Nature has been telling us for ages: “Eat what has grown in your field and what was born on your farm, and everything in the least processed form”.
vet. doc. Jagoda Koniarek, MA Dominika Kuczyńska-Schulz
The human organism doesn’t catch up with changes
The basic processes of our organism are regulated by genes and physiology, which in contemporary humans are almost identical to the ones that existed 100,000 years ago in our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Small, slow changes in environment and lifestyle facilitated the adjustment of the human organism. Since the time of the industrial revolution, however, rapid changes have ensued, which in an unprecedented way have influenced our conditions and lifestyle as humans have been exposed to the action of completely new factors. The level of emotional stress has increased, and physical activity and time spent outdoors have decreased dramatically. In an evolutionary sense nearly three-quarters of contemporary foods are new to the human organism. Previously unknown stress factors constantly stimulate the innate immune system, which had been adapted to make a short, quick and strong response to a sudden threat. In an evolutionary sense, it can’t react to our new ‘enemies’, which leads to an improper response disturbing the process of suppressing inflammation. The result is exacerbation of the chronic inflammatory process.
Epigenetic modifications – a way of adapting or a way to an illness
The contemporary environment and lifestyle, also different than in the past, impact the human genotype and contribute to a large extent to the dramatic increase in the problems which lie at the origin of immune system disorders (the whole spectrum of allergies, hypersensitivities, food intolerance autoimmune diseases). Epigenetic modifications (histone proteins and DNA) were supposed to adapt an individual and his offspring to local environmental conditions, which in the past didn’t change so radically. Gradual phenotype changes enabled the effective digestion of the available food, adjustment to climatic conditions, and proper adaptation of the immune system (quicker enemy-friend identification). ‘Growing out of’ a childhood allergy is connected with the adaptation and ‘self-learning’ of genes, thanks to which the organism adjusts itself to environmental factors. Some modifications are ‘deleted’ and aren’t passed on to the next generation, whereas some are permanently written and might be inherited. As a result, there are regional tolerances and intolerances of some food ingredients. For centuries man has selected particular species and kinds of animals and arable crops having the most beneficial characteristics for the local human population. Currently, epigenetic modifications occur more frequently and are brought about by factors different from previous times.This coupled with insufficient hereditary adaptation leads to an undesirable effect. They are triggered by air pollution, contact with xenobiotics, the decrease in the biodiversity of microbiota, reduced sunlight exposure (vitamin D level), abandonment of local cuisine, increased consumption of antigenically alien processed food coming from remote corners of the world, as well as changes in the nutrition of pregnant women and the newborn. They may lead to the creation of an Allergic Inflammatory Phenotype susceptible to diseases of an immunological nature. Nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics deal with the interdependencies between genes, their expression and diet. Owing to constant epigenetic modifications, it is difficult to define with 100% certainty which genes (increase or decrease of their expression) are responsible for the development of diseases or undesirable reactions to nutritional factors.
Is the Mediterranean diet for everyone?
Mediterranean Sea Basin
Detecting even some of the nutritional triggering factors and identifying the safest products require additional diagnostics. What kinds of tests should be performed? Standard IgE-specific allergy tests detect a very narrow range of adverse reactions to foods. Elimination diets based only on the results of such tests frequently prove not very effective or completely ineffective because only reactions stemming from one influencer (IgE-dependent) are detected without information about hypersensitivity induced by the participation of other influencers (IgE-independent), e.g. cytotoxic, pharmacologic, metabolic and other reactions. Usually a few factors as well as genetic predisposition, nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics are responsible for the occurrence of symptoms. A model allergic reaction takes place with the participation of IgE-type immunoglobulin and the release of histamine and histamine-like substances from the impaired cells.
scavenger cellbody weight fluctuation, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, skin eruptions, atopic dermatitis, autism, ADHD) can result from delayed hypersensitivity reactions
Marking the level of antigens doesn’t provide the answer to the question whether such large complexes are formed or if they build up in tissue. The presence of such complexes isn’t marked in any examination, but only prognosticated indirectly.
The immunologist Dr Mark Pasula noted that, after contact with food antigens, white blood cells change their volume with varying intensity, which is the result of their release of mediators, the concentration of which determines the intensity of the inflammatory response. Dr Pasula’s development of techniques for objectively measuring the volume changes led to the creation of the MRT test(Mediator Release Test).The examination is performed with the use of MRT III analyzer, which combines Coulter method with flow cytometry. The test defines the level of sensitivity to foods and food additives; therefore, it can lead to the elimination of the most reactive products from the diet and nutrition based on the safest foods. The MRT has the greatest diagnostic value among all commercially available food hypersensitivity tests.Given test results, as well as an interview and patient examination, it is possible to devise an individual diet plan in accordance with the LEAP Program (Lifestyle, Eating and Performance), which leads to the elimination or easing of many ailments, and the enhancement of the quality of life.
One shouldn’t forget about what the instinct has been telling us for ages. “Eat what has grown in your field and what was born on your farm, and everything in the least processed form”.