This article is for any vegans with an Autoimmune disease and for vegans that would like to help prevent the onset of an Autoimmune Disease.
We can all agree that being vegan helps tremendously with alleviating the symptoms of Autoimmune conditions. Here are some interesting facts related to Nutrition and Autoimmune. They all connect and you will discover the connection in the final conclusion at the end of the article.
If you are like a lot of vegans you have probably been following a lot of advice that fat is very bad for you. One example of this is Dr. Esselstyn who advocates against all fats. And that fats should be consumed in moderation.
We have been bombarded with information about low fat diets. That low fat is healthy.
Types of Fats:
Not all fats are made equal. Some are essential and beneficial for the body hence Essential Fatty Acids. Are bodies cannot make them so we need to obtain them from food. To be brief have just included the good fats.
Beneficial & Essential Fats:
- Nut Butters
- Olive and Avocado Oil
At least 30% of your daily dietary intake should include the above beneficial and healthy fats. You may be asking why? Through out your day you will be exposed to and eating lots of fat soluble vitamins that keep your body super healthy like Vitamin D, E, K and A. These vitamins need the fats to function properly. To take care of your bones, your skin, your intestines, your immune system, muscles and telemores etc. Also you will be benefitting from lots of extra vitamins, minerals and proteins.
A lot of you will believe these fats will cause you to gain weight. Numerous studies have proven that by consuming healthy fats you remain fuller longer, have a reduced waistline and actually loose weight. For more than 40 years experts have been advocating a low fat diet. I think this stemmed from offsetting the health dangers of people consuming animals and the associated risks of obesity on health. So it never really applied to vegans.
Fat Soluble Vitamins:
Vitamin D – Sunshine/Hormone Vitamin
Vitamin D carries out over 2,000 actions on the body we have 2000 receptors for it. Current estimates are that 40% of the population are deficient. Surprisingly even those that spend all day in the sun. Which leads to the question why? Also those that are deficient in Vit D are more likely to develop MS and other Autoimmune Diseases. Also people with low Vit D have shorter telemores which we know causes disease, cancer and ageing in the body.
Vitamin D deficiency (low serum levels of 25(OH)D) is prevalent in multiple autoimmune diseases, e.g. MS, TIDM, and SLE. Because the vitamin D status is highly associated with the risk of autoimmunity, Vitamin D has been implicated in prevention and protection from Autoimmune Diseases.
In many studies people with Hashimotos found that by treating their Vitamin D deficiency reduced significantly the level of TPO Antibodies and reduced the TSH level and reduced the progression of the disease.
Given the role of vitamin E as a physiologic stabilizer of lysosomal membranes, its deficiency can initiate the process of autoimmune diseases or accelerate its progress. It is supposed that vitamin E could reduce oxidative stress, which is an important factor in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases.
A lot of people are deficient in this vitamin. It is essential for the body and most prefer to supplement. It has helped with the Inflammatory cellular infiltration and the expression of both MHC class II and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in the spinal cords of early onset MS. It works with Vit D to keep the arteries clean and keep dietary calcium in the bones. It can help prevent atherosclerosis.
Vitamin A – Calming Vitamin
Vitamin A is essential for a strong immune system, and vitamin A deficiency has been linked to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes. Researchers suspect the reason has to do with our dendritic cells, which send out a “red alert” at the sign of a supposed invader, to stimulate immunity, or a “calm down” message that tones down excessive and damaging immune reactivity. The “calm down” message makes use of vitamin A.
Following the advice for the past 40 years that low fat is best, a lot of people are deficient in fat soluble vitamins plus beneficial and Essential Fatty acids. Being vegan provides a wealth of vitamins and minerals to ensure wonderful health. The rates of autoimmune diseases are on the increase. If we embrace the healthy fats in our lives we can absorb all these beneficial fat soluble vitamins so that our bodies can heal and our diseases can stop progressing.
Dr Greger’s Protocol – Supplements:
Adding to his wonderful advise we also suggest to:
- Eat 30% healthy fats per day
- Take a vegan K2 supplement
- Have your D3 levels monitored.