Lyme Diet Research
The Lyme disease diet is fairly complex, but with the right mindset, one can get it and do it right. When I had Lyme disease, mold and co-infections, I knew foods exacerbated symptoms. My pathogenic load was so high, I had to be extremely careful not to consume foods that fed and excited pathogens, which would in turn trigger immune reactions. Common sense and trial and error was the way I figured it out. After I beat these infections, I went on to research the foods and biochemical compounds that feed infections to support the Lyme disease diet. Without supportive research, all people have to go on is one's word and their own experience. Even though one's word can be enough, research backed science is many times appreciated.
Lyme disease diet abstentions are foods with sucrose, fructose, lactose, alpha-galactose and mucilage, along with all vinegars (except apple cider vinegar), fermented foods, legumes, grains and carbohydrates. Less than 1 gram per serving for these sugars is fine. Glucose and dextrose are also fine.
This article is more research based than what to eat and what not to eat. For foods on what to eat and what not to eat, please visit Lyme Diet Foods to Eat and Not to Eat.
Dietary modifications are essential if one wants to keep Lyme related symptoms at bay as much as possible, as well, assure a positive outcome. Without impeccable dietary abstentions, treatment may not work, and people may not get all the way better. In fact, they may not get better at all. Certain foods interact with pathogens, which in turn trigger immune responses, which in turn trigger reactions and symptoms. Symptoms continually lessen by impeccably abstaining from certain foods. The practice of abstaining from certain foods must collaborate with other lifestyle modifications in order to keep symptoms at bay. Certain foods will cause symptoms such as inflammation, making treatment less effective. There are foods that act as steroids to certain pathogens. They behave like spritzing gasoline on a fire. When you spritz a tiny bit of gasoline on a fire, it flares. The same goes with infections. If you give infections a taste of something they want, they get excited, which in turn excites the immune system, which in turn causes symptoms to flare like a fire. Infections can then proliferate at a more rapid rate than treatment can knock them back, when foods supporting their growth and energy are consumed.56
The abstention of polysaccharides, otherwise known as sugars, is the number one abstention and awareness to have while fighting Lyme disease. In fact, anything that is metabolized as a sugar should be impeccably abstained from while combatting Lyme related diseases. This excludes glucose. This does include all sugar sweeteners such as sugars (fructose, sucrose and others), agave, maple syrup, raw cane sugar, coconut sugar, xylitol and all other sweeteners with the only exception of 100% stevia. Other sugar containing foods such as coffee, chocolate, carob and coconut (including coconut milk) all contain natural occurring sugars; all vinegars, with the exception of apple sider vinegar metabolize as a polysaccharide; all dairy, as dairy contains lactose sugar, with the exception of butter; all fruit and dried fruit; all sweet vegetables such as carrots, squashes, avocadoes and tomatoes; all sweet nuts such as cashews, pecans, macadamias and any other nut containing sugars; all alcohol, including tinctures with alcohol (even if burned off – residue), sauces with alcohol such as soy sauce, tamari and others. Popcorn, lentils, wheat, baked goods, and grains on the higher glycemic index also metabolize as a polysaccharide. They activate and promote rapid replication of harmful bacteria, spirochetes and other pathogenic microbes, with the exception, at times, of corn or cornmeal (studies confirm this). Studies confirm polysaccharides such as fructose, sucrose and lactose feeds spirochetes and other harmful microbes and enable them to reproduce at a more rapid rate. The Department of Biological Sciences from the Tokyo Institute of Technology partnered with the Institute of Integrative Biology from the University of Liverpool on a study confirming spirochetes need polysaccharides for their energy requirement. From a first-hand experience, when I had Lyme disease and I accidentally ate something that metabolized as a sugar, my body would react. Sometimes the reaction would be immediate and last a week; sometimes the reaction was delayed for a day or two. When patients report eating something metabolized as a polysaccharide by mistake, they report immediate reactions or delayed reactions (which are just as common). Depending on the pathogen, the pathogenic load and one’s genetic propensity, can depend on symptom presentations. One triggering process of a mast cell activation reaction could begin with sugar consumption, leading to excited pathogens. The immune system soon recognizes the excited pathogens and depending on one’s genetic mutations and or interleukin deficiencies, depends on the symptoms, as well the timing of the symptoms. One example of a mast cell reaction may be a histamine reaction such as a sneezing fit with a runny nose, inflammation of the head, nose, eyes and body, with or without skin rashes. Another might be burning pain with headaches, joint pain, fatigue and depression. Another might be abdominal bloating with pain, memory loss, poor concentration and compromised vision. Another might be skipped heart beats felt in the chest or neck, numbness and tingling and fatigue. Others might be mental/emotional, such as emotional outbursts, bipolar symptoms, psychosis or extreme anxiety or depression. The more chronic and systemic infections are, the bigger the response.
