Can AIP Cure What Ails You?
By Kate Gardner
Inflammation gets a lot of bad press these days, but in and of itself, it isn't such a bad thing. Inflammation is the body's very normal response to injury and tells your immune system that it needs to get to work and heal or protect you. Livescience.com tells us that inflammation becomes a problem when it happens for too long, too often, or in places in the body where it doesn't do much good. This kind of inflammation is bad news and is linked to heart disease, strokes, and auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Looking for Solutions
Many who feel they are suffering from chronic inflammation look to food to try to heal their symptoms. One solution that's gaining traction these says is called the autoimmune protocol diet, or AIP. I first heard about AIP from a friend who swears it helped her avoid medication for her arthritic knees, as well as gives her more energy and helps stabilize her mood.
According to MedicalNewsToday.com, the AIP diet is based on the idea that certain foods cause inflammation in your gut. This inflammation is thought to create tiny cracks or holes in your digestive system that allow parts of your food to leak into your body and cause inflammation in other places too. There's a good deal of debate about whether or not leaky gut (also known as increased intestinal permeability) causes many of the problems it's blamed for, but according to Harvard Health, it is thought to be a part of celiac and Crohn's disease.
The AIP diet is not for the faint of heart. This diet asks you to completely stop eating many foods that are thought to cause inflammation in the gut. The list of forbidden AIP foods includes all grains, all dairy, eggs, butter, sugar (real and artificial), tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, potatoes (except sweet), most oils, and alcohol. Those who follow the diet eat a lot of protein from meat, most vegetables, and some fruits. Proponents say it's important to follow the diet for at least several weeks before trying to add back in any foods. For example, my friend has added eggs back into her diet without the return of her symptoms.
What the Research Says
There isn't much research into whether or not the autoimmune protocol diet really does heal leaky gut and reduce inflammation in the body. A lot of its support comes from a community of people who say they have found relief from a number of different symptoms while on the diet. With its emphasis on nutritionally dense, whole foods, the AIP diet, if done well, has the potential to help people eat a healthier diet that is less reliant on processed foods. However, if that's your goal, less restrictive approaches to eating well can work, too.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Brea, Calif.