How to Use Diet to Cure Psoriasis!
Can you use diet to cure psoriasis?
The short answer is YES. But you would never guess that if you read any of the mainstream medical literature and sites. In fact, most, if not all, of the medical sites say that psoriasis IS NOT curable - only treatable. Bear in mind that one of the primary drugs used to treat psoriasis, Humira, is set to balloon to $20 BILLION A YEAR by 2020. With those sorts of numbers at stake, why would anyone be invested in finding a cure, especially with something like diet? No one can patent a diet and sell it for boku bucks.
Well, there is such a person. And before I share with you who he is and howhe does it - I want you to ponder a question. What is a cure? What does a curemean to you?
As someone seeking a cure myself,I've pondered this question long and hard. I realize that I used to think a cure was some magic pill that could betaken once or a handful of times and then whatever issued plagued you would goaway.
If you took this magic pill, you could go back to living your life like you did before - without having to ever think about the thing you cured... without side effects.... without major expense.... without much effort really.
Central to that belief is a deep desire to live in ignorant bliss.
This cure is something that is done to you, versus something you do.
It's quick, easy, and painless.
I've come to realize that this is not a real cure - this is magical thinking.
Another thought that goes in hand with the above is that the way we live today is natural.
The way we eat is natural... it's the way humans are meant to eat.
But what we don't realize is that the foods we eat today are not the same as the foods 50-75 years ago. Even McDonald's hamburgers and fries were debatably closer to "nature" when they opened their doors in 1955 than they are today. For example, the"yoga matt chemical" found in McDonald's buns, wasn't even on the market until 1962.
We've slowly introduced chemicals, processes, ways of living and eating into our worlds so that where we are today feels natural, easy, and even sensible. And we will fight tooth and nail to continue the status quo. And so we desire the "magic pill."
But magic pills are not cures. They are trade offs. They may keep total destruction at bay temporarily, but they extract a cost.
I think psoriasis is like this. The biologics used to treat psoriasis feed magic pill thinking. They enable someone with psoriasis to tame the plaques and other immune issues while maintaining the lifestyle that caused it. They mask what is really going on.
A real cure takes work. A cure is a lifestyle - not a static magical transformation in moment.
So back to the cure for psoriasis...
Before you read on, I need you to understand what I've said above - A cure is a lifestyle. If this resonates with you READ ON... If it doesn't then this interview is not for you.
Dr. Haines Ely, clinical professor of dermatology at UC Davis has been curing psoriasis since the 1980's. You read that right - since the 80's!
He doesn't hawk his wears with fancy commercials or pharmaceutical partnerships.
He gives it away for free.
It's a simple diet and TWO to, if you really want to clear up, FOUR supplement protocol that cures 99.99% of the psoriasis patients who stick to it.
I spoke with Dr. Ely about his protocol, which he wrote about here.
Healing Hacker: Good morning Dr. Ely. Can you give me a little bit of background information on who you are and how you came to this protocol?
Dr. Haines Ely: I'm a clinical professor of dermatology at UC Davis. I work at the Mather field VA teaching dermatology residents.
I got interested in the bowel and its relationship to the skin in 1975. At the start of my practice, I was seeing overweight women who had a peculiar syndrome involving joint pain, pustules on their skin, fever and malaise. All of these overweight women had gone through bowel bypass surgery. I had ten of them as patients. I contacted the surgeon who did the surgery on these women, and he gave me the names of fifty more women who had the same bowel bypass surgery.
Upon contacting them I discovered that ten of them had the syndrome, which I named the bowel bypass syndrome.
I wrote an article called "The bowel bypass syndrome: a response to bacterial peptidoglycans."
Bacterial peptidoglycans are part of the cell wall of all bacteria. All of the bacteria in your gut have the same peptidoglycan. It's a universal thing among all bacteria. It's what makes their cell walls rigid. What these women were experiencing was a neutrophilic dermatosis, similar to sweets syndrome, so I used patients with psoriasis for controls. (Since psoriasis is a neutrophilic dermatosis).
