The experts have spoken – gluten is creating the perfect storm for our health and whilst wheat has, in the short term, saved many humans from starvation, we simply cannot safely and consistently include it in our diets without severe consequences to our health.
As promised, the final instalment of the gluten e-summit. We learnt last week that humans cannot successfully digest gluten because of the amino acid proline, for which we lack the enzymes necessary to break it down. But there is more than proline in wheat that makes it inaccessbile to our system; wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) is a lectin that is considered an anti-nutrient and cannot be properly digested. Together with gliadin, a gluten protein, these components of wheat and other cereals, rye and barley, increase intenstinal permeability and this is where the fun begins. Once the intestinal lining is affected, these compounds gain access to the blood, your tissues and your brian. WGA binds pretty much everything it comes into contact with and within hours of ingesting wheat, can be found in pretty much every cell in your body. It creates inflammation and has been identified as an underlying trigger for CVD and other pro-inflammatory conditions. The specialists are reminding us, we do not as humans have a wheat requirement and if you insist on consuming wheat, the vitamin and mineral content of your diet will be reduced by the anti-nutrients in the wheat.
An expert in autoimmunity, Dr Schoenfeld, tells us wheat lectin is a biologically incompatible food for humans and is a neurotoxin for our brain, triggering opiod receptors and acting like a drug. He lists its affect on the brain to include anxiety, depression, schizoprenia, ADD, aspergers. Autoimmune conditions can take decades to develop with levels of autoantