INFLAMMATION, TOXEMIA AND DETOXIFICATION: KEY TO UNDERSTANDING HEALTH AND DISEASE
Robbins Basic Pathology, the classic text used in medical schools, states that inflammation is "fundamentally a protective response, designed to rid the organism of both the initial cause of cell injury (e.g., microbes, toxins) and the consequences of such injury (e.g., necrotic cells and tissues). Without inflammation infections would go unchecked, wounds would never heal, and injured tissues might remain permanent festering sores." Inflammation is "essential to the survival of organisms is their ability to get rid of damaged or necrotic tissues and foreign invaders, such as microbes."
No one has explained theoretically how it makes any common sense to suppress or oppose the inflammatory process with drugs such as NSAIDs knowing that inflammation is "fundamentally a protective response . . ." Nonetheless, inflammation is suppressed with drugs as a standard practice in the medical world today.
Inflammatory diseases include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gastritis, rhinitis, neuritis, and every other disease with a name ending in "itis."
When inflammation is present, it would seem far more logical to help the body rid itself of the "initial cause of cell injury (e.g., microbes, toxins) and the consequences of such injury (e.g.,necrotic cells and tissues)" than to chemically suppress the process of inflammation which was deliberately created by the immune system for healing.
The initial cause of cell injury, by definition, is microbes or toxins. What are these toxins referred to by Robbins? Where do they come from? In 1935, an MD published a book with his opinions on the subject. It became a classic which you should read. Here's the link to the online free full text version:Tilden, J. H., M.D. Toxemia Explained. Dr. Tilden's Health School, Denver, Colorado, 1935. Available in both html and PDF versions.
In 1981, Dr. Immerman decided to investigate Dr. Tilden's hypothesis and see if it was scientifically valid. Here are the key questions: Do toxins of many types build up in the body and cause disease? Is inflammation then turned on to destroy or eliminate these toxins? Is inflammation a widespread problem? Does the body initiate inflammmation because of the presence of toxins in many common conditions? Is it important to detoxify? What is the best way to detoxify? Many of these questions are addressed in the following article: "Scientific Basis for the Concept of Toxemia" by Alan M. Immerman, D.C., ACA Journal, June, 1981. Read and learn the truth.
Toxins are at the root of many common illnesses. Detoxification can restore health more often than not. Further avoidance of toxins can maintain good health without medical intervention in many cases. Most of the answers to your questions can be found on this page.
LA Times: Battling inflammation through food: Though it's an emerging field, proponents of anti-inflammatory diets point to growing evidence that foods like vegetables and fish can ease an overactive immune system.
LA Times: Inflammation and how it relates to chronic diseases: Discusses cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease and cancer.
Testing the hypothesis of inflammation, toxemia and detoxification in practice with rheumatioid arthritis
RA is a classic autoimmune inflammatory disease of the joints. It does not involve microbes and so, according to the definition of inflammation, must involve toxins. Theoretically, the body must initiate the process of inflammation as a protection function to destroy and/or eliminate toxins which lodge in the joints. Medical treatment is aimed at suppressing the painful inflammatory process. It would seem to make far more sense to help the body rid itself of the toxins which the body is trying to get rid of with inflammation. Is there scientific evidence to support this approach and, therefore, the entire concept of toxemia as an underlying cause of inflammation and many chronic diseases?
If the toxins come from a bad diet, then eating a good diet would alleviate symptoms in RA. The body is able to clear toxins by itself through detoxification functions primarily by the liver, kidneys, lymphatic and immune system, etc. Here is what peer-reviewed scientific studies have found:
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008, 10:R34: "Gluten-free vegan diet induces decreased LDL and oxidized LDL levels and raised atheroprotective natural antibodies against phosphorylcholine in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a randomized study," A Elkan, B Sloberg, B Kolsrud, B Ringertz, I Hafström and J Frostegård. "Conclusion: A gluten-free vegan diet in RA induces changes that are potentially atheroprotective and anti-inflammatory, including decreased LDL and oxLDL levels and raised anti-PC IgM and IgA levels." Available online http://arthritis-research.com/content/10/2/R34.
Makes you wonder why elite rheumatologists are treating RA patients with potentially deadly anti-cancer drugs like methotrexate when all they have to do is tell them to stop eating meat. Read on.
Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology: "Fasting followed by vegetarian diet in patients with rheumatoid arthritis," Muller H, Toledo FW, Resch KL, 30(1): 1-10, 2001. This systematic review analysed more than 30 studies of fasting and vegetarian diets for rheumatoid arthritis and concluded that they were all successful because they spared the body of a key compound found in animal foods, eicosanoids, formed from an Omega-6 fatty acid called arachidonic acid. Vegetarian diets contain no arachidonic acid and so result in formation of no eicosanoids, thus no need for inflammation to destroy these irritating toxins in the joints, thus no pain of rheumatoid arthritis. Purveyors of Omega-3 products would prefer you to sell their substance to balance the Omega-6 acids in your patient's body. This may be superior for the vendor's profit margin, but it is superior for the patient's health to eliminate the Omega-6 acid intake altogether.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Anti-Inflammatory Diet in Rheumatoid Arthritis -- Review, O. Adam, v. 49:730-717, 1995. Conclusion: Arachidonic acid, found only in animal foods, is the cause of the inflammation in RA. Avoiding animal foods results in reduction of symptoms.
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine: "Effects of a Very Low Fat, Vegan Diet in Subjects with Rheumatoid Arthritis," John McDougall, MD, B Bruce, G Spiller, J Westerdahl, M McDougall, v.8, n.1, p. 71-75, 2002. Conclusions: Patients with moderate-to-severe RA who switch to a vegan diet can experience significant reduction in RA symptoms.
Conclusion: The theory has proven true. Toxins build up in the body from ingesting actual toxins or too much of any type of food, causing general toxemia. Inflammation is created to protect the body from toxins and is an underlying theme in cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis and many other diseases. Anti-inflammatory treatment makes no logical sense even with rheumatoid arthritis. Detoxifying by removing the source of the toxins with plant-based nutrition is the only sound solution. ACS provides personal guidance to members who wish to pursue these methods in their practices. Call or email ACS for more information and get started today.