Friday, 17 October 2014

Iodine Tests - Konnyaku Noodle - SAFE!

Today I tested out some Konnyaku noodles. As you can see, very little reaction. About the same amount as, say, a cucumber. This brand probably isn't the best quality as there were some small specks of starch. Not enough starch to be a problem for most people following the NSD. Safer than almonds with skin on (yes the skins have a little starch)

Many of these products coming from China are terribly confused about the contents of their own products. Below we have another packet of Konnyaku that is labelled incorrectly as "Pice Vermicelli". No pice in this, nor is there any rice either. 
Above is the front, and below is the back of the same package. Yes indeed, this is Konnyaku noodle. There is no rice at all. I have seen other products incorrectly labelled as containing yam. A quick iodine test tells the truth. 

Amylopectin - Background for NSD Book Chapter

Here is what I wrote about my experiences with eating Amylopectin. I put this together whilst on a bus to Canberra. There are far fewer distractions for me on a bus, my worst enemies happen to be the TV and computer games. But on the bus I simply put my headphones on, listen to some music that I love, and the words come easily (after about an hour of settling in).  

-- Adaptation --
Sometime around late 2007 I found I could adapt to some problem foods. For example, I was not able to eat onions or garlic due to inulin content. Improper fermentation in my stomach was causing inflammation.  I also had issues with linseed [probably due to lignan or dietary fibre]. However after gradually adding the foods back into my diet, first starting with very small amounts, I found that I could gradually adapt to the foods. Soon they caused caused no trouble at all. 

-- Sticky Rice --
One day whilst eating at a Thai restaurant I just couldn't resist trying a little black sticky rice. It's one of those things I used to really really love eating. Even though it was just one or two teaspoons full, I should have reacted.. Well, I would have if this was normal rice. Months passed and eventually I again remembered my love for Thai black sticky rice. This time, remembering my last encounter, I was much more brave and ate quite a decent amount. Still no reaction! What on earth was happening?! 

In late 2011, around November and December, I noticed that sticky rice didn't react to iodine in the same way as normal rice. A did a bit of reading and found that the starch in sticky rice (glutinous rice) is quite different to that which is found in other starchy foods. 

[A little science - There are two main types of starch: amylose starch and amylopectin starch. Amylose reacts to iodine by turning an inky blue-black, and amylopectin instead turns a much lighter brownish colour.  Most starchy foods contain amylose, or a mix of both amylose and amylopectin. It is however quite unusual for a food to have only amylopectin. Glutinous rice is the most easily an cheaply acquired source of amylopectin. Oh and one more thing, the "glutin" in glutinous rice is so named due to its sticky consistency and is in no way related to the "gluten" found in wheat. ]

-- the good --
Throughout 2012 I began to eat glutinous rice quite regularly. I found it had some useful qualities - if I mixed glutinous rice flour with egg to make a pancake then it provided me with a great source of energy to last throughout the day. It was also a useful way for me to put on some weight - a good thing in my case. 

-- the bad --
It may sound counterintuitive but when eating sticky rice, not as a pancake but as a rice, this made me quite sleepy and also significantly worsened my Proctitis. Different quantities of starch are involved and also it digests quite differently when eaten as rice (as opposed to when making pancakes). Plain sticky rice has a very very high glycemic index and the huge rush of blood sugar spikes insulin levels, this then leads to a subsequent blood sugar crash - and this is where I become extremely sleepy and find it difficult to concentrate or do my work. 

-- the ugly --
[Warning: Betty also tried glutinous rice flour and at first all things went fine and well. One day she made a pizza out of glutinous rice flour and then the AS inflammation hit her with full force! So, given both of us having negative experiences I must urge others to be very careful with this and eat it sparingly, and certainly not daily]

Later in 2012, after long indulging in regular glutinous rice flour pancakes I succumbed to the Candida beast. This is one tough demon to battle with. The skin infection was terrible, and amylopectin was without question the cause. 

I tried eating lots of yoghurt and coconut oil to no avail. The creams from the pharmacist were particularly poor. Within a matter of days the fungus would adapt and render the cream ineffective. I would then try another, and yet another and each time the result was the same - they worked in the short term only and provided no lasting cure. 

I then tried methylene blue (orally mixed with Berocca to mask the bitterness) and that helped only with the skin infections. Curiously I found Candida was completely unable to adapt to methylene blue even over a period of many months. Unfortunately methylene blue doesn't really seem to kill Candida directly, instead it puts it in a dormant state where it causes no trouble. Still, it was very useful I'm bringing this beast under control. 

Starving Candida is one option, but that would half-starve me too and takes many months. This route would require an NSD regime that was very low on refined sucrose. 

In early 2014, still struggling with smouldering Candida fungal infections, out of frustration and exasperation I decided to bite the bullet and try Lufenuron. It worked well for the duration that I took it, although it still was not the permanent solution I was hoping for. It seems my body is unusually prone to fungal infections. Dang. 

-- notes --
* Proctitis - sticky rice worsens it, but glutinous rice flour pancakes do not worsen this. Due to digestion (gut flora) or glycemic index. Amylose is mildly protective. Both amylose and amylopectin are prebiotic. 
* Betty Rawker gave glutinous rice a try. At first things went fine and she didn't react but later had a major major reaction after making a pizza using glutinous rice flour. 
* Ted La Monty mentioned Amylopectin way back in March 2004!

