Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Perspective of Moderation

"Lectins are plant proteins that protect the plant and its seeds from being eaten by basically hacking into the animal's immune system, causing the animal to have inflammation."
"The most troublesome plant lectins are found in the hulls of grains, in beans and legumes, and the nightshade family -- specifically the peels and seeds of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, etc."
"Although I am a voracious plant predator, one has to realize that there is not a human need for fruits and vegetables; just ask an Eskimo."
Dr. Steven Gundry, cardiovascular surgeon, medical researcher, writer, U.S.

This is a medical researcher who believes that lectins, which are the proteins located in some species of plants which nature devised for their protection from predators, could represent the root cause of a number of diseases. Lectins, according to Dr. Gundry, have the potential of causing inflammatory effects on the human body, stimulating gut-related health outcomes such as leaky gut, autoimmune disorder and weight gain.

The condition of inflammation is a warning sign that things are not right. And inflammation is involved in many of the body's health issues, some of which will pass, and others which will help cause far more serious injury to the body.
  • Inflammation is the body's attempt at self-protection to remove harmful stimuli and begin the healing process.
  • Inflammation is part of the body's immune response.
  • The first stage of inflammation is often called irritation, which then becomes inflammation - the immediate healing process.
  • Inflammation is followed by suppuration (discharging of pus). Then there is the granulation stage, the formation in wounds of tiny, rounded masses of tissue during healing.
  • Acute inflammation - starts rapidly (rapid onset) and quickly becomes severe.
  • Chronic inflammation - this means long-term inflammation, which can last for several months and even years.
  • Our infections, wounds and any damage to tissue would never heal without inflammation - tissue would become more and more damaged and the body, or any organism, would eventually perish.
  • Chronic inflammation can eventually cause several diseases and conditions, including some cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, periodontitis, and hay fever.
  • Although scientists know that inflammation plays a key role in heart disease and several other illnesses, what drives inflammation in the first place is still a mystery.
  • It should be remembered that inflammation is part of the healing process. Sometimes reducing inflammation is necessary, but not always. MNT home

Studies, including one report published in the BMJ Medical Journal, have indicated that the consumption of an excess of lectins is capable of damaging the intestinal lining to trigger chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation can be responsible for the onset of asthma, Crohn's disease and arthritis, as pointed out in a scientific paper published in Live Science. In other words, eating some species or genus of fresh, unadulterated fruits and vegetables may now come with a caution.

On the positive side, Dr. Gundry also points out that some plant foods that fit his potentially dangerous labelling contain as well health-enhancing befits such as polyphenols which have the capacity to improve the immune system, as well as the brain, nerve and blood vessel functions. But does that balance out the caution being issued on avoiding lectin-containing vegetables and fruits?

Yet another headache for those people who are ultra conscious of avoiding gluten and genetically modified grains and food products, along with saturated fat (whose reputation has recently been given a reprieve), excess salt and the avoidance of sugar, fructose, glucose, etc. But wait: nutritional advice that goes heavy on the recommendation of weighing one's diet heavily in favour of fresh fruits and vegetables on a daily basis needn't be thrown into the waste-bin.

Remember that old adage of moderation being the key to solve most problems? Even the ancients knew all about moderation, they called it the Golden Mean, and for good reason. Dr. Gundry's book The Plant Paradox, may focus on the potential for ill in certain fresh vegetables on the human alimentary system, but take a close look at what he says; they may cause problems. And they may not.

It's somewhat similar to scientists isolating a certain ingredient or chemical or mineral that they believe to be cancer-causing, because in laboratory mice they have proven to be so. And then one discovers that in the experiment, the test animals were exposed to the carcinogenic item in massive amounts, amounts so great that in the natural world that massive intake would simply never occur.

In the case of lectins suspected to be a source of inflammation onset, it's not a little that goes a long way; it's a lot that may cause the problem. How likely is it that anyone will pig out on eggplant for example, eating it in great amounts on a continuous basis? Consuming reasonable amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables with a focus on variety and quality not quantity and not favouring a very narrow type, ensures we get the vital vitamins and minerals and roughage required in our diet.

So go ahead, eat a colourful and fresh variety of fruits and vegetables daily, and be reasonable about amounts you consume.

Inflammation helps wounds heal

Our immediate reaction to a swelling is to try to bring it down. Bearing in mind that inflammation is an essential part of the body's attempt to heal itself, patients and doctors need to be sure that the treatments to reduce swelling are absolutely necessary and to not undermine or slow down the healing process.
Wrist inflammation
The first stage of inflammation is often called irritation, which then becomes inflammation - the immediate healing process. Inflammation is followed by suppuration (discharging of pus). Then there is the granulation stage, the formation in wounds of tiny, rounded masses of tissue during healing. Inflammation is part of a complex biological response to harmful stimuli. Without inflammation, infections and wounds would never heal.  MNT home

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