Category Archives: Eating

Organic Acid Test, Part 7: Amino Acid Metabolites

Please note: The content of this post is my own unless the technical terms are too hard to explain, then the content is copy and paste. I am not a medical professional and thus the post is my point of view. But the content is science-based and credible. Just because it is a new science, does not necessarily make it quackery.

Test results, part 4

Amino Acids

What is an amino acid, you ask? Amino acids are used in every cell of your body to build the proteins you need to survive. The best sources of essential amino acids are animal proteins like meat, eggs and poultry.

In the Great Plains Organic Acid test, there are about 15 markers that are tested for regarding amino acids. In the SA test, it is broken up into two categories.

Urine organic acids: Branched-chain amino acid intermediates

2-Ethylhydracrylic-/2-Ethyl-3-OH-propionic acid 0.35 < 2 mmol/mol creat
2-Hydroxyisocaproic acid 0.22 < 2 mmol/mol creat
2-Hydroxyisovaleric acid BDL < 2 mmol/mol creat
2-Oxoisovaleric acid / 3-Methyl-2-oxobutyric acid 0.22 < 1.1 mmol/mol creat
3-Hydroxy-2-methylbutyric acid 0.85 < 11 mmol/mol creat
3-Hydroxyisobutyric acid 5.48 L 20 – 118 mmol/mol creat
3-Hydroxyisovaleric acid 5.51 5.1 – 23.1 mmol/mol creat
3-Methyl-2-oxovaleric-/2-Keto-3-methylvaleric acid BDL < 4.8 mmol/mol creat
3-Methylglutaconic acid 2.89 < 20 mmol/mol creat
3-Methylglutaric acid 0.99 < 3.9 mmol/mol creat
4-Methyl-2-oxovaleric acid/2-Ketoisocaproic acid 0.16 < 0.86 mmol/mol creat
Malonic acid BDL < 5 mmol/mol creat

Urine organic acids: Other Amino acid intermediates

3-Hydroxyglutaric acid (Lysine Metabolism) 2.05 < 8 mmol/mol creat
Glutaconic acid (Lysine Metabolism) 0.58 < 3.1 mmol/mol creat
N-Acetylaspartic acid  (Aspartic Metabolism) 0.54 < 13 mmol/mol creat

This one is a bit more difficult to break down.

According to the Great Plains Lab break down:

2-Hydroxyisovaleric Acid

2-Oxoisovaleric Acid

3-Methyl-2-oxovaleric Acid

2-Hydroxyisocaproic Acid

2-Oxoisocaproic Acid

A moderate increase of branched-chain amino acid metabolites in urine may result from lactic acidosis, episodic ketosis, or deficiencies of the vitamins thiamine or lipoic acid.  Elevated 2hydroxyisocaproic acid in urine has also been linked to short bowel syndrome.  A significant increase of branched-chain amino acid metabolites is associated with the genetic disorders maple syrup urine disease (MSUD) or pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency.  Patients with slight to moderate elevations may use dietary supplements containing thiamine to improve clinical symptoms.

2-Oxo-4-methiolbutyric Acid      Testing of plasma amino acids.        Elevated in an inborn error of methionine metabolism.  Confirmation of the genetic disorder requires

Malonic Acid Associated with the genetic disorders malonyl-CoA decarboxylase deficiency or malonic aciduria with normal malonyl-CoA decarboxylase activity.  Slightly elevated values in urine are unlikely to be clinically significant.

3-Methylglutaric Acid and 3-Methylglutaconic Significant increase are due to a reduced ability to metabolize the amino acid leucine.  This abnormality is found in the genetic disease methylglutaconic aciduria and in mitochondrial disorders.  3-Methylglutaconic acid may also be elevated.  Supplementation with coenzyme Q10, NAD+, L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine, riboflavin, nicotinamide, biotin, and vitamin E may be useful.

Amongst the list were also markers found under Neurotransmitters which include Phenylalanine and Tyrosine Metabolites. But more about those in the next post.

So any reading in this section was the 3-Hydroxyisobutyric acid, which was low.

