Biomarkers for navigating autoimmune health challenges - DAO, LPS and Zonulin

3 Bio-markers are Potential Game Changers for Autoimmune Sufferers

This year has already flown by, I can’t believe we are in the third month already! I have many things in the works to share with you and have been eager for reliable internet service to share these fascinating diagnostic testing options with you.  Especially for those on that auto-immunity journey and those on that health journey roller coaster which seems to have wheels spinning in circles…

I’ll cut to the chase – DAO, LPS and Zonulin – Have you heard of them?  Do you know their significance?  Let me give a brief, and I mean brief, overview of what they are and why they are significant.

What are they?

DAO – Diamine Oxidase is primarily secreted in the digestive tract and helps set the stage for a healthy environment in the digestive tract.   Do you have any guesses as to one of the things which happens when someone has low DAO?  If you guessed an adverse environment with an unhealthy microbiome you guessed correct!

LPS – Lipopolysaccharide is also primarily located in the gut.  It is an endotoxin which comes about as your body is fighting bacteria. When we find this in the blood that tells us it is no longer confined in the digestive tract, rather has made its way into our system!

Zonulin – (this is one you may have heard about!) Dr. Alessio Fasano, from Italy, is responsible for discovering the role of this fascinating protein.  Simply put – Zonulin is responsible for opening the tight junctions thereby allowing ‘stuff’ to pass between the cells lining the digestive tract. (If you want to dig deeper and connect some dots on your health journey take a minute and do a quick search at Pubmed: “Fasano Zonulin” and see what turns up 🙂

zonulin illustration

What is the significance?

First, if you haven’t read about the microbiome you may want to check out this post. When our digestive tract has an unhealthy environment that sets the stage for unhealthy flora to take up residence.  In addition what is typically healthy flora can get out of balance and become overpopulated, thereby rendering this once helpful bacteria unhelpful.  Furthermore, this loops back to causing an imbalance so we are left with having an imbalance due to bad environment and a bad environment due to an imbalance – quite the ‘catch 22’ situation!

Next have you heard of antibodies?  Are you familiar with how they come about?  Again, a brief snapshot.  Antibodies are part of the second line of defense in our immune system.  SIgA is the first line involved in the elimination of ‘invaders’.  When these invaders make their way through the lining of the digestive tract(such as when Zonulin opens the door) antibodies come into the scene.  Can you see where this is headed and how this is tied to autoimmunity?

So, we have antibodies getting made and foreign invaders attaching to things where they shouldn’t and our body decides to do what it can to eliminate the offender despite the collateral damage!  It is rather fascinating how we are made!

In addition to all of this histamines and allergies come on the scene…  I said I was going to keep this brief so will leave it at that… Things start to go downhill and the circling domino effect magnifies… Autoimmunity takes hold…

zonulin related disease illustration

What can we do about abnormal findings?

Ah, the million dollar question!!!  I wish I had the answer you are looking for, the fact is there isn’t a one size fits all solution.  This is why those of us with autoimmune conditions often find ourselves spinning in circles trying this protocol and that protocol.  For instance, overall those with MS find Wahls protocol effective, others may find Autoimmune Paleo effective or perhaps SCD(Specific Carbohydrate Diet).  Some may need to tweak and eliminate FodMAPs, Histamines or Nightshades…

We find relief in one area and think we are on the road to healing then have another ‘episode’. What you do for your T1 Diabetic condition may be different than what needs to happen for my T1D son.  This is where these three tests can be very valuable! We know ‘leaky gut’ is associated with autoimmune diseases, so the challenge is to find the breach and fix it.  Is it due to low DAO?  Perhaps its an abundance of Zonulin?  What about a combination of the two?  This is where partnering with a functional practitioner is invaluable. We can help you identify patterns and nuances specific to your situation.   We have to look at all the clues given us, these three markers are just three of the many clues to your ‘health mystery’.

I would love to be able to tell you to take this probiotic, that combination of supplements and you go on your happy way to healing. But, one thing I am 10,000% certain of is we are individuals and a restoration of health must be customized!   Are there similarities and common components to the solutions?  Absolutely!!!

