Eating papaya with protein rich meals gave me a significant improvement in health

Discussion in 'Diet and Improving Your Gut' started by dejurgen, Jun 16, 2018.

  1. dejurgen

    dejurgen Active Member

    As I try to up NADPH and glutathione recycling by stabilizing blood glucose levels and selectivly using cold treatements I had to look for a reliable source of starch and a low glycemic source of sugar, preferably rich in glucose.

    Apple has low glycemic index, in part due to a high fructose to glucose ratio. But as (I thought) it is reknown for being well digested and healthy (an apple a day keeps the doctor away) I'd try eating some more apples as breakfast.

    I had been eating less fruit apart from papaya for some time. Now my source of papaya was gone I switched to supplements and ate more other fruit again. It went OK-ish until one day I ate two small apples with combined wheight of a big-ish apple as breakfast and nothing but that as breakfast. Within half a day stool was very loose close to dhiarea and abdominal pain peaked high. It was like someone had put a few knitting needles in their entirity in/through my intestines. What a familiar feeling from the period before my papaya try! The next day (very likely) both my adrenals hurt a lot too. Worst of all: significant less energy and a lot lower/more depressed mood.

    Not being truely sure as apples were the cause the next two days I ate a small apple and some oats as breakfast. Problems reduced but did not subside. In a delayed fashion (very likely) my liver started to hurt again. Another familiar sensation before.

    That surprisingly let me to fructan intolerance. Near all of fructans. It fits well with my family history, better then the idea of intolerance to proteins combined with sulphur rich foods. My mother hasn't a strong problem with fructose, but still admits a whole apple on an empty stomach is troublesome and not a good idea. So it's probably the same problem but with a lower treshold. Just as much as her I too feel that apple combined with some other food is better tolerated. It just happens that with fructose malabsorbtion the fructose gets better absorbed when there is a higher amount of glucose going with it. So bread/oats with aplle being less troublesome makes sense, and indicates no dominant gluten intolerance. Good news for a change as it adds at least some foods to the safe(r) list ;-). Wheat and some grains is higher fodmap too however, oat, rice, quinoa are not.

    Other problematic fructan foods in my family are onions, leeks, many sorts of cabbage...

    I had a few remaining mysteries:
    A) what had papaya to do with the improvement; it was more then just eating less apples as I had weeks I didn't ate them before?
    B) some sort of cabage are low fodmap, but in our family they all cause bloating to varying degrees
    C) turnips, celery root and black salsify are supposed to be low fodmap but they are really bad ones; many recommend them as being excellent for diggestive (fodmap) problems but yet a few sites mention them as bad for bloating
    D) how can fodmap problems cause low energy and poor mood so quickly?

    For A) I started with thinking that one intollerance often lowers theshold for other intolerances, so I could have multiple and improving one increased threshold for the other? Or papain breaking down proteins gave enzymes better access to the fodmap contents in cells, increasing effective digestion time? But the answer was unsatisfying.

    For D) I found papain and other protein digesting enzymes can interfere with inflammation (decrease) and immunity (increase), so a change in dose going to supplements might be important; yet this felt inadequate. Maybe it was the bacteria producing hydrogen rather then methane, but would that be poisonous? From there I got to hydrogen sulfide.

    There is a variant of ibs/sibo that passes hydrogen breath test by making hydrogen sulfide rather then hydrogen. And hydrogen sulfide is rather poisonous. In addition the production of hydrogen sulfide decreases sulphur uptake from the diet, and sulpur is needed for producing glutathione (important in numerous things in ME including reducing ROS and protein misfolding) and taurine (important for reducing protein misfolding) and insuline (blood sugar control) amongst others. This is a nice link with a video in it

    All cabbages are rich in sulphur, so that solves the "why do all cabages cause severe bloating rather then only the high fodmap ones" (question B). As a plus, Onion, leeks, garlic... are both high fodmap and high sulphur food. They are superb at causing bloating in our family.

    Turnips and black salisfy contain inulin, another polysacharide. And Celery root contains pectin-based polysacharides. They're likely less commonly a problem as they're considered low fodmap despite it. But it could answer question C).