3-Hydroxyisobutyric acid (or 3-hydroxy-2-methylpropanoic acid) is an intermediate in the metabolism of Valine.

Data?1547234038
Just for fun: the chemical structure of 3-Hyrdoxyisobutyric acid

An interesting fact about Valine, it was first isolated from casein in 1901 by Hermann Emil Fisher. The name valine comes from valeric acid, which in turn is named after the plant valerian due to the presence of the acid in the roots of the plant. Casein which is present in milk.

This result should be right because Alex does not drink milk or eat any dairy products, not because he is allergic to it or on a casein-free diet, but because he does not like it.

Dr Lindenberg comments: “Branched-chain amino acids OK with relatively low tyrosine metabolism.”

Interesting read: An Amino-Acid Deficiency That Causes Neurological Problems

There is a condition called 3-hydroxyisobutyric aciduria. In many affected people, the exact underlying cause of 3-hydroxyisobutyric aciduria is poorly understood. Scientists believe that some cases are caused by changes (mutations) in the ALDH6A1 gene. This gene encodes an enzyme called methylmalonate semialdehyde dehydrogenase, which helps the body break down certain amino acids (the building blocks of protein) found in food. If this gene isn’t working properly, the body is unable to break down the amino acids valine and thymine which leads to a build-up of toxic substances in the body and the many signs and symptoms of 3-hydroxyisobutyric aciduria. There is no cure for 3-hydroxyisobutyric aciduria. Because it is so rare, there is limited evidence to support the effectiveness of treatment. However, affected people have been treated with a protein-restricted diet and carnitine supplementation with varying degrees of success. (https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/5662/3-hydroxyisobutyric-aciduria

 

Organic Acid Test: Part 5, Ketones and Fatty Acids

Please note: The content of this post is my own unless the technical terms are too hard to explain, then the content is copy and paste. I am not a medical professional and thus the post is my point of view. But the content is science-based and credible. Just because it is a new science, does not necessarily make it quackery.

Test Results, Part 3

Urine organic acids: Fatty acid oxidation intermediates

3-Hydroxybutyric  acid BDL < 10 mmol/mol creat
Acetoacetic acid BDL < 24.9 mmol/mol creat
Adipic acid 9.43 < 37 mmol/mol creat
Ethylmalonic acid 3.49 < 17 mmol/mol creat
Methylsuccinic acid BDL < 6.05 mmol/mol creat
Sebacic acid 0.11 < 16 mmol/mol creat
Suberic acid 28.9 H < 20 mmol/mol creat

The markers measured here will show how well your body can process fat. These markers are sometimes elevated for persons on the Ketogenic diet or Low-carbs diet, but if there is an elevation in the results and a person is not on a Ketogenic diet it means that the body is not processing that fat too well.

If you are unable to process fat effectively your cells cannot put out the energy needed to function optimally.  Candida, bacterial toxins, and high oxalates can contribute to fat malabsorption. An anti-inflammatory nutrition plan is critical for improving these markers, along with targeted supplementation as indicated by other abnormal markers.

If you want to read more about Ketones, follow the link here.

Many people are following the Ketogenic diet, many dieticians or functional medicine practitioners have suggested the Ketogenic diet for Autistic people. Click here.

On the Great Plains lab results they list the following under Ketone and Fatty Acid Oxidation:

  1. 3-Hydroxybutyric Acid & Acetoacetic Acid
Ketones, such as 3-hydroxybutyric and acetoacetic acids, are the end-products of rapid or excessive fatty-acid breakdown.  Common causes of elevated ketones are prolonged fasting, protein malnutrition, high fat diet, vitamin B12 deficiency, severe GI Candida overgrowth, and pulmonary infections.  Dietary supplements containing L-carnitine or acetyl-L-carnitine may be beneficial.
2. 4-Hydroxybutyric Acid A moderate urinary increase in 4-hydroxybutyric acid may be due to intake of dietary supplements containing 4-hydroxybutyric acid, also known as gamma-hydroxybutyric acid.  Very high results may indicate the genetic disorder involving succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency.