Another study performed by the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research confirmed sugars in the form of glycogen and glucose have no effect on spirochetes. Glucose is the sugar found in most vegetables. Personal and clinical experience backed by research suggests metabolized polysaccharides can trigger an overload of pathogens, thus stimulating an immune response, thus stimulating symptoms. Glucose is an exception. Many vegetables that contain only glucose sugar are not only safe, but helpful in the detoxification process of pathogens and toxins while effectively nourishing the body with essential minerals and healthy sugars that provide energy to support all functions in the body.
Dietary Abstentions (Wheat and Grains)
In my personal and clinical experience, patients fighting Lyme disease reacted to wheat when consumed. Research studies confirm wheat and other grains significantly enhance the proliferation and activation of symptoms associated with Lyme related infections. Personal experience, clinical experience and research studies confirm corn, cornmeal and corn chips have no effect on spirochete reproduction, however, people still do have corn sensitivities. If people are impeccable with dietary modifications and they are eating corn chips regularly and symptoms are not resolving after 4-6 weeks, then abstaining from corn chips should be considered. Also, because of the carbohydrate content, serving amounts should still be considered.
Galactose-alpha-3, or 3 glalactose is otherwise known or referred to as alpha-gal. Alpha- gal is a sugar found in the cell membranes of most mammals, with the exception of humans and other primates. People with Lyme disease test positive for IgE antibodies to alpha-gal. Spirochetes, associated with Lyme disease have the ability to alter their antigens over time, making them non-susceptible to positive IgE antibody tests. Alpha- gal is simply a sugar that spirochetes consume. When spirochetes and other pathogens interact and use alpha-gal sugar, the body’s antibodies, many times recognizes the alpha- gal’s part of the reaction, but not the spirochete or other pathogen, because the antigen of the pathogen is not recognized. This explains why alpha-gal tests can be positive while tests for Lyme disease are negative. This goes for most sugars across the board.
Lyme related pathogens such as Borrellia, Plasmodium, Mycobacterium, Trypanosoma, Leshmania and others, contain alpha-gal polysaccharide on their surface. Testing IgE antibodies to alpha gal could be an avenue to support a positive explanation of a false positive diagnosis based on many the previous stated Lyme disease microbes. The previous statement is essential information and can be considered as supporting diagnostics to chronic symptoms. As the Western Blot antibody test only takes into consideration parts of pathogen’s body, a positive test for alpha-gal antibody can be considered as a potential positive test for a significant pathogenic load. If one refrains from mammalian meat products for 2 weeks to a month or is a vegetarian and takes the alpha-gal antibody test, then pathogenic load should be considered. In my clinical experience, all people who chose to eat red meat, after being counseled not to, reacted negatively, in all cases. Whether that was a reaction to alpha-gal or not is not for me to say. However, when patients finally abstain from meats containing alpha gal, while adhering to the rest of the dietary modifications, symptoms subside.
Dr. Alan McDonald MD, PhD went on to comment that certain pathogens, such as spirochetes take on aspects of DNA of their surroundings. With all this being said, refraining from mammalian meat should be considered when combating Lyme related infections. As well, positive antibody tests for alpha-gal, could be an indirect route for a positive explanation to a negative test for certain pathogens, or for pathogens not tested for. McDonald
People who have a high pathogenic yeast load commonly have MCAS reactions when they consume sugars, carbs or more yeast. Some may be systemic candida, candida overgrowth, mold and or fungal infections. We must remember to take into consideration, when people have 1 infection or multiple infections, a candida overgrowth should always be considered. Many times, with Lyme disease, if people are not treated for candida, people will not get better. Daily lifestyle choices such as antibiotics, beer, alcohol, sugary foods and dairy all contribute to candida overgrowth. People do not need an infection to have the natural existing digestive yeast in our body to become pathogenic. However, when it does become pathogenic, abstaining from yeast is absolutely essential in order for one to return to good health. Mold and fungal exposure are also common, especially in damp areas west of the Cascades and areas of the Southern states. Abstaining from yeast, mushrooms and foods that metabolize as polysaccharides should be abstained from in order for people to return to health. Studies confirm yeasts contribute to activation and proliferation to infections. Like the consumption of certain sugars, the sky is the limit in regard to types of MCAS reactions with the consumption of yeast.
© Dr. Patrick Lynch