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DR. MARK’S INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE CABINET
JACKSON, WYO – Your brain on grain
By Dr Mark Menolascino, MD, MS, ABIHM, ABAARM
Over the last five years we have worked with several hundred college athletes and dozens of pro-athletes to crack the code to their individualized nutrition. There is a new type of precision nutrition developing from functional medicine, which utilizes state of the art testing to identify food sensitivities in athletes. After eliminating sensitive foods from athletes’ diets and replacing them with whole-based foods that are not reactive, we are able to quell inflammation, speed recovery from injury, and most importantly, improve performance.
Whether in the classroom or the sports field, there is only a 3 to 5 percent difference between 1st and 10th place – or an A and a C grade. While this applies to athletes at any level, there were rumors that star tennis player Novak Djokovic had motivational issues and stamina issues, as he required ample attention from trainers and coaches both during training and during matches. He was considered weak and it was not until he identified his sensitivities to gluten that he was able to excel. He removed all wheat and gluten from his diet and made some other nutritional supplementation changes to restore the integrity of the gut for optimal absorption. He then set the world of tennis on fire with his run of 65 wins, nine titles, and four Grand Slam titles. He transformed from a fragile player to an unstoppable tennis ace.
We have seen this in how athletes recover from injuries by identifying their individual sensitivities and personalizing their nutrition. They comment on how their skin has cleared up, they are sleeping better, their asthma is less, they have less allergies in the summer or to their pets, their fatigue is gone, their migraines are gone; the testimonials go on and on. All by a simple test to identify and remove and restore gut integrity. If you are involved in any sport or have an athlete in the house or in the classroom, then I highly recommend to assess and address these issues. And if you read Dr. David Perlmutter’s new book, Grain Brain – which you should consider a sequel to William Davis’ book Wheat Belly – you may find that there are significant benefits for all of us to identify, since one in three (current estimates) people are sensitive to gluten. In our clinic we see this, and we also see very high sensitivities to whey and casein (dairy proteins), as well as a host of the other 96 common foods we test. Most clients are surprised by the test results. They’re also usually shocked by the results that occur from resetting the digestive tract from one of toxic inflammation to optimal nutrient absorption-personalized nutrition. We are working with several colleges to adopt this personalized nutrition concept for the athletic programs, as well as working towards all campuses providing whey/casein/gluten free options for students.