Wednesday, 17 December 2014

5 Reasons Why A Raw Vegan Diet Is Unhealthy

There are many reasons why strict raw vegan diets are not healthy to follow.

Here are some of the common contraindications of eating strict raw vegan.

5 Reasons Why A Raw Vegan Diet Is Unhealthy


1. Nutrient Deficiencies

Strict raw vegan diets come with the risk of developing many serious nutritional deficiencies.  Some of these common vegan deficiencies include Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, calcium, iron, zinc, iodine, omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA, conditionally essential amino acids such as taurine and carnitine and many more.

This is one of the main reasons why strict raw vegan diets are not healthy to follow.  When you start eliminating many food groups from your diet, you significantly increase the risk of developing many nutritional deficiencies.

Garden of Life, Vitamin Code, Raw Zinc, 60 Veggie Caps is available from IHERB and is a good source of Zinc for raw vegans.

2. Difficult To Get Enough Calories

It is very difficult to consistently derive enough calories from an all raw vegan diet, especially if you are an active individual, which can increase your caloric needs further.

Most raw plant foods are very high in volume and fiber, whilst being relatively low in calories.  Many individuals cannot tolerate the large volume required and end up not being able to get enough calories.

This can result in extreme weight loss and again malnutrition.  

3. Lack Of Quality Protein Sources

Raw vegans tend to eliminate the half decent plant-based protein sources from their diets such as beans, legumes, soy and even some wholegrains such as quinoa for example.

Many individuals have trouble balancing their blood sugar without consuming a small amount of protein rich foods at each meal.  

This is probably the most common difficulty those encounter when trying to eat all raw, they experience low blood sugar symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, fatigue, shakeyness and individuals are commonly told by raw vegan gurus that these are "detoxification" symptoms.

Algaes, seaweeds, sprouts and bee pollen are good plant sources of amino acids but again these foods are often limited or not recommended on many types of raw diets.

4. Nutrient Absorption

Many raw foods are not very digestible in their raw state due to the tough fibrous cell walls these plant foods contain.

Light cooking such as with steaming helps to soften these tough fibers, which aids digestion and the bio-availibility of nutrients.  Many studies show that despite levels of many nutrients being lower after cooking, that we absorb and uptake significantly more than we do from many raw plant foods.

I believe that many vegetables such as broccoli, kale, spinach etc are much more digestible when lightly cooked.  Despite many raw foodists consuming large bowfuls of raw greens, they often still end up developing multiple nutrient deficiencies, which says to me that they aren't breaking down these foods optimally.

The excessive amount of fiber that comes with eating all raw vegan diets may be another factor which interferes with nutrient absorption.  Too much fiber can be just as problematic as low fiber diets and they can cause too rapid intestinal transit time, which doesn't give your body enough time to break down and digest foods. 

5. Sugar Or Fats ?

Due to the lack of quality protein sources, most raw vegan diets end up making up the remaining calories by consuming more carbohydrates or fat.

This leads to terribly imbalanced diets as we have seen with Doug Grahams raw 80/10/10 diet.  80/10/10 is a diet which derives eighty percent of its calories from sugar, ten percent from fats and ten percent from protein.

Out of all of the different raw vegan diets, 80/10/10 and the high fruit based diets have anecdotally shown to be the biggest failures and most likely to cause health problems.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Pyroluria - Simple Bio-Chemical Cause Of Depression & Anxiety

What if a simple bio-chemical and genetic defect was the cause of your depression, anxiety and other health problems ?

There is a genetic defect called kryptopyrrole disorder or "Pyroluria" as its become commonly known in the health movement, which i believe is a common cause of the health problems described above.

Pyrrole disorder is a genetic defect, an error in hemoglobin synthesis, which causes large levels of pyrroles to be released, which research shows this substance binds to nutrients such as zinc and vitamin b6 causing severe deficiency.

Pyroluria causes a severe stress-induced deficiency of zinc, vitamin B5/P5P, manganese and often many other secondary nutrients such as arachidonic acid, cysteine, magnesium and other B vitamins.   Put it simply severe deficiencies in these nutrients causes a wide range of psychiatric, autonomic, emotional and metabolic disturbances.

