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Antinutrients, NT and Paleofoods

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I was looking for information on antinutrients and came across this:

http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/132/3/495S

Quote:
Additionally, some of the antinutrients, such as phytate and polyphenols, may play important beneficial roles in human diets by acting as anticarcinogens or by promoting health in other ways, such as decreasing the risk of heart disease or diabetes
and

Quote:
For example, Table 3lists some data reported by Morris and Ellis from a study with humans fed either low- or high-phytate muffin diets. As expected, the subjects fed the dephytinized muffins remained in positive Fe balance for the entire period that they were fed the dephytinized muffins. Interestingly, subjects fed the high-phytate diet during the first 5 d were in negative Fe balance (as expected), but by study d 10, these same subjects demonstrated positive Fe balances (which was not expected), suggesting that there must have been some adaptation to the high-phytate meals in these test subjects. Others have reported similar results from balance studies to those of Morris and Ellis
and

Quote:
They studied the effects of phytate on Zn homeostasis in four groups of children: two groups recovering from tuberculosis were fed high-phytate and low-phytate diets and two groups that were well but in the hospital for elective surgery and other treatments were fed high-phytate and low-phytate diets. As expected, in the children recovering from tuberculosis fed meals high in phytate, fractional Zn absorption, total Zn absorption and net Zn absorption were significantly reduced, while endogenous fecal Zn decreased compared with those fed low-phytate diets. However, unexpectedly, for the well children fed a high-phytate diet, more phytate had no effect on fractional Zn absorption, while total Zn absorption and net Zn absorption were higher, compared with well children fed the low-phytate diet. A major difference between the recovering children and the well children was the fact that the recovering children had received four potent antibiotics for over 60 d, whereas the well children received none. This suggests that the activity of microorganisms in the gut may have a large influence on the effects of phytate in meals on Zn bioavailability. Possibly, certain microorganisms in the gut may have active phytases that hydrolyze phytate making it inactive toward Zn absorption from the gut.
I'm very interested in the whole issue of antinutrients. For one thing, I would like to see evidence that soaking grains and legumes actually does cause a reduction in antinutrients, without also reducing nutritional value. Where might I find information like that - and I mean a real evaluation of soaked vs. unsoaked foods?

Has anyone ever looked into the "paleofood" diet? They recommend strictly avoiding all grains and legumes, due to antinutrient content. However, they allow all nuts, except peanuts obviously, with no special preparation requirements. Sally Fallon says nuts should be soaked. I read a lot about this diet a few years ago, so it's interesting to see the differences between it and the NT diet, when they both make mention of antinutrients, kwim?

Oh, I almost forgot that I also read this:

Quote:
Only about 50% of the phosphorus from phytate is available to humans because we lack enzymes (phytases) that liberate it from phytate (9). Yeasts possess phytases, so whole grains incorporated into leavened breads have more bioavailable phosphorus than whole grains incorporated into breakfast cereals or flat breads (2).
http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocente...ls/phosphorus/

Now I know we don't need more phosphorous in our diet, but wouldn't this also mean that the yeast has broken down the phytates enough to make other nutrients more bioavailable? Wouldn't it mean that a little yeasted whole grain bread, even if it isn't sourdough, isn't so bad for you after all?

I've been mulling over these things for a while now, trying to reconcile the differences between NT and the paleolithic diet, as well as to find evidence to support all of the claims in NT. We eat almost all sprouted or soaked grains and nuts, but I'm really wondering if that's as necessary or beneficial as she claims it is. I need some help figuring this out.
post #2 of 24
I can't speak to the scientific data, although I find that very interesting. I would like to see some more on this, also. I can tell you that I experience far less gastrointestinal distress when I eat sourdough (homemade) breads than even sprouted grain breads. My Dd can digest it much easier, also. When she eats regular breads, her poops come out looking like wet bread. When she eats my sourdough, it comes out looking like, well, poop! Obviously, she isn't able to break down the grains very easily (she doesn't get many, mostly sourdough, for the above mentioned reason.).
post #3 of 24
Plummeting,

The books to read are by Reddy et al., one called Phytic Acids in Cereals and Legumes and one called Food Phytates. They review phytates literature in these books and I think you would find it very interesting. There are studies that examine phytate levels after different preparation techniques.

