Nutrition Research Findings

A growing collection of important findings from published scientific studies.  Jill has given each one a short summary, to help save you time.

Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Diseases

Summary:  Excessive intestinal permeability (aka “leaky gut”) contributes to autoimmune disease because it allows more antigens into the bloodstream, setting off an immune response in some people.

Link to published paper.

The Prevalence of Antibodies against Wheat and Milk Proteins in Blood Donors and Their Contribution to Neuroimmune Reactivities.

Summary:  When people with sensitivities to gluten or dairy produce antibodies to these foods, they may also get autoimmune damage to brain or neural tissue.  

Link to published paper.

Detection of Gluten in Gluten-Free Labeled Restaurant Food:Analysis of Crowd-Sourced Data

Summary:  Restaurants are very often NOT accurate when they claim their food is gluten-free, especially when it comes to pasta and pizza.

Link to published paper.

Dietary Intake Regulates the Circulating Inflammatory Monocyte Pool

From the conclusion:  “Fasting improves inflammatory diseases without compromising antimicrobial immunity”

Link to published paper.

Artificial Food Colors and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Symptoms: Conclusions to Dye for

Artificial food colorings have not been conclusively proven to cause ADHD or other behavior problems, but there seems to be a deleterious effect that needs more research.  From the conclusion:  “Until safety can be determined, we suggest minimizing children’s exposure”.

Link to published paper.

High cocoa polyphenol rich chocolate may reduce the burden of the symptoms in chronic fatigue syndrome

High-quality 85% cocoa dark chocolate helped reduce fatigue, anxiety and depression in 10 patients with ME/CFS, and they didn’t gain weight.

Link to Study

Dietary Sources and Bioactivities of Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain at night, and it helps promote sleep (and many other aspects of health).  Natural sources of melatonin include milk, raspberries, almonds, goji berries, cranberries and other foods.

Link to published paper.

Measures of Poor Sleep Quality Are Associated With Higher Energy Intake and Poor Diet Quality in a Diverse Sample of Women From the Go Red for Women Strategically Focused Research Network

Poor sleep was associated with overeating and lower quality food

Link to published paper.

Pilot Study of Tart Cherry Juice for the Treatment of Insomnia and Investigation of Mechanisms

Drinking 240ml of tart cherry juice in the morning and again 1-2 hours before bedtime improved sleep duration and efficiency in people over 50 with insomnia.

Link to published paper.

Effect of Kiwifruit Consumption on Sleep Quality in Adults With Sleep Problems

Eating 2 kiwi 1 hour before bedtime improved sleep, even increasing average sleep time from 6 to 7 hours.

Link to published paper.

Fiber and Saturated Fat Are Associated with Sleep Arousals and Slow Wave Sleep

Eating junkier foods, with less fiber and more sugar and saturated fat, was associated with worse sleep.

Link to published paper.

Is insulin resistance the cause of fibromyalgia? A preliminary report

This study suggested that insulin resistance from chronically high blood sugar may help drive fibromyalgia. 

It found that treating the insulin resistance with the drug Metformin reduced pain levels.  The study was later retracted, but not for any problems with the findings or conclusion.  It was retracted because the authors didn’t follow proper procedures to obtain ethics approval and permission to use medical records.  Shame on the authors, but I’m still interested in their hypothesis:  That high blood sugar can cause insulin resistance and damage to small blood vessels in the brain, causing widespread pain.  If they are correct, in addition to medicines for blood sugar control, lifestyle changes to reduce insulin resistance may help.  This would mostly mean reducing the intake of carbohydrates, especially processed or high-glycemic carbohydrates.

Link to published paper.

An Insight and Update on the Analgesic Properties of Vitamin C

This review was not specific to fibromyalgia pain but found that several different forms of vitamin C were effective at reducing different types of pain.

Link to published pape

Fibromyalgia Syndrome Improved Using a Mostly Raw Vegetarian Diet: An Observational Study

A mostly raw vegetarian diet helped, but this study is quite old and only 20 subjects completed the trial.

Link to published paper

Double-blind, Multicenter Trial Comparing Acetyl L-Carnitine With Placebo in the Treatment of Fibromyalgia Patients

Supplementing with acetyl L-carnitine helped patients in this study.

Link to published paper.

The Effect of Dietary Glutamate on Fibromyalgia and Irritable Bowel Symptoms

  • Dietary MSG can make fibromyalgia symptoms worse, so avoiding it may help.
Link to published paper.

Saffron ( Crocus sativus) Versus Duloxetine for Treatment of Patients With Fibromyalgia

  • The spice saffron helped patients as much as the drug duloxetine (and, as a bonus, has been shown to help with depression)
Link to published paper.

Palmitoylethanolamide in Fibromyalgia: Results From Prospective and Retrospective Observational Studies

  • Supplementing with Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) while taking the pain medications pregabalin and duloxetine helped more than just taking the medications alone.
Link to published paper.

Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation Alleviates Pain in Pregabalin-Treated Fibromyalgia Patients via Reducing Brain Activity and Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Link to published paper.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Improves Oxidative Stress, Functional Capacity, and Health-Related Psychological Status in Patients With Fibromyalgia: A Preliminary Study

This study showed that Extra virgin olive oil may help.

Link to published paper.

Effects of Vitamin D on Patients With Fibromyalgia Syndrome: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial

In this study, supplementing with vitamin D3 reduced perceptions of pain.

Link to published paper.

Intake of Raw Fruits and Vegetables Is Associated With Better Mental Health Than Intake of Processed Fruits and Vegetables

Eating raw fruits and veggies reduced depressive symptoms and improved mood, life satisfaction and “flourishing”

Link to published paper.

Weight-loss surgery may release toxic compounds from fat into the bloodstream

Weight loss surgery may release toxic compounds into the body.  The rapid loss of fat after surgery may release high levels of environmental pollutants that your body had been accumulating and sequestering in fat cells:

Link to published paper.

General practice consultations: is there any point in being positive?

Your doctor’s attitude and positivity may affect your recovery.  In this study, 64% of patients who had a supportive and upbeat doctor felt better after 2 weeks, whereas only 39% of patients felt better after seeing a doctor who was grumpy or dismissive.

Link to published paper.