Skeptical About AIP?
Updated: Sep 19, 2018
This is the first video in a series called "AIP demystified" where I get into more detail about AIP and how it works- in layman's terms! FULL TRANSCRIPT below!
Some of the concepts in the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol, aka “AIP” go against everything you thought you knew about health:
Whole grains really aren't that good for you, red meat is not as bad as you thought, canola oil is really bad for you and chicken is overrated.
Just know that each bit of information presented in The Paleo Approach which AIP as we now know it is based off of, is based on science!
There are 19 pages of teeny tiny print in the back of the book with scientific references to each claim that the author, DR. Sarah Ballantyne makes.
Dr. Sarah is a medical research scientist with a phd in medical biophysics who put her own autoimmune diseases into remission when conventional medicine failed to help her.
For Sarah, knowing the reasons behind why she should and should not eat certain things or follow certain lifestyle practices helped her make good choices.
I’m like that. If you just tell me to eat more shellfish, I’ll be like yeah, sure...But if you explain that they have zinc, selenium, iodine, vit D and omega 3’s that are hard to get in those quantities from other sources and that we are commonly deficient in many of these nutrients and that nutrient deficiency is a contributor to autoimmune disease manifestation then I will be in the kitchen making some clam cubes!!
Sarah’s opinion is that the general public has a far greater capacity for understanding science than we are given credit for. So she includes a lot of science in her book, The Paleo Approach, to help us understand HOW diet and lifestyle changes can reverse autoimmune disease symptoms.
In my AIP Demystified series I’m going to explain these concepts to you guys over the next couple of months...bit by bit...so you have the WHYs to help you make better decisions. You will have the facts you need to help you make choices that will enable you to heal.
Yes, you could just follow AIP guidelines without knowing why they work, and enjoy better health and reversal of your symptoms. But this is for the analytical minds and the skeptics, the ones who think diet couldn’t possibly play that much of a role in autoimmunity. I’m going to explain exactly how and why it does.
Before I even start on that, I’d like to debunk the myth that the Paleo diet is just a fad diet that tries to recreate what cavemen ate...look, there are all kinds of theories about what cavemen ate, how much meat they ate, etc. It’s really not important because the Paleo diet and lifestyle as outlined in The Paleo Approach are each supported by nutritional science irrelevant of the history behind it or the name of the eating plan.
And yes, there is proven research to document that the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol or AIP works, for those that are only satisfied with formal research studies, for those that can’t be satisfied with thousands of stories of recovery from people using AIP or who have been misinformed by their doctor that diet can’t help their autoimmune disease symptoms.
The MEDICAL STUDY on patients with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis published in the journal of inflammatory bowel diseases in November 2017 states that “Clinical remission was achieved by week 6 by 11/15 (73%) of study participants, and all 11 maintained clinical remission during the maintenance phase of the study.
They go on to say that ”We did not hypothesize, that clinical remission would be achieved so early (week 6). Indeed, this proportion of participants with active IBD achieving clinical remission by week 6 rivals that of most drug therapies for IBD . . . (Konijeti, et al. 2017)”
By the way, this study came about because the director of the IBD program at Scripps Clinic in CA, Dr. Konijeti, had a patient with IBD that had improvement so remarkable by using AIP that she was inspired to learn more. I wish we all had such open-minded and knowledge seeking physicians.
Here are some sad facts…
It’s estimated that about 50 million americans suffer from autoimmune disease. There are over 100 confirmed autoimmune diseases and many more that are suspected of being autoimmune (Like fibromyalgia), and they all have the exact same root cause.
Our immune system that is supposed to be there to protect us starts to attack our own cells.
What cells our immune system attacks will determine which autoimmune disease we get. It attacks our thyroid gland and we get Hashimoto’s...it attacks our skin we get psoriasis, it attacks our pancreas and we get type 1 diabetes, you get the drift. But the root cause is exactly the same!