Comparing the psoriasis patients to my bowel bypass patients, I was shocked to find that they both had very high levels of peptidoglycan antibodies. The question then became, what's going on in psoriasis that patients have antibodies to these intestinal bacteria.
I'd thought about this for many years.
I first lectured on the topic of psoriasis as a bowel disease in 1981. I postulated that in psoriasis, as in bowel bypass syndrome, when peptidoglycans damage the liver, these peptidoglycans go to the skin where the body speeds up its skin production to expel them. It's a sort of cathartic event.
Healing Hacker: So the plaques seen in psoriasis are basically the body trying to rid itself of peptidoglycans through the skin, because the liver is too damaged to do that work?
Dr. Haines Ely: Yes. That's basically the background of how I got interested in the connection between the bowel and psoriasis.
Now fast-forward to the mid-to late1980's, a lot of articles about endotoxemia in psoriasis started to appear. At that time, we didn't have any good tests for endotoxins.
Endotoxins are lipopolysaccharides. They're byproducts of the bacteria in the intestines, whereas peptidoglycans are part of the bacterial cell wall. Peptidoglycans are very toxic to the liver and skin. Endotoxins, on the other hand, cause all kinds of things like metabolic syndrome, atherosclerosis, type two diabetes, obesity, and the list goes on and on.
And all of these things that endotoxins cause are the comorbidities of psoriasis. Nearly all patients with psoriasis experience one or more of these comorbidities.
So if all the comorbidities are caused by endotoxins, why isn't psoriasis caused by endotoxins?
In 2010 there was a study, which I like to call the McDonald's study, where investigators measured the endotoxin levels in people who had McDonald's for breakfast. They discovered that if a person drank orange juice with that breakfast, they were protected from endotoxemia.
If they drank orange juice they didn't absorb endotoxins. But if they didn't have orange juice, they did. And so, they had high endotoxin levels in their blood. Orange juice's effects were attributed to citrus bioflavonoids.
Another study, put out the same year from Hungary, discussed successfully treating psoriasis patients with bile acids. Bile acids breakdown endotoxins in the gut, therefore the body can't absorb them.
Let's go back to my bowel bypass patients for a moment. I forgot to tell you that these patients, some of them were so severe that they had to have their bowel put back together. I asked the surgeon to do liver biopsies during the procedure. Every one of these patients had severe cirrhosis of the liver, even though their liver enzymes were normal.
And if you look at psoriasis patients, and there is A LOT of literature on this, almost all have fatty livers or micro-nodular cirrhosis. They all have bad livers.
They also have abnormal bowels. There was a Russian scientist who discovered this. He cannulated the bile ducts of psoriatic patients and found that their bile was very different from normal people's bile. Their bile wasn't able to break down endotoxins. In these patients, the peptidoglycans and endotoxins absorbed from the gut caused liver damage. And given that most psoriatic patients have poor liver function, the end result is that the endotoxins and the peptidoglycans get to the skin in psoriatic patients. All of this comes together to cause psoriasis.
So you can see, treating psoriasis with biologics, which destroy the immune response, is like treating a fire with a smoke evacuator rather than putting out the fire.
Healing Hacker: I can't believe that you have been lecturing on this and known about this since the 80s! Everywhere I look now, on the Internet and TV, psoriasis seems like a huge issue. And the only options I see and hear about are the biologics that you mentioned.
Dr. Haines Ely: It's money. AbbVie made 20 billion with its psoriasis biologic... that's $20 BILLION with a B-, selling biologics to patients with psoriasis.
My treatment costs nothing. You don't have to see a doctor. You basically follow a diet. The diet is no alcohol, no pepper, no spicy foods of any kind, high fiber, lots of vegetables, and minimizing meat.
The reason for the no pepper and no alcohol is that pepper and alcohol both cause tremendous absorption of bacterial byproducts in the gut. When you eliminate those from the diet, you automatically cut down the absorption of bacterial byproducts. Then if you take Quercetin, which is the mother molecule that citrus bioflavonoids are made from, you tighten up the tight junctions in the gut that prevent the absorption of endotoxins.
