Wednesday, 21 March 2007

The Best Bet Diet by Ashton F. Embry

The Best Bet Diet
Basically, Ashton Embry's Best Bet Diet(BBD) works on two fronts.
1 - To stop, or at least restrict, the consumption of foods whose molecular structure is so similar to the myelin in our own bodies that they could ignite the autoimmunity process and cause an attack on the myelin in the CNS. These "suspect" foods are as follows;
Dairy - Avoid all animal milks, and all butters, cheeses, and yoghurts made from them, and all products that contain them. Where appropriate, replace in the diet with rice milk or low fat coconut milk, both of which are widely available on the supermarket shelves, these days.
Gluten - Avoid all wheat, rye and barley, and all products containing them. It is advised that oats are also avoided despite new research suggesting they contain no gluten. For our purposes, they are still regarded as a "modern" grain, added to the diet only in recent times, and the chances of avoiding autoimmune reactions is greater without them. These "suspect" grains are replaced in the diet with rice, corn, quinoa and a whole range of other grains/flours that are both gluten-free and widely available these days.
Legumes - Avoid all beans, peas and pulses, especially soya, and all products containing them. All other vegetables are allowed, in particular the green leafy ones, like spinach and brocolli that are high in omega 3 EFA.
Refined sugar is also avoided, wherever possible, because it can make the leaky gut worse and can also adversely affect the immune system. More acceptable alternative sweetners are honey, maple syrup, fruit sugar(fructose) and stevia.
Eggs and Yeast are both allowed in limited quantities as long as the individual shows no specific allergic reaction to them.
Please note: As an additional precaution, it is suggested that the individual also has a ELISA blood test done to identify which, if any, foods have escaped across the leaky gut in the past. The argument goes that the individual's immune system will have created an lgG antibody, as part of its defence mechanism, the presence of which can be detected during the test, when presented with a sample of the same food. The assumption being that the individual may be hypersensitive to these foods and they may be contributing to the pourous nature of the gut. It would seem sensible, as part of the overall strategy, to either avoid or reduce the intake of these foods in the diet, at least for a time, to give the leaky gut a chance to heal.
In general, those following this approach enjoy a diet based primarily on the breast of chicken or turkey, fish, game meats and beef from cattle that have been fed exclusively on grass. The diet is also low in saturated fat and aims to achieve a far healthier balance of omega 6 - omega 3 fats than is normal in today's western society, where the condition is now rife. More detailed information is shown in the Getting Started Guide.
2 - To take a range of supplements that can have a positive effect on each aspect of the disease process. In other words,
To reduce the risk of autoimmune reactions by "dampening down" the immune system. These include vitamin d3(cholecalciferol), calcium, magnesium, omega 3 fish oil and vitamin E.
To help repair the leaky gut and prevent the escape of intact food proteins into the bloodstream in the first place. These include acidophilus, grape seed extract, fish oil and enzymes.
To strengthen and heal the blood brain barrier to prevent attacks on the myelin in the Central Nervous System. These include gingko biloba, grape seed extract, pycnogenol and co-enzyme QIO.
Now, given the amount of scientific research data already to hand in this area, we believe this to be a strategy that is both prudent and sensible for anyone with MS to adopt, particularly when considered together with the wealth of anecdotal evidence of improvement from members of this group and beyond.
Vitamin D Supplementation
Now, to return to the specific questions relating to vitamin d supplementation. Damien Downing argues, in his paper Vitamin D - A Time For Reassessment, that the current Recommended Daily Allowance(RDA), for vitamin D is woefully inadequate and based more on 19th century folklore than on any real science. Rheinhold Veith examines the safety issue in his paper Efficiacy and Safety of Vitamin D. He suggests that for individuals who spend little or no time in the sun an intake of 4000iu per day is not only perfectly safe but also necessary to raise 25(OH)D levels to the optimum range.
Now, those convinced by the evidence should be aware that the most reliable indicator of circulating vitamin D levels is the 25(OH)D test and regular testing of this, both before and during supplementation, is essential.
The key is to ensure a level of circulating vitamin D - 25(OH)D - of between 100 and 125nmol/l which is considered to be the optimum range to maintain good health and to reduce the risk of autoimmune reactions developing into full-blown autoimmune disease.

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