On that note there are studies of different bread types and that's where the sourdough recommendation comes in. If I can put my hand on something here soon, I'll post something on this. But flatbreads or sweetbreads that just use a baking soda don't cut it. I think I've seen studies of regular baker's yeast too.

On the nuts, Fallon recommends soaking with salt to reduce the enzyme inhibitors but isn't concerned about the phytates. This is something I intend to study on my next library visit. Nuts do have phytates but it may be unreasonable to break them down. It is difficult in legumes, particularly soy, but in legumes as a class compared to grains.

Researchers suggest that phytates are the biggest issue for people lacking iron and zinc in their diets which would tend to be vegetarians depending on their specific diets. Since most people on this board are omni I think that if we were prioritizing kitchen tasks, fermenting fruits and vegetables to add raw foods and more B vitamins to the diet would be more of a priority for us than worrying about phytates. That said, when I do cook grains here (rare), I do prepare them to reduce phytates.

Thanks for the article cites. I will read those when I have a chance.

Amanda
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
Gardenmommy, I have similar issues to you re: the gastrointestinal distress when I eat grains. Sprouted grains don't bother me, but if I eat grains that aren't soaked or sprouted, I am, well, uhh, gassy. My whole life I thought I was just a gassy person. Then I really reduced the amount of grains I was eating several years ago, and the problem got better. When I read NT and started following that (somewhat, not perfectly) I noticed it basically disappeared. Now I can really tell the difference when I eat grains that haven't been properly prepared. I just haven't been sure if my own problems really indicate that unprepared grains are a problem for everyone or just some people, kwim?

Thank you so much for that information, Amanda! I will definitely have to read those books, because I'm really interested in all of this. I haven't been able to find a whole lot of information, so I really appreciate you posting!
post #5 of 24
I hadn't really put these two things together, but I too was much more gassy when I was vegetarian. I assumed it was all the raw food, but the truth is I probably eat just as many raw veggies now that I am eating a NT diet. What I don't eat is all the grains. I eat very few grains now, and only soaked, and hardly ever have intestinal discomfort. Of course I am also consuming many more cultured and fermented foods, which must factor in as well. I don't always soak my nuts, but they don't seem to bother me in the same way.
post #6 of 24
Quote:
I will definitely have to read those books, because I'm really interested in all of this.
If you have a university library near you, that would be the place to check first. Otherwise, interlibrary loan might be able to get them.
post #7 of 24
Plummeting, that is my problem, too, I just didn't know how to phrase it delicately! But, I figure that if I am that fragrant, my body is not breaking down the grains. I didn't figure this out until I did the maker's diet 40-day plan earlier this year, which basically eliminates all grains and sugars for 40 days, then allows only sprouted or soaked flours in small amounts (whew! THAT was a sentence!). Like you, I just figured I was a gassy person, esp. since I was so healthy, being veg. and all!

I don't have time to research everything I need to know, so part of my reasoning isn't scientific, it's simply how I feel best, kwim?

Please post your findings, Gale Force! I always enjoy reading what your latest findings are!
post #8 of 24
I find these topics to be so fascinating. Thanks for posting those links, Plummeting. I'm also going to look into the books that you mentioned, Gale Force.

I'm new to NT, but have trying to find more research since I bought the book and started making changes in our diet. I sure hope the phytate thing is not all that SF makes it out to be. I'm going to have a very hard time giving up my whole-wheat pasta.

About fermentation of grains, you might want to take a look at this link:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...&dopt=Abstract

Basically, the researchers observed that gluten proteins are broken down during the process of sourdough fermentation.

