Therapeutic Prescriptions by Vitaminx & Minerals

VII. The real cause of AD?

1. Oil is the problem

Allergies type I and type IV are said to be involved in AD. However, there is no point explaining the different types of allergies. The problem is, why are allergic diseases such as AD, asthma, and hay fever becoming so common. This problem has risen in the last 20 to 30 years. When I was a med student, my dermatology textbook had only a few lines about Atopic Dermatitis. Even when I was in elementary school, there were no kids with AD, and even if kids were snivelly they would run around during recess. There is no way that there could be a DNA alteration that could change our bodies.

Generally, allergic reactions happen because there is some abnormality on the cell membrane. Linoleic acid, commonly found in vegetable oil, will metabolize arachidonic acid, which increases the amount of phosphatide, a lipid that constructs the cell membrane. This not an abnormality of the genes, so unless there are extreme circumstances, patients can recover in at least 3 to 4 weeks, and at most 6 months. Basically, it is a curable problem (unlike cancer, which is hard to cure with contemporary medicine since it is an abnormality in the gene). All you need to do is remove the excess linoleic acid and undigested protein, which can be done easily. What makes it seem hard are clueless doctors who argue not to use steroids while not knowing anything about dietetics, as well as the irresponsible media which blindly follows these doctors, and AD Businessmen who take advantage of this situation.

( Some unknowledgeable doctors who half-heartedly call for natural treatment recommend brown rice. This may be helpful for other diseases, but I will explain later how it is actually bad for AD patients to eat brown rice.)

Linoleic acid is an unsaturated fatty acid that can be found in many vegetable oils such as safflower oil, sunflower oil, soy oil, corn oil, cotton seed oil, sesame oil, earthnut oil, rice bran oil, wheat germ oil, evening primrose oil, and grape seed oil. Linoleic acid has been heavily consumed after it was said that it lowered cholesterol. Starting from the 1960s, instead of using animal fat, there was an effort, called the “linoleic acid myth”, to use vegetable oil and margarine. This myth, detailed by a research in Finland in 1991, had supposedly died out. However, even to this day people believe in this myth, and William Lands, a specialist in lipid nutrition from the National Institute of Health in America, recommends that people in developed nations should take more than 10 times the required amount. Although Japanese do not go as overboard, they still take in 5 times the required amount of 2 grams per day.

Also, the amount of animal protein Japanese people take in has been increasing dramatically over the past 50 years, which also leads to increases of the intake of arachidonic acid. For example, in 1955 the average intake of animal protein was 22.3 grams, while in 1979 the average was 39.2 grams, and in 2002 the average was 45.9 grams, more than double the amount 50 years ago. If the animal protein came from fish, there wouldn’t be a problem, but since the animal protein taken in came from beef, pork, lamb, and chicken as well, there is a serious problem. Particularly, in recent days the cheaper prices of pork and beef are prompting people to consume more of these than fish.

So, what are linoleic acid and arachidonic acid? Why are these bad? Before I explain these questions, I will need to explain about inflammations and eicosanoids. This gets a bit technical, so you can skip sections 2, 3, 4, and 5 and go straight to section 6 “Take Omega 3!”.

2. About inflammations

Right now, the old but new pathology, inflammation, is being seriously researched in modern medicine. For example, the degree of rise of angina pectoris and myocardial infarction, which are caused by arteriosclerosis, does not depend so much on cholesterol and triglyceride levels, but rather on substances that can project the body’s degree of inflammation and accurately predict diseases in the blood vessels and heart such as CRP, a protein, and LA-LP2. If you take into account that 50% of myocardial infarction patients have normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels, this is a logical conclusion (In addition, be cautious of doctors who only focus on cholesterol and triglyceride levels and immediately prescribe anti hyperlipidemia medicine. It is especially dangerous for seniors to excessively lower cholesterol). Even cancers can be easily formed if there is a hidden inveterate inflammation. Inflammations are deeply rooted in allergic diseases. In fact, Atopic Dermatitis is basically an inflammation, so to treat AD it is better to cure the inflammation rather than find the allergen that causes the allergic reaction.

