A first of its kind trial is getting underway at the University of Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital.  Researchers there, led by Dr. Michael Morowitz, MD a pediatric thoracic surgeon, are investigating how an organic, whole foods-based enteral formula influences the intestinal environment of children.  Changes in the GI and microbiome that are generated by the Functional Formularies product, Nourish®, are being compared to those produced by the typical commercial enteral formula (largely comprised of highly refined carbohydrates, oils, and which contain very little fiber.)

Living with ALS

Feb 14, 2017

When I was diagnosed with ALS at the age of thirty-six, I was told that I would have less than two years to live. With no treatment or a cure, the disease robs you of all your physical abilities until you can no longer breath. Well that was three years ago. I'm happy to report that while I can no longer walk, talk, move my arms, or eat, I still live an active and productive life thanks to technology, mindfulness, and nutrition.

While there are still some who resist the notion that more fat in the diet can be healthy, the general consensus that high quality fats and oils can be a major constituent continues to grow.  Whether someone is getting 40% of their energy from fats or 60% would be less important in my opinion.  The greatest issues with fats are more about their qualities and stability overall.

By now most of us have some level of awareness with respect to the role that probiotics and fermented foods can play in reducing our risk for certain diseases or in supporting better digestive health overall.  The addition of healthy bacteria to the gut, however, is only a small part of the bigger picture: creating an intestinal environment that fosters sustainable beneficial bacteria populations.

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The food we eat contains more chemicals than the average person could imagine.  How would a nation that prides itself on food safety and tight food processing regulations allow anything at levels that have been shown to cause harm in animal studies, often at exposure levels much less than what Americans are getting in just one serving of a common household staple; for instance, a breakfast cereal?  This is just the case.  Unfortunately, not enough families are aware of what’s there.

We live at a time where pharmaceutical use is unprecedented.  Whether it is a proton pump inhibitor for heartburn or a statin for high cholesterol, most Americans over the age of 50 are on one or more of these drugs.  Everything has side effects.  Everything from a cup of coffee to a beta-blocker, there is no exception to the rule.  Why it is we do not question the long term safety or unintended effects of drugs more closely is sometimes inexplicable.

 

 

First we went through this with calories.  Remember that story? A calorie is a calorie.  Maybe that works out for a device like a bomb calorimeter used in food analytical labs.  However human metabolism does not take place in a closed system.  There are so many moving parts that can heighten or reduce the extractable energy found in foods.  The individual’s endocrine system, the immune system’s response, the potential inflammatory component to many foods, and, maybe most importantly, the role of the micro-biome and how the bacteria respond to what we eat.

Some plants have concentrations of micronutrients that are exceptionally high.  Tomatoes and lycopene, Brazil nuts and selenium, or limes and vitamin C for instance.  Spinach is a great source of several, highly protective nutrients.  It contains large amounts of glutathione if eaten raw.  It is also an excellent source of magnesium, the eye-protecting carotenoid lutein, as well as calcium and vitamin C.  But spinach’s greatest contribution to our body’s nutrient needs might be its potassium nitrate content.

All of us here at Functional Formularies greatly appreciate those MDs who are looking more closely at the role of food, whole food, in treating conditions and diseases that common sense would indicate are food-based.  Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis (UC), and Crohn’s disease (CD) are widespread throughout North America and rates for all are rising steadily.

In case you haven’t heard yet, there are compounds found in protein and fat-rich foods that may be causing more than just insulin resistance and diabetes. These products of protein or fat crosslinking with sugars are called advanced glycation end products or AGEs.

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