A Fat Chance

I suffer from intestinal lymphangiectasia, an extremely rare disorder which gave me a chance to change my life. A fat chance.

Location: Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

Medical student (Psychiatry), online and face-to-face facilitation, CoP practitioner, writer for and about mental illness (mainly in psychiatric rehabilitation, volunteerism and ICT) but also facilitation nonprofit and CoPs, person with mental illness in recovery.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Because I Said So

There is a new study on the effects of probiotics on metabolism.

In the explanation article from Medical News Today, the journalist points out:

One of the many biochemical changes observed by the researchers was a change in how mice treated with probiotics metabolised bile acids. These acids are made by the liver and their primary function is to emulsify fats in the upper gut. If probiotics can influence the way in which bile acids are metabolised, this means they could change how much fat the body is able to absorb.

All of you out there, get some probiotics and start living better, especially if you've got intestinal lymphangiectasia!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Probiotics Just Rock!

A new study published in the November issue of the Journal of Dental Research shows that application of beneficial bacteria as an adjunct to traditional therapy may become a valid, non-antibiotic treatment approach for periodontitis (gum disease).

If by any chance you travel to Italy, the best probiotics are Yakult and Yomo Plus. I actually use to prevent traveller's diarrhoea before it sends me and my lymphangiectasic bowel to the ER for losing a gallon of liquids.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


If you happen to have diarrhea after all, try a probiotic drink with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG.

It's not me, it's the BMJ.

So how are you?

I'm fiiiiine!

At this moment, I stay away from:
1) red meats:
I only eat white (aka poultry) and black meats (aka game). Only exception is, bresaola, a cured meat that can be made of beef or horse (the latter is my favourite one);
2) any kind of oils:
MCT oil included;
3) most non-skim dairy:
occasionally I eat whole dairy but in small amount, and only if made with either cow or buffano raw milk, that is, containing probiotics (read: creme fraiche, sour cream, kefir, parmigiano reggiano, mozzarella di bufala, regular mozzarella, provola). For the rest I eat skim milk, skim cottage cheese and skim cream cheese.

However, since I still need essential fats (everybody does, even the ones with lymphangiectasia!), I replace all the fat I should eat daily (ie 30-40 grams a day) with a combination of:
1) nuts:
like walnuts and Brazilian nuts;
2) seeds:
like sesame seeds (and tahini butter), flax seeds, sunflower seeds;
3) legumes:
soy beans (and soy butter and soy products), peanuts (and peanut butter and -- NO peanuts aren't nuts!!!);
4) oily fish:
wild salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, clams (always buy wild fish, it has more essential fatty acids and less saturated fat);
5) eggs:
especially quail eggs.

Avoiding oils is important, especially oils high in monosaturated fatty acoids, which we happen NOT to be able to absorb! So eat olives instead, if you like that flavor (I don't -- it's everywhere here!).

Furthermore, oils have no/few vitamins but no minerals whatsoever, while nuts/seeds/legumes have:

1. less oil (around 40-60%),
2. less calories (100 gr of oil is 900 calories, 100 grams of nuts is 600-700),
3. more proteins (oils have no proteins),
4. more minerals (oils have no minerals) and
5. more vitamins (oils only contain fat soluble vitamins, nuts also contain water soluble vitamins).

With this regimen, I only go 1-2 times a day and I don't have diarrhea unless I've got a bug or forgotten to check the label and mistakenly eaten transfats, mono- and dyglycerides or a mix of both.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Harvard Medical School on Probiotics

In a society of anti-bacterial warfare, who would have thought that anyone would tout the benefits of bacteria?

I wonder why probiotics aren't a big thing in the US... in Europe there are SO many available you'd get lost in the aisle....

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Enough is enough


Still thinking we IL people should drink dead milk y'all?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Fat Free? Is It Really?

Some foods claim to be fat free. Some of them replace fats with ingredients like gelatin and carrageenan (which are OK), some replace them with transfats and mono- and dyglycerides (which are NOT OK).

We all need to become label detectives.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

EFAs help fat absorption

As I care to remember, it's not in my head.

IL hugely impairs fat absorption. Impaired fat absorption means you have less essential fatty acids (EFAs) in your body. Less EFAs impairs fat absorption, which means your tolerance toward fats is lower which in turn means you'll absorb less EFAs.

In the end you'll be taking MCT but be completely unable to eat "regular" food, and still symptomatic for the rest.

Look here if you don't believe me.... start eating more EFAs and wean yourself off of MCTs... your tolerance for fats will magically be better. You won't be healed but being able to tolerate 25-30 gr a day will mean having a life.

Birthday Cake

My own thresholds are: 30 gr overall daily fats and each meal 3% fat content or lower (I can tolerate 35 for 1-2 days, but will start doing poorly at 40) so don't tell me I don't have it just because you don't like what I'm writing.

I just celebrated my birthday few days ago and of course I wanted a cake, and a real one.

My choice went toward a cake composed of merengue and whipped raw cream (freshly whipped, with no addictives, and then frozen). Raw stuff helps my bowel digest the fats by transforming them into short chain tryglycerides, and freshly whipping the cream helps me avoiding preservative (such as transfats and mono and dyglycerides) that make my bowel even more intolerant to fats.

I ate the slice of cake with 1 cup of skim milk in order to dilute the fat content of the cream (which is lower than unwhipped cream, since by whipping it you introduce air in it *wink*).

Basically the cake I ate was 50% merengue and 50% whipped cream. I ate a 40 gr slice (pretty big uh?), which had 20 gr of cream, which in turn had around 6 grams of fats and as I said I drank 1 cup of skim milk to dilute the content (250 gr milk plus 40 gr cake means 290-300 gr total, divided by 6 means 2% fat content).

This is to say there is a way out of tasteless food ;)

Incidentally I just got my blood work from the lab... from 2 gr albumin (and edema) of november, I am at 3.1 and no edema, so it's definitely working, and it might work for somebody else.