    Comming back to A), what has papin to do with it? Sulphur is most often part of proteins. As papain starts very early diggesting proteins in the stomach, protein diggestion likely is a lot more complete when food reaches the large bowel, home of most of the gut microbes. That likely means that plenty of sulphur containing amino acids are already absorbed before reaching it. That's a double plus: more sulphur for the own body and less food for the hydrogen sulphur producing bacteria. That's less bloathing and less toxic hydrogen sulfide to deal with.

    Now why would eating apples, low in sulphur content cause a spike of problems? Well, the basterd buggers probably need both a good source of undiggested carbs (fructose?) and sulphur. I'll work on that one to see how far it gets me and then and only then try probiotics to drive them out. Don't want to mask the effect of changes too much ;-).

    As too supplements: I take a cheap and very local brand containing 50 mg of papain, 50 mg of papaya pulp (probably because it requires less expensive/pure extraction of papain this way) and 10 mg of bromelian. Seems to work somewhat, but I'm not the best placed person to test his now.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
  2. Not dead yet!

    Not dead yet! Well-Known Member

    Thank y ou SuzyDee for an in depth discussion on this issue. This quote really resonated with me because

    1. My TG was up above 500 and I was having significant pain that might have been either gut or pancreatic pain


    2. My instinct tells me that I"m in a catch 22. I'm unable to get much exercise, so I'm inactive. My thyroid has only just begun to be properly treated, and therefore, for these and other reasons I'm obese. I carry my weight forward of my trunk, in much the same way that men sometimes get a 'beer belly' except I"m a woman. My hormone imbalances might have a lot to do with that. I 'feel' that my organs are being 'crushed' somehow and I often do backbending exercises, sometimes hanging over the edge of my bed so my organs get more room. It feels wonderful, but the weight is still pressing down on them.

    So my question is, could my centered obesity be causing a similar effect as CMI? I used to say I had some kind of pseudo ileac type of thing.
  3. SuzyDee

    SuzyDee Member

    Too much body fat can be an inflammatory thing to alter ion channel function and result in gut ischemia but I would think high triglycerides (and this probably along with high homocysteine levels?) could be a more likely case too in causing plaque stenosis in the mesentery arteries. A Doppler Ultrasound to check your mesentery artery velocities is a simple test to do to check for this.
    Stenosis or any of the abdominal vascular compression syndomes can cause an audible abdominal bruit sound too (but not in all cases) so an even quicker check is just to have have any doctor listen to your abdominal sounds for any evidence of this.
  4. Not dead yet!

    Not dead yet! Well-Known Member

    Doppler was done when I had blood clots, but i think they were concerned about my heart so maybe not looking there.

    Every bowel test I've ever had said I was "normal" but with abnormal amounts of gas that were not clearing. I got tired of drinking barium after a while and gave up. I think at this point my gastro is in "wait until I have to operate on you" mode. I think the gastro professions is extremely lazy at providing helpful solutions. I don't blame individual doctors, but there seems to be two modes of operation:

