Originally posted by Dr. Davis on 2016-06-06
on the Wheat Belly Blog,
sourced from and currently found at: Infinite Health Blog.
PCM forum Index
of WB Blog articles.
Like detergent to your intestines
Emulsifying agents are commonly used in foods to
keep them mixed. You will commonly find carageenan, for instance, in ice
cream to keep dairy fat from separating from the water and proteins,
especially after repeated melting and refreezing.
The capacity for a compound to emulsify a solution
varies from minimal to dramatic. Even some natural compounds in whole,
unprocessed foods can exert modest emulsifying effects, such as acacia
(acacia seeds), pectin (apples, peaches), and lecithin (egg yolks). The
most powerful emulsification effects occur with synthetic or
semi-synthetic emulsifying agents, such as polysorbate-80,
carboxymethylcellulose, and methylcellulose. In one
study, polysorbate-80 increased intestinal permeability 59-fold.
The human intestinal tract is covered by a protective
mucous layer made of mucopolysaccharides that keeps undesirable organisms
and other factors away from the intestinal lining itself. The mucous barrier
is continually being regenerated, but is susceptible to emulsification, like
adding soap or detergent to oil, resulting in its breakup. Emerging
data suggest that synthetic emulsifiers, polysorbate-80 and methylcellulose,
disrupt the mucous lining, allowing microorganisms to penetrate and exert
changes via bowel flora that increase blood insulin, blood sugar, contribute to
pre-diabetes, and increase inflammation, in addition to altering the
composition of bowel flora present. This is believed to be an important part
of the process operating in ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease,
for example, as well as diabetes and weight gain. An unintended consequence
of the low-fat message was an increase in foods that contained synthetic
emulsifying agents, such as low-fat yogurts, adding further to the blunders
of the low-fat era.
In the Wheat Belly lifestyle, we opt for whole,
single-ingredient foods as often as possible, thereby not containing
synthetic emulsifiers. However, our reliance on almond, coconut, and some
other processed non-dairy milks means we are being exposed to some of the
natural, semi-synthetic, and even synthetic emulsifiers. We should
therefore avoid brands containing synthetic emulsifiers. Alternatively,
you can prepare almond or coconut milk yourself (see below) and avoid
them altogether. The Wheat Belly effort to cultivate bowel flora by
including 20 grams of prebiotic fibers per day also increases mucopolysaccharide
production (via short chain fatty acids), reducing the impact of
Stay tuned for more on this emerging and exciting
new insight, as I predict that better understanding of the intestinal
mucous layer is going to yield even greater capacity to heal intestinal
tracts damaged by wheat/grains, antibiotics, chemical exposures, and
Fresh Dairy-Free Homemade Coconut Milk
Making coconut milk by cracking open a whole
coconut can be a lot of work. My good friend, Lori Arnold, PharmD, an
integrative health practitioner in the Palm Springs, California area,
came to the rescue and shared this simplified method to make your own
coconut milk without use of emulsifying agents and without having to
crack open a coconut. (For more of Lori’s recipes, as well as her
unique views on prescription medication, see her website/blog, Heal
Makes 3 cups
8 ounce package organic finely shredded coconut (unsweetened)
4 cups boiling, or very hot, filtered water
Nut milk bag* or cheesecloth
*Available online via Amazon and other retailers,
as well as health food and specialty food stores
You will need a high-powered blender, like a Vitamix
or equivalent that can sustain high heat.
Add the coconut and boiling/hot water to the
blender. Blend well, about 1 minute on higher setting. Let set
for another 2-3 minutes before straining.
Pour the contents of the blender through the
nut milk bag into a large bowl or pitcher. Pull the strings of the bag
and squeeze the remainder of the coconut milk out.
Refrigerate the coconut milk and use within 2-3 days.
TIP: Don’t throw away the coconut meal left in
your nut bag! I put the fine coconut in a tight container and refrigerate
to use in recipes. The coconut is deliciously moist and tastes fresher
than boring bagged coconut. You can keep the coconut in your fridge for
up to a week if tightly sealed. Use the coconut in smoothies.