For autoimmunity we are treated as parts and pieces. So you go to your endocrinologist, your gastro, your dermatologist...and what do they do for you? They give you steroids to suppress your immune system. They band-aid you with pain killers for your joint pain. They give you the insulin that your pancreas stopped making or the thyroid hormone that your thyroid gland stopped producing. But they don’t do anything to address the cause of your body attacking it’s own cells.
Many of them will even tell you that diet won’t help you, that it’s impossible to halt or reverse autoimmune disease with diet.
This is NOT TRUE.
I’m sure it’s out of ignorance, I’m sure it’s innocent. That doesn’t make it less damaging to your path to healing though.
You CAN halt the progression of your disease, dramatically reduce your symptoms and even put your disease into remission, all without using drugs.
Hmm, drugs...this could in part explain why using diet isn’t so popular with conventionally trained physicians. There’s no money to be made by prescribing a whole foods diet. Pharmaceutical companies fund a lot of research.
Pharmaceutical influence in medicine is way more ingrained than most of us realize.
Starting in medical school, through internship, and into residency, these companies are picking up the tab for lunches and food at rounds and talks. This practice continues into doctor’s working lives.
Do you know what a pharmaceutical detailer is?
Many drug companies spend billions of dollars a year on this marketing tactic.
These detailers are trained to befriend and influence physicians.
They buy them lunch or dinner, drinks, they play golf with them, etc etc.
In order to persuade them to prescribe their drugs.
Do you think they would spend billions on this if it didn’t influence our doctors and in turn make money for these companies?
Anyway, that’s kind of a tangent but I do believe the lack of money to be made and the influence of pharmaceutical companies on our physicians does play a role in their dismissal of how powerful diet and lifestyle can be in the treatment of autoimmune disease.
They are just not funding many studies to explore how these free lifestyle and diet changes can help us.
But Autoimmune disease is directly linked to diet just as much so as the mainstream widely accepted heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes are affected by diet.
Moving right along. Interesting fact:
Dr. Sarah Ballantyne went to 6 doctors in 5 cities over a period of 8 years and not one of them mentioned to her that her lichen planus was autoimmune in nature. (Like in/ plane-iss- pronounce like anus)
Did you know that genetics are only ⅓ of the reason that we develop autoimmune disease? That’s right ⅓. You know what the other ⅔ is? Diet and lifestyle!! Environmental factors that we can control. And yet, doctors aren’t even telling us that our disease is autoimmune in nature!
Once you have 1 autoimmune disease you are at a much greater risk of developing another so this is information you want to know!
Sadly, there are no reliable methods to accurately identify when a person is in the early stages of autoimmune disease. It’s not until it gets so out of control and fits the symptoms of an established disease that it can be diagnosed.
All those early warning signs like fatigue, headaches, hormonal swings, depression and anxiety- they are very vague! These symptoms are often dismissed. We’re told to get more sleep or try yoga or work less hours.
A survey conducted by the AARDA- Autoimmune related diseases association concluded that 45% of patients with a serious autoimmune disease were labeled as hypochondriacs in the early stages of their illness.
I can relate to this all too well as I’m sure many of you can as well.
Anyway, the bottom line is that there is no cure for autoimmune disease, but with the autoimmune protocol you CAN halt the progression of your disease and even put it into full remission.
You can regain your life.
The diet and lifestyle recommendations of the Autoimmune Protocol are designed to:
Support normal function of the immune system
And promote healing.
And by the way, AIP isn’t just useful for those with autoimmune disease. It is an incredibly nutrient dense whole food based anti-inflammatory diet that can also be used to manage non-autoimmune diseases like type 2 diabetes, allergies and asthma.
If you have vague undiagnosed health complaints it might be worth trying!
Give it a shot. What do you have to lose?
Sound too good to be true? Stay tuned for coming videos in my AIP Demystified series where I will be explaining all the technicalities behind AIP that make it work so powerfully.
I post new videos every Thursday so subscribe below if you’d like to see more. Hope to see you soon and until then be healthy :)