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Newsletter #16: Nightshade Vegetables, Follow the Science, Exercise

August 2023

Focus on Nutrition

Nightshade Vegetables and Their Potential to Worsen Inflammation

Nightshade vegetables have been a subject of interest due to their potential effects on inflammation. Nightshades are a subgroup of the Solanaceae family, which includes tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant and potatoes. Nightshade spices include cayenne pepper and paprika. While these vegetables offer numerous health benefits, some individuals may experience a significant inflammatory reaction after consuming nightshades.


Compounds Present in Nightshade Vegetables: Nightshade vegetables contain a range of bioactive compounds, including alkaloids, glycoalkaloids (such as solanine and chaconine), capsaicinoids (in peppers), and flavonoids (such as quercetin and anthocyanins). While these compounds can have beneficial effects, they will contribute to inflammation in some individuals.


Potential Inflammatory Effects: Some individuals may experience adverse reactions to nightshade consumption, including joint pain, digestive discomfort, and skin issues. Glycoalkaloids, such as solanine and chaconine, have been implicated in these reactions.


Dr Paz comments: Nightshade vegetables are a diverse group of plants that contribute to a balanced and nutritious diet for many individuals. However, because of their potential to aggravate inflammatory conditions, you may want to consider a 4-6 week trial of a nightshade free diet if you have arthritis, autoimmune disease or other inflammatory conditions.




Medical News and Commentary

Follow the science, if you can find it. The watchdog group Retraction Watch reported that at least 330 medical research papers related to COVID-19 faced retraction due to ethical or scientific shortcomings since the pandemic began. While many of these studies are found in smaller, lesser-known journals, publications such as the Lancet, Science and The New England Journal of Medicine have also retracted peer reviewed studies.


The papers covered everything from alternative COVID-19 treatments such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine to alternatives to the vaccine. For example, a paper published in the Lancet was retracted which falsely claimed an antimalarial drug touted by President Donald Trump for treatment of COVID-19 could cause serious harm without helping patients.


Dr Paz comments: Sadly, politics is now a part of the scientific medical community. How do you ‘follow the science’ when you find out that the science is wrong? I suggest you be very wary of scientific papers that focus on hot button societal issues such as Covid-19, abortion and transgenderism. These are the studies that are more prone to be presented with a political viewpoint, rather than a scientific one. Finding unbiased sources of information is close to impossible. DON’T ACCEPT THE HEADLINES. You must look at the numbers yourself. This is especially true when studies report relative risk/benefit. For example: The headline reads “Drug A was found to lower the risk of developing Disease B by 50%”. Sounds impressive, right? But when you read the details, you find that Disease B only occurs in 2 out of 1 million people and Drug A lowered the disease to 1 out of 1 million. That’s a 50% relative reduction, but only reduced the disease by 1 in a million patients. This little trick is used by drug companies all the time!


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