You can substitute citrus bioflavonoids for quercetin, both of which you can buy in any health foodstore.
On top of that, if you take bile acids with each meal, you break down the endotoxins.
By doing these things: breaking down the endotoxins with bile acids, preventing their absorption with Quercetin, and avoiding alcohol and pepper, you cure your psoriasis. Your psoriatic arthritis goes away.
The ONLY OBSTACLE on this protocol is that people's lifestyles are tough to change.
Try to stop someone from drinking alcohol. Try to stop someone from smoking. Try to stop someone from eating barbecue every day. It's very difficult!
Healing Hacker: Is eczema similar to psoriasis and what you're describing?
Dr. Haines Ely: I've been asked that many, many times and I don't think so.
Healing Hacker: Why do you say that?
Dr. Haines Ely: That's a whole other lecture. But basically eczema is an inherited condition. It's anabnormality of the t-lymphocytes. It's an immune problem where the cells react to various antigens. It's not a problem of one antigen. There are multiple antigens in eczema that people react to. In psoriasis it's endotoxin. In eczema it's pollen and other things you breathe and eat. Eczema runs in families with asthma and hay fever. So people withe czema often have asthma. It's triggered by things they breathe, eat, or are exposed to.
I've heard many people with eczema say, "Oh yeah, by avoiding gluten, I'm better." "If I avoid sugar, I'm better." I say, "Good for you. Avoid those things that you know make you worse." But it isn't just one thing. In eczema it's many things. Each person with eczema has a different story about what makes it worse.
Healing Hacker: So you don't think there's a connection between leaky gut and the skin eczema?
Dr. Haines Ely: I can stop eczema, any eczema, with very low dose steroids. Within two days the people's dry skin is no longer dry. Their itching is no longer there, and theire czema is completely gone. All I've done is just barely tweaked the immune system using an almost homeopathic dose. I haven't changed their diet or their gut, but I've changed their eczema.
Healing Hacker: You say that you can change what's going on in the microbiome in one day. Can you talk about shifting the microbiome?
Dr. Haines Ely: The DNA in the gut bacteria and the microbiome dwarfs the human genome. Absolutely dwarfs it. There's so much life in your gut that we don't understand.
The microbiome is trillions oforganisms... many trillions... And I'd say two thirds to three quarters have never even been identified. We don't even know what they are. The microbiome is not just one thing. There are colonies of bacteria all up and down the gut that are influenced by what you eat, the acidity of the gut, the amount of bile in the gut,.... And it's a fluid, constantly changing, environment.
So let's say you eat a lot of meat for two or three days, your microbiome shifts toward things like bacteroides and the actual diversity of the microbiome goes down.
A whole lot of those bacteria seem to disappear. But then if you stop eating meat and eat vegetables and fruit instead, within two or three days, all of those bacteria that you couldn't find before are all back. They didn't die. So once you feed the bacteria, they'll grow wildly. When they get the right food they grow. When they don't get the right food, they diminish. But they don't die completely.They're still there, they're just aren't as many of them.
The only way you can address this topic is with machine learning. You need gigantic computers. There are so many trillions of bacteria doing different things, you can't figure it out. You can only do it with mass data crunching. And in that mass data crunching, you'd find that the microbiome shifts daily, literally daily, depending on what you eat.
Healing Hacker: It sounds like you can have a very significant and fast impact on your gut microbiome just by shifting your diet.
Dr. Haines Ely: Indeed.
Healing Hacker: So psoriasis is not something that you're necessarily born with or that happens when your immune system goes out of whack. Your lifestyle impacts your liver, and then your liver causes psoriasis.
Dr. Haines Ely: You could say that, but it's more complex. Obviously there are genetic factors. I always get asked about children with psoriasis. That's a different disease. That's a genetic predisposition to something going on. And I don't think children necessarily have bad livers. I think they may have an extreme absorption of endotoxin for one reason or another, and it just bypasses the liver or gets right to the skin. But in adults, you don't develop psoriasis until your liver doesn't work very well.