Take a minute to think. In our environment there are millions of substances. There are an enormous number of different kinds of foods as well. To find the one substance that causes the allergic reaction is virtually impossible. If the allergic reaction is immediate, it is easy to find what caused it. However, if the allergic reaction happens 1 or even 2 weeks after ingestion or contact, it is extremely hard to determine what caused it. Therefore, wouldn’t it be more practical to prevent the inflammation?

3. Eicosanoids​

The substance most involved in inflammations is eicosanoids. There are not that many people outside of the medical and biology fields that know about this substance. Even in dietetics, this substance is finally being recognized as final product of lipid metabolism. However, this substance has been part of an important function in organisms for over 500 million years. This substance can even be the most primitive hormone. It is as important as DNA, and has an incredible effect on organisms.

Now, what are eicosanoids? Basically, they are produced in the cell membrane once the essential fatty acids get metabolized, will induce hormone-like effects on its cell and those around it, and are made of 20 carbon atoms. Eicosanoids are just like local hormones. There are two types of eicosanoids. These two oppose each other like sympathetic nerves and parasympathetic nerves or insulin and glucagon.

effects of benign eicosanoidsvasodilatation, inhibiting platelet aggregation,
anti-inflammation, cancer control, allergy remission
effects of malign eicosanoidsvasoconstriction, platelet aggregation,
inflammation,worsening allergies

The numerous types of eicosanoids have been grouped into benign ones, which have good effects on the body, and malign ones, which have bad effects on the body. Although these groups are broad, they have been simplified for this section. For example, prostaglandin E1, an eicosanoid in the former group, causes the inhibition of platelet coagulation and blood vessel dilation and prevents high blood pressure and heart and blood vessel diseases as well. Conversely, Thromboxane A2, an eicosanoid in the latter group, causes blood vessel contraction and the promotion of platelets coagulation, which can trigger heart and blood vessel diseases.

However, you should also keep in mind that people still need malign eicosanoids. For example, if you didn’t have any Thromboxane A2 and injured your finger out of carelessness, there would be no vasoconstrictive activity or platelet coagulation, and you would keep bleeding. Also, if there were an excessive amount of benign eicosanoids, your blood pressure would lower so much that it would cause a state of shock. Balance is what is important. However, people do not need Thromboxane A2 on a daily basis since vasoconstriction is not an everyday action, and can, in fact, cause high blood pressure and cardiac infarction; thus it is classified as malignant. By classifying these as malignant or benign is much more convenient. It is the same idea as beneficial cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). Even though LDL is “bad”, it is necessary for the body to function properly. For example, LDL brings linoleic acid to the cell membrane, which is used to make eicosanoids. If there was no LDL cholesterol, there would be no eicosanoids, benign or malign, and people would not be able to survive. Also, during war there should be more malignant eicosanoids since the blood pressure needs to be higher, and since there is a higher probability to get injured, it is better if the blood can clot easily. This is exactly like sympathetic nerves and parasympathetic. The chart is a simple summary of eicosanoids.

Chronic diseases and lifestyle related diseases (not including cancer) such as allergies, high blood pressure, angina, cardiac infarction, stroke, rheumatism, and, in other words, most diseases are related to malignant eicosanoids in some way. In terms of the cell membrane, it can be said that sicknesses are basically when the balance of eicosanoids are disrupted and there are more malignant eicosanoids than benign eicosanoids.

4. Fats​

We all take in fat through our diet in many ways. From obvious foods such as beef, chicken, fish, soybeans, and salad dressing to less evident foods such as potato chips, cream cheese, and chocolate, we take in fat. Even in rice and wheat there is some fat. Fat is made from one molecule of glycerin and 3 molecules of fatty acids, and the type of fat can vary significantly depending on the fatty acid.

Although my explanation of fatty acids is simplified, natural fatty acids are shaped like a straight chain, strung together by carbon atoms, and are divided between saturated fatty acids, which doesn’t have double bonds, and unsaturated fatty acids, which has at last one double bond. Unsaturated fat can by further classified between omega 3 unsaturated fatty acids and omega 6 unsaturated fatty acids depending on the placement of the unsaturated bond.

