Last Modified: November 4, 2012
One of the most detrimental physical impediments to good health is inflammation – not the acute kind, which takes place as a result of physical injury or infection, but the chronic, long-term kind that affects body systems and internal organs, and causes the immune system to attack healthy cells, thereby creating a vicious cycle of continual inflammation. Regular health foodies and naturalists already know that wheat and other grains contain a gut irritant known as lectin, which in turn causes inflammation of the gut lining – not a good thing. The wheat lectin, also known as Wheat Germ Agglutinin, has been found to have a number of potentially ill effects besides causing inflammation. It may also be immunotoxic, neurotoxic, cardiotoxic and could interfere with gene expression, according to Medline.
But new data indicates that other fruits, veggies and grains may contain just as much lectin as wheat and could be; therefore, equally damaging to your system.
Inflammation And Osteoarthritis Common
Sayer Ji, founder of GreenMedInfo.com, says tomatoes, rice and potatoes are particularly lectin-heavy. That’s especially problematic, he says, because “while the ‘nightshade’ (potato and tomato) connection with inflammation has been known about for quite some time anecdotally, rice has rarely been considered problematic and has become something of a poster child for the wheat/gluten free industry which often substitutes it for gluten-containing ingredients.”
“The discovery that chitin-binding lectin is broadly distributed throughout cereal grasses sheds light on how the grain-free diet produces health results superior to that of eliminating wheat and gluten containing grains alone,” he continued.
These three foods are extremely prevalent in the West’s diet, which could help explain another phenomenon: why the incidence of osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease, is so widespread, Ji says.
It all begins with gluten, however.
“Gluten’s inflammatory effect in the gut causes intestinal cells to die prematurely and causes oxidation on those cells,” writes health enthusiast Sebastien Noel at Paleo Diet Lifestyle. “This effect creates a leaky gut and a leaky gut can allow bacterial proteins and other toxic compounds to get in the blood stream, which can also lead to autoimmune attacks on the body. A leaky gut also means that food as not digested properly and nutrients are not absorbed fully, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies.”
And much of that gluten is found in wheat, which one cardiologist has recently likened to a “chronic, perfect poison.”
But there is another sinister element found in today’s GM wheat, which he explained.
Modern wheat is “an 18-inch tall plant created by genetic research in the ’60s and ’70s,” Dr William Davis told CBS’ “This Morning” program in a recent interview.
Gluten, Lectin And Gliadin
“This thing has many new features nobody told you about, such as there’s a new protein in this thing called gliadin. It’s not gluten,” he said.
“I’m not addressing people with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease. I’m talking about everybody else because everybody else is susceptible to the gliadin protein that is an opiate,” Davis continued. “This thing binds into the opiate receptors in your brain and in most people stimulates appetite, such that we consume 440 more calories per day, 365 days per year.”
Speaking of gluten sensitivities, the problem is growing, but since it’s not a disease, there is no cure.
“Gluten sensitivity is triggered by eating products containing gluten. The only way to avoid its complications is to stay away from food products containing gluten,” writes Natural News‘ Craig Stellpflug.
He says gluten affects everyone in a negative manner, but sometimes the negative effects don’t show up for years.
“Gluten-free is a lifestyle choice for health of body and mind. If we choose a gluten-free lifestyle for obvious health reasons, we are intentionally avoiding trouble both now and in the future,” he says.
Unfortunately, that may now include other foods.