3. Adipic Acid Slightly elevated adipic acid may result from excessive ingestion of gelatin or other “junk” food containing adipic acid as an additive.  Elevated adipic acid may also indicate an abnormality in fatty acid metabolism.  Dietary supplements containing L-carnitine or L-acetyl-carnitine may be beneficial.  

4. Suberic Acid, Sebacic Acid, Ethylmalonic Acid & Methylsuccinic Acid Increased urinary products of omega- fatty acid metabolism pathway may be due to carnitine deficiency, fasting, or increased intake of triglycerides from coconut oil, or some infant formulas.  Very elevated values may indicate a genetic disorder.  Fatty acid oxidation defects are associated with hypoglycemia and lethargy.  Regardless of the cause, intake of dietary supplements containing L-carnitine, or acetyl-L-carnitine may improve clinical symptoms.

On Alex’s test, the Suberic Acid was elevated 28.9/ 20.  This is a very interesting acid, as it can indicate some-one was fasting overnight or AN INCREASE IN OIL USE.

The comments from the Lab technician stated: “The isolated increase in Suberic acid is likely dietary in origin and not suggestive of compromised beta-oxidation capacity.” 

The reason why I said that this result is interesting is that because we have been struggling with Alex to pick up weight, we started to give Alex food with a higher fat content like full cream yoghurt and using spread that 70% more fat spread than the more plastic margarine.  Also, and I know this is maybe THE reason why this acid is so elevated is that his chicken patties and french fries have been fried, even if it is only a little bit of oil, and not baked.

Happy Gut, Happy you

End result – Beef bone broth
Still cooking
Left overs

So, from my son’s latest test results it is clear that he is not getting all the nutrients from his food that he is suppose to be getting. And with his very restrictive diet that is not a good thing.

READ: We are trying new foods (link to follow soon)

How then do you make sure that you get all the nutrients out of your food?

Make sure your GUT WORKS PROPERLY!!!!!

As you all know, Alex did have a leaky gut which we sorted out, but he still have issues with gut health. Constipated a lot.

What is a Leaky Gut?

… “we have an extensive intestinal lining covering more than 4,000 square feet of surface area. When working properly, it forms a tight barrier that controls what gets absorbed into the bloodstream. An unhealthy gut lining may have large cracks or holes, allowing partially digested food, toxins, and bugs to penetrate the tissues beneath it….” (Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School)

… “We all have some degree of leaky gut, as this barrier is not completely impenetrable (and isn’t supposed to be!). Some of us may have a genetic predisposition and may be more sensitive to changes in the digestive system, but our DNA is not the only one to blame. Modern life may actually be the main driver of gut inflammation.” (Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School)

However for a long time, and still, the traditional medical fraternity does not give stock much to leaky gut – yes, you might have a gastro-intestinal issue, but terms like leaky gut in not in their dictionary. And yet Hippocrates, the father of medicine, coined the phrase

“all diseases begin in the gut”

and that for true healing and optimum health that we need to exercise,

“let medicine be thy food and food thy medicine”

and the

“natural forces within us are the true healers of disease”.

So what does the above picture have to do with Leaky Gut?

The most natural way to support your gut, to make it healthy is to:

1. Plug the holes that is not suppose to be there

2. Help you digest your food better – Digestive enzymes

3. Keep your gut health – probiotics

You know that old tradition of giving sick people chicken broth/ soup or watery rice porridge to help them get better? Where does it go? To the stomach! So you help the stomach to help you get better.

!!!Enter a boney broth!!!

The collagen and gelatin in the bones helps plug the holes and makes it more stretchy. It nourishes the gut lining and reduces inflammation. (Goodbye Leaky Gut)

It also protect joints, helps maintain a healthy skin, support immune system function, boost detoxification, and aids the metabolism and promotes anabolism. (Bone Broth Benefits for Digestion, Arthritis and Cellulite)

Some of the conditions related to Leaky gut:

Acne, allergies, brain fog, Celiac disease, constipation, Crohn’s disease, depression, diarrhea, eczema, fatigue, food intolerance, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, hives, Irritable Bowl Syndrome, migraines, overweight/obesity, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, rosacea, ulcerative colitis, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, diabetes, etc. (How to Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome: Everything You Need to Know About This Digestive Condition) This is a very comprehensive website, very interesting.

