It has been hectic for me with loads to do at work, the second serious game that I am designing (this time the main topic is forensic science - check here for more info) and also the numerous books that have been piling up on my bed table... because when I manage to go to sleep I'm already a zombie-like creature and very little allows me to remain awaken.
Well, last post on my findings concerning the best natural substances for fighting Sjogren's symtpoms covered the essentials of Turmeric (curcumin), Green Tea (Camellia sinensis L. leaves) and walnuts. Three everyday fundamentals for counteracting inflammation. Today we are going to cover a few more shields with proven sound scientific background information.
These nuts are low in saturated fatty acids and rich in saturated fatty acids! At the same time they are rich in dietary phytosterol antioxidants that in animals reduce total serum/plasma cholesterol and low density lipoprotein cholesterol  (LDL - commonly known as bad cholesterol because in high levels it is harmful). But the one precious element that almonds contain, and that is primordial for Sjogren's syndrome patients, is vitamin E. That because as you might all know at this point, the dryness peculiar to this syndrome, and that affects among other body parts, especially eyes and mucosal glands, will require vitamin E as a reducer of potential macular degeneration. Because inflammatory autoimmune diseases have the potential to cause severe and recurrent ocular surface disease, however, the vitamin E present in almonds will require also good levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene and zinc. In addition, vitamin E is also associated to reduced LDL due to its alpha-Tocopherol (1 of 8 isoforms of vitamin E) (also known as the most potent fat-soluble antioxidant in nature) . The fact that vitamin E has been proven (in tested rodents) to protect them against enlargement of lymph nodes and to reduced levels of serum inflammatory factors (e.g., TNF-alpha, IL-6, -10, -12)  is also very good news. Remember, Sjogren's patients have ~5% more chances of having a lymphoma.
(image obtained from organic facts.net)
One great example of the 'quintessential' life style that I have these days is portrayed perfectly by the daily intake of a large bowl of blueberries. I savour it like a wild beast and could live of it for weeks because they have an awesome flavour. Again, another great weapon against macular degeneration and inhibition of inflammation; among figuratively a trillion other benefits (e.g. protecting against cancer, diabetes, memory loss and so on and so forth). The polyphenols present in blueberries, for example the 3-glucoside/arabinoside/galactoside-based polymers, amidst others, once again suppress the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1-beta, IL-6 and IL-12 . The benefits are so vast that the only issue I have recognised as negative is glutony, and a mild intestinal disarray because of my inconsolable gluttony. But nothing common sense, that I totally lack when it comes to fruit cravings, can't fix it for you. And to be fair, as a immune system modulator, between taking hydroxychloroquine and eating blueberries everyday, I will always go with the berries, especially because of the severe side effects (strong headaches, extreme sensitivity to light, and above all nausea) felt with the pharmaceutical. How can a product that when taken over long periods can potentially cause irreversible retinal damage be a good option for the public? Mad!
Stevia (instead of sucrose)
(image obtained from www.fitday.com)
People love sugar, and in nowadays's society sugar loves people because it haunts us and daunts us in every little corner shop of this world. But if you have Sjogren's syndrome one of the immediate worries is the progressive, almost galloping tooth decay. Lack of saliva promotes a more acidic environment in one's mouth where enamel will perish and bacteria will thrive, if sugar is readily available. And matter of fact sugar is always readily available in our modern diets, so the idea is to reduce it to the minimum possible. If you want to protect your enamel and assure that you have the least dentin exposed, cut immediately on pretty much all that contains artificial sugars and replace sucrose by this plant-based one. The immediate advantages to using Stevia rather than sucrose are the fact that Stevia is a zero calories product, it's a sugar that isn't metabolised by bacteria that populate the buccal moiety, it won't imbalance the energy levels in our organism, does not contribute to high blood pressure (and I have around 30 to 40% African ancestry so I'm at higher risk), and also extremely important, it won't feed one of the toughest organisms that insist in colonising Sjogren's syndrome's patients - Miss Candida albicans, a God damn persistent organism and tough as hell to get rid of. But believe me, from personal experience, Stevia and dietary discipline really weaken its presence to a minimum and you feel the difference. As reviewed by Thomas and Glade (2010), Stevia is associated to antihyperglycemic, insulinotropic, glucagonostatic, hypotensive, anticariogenic, antiviral, antimicrobial, antiinflammatory, immunostimulatory and chemopreventative effects .
I will try my very best to keep responding to all the questions I get, but in the meantime if you do not hear from me, please just browse through the previous posts. Most of the times your enquiry has already been covered in a previous post.
 Ling, W. H., Jones, P. J. H. (1995). "A Review of Metabolism, Benefits and Side Effects". Life Sci, 57, pp. 195-206.
 Szodoray, P., Horvath, I. F., Papp, G., Barath, S., Gyimesi, E., Csathy, L., Kappelmayer, J., Sipka, S., Duttaroy, A. K., Nakken, B., Zeher, M. (2010). "The immunoregulatory role of vitamins A, D and E in patients with primary Sjogren's syndrome". Reumatology, 49, pp. 211-217.
 Venkatraman, J. T., Chu, W. C. (1999). "Effects of dietary omega-3 and omega-6 lipids and vitamin E on serum cytokines, lipid mediators and anti-DNA antibodies in a mouse model for rheumatoid arthritis". J Am Coll Nut, 18, pp. 602-613.
 Cheng, A., Yan, H., Han, C., Wang, W., Tian, Y., Chen, X. (2014). "Polyphenols from blueberries modulate inflammation cytokines in LPS-induced RAW264.7 macrophages". International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 69, pp. 382-387.
 Thomas, J. E. and Glade, M. J. (2010). "Stevia: It's not just about calories". The Open Obesity Journal, 2, pp. 101-109.