The former, omega 3 unsaturated fatty acid is an α-linolenic acid, and is commonly found in fish, flax seed oil (linseed oil), and perilla oil. The latter, omega 6 unsaturated fatty acid is a linoleic acid commonly found in vegetable oils such as safflower oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, sesame oil, peanut oil, rice bran oil, wheat germ oil, evening primrose oil, grape seed oil, and canola oil. Please note that benign eicosanoids are metabolized from α-linolenic acids, included in the omega 3 group, while arachidonic acids, and then malignant eicosanoids, are metabolized from linoleic acids, included in the omega 6 group. This is the key point.
(From now on please distinguish linolenic acid from linoleic acid. The former has n between e and i.) The linoleic acid that accumulated on the cell membrane will first become γ-linolenic acid and then arachidonic acid, which will be metabolized into malignant eicosanoids, prostaglandin and leukotriene, and the body will overreact to a little irritation. In other words, the reason why so many people are getting allergy diseases is because of the excess arachidonic acid on cell membranes.

The most important thing in curing AD is to increase omega 3 fat intake and decrease omega 6 fat intake. Also, there is a lot of arachidonic acid in meats such as beef, lamb, and in particular chicken and pork, which don’t have a ruminant stomach, and you can get the ingredients of malignant eicosanoids from these. Therefore, you should limit meat in your diet.

However, as this country has been getting wealthier, people are starting to eat more Western foods that use more oil and meat, and the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 is getting smaller. This is a major reason why AD, asthma, and hay fever is so rampant. As a country prospers and the diet becomes more Western, the number of AD patients increases. In addition, when the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 in the blood for Japanese and Americans were compared, the ratio for Japanese was 1/4, while the ratio for caucasian Americans was 1/12, and the ratio for Americans in general was 1/16 (there are some researchers who argue that the ratio even reached 1/20 to 1/30), which shows how Americans consume ω6, and linoleic acid, much than ω3. As a result, Americans are more susceptible to lifestyle-related diseases (involving the heart and blood vessels), cancer, diabetes, allergic diseases, and rheumatism.

5. Excess Protein

In addition, Western foods contain large amounts of protein, which also causes damage. Normal proteins break down into polypeptides and then amino acids, which get absorbed in the intestines (protein → polypeptide → amino acid: the amino acids get absorbed). However, when there is too much protein intake, the protein does not get fully decomposed so that there are approximately more than ten thousand molecules left. In that case, if the intestinal membrane is healthy, the mucosa of the small intestine’s epidermal cells will ingest, decompose, and then absorb the polypeptides. Otherwise, it will combine with IgA immune globulin, which is secreted from the epidermal cells, and will be get rid of as a foreign substance.

However, when the patient is ill, an infant, or is under stress (there is a direct connection between the brain and the intestines), the polypeptides can enter through the submucous tissue to the intestinal mucosal cells, and will be unconsumed and remain in the body as junk. When polypeptides gather in the sebaceous gland, it will be discharged from the skin along with oil and cause itchiness of the skin.

The protein taken in from Western foods, aside from Mediterranean and North European foods, which often use fish, is predominantly from animal meat such as beef, pork and lamb. In these foods, there are arachidonic acids, which are more connected to malignant eicosanoids than linoleic acid.

Simply put, the main cause of Atopic Dermatitis, which is starting to spread rapidly over the world, is excessive protein intake from meat that causes an increase in arachidonic acid and excessive intake of linoleic acid, an omega 6 fatty acid. Countries all over the world, in particular several Asian countries, have become increasingly wealthy compared to 50 years ago. With this newly found wealth, we are moving from traditional dishes to Western meals that contain hordes of fat and protein. However, our DNA cannot adjust to this dietary change in just 50 years. Westerners, who originally lived as hunters, have adopted over the many years of eating meat so they can digest animal protein, much more so than the originally agricultural Asians. Therefore when eating the same amount of protein, Asians cannot digest the protein fully and leave more polypeptides, which worsens AD symptoms. As mentioned before, in animal meat there is more arachidonic acid, and compared to Japanese food, which uses more vegetables and fish, there will be much more malignant eicosanoids produced.