Healing Hacker: How can you have normal liver enzymes on a blood draw, but you actually have cirrhosis when you have a biopsy done?
Dr. Haines Ely: It's not that uncommon. I've seen it many, many times, not just with those patients. When I was doing internal medicine, we would do liver biopsies on people sometimes and be just shocked by how bad their livers were when they didn't have bad enzyme levels. It's not that uncommon to see.
Healing Hacker: Are there any other indicators that someone is walking around with cirrhosis?
Dr. Haines Ely: There are a bunch of tests for fatty liver and what not. There are ways of looking for fatty liver, but they're not the normal blood test.
Healing Hacker: Can you explain the peptidoglycan hypothesis in Layman's terms?
Dr. Haines Ely: In Layman's terms, it means that there's not one particular bacteria that people area bsorbing. There's not one particular microbiome in psoriasis that's totally different from the normal microbiome. There are studies showing some differences in the psoriatic microbiome, but they're preliminary studies. They've only come out in the last year or two. The point is that all bacteria have peptidoglycans. It's a common thing.
Let me use the metaphor. Most married men wear a simple gold wedding ring. It doesn't mean you know anything about that man or his marriage. It's just that most men have the same kind of wedding rings.
Most bacteria have the same kind of shell, the same kind of cell wall which is made of peptidoglycans. And peptidoglycans are extremely toxic. They're not supposed to be floating around in the body or blood. When they get from the gut into the portal circulation, the first place they go is the liver. And they're quite toxic to your liver cells. So you damage the liver when you absorb peptidoglycans. Peptidoglycans are the main assault on the liver.
Whether the bacteria is pathogenic or completely benign, they all have peptidoglycans. Peptidoglycans make the cellwall of bacteria rigid. It's a long molecule made up of a bunch of sugars. But it's basically the same with only a couple of peptides side chain differences.
Some bacteria have peptide side-chains that are very antigenic. For example, strep pyogenes is extraordinarily antigenic. It's also one of the bacteria that strongly fuels psoriasis.
Patients with psoriasis often start with strep throat and pus on their tonsils. They swallow the pus full of strep pyogenes, which colonizes the upper bowel, the ilium and jejunum. And once it gets going in the bowel, then that particular peptidoglycan is very, very reactive as far as causing trouble in the liver or elsewhere.
If a person's psoriasis started with strep throat, then I will recommend starting with antibiotics first. In that case, you've got to get rid of the strep pyogenes. Strep pyogenes is not a normal inhabitant of the human gut. It's rare that it gets into the gut. It causes bad problems.
Otherwise, I don't recommend antibiotics because they mess up the microbiome.
The protocol I recommend is: avoid, alcohol and pepper and take bile acids and quercetin with every meal. It's simple. That's all you've got to do.
But you would be surprised how hard it is for most people to do that. People don't want to change their lifestyles. They don't want to give up cocktails. They don't want to give up a lot of meat. They don't want to give up spicy foods. They don't want to have to take a handful of pills every day.
Healing Hacker: This lifestyle change, is it something that someone with psoriasis has to do for the rest of their lives?
Dr. Haines Ely: Yes. Like I said in my article, psoriasis can be converted from a disease to a career.
But basically it's something that you've got to work at every day, like your career.
I've also found that most psoriatics are very depressed. They've had a horrible crash. They often have arthritis and it's very disfiguring. It's very depressing. And a lot of them drink because they're depressed, and they're drinking makes the psoriasis worse. It's a vicious circle.
Healing Hacker: When you say peppers and spicy food, do you also include bell peppers?
Dr. Haines Ely: No, it's anything hot on the tongue.
The Hungarian investigators who started the bile acid protocol also said to avoid onions, garlic, bay leaf and carbonated drinks. I had one patient horrendously flare because she was eating red onions every day. She read my article and one of the sources of quercetin is onion. So she started eating onions and she markedly worsened. So there might be something to onions, garlic and bay leaf that the Hungarian investigators said to avoid. But I try to not bother people with too many restrictions. I make it real simple. And then if it's not working, we can talk about it.