So, can I help you?  Most likely, but it would take looking at your health journey with a fine tooth comb! In the meantime I can recommend a few things which will encourage your body to seek homeostasis:

  • Lifestyle changes which support synchrony with circadian rhythms
  • Plenty of water
  • Real foods
  • Elimination of stress
  • Quality rest
  • Exercise
  • Laughter

The simplest way to come up with a customized plan will take one of two things:

Find a functional practitioner who is passionate about YOUR health challenges. (For instance my  primary interest is in autoimmune challenges, another practitioner may focus on cardiovascular or hormone challenges)  Many do not ‘specialize’ and that is ok, they can still help you formulate a plan!

or

Enroll in functional medicine training and put the pieces of your health back together.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments 🙂 And of course you can also take advantage of my free 15 min consult! Best wishes on your journey!

A few references:

Polyamine Oxidase and Diamine Oxidase Activities in Human Milk during the First Month of Lactation.
Bjelakovic L, Kocic G, Bjelakovic B, Najman S, Stojanović D, Jonovic M, Pop-Trajkovic Z.
Iran J Pediatr. 2012 Jun;22(2):218-22.
PMID: 23056889 Free PMC Article

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3446060/

 

Zonulin, a regulator of epithelial and endothelial barrier functions, and its involvement in chronic inflammatory diseases.
Sturgeon C, Fasano A.
Tissue Barriers. 2016 Oct 21;4(4):e1251384. doi: 10.1080/21688370.2016.1251384. Review.
PMID: 28123927

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21688370.2016.1251384?journalCode=ktib20

 

Abnormal intestinal permeability and microbiota in patients with autoimmune hepatitis.
Lin R, Zhou L, Zhang J, Wang B.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015 May 1;8(5):5153-60.
PMID: 26191211 Free PMC Article

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26191211

 

Chronic Kidney Disease Induced Intestinal Mucosal Barrier Damage Associated with Intestinal Oxidative Stress Injury.
Yu C, Wang Z, Tan S, Wang Q, Zhou C, Kang X, Zhao S, Liu S, Fu H, Yu Z, Peng A.
Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2016;2016:6720575. doi: 10.1155/2016/6720575.
PMID: 27493661 Free PMC Article

https://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/6720575

 

Concomitant Prevalence of Low Serum Diamine Oxidase Activity and Carbohydrate Malabsorption.
Enko D, Meinitzer A, Mangge H, Kriegshäuser G, Halwachs-Baumann G, Reininghaus EZ, Bengesser SA, Schnedl WJ.
Can J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016;2016:4893501. doi: 10.1155/2016/4893501.
PMID: 28042564 Free PMC Article

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/cjgh/2016/4893501/

 

Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Middle Ear Inflammation Disrupts the cochlear Intra-Strial Fluid–Blood Barrier through Down-Regulation of Tight Junction Proteins
Jinhui Zhang, Songlin Chen, Zhiqiang Hou, Jing Cai, Mingmin Dong, Xiaorui Shi
PLoS One. 2015; 10(3): e0122572. Published online 2015 Mar 27. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0122572
PMCID: PMC4376743

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4376743/?report=reader

 

Analysis of the human monocyte-derived macrophage transcriptome and response to lipopolysaccharide provides new insights into genetic aetiology of inflammatory bowel disease.
Baillie JK, Arner E, Daub C, De Hoon M, Itoh M, Kawaji H, Lassmann T, Carninci P, Forrest AR, Hayashizaki Y; FANTOM Consortium., Faulkner GJ, Wells CA, Rehli M, Pavli P, Summers KM, Hume DA.
PLoS Genet. 2017 Mar 6;13(3):e1006641. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006641. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 28263993 Free Article

http://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1006641

 

Systemic lipopolysaccharide induces cochlear inflammation and exacerbates the synergistic ototoxicity of kanamycin and furosemide.
Hirose K, Li SZ, Ohlemiller KK, Ransohoff RM. J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. 2014; 15:555–70. doi: 10.1007/s10162-014-0458-8 PMID: 24845404

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4141430/?report=classic

 

Lipopolysaccharide alters the blood-brain barrier transport of amyloid beta protein: a mechanism for inflammation in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Jaeger LB, Dohgu S, Sultana R, Lynch JL, Owen JB, Erickson MA, et al.  Brain Behav Immun. 2009; 23:507–17. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2009.01.017 PMID: 19486646

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2783557/

 

Restoration of impaired intestinal barrier function by the hydrolysed casein diet contributes to the prevention of type 1 diabetes in the diabetes-prone BioBreeding rat.
Visser JT, Lammers K, Hoogendijk A, Boer MW, Brugman S, Beijer-Liefers S, Zandvoort A, Harmsen H, Welling G, Stellaard F, Bos NA, Fasano A, Rozing J.
Diabetologia. 2010 Dec;53(12):2621-8. doi: 10.1007/s00125-010-1903-9.
PMID: 20853098 Free PMC Article

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmid/20853098/

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Cardiovasular Disease & Diabetes: What is the connection?

