Dairy, Gluten and Autism

Autism is defined by a set of behaviours. Key symptoms are: an extreme introversion; social indifference; stereotyped repetitive behaviours; language problems; problems with hygiene; temper tantrums; in some cases hyperactivity; irrational fears; decreased but fluctuating insensitivity to pain.

At 2010, the rate of autism at age 8 was 14.7 per 1,000 which is 1 in 68. Boys are 4.5 times more likely to be affected than girls—rate for boys is 1 in 42 compared with 1 in 189 for girls.

Rates of autism have been rising dramatically. The 2010 rate is: 29% higher than the preceding estimate of 1 in 88 children in 2008;  64% higher than the 2006 estimate of 1 in 110 children; 123% higher than the 2002 estimate of 1 in 150 children.

Black children are affected at a rate 14% higher than Hispanic children and white children affected 45% more than Hispanic children.

The association of autism with severe gastrointestinal problems has been documented since the 1990s.

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The A2 Milk Story

The hypothesis that A2 milk was protective of type 1 diabetes originated with a paper published in 1992. Robert Elliott observed much lower rates of type 1 diabetes amongst Polynesian children that were raised on the Polynesian islands compared with those raised in Auckland. This was attributed to the differences in the β-casein profile.

Elliott was the lead author of a conference paper that examined the effects of feeding casein to non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice. The conclusion was that “the induction of diabetes by casein in the NOD mouse appears to be restricted to casein containing the A1 variant of beta-casein”.

The marketing potential of such a discovery could be enormous.

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Comparison of Dairy Milks with Human Milk

Milks are complex lipid emulsions in water containing protein, fat, lactose, vitamins and minerals, as well as enzymes, hormones and immunoglobulins which provide initial immunity functions,

There is approximately 5,500 species of mammals which initially supply there young with milk. There are vast differences in milk composition among the mammal species.

Mammals provide milk for their growing infants that provide a unique collection of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

Human milk is markedly different to other mammals, in particular to its protein content.

Proteins in human milk provide sufficient of protein to sustain infants for the first six months without any additional food, as well as supplying the means of establishing suitable environment for the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria and providing the proteins involved in the immune system.

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The Problem With Cow’s Milk

Skin and intestinal reactions to cow’s milk was described by Hippocrates (460-370 B.C.) and Galen of Pergamum (130-210 AD), both Greek physicians so there has been an awareness of problems with cow’s milk for a considerable period of time.

Cow’s milk is the most common form of allergic reactions, although the actual prevalence is disputed.

Mammals have evolved over millions of years to provide nutrition for their infants in the first stage of life. There are significant difference between species depending upon factors such as rates of growth.

A bull reaches maturity at 9-10 months, so the rate of growth is markedly different to humans. Consequently, the composition of bovine milk is very different to that of humans. The consequences of cow’s milk consumption are potentially harmful.

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The Nature of Food Allergies

Food allergies have become a major concern with parents, health practitioners and school administrators. However, the estimates of prevalence of allergies varies widely.

A commonly accepted definition is an “adverse immune response that occurs reproducibly on exposure to a given food and is distinct from other adverse responses to food, such as food intolerance, pharmacologic reactions, and toxin-mediated reactions.”

However, most people are not going to make such a fine distinction between food allergy and food intolerance. Non-celiac gluten-sensitivity (NCGS) does not cause an IgE response so with this definition it not classed as a food allergy.

Dairy, in particular, cow’s milk and gluten, wheat and grains are commonly avoided as a result of concerns about food allergies.

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What is the Problem with Wheat and Gluten?

Gluten-free foods is a huge industry. It is estimated that approximately 2% of the US population, that has not been diagnosed with celiac disease, is consuming a gluten-free diet.

The CSIRO reports that, “ as many as 1 in 10 Australian adults, or approximately 1.8 million people, were currently avoiding or limiting their consumption of wheat-based products. Women were more likely to be avoiding wheat than men. The survey also revealed that over half (53%) of those who were avoiding wheat were also avoiding dairy-based foods.”

There is an increasing awareness of the importance of gut flora and its role in health.

People who embark on glute-free diets frequently have significantly impaired health outcomes due to changes in gut bacteria.

At one clinic in Rome, only 30% of people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) were sensitive to gluten.

At another climic, in Maryland USA, only 6% of those suffering from IBS were affected by gluten.

It is apparent that digestive problems are much more complicated than they first appear.

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Eggs and the Benefits of Choline

According to the Australian Eggs website, “choline is used by the body for metabolic processes such as liver function, normal brain development, nerve function and muscle movement. It’s particularly important during pregnancy to support foetal brain development.”

Egg consumption has consistently been shown to be associated with an increase in prostate cancer, so what is the story?.

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What are the Nutritional Benefits of Eggs?

The nutritional benefits of eggs is highlight in the Australian Eggs’ OK Everyday campaign. Just how accurate is the assertion that “eggs aren’t just delicious, they’re incredibly nutritious. There’s a good reason eggs are often referred to as nature’s multivitamin – they’re one of the healthiest foods you can eat”.

Let’s examine some of the claims that are being made.

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