-- refs --
Amylopectin - 2011-12 where I first realised amylopectin was safe

Amylopectin - the Good, the Bad and the Candida. Nov 2012

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Fruit Fast & Feeling Fantastic

I have been doing a "fruit fast" for the last three days. Eating just fruit, and also a few nuts in the morning to help absorb a supplement. But mostly just fresh fruit - apples, mandarins, blueberries, and strawberries. I have sooo much energy now. Feeling amazing. Now I know what Annette Larkins means. Annette says she has so much energy, if she could bottle it and sell it she would be rich.

I will call it a fast just for convenience, technically it is a "partial fast". There are actually many ways of fasting, it doesn't just mean abstinence from all food and drink which is called an "absolute fast". 

Walking through the food court. Mannnnn it is so freakin' tempting. Fatty foods and meats are a hundred times more desirable when abstaining. And my sense of smell is more than ten times as acute. I can taste the subtle flavours in my blueberries. Something that was lost on me before. 

Monday, 13 October 2014

Natural Remedies for Cystitis / Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

A relative of mine has a chronic urinary infection at the moment and the antibiotics thus far have not worked well at all so I have put this together for her.

Firstly some background.
The pathogens that cause Urinary Tract Infections (UTI / Cystitis) are sensitive to pH, and fortunately this is something that we can change quite easily. So pH really matters.

When we eat acidic foods it doesn't automatically mean that it will make our urine more acidic, for instance citrus fruits will make the urine more alkaline despite being acidic. What happens here is that our body is stimulated to produce more bicarbonates as a response (particularly the pancreas), and also the types of minerals found in fruits are easily converted by our body into bicarbonates. The vast majority of fruit and vegetables will have an alkaline renal load, and this means that it makes our urine more alkaline.

== pH Change ==
We can expect that most UTI microbes will prefer a slightly acid urine, whilst some may prefer it slightly alkaline. None will like a strong alkaline or strongly acidic environment. And in particular the pathogens will not deal well with big swings in pH. That is, if you change the pH from strongly acidic to strongly alkaline within a few hours then they won't be able to tolerate the change. When you acidify the urine it might burn more as it irritates the pre-existing inflammation, so it is a bit tricky to tell if that is helping.

All said though, I suspect the majority cases will benefit quickly from a strongly alkaline urine. The reason is simple, the vast majority of people follow a diet that has an acidic renal load (that acidifies the urine), and thus the pathogens living in their bladder or urinary tract are naturally going to be acid loving. BUT, and this is an important reminder, the pathogens will only tolerate a certain level of acidity. If we make the urine too acidic then even so called "acid loving" pathogens will die.

You can buy pH strips from a pharmacist to test the urine pH. This is a simple tool to help you know whether you are on the right track or not.

== Cream of Tartar (CoT) ==
This is actually a very old and time tested remedy. I would use this first off before all other remedies. How to take it: In juice add a quarter of a teaspoon (preferably no more than a teaspoon in a day). Adding a bit of fresh lemon or lime juice may also improve this remedy.

I had a bit of difficulty working out whether CoT alkalises or acidifies the urine. Ural is a product you can buy at a pharmacy for UTI. The reaction in Ural's ingredients actually produce a very similar compound (ie. a salt of tartaric acid, although Cream of Tartar has more potassium). Ural makes the urine more alkaline and so I believe Cream of Tartar alkalises the pH too.

== Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) ==
At first this (apparently) acidifies the urine, but over a few days the body compensates and the urine becomes more alkaline. Another popular remedy. Should work well, especially over the first two days. Add a tablespoon or two to a glass of juice.

== Baking Soda ==
1 heaped teaspoon in a glass of water. Must be taken on an empty stomach without any other food / juice etc (it reacts with acids). This will make the urine more alkaline. Best to do this when not hungry. I make a big cup of this and put it near my bed, then drink it first thing in the morning, or when I wake.

== Berries ==
Different berries help in different ways.. particularly Blueberries, Cranberries. I suggest eating a variety of berries.. oh and Cherries too (even if they aren't berries). My suggestion - see if you can find some unsweetened cherry juice, or eat fresh berries, or put some frozen berries in the blender along with a pear to make a smoothie, but please don't add dairy or yoghurt to this as it will negate the benefits.

== Cranberry ==
This contains D-Mannose which inhibits the ability for pathogens to bind to the bladder wall. They end up getting flushed out. You can use cranberry juice or dried cranberry for this, and it is also possible to buy the key compound D-Mannose online. Most cranberry products unfortunately contain a lot of added sugar, which is not good for your immune system.. this added sugar will also likely make the urine pH more acidic.

== Alkalising ==
The following make the urine more alkaline:
  • Cream of Tartar - eighth tsp in fruit juice
  • Ural
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Fresh fruit juice
  • Vegetable juice
  • Bicarbonate - see directions (above)
  • Tofu - one of few high protein foods that doesn't produce very acidic urine.

== Acidifying ==
The following make the urine more acidic:
  • Coffee
  • Cheese, Yoghurt
  • Eggs (runny)
  • Chicken
  • All meats
  • ACV - acid, then alkaline after two or more days
  • Uroquid - Sodium acid phosphate (Urinary acidifier)

-- More reading --

A table of renal acidifying / alkalising foods. A few items seem misplaced to me, but overall a good guide.

Good reviews of different natural remedies. Lots of great safe & simple things to try here.

Ted from Bangkok, as usual, wrote a very interesting post here:

EarthClinic typically has good ideas for beating disease. The second link is for pets, but still interesting!

Some forum chatter on using CoT and D-Mannose / Cranberry for UTI