In America’s Pima tribe and Micronesian tribes in islands Yap and Kosrae, the native’s traditional lifestyle and diet were disrupted by a sudden entry of Western culture. As a result, they became more susceptible to obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure, and their average life expectancy is going down as well. Also, the Pakistani Hunza village in the upper Indus and the foot of Karakorum mountains, which were famous for having no cases of cancer, are starting to report cases of cancer and diabetes (In late April, 2005, I visited and researched this village for a couple of days. Also in mid- February, 2007, I confirmed this fact at Yap Island).

The other day, I visited a tiny country on the north of the Indonesian Borneo Island called Brunei. It is a beautiful and idyllic Muslim country, where you don’t have to pay for education, medical bills, and taxes since the country produces vast amounts of oil. Public welfare in that country is so good that if a citizen needs advanced medical operations that he or she couldn’t get at Brunei, the government would pay for the medical bills, hospital fees, and even airfare. However, there is a problem that Bruneians are starting to face: obesity. According to a dietician at Brunei Royal Hospital, Bruneians are experiencing the most rapid increase in obesity in the whole world.
Overindulgence of junk food, heavy reliance of cars due to cheap gas, and a stress-free lifestyle due to the relaxed working conditions all contribute to Bruneians becoming increasingly obese.
Epidemiologists call this phenomenon as New World Syndrome. It is easier to think of AD as a subtype of the syndrome, and AD can be treated properly once classified as a subtype instead of a disease caused by pollution or trans-dermal toxins. Dermatologists and pediatricians are completely ignoring this viewpoint; they do not know the importance of examining this disease from a historical and geographical perspective. There seems to be a problem in medical education.

There is an old saying “the body is not split from soil”. Unfortunately, this is no longer in even large dictionaries. This saying means that the body and environment (in this case, the food taken from the soil) is inseparable. To maintain a healthy life people should be eating foods that are within walking distance from them, in other words places that are within a couple dozen towns near them. The meals eaten by the nomads in the Kalahari Desert, the agricultural tribe in the tropics, and the Eskimos in Greenland are all different. A group’s diet should change depending on the climate and their lifestyle, and their unique diet is what makes each group healthy. However, since the unruly expansion of globalization, the distinct diets of each group all became characterized by main dishes heavy with meat and oil and soft drinks filled with corn syrup and white sugar. The result of this was New World Syndrome.

In order to completely cure AD, you should start eating something closer to a traditional Japanese diet that has such foods as miso soup, lots of seafood and many vegetables and avoid eating meat and dairy products. Excessive intake of animal fat and protein will deteriorate AD conditions by around 100%. There are many dieticians who argue that only meat will provide the body with good amino acids, and theoretically speaking, whether it be animal or vegetable protein, breaking it up seems to produce the same amino acids. However, they are only making up theories while they are far away from actual patients and do not see the reality of the situation.

From a clinical standpoint, it is definite that animal fat and protein (from beef, pork, mutton, chicken, and so on) worsen AD. This is the truth, and there is no way around it. I have seen over 40,000 patients, and I can say this with confidence from my experiences.

 In addition, aside from malignant eicosanoids, there are several reasons why people should avoid eating meat.

  • Cows and pigs that we eat are quickly grown, fattened, and shot with several hormones and antibiotics. American beef is notorious for this practice. Cows are injected with 17-β-estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, trenbolone, zeranol, and melengestrol so that they grow quickly and become large and tender.
  • In beef, pork, and lamb, there are high concentrations of dioxins, endocrine-disrupting hormones, and nitrate salts, which are used in pesticides, which have built up do to bioaccumulation.
  • Even in Japan, there have been cases of mad cow disease. There will be more cases in the future, and the disease may also spread to lambs and pigs.

However, vegetarians must be cautious as well. Although vegetables do not have much arachidonic acid, unlike meat, and have more α-linolenic acid, there is a problem in the absolute quantity ofα-linolenic acid, which is low in vegetables. The absolute value of α-linolenic acid of strict vegetarians who do not eat fish are obviously going to be very low, and even if those people try to supplement it with grain foods and beans, they will also get a large amount of linoleic acid. There is a lot of linoleic acid in salad dressing and mayonnaise as well. Therefore, vegetarians who do not eat fish need to take in α-linolenic acid through supplements. I will be explaining about this in the next section.

