Tuesday, January 23, 2018

FAQ # 5 - Understanding Why All the Ni content lists Differ - A few thoughts

Why is this an "ALLERGY OF ACCUMULATION" and why we must avoid some foods that seem lower in nickel, but that still are said to cause reactions?  
In other words, why is it that sometimes "counting ug's" is not enough?

I re-listened to the youtube videos featuring the Italian SNAS research expert, Dr. Domenico Schiavino, (he's one of the "whose who" of Systemic Nickel Allergy Syndrome, in Europe.)

Why do the lists vary in nickel content of foods?  

1) The measurements are a "snapshot in time" ... the same food - especially leafy green vegetables, grown in the same soil and exact geographic location can vary from day to day, year to year.  The numbers - whether high or low, reflect the Ni content on the day they were measured.  But some foods are always consistently high.  These are chocolate, nuts, seeds, soy, most whole grains, shellfish/mollusks, most legumes.  A few fruits including pineapple.

2) Different growing regions have different nickel content in their soil - so foods from one region can vary from another region.  Get to know where your food comes from. 

3) Counting nickel in your food is important - but it will be an endless guessing game in the end, because your own body will react differently on different days, depending on a variety of factors - total accumulation of Ni from foods eaten in the previous day that have not worked their way out of your system as yet, 
- general gut health - use of medications, antibiotics, acid vs alkaline balance, gut dysbiosis, and more ... 

Why are we told to avoid certain foods that don't seem that high?  

1) HISTAMINE/Biogenic Amines - the content in foods can trigger many of us to react, and in some ways cause our nickel allergy symptoms to intensify.  Examples of such foods are Spinach, Coconut oil, Eggplants (a low nickel food that can still cause you to react, but which is encouraged (if possible) in the early stages due to health benefits and the fact that for a vegetable it is very low nickel ) ... lettuces, and more.  

2) GUT health and BIO-AVAILABILITY OF the Ni in the food itself - 
See also -  #3 above. 
- Any other condition that may be affecting your GI system can in turn affect how you react to the Ni in a food - even trace amounts.
Each food has it's own unique structure based on all its other constituents.  The nickel in some foods may simply be more "available" in the digestive process, while in other foods, it transits out of your system through the digestive process.
3) ACCUMULATION - again, we might eat a low Ni food today that transits in questionable ways - or that doesn't transit well, but sits in our GI tract ... so it adds to ACCUMULATION of Ni - and pushes us over the top.  Foods like corn, cornmeal, broccoli, cauliflower - they seem low(ish), but stick around in the gut for a long time, adding to "accumulation" ... 

Finally:  The "science" of histamine intolerance is fairly new.  It runs parallel with emerging science around the connection between neurotransmitters in the gut and the brain ...

But what we SNASies need to understand is that if we are gut compromised as part of our symptoms, chances are we are among that 50% that will have histamine intolerances, and we should be watching our intake of histamine loaded foods.  The Italian Nickel Detox diet (which we will rename at some point to hopefully cause less confusion) addresses this by separating out not just low Ni foods, from moderate and higher ones, but by "adding back" some higher foods that are easily digested and very nutritious because in fact, the don't seem to add to Ni accumulation.  The Italian FB  groups can be confusing too, because they will state that something is simply high or low Ni, but when we look up the data on our lists, it seems contradictory ... this is because the structure of the diet is almost taken for granted that it will work, so people who have been following the Italian rotation from detox to moderate  to high and back, simply take for granted that the number is not as important as the overall impact of the food on the body. 

Update - The Nickel Navigator is the latest smartphone app to track all things Nickel Content Related.  Created by the same SNASie who developed the
Rebelytics Low Nickel Diet Scoring System