About that bone broth?

Everyone has their own recipe and you can even buy bone broth powder online. But the basic recipe is:

Bone Broth Recipe

Calories: 379 per serving Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pounds beef marrow and knuckle bones
  • 2 pounds meaty bones such as short ribs
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 quarts filtered water
  • 3 celery stalks, halved
  • 3 carrots, halved
  • 3 onions, quartered
  • Handful of fresh parsley (some people add garlic and ginger because of their properties)
  • Sea salt

Serving Size: 3 Quarts

Procedure

  1. Place bones in a pot or a crockpot, add apple cider vinegar and water, and let the mixture sit for 1 hour so the vinegar can leach the mineral out of the bones.
  2. Add more water if needed to cover the bones.
  3. Add the vegetables bring to a boil and skim the scum from the top and discard.
  4. Reduce to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 24-72 hours (if you’re not comfortable leaving the pot to simmer overnight, turn off the heat and let it sit overnight, then turn it back on and let simmer all day the next day)
  5. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, throw in a handful of fresh parsley for added flavor and minerals.
  6. Let the broth cool and strain it, making sure all marrow is knocked out of the marrow bones and into the broth.
  7. Add sea salt to taste and drink the broth as is or store in fridge up to 5 to 7 days or freezer up to 6 months for use in soups or stews.

For more recipes click here and here.

As you can imagine, this is hight supported in the Methylation community –

“The “dance of methylation” extends far beyond supplementing with B12 and methylated folate. Indeed, long term outcome studies using this approach are lacking, and research suggests caution is advised with regard to imbalanced hypermethylation. However, much can be done to safely support methylation balance.

Sparing “methyl donor drain” through appropriate lifestyle interventions, including reducing total body inflammation, augmenting the microbiome and promoting exercise, stress reduction and sufficient sleep, along with a careful dietary prescription that supports methyl donor reserve is a safe, nuanced approach which allows the complex, homeodynamic process of methylation to take place.” (Dr Kara Fitzgerald, Functional Medicine)

For those that follow the GAPS diet as a health plan for autistic people, this is also a staple: “Bone broth is a staple of the GAPS Diet, which is based on the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) principles developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.

The GAPS diet is often used to treat children with autism and other disorders rooted in gut dysfunction, but just about anyone with allergies or less than optimal gut health can benefit from it, as it is designed to heal leaky gut.”

But the bone broth is not vegan or vegetarian friendly because of the meat, but there is a recipe for you too:

Vegan Bone Broth Recipe

Makes about 3 quarts

Ingredients

4 tablespoons neutral oil like avocado, grapeseed, or safflower
2 cups celery, finely chopped
1 cup golden beets thinly sliced in strips
Small handful of dried wakame reconstituted in a bowl of water
4 cups mixed of fresh chopped spinach and kale
2 tablespoons tamari or nama shoyu soy sauce
¼ cup organic light miso paste
1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
12-16 cups of water or veggie broth

*optional: 1/2 chunk of fresh turmeric, finely chopped, 1 cup chopped onion and 1-2 cloves garlic minced.

Directions

In a large stock pot, sauté celery in oil over medium-low heat. (If you’re adding turmeric, onion and garlic, add them now as well).

Once celery is tender – about 5 minutes – add bay leaf, beets, water or veggie broth and soy sauce. Increase heat to medium flame and cover the pot.

Drain the excess water off of the wakame and add it to the pot. Bring to a near boil and reduce heat to low, letting broth simmer for about 45 minutes. Add spinach and kale, parsley and miso paste, stirring until miso dissolves.

Strain off vegetables and use broth or serve with veggies for a light soup.

Traditional bone broth is simmered for as long as 24 hours. If that long cooking extraction method speaks to you, these ingredients (except for miso paste) can all go into a slow cooker. Once the broth is ready, add miso paste just before serving.

