Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Paleo Diet Q & A - 30 December 2009

Dear Readers,

Here's today's edition of Paleo Diet Q & A.

Q: I happen to be Hyperthyroidic patient with plenty of Methimazole to take. My T4 is 15.5 and TSH .006 currently. I do kind of enjoy dairy foods like pot cheese/farmer's cheese, Raisin Bran with organic milk and some shredded wheat cereal. I can give that up. It tastes like horse food hay. My mom loves the Shoprite supermarket baguette Italian bread with plenty of artificial substances in it. I am trying to eat less and less of that. I have given up chocolate and I don't eat green tomatoes generally but the milk has vitamin D and I don't want to overindulge in supplements. My weight has been stable at around 188. I am 6 ft 3in. I weighed 147 early in 2009. I am 38 tomorrow. Now I can't substitute milk/vitamin D or can I? I do enjoy Soy. What else should I take or eat?


A: Dear Lon,

Hyperthyroidism could be the initial step in Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Disease. This happens to be an autoimmune disease where immune cells, namely T-Lymphocytes) attack cells of the thyroid gland, although a more comprehensive analysis is needed in order to do a diagnosis in your case. Another autoimmune disease called Celiac Disease carries an increased risk for other autoimmune diseases including HT. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease where the immune system mounts an attack against the epithelial cells lining the gut, triggered by gluten containing grains such as wheat, barley and rye. Hence, we believe that gluten containing grains may increase the risk for thyroiditis (remember that sometimes starts with hyperthyroidism and them moves to hypothyroidism). All grains and legumes (including soya and peanuts) contain harmful substances namely Lectins which increase intestinal permeability and this is associated to an increased susceptibility to autoimmune diseases.

Regarding dairy, they have several immunogenic (activate the immune system) proteins that may pass through the intestinal barrier if intestinal permeability is increased. Therefore, dairy are not the best choice to eat calcium, but rather green vegetables, such as kale, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.

Vitamin D is a crucial substance in terms of immune regulation. We suggest to measure blood levels of vitamin D and ensure they are in the 50-70ng/ml range.

The bottom line is to eat a diet based on lean meats, seafood, fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts and olive oil. This will also provide you with big amounts of nutrients and antioxidants which may help to your overall health.

We hope this helps.

Q: From the reading your studies in The Paleo Diet Update, Volume 2 Issue 2, it appears that the investigators failed as do many others to consider that when the consumption of fruits and vegetables increased, that something else had to have been omitted--or else calorie intake would have increased. Hence, just as well have the omission rather than the inclusion that effected the outcome. Please pass along to Loren for his consideration.

Thanks, Van

A: Thank you for your comment. Indeed, when we add something to a diet in order to maintain a stable caloric intake something has to be removed. As you said, we can't be 100% sure that the positive effect was due to increasing fruits and vegetables. In one of the studies Dr. Cordain mentioned, they didn’t just reduce or increase fruit and vegetables, they also manipulated the variable cereal grains. This would not only have a net acid load and displaced net base yielding fruits & vegetables, but may also adversely affect bone health and calcium balance through other mechanisms.

In science, isolating variables is a frequent practice and this is one of the reasons why the evolutionary template can shed light into difficult nutrition questions. Instead of focusing on only one specific variable, we defend that optimal health can only be achieved if we mimic most of the ancient lifestyle (sun exposure, exercise, sleep, avoiding chronic stress and pollutants) and a pre-agricultural diet (not just a net base yielding diet), which is what we propose with The Paleo Diet.

Nevertheless, it should be mentioned that more and more evidence suggests that the diet’s acid load is important in terms of optimal health.



  1. What do you think about the theory that Vitamin D supplements may have negative effects:

  2. Am I correct to assume your diet will
    greatly help but not cure Hashimotos?

    Is there a non-medicine cure
    for this disease?

    Thank you


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