most recent blood type; and the rarest and most biologically complex. Multiple antigens make this blood type sometimes A-like, and sometimes B-like. For the most part, foods that are contraindicated for either Type A or Type B arecontraindicated for Type AB.
- Blood Type AB is known to have a risk of insulin reactions; inhibited production may cause hypoglycemia after meals which can lead to less efficient metabolism. Foods known to slow down metabolism and inhibit insulin for Type AB are red meat, kidney and lima beans, seeds, corn, buckwheat, and wheat.
- Foods that tend to promote insulin efficiency and metabolism are seafood, dairy, green vegetables, kelp and pineapple.
- As mentioned several times above, I do not recommend SOY for any blood type despite the recommendations in the book on blood type nutrition. There are entirely too many red flags for soy. A person with Crohn's or any other debilitating disorder absolutely does not need the added complications soy can cause.
- Blood Type AB is known to have a problem with red meat and chicken due to low stomach acid and lectins. The most beneficial meats and poultry recommended are; lamb, mutton, rabbit, turkey, liver, and pheasant. It has been found that beef, pork, and chicken has lectins that irritate the blood and digestive tracts of the Blood Type AB person. For the same reason (in addition to the risk of stomach cancer), it is best to avoid all smoked or cured meats.
- Seafood, with the exception of shellfish and white fish such as flounder and sole, is very good for Blood Type AB.
- All dairy, EXCEPT whole milk, ice cream, butter, parmesean, provolone, and American cheeseis very good for Type AB.
- Olive oil is known to be highly beneficial for Blood Type AB. However, flax and fish oil are also very good.
- The most beneficial nuts are peanuts and walnuts, which should be eaten in small amounts due to the insulin inhibiting lectins.
- This also applies to beans, or legumes...navy, pinto, red beans, and green lentils are most beneficial but only in small amounts.
- Most grains, except wheat, are acceptable but must be monitored closely to determine individual tendencies. It has been found that, in moderation, oats, rice and spelt are best - as is Ezekial bread.
- It is necessary to avoid corn, lima beans, avocados, peppers, olives, and mushrooms.
- With the exception of bananas, oranges,mangoes, and coconut, most fruits are very good.
- Garlic is highly beneficial and is known as a potent antibiotic food.
- Coffee is acceptable (for a healthy Type AB) however, I recommend avoiding it due to it's acidic content and strong intestinal reactions. Tea, soda, and liquor are not recommended for Type AB at all.
- It has been found that the actions of some dietary lectins can be blocked by using anti-adhesion supplements such as – N-acetylglucosamine, fucus vesiculosis (kelp), larch arabinogalactan (ARA).
The following is additional information that may pertain to any person with any blood type. In addition, it may also be of benefit for people with ulcers, irritable bowel disease, or any other gastric disorder:Soy is not recommended for anyone at any time. It is known to adversely affect hormones; is highly allergenic; and it lowers thyroid hormone production. Soy is a toxic endocrine disruptor and should not be ingested by anyone..... this especially includes infants and children who are inadvertantly put on soy formula instead of milk.
Coffee, both caffeinated and decaffeinated, is highly acidic and may stimulate an increase in gastric acids. Coffee is known to speed up the process of gastric emptying, which may lead to acidic contents passing into the small intestine too soon, which could injure the intestinal tissue. You can greatly decrease your risk of irritating the intestinal walls by limiting your coffee intake.
Probiotics (beneficial bacteria)is a very beneficial supplement. It is known to repopulate the stomach and intestinal tract; help keep the immune system functioning, and is very healing for the stomach. There are many brands, however, it is always best to use a multi-strain product with many, many billion units. A product available online called VSL#3 is exceptional. One capsule contains over 100 BILLION units
L-glutamine powder is known to be very healing for the gastric mucosa. It may also help prevent muscle wasting or cachexia during chemotherapy. Both glutamine and acidophilus can be taken together sprinkled on the tongue, swished around the mouth and swallowed. However, only use glutamine for the short initial healing phase, as there may be some risks attached to long term use.
A free form amino acid complex may be used to supply the purest form of protein, which is found to be very beneficial in healing.
MSM powder is known to be VERY healing for the gastric mucosa. It is a source of biological sulfur; a deficiency of which may cause a number of ailments. It is recommended that this be taken three times a day, however, not to late in the afternoon, as it may affect sleep. Also, be aware that MSM may cause headaches and/or muscle aches if taken in large doses.
Slippery elm bark is an herb known to neutralize stomach acid, boost adrenals, draw impurities and heal. It has been found to soothe the gastric mucosa in addition to being beneficial for burns, skin cancer, and poison ivy.
Marshmallow root herb is a known anti –irritant and digestive anti-inflammatory.There are products on the market that contain powdered psyllium , marshmallow root, slippery elm bark, acidophilus, and FOS - all of which are very soothing and healing to the digestive tract. It is always necessary to take plenty of water when using products such as this, though.
Pure aloe vera gel in a small amount of water is known to be very healing for the entire alimentary canal, in addition to having strong anti-cancer effects.
The herbs gentian, bladderwrack, Oregon grape root, goldenseal root are all known to be both very healing for the stomach and digestive process, and highly beneficial in the destruction of H. Pylori which is the bacteria that research has found to cause 99% of stomach and gastric cancers. When having active problems, it is recommended to use alcohol free tinctures; once healed, it is fine to use alcoholic tinctures.
Boswellia has been found to be a very strong anti-inflammatory. It is known to soothe the intestinal lining, and is a specific,non-redux, noncompetitive inhibitor of 5-lipoxygenase.
Chlorophyll has been found to be very cleansing and purifying for the stomach and intestinal tract. An easy way to add this to your regimen would be to simply add about one tablespoonful to a liter bottle of good purified water and try to drink one or two of these a day.