The primary health concerns of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were infections diseases.  A shift in adverse health came about after the fortification and enrichment of foods.  Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and stroke became the prevailing ailments.  These diseases continue to rise, some at alarming rates.  Let’s take a quick look between two prevalent diseases today: Heart Disease and Diabetes. I am going to especially look at the incidents in Nacogdoches County in the State of Texas.  [PDF of this post here]

Some quick stats:

nacogdoches-statistics-cvd-and-diabetes

Is this a sign of malfunction in the bodies of the population?

Maintaining a healthy status requires a homeostasis of the bodily systems. Having healthy levels of glucose in our blood is vital for proper balance. When we eat, signals are sent in our body to aid in the metabolizing of the food we just ate.  Insulin is secreted as a result of some of those signals.  It is the “key” which allows glucose to enter the cells.  Without proper signaling of insulin, glucose cannot enter the cells.  This results in glucose going to other parts of the body.  For our body to function properly it is important to keep glucose levels stable.

When our glucose levels are outside a healthy range it attaches to proteins resulting in diabetes-1724617_1920Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs).  Excessive AGEs leads to plaque forming in the blood vessels.  One consequence is an impairment of the endothelium which lines the blood vessels.  It is hindered in releasing nitric oxide into the blood stream.  With this compromised cardiovascular system, the body has a difficult time repairing daily wear and tear.  Thus an increase in inflammation.  Heart disease often ensues.

In fact…. Studies have shown an increased incidence of heart disease in the presence of diabetes! 

With a high prevalence of heart disease and diabetes there is a need to understand the role of a proper functioning body. In regards to diabetes and cardiovascular disease the role of glucose balance is of marked importance.  Maintaining proper levels eliminates an exacerbating risk factor for both diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  A body which is in homeostasis is free of disease contrasted with a body where malfunction is present, disease emanates.

What can you do today to ensure a proper functioning body?

Begin practicing the 5 Pillars to Healthy Function!!!

Eat Quality Foods

Get Adequate Sleep

Be Active

Promote Healthy Digestion

Embrace Peace & a Spiritual Connection (Eliminate Stress)

push-ups-888024_1280

Related Research:

A.G.E. Foundation. What are AGEs http://agefoundation.com/age/

CDC Interactive Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke TablesGeographic Area 2010-2012.

Davis, C., and E. Saltos. (May 1999) “Dietary Recommendations and How They Have Changed Over Time,” America’s Eating Habits: Changes and Consequences, Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 750, USDA, ERS. Chapter 2.

Texas Department of State Health Services. (2012). 2012 Texas Heart Disease and Stroke

Fact Sheets, (2013). Diabetes Prevalence Among Adults BRFSS data Tables

Yamagishi, S-i., Nakamura, N., and Matsui, T. (2016) Glycation and cardiovascular disease in diabetes: A perspective on the concept of metabolic memory. J Diabetes, doi: 10.1111/1753-0407.12475.

Betrayal: Autoimmune Disease, what they aren’t telling you…

This is a great series that delves into looking at health conditions through a functional lens, looking at it from a functional perspective 😉

This is an 7 part series which you can sign up here to get the entire series:

https://betrayalseries.com/episode-1-1nyawjkj2?inf_contact_key=7d0cbc282bdddf41ebe8765a8e30e2913dfccc53967e4ef6635564f98c6380b9

How much glyphosate does your food have? Food Testing Results Database

All I can say is these results make my stomach churn….

