Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Alkaline Brain: Dietary Concerns in Lyme-Borreliosis

By Dr. David Jernigan

Due to the recent discovery that people with Lyme disease universally suffer from hyperammonemia, the excessive accumulation of ammonia in the liver, jaws, heart, and brain, and in rare cases the entire body, certain dietary changes can help reduce the severity of the symptoms of Lyme disease.

Ammonia is very alkaline with a pH of 11.6. Many doctors have been taught that most sick people have acidic bodies (< 7.0 pH). The reality is not that simple. People may be predominantly acidic but may also be extremely alkaline in the areas of ammonia accumulation. This is why many people worsen when they are given dietary recommendations such as eating fresh fruits and vegetables, which work to alkalinize the body. Drinking alkalinized water would also tend to aggravate symptoms related to hyperammonemia.

While there are many people who have been helped by these alkaline diets and alkalinized water, it is likely that they did not have a significant accumulation of ammonia and therefore did not experience a worsening of their symptoms.

It appears that alkaline diets can aggravate the already over-alkaline, ammonia regions of their body: the brain, jaws, heart, and liver. The ammonia conditions must be cleared before addressing the more acidic regions of the body.

High protein foods such as grains and meat contain an amino-acid (the breakdown unit of protein) called L-arginine. L-arginine in foods and as a nutritional supplement should not be taken in cases of hyperammonemia. Research reveals that ammonia (NH3) + arginine + manganese = increased nitric oxide (NO) up to 53% in astrocytes (brain cells), leading to increased brain swelling. “Manganese in excess is neurotoxic and causes a CNS disorder that resembles Parkinson's disease (manganism). Manganese accumulates excessively in astrocytes, which renders these cells more vulnerable to its toxicity.”

When localized brain swelling increases due to ammonia, symptoms, which may be mistakenly called a Herxheimer reaction, increase dramatically as the brain energy metabolism becomes disrupted. The primary symptoms of profound fatigue and increased pain-sensitivity can escalate to critical.

Heart symptoms of all types can be improved by the clearing of ammonia and its source, the bacteria.

Armed with this knowledge, health care professionals would be wise to instigate a cycled, protein-poor diet for Lyme patients during treatment to minimize aggravations from arginine. A general guideline for cycling on and off the avoidance of arginine-rich foods might be two weeks of avoidance and one week back on protein foods to avoid problems due to depleting the body of protein.

While strict dietary limitations may not absolutely necessary for some individuals, it is a good recommendation for those people with severe brain toxicity and highly reactive symptoms to decrease their intake of arginine-rich foods.

Foods that are high in arginine, and therefore should be avoided until ammonia issues are resolved are carob, coconut, chocolate, dairy, gelatin, oats, meat of any kind, soybeans, walnuts, white flour, wheat, wheat germ, buckwheat, granola, oatmeal, dairy products (cottage cheese, ricotta, nonfat dry milk, skim yogurt), nuts (coconut, pecans, cashews, walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, hazel nuts, peanuts), seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower), poultry (chicken and turkey light meat), wild game (pheasant, quail), seafood (halibut, lobster, salmon, shrimp, snails, tuna in water), chick peas)

Many people suffering with Lyme disease also have various viral issues as well, such as Human Herpes Virus-6, Epstein Barr Virus, and others. Arginine feeds viruses. The amino acid L-Lysine blocks arginine’s ability to feed viruses, so it will benefit everyone to boost the dietary intake of L-Lysine. If you must have meat, fish is the best choice. It is high in L-Lysine, which may be adequate for combating the effects of the arginine in the fish.

Lysine rich foods include legumes, eggs, lima beans, potatoes, and brewers yeast. You may also purchase L-Lysine as a nutritional supplement from a health food store.

Dietary changes can lessen the severity of virtually every symptom related to Lyme disease, however the source of the ammonia, the Borrelia, must be resolved, and the body’s ability to clear out the accumulated ammonia must be treated before dietary restrictions can be lifted.

For over 20 years the Hansa Center for Optimum Health, in Wichita, Kansas has specialized in the restoration of health for people with previously unresponsive and chronic illnesses of virtually all types. Over 85% of people come from other states and countries. If you have done everything you and your doctor know to do and are still struggling, contact our wonderful Patient Care Coordinator, Kara, at patientcare@hansacenter.com, for information on the exciting new treatments we have developed at the Hansa Center for Optimum Health. For additional info, visit our website at www.HansaCenter.com.

This article is for educational purposes. Before implementing any supplements/remedies always consult with your healthcare professional. Due to the complexity of the human condition there remains the possibility of symptoms getting worse. Again, discuss the ideas presented here with your health care professional before beginning, and stop, or get support, if your condition worsens. This information is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, or mitigate any disease or illness, and has not been evaluated by the FDA. The Hansa Center does not treat named diseases, but seeks to restore the body's optimum structural and functional integrity so that the body can rapidly heal itself. 

*Due to the exhaustive time spent per day with each patient, and poor repayment history of insurance companies, we unfortunately cannot accept insurance assignment. We do participate in Care Credit, and accept all major credit cards. We will gladly accept insurance when our elected officials revamp the health insurance industry to cover all results-based care. We encourage you to vote with this in mind. Please call 316-686-5900 ext. 1, for current pricing for our economically-priced, All-inclusive 2-3 weeks intensive packages of care. Share


Unknown said...

Acid and alkaline diet, also known as acid alkaline diet, alkaline ash diet, or alkaline diet, is based on a theory that every food, after being digested, absorbed and metabolized, release either acid or alkaline into bloodstream. Thus, all foods are categorized as acid or alkaline forming foods.

Anonymous said...

My Dr. thinks I should be taking high doses of Niacin for brain profusion. My brain has some issues but are not extreme. I am confused but I seem to recall that niacin could increase nitric oxide which may increase ammonia levels? I do have Lyme and Babesia.

Anonymous said...

Naicin may be problematic if you are under methylated as many Lyme clients are. naicin is a methyl robber, so it may make various biochemical processes worse.
Susan Fidler, ND

Anonymous said...

What am I suppose to feed my 12 year old?