MTHFR part 11: CBS part 3

Please note: The content of this post is my own, unless the technical terms is too hard to explain, then the content is copy and pasted. I am not a medical professional and thus the post is my point of view. But the content is science-based and credible. Just because it is a new science, does not necessarily make it quackery. Always consult your doctor first before trying a new treatment.

Leaky bucket / Food sensitivities

If your CBS cycle is not working properly, think about it as you having a leaky bucket.

Everything you place into the bucket just leaks in to your liver and kidneys to be filtered. But because of the holes in your bucket nothing get filtered properly and this can lead to nutrients, minerals and antioxidant deficiencies. We the reduction in nutrients being absorb, food sensitivities can occur. This can result in leaky gut syndrome and increased issues with your gut.

An CBS issue is responsible for the evelvation of Taurine, ammonia, sulfites and hydrogen sulfide.

An CBS mutation can be a bugger, because no matter how much you change your diet, try to live health and take supplements, the mutation can cause your “good living” to be bad for you. this process can also raise the levels of glutamate which can lead to excitotoxicity.

We know that the gut is involved too, and with the gut working with the adrenal glands, any issues with constantly stimulate the body’s fight or flight system. And with the body being swamped with the gut-based molecules such as high amounts of folic acid/folate created by the CBS upregulation, potent toxins can upset the methylation cycle. This can cause a condition called Adrenal Fatigue Syndrom.

(no wonder doctors always treat autistic people for anxiety, because they are always in a constant fight/flight mode – always anxious)

In men a CBS mutation can also cause issue with their testosterone.

Hormones….

MTHFR part 10: CBS, the Liver Pathway continues…

Please note: The content of this post is my own, unless the technical terms is too hard to explain, then the content is copy and pasted. I am not a medical professional and thus the post is my point of view. But the content is science-based and credible. Just because it is a new science, does not necessarily make it quackery. Always consult your doctor first before trying a new treatment.

… So the CBS gene helps the liver to detox the body

Remember the BH4 (Better for Health) in the Folate Cycle? It has also been observed that BH4 (assistant in making serotonin, dopamine, thyroid hormones, and melanin), can also become depleted if CBS is not working properly. BH4 is extremely, important as it helps regulate neurotransmitters and mood. Other gene mutations, such as MTHFR A1298C, chronic bacterial infections, and aluminum, can also lead to low BH4 levels. It is important to maintain an accurate level of BH4 in the body as a lack thereof can lead to mast cell degranulation or mast cell activation disorder (MCAD). CBS upregulation substantially upsets the urea cycle. This enzyme depletes the BH4 enzyme while overloading the urea cycle.

Thus, because CBS connect with the BH4, and if the detox process is not working properly and there is a high amount of ammonia build up, aggressive or sedated behavior after consuming foods with L-glutamine can occur. Therefore it is recommended to lower the sulfur rich food in your diet to prevent extra stress on your system.

Most foods has sulfur in, the key is MODERATION. make sure your CBS is functioning properly and eat sulfur rich food in moderation, even the beloved kale everyone is raving about.

Together with the sulfur, you also need to look at thiol. When food contain high thiols it can also increase the sulfur in the foods. It is also what gives the skunk it stink and onions its smell.

However, also look out for products that contain:

  • Sodium sulfite
  • Sodium bisulfite
  • Sodium metabisulfite
  • Potassium bisulfite
  • Potassium metabisulfite
  • Sulfur dioxide

as they can cause allergic reactions.

For more details on Sulfur related allergies, you can click here.

 

 

More Than Just Picky or Fussy Eating

When is weirdness to food more than fussy eating?

We all know that it is common for children to go through stage of “I’m not eating any green foods” or “I don’t eat peas”. And trying new foods can be scary even for an adult. most picky or fussy eating only lasts for a while and normally corrects itself.

But when do you have to be come concern?

Sensory issues could contribute to picky eat and so does anxiety. Sometimes it is a certain texture, smell or colour and sometimes it is the sound it makes when they eat it (hearing the crunch from inside instead as an outside source). Sometimes your child will eat smooth and crunchy textures but not a food that has both like cucumber.

There are various techniques and suggestions to help children with fussy eating habits, like making food together, eating together at a table, no TV or tablets and rewarding your child when he does take that first bite.