Im not suggesting at all here, that pyrrole disorder is the only cause of depression, anxiety or other mental disorders, as i know from my research that these health conditions can have many and multiple different causes.

However i strongly believe kryptopyrrole disorder to be a common root factor, which is a common cause of these psychiatric, mental and even physical health disturbances that an individual with pyroluria typically suffers from.

In my opinion its very easy to tell these individuals with kryptopyrrole disorder apart from other anxiety disorders because they tend to have other classic "pyroluria" symptoms such as stretch marks, abnormal fat distribution, inability to tan, extremely poor stress tolerance, severe inner tension, tend to be introverted, symptoms tend to come on in the early teens and so on.

Put it simply this is a simple bio-chemical defect that most doctors won't even have heard of.  This is a condition which should have much more awareness considering how many people it effects and lives it ruins due to under diagnosis and lack of proper treatment.

However the truth is, the majority of people with pyroluria never get a proper diagnosis or the correct treatment they need.  They are typically prescribed anti-depressant, anti-psychotic and other sedative medications, which help to "mute" the mental and emotional symptoms that they tend to suffer chronically from.  These mental and emotional symptoms are in large part caused due to copper toxicity and severe zinc deficiency.

Something else that must be highlighted here is the inaccuracy of blood serum mineral testing.  If you are lucky enough to have your doctor run a blood test on minerals such as zinc and copper, it will most likely be blood serum testing that they have tested.  Blood serum testing only shows what is currently circulating in the blood and is not a good indicator of true intracellular levels of these minerals.

Red blood cell mineral testing is thought to be much more accurate, so don't let your doctor fob you off by telling you that levels of these nutrients are in the "normal" range.

It must also be highlighted that covering some of the symptoms of pyroluria with anti-depressants isn't the correct treatment for this disorder and is simply what i call a poor "patch up" job.  As such because the pyrrole disorder is never properly treated or stabilized, individuals with pyroluria tend to still suffer from the secondary metabolic health problems, which can range anything from chronic fatigue, digestive disorders, connective tissue disorders(copper bio-unavailability), hormonal imbalances and still the same mental and emotional disturbances, that are being poorly and improperly treated with anti-depressant medication.

These anti-depressant and anti-psychotic medications come with a whole range of serious side effects, which can range from permanent sexual dysfunction to endocrine disorders.  These are quite serious and un-necessary risks to be taking for someone with pyroluria, when the treatment is fairly simple in that it mostly involves restoring levels of nutrients such as zinc and vitamin B6.

I say in theory that this nutrient therapy is a fairly simple treatment to rectify pyroluria.  However by the time most individuals find out that kryptopyrrole disorder is behin the root of their health problems, most have already become severely imbalanced with secondary and other health problems which can include copper and heavy metal toxicity, increased intestinal permeability also known as leaky gut syndrome, which is another huge problem and a condition that isn't easy to treat.

Most with pyroluria are a nervous wreck emotionally with extremely poor stress tolerance.  As a result these individuals often suffer from adrenal fatigue/low cortisol/hpa-axis dysregulation and nervous system exhaustion.  The adaptogenic herbs such as schizandra berry, chinese licorice root, siberian ginseng, suma root and so on are very good for supporting the adrenal glands and increasing the bodies resistance to stress.

Nervine herbs such as oatstraw, passionflower, skullcap, blue vervain and gotu kola are great choices for nourishing, calming and supporting the nervous system, which can be very helpful to reduce the tension and anxiety in individuals with pyroluria.

I will write another article soon about the general treatment guidelines for pyroluria and the secondary imbalances that often occur in these individuals such as leaky gut syndrome, copper and other heavy metal toxicity, dysbiosis and gut flora dysregulation, low stomach acid, under-methylation and more.

Quite a few people have been writing in to ask if i could recommend a good brand of P5P, i personally use Thorne Research, Pyridoxal 5'-Phosphate and feel its a top quality brand and much needed source of P5P for those with pyrrole disorder.