David Seaman: Inflammation From Our Diet Is Killing Us Slowly

"It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage."

Harrison Ford, Raiders of the Lost Ark

Science continues to shed new light on how nutrition has a huge effect on the status of our health. In particular, medicine is zeroing in inflammation as key factor in the aging process - that, over time, diet-caused inflammation wears down our internal systems, resulting in impaired performance (e.g., leaky gut, weight gain) and disease (e.g., Diabetes, heart disease).

This week, Chris speaks with Dr. David Seaman, Professor of Clinical Sciences at the National University of Health Sciences, one of the leading experts on clinical nutrition for pain and inflammation. They discuss inflammation, what causes it, the damage it does to our bodies, and the dietary changes we can make to reduce our exposure to it. This exploration is heavy on the science, but still very accessible to the interested layman:

Inflammation related to diet is a very, very subtle process. So for example, just waking up in the morning, going over to the coffee shop, and having a donut that actually leads to low-grade inflammation after you eat, but you just do not feel it. It is a very distinct process.

The problem with dietary inflammation is it basically builds up on us over time. And then out of the blue, we can be diagnosed with any number of possible diseases and you can think, I wonder what caused this. And it was the last 10 – 30 years, depending upon how aggressive one was in their pursuit of the disease. I call it 'pursuing disease' with dietary inflammation.

Depending upon how aggressive one is, it can appear that the cause/effect relationship is lost because compared to a sprained ankle or a bee sting you do not do a 'drive-by self-shooting', as I call it. It is not like you eat fast food at a restaurant and all of a sudden feel aches and pains everywhere. It takes time to progress. So you have the acute inflammation with an injury that is very obvious. Then you have the more subtle low-grade inflammation that you cannot even feel initially. But they are generally the same. It is just that with an acute scenario, there is actual tissue injury and it is much more robust, more overt versus subtle.

So for the chronic inflammation example, you go and do a 'drive-by self-shooting' or you stop at a coffee shop and have whatever you are going to have: a bagel, a cup of coffee or tea, or you'll even have a donut. But that will cause, after you eat it, a postprandial, (postprandial means "after we eat it"); you will get a surge of blood sugar because you just consumed a refined carbohydrate. That surge of blood sugar is going to get dumped into a muscle. And that will take place as a consequence of insulin being released. That surge of blood sugar it is typically not normal for us to experience, based upon our genetic disposition in terms of food sources. So you will have rapid movement of the blood sugar into immune cells, for example. And when the immune cells get hit with this high blood sugar surge, they generate free radicals. And these free radicals lead to the production by the immune cell by inflammatory chemistry. So there is an immediate, a postprandial, post-eating inflammatory response to hyperglycemia. It is subtle dietary trauma versus overt physical trauma.

Of great value in this interview is the identification of the worst dietary offenders (refined sugars, flours, Omega-6 and trans fats) and the strategies we can use in our eating to keep inflammation at bay.

Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with David Seaman (40m:35s):

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://peakprosperity.com/david-seaman-inflammation-from-our-diet-is-killing-us-slowly/

Life is also killing us slowly. Any losses i take in digestive inflammation can easily be made up by not worrying about it.  :) 


Thanks for addressing this issue.  I want add to this by passing along a link to American Gut . They offer the opportunity to get a report on the composition of the microbiome in your gut and in the process they compare it to others with similar and different diets and lifestyles.  I learned about this from an interview with Michael Pollan I heard on NPR recently.  There is an increasing amount of research linking gut health to all kinds of health issues.


[quote=FreeNL]Life is also killing us slowly. Any losses i take in digestive inflammation can easily be made up by not worrying about it.  :) 
Stress, lack of sleep, and poor diet are the self-reinforcing trifecta of poor health.
So, to paraphrase Yoda; Don't stress.  There is no stress.  Only eat well or not eat well.

How about
Prepare, Dont Worry, be Happy.

Regarding fat, it becomes bad when it is cooked or refined through heat/chemical process.   Cooking meats and fish to rare or medium/rare will help much and you can still enjoy.   Charring meat is big no no.  
Did the government apologize to us regarding its trans fat directive???

