I was listening to a seminar by Alex Vasquez, D.O., N.D., D.C., regarding diet and it’s effect on inflammation in the body. Dr. Vasquez’s practice involves treating patients with a rational approach (notice I didn’t say alternative-I hate the use of that word) with dietary changes. In a nutshell, Dr. Vasquez puts patients on a plant-based diet to increase the pH (a measure of acid/alkaline balance) to a slightly alkaline state, ~7.5. The typical patient he sees is acidic, with a pH between 6 and 6.5. Acidic foods and drink can have several negative health effects when not balanced with alkaline foods (vegetables). It’s difficult to avoid acidic foodstuffs in the modern Western diet-items ranging from meats to salad dressings to sodas to fruit juices. Some of the negative effects are: Dental erosion, Bone thinning, stomach pain, and inflammation. Inflammation can lead to serious health issues, such as¬†fibromyalgia, auto-immune diseases and more. One of the more startling findings from Dr. Vasquezs’ seminar was that people who consume wheat show inflammatory markers in the blood within two hours after eating. These people were not allergic to wheat nor did they have celiac disease. Wheat, of all the grains, is extremely hard to digest. Other grains, such as rye, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, farro, and sorghum, do not raise inflammation. In addition, all are high in protein, iron, magnesium, calcium, folic acid, potassium, zinc, phosphorous, and fiber. They offer protection from heart disease, cancers, high blood pressure, and diabetes. I’ve already cut wheat out of my diet.

Dr. Vasquez also finds vitamin D3 deficient in almost all of his patients. D3 boosts immunity and actually down regulates inflammatory cytokines. He recommends 4,000 IU’s daily-make¬†sure it’s D3, not D2.

My personal fat loss crusade continues. My weight is now down to 160 lbs.-I haven’t weighed that since the late 80’s. I’ve known for a long time that dietary fads don’t work. What’s worked for me is switching to a more plant-based diet, limiting dairy products, eating smaller portions, making sure I get enough fiber (fiber really helps), and exercising 4-5 days per week. If you’ve tried that and it doesn’t work, perhaps you need to take a closer look at what you’re eating. Want more advice? Zip me an email and we can discuss it.

I’ll be out of town for the next week-heading for the mountains. It’s so blasted hot here. Talk to you then.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.