    a. you're fine, just normal bellyache


    b. OMG you need immediate surgery
  5. dejurgen

    dejurgen Active Member

    I don't know if American units are the same as European ones. We use mg/100ml IMO. I did find old test results, but they're upstairs now. In 2010 my TG were over 360. Now they're at 75. I'll describe what did that for me:
    • Taking a low amount (half a pill daily, at evening) of the wright statines. I had to try several to get the cardiovascular risk factor down. Some statins reduced the good cholesterol just as much as the bad one and didn't reduce the cardiovascular risk factor. I know statins are under discussion, but that is not the point here. Result: TG went 210-ish
    • Getting away from the low to very low fat diet I followed for years in order to get my cholesterol within normal levels; eating double as much fat and more protein did reduce cholesterol somewhat and reduced TG a lot more. The reduction in cholesterol probably was due to lower TG levels that seem to contribute to bad cholesterol levels. Due to eating more fat my good cholesterol increased somewhat. The total effect did reduce the cardiovascular risk factor a lot. Although I ate very few sugar before and after the change, I before probably ate too much slow carbs still causing blood glucose problems, leading to my liver converting blood glucose to TG. Result: TG went 150-ish (edit, 100+ when checking this one)
    • Starting to eat papaya. Kinda weird, but I believe it may be due to A) having to reduce my caloric intake a bit as my food digested better. B) Eating less fruit and in smaller portions spread over the day, just a side effect of papaya being expensive so I did limit myself to just eat 3 times a day a small piece of fruit. Result: TG 75 now.
    B) sounds kinda weird too: eating less fruit to lower TG? It's supposed to be the opposite IMO due to the healthy fiber. But the body doesn't use fructose directly. It is converted into either glucose, lactic acid, glycogen or TG. If one eats a diet with lots of low GI carbs, glucose and glycogen will be allready plentifull, limiting conversion from fructose to those. Having ME, lactic acid is plenty too. That leaves conversion from fructose to TG as a main pathway IMO. Eating less has an obvious effect. Spreading fruit intake over smaller portions reduces the combined glucose-fructose peaks so a larger portions can be used rather then converted to TG.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018 at 3:58 PM
  6. dejurgen

    dejurgen Active Member

    The past weeks I looked further into the question "why do fructans and sulphur based vegs cause so much problems and what is the link to eating papaya"?

    This post only describes my line of thinking, the following post probably gets closer to what is actually happening. First let me tell about another important observation I made:

    Together with strong increase in abdominal pain and a sudden onset of near-dhiarea after eating 2 small apples I also had blood loss in stool again. That was very familiar for me for many many years. Together with frequent nose bleedings, those symptoms did disapear when I was at worst of ME. I guess that's due to low blood volumes and blood flow. Getting better, nose bleedings happened a few times again, maybe a sign of better bloodflow. Both forms of bleeding may be increased by low vitamine K that appears to be common with gut problems.

    The blood loss in the stool was more then just a few drops the first time, closer to a small trickle. It wasn't due to the following swinging between dhiarea-ish and constipation-ish after the final onset, as the bleeding started wright at the onset of the first dhiarea fase before constipation happend. So constipation grinding-pressing the gut was not the cause. It's now about two weeks of some blood in my stool every few days even after adjusting diet to my previous one.

    So what could cause apples to cause a very likely larger scale damage to the gut lining up to the point of severe injury? Just some hydrogen production rather then methane by having the wrong gut bacteria fed didn't convince me. Is hydrogen that poisonness? Didn't think so. Was it that more plentyfull than methane production that it caused the gut to burst? Sounds unlikely to me, but plausible. That's why I did think in the direction of H2S producing gut bacteria: poisonness in tiny quantities, producing ischemia like results in the gut lining reducing reparation of the gut lining... and I also did find that H2S decreases production of mucus, thus decreasing production of the gut protecting layer. So H2S does make sense.

    So what is the role of papaya here? Well, the amount of blood loss the first time did indicate sizeable gut damage, leaving options for undigested protein to enter the blood stream. And undigested proteins in the blood stream is a bad thing. Before the apple incident I may well have had smaller scale gut damage allowing undigested proteins to enter the bloodstream. These smaller scale wounds just didn't show up in the stool I guess. So eating papaya reduced undigested proteins entering these micro wounds.

    Still, why was eating 2 small apples so bad? And what has it to do with sulphur rich vegs and proteins? My ideas so far where that the bad bacteria floorished only if they had a good source of carbohydrates, sulphur and nitrogen (protein). I found a paper that saw fermentation in sheep increasing by 100% when adding both S and N to their diet. In sheep that is a good thing, in humans less so.

    Still, many people eat fodmaps and are healthy with it. And most of fodmaps except fructose are not supposed to be diggestable by them neither, so did eating 2 small apples cause SO much more undigested fodmaps to end up in the large intenstine so that the bad bacteria could florish? It sounds unlikely as healthy people on a fiber rich diet feed their gut bacteria more fodmaps then I do.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018 at 12:16 PM
  7. dejurgen

    dejurgen Active Member

    After reading on fructose intolerance, I do believe fructose malabsorption to be a likely candidate for the specific mechanism. Fructose malabsorption is a rather strange thing:

    People being unable to transfer fructose from the gut to the blood? After all, fructose is very common in nature and is a very simple sugar. I can hardly imagine humans didn't develop a riggid mechanism to absorb fructose after millions of years, while glucose absorption is so unproblematic. Even weirder, fructose seems to absorb so much better if fructose-to-glucose ratio is below 1. That seems to be no fault but deliberate design/evolution to me.