I just came across a stunning piece of data regarding prescription drug use.  Accoridng to this article in 2011 in West Virginia and Kentucky, 19.3 prescriptions were filled per capita.  Wow!  Over 30% of the population in those states is obese.  It really hope Dr. Seaman's information about diet and inflammation becomes generally accepted.  What a change we would see in the pressures on our health care system.

Im curious about the endotoxins. Dont bacteria usually only release endotoxins when they die or initially grow vigorously. What possible mode of action could the refined carbohydrate have that would react so violently with these bacteria?is it possible that were eating too much sugar to the point where it cant all be absorbed and thus some becomes available in the gut promoting vigorous growth of gram negatives and then die off, releasing the endotoxins in both stages.
Is it possible that people are just eating too much refined foods.  
Other than that, all jokes aside, i agree that unrefined foods and historical foods are better for us. Personally i think that Corn is the most devious food, considering that it can be turned into corn sugar or corn oil. sweet corn variety to be specific, not maize (healthy corn).
The American Natives were more devious than we thought! They gave us tobacco to break down our arteries with artherosclerosis and sweetcorn to prevent them from being repaired properly. Diabolical extreme long term warfare.

That was the best, (as always.)
Whew! I was waiting for David to mention beer. My understanding is that the peanuts are the problem.

I went on the Ketogenic diet for a while to give any cancer cells in my body a hard time and that was fun. You can measure the ketones in your urine each morning.

I eat omega three fatty acids by the handful in a desperate attempt to ameliorate the effects of the beer Peanuts.

Horrobin in his book "The Madness of Adam and Eve" mentions the lack of arachidonic acid as a leading cause of that Great Creative condition called schizophrenia. The hydrolipids that form the cell membranes of the neurons leak causing adjacent random firing of inappropriate thoughts. (Settle down girls. I am not having inappropriate thoughts.)

I have found it again. The pages are yellowing. Did you know that the only clinical test for schizophrenia is to inject niacin under the skin? It causes a spectacular red rash in "nermal" people. But not in the Talented.You might find pp 196 interesting.

I realized what bound together my patients failure to flush, the failure to feel pain,the resistance to arthritis and the beneficial effect of fever.

They were all linked by arachiodonic acid (AA) and its conversion to cell-signalling molecules called prostaglandins…and so on and so forth…)

I am not implying that a paleo diet is in any way wrong or a sham, but I get the impression that if the entire population were to switch to this recommended diet that it would precipitate the rapid extinction of all meat sources. Consider how many calories must now be sourced from meat and vegetables that were obtained from carbohydrates. Is there a sustainable source for the quantity and quality of these food types available for the entire population? Just look at the decimation of our wild fish stocks.

When will the guilt trips end and allow me to live as I do. Happy, stress free as I can make it, and just enjoy life. I have lost out on some really cute boys when the other girls decided DD's bought and paid for was the ticket to easy street. They were right but I persevered. They have to have them ridicules things now into their best years, retirement years, and they do look silly are my thoughts. 

All these years I thought it was the fact that babies were born (infant mortality rate), and didn't die at birth that effected the quality of life and longevity of ones life. Dah! (not living would make Podcast mute, don't you think?). In living the babies skewed the data. 

We are ego eccentric people, and Lord knows we must have the reason for everything so we can live forever. No? Well, vanity is the humanoids Achilles' heel. Me, I have a very small dose of vanity. I don't mind a few extra grams (ok, pounds) of fat laying around just in case I miss a meal or two. It feeds me instead of starving. I am comforted by fat and especially when I get really old and have to chose between meds for inflammation (humor?) or going without a meal. The meal is covered! Plus, I favor the odd treat with globs of fudge over a bowl of ice cream more than a rice cake. Everything in moderation is still the best practice. "Hey Mom, are those cookies for me?". "Just one honey, take one". My bad if I took two. Well, off for a walk now.