Source: Food Testing Results

Food Testing Report (PDF) Food testing results and scientific evidence for concern…

fdn_glyphosatereportalarminglevels2

Common sense

I recently updated the “nuts & bolts” page where I touch on how our bodies provide ‘medicine’ to heal.  There is a LOT more to put on that page but I wanted to start sharing since there is a wealth of information that I hope to put there…

Anyway, I was reviewing a webinar regarding the cardiovascular system and one more of those ‘stop in my track’ moments occurred.  Most of us have probably heard about the “bad cholesterol” and “plaque” build up.  For those who haven’t – LDL cholesterol is termed the bad guy. Too much of it and it will start sticking to the lining of your blood vessels causing plaque.  High blood sugar and high amount of abdominal fat stimulate the body to release plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) which promotes blood clotting and build up of plaque.

The “ah ha” moment was because I understand the wonderful function of LDL in our bodies – it is necessary for repair and damage.  For example, do you know what high blood sugar does to the body?  It is like glass or sand which makes abrasions along the cell wall. So when we see high LDL it is a sign that something is in need of repair.  In this example of high blood sugar, in essence our amazing body is protecting itself from ourselves!  The body gets a signal to go repair and protect the wall by forming the plaque.  Of course in the long run this is detrimental, but at least it provides us with the opportunity to make changes. ***

So often the focus is on lowering that LDL number rather than looking as to WHY is that number elevated?   Our bodies make most of the LDL that is measured in blood tests, it is making it for a reason! What is the reason it is making it??? Lowering the LDL doesn’t address the underlying malfunction in our body. Such as maybe its high blood sugar causing damage… Do you know how many diabetics are on statin drugs?  It’s alarming!

Do you now what statin drugs do?  Statins are prescription pills which are very effective at lowering levels of LDL.  Guess what the most common side effect is?  Muscle pain.   Is this surprising??  It shouldn’t be, after all when we take away a necessary repair mechanism from our body what is going to happen? Stuff is gonna start showing the wear and tear.  Not just in our blood vessels, but our entire body!  It is no wonder there is an increase in heart attacks despite the effectiveness of statins lowering LDL.

Common sense tells us things could go very, very wrong!  Fortunately, there are more and more who have decided to take a look at health from a different perspective, one that looks at how the body is supposed to function.  Getting clues from how the body reacts to an adverse environment, letting our body be the guide. Pinpointing the reason behind why the body took evasive action. This kind of digging gets me super excited about health!  Totally lights a fire for me to pursue healthy choices and be in harmony with what my body is telling me!  Am I the only one who feels this way?

Well, gonna get back to the webinar, maybe I’ll get me some veggies to snack on 🙂

{***I added some clarification to my original post as it may not have been clear I was referring to high blood sugar as just an example of damage to our bodies}

Folic Acid Awareness Week 2015: Want Awareness? Here You Go

Been doing some research for my training and came across this information which I couldn’t wait to pass along. There are many illnesses on the rise.  In conjunction with that, we are finding more incidences of the altering of our food behind the reason the disease or illness took hold.

To complicate things, there are a lot of conflicting studies which make it difficult to get to the bottom of what is really going on.  Fortunately,  Dr. Ben Lynch has a burning passion to help educate others so you will find his site packed with a LOT of information…

For instance: Did you know Folic Acid is not found in nature?  What do you know about Folate?  Do you know the gene which is responsible for the final processing of Folate?   Before we delve into Folate, here is a post on Folic Acid that is quite informative on the processes affected by this synthetic food additive… {And incase you are wondering, Folate is completely natural}

Folic Acid Awareness Week 2015: Want Awareness? Here You Go

“Optimizing the health of unborn children is my passion. I am pleased to state that January is named National Birth Defects Prevention Month by the National Birth Defects Prevention Network and the CDC. This month is broken down into four parts with each part focusing on a key component of birth defect prevention. While I […]

Source: Folic Acid Awareness Week 2015: Want Awareness? Here You Go

GMO pt 2 – Connecting the dots- BT Corn

This is a follow up from my previous post regarding GMO trends.

How many know what BT corn is?  I have heard of GMO corn and I know it is modified to include insect repellent but beyond that didn’t really know the particulars. Well, fortunately my dinner was hours ago because the search results make my stomach turn…

From Monsanto’s site: Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a bacterium that occurs naturally in the soil and produces proteins that kill certain insects.

Ok, so we have this stuff called BT, that belongs IN dirt, which is now IN corn which the insects eat – then what happens?

University of Califonia San Diego describes it this way:  Bt has to be eaten to cause mortality. The Bt toxin dissolve in the high pH insect gut and become active. The toxins then attack the gut cells of the insect, punching holes in the lining. The Bt spores spills out of the gut and germinate in the insect causing death within a couple days.