On the topic of antinutrients, I've wondered why SF goes through all the trouble of getting rid of phytates, but doesn't seem to try to avoid oxalates, which have a similar effect and are found in many leafy green veggies. Does anyone have any insight on this?

And also, are any NTers concerned about the link between stomach cancer and the frequent consumption of fermented veggies/fish? I'm Korean, and I grew up with kimchi at Every.Single.Meal. My parents and I have radically reduced our consumption of pickled foods when several of my parents' friends were diagnosed with stomach cancer.
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by yllek
And also, are any NTers concerned about the link between stomach cancer and the frequent consumption of fermented veggies/fish? I'm Korean, and I grew up with kimchi at Every.Single.Meal. My parents and I have radically reduced our consumption of pickled foods when several of my parents' friends were diagnosed with stomach cancer.
From nutritional reading that I've done, I seem to remember that there is a higher incidence of stomach cancer in Asian populations because of all the starch (rice) that's consumed. I wouldn't worry about the kimchi!
post #10 of 24
Is there any evidence suggesting that the stomach cancer is related to fermented veggies? If so, does that also apply to other cultures that eat alot? My Ukranian relatives eat sauerkraut, pickled beets and kvass everyday. Is there also a higher incidence of stomach cancer in those populations?
post #11 of 24
kallyn,
I think that the rice causing stomach cancer issue wasn't about starch, but about talc put into rice to keep the grains from sticking together.

When I go to asian markets most of the "pickles" contain all sorts of preservatives, artificial sweetners, food coloring and other such additives. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that these things contributed to stomach cancer. That being said, I haven't seen any additives in the kim chi that I buy, but all the ingredients might not have been listed on the english section of the ingredients. That happens with a lot of products that I see in asian markets.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by yllek
On the topic of antinutrients, I've wondered why SF goes through all the trouble of getting rid of phytates, but doesn't seem to try to avoid oxalates, which have a similar effect and are found in many leafy green veggies. Does anyone have any insight on this?
I don't know why it wasn't included, but if anyone is interested in how to reduce oxalates, the best method is boiling and then tossing the water. Unlike phytates which are neutralized by soaking, oxalates just fall off of the produce and into the water. One problem with oxalates is that the levels in the food vary a lot with harvest time and variety so every list of high oxalate food is different. Spinach and beets are big ones and also commonly eaten raw, in all of their oxalate glory.
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gale Force
I don't know why it wasn't included, but if anyone is interested in how to reduce oxalates, the best method is boiling and then tossing the water.
How long would you have to boil? For spinach, would it be just until wilted, or until completely soggy?
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessicaSAR
Is there any evidence suggesting that the stomach cancer is related to fermented veggies? If so, does that also apply to other cultures that eat alot? My Ukranian relatives eat sauerkraut, pickled beets and kvass everyday. Is there also a higher incidence of stomach cancer in those populations?
From WHO http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/...n/index15.html