PS:  I am musing now and thinking of the Dark Ages. They didn't die of old age at least the Men didn't, they died because they got stabbed, cut, infected or had their throats sliced clean through, and heads cut off. If they were late for dinner then boy did all hell break loose!! Hmmm, I wonder if this is why I/women live longer. Besides the fact that we don't pump as much garbage into our systems that we do our Boy/Men.

In the spirit of putting the health back into Health Care. It would be interesting to imagine a biofeedback reality similar to the blood glucose contact lens system that can real time monitor the low-grade inflammation tracers. Providing the wearer what habits are beneficial, to be continued, what habits are anti-productive to be discontinued, and what new habits to begin. This may prove upsetting. But also may be unavoidable. Honestly, would you want a personal response for what that cookie just did to you? How about if your battling some terrifying disease, unbeknownst?
Now to contemplate if Terance was correct and we developed our Parietal Language skills in a short period of time due to diet entheogenics (Natures natural biofeedback system) interventions?


I am a big fan of Terrance too. My understanding of the great encephalization (How we go a big brain so quickly) has a number of inputs.
Apes are always trying to outwit each other and the evolutionary pressure to get a big brain is intense. Therefore apes have as big a brain as they can. Any bigger and they cannot get rid of the excess heat. We have the subcutaneous layer of fat from the Pig and also his vascular system, which is more efficient in getting rid of heat. We have got bigger brains because we Can have bigger brains.
We became semi aquatic (Due to the Other parent's love of mud?) which gave us a plentiful supply of omega 3 from the delicious little critters that live in that environment… It was no longer so critical to produce our own and the pathways became inefficient.
When we started wondering around away form a diet source rich in Omega threes we became mad. See above. The madness is very creative-without it we would not be human.
The retreat of the glacial caused us to breed young and fast and the advance of glaciers had the opposite effect- it took more effort to successfully raise offspring. They had to be around mommy and daddy for a lot longer leading to infantilism, which enabled us time to develop a large cunning brain.
We had a diet rich in endocrine disrupters from the apes diet of fruit- we no longer have (had) these disruptor and that has caused us to loose our wits in the modern times.
Since the enlightenment there has been an imbalance in the power relationship between the Left and Right hemispheres leading to an over-reliance on models.
I consider factors 1 and 2 and 3 to be strong, 4 and 5 less so.
And 6 to be related to the etheogens. McKenna points out that they produce a more "authentic" experience. Which is telling me that they re-establish the right hemisphere as the Master. There is more gestalt.

Your pig monkey hybrid theory is truly a strange attractor. But no less than my own. And I find that maddening! So I recognize that I might be misled, which makes me think of my interactions like I do the carnival, its all so (also) stimulating! So I question the link between size and function. It's my humaness that intrinsically makes me hypocritical.
On subjects like Schizophrenia, I never liked labels and never will. Or maybe I just find our collective neurological labels to be much more relevant (Wetico). Why is it blasphemous to question the lighting technology?

Science relays upon a tremendously alienating mentality to explain reality, coning in the bandwidths of experience thru control and even sometimes outright manipulation. That doesn't push the envelop very far or very fast. It creates a reality that is understandable sometimes predictable, but also undesirable in my opinion. I'm not totally bashing science here I understand that it is a valuable tool and serves a purpose. It's just that I don't understand why we don't play with the other tools in our collective tool belt? Why do the professors that share office space in the same building have to travel to distant experiences where they meet and realize the common connection over a controversial subject matter? I not sure but I think it has to do with the difficulty to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it. 

Lastly, I find intoxicants such as TV and butterscotch to be intolerable. Not because I don't allow myself to consume trash but when I do, I do so with the recognition for what it's doing to me and it was my choice. And I think this makes me a good parent to my children, a good educator to myself, and less sociopathic toward you. Arthur, I am highly appreciative of your mind opening original comments and perspectives, keep them coming. Thanks, Rose

after reading you both (forgive my intrusion) I allowed for a deep breath and a slow and hypnotic exhale to my own day dream, and trip, to the time where there was no space and time. Not for me anyway, I was lighter than air. Above now, where I see all that lay before me, and I see all the struggles of the me inside of me. I suddenly understood my traits and destiny far greater than I could have conceived before I took breath. It is now that the God took breath and I am awoken that I feel a purpose, tamer, more understanding and delighted to be a chosen one. That was delightful, thank you both.


