Tom, you wrote regarding your mom, multiple hip replacements makes it difficult especially with the exercise…What can I do for my mother who is in her 70s with difficult to control inflammation from arthritis and can't follow much of the program?
Have you checked out your local recreation center? We are blessed with a wonderful rec center near where we live. I have a bum foot and after my last surgery I would use the “lazy river” at the rec center to practice my walking. It provided resistance but kept the pounding on my joints down. I often found myself surrounded by folks in their 70s and 80s (I felt so young!
) Similarly, they offer drop-in aquatics exercise classes for those with arthritis and other non-aquatic classes aimed at “the young at heart.” There’s one class that’s so popular that my rec center has to set aside two of the three basketball courts in the gym and many of the exercises are done on chairs. Going to “the gym” can be intimidating, but I’ve seen folks who are morbidly obese, attached oxygen bottles, and/or needing canes or walkers at the rec center and I personally admire each and every one.
Regarding inflammation from arthritis, read on…
Tom also wrote, I've also always wondered about peanut butter - good or bad?
Regarding the peanut butter question, the answer, as so many answers on this forum is, maybe.
Now for my longer answer (I have a talent for long answers). Peanuts are legumes and legumes are among the foods that are forbidden on the diet that some those of us who follow Dr Steven Gundry follow. If you do a search on his name in this forum, you’ll see he’s discussed quite a bit, but in fairness, I will add not everyone on this forum accepts what he says about lectins.
A little background on Dr Gundry. My husband (ApoE3/4) and I (ApoE4/4) sought him out because he’s a practicing doctor who probably has more hands-on knowledge/experience of ApoE4 than any other doctor in this country. He’s not an “Alzheimer’s doctor” rather Dr. Gundry is a heart surgeon/inventor who’s been fascinated by genetic diet evolution since his undergraduate thesis at Yale. When he quit his position at Loma Linda University to form his own institute to concentrate on restorative medicine, he got interested in the ApoE4 gene because of its connection to cardiovascular disease and started testing for it 15 years ago (unheard of). He says he has since successfully minimized the negative effects of the ApoE4 gene in thousands of patients.
In the patients he consults, he reviews pages of bloodwork and advises on diet and supplements. The diet he advised us to follow is tailored to our ApoE4 gene as well as other genetic findings and lab results. Based on our inflammatory markers, he advised us to restrict major sources of lectins.
The main sources of lectins are dairy products, beans and other legumes, wheat and grains, and specific vegetables and fruits. Lectins are how a plant tries to protect itself from being eaten and causes toxic or inflammatory reactions in the body, although these reactions can be imperceptible or subtle, thus easily ignored (that was the case with me). But over time consumption can lead to such conditions as leaky gut, autoimmune disease, chronic digestive disorders, heart disease, and weight gain. Everyone is probably sensitive to a degree, but some more than others.
He determined my sensitivity through my adiponectin level. As I understand it, adiponectin is mostly a “go/no-go” indicator that lectin sensitivity exists. He also tracks the inflammatory marker, TNFalpha. In my first blood test, my TNFalpha inflammatory marker was in the “yellow zone” at 3.3. After removing lectins from my diet, my TNFalpha has gone down into the “green” at 1.8. I do feel better, although nothing drastic. The results for my husband were more marked, his congestion has got better and the beginnings of rheumatoid arthritis has completely gone away.
But why should an ApoE4 be concerned with lectins? Glad you asked. First things first! There are more important things that an ApoE4 should be concerned with regarding their diet. Lowering insulin resistance is first and foremost (insert sound of a foot stomp here.)
But with that said, as you are probably already aware, ApoE4s tend to be more susceptible to inflammation, Alzheimer’s, and cardiovascular disease. First, lectins tend to cause inflammation and we may be more susceptible to the effects of lectins, especially since many of the plants that he labels as “forbidden” are ones that, evolutionarily speaking, have only started to be eaten in “recent times” specifically, North American plants, such as tomatoes.
Regarding Alzheimer’s, Dr Gundry cites the Harvard nurses study that showed that thin women with elevated levels of Adiponectin had very high incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, and they were screened for ApoE4, so that didn't distort the findings. In this paper, http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/129/Suppl_1/AP354
Dr G writes there is a strong association of elevated Adiponectin and TNF-alpha levels in thin women with dementia, osteopenia, and/or coronary artery disease.
Regarding CVD, Dr Gundry has said we all (not just ApoE4s) have a sugar molecule lining our blood vessels, the endothelial of our blood vessels, which we share with elephants, chickens, shellfish, and fish. Plant lectins, particularly of the grass family, have an affinity to bind to this sugar molecule which he says explains why elephants who have been fed grain and/or grass tend to have a greater incidence of coronary artery disease than the non grain/grass eaters.
You mentioned Dr Bredesen, we follow him too. Dr Bedesen and Dr Gundry dietary recommendations overlap in many ways, but to my knowledge, Dr B has not raised the lectin flag. Dr B does, however, caution on grains (a lectin subset) and maintaining a healthy gut biome (which lectins can interfere with). Regardless of where you determine you fall on the lectin “controversy” reducing grains is probably a very good idea for ApoE4s.
Along the lines of grains, Dr Gundry expressed has expressed a concern with wheat germ agglutin. During his Q&A session with us (a small gathering of ApoE4.info followers) at the Ancestral Health Symposium this past August, he said that a person can have a normal gut lining, no leaky gut, and yet wheat germ agglutinin can get through because it is a very tiny protein. Gluten is a huge protein, in general it cannot get through the gut lining unless it turns on zonulin (sp?) and breaks the gut lining, but wheat germ agglutinin can get through the gut lining without any problem. The wheat germ agglutinin can bind to sialic acids on your blood vessels and to insulin receptors. When the wheat germ agglutinin binds to insulin receptors
in the muscles a person gets sarcopenia (aging muscle loss) and when it happens in the brain it blocks the affect of insulin. Dr Gundry feels a lot of what we think is Type 3 Diabetes [Alheimer’s] is actually the accumulation through the years of wheat germ agglutinin.
In the grand scheme of prioritizing dietary strategies, eliminating lectins is probably not important as other strategies for ApoE4s, but in rank order, I'd start with reducing/eliminating grains. Eliminating other lectins, such as peanuts, humus, delicious tomatoes, peppers, etc. can be very tough, so one last note...de-seeding and de-skinning is very helpful, the seeds and skins of lectin “vegetables” (they’re actually fruits) are where most of the lectins are contained. Fermentation destroys lectins to a certain extent (we eat tempeh, which is fermented soy). Pressure cooking does a decent job of destroying lectins except in grains, the lectins in grains can’t be destroyed. I do, on occasion, for example when I meet friends for lunch/dinner and can’t control what is served, take a Dr Gundry product called “Lectin Shield” which protects from the negative effects of lectins.
Whew! You still awake? And all you wanted to know was if peanut butter was okay.