What is Gluten? A Short Animated Lesson


If you’ve been to a restaurant in the last few years, you’ve likely seen the words gluten-free written somewhere on the menu. But what exactly is gluten, and why can’t some people process it? And why does it only seem to be a problem recently? William D. Chey unravels the facts behind celiac disease, wheat allergies and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Lesson by William D. Chey, animation by Stretch Films, Inc.

View full lesson here

Can Foods Make You Break Out? The links between your diet and your skin may surprise you!

By Eric Metcalf, MPH WebMD

By now, it’s common knowledge that certain nutrients help specific body parts work better. Healthy bones require calcium and vitamin D. Our hearts may do better when we eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids. And for healthy skin we should eat, well, hmmm, that’s a good question.

If you’re not sure which foods are good for your skin and which ones are harmful, you’re certainly not alone. Little research has shown a connection between particular foods and skin health, says Cheryl Karcher, MD, a New York dermatologist who worked as a nutritionist before she became a doctor. And a lot of the “common  knowledge” that people pass around about eating and skin health is based on individual people’s cases, she says.

Most people develop acne– the most common skin condition — to some degree, but it primarily affects teenagers undergoing hormonal changes. Acne may be mild (few, occasional pimples), moderate (inflammatory papules), or severe (nodules and cysts). Treatment depends on the severity of the condition.

Still, “the skin is a reflection of your total body health,” says Karcher, who is a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Dermatology. A nutritious diet that keeps your inside healthy will help keep your outward appearance looking good. On the other hand, a poor diet will show up on your skin.

Several experts whose expertise straddles both nutrition and dermatology are here to tell you which foods may support smooth, healthy skin, and which foods are more likely to lead to rashes, blemishes, and breakouts.

The Blood Sugar Connection

For the first part of her career, Valori Treloar, MD, worked with patients like a typical skin doctor. But over time, she grew tired of the few options that she could use on hard-to-treat cases, as well as the serious side effects that some could cause.

So the Massachusetts doctor became a certified nutrition specialist and now promotes diet fixes to her patients along with medicine.

Several studies from 40 years ago “proved” that diet doesn’t cause acne, Treloar says, and this thinking became a widely held belief in medicine. “All through medical school and through my dermatology training, I was taught, ‘Don’t worry about what your patient eats, it’s not relevant to their acne,’” Treloar tells WebMD.

But in recent years, some research has supported new thinking.

A good way to improve the health of your skin is to eat in a manner that keeps your blood sugar steady, she tells WebMD. Some foods make your blood sugar quickly soar. This triggers your body to make a burst of the hormone insulin to help your cells absorb the sugar.

If throughout the day you’re “eating a cookie, you’re eating a granola bar, and you’re drinking a sweetened beverage, you’re pushing your blood sugar up high and fast, and you’re going to have more insulin circulating in your bloodstream,” says Treloar, who co-authored The Clear Skin Diet.

Some research suggests that insulin may play a role in acne. In a 2007 study, researchers explored a possible link. The study included 43 teenage boys and young men with acne. For three months, some ate a diet including foods with a low glycemic load (which is a measure of how foods affect people’s blood sugar), and others ate a carbohydrate-heavy diet without being concerned about their glycemic index. Those who ate the special low glycemic load diet had more improvement in their acne.

On the other hand, a study published in a dermatology journal later that year didn’t find an association between acne, insulin levels, and measurements of glycemic load. So the matter isn’t settled yet.

Steps that keep your blood sugar steady, as well as fight inflammation and oxidative damage that could be linked to skin problems, include:

  • Focus on foods with a low glycemic index (GI), a measurement related to glycemic load These cause smaller increases in your blood sugar, as opposed to the steeper jump from foods with a high glycemic index, or GI. Identifying low and high GI foods may take some time. You can find a good introduction here.
  • Eat small meals often. Eating every two and a half to three hours will help keep your blood sugar and insulin levels steadier, Treloar says.
  • Eat lots of vegetables. Treloar recommends 10 fist-sized servings of vegetables daily. Choose veggies across a range of deep and bright colors. These will provide a variety of antioxidants that dampen free-radical (or “oxidative”) damage and inflammation. But keep in mind that some vegetables have a high GI.

Dairy and Acne

There’s no definite link between dairy and acne, but there are theories about it.

In an article he wrote for a medical journal in 2008, F. William Danby, MD, a skin expert who promotes the possible dairy-acne connection, explained how the two may be related. Milk contains components related to the hormone testosterone that may stimulate oil glands in the skin, setting the stage for acne.

Karcher has heard similar stories. “I’ve had patients who said they stopped dairy and their acne got better. You can have a totally healthy diet without dairy. If a patient feels that is a possible problem, there’s nothing wrong with trying it as long as they’re followed by someone to make sure they’re getting a balanced diet.”

 “In my skin-care practice, I’d often take people off all dairy products, which is kind of unheard of for RDs to do, but it made a huge difference,” says Carmina McGee, MS, RD, a dietitian in Ventura, Calif., who has a special interest in skin disorders.

Although studies have shown associations between dairy and acne, they don’t show cause and effect, and they don’t prove that dairy causes acne. Anecdotes from people who’ve quit dairy also don’t mean that the same will be true for you.