Take what I wrote with a pinch of salt Rose. Neanderthal had a bigger brain, lived in a harsher environment was an obligate carnivore and never went mad. His culture hardly changed throughout his long existence. We will have to come up with something more robust.This constantly changing culture is the defining mark of H.Sap.

National University of Health Sciences?  Unfortunately, Chiropractic, Naturopathy and Acupuncture are 3 prime examples of pseudo-science.  I have been subscribing to Peak Prosperity as an alternative to the main stream but I also assumed that Dr. Martenson's science training included drawing conclusions from hard evidence, not from anecdote or ancient wisdom or  practices such as chiropractic or homeopathy neither of which is based on science.  The last two were invented and have nothing whatsoever to do with science or the scientific method.  I was a little concerned when I heard the Podcast with Mish and his alternative cancer treatments, now I realize it is time for me to end my subscription.
Pseudoscience and religion are two very serious inhibitors to clear thinking and finding answers for our increasing complex world.


FWIW, I just cancelled my free subscription to the newsletter.  Why?  Well, the newsletter often links to web content that I cannot read without a subscription, and such content is not any better than the content that I can read for_free on, say, ZeroHedge.-- Paul D. Bain

[quote=mmclaren]National University of Health Sciences?  Unfortunately, Chiropractic, Naturopathy and Acupuncture are 3 prime examples of pseudo-science.  I have been subscribing to Peak Prosperity as an alternative to the main stream but I also assumed that Dr. Martenson's science training included drawing conclusions from hard evidence, not from anecdote or ancient wisdom or  practices such as chiropractic or homeopathy neither of which is based on science.  The last two were invented and have nothing whatsoever to do with science or the scientific method.  I was a little concerned when I heard the Podcast with Mish and his alternative cancer treatments, now I realize it is time for me to end my subscription.
Pseudoscience and religion are two very serious inhibitors to clear thinking and finding answers for our increasing complex world.
Thank you!  
I am going to use your comment as a training example in the future.  It's really a perfect example of the power of deeply held beliefs to limit if not entirely prevent good information from penetrating an existing belief system.  
Certainly you could be right that traditional medicine understands everything and does everything as well as can be done today, but that somewhat and elegantly ignores the fact that medical errors alone kill anywhere between 100,000 and 350,000 people in the US each year depending on whose data you follow.  Or perhaps the fact that despite spending 2x the amount of Germany on US style, modern medicine, that the US has a lower life expectancy and worse health outcomes.
But even then you'd be ignoring the fact that the placebo effect is not some random noise to ignore, but so powerful that the modern test for a new drug is that it has to exceed this known and really quite pronounced effect.
That is, there is more to what we know about healing than just the administration of a pill and then see what happens next.  The data could not be more strikingly clear.
So I suspect you are either somehow a beneficiary of the traditional medicine machine (MD?  Nurse?  Health insurance?) or have a lot personally and currently vested in that belief structure (i.e. have a lot riding on the treatment of existing conditions within the medical system).
It is entirely your prerogative to believe in such a system, as it is other's prerogative to determine what works best for them.  There is, at yet, no one right answer, and that is a great thing.
However, David Seaman is working from scientific data using biochemical markers and well elucidated pathways to make the case that chronic inflammation is quite often a result of eating habits and this not only makes sense but is backed up by hard science.
However, by abruptly slamming the door and walking away in a virtual huff (with your first post, nonetheless), all you've done is reveal what your deeply held beliefs happen to be.  And perhaps yours are wiser and more correct, but nobody will know because instead of engaging with the material and presenting your case, you've walked away.
Well, that too is your prerogative.  However, along the spectrum of persuasiveness that's on the ineffective end of the scale.  
I am happy to keep presenting evidence and then accepting or rejecting various positions based on that evidence as I hold the belief that there's still a lot left to learn and that makes the world a more interesting place to live.