Are you thinking what I am thinking?  What happens to all of this BT that is IN the corn which the insects DON’T eat?  You know – the trailer loads upon trailer loads the farmers harvest… Does it magically disappear out of the corn?  And, isn’t there a fundamental flaw in the logic – the bugs have to EAT the corn for it to work.

What about the mentioning of “high” pH – makes me ponder if that is another clue.  Questions such as: If an insect has low pH does BT not affect them? How does sugar and SAD {standard American diet} affect our stomach pH?  Does it make it more acidic than what it was designed for?  Is BT safe for us IF our stomach pH is at the proper level?  What happens if our pH in our stomach becomes unbalanced?

I read further on the UCSD site and they stated BT is safe in mammals with no adverse effects… Really? That is very reassuring, but you know something just doesn’t seem right about that. Let me go visit Pubmed and see what research turns up there…

Effect of genetically modified corn on the jejunal mucosa of adult male albino rat.

It could be concluded that consumption of GM-corn profoundly alters the jejunal histological structure. [2nd part of small intestine – tissue, especially microscopic]

Marwa A.A. Ibrahim, MD,Ebtsam F. Okasha

Histology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Egypt
Received 1 May 2016, Revised 3 September 2016, Accepted 6 October 2016, Available online 18 October 2016

This one isn’t on corn – but it is the BT cotton…

Occupational hazards and health cost of women cotton pickers in Pakistani Punjab.

Cotton pickers working in Bt cotton fields are found to have less occupational health hazards compared to those working in non-Bt cotton fields. Thus generating awareness among cotton pickers for adopting precautionary measures during harvesting and the use of Bt cotton seed can result in a decline in the ill-effects of cotton picking.

Khuda BakhshEmail author, Naeem Ahmad, M. Asif Kamran, Sarfraz Hassan, Qasir Abbas, Rashed Saeed and M. Sadiq Hashmi
BMC Public HealthBMC series – open, inclusive and trusted 201616:961
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-016-3635-3
© The Author(s). 2016 Received: 6 November 2015 Accepted: 4 September 2016 Published: 13 September 2016

How interesting when folks were educated about the HAZARDS they showed less illnesses… Sigh.

What are your thoughts about this one?

Edible Safety Assessment of Genetically Modified Rice T1C-1 for Sprague Dawley Rats through Horizontal Gene Transfer, Allergenicity and Intestinal Microbiota.

Cluster analysis of DGGE profiles revealed significant individual differences in the rats’ intestinal microbiota.

Kai Zhao, Fangfang Ren, Fangting Han, Qiwen Liu, Guogan Wu, Yan Xu, Jian Zhang, Xiao Wu, Jinbin Wang, Peng Li, Wei Shi, Hong Zhu, Jianjun Lv, Xiao Zhao, Xueming Tang
PLOS
Published: October 5, 2016
http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0163352

So…. what do you conclude from all of this?  What else should we search out to see about other connections?  Does the  Microbiome   post shed any light?

Top 5 GMO foods
Top 5 GMO foods

{I hesitate to include the next link because this is just too ‘trendy’ of a site for my style but there is some great information that goes even deeper into the BT corn issue by Dr. Mercola }

Would love your feedback!

GMO Trends 1996-2016

Another exciting day! Got my login credentials for the online portion of my training… Watching first webinar now… and some fabulous information on genetically modified foods… Especially this chart on planted crops in last 10 years is rather interesting!  Do the trends remind you of anything?

What else has trends with similar growth rates?  Will be interesting to see other data and any correlations… {see GMO’s pt 2 – connecting the dots & BT corn}

source USDA

biotechcrops2016

the Functional Perspective – What is that?

This is a great question!

Simply put, when we take a functional perspective we continually ask ourselves how is the body supposed to function?  Then we find ways to support and encourage that function.

A quick search on dictionary.com gives the following top 3 definitions for functional:

  • 1. of or relating to a function or functions:
  • 2. capable of operating or functioning:
  • 3. having or serving a utilitarian purpose; capable of serving the purpose for which it was designed:

When one takes a functional approach they transform from a symptom management of health challenges to restoration of function – they look at the problem from a different perspective.  They are looking to restore the body to operation in a manner for which it was designed.  To find a solution for malfunctioning they look at the reasons why, or what, triggered the malfunction. Then they look at what changes need to be made to achieve restoration.

