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Offline TylerDurden

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Cordain Newsletter Nightshades part 3
« on: June 19, 2010, 06:45:31 pm »
Consumption of Nightshade Plants (Part 3) - by Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor

Editor's note: Dr. Cordain latest paper on paleo nutrition discusses the consumption of the nightshade family of plants (potatoes, tomatoes, and chili peppers). This is the final installment in the free weekly edition of The Paleo Diet Update. Parts 1 and 2 of this paper (as well as part 3 beginning June 21) are available for purchase in our web store until July 5, 2010. Afterwards, this paper will be available in its entirety from our web store. Note that the numbering of figures, tables and references in this week's installment reflect the paper in its entirety.

Consumption of Nightshade Plants, Human Health and Autoimmune Disease
Part 3: Chili Peppers

All chili peppers belong to the genus Capsicum (family Solanaceae) and are among the most heavily consumed spices throughout the world57. There are 22 wild species within the Capsicum genus, and five domesticated species58, of which more than 200 or more varieties have been produced depending upon various environmental factors to which the plants are exposed59. Table 6 shows the five domesticated species and lists a few of the more common varieties of chili peppers.

Botanically speaking, the fruit of capsicums are berries. However, the peppers are considered vegetables (e.g. bell peppers) or spices (e.g. cayenne pepper) for culinary purposes, based on factors including fleshiness and intensity of flavor.

Table 6. Some common names for the five domesticated species of the Capsicum genus.
Common name or names    Scientific name
Bell pepper, Cayenne pepper, Cherry pepper, Chili pepper, Paprika, Jalapeno pepper, pimento, Serrano pepper    Capsicum annuum
Aji, Brown’s Pepper, Peruvian pepper    Capsicum baccatum
Habanero chili, Bonnet pepper    Capsicum chinense
Tabasco pepper    Capsicum frutescens
Rocoto pepper    Capsicum pubescens

The sensory "heat" from chili peppers comes from a group of compounds called capsaicinoids. More than 20 capsaicinoids are found in chili peppers, and their concentrations range from 0% by weight to more than 2% by weight60. Daily per capita consumption of capsaicinoids from chili peppers in the U.S. and Europe is ~1.5 mg, whereas in India, Mexico and Thailand it is ~25-200 mg60. Chili peppers are favorite spices throughout the world because of their pungent or "hot" taste and aroma. So, the greater the concentration of capsaicinoids in the chili pepper, the "hotter" it tastes. Table 7 shows the concentrations of total capsaicinoids in a variety of chili peppers and chili pepper containing foods.

Table 7. Concentrations of total capsaicinoids in a variety of chili peppers and chili pepper containing foods (adapted from reference 60).
Pepper/food product    Total Capsaicinoid Content (microgram/g)
McCormick ground cayenne pepper    3,588    
Habanero pepper, fresh    2,261    
Thai pepper, fresh    1333    
McCormick original chili seasonings    830    
McIlhenny hot habanero sauce    547    
Hungarian hot paprika    439    
La Costena Chipotle, whole, canned    416    
McCormick hot taco seasoning    394    
Mezzetta hot chili, canned    306    
La Costena jalapeno green whole pickled canned    210    
Lawry Choula hot sauce    201    
McIlhenny Tabasco original hot sauce    195    
McCormick mild taco seasoning    186    
Lawry Crystal hot sauce, extra hot    174    
La Costena seranno, green whole pickled canned    164    
Star Foods pepperoncini canned    82    
Serrano, fresh    77    
Green jalapeno, fresh    76    
Red jalapeno, fresh    46    
Safeway hot pepper sauce    45    
Mezzetta sliced jalapeno, canned    19    
Green, red and yellow bell peppers, fresh    0    
Roasted red canned    0    
Roasted green canned    0    
Whole canned peppers    0    

Capsaicinoids seem to have both beneficial and deleterious health effects60, 61. They have long been used in Mayan and Ayurvedic therapeutic remedies62 and more recently have found therapeutic application in pain relief63.

One of the potential shortcomings of chili peppers is their ability to increase intestinal permeability64-69 - and this may be their greatest threat to human health. As far back as 1998 it was suggested that chili peppers - because of their capsaicinoids - "may modulate the absorption of low molecular weight food constituents that are involved in the pathogenesis of food allergy and intolerance" 69. More recently, many scientists now believe that increased intestinal permeability, often times called "leaky gut" represents a universal environmental triggering event for autoimmune diseases14, 15, 44, 45. As stated earlier, when the gut becomes "leaky" it is not a good thing, as the intestinal contents may then have access to the immune system (which in turn becomes activated), thereby causing a chronic low level systemic inflammation known as endotoxemia16 – 18 that may promote cardiovascular disease16, 17 and diseases of insulin resistance18. To date, this chain of physiological events (e.g. consumption of chili peppers increases intestinal permeability which increases low level inflammation, which increases the risk for disease) has not yet been demonstrated in living (in vivo) humans. As always, I believe that anyone suffering from an autoimmune disease should remove suspect foods from the diet for an extended period and then monitor symptoms. If conditions get worse after you re-introduce the food, then this particular food may be problematic for you and should not be part of your lifelong diet.