    So I looked further into fructose malabsorbption and did find and "According to Dr. De Meirleir 45.8% of his ME/CFS patients has Fructose Malabsorption."

    The first link learned me "blurb says N-A-G combines with mucin secreted from goblet cells to form the glycocalyx, a protective layer of glycoproteins and polysaccharides that lines the digestive tract." That hit me.

    Wikipedia learned that:
    In the digestive tract

    A glycocalyx can also be found on the apical portion of microvilli within the digestive tract, especially within the small intestine. It creates a meshwork 0.3 μm thick and consists of acidic mucopolysaccharides and glycoproteins that project from the apical plasma membrane of epithelial absorptive cells. It provides additional surface for adsorption and includes enzymes secreted by the absorptive cells that are essential for the final steps of digestion of proteins and sugars.
    Other generalized functions

    • Protection: Cushions the plasma membrane and protects it from chemical injury
    • Immunity to infection: Enables the immune system to recognize and selectively attack foreign organisms
    • Defense against cancer': Changes in the glycocalyx of cancerous cells enable the immune system to recognize and destroy them.
    • Cell adhesion: Binds cells together so that tissues do not fall apart
    • Inflammation regulation: Glycocalyx coating on endothelial walls in blood vessels prevents leukocytes from rolling/binding in healthy states.
    Now That's plenty of things that are important for ME/gut problems! Looking up mucopolysaccharides lead me to it being another name for
    "Glycosaminoglycans[1] (GAGs) or mucopolysaccharides[2] are long unbranched polysaccharides consisting of a repeating disaccharide unit."
    "Based on core disaccharide structures, GAGs are classified into four groups.[5] Heparin/heparan sulfate (HSGAGs) and chondroitin sulfate/dermatan sulfate (CSGAGs) are synthesized in the Golgi apparatus..."

    => Disaccharide structures containing sulfur are a vital part of a layer that both protects the small intenstine, boosts enzyme functioning and increases effective gut absorption surface area??? ?!?!?!?!?!?!?BINGO?!?!?!?!?!?!?