For instance with my son and his diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes.  In the process of examining our management options we ask many questions.  We are trying to put pieces of the puzzle together. Connect the dots.  Such as:

  • What causes the ‘honeymoon’ period?
  • How does the pancreas stop working then start working again?
  • Which processes are involved in the triggering of insulin to be released in the body?
  • Does this food support the body in eliciting an insulin response?
  • How are we supporting the leptin or ghrelin responses?
  • What processes are triggered during the sun converting vitamin D?
  • What does my son’s cholesterol panel look like?  Will that give us a clue to what ‘health road’ we were on?
  • What role does the bouts with eczema over the last two years fit in to where we are health-wise today?
  • The severe infant re-flux as an infant, was that a clue we missed?
  • Are all carbs the same?  Are different metabolic processes triggered due to various types carbs?
  • Is this activity disrupting or supporting circadian rhythms?
  • The list grows and grows…

In other areas it would be like one looking upstream to see why the water stopped flowing.  Or looking at the root system, soil and water to see why has this plant stopped thriving.  An arborist looks at the historical environmental factors to see why this tree has a disease.  Ironically a functional perspective is used in nearly every other industry.

We wouldn’t keep going to a mechanic who only treated our misfiring car with fuel additives.  We expect him to find the reason why it is not working and restore our vehicle to the original operation for which the vehicle was designed.   Just as we would be quite upset if went to a tire dealer because we kept getting flats and all their solution was use of a flat fixing additive. We would expect them to find the reason it is going flat and restore the tire to fully operational condition.  Driving around with a nail and just adding air or some other filler does not address the problem – it’s symptom management.

Should you have any questions, comments or would like to share your thoughts – I love hearing from you and welcome discussions!!  In January 2017 I will have finished my certification course and will begin offering heath coaching consultations. In the meantime my resource section contains links to many of the places I go as I search for ways to transform and achieve restoration.

Endogenous Opioid System

I really had no plans on writing a post for today’s daily prompt.  In an attempt to get a few thoughts jotted down for later posts I came across another video by Dr. Lustig on the mantra “a calorie is a calorie“.  He always has very interesting tidbits so put the video on and was listening to it in the background while I worked on this and that.  And wouldn’t you know it once again I am stopped dead in my tracks!

Exhale. Rewind to make sure I heard it right.

Pause. Sit and stare at the screen.

Deep breath. Sigh.

So, how many of you know what the endogenous opioid system is?  For those of you who are unsure, or maybe you need a refreshing this research article seems to explain it in easy to understand terms:

The endogenous opioid system and clinical pain management.

  • The endogenous opioid system is one of the most studied innate pain-relieving systems. This system consists of widely scattered neurons that produce three opioids: beta-endorphin, the met- and leu-enkephalins, and the dynorphins. These opioids act as neurotransmitters and neuromodulators at three major classes of receptors, termed mu, delta, and kappa, and produce analgesia. Like their endogenous counterparts, the opioid drugs, or opiates, act at these same receptors to produce both analgesia and undesirable side effects.

[AACN Clin Issues. 2005 Jul-Sep;16(3):291-301.  Holden JE1, Jeong Y, Forrest JM. 1Department of Medical-Surgical Nursing, The University of Illinois at Chicago, Illinois 60612-7350, USA. jeholden@uic.edu

Now for the chilling, and rather disturbing news.  We tap into this “system” in infants by the use of sugar. Sucrose  – specifically.  The product is called Sweet-Ease™

  • What is Sweet-Ease™? Sweet-Ease™ is a 24% sucrose oral solution used to decrease pain during painful or stressful procedures. Research has shown significant decreases in crying, grimacing, heart rate{emphasis added} and pain relief following the administration of sucrose prior to painful/stressful procedures.Sweet-Ease™ is intended for oral use only. There is no evidence of benefit when administered through NG tube.  {Source: http://prc.coh.org/SucAnal.pdf}

Did you catch that last sentence?  No benefit when administered through the tube – the reactions start in the oral cavity.  WOW!

So we use sugar because it acts like an opiate drug.  Sigh, I really wish something encouraging inspired me to post on the daily prompt: Artificial

Although, I am encouraged that I now know this and once again have learned more about the great sugar deception. Just hit me, no wonder sugar is addicting!