Dr Jean-François Bézot & Diala Tufenkji
Digestive issues, some skin problems and chronic fatigue (first signs of human suffering in outpatients) can be traced back to the presence of antibodies (total IgG) directed against certain foods in the blood, showing that these dietary antigens have crossed through the intestinal barrier and that the protective immune system (IS) connected to the mucous membrane is trying to fight them.
Food intolerances come about when the body is not able to digest a food properly and prevent it from being absorbed. “Junk food” is bad for you – this we know – but good, healthy foods can also make a person feel ill. Wheat, dairy and nuts are the foods that most commonly produce an immune response with pathological IgGs, but a large number of other foods can also affect a patient.
In our stress-filled society, we eat too fast, drink and talk while eating, fail to chew properly, and older people especially do not have strong enough teeth to eat meat. The first stage of digesting food is the preliminary attack of the saliva that analyses the food. If the essence of the food is not exposed, the badly-digested foodstuff conserves its antigenic determinants, making it a foreign body. Since we eat two or three times per day, the most frequently-encountered foreign body inside our body is not a bacteria, virus or parasite, but rather badly-digested food. These badly-digested foods are destroyed by our immune system but memorised, so if we repeatedly consume them, they “stress” our system over and over again, creating or aggravating local inflammation, which is self-maintaining and worsens every time we consume that food.
Immunological memory means that, in future, consuming any similar foods will lead to a chain of defensive reactions, causing permanent stress for the immune system, with chronic inflammation and immune complex deposits (Ag-Ac) that circulate in the tissues of the gastro-intestinal tract (colitis), bladder (pressing need to urinate), respiratory tract (ear infections, sinus infections, migraines), joints (arthritis), tendons (tendinitis), and dermis (some forms of eczema or psoriasis). In the best case scenario, these disruptions are expressed as functional issues, but chronic pain can affect a person’s whole life, in the shape of auto-immune diseases. The problem is that these food intolerances produce a range of symptoms that might easily be attributed to other causes.
A full assessment, which is systematic in P4 Medicine©, is therefore strongly recommended (www.biopredix.com). “Let food be thy medicine…” (Hippocrates – 370), but let this medicine be a personalised health cure, drawn up thanks to a simple blood sample and food intolerance assessment.
The results come back in under five working days and the profiles are quick and easy to read. They are set out in a clear way. They allow us to draw up an effective nutritional framework to incite the patient to adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle. Food intolerances can change over time: just because you have tested positive for one food today, it does not mean that you will be sensitive to it for the rest of your life, especially in the case of mild intolerance.
If there is a weak IgG reaction, and if the patient is experiencing symptoms, it would be wise to explore the immune response for IgG quantitation and/or by electrophoresis of the serum proteins.
How do we overcome food intolerances?
Overcoming food intolerances requires several stages of care.
- An elimination diet
Ideally, we need to avoid 100% of all severe and moderate triggers for 18 months. Any “weak” trigger foods (shown in grey on the profile) can be consumed occasionally, but not every day. The good news is that, if we manage to eliminate all of the serious food intolerances in one go, and we prioritise soothing the immune system and healing any intestinal permeability in the meantime, there is a strong chance that we will be able to reintroduce all or most of these foods without any reaction at the end of the treatment period.
- Restore the intestinal wall
During this elimination period, it is vital to address the deep-rooted causes of these excessive immune reactions. If the patient has a lot of severe intolerances and most of them involve foods that they consume regularly, it is likely that they have a “leaky gut”, i.e. their intestine is overly permeable. Unfortunately, this situation is not rare, given our penchant for using excess antibiotics and analgesics, our vitamin D deficiency, heavy metal intoxication (mercury, etc.) and chronic stress, all of which are potentially harmful for the intestine. It is important to heal this excessive permeability while eliminating the foods in question, otherwise the patient risks developing a series of intolerances to the new foods they choose (frustrating cycle).
We recommend the following steps:
- Take L-glutamine to help heal the tight junctions of villous components in the small intestine. Quercetin is also useful for this.
- Check their vitamin D levels (low vitamin D levels promote increased gut permeability) and fill up on magnesium, which is required to convert vitamin D into a form that can be used by the cells.
- Avoid consuming any gluten, even if it is not on the list of intolerances. In some people, gluten can increase gut permeability due to the increased secretion of a protein called zonulin.
- Avoid spicy foods, coffee and smoking, anything that might irritate the intestinal mucous membrane.
- Avoid fizzy drinks.
- Reduce alcohol consumption (wine, beer, champagne), which is a source of intestinal dysbiosis.
- Drink plenty of still water, but not more than one glass with your meals.
- Remember that our body is a whole ecosystem, so take care of your microbiota (eat plenty of fibre and probiotics).
- And finally, chew your food properly.
3 . Change your lifestyle
We must also ask the patient about their sleep, exercise and possible nutritional deficiencies (vitamin profile (A, D, E, etc.)*, trace element profile (zinc, etc.), stress levels, toxin exposure and intestinal dysbiosis (microbiota). We must adapt the whole environment to which our immune and nervous systems react if we want them to have a more tolerant response to our foods. It is not enough just to cut certain foods out! The role of health coach involves helping the patient to find alternative, healthy foods and creative ways of eating them during the elimination period. This will help them to stay committed in moments of frustration, and remind them that it is not forever, but just for the healing phase. Some patients need a little time and help to develop new habits and make new choices, and we are on hand to guide them during this healing period.
Dr Jean-François Bézot: Medical biologist. Pharmaceutical doctor, Paris Pharmaceutical Faculty.Former house pharmacist in the Paris Hospitals. Specialist in anti-aging biology and functional proteomics since 1988. Permanent member of the French Society of Aesthetic Medicine. International conference speaker. In charge of the university course in Anti-Aging Medicine (Paris Créteil university).
More informations: biopredix.com
Diala Tufenkji: Anglo-Lebanese health coach, qualified in Integrative Nutrition (IIN, United States), diploma in Applied Functional Medicine (SAFM, United States), Diploma in Psychology (Paris 8). Co-founder of the first non-profit media platform dedicated to health and wellness in the Arab world. Health and Wellness consultant for the luxury industry.
More informations: luxecalmesante.com