    So this gets me following rough hypothesis:
    • Humans have evolved to not absorb fructose well if fructose to glucose ratio is bigger then 1.
    • In near the entire past of human kind, fructose to glucose ratio being bigger then 1 only occured during fall: when fruit was very plentifull.
    • Maybe this (strong) reduction in absorption of fructose to glucose ratio is bigger then 1 evolved to unload the NADPH system needed for recycling glutathione during fall. Winter fat production by eating large amounts of fruit consumes very high amounts of NADPH suppressing glutathione production. If one has the wright gut bacteria, one can pass some fructose to them and let them produce healthy short chain fatty acids from it and offer them to the gut to abbsorb. Nice and efficient. Or this mechanism developped for other reasons; non vital here.
    • Anyway, if too much bad gut bacteria would have developped in the past due to this fall overload of fructose, it would have been wiped clean during late winter till early summer due to the lack of ripe fruit. So development of specific fructose gut bacteria and transmission from mother to child would be strongly reduced by this lack of fructose rich food all year round. A high ratio of fructose to glucose is needed to pass much of fructose to bacteria in the large intestine.
    • Now we have year round ripe fruit, advised to eat a lot because it's healthy. And the food industry drops fructose in nearly every single food as it's cheap and adictive. Worse, soda with sucrose (already bad with a ratio of 1) is replaced with soda with fructose as it's cheaper and sweeter. And it's a liquid! So it passess the small intestine at record speed, providing near zero reduction in fructose before the liquid enters the large intestine.
    • Now why would this fructose be so bad? Many other fodmaps reach the large intestine too. Well, when one has a moderate meal with moderate starch/sugar then glucose is nearly fully uptaken by the small intestine. Larger amounts of fructose or bad ratios may allow more fructose to slip to the large intestine. Having daily high caloric food loads, another recent thing, increase both amounts of fructose and glucose passing through the small intestine and reaching the large intestine. Remains the question: why are fructose/glucose so different from other fodmaps? They are very simple monosaccharides! That means that they are far more easy to use by bacteria then di- or polysaccharides (still a lot of "work" on them needed to transform them into usable components) meaning they very likely allow much much faster bacterial multiplication rates then the di- and poly ones allow.
    • An explosive multiplication rate of ?some? types of bacterias allows for far easier bacterial disbalance then a slower growth where bacteria have to compete far more with each other during a longer time. Result: a few species of bacterias may dominate rather then having a wide range of different bacterias
    • Such fast explosive growth of bacteria may ease back-flow of some of them into the small intestine. If constipation is present that would occur even faster. Some weakness of the "valve" blocking reverse transfer would be a bad thing as well.
    • If some of those bacteria that grew at explosive rate would colonise the small intestine, they would get a further headstart compared to other species, further increasing disbalance.
    • Now, what's all of this to do with severe gut damage? Well, this theorethical mechanisms eases both gut monoculture and SIBO. But bacteria finding "other" food sources in the small gut would further increase their competitive advantage. Bacteria able to "eat" mucopolysaccharides would be able to dominate very well. That may well be bacteria that do well on both simple sugars like fructose/glucose, di- and polysaccharides and sulfur as mucopolysaccharides are rich in sulfur.
    => hence year round consumption of fructose rich food and more calories then strictly needed gives a very fertile ground to a monoculture overgrowing both small and large intestine, and sulfur rich food makes it even a more productive ground for disbacteria IMO. Note that "free" sulfur seems to be worse then "bound" sulfur".
    => Such "fructose aided" SIBO would not only produce bloathing but worse, increase H2S far beyond "normal". Next to being poisionness it also creates iscchemia in the gut amongst others and it decreases mucus regrowth weakening gut lining.
    => Such "fructose saided" SIBO could allow growth of glycocalyx destroying bacteria, further weakening the gut and decreasing food absorbtion a lot; destruction of the glycocalyx alone would be a very bad thing in already weakened ME patients
    => The above would create sufficiently damage to lower the threshold for poorly digested proteins into the bloodstrem a lot, creating all kind of further havoc with imune problems, auto immunity and ER/protein misfolding stress.

    Gluten intolerance would further weaken the already weakened gut. Lactose intolerance would feed another breed of potentially bad bacteria, as it's a disaccharide that is easier to use by bacteria then more complex ones. So it kinda connects many food intollerances and offers some explanation as to why one intollerance lowers the bar for others to join the party.

    The difference in pain in the gut did also deter me from using diaphragma breating after the apple incident as it was unpleasntly painfull, so poor breathing and my unaibility to use diaphragm breathing before may be an indirect result of all of this (unconsionous avoiding it to decrease pain levels).

    I don't know if anything of it is new or not, but I'd love to hear your comments :).

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018 at 1:38 PM
  8. dejurgen

    dejurgen Active Member

    Reading further upon Athena's results in Athena wrote further on page 3:
    "It is such a bummer!
    I have been diagnosed with hypothyroid, and when you have that condition, your body keeps laying down glucosaminoglycans - not just the amount you need, but on and on. It puts them in your intestine (where maybe they don't do any harm?) and also in your joints, where they are essential but haing too much causes terrible pain!
    So I have had to stop taking the glucosamine supplements."

    It relates to kinda question/thoughts I had yesterday: too much glucosaminoglycans resemble a lot of symptoms many of us have: too much deposition of hard too remove deposits in connective tissues, pain, impaired motor function (both resulting from compressed nerves), too high cranial pressure, joint problems, hart problems by deformed hart valves, respiratory infections... see for the extreme genetic form of it (rather then the form caused by hypothyroid Athena discusses).

    It certainly does not discribe our disease, but there is some commonality. I just wondered how too few glucosaminoglycans in the intestine could relate to this opposite problem of too high production.