Quote:
Stomach cancer. Until about 20 years ago stomach cancer was the most common cancer in the world, but mortality rates have been falling in all industrialized countries (14) and stomach cancer is currently much more common in Asia than in North America or Europe (11). Infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori is an established risk factor, but not a sufficient cause, for the development of stomach cancer (15). Diet is thought to be important in the etiology of this disease; substantial evidence suggests that risk is increased by high intakes of some traditionally preserved salted foods, especially meats and pickles, and with salt per se, and that risk is decreased by high intakes of fruits and vegetables (16), perhaps because of their vitamin C content. Further prospective data are needed, in particular to examine whether some of the dietary associations may be partly confounded by Helicobacter pylori infection and whether dietary factors may modify the association of Helicobacter pylori with risk.
also http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/.../2003/pr27/en/
Quote:
Stomach cancer is among the most common malignancies worldwide, with some 870,000 cases every year, and 650,000 deaths. About 60 per cent of cases occur in developing countries, with the highest incidence rates coming in Eastern Asia, the Andean regions of South America and Eastern Europe. The good news is that stomach cancer is declining world-wide, in some regions almost dramatically. In Switzerland and neighbouring European countries, the mortality fell by 60 per cent within one generation. If this trend continues, stomach cancer may in some world regions become a rare disease during the next 30 years. The main reason for this welcome development is the invention of the refrigerator, allowing fish and meat preservation without salting. The drop in incidence and mortality rates is therefore particularly impressive in Nordic countries in which fish consumption is traditionally high, e.g. Iceland. In populations that still prefer salty food, e.g. Portugal and Brazil (salted cod, bacalao), Japan and Korea (salted pickles and salad), stomach cancer rates are still high but have also started to decline significantly. An additional factor contributing to this trend is the availability in many countries of fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the year.
Don't get me wrong. I'm all for probiotic/fermented foods, but I think I'll be consuming them in moderation and opting for more fresh or raw veggies. Kimchi (all the crazy kinds of kimchi - not just cabbage) is such a part of my make-up that I think I'll be getting puh-lenty of fermented veggies anyway.
post #15 of 24
I wonder if the populations that they studied were using sea salt or refined salt...
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gale Force
I don't know why it wasn't included, but if anyone is interested in how to reduce oxalates, the best method is boiling and then tossing the water. Unlike phytates which are neutralized by soaking, oxalates just fall off of the produce and into the water. One problem with oxalates is that the levels in the food vary a lot with harvest time and variety so every list of high oxalate food is different. Spinach and beets are big ones and also commonly eaten raw, in all of their oxalate glory.
Thanks for that info! Some more info on oxalates, with further links if anyone wants to read more.
http://www.greenhands.com/greenhands...rry-teeth.html
Scroll down to see her numerous references.

I've heard about the boiling, but I always considered it a catch-22. Yeah, you get rid of the oxalates, but you are also getting rid of a lot of vitamins in the cooking water too. :

One thing I can't seem to find is how much phytates and oxalates affect the bioavailability of nutrients. I mean, if we have a nutrient-rich diet with a wide variety of foods, maybe we can forego the all the special prep that our ancestors required? (Or maybe this is just my inner rationale so I don't have to give up whole-wheat pasta).
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by caedmyn
I wonder if the populations that they studied were using sea salt or refined salt...
Yeah... My mom always made her own kimchi (vats and vats of several different kinds every autumn), but I think we only had Morton's while I was growing up.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by yllek
One thing I can't seem to find is how much phytates and oxalates affect the bioavailability of nutrients. I mean, if we have a nutrient-rich diet with a wide variety of foods, maybe we can forego the all the special prep that our ancestors required? (Or maybe this is just my inner rationale so I don't have to give up whole-wheat pasta).
This is why I think fermenting vegetables and fruits are more important for omnis. If we are eating broth and muscle meat, both with a lot of minerals, then it's not that big of a deal. If our diets or bodies are otherwise low in iron or zinc, that would be another matter. That said, I still prepare the few grains we eat to reduce their phytate content. And we don't plant spinach for salad greens.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by yllek
From WHO http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/...n/index15.html



also http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/.../2003/pr27/en/


Don't get me wrong. I'm all for probiotic/fermented foods, but I think I'll be consuming them in moderation and opting for more fresh or raw veggies. Kimchi (all the crazy kinds of kimchi - not just cabbage) is such a part of my make-up that I think I'll be getting puh-lenty of fermented veggies anyway.
I had always read that stomach cancer in Asia was due to drinking tea without milk, because of the tannins, and that the British don't have high rates of stomach cancer because they drink milk in their tea, which binds the tannins.
I think it's too vague to guess at the cause of stomach cancer, since no one knows exactly what causes it, and there are way too many variables that could be the cause. Our American dietary advice is very anti-salt, so they are quick to jump on that as a cause, but the tea theory is just as valid or invalid.

Ann
post #20 of 24
I forgot to mention that phytates and oxalates also irritate the kidneys, so there is reason to reduce them even aside from the mineral issue.
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