Healing Hacker: What is the problem with spicy foods? What do spicy foods do that exacerbate psoriasis?
Dr. Haines Ely: Peppers, open up the gut and make it leak. In the d-xylose absorption test or I-51 chromium absorption test, if you give someone d-xylose by mouth, it should not be absorbed. None of it should come out in the urine. It should come out in the stool. But if you give a patient with psoriasis the d-xylose absorption test, they pee out d-xylose. This means they have a leaky gut. And if you just give a normal person d-xylose and some pepper with it, they'll absorb and pee out d-xylose, which should never have been absorbed.
Healing Hacker: You also talk about Crohn's and ulcerative colitis and endotoxin toxemia. Do you have any comments about ulcerative colitis and Crohn's?
Dr. Haines Ely: Patients with psoriasis have a much higher incidence of inflammatory bowel disease. And patients with inflammatory bowel disease have high endotoxemia. So there are similarities. Back to the bit about pepper, you see many brands of turmeric on the market or Curcumin that have what's called bioperine to help absorption of the curcumin. Curcumin is badly absorbed. Well bioperine is just regular old black pepper. All these companies say, "We have 2000% more absorption because of bioperine." All they're saying is, take pepper with your curcumin and you'll absorb it because pepper opens your gut.
It opens it up and lets things through.
Healing Hacker: When someone follows your protocol, how long before they start to see their psoriasis go away?
Dr. Haines Ely: If they follow it strictly for three to four weeks, they're completely clear of psoriasis, including arthritis.
I corresponded with people all over the world. They read my article and then they want to talk to me. They write to me. And I have them send me pictures. I enjoy it. So I have people from everywhere following my protocol.
I mentioned in my article for dermatologists, that you have to have these people come in once a week and hold their hand because they screw up. They stop taking pills. They eat things they shouldn't be eating. They drink stuff that they shouldn't be drinking. It's a real job to change a person's set pattern of life.
Healing Hacker: You also mentioned Silymarin as a part of bringing the liver back to health. Can you talk about that a bit?
Dr. Haines Ely: Sylimarin is very important. I'm a big believer in sylimarin.
In my protocol I mention Sylimarin and curcumin. I highly recommend taking both of those things. But again I try and keep it simple, quercetin, bile acids, no alcohol and no pepper. Most people can't handle too much. Once you start adding the curcumin and sylimarin it gets tot he point where people are taking a cereal bowl full of pills every day. And people who do that, they really clear up. But it's hard to get people to take that many pills. I can't take that many, so I can't imagine telling patients to.
Healing Hacker: And so after doing this protocol, has anyone had their liver turn back around from cirrhosis to not?
Dr. Haines Ely: I don't know. And that's not something I've ever investigated. Yeah. There'll be a lot of stuff going onsince this article came out. It's been widely cited. So there'll be people looking into all this stuff, I'm sure. And from the industry, there'll be all kinds of shills trashing the article, writing, this doesn't work and this is craziness because, there are BIG BUCKS in not following this protocol.
Healing Hacker: How many patients has this worked forthat you know of?
Dr. Haines Ely: I've never counted, but it's hundreds and hundreds.
Healing Hacker: Wow. Is there anything that we missed or anything else that you think is important for people to know?
Dr. Haines Ely: You can give your readers my email. It's just my name, Haynes Ely. firstname.lastname@example.org. If someone has psoriasis and wants to do this program, I send them the article. I have them read the article, send me pictures of their psoriasis, and then every month send how they're progressing.
What I've found, and what many other people have found, is that people get 50% or 70% better, they're delighted, and then they quit and go back to their old habits. The people that stick with it clear up completely.
Healing Hacker: Once they fall off the wagon do they they get back on?
Dr. Haines Ely: I don't know. It's a hard question to answer. If they write to me and have 50% improvement, I say, "good for you, stay with it." And then if I don't hear from them again, I don't know what happened to them. If you want a hundred percent improvement, stick with it.