Dairy is an important source of calcium and vitamin D, which your bones (and the rest of your body) need. So if you cut back, do so with care:

  • If you find that your skin clears up after you cut out dairy, see if you can have a little without breakouts. Some people can drink small amounts of milk and stay acne-free, Treloar says.
  • Or try different kinds of dairy. Nonsweetened yogurt from cows, or dairy from other animals such as goats, may be more tolerable for your skin.
  • Replace the calcium that you would normally get from dairy by eating other foods such as calcium-rich leafy greens (like kale and mustard greens), broccoli, and sardines, McGee says.

Balance Your Fats

Different fatty acids in the foods we eat can support inflammation or dampen it. And too much inflammation inside your body can show up on your skin, Treloar says. Ages ago, omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3s were evenly represented in the human diet. But we tend to get a lot more omega-6s now.

You can address this imbalance, Treloar says, by:

  • Using less vegetable oils such as corn, safflower, and even canola oil.
  • Buying beef and eggs from animals that ate while roaming in pastures, rather than animals that were corn-fed.
  • Eating more fish rich in omega-3s, such as salmon and mackerel, and considering taking fish-oil supplements. As always, tell your doctor about any supplements you take, so they can look out for any possible side effects or drug interactions.

Gluten’s Role

People with a condition called celiac disease must avoid a protein called gluten, which is found in certain grains. In these cases, eating gluten causes damage in the small intestine.

Concern about gluten’s effects in people without celiac disease has become trendy in recent years, McGee says. But people can be sensitive to gluten even if they don’t have celiac disease. In some cases, this gluten sensitivity can cause a skin rash, she tells WebMD. However, the rash related to gluten sensitivity, called dermatitis herpetiformis, is seen mainly in people with celiac disease.

 A low-gluten diet can make a lot of nutritious foods – such as whole-wheat bread – disappear from your plate. If you start a trial period without gluten, be sure to talk with your doctor first.

Collagen Boosting Food!

Collagen is a major structural protein in the human body. It strengthens tendons, improves skin resilience and supports internal organs, according to the Protein Data Bank. As people age, collagen production slows down. This is most notably seen in the skin as wrinkles, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. An adequate intake of foods high in vitamin C, vitamin A, omega – 3 fatty acids, copper and niacin will help boost collagen production.

Omega – 3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 Fatty Acids enhance ligament fibroblast collagen formation in association with changes in interleukin-6 production.  Omega 3 also lessens  collagen breakdown and the acids help with skin renewal and production.  Foods high in omega – 3 fatty acids are tuna and salmon.

English: Flesh of an Atlantic Salmon.

English: Flesh of an Atlantic Salmon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Foods High in Vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential in the production of collagen. It is needed to turn the amino acid proline into hydroxyproline. Hydroxyproline improves collagen stability. Inadequate intake of vitamin C slows collagen production, leading to scurvy. Without enough collagen, the body is unable to repair itself.  Foods high in vitamin C to help boost collagen include citrus fruits, peppers, potatoes, cantaloupe, broccoli, tomatoes and strawberries.

Cantalope Melon

Cantalope Melon (Photo credit: shanta)

 

Foods High in Niacin

Niacin assists the functioning of the skin, nerves and digestive system. In preliminary studies, niacin increases collagen production and reduces dark spots on the skin. Foods high in niacin to boost collagen production include dairy products, fish, poultry, lean meat, nuts and eggs. Legumes and enriched cereals and breads provide some niacin.

Almonds

Almonds (Photo credit: Shelby PDX)

 

Foods High in Copper

Copper is a mineral people need in only small amounts. But it is an essential nutrient in the production of collagen. The best sources of copper to increase collagen production include oysters, crabs, mussels, beef liver, cashews, filberts, almonds, soybeans, peanuts, chocolate, fortified cereals, mushrooms, potatoes, grapes, avocados and bananas.

White Tea

Drinking white tea helps to protect the skin from further damage, preventing the activity of enzymes that break down collagen as we age. Drink white tea in the morning to counteract aging and to help with hydration, an important part of keeping skin young!

Kidney Beans

Kidney beans help your body to produce hyaluronic acid, an anti-aging substance, which helps keep the collagen in your skin.

8 Diet and Exercise Mistakes That Age You

From The Editors of Prevention

 

Eating too much sugar certainly isn’t wise for your waistline, but did you know that overindulging in dessert can add years to your face? And even if you do strenuous cardio workouts each week, you’ll be missing out on potential anti-aging body benefits if your schedule doesn’t include yoga, weight training, and rest.

 

“Good nutrition is a fundamental building block of healthy skin,” explains Leslie Baumann, MD, a Miami Beach dermatologist. The natural ingredients in whole foods such as romaine lettuce and strawberries help increase cell turnover, and boost production of collagen fibers to help keep skin smooth and firm. Conversely, foods with little-to-no nutritional benefits, like sugar-packed doughnuts, can actually damage the collagen and elastin that keep skin firm and youthful. These aging effects start at about age 35 and increase rapidly after that, according to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

 

Even if your diet is wholesome, you could be making exercise mistakes that age you as well. For example, if you only do cardio at the expense of other types of exercise, like yoga and strength-training, you could be missing out on skin-protective benefits.