6. What causes AD? (A) Take Omega 3

To permanently cure Atopic Dermatitis, it is important to eat more vegetables and fruit and avoid foods that contain lots of protein and arachidonic acid, such as beef, pork, mutton, and chicken, and foods that use oils that contain lots of linoleic acid, such as safflower oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil, and canola oil. Instead of sauteing foods, try boiling them.

Also, you should try to increase your intake of omega 3 unsaturated fatty acids so that the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 (ω3:ω6) becomes close to 1:2~3. By doing that, you increase the amount of benign eicosanoids and can cure not on AD, but you can also cure and prevent many diseases, including cancer.

α-linolenic acid, and substances that are metabolized from it such as EPA and DHA, can be taken from fish with blue backs.
However, at my clinic, in order to ensure that each person gets enough α-linolenic acid, I recommend patients to take flax seeds since fish these days have the danger of containing hazardous heavy metals such as mercury due to marine pollution. The 2 to 3 tablespoons of flax, organically grown in Canada, is powderized using a coffee mill, and can be mixed in juice (apple or pineapple) or put on a salad. Those who do not have a coffee mill can chew and eat it, but this is not recommended; the seeds are small and the skin is pretty hard, so much of the flax can be still in its seed form, in which case it will not have any effect. Also, when you powderize flax seeds, eat it as soon as possible. Do not powderize 2 to 3 days worth of flax seeds since they will oxidize quickly.

For those who do not want to powderize the flax seeds, there is already expressed flax seed oil. 2 to 3 tablespoons per day is enough. Also, there are supplements that are soft gel capsules and contain flax seed oil. There is usually 1000 mg of oil in 1 capsule, and you should take 2 to 3 capsules per day. Although taking flax seed oil capsules is more convenient, powderized flax seed is better. Flax seed powder contains Lignan (which helps prevent tumors) and fiber, while the oil does not. Also, Chia, a grain grown in South America, contains more omega 3 unsaturated fatty acids compared to flax seeds. A soft gel capsule containing oil from this grain can also be found on the internet.

Flax seeds should not be taken with other vitamins and mineral supplements since it contains a lot of fiber. You should wait around 3 hours between taking the two. If taken together, the fibers will tangle with the vitamins and minerals, and will be put out of the body. If you are taking the flax seed oil, you do not have to worry about this.

Also, if taking flax seed, flax seed oil, chia, or chia seed oil, you should take Vitamin E, selenium, or CoQ10 (but preferably all of them) to prevent oxidation in the body. You are, however, not required to do this; dieticians do not agree upon this issue, and there is no definite answer at this point. Just to be safe, if you are willing to spend the money, I recommend buying antioxidation supplements such as Vitamin E.

Another reason why I do not recommend getting omega 3 α-linolenic acid through blue fish such as mackerel, saury, sardine, and tuna is because, other than marine pollution which I mentioned before, these fish contain histidine, an essential amino acid that produces histamines, which causes itchy skin. AD patients who have extremely itchy skin should not eat these fish before their symptoms get better, but if the symptoms do not get worse, they can continue eating fish. It is better than eating beef, ham, sausages, or cheese. As AD gets better, patients should notice that they do not itch even if they eat fish.

Also, when sauteing food, use olive oil, which is type omega 9. Omega 3 oils oxidize quickly, and should never be used in cooking. Omega 9 oils do not affect eicosanoid emergence; in other words, olive oil will not produce malignant or benign eicosanoids. Also, use flax seed oil or Japanese basil oil for salad dressing, and do not use mayonnaise or normal salad dressings.

This is information obtained from Dr. Makise’s having cured atopic dermatitis of 40,000 people or more in total and the latest and highest atopic dermatitis treatment. But this is provided for information only. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this website; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating their health. Readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries. Dr. Makise is not responsible for errors or omissions.
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