N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG) is known to be beneficial in repairing the mucosal lining of the intestines and colon or structuring diseases. Research has found that it may counter some of the damage caused by grains. It is a component of the barrier layer that protects the intestinal lining, possibly preventing leaky gut.
Vitamin K is known to be vital to colon health ad the absorption of calcium into the bones.This has been found to be deficient in people suffering with Crohn’s. It is recommended to use phylloquinone, which is the most bioavailable form of vitamin K.
Omega 3 fish oil has been found to be a very strong anti-inflammatory. If living in a northern area or if one receives no sunshine, it is recommended to use cod liver oil due to the vitamin A and D content. If that is not the issue, a good micro distilled fish oil is acceptable. The therapeutic dosage for fish/cod liver oil is 1-2 tablespoons a day.... that would equal 9-18 capsules.
Emergen-C (brand name)contains 200mg. of potassium as mineral ascorbate, and 1000 mg vitamin C as mineral ascorbate. Both of these are known to help balance the pH in the system. Ascorbate, as opposed to ascorbic acid has been found to be the most beneficial form of vitamin C.
B complex is very beneficial to supplement. Due to malabsorption known to be associated with digestive disorders, the B vitamins are usually deficient. They are also essential for the breakdown of foods and the effects of stress. A particular group of B vitams known as "Homocysteine Modulators" may be beneficial in addition to taking a complete B complex supplement. This product contains B6,B12, folic acid, and TMG all of which may be depleted due to the above mentioned malabsorption. These specific B vitamins are known to work together to lower levels of homocystiene in the body. Research has found that, in addition to creating high cholesterol, high homocysteine levels have also been cited in kidney stones.
Chorella is known to be a very healing nutrient, high in B vitamins, trace minerals, and amino acids – all of which may be depleted due to malabsorption. It has been shown to accelerate wound healing and enhance immune functions in addition to being a VERY potent chelator of heavy metals.
ARA-6 (arabinogalactan) is a very good soluable fiber that has been found to increase the levels of butyrate in the intestines and decrease the concentration of ammonia (which is the biproduct of protein synthesis)in the gut.
Digestive enzymes are known to be very beneficial for digestion and absorption, both of which are found to be defective in any digestive disorder.
Calcium and magnesium supplementation has been found to be very effective; the best dosage has been found to be between 1000-2000 mg. of calcium and 50-1000 mg. of magnesium due to decreased absorption, corticosteroid treatment, or vitamin D deficiency. These minerals have been found to be beneficial in relaxing spasms and lessening the risk of cancer. Symptoms of muscle cramps and bone pain may indicate a magnesium deficiency. Studies have found that the most effective source to consider may be a liquid or powder form (calcium citrate or hydroxyapatite and magnesium oxide are recommended).
Research has found that an oral supplement from Germany called Wobenzyme, a blend of pancreatic enzymes, may clear the body of the excess antibodies that characterize an autoimmune disease - of which Crohn's is considered, in most cases.
At least two clinical studies have shown that the therapeutic yeast (saccharomyces boulardii) nourishes and protects healthy intestinal flora and can significantly reduce Crohn's symptoms.
Ghee has been shown to be beneficial. It is high in butyrate, whidh is yielded after fermentation of fiber the the colon. the higher the butyrate content in the colon, the healthier the colon.
Raw, organic garlic (chopped and mixed with a small amount of unprocessed honey) is known to be one of the best choices for the eradication of h.pylori. In some cases, it has been found that eradicating H.pylori will treat Crohn's.
Olive oil is high in antioxidant phenolic compounds that inhibit free radical generation from the colonic mucosa in inflammatory conditions such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s. The mechanism of this free-radical generation may be high intakes of omega 6 fatty acids, which have been found to exacerbate inflammatory conditions. Omega 6 fatty acids are found in vegetable oils.(peanut, safflower, canola, etc.)
It is recommended to avoid totally all wheat or,basically, grains. Once symptoms are in remission, it may be possible to add Ezekial bread (which is made from sprouted grains and no flours) occassionally.
Avoid all dairy, and be cautious of the whey in protein powders and bars, etc. Whey may be a source of bovine serum albumin, which strongly exacerbates existing allergies. Depending on the cows from which it is achieved, whey could also be a source of recombinant bovine growth hormone. That is something that is absolutely not acceptable.
People suffering from Crohn’s disease, vegetarians, cancer patients, patients with severe infections, malnutrition have commonly been found to have low levels of ALBUMIN. Low levels of albumin is a predictor of mortality. The ideal value is 5.0. When attempting to increase albumin levels, it has been found to be more beneficial to provide the appropriate amount of protein- especially a protein source containing 50% branched-chain amino acids, which can nearly double the alblumin synthesis rate. Albumin synthesis is inhibited by severe protein and calorie deprivation, ethanol, severe liver disease, malabsorption, early forms of injury, burns, infections, cancer cachexia, and aging.
Mycoplasma para tuberculosis has been implicated as a possible cause of Crohn’s disease – not ulcerative colitis. Milk may be contaminated with this. In susceptible people, it can cause Crohn’s. Milk is the logical cause since mycoplasma para TB is heat resistant.
Corn, tomatoes( for a while) chocolate, soda, caffeine, fried foods, and convenience foods high in fat all need to be avoided.
Refined carbohydrates, in many cases, allows intense muscle spasms due to reduction of fecal bulk. This includes all sugar, and desserts (any thing processed).
There is a strong association between attitude, stress, and flare-ups of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s. Try relaxation, deep diaphragmatic breathing, meditation, or visualization.
Please email me if you have any questions.