But when is it more?

Article from Autism Research Institute: The Picky Eater

There is a condition called Avoidance/ Restrictive Food Intake disorder, which is officially listed  in the DSM-V of diagnostic tools for professionals.

In the DSM-V ARFID is classified as :

An eating or feeding disturbance (e.g., apparent lack of interest in eating or food; avoidance based on the sensory characteristics of food; concern about aversive consequences of eating) as manifested by persistent failure to meet appropriate nutritional and/or energy needs associated with one (or more) of the following:

  • Significant weight loss (or failure to achieve expected weight gain or faltering growth in children).
  • Significant nutritional deficiency.
  • Dependence on enteral feeding or oral nutritional supplements.
  • Marked interference with psychosocial functioning.
Other signs and symptoms:

Behavioral and psychological signs of ARFID

  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Dresses in layers to hide weight loss or stay warm
  • Complains of constipation, abdominal pain, cold intolerance, lethargy, and/or excess energy
  • Consistent, vague gastrointestinal complaints (“upset stomach”, feels full, etc) around mealtimes that have no known cause
  • Postpuberty female loses menstrual period
  • Dramatic restriction in types or amount of food eaten
  • Will only eat certain textures of food
  • Fears of choking or vomiting
  • Lack of appetite or interest in food
  • Limited range of preferred foods that becomes narrower over time (i.e., picky eating that progressively worsens).
  • No body image disturbance or fear of weight gain

Physical signs of ARFID

Because both anorexia and ARFID involve an inability to meet nutritional needs, both disorders have similar physical signs and medical consequences.

  • Stomach cramps, other non-specific gastrointestinal complaints (constipation, acid
  • reflux, etc.)
  • Menstrual irregularities—missing periods or only having a period while on hormonal
  • contraceptives (this is not considered a “true” period)
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Abnormal laboratory findings (anemia, low thyroid and hormone levels, low potassium, low blood cell counts, slow heart rate)
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting/syncope
  • Feeling cold all the time
  • Sleep problems
  • Dry skin
  • Dry and brittle nails
  • Fine hair on body
  • Thinning of hair on head, dry and brittle hair (lanugo)
  • Muscle weakness
  • Cold, mottled hands and feet or swelling of feet
  • Poor wound healing
  • Impaired immune functioning

But recently there has been several articles which suggested that picky eating could be more than a state of mind, emotional or the senses. The study suggested that picky eating could be in your genes.

In your gene? Really? How?

The following articles follow the trial of this thinking:

The gene responsible is TAS2R38 – was associated with limited dietary variety and the other called CA6 with being out-of-control during mealtimes. This research was published in the Journal of Nutrigenetic and Nutrigenomics by Natasha Cole. The paper was called: Variants in Chemosensory Genes Are Associated with Picky Eating Behavior in Preschool-Age Children – Background/Aims: Picky eating is prevalent among preschoolers and is associated with risk of both underweight and overweight. Although differences in taste perception may be due to genetic variation, it is unclear whether these variations are related to picky eating behavior. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of 6 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 5 candidate genes related to chemosensory perception with picky eating behavior and adiposity in a cohort of preschool-aged children. Methods: Parents of 2- to 5-year-old non-Hispanic white preschoolers (n = 153) responded to survey questions on demographics, and information regarding their child’s breastfeeding history and picky eating behavior. Height and weight were measured to calculate body mass index (BMI) z-scores using standard growth charts, and saliva was collected for genotyping. Generalized linear models were used to examine associations between picky eating behavior and BMI z-scores with genetic variation. Results: When controlling for child age, sex, breastfed status, and parent education level, SNPs in TAS2R38(rs713598) and CA6 (rs2274327) were associated with picky eating behavior in children. There was no association between SNPs and BMI z-scores. Conclusion: Genes related to chemosensory perception may play a role in children’s picky eating behavior.

© 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

But there is another “condition” that could influence your child’s behaviour towards food – Neophobia

Autistic children do often struggle with food. If there is any suspicion that where might be a problem it is best to speak to your child’s doctor.

We have an appointment in the new year, we will keep you posted.