Is This the "Impossible Diet"?
Imagine for a moment a diet without any wheat, corn, soy or dairy. Sounds crazy, doesn't it? We would all either starve to death or fall into a serious depression from a lack of tasty food choices.
It's interesting to notice that these four foods are dominant in our food supply and crowd out other sources of food, such as vegetables. Look in your pantry and refrigerator, visit your local food market or go to any restaurant. You will find that these four foods everywhere you look.
So what? And why should you care?
The reason you should care is that these foods are not likely to help you deal with PCOS and all of its consequences. Secondly, some of these foods may pose a long-term threat to your health.
Problems with Wheat and Dairy
For example, wheat contains gluten, which can cause gut trouble and an immune reaction. Not only does gluten cause Celiac disease, it's also linked to various autoimmune disorders, referred to as "autoimmune polyglandular syndrome" or APS. One possible aspect of APS is an inflammation of your thyroid gland, which is a problem for some women with PCOS. A malfunctioning thyroid causes all sorts of problems such as infertility and inability to manage weight.
Dairy is also problematic, since it has a protein profile not optimized for humans and contains antibiotics, hormones and other unnatural substances. This is all discussed in the PCOS diet e-book if you want to learn more.
Problems with Soy, Corn, and Genetic Modification of Foods
What I really want to talk about today is soy and corn. I'm increasingly concerned that these crops are being genetically modified. Genetically modified foods are referred to as "GMO" foods.
You may think that soy is a "health food" and consume a lot of it for that reason. But did you know that almost all of the soy you eat is genetically modified? In this context, genetic modification means the soybean looks the same but is different in some way.
By the same token, you were genetically modified by your mother. If she had excessively high levels of environmental chemicals (such as BPA) or too much estrogen or male hormone levels, your "genetic software" was altered while she was pregnant with you. This is one reason why you have PCOS and someone else does not.
Back to genetic modification of soy -- and corn. The purpose of changing the genes in these foods is solely to increase production and profits of the food and agriculture industries. That is the ONLY reason. They really don't care about the effect of these genetically altered foods on your health.
For example, food crops can be genetically modified to be more resistant to pesticides and herbicides, thus allowing for greater application of these poisons in the fields and thus avoid crop losses from insects or weeds.
The Dirty Little Secrets about GMO Foods
But here's a dirty little secret. Those herbicides and pesticides are taken up by the plant. When you eat any part of the plant, you get a small dose of these chemicals. The other dirty little secret is that these chemicals interfere with hormone function or are toxic in other ways.
There is a serious lack of research on the long term effects of GMO foods. Because GMO foods have only arrived in our food supply since the 1990's, we have no clue about their long-term effects in humans.
However, since rodents have shorter lifespans than humans, could research on rodents fed GMO foods provide any clues?
In 2010, I reported to you in about some disturbing research of GMO soy fed to rodents. For example, hamsters fed GMO soy had hair growth (hirsutism) inside their mouths while the hamsters eating non-GMO soy did not. (I also previously reported the case of a women with PCOS who had hair growth in her mouth.) The second generation of GMO-fed hamsters had reduced fertility and higher infant mortality.
In a new study just published by French and Italian researchers in the Food and Chemical Toxicology journal, GMO corn was fed to rats for two years. The lifespan of a domestic rat is 2-3.5 years. A two-year old rat is the equivalent of a 60-year old human. So in this experiment, the rats ate GMO corn for most of their lives. This result is a bit unsettling:
In the above photo, the rat on the left ate GMO corn. The rat in the middle ate GMO corn from corn plants sprayed with the herbicide Roundup. The rat on the right had Roundup in its drinking water.
The female rats had increased mortality, growth of breast tumors, impaired pituitary glands and disrupted hormonal balance. The males had liver and kidney damage in addition to cancer. (Prior studies of rats had shown no ill effects of GMO corn -- but these rats only had the corn for 3 months or less, not 2 years. So it's the long term effects we're concerned about).
The corn in the French/Italian study was genetically modified to be resistant to a herbicide called Roundup. Roundup was sprayed on the corn plants and the harvested corn fed to the rats, with bad results. Did you know that Roundup -- and other chemicals -- are being sprayed on the food crops that you're eating every day?
In summary, GMO crops allow the application of vast amounts of herbicides (no weeds) and pesticides (no bugs) in order to increase production (more profit). Besides chemical contamination, the other problem with GMO foods is that we don't know the effect on our health of the altered genetic material in these foods. But the rat on the left in the above photo ate GMO corn for two years. You can judge the results for yourself.
Wheat. Soy. Corn. Dairy. Never in human history have we eaten so much of these foods and crowded out the other foods. And never in human history have these four foods been so degraded, processed and contaminated.
That's why these four foods are excluded from "The Natural Diet Solution for PCOS and Infertility" e-book. The e-book gives you a different way to eat and to live your life -- and a more solid way to bring PCOS under more control.
If you choose to continue to eat wheat, soy, corn and dairy as the core components of your diet, try to eat them as fresh, organic and whole as you can. Try to reduce the amount you consume. And have at least five servings of vegetables per day and some protein with them.
See Related PCOS Diet Articles
Antvorskov JC et al, Dietary gluten alters the balance of proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines in T cells of BALB/c mice, Immunology. 2012 Aug 22. doi: 10.1111/imm.12007. [Epub ahead of print].
Miskiewicz P et al, Coeliac disease in endocrine diseases of autoimmune origin., Endokrynol Pol. 2012;63(3):240-9.
Aris A et al, [Hypothetical link between endometriosis and xenobiotics-associated genetically modified food].Gynecol Obstet Fertil. 2010 Dec;38(12):747-53.
Walsh LP et al, Roundup inhibits steroidogenesis by disrupting steroidogenic acute regulatory (StAR) protein expression. Environ Health Perspect. 2000 Aug;108(8):769-76.
Seralini GE et al, Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize, Food and Chemical Toxicology, Sept 19, 2012 [Epub ahead of print].
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