Are you or is someone you know gluten intolerant? Peanut or shellfish allergies? In his book, “The Fat Switch,” Dr. Richard Johnson makes a pretty interesting claim. Johnson has studied the role of uric acid in the body for years. Over in Biology, we’ll talk more about that. However, one aspect he discusses deserves special inclusion in Bad. Eating lots of fructose causes elevated uric acid in your body. He says that increases digestive tract permeability. Some food molecules that shouldn’t get through your intestinal wall make it into your bloodstream. Your immune system notices those molecules and responds. Before you know it, you’re allergic to that food.
Johnson is the first researcher I’ve heard make this claim, but it makes sense. What’s unclear is whether avoiding sugar or perhaps even going to a high fat, low carb diet would reverse any of these allergic responses. Johnson makes the point that if high fructose diets continue long enough, there are permanent changes. Getting rid of the sugar will help, but may not completely reverse the changes. That highlights the importance of asking hard questions about what’s good nutrition for our children from an early age. Dr. Lustig and his colleagues became concerned when they saw children with symptoms of metabolic syndrome, something no child should have. Dr. Johnson has specifically blamed fruit juices given children in our correspondence.
Along those lines, Volek and Phinney say that high carbohydrate diets have inflammatory effects at the cellular level. When Dr. Phinney was a researcher at University of California Davis, his specialty was inflammation. The converse is that high fat diets reduce inflammation.