Notes from a reader

Sometime a reader sends a long email that provide very useful experience, and often encouragement for the approach/model that I am advocating. For my posts, I prefer to keep strictly to PubMed studies and not mix in personal experiences etc. I also like to read of people success in finding their own paths towards health.

I  just wanted to write and thank you for a couple of things, first, getting back to me a few months ago and suggesting zinc and vitamin A. I think that helped.

Meanwhile, the second thing I wanted to thank you for is that I recently had a relapse or flare-up, whatever you want to call it, such that I had not felt as bad since 2015. I took a fresh look at your materials and changed a few things and instantly felt better.
So much better, in fact, that I wonder if it would be worth while for you to add another lens to the way you look at the microbiome. 

Specifically, I am wondering if you might want to look at how various foods, bacteria, prebiotics etc. affect neurotransmitters. I ask because the transformation I experienced the other day upon eating a quarter of a cup of sesame seeds, two apples, and a package of candied pineapple) after having some beef was transformative within minutes and hours, and I can’t think of anything that could work that quickly except maybe the impact of neurotransmitters on neurons in the gut.

I’ll outline what happened to me the other day so you know what I mean. It’s not particularly methodical  but that’s just not how my brain is working right now.

I took another look at your front page, noticed the emphasis on bifido bacteria, and the suggestion to eat sesame.

1) I also noticed the suggestion to eat two apples a day.

2) One thing I have known for a couple of years is that I feel better if I eat a lot of beef. Because it is supposedly not good to eat too much and especially because it is very expensive, I try to get around it by eating fish, eggs, lamb (weirdly, lamb is less expensive than beef currently) etc.

On this particular day, last week, I could not walk a block, or upstairs in my house, without feeling out of breath. This came on several days of needing to rest, etc., and probably an insidious onset for several months. There was some family stress, plus I was sick with three different viruses between the end of December and February and  I was panicked that I was going to go back to my 2015 level of being sick.

I didn’t think I could  physically make it to the store to buy the sesame and apples so I called a friend to help me but she was leaving town. So…

After not having  beef much at all for a few weeks, I ate a couple of large beef Polish sausages and that perked me up mentally and physically  enough to go to a couple of different stores for what I needed.

Then because I was hungry, I did something impulsive which is buy a bag of candied pineapple at the produce store and eat the whole thing. I instantly felt energized and euphoric and figured it was the sugar.

When I got home I ate a quarter cup of organic sesame seeds and an apple. 

I continued to feel energetic and euphoric all evening without a crash.

That was about three days ago. Since then I have reverted to what I was doing food-wise when I felt my best, a couple of years ago. For breakfast, every day for now, stir-fried beef w/ sesame seeds, a huge serving of purple cabbage cole slaw, broccoli, and an apple. Later in the day, dark chocolate, almonds, more apples, coleslaw, and broccoli.

Meanwhile I am also taking (and have been) turmeric, bromelain, nattokinase, and NAC, plus meds for allergies / asthma and an antidepressant, plus dark chocolate and almonds. 

What I have read since then is that

* pineapple is one of the foods highest in seratonin, though of course dietary seratonin does not cross the blood-brain barrier.  
* Sesame is one of the foods highest in precursors to glutamate and seratonin.
*Apples help with acetylcholine.

I can’t explain the beef. I know it’s high in B12 but I’ve been supplementing that anyway, so eating beef shouldn’t make a dramatic instant difference.  I know it’s high in iron but I have had my iron tested again and again and it’s always good.  What I will say is I often feel extraordinarily well after I eat it, sometimes like…this will sound weird…my blood is singing.

Thinking about this reminds me of a time when I was about 30, I had been eating a pretty much vegetarian diet and not much pasta, and I went home to visit my parents and had a huge dinner of spaghetti with meat sauce. My drive on the way home was the first time I had experienced the “singing blood” and I attributed it to the carbs in the pasta but now I think it was probably the beef in the sauce, since I hadn’t had beef in a long time. 

There is something with those things that make me feel better *immediately*. For the past several days I have had a TBS of sesame seeds a few times a day and I always feel better after — specifically, happier and more alert.
About 20 years ago, I went through a period where my health was really good – no allergy pills needed, no asthma meds, no antidepressants. As it happens, at that time, I lived in the part of the country I do now so I attributed it to different allergens than the former place. But it is also true that at that time, just because I like sesame and my husband was often out in the evening, I would sometimes just have a quarter of a cup of sesame for dinner, just because I liked it. Weird, I know, but now I wonder if that is the real reason why I felt so good during that period of my life.

Anyway, in closing, I want to say I think of you often with appreciation and have told a lot of people about you and I hope you feel better soon. And I am in the process of finally looking for a full time job after stopping work at the end of 2015…I will let you know how it turns out.

With much gratitude,

Bottom Line — some Research for me to do

This email definitely intrigued me. This lense will be explored in research over the next weeks. For the moment, you have a user’s experience to work from.