    Athena may just have provided the answer: if she would actually produce more of this protective layer (as she believes having hypothyroid), it should be protective rather then causing intestine problems. And using supplements to lay down an extra thick layer should be less necesary then in healthy people IMO.

    So could both at the same time: more production of the body and "adding an additional layer" by taking supplements be benificial if there is already more then in a healthy person who has no fructose intollerance?

    It reinforces my idea that the layer is getting eaten by bacteria. She may produce a thciker layer and that may exactly be the cause of it being eaten by the bacteria: more food for a potential bug that eats the stuff, so more change of developping a potentially harmful monoculture of glucosaminoglycan eating bacteria.

    It reminds me of my boxhedge: since two years caterpillars are doing there best to eat my hedge into destruction. They have very few natural enemies over here so I fight them with a variaty of things. But the point is, being resonably succesful fighting them I still have to (let) trim the hedge every year as it keeps growing. The buggers just could eat the excess and save me the effort of trimming and let the needed core parts of the hedge untouched. But they are not those friendly bugs just eating what needs to be cut. They just eat wholes in it and leave other parts that are too thick untouched.

    Just as much, I guess those supposed nasty glucosaminoglycan eating bacteria don't neatly trim only the excess layer one at a time, taking a nap until there is more excess to eat. They rather will form local colonies eating everything underneed them. So they basicly make the layer resemble Swiss chese.

    Supplementing with N Acetyl Glucosamine 750mg could fill these holes it it attaches better to bare cells rather then to an already thick layer. So indeed after having too much own production of it supplmenting it further *might* be beneficial.

    It doens't need to be a genetical defect. I can imagine it would have been a nice adaption in medival Europe where grains provided the bulk caloric needs. It would have converted part of the excess glucose to glucosaminoglycans, thereby reducing blood sugar spiking, increasing glutathione recycling and improving the thickness of the protective layer against the fairly aggressive effect of wheat/lectines... that were introduced with the farmers diet. Big difference then was: apart from a few nearby fruit trees that provided fructose for a short period of time every year they had nearly no real good source of fructose (nor sucrose as sugar cane was far too expensive for the commoner and sugar beet didn't existed yet).
    As this excessive thick layer is likely gradually moved/slided toward the large intestine, it would provide food for hopefully healthy gut bacteria producing desirable short chain fatty acids. That would convert excess carbs to the very desirable SCFA and increase gut health as long as the microbiome isn't fed fructose/fast sugars/high caloric diets allowing some bacteria to grow at an exponential rate.

    So maybe that'll give me some clues? Worth a try.

    note: Thyroid problems are common in ME. Thyroid problems are also related to NADPH generation and therefore to oxidative stress. Imflamation on the other hand does decrease fructose absorption. So an increase in (temporary) inflamation may decrease fructose absorption. With fructose rich diets that means more fructose is ending up in the large intestine, potentially creating a very fast boom in harmfull bacteria. Once they find there way up in the small intestine, they lock the gut into a state of stronger imflamation and a large general malabsorption of food including fructose further feeding fructose and even more undigested food to the large intestine... ... and the SIBO does require a lot of chronic effort from the imune system. That does increase chances for auto-imunity but it also leaves less part of the imune system available to clean up the other "overproduction" of glucosaminoglycan in the body, potentially increasing joint problems, connective tissue problems, hart problems, respiratory problems... may even make the valves between stomach and small intestine and between small and large intestine malfunction (by deforming it with glucosaminoglycan deposits so it's not a good fit any longer) further entrenching the digestive problems...
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018 at 1:43 PM
  9. Not dead yet!

    Not dead yet! Well-Known Member

    Less fruit to lower TG is not reverse at all. TG is the fat made by the liver from excess carbohydrates. Since many of us suffer from metabolic inefficiency of one kind or another, it makes sense that our TG levels would be high since they're not being used, as they would be in a normal body.

    Lowering carbs lowers TG, that's been my experience, that's also the opinion of my MD. AIP, Paleo, Keto, and a lot of new diets designed to help lower inflammation are also well known to lower TG. Of those, Paleo is the only one where you can eat fruits much, but even there, it's not central.