Summary

In the U.S. we consume almost 230 pounds of nightshades per person on a yearly basis. These common foods (potatoes, tomatoes, chili peppers, and eggplants) have become such staples in our diets that few people rarely - if ever - consider that they are very recent additions to worldwide human nutrition. In fact, prior to 1492 and Columbus’ "discovery" of the new world, no Europeans, Middle Easterners, Africans or Asians ever had access to these foods, as they are all indigenous to Central and South America. Hence, humanity as a whole has had very little evolutionary experience with foods that contain multiple toxins (saponins and lectins primarily), which cause numerous adverse health effects in humans and animals. For Paleo Dieters my advice would to be to eliminate or drastically reduce potato consumption and for autoimmune and allergy patients to be cautious with the consumption of tomatoes, chili peppers and eggplants.

References:

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  52. Rajananthanan P, Attard GS, Sheikh NA, Morrow WJ.Novel aggregate structure adjuvants modulate lymphocyte proliferation and Th1 and Th2 cytokine profiles in ovalbumin immunized mice.Vaccine. 1999 Aug 20;18(1-2):140-52.
  53. Sheikh NA, Rajananthanan P, Attard GS, Morrow WJ.Generation of antigen specific CD8+ cytotoxic T cells following immunization with soluble protein formulated with novel glycoside adjuvants. Vaccine. 1999 Aug 6;17(23-24):2974-82.
  54. Rajananthanan P, Attard GS, Sheikh NA, Morrow WJ.Evaluation of novel aggregate structures as adjuvants: composition, toxicity studies and humoral responses.Vaccine. 1999 Feb 26;17(7-8):715-30.
  55. http://noarthritis.com/research.htm
  56. Childers NF. Arthritis - Childer’s Diet to Stop It. Nightshades, Aging and Ill Health, 4th ed. Florida: Horticultural Publications, 1993.
  57. Govindarajan VS, Sathyanarayana MN.Capsicum--production, technology, chemistry, and quality. Part V. Impact on physiology, pharmacology, nutrition, and metabolism; structure, pungency, pain, and desensitization sequences. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1991;29(6):435-74.
  58. Bosland PW. Chiles: history, cultivation, and uses. In: Charalambous G (Ed.), Spices, Herbs and Edible Fungi (Herbs). Elsevier Science Publishers, Amsterdam, 1994, pp. 347-366.
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  60. Kozukue N, Han JS, Kozukue E, Lee SJ, Kim JA, Lee KR, Levin CE, Friedman M. Analysis of eight capsaicinoids in peppers and pepper-containing foods by high-performance liquid chromatography and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Nov 16;53(23):9172-81.
  61. Surh YJ, Lee SS. Capsaicin in hot chili pepper: carcinogen, co-carcinogen or anticarcinogen? Fd Chem Toxic 1996;34:313-316.
  62. Thapa B, Skalko-Basnet N, Takano A, Masuda K, Basnet P. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis of capsaicin content in 16 Capsicum fruits from Nepal. J Med Food 2009;12:908-913.
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“The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. "Ayn Rand

Offline letsdoiteczema

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Re: Cordain Newsletter Nightshades part 3
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2012, 09:08:50 pm »
Now here is where the "thanks" button would be most appropriate.

I feel like I've wasted everyone's time for writing this useless thank you post. But I just wanted to say thanks for sharing this.

I'm sure out of the nearly 4000 visitors that read this post, some of them would like to easily express their appreciation.
Wishing everyone the best in health and happiness! much love to all!

My severe suicidal eczema healing blog: http://eczemabye.weebly.com/

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Cordain Newsletter Nightshades part 3
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2012, 10:53:34 pm »
Well, personally, I myself don't approve of praise or criticism much. Especially, anonymous stuff like posting "thanks"  countless  times - that sort of thing could lead to a Napoleon complex. I'd far rather have a very occasional post from a rare  member thanking me for something specific, in detail(or even one criticising me occasionally in detail!). Besides, people ought to be allowed to determine for  themselves what posts they value more than any others.
“The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. "Ayn Rand

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Re: Cordain Newsletter Nightshades part 3
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2012, 07:58:59 am »
i appreciate this as i am a farmer who is pretty avid about NOT growing tomatoes or peppers, unlike most people who recognize them as money crops.  potatoes on the other hand, are pretty amazing plants to me.  one is a tuber, one is a fruit....so there is a difference, although i abstain from potatoes for the most part as they tend to make me sleepy, they are very heavy food.  i would be interested to try some of the varieties that grow in peru and equador, birthplaces of potatoes cultivation and diversity, i have heard from equadorian farmers that they actually have a LOT of flavor, and that even our most diverse potatoes in the states do not come close.

Offline letsdoiteczema

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Re: Cordain Newsletter Nightshades part 3
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2012, 03:23:16 pm »
Well, personally, I myself don't approve of praise or criticism much. Especially, anonymous stuff like posting "thanks"  countless  times - that sort of thing could lead to a Napoleon complex. I'd far rather have a very occasional post from a rare  member thanking me for something specific, in detail(or even one criticising me occasionally in detail!). Besides, people ought to be allowed to determine for  themselves what posts they value more than any others.

Tyler, I completely understand your viewpoint. But wouldn't the "read 4000 times" thing contribute to a Napoleon complex as well in a way? I think it really depends on the person.

The main purpose for my "thanks" button suggestion below posts was to allow readers to easily express their appreciation, without having to write useless "thank you" posts like I just did above that would appear in the forum latest threads etc. and possibly annoy other readers that check the latest threads for useful information other than "thank you's".

And what's so bad about making posters feel good about helping others out?

People write "thank you's" anyway to good posts. It's just that having the button makes it less intrusive and much easier to express appreciation.
Wishing everyone the best in health and happiness! much love to all!

My severe suicidal eczema healing blog: http://eczemabye.weebly.com/