 

Find out if you’re making one of these 8 common aging diet and exercise mistakes, and get smart prevention strategies that can keep you slim and youthful for years to come.

 

The breakdown of sugars, called glycation, damages the collagen that keeps skin smooth and firm. To prevent this natural process from careening out of control, Naila Malik, MD, a derm in Southlake, TX, sticks to low-glycemic carbs like whole grains; they’re naturally low in sugar, and the body processes them slowly to limit the loss of collagen. If you want to sweeten up your tea or oatmeal without making your skin look older, try all-natural stevia.

 

English: Stevia rebaudiana flowers

English: Stevia rebaudiana flowers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

It’s an easily digested herbal sweetener that doesn’t trigger glycation, according to board-certified dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, MD, an adjunct professor of medicine at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine.

 

Taking your work angst out on the Spinning bike or treadmill might make you feel better for a little while, but incorporating yoga into your fitness routine regularly may help you look younger and prevent breakouts while whittling away stress. Sounds like a winning workout to us! “Yoga moves like Child’s Pose, Downward-Facing Dog, and Sun Salutations improve circulation–the boost of oxygen is what gives skin that lovely yoga glow,” says Hema Sundaram, MD, a Washington, DC – area dermatologist. New research finds regular yoga practice may reduce the inflammation and stress that speed skin aging. If you need another reason to om away your stress: High levels of tension can spike hormone production that leads to breakouts or aggravates conditions like psoriasis. “Controlling stress keeps your skin calm,” says Annie Chiu, MD, a derm in LA.

 

Research suggests that green and black tea contain protective compounds–like EGCG and theaflavins–that help prevent skin cancers and the breakdown of collagen, the cause of wrinkles.

 

Following a regular strength-training routine that creates better, more supportive muscle tone will help you firm sagging skin from the neck down. “I am religious about strength-training, and I always tell patients to do it more as they get older,” says Patricia Farris, MD, a dermatologist in Metairie, LA. “It’s like adding volume to the face with fillers, except on your body,” says Dr. Farris.

 

“Hormones in traditionally produced dairy, poultry, and meat may contribute to acne,” says Katie Rodan, MD, a dermatologist in the San Francisco Bay area. She says that her patients who eat those less frequently–or at least choose grain-fed beef and poultry and organic dairy–often notice their skin looks better.

 

When your exercise routine is so intense that you’re tired all the time but can’t sleep at night, you’re setting yourself up for overuse injuries–not to mention dark circles and bags under your eyes from those sleepless nights. These symptoms could be a sign of overexhaustion, says Ryan Halvorson, personal trainer, IDEA Health and Fitness Association expert, and author. Other clues that you’re working out too much include extreme muscle soreness that persists for several days, unintended weight loss, an increased resting heart rate, interruptions in your menstrual cycle, or decreased appetite. “Plan your rest as well as you plan exercise,” says Polly de Mille, RN, a registered clinical exercise physiologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. “If there is no balance between breakdown and recovery, then the muscle is in a state of chronic inflammation and what may start as a simple case of soreness after a hard workout can turn into an actual overuse injury.”

 

When your diet isn’t balanced, your skin, hair, and nails will suffer. Cutting calories can deprive your body of certain nutrients that promote healthy cell division, cell regeneration, and overall skin tone and texture, explains David E. Bank, MD, FAAD, director of the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser Surgery in Mount Kisco, NY. “The skin also requires essential fatty acids–which the body can’t produce on its own–to maintain hydration. A diet that’s too low in fat could cause dry skin, hair loss, and brittle nails.” Other key youth-boosting nutrients include vitamins A, C, and E. Being deficient in A can cause acne, dry hair, dry skin, and broken fingernails. Get your daily vitamin A fix by eating five baby carrots each day. A lack of vitamin C can affect collagen synthesis (the “glue” that binds our ligaments, bones, blood vessels, and skin), impair wound healing, and make you more likely to bruise. Incorporate vitamin C – rich foods in the form of citrus fruits, brussels sprouts, peppers, and leafy greens. Low levels of vitamin E can result in easy bruising and cause chronic skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis to flare up. Get more vitamin E in your diet by eating almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, spinach, and fortified cereals.

 

Kimberly Snyder, a Los Angeles nutritionist and author of The Beauty Detox Solution, says she sees a big improvement in her clients’ skin and hair when they eat more alkaline-forming foods, such as parsley, almonds, kale, pears, lemons, and apples. “If your body is too acidic, which can happen when your diet is unbalanced, it leaches the alkaline minerals, such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium, that allow us to have strong, healthy bones, teeth, and hair,” Snyder explains.

 

Hydration is Key to a Healthy Complexion!

Via My Journal of Health – Tumblr
Have a glass of water in the morning after waking up.
Why? Drinking water will help us keep hydrated. After sleeping for several hours, your body hasn’t received any intake of water. Water is essential for good health and drinking water first thing in the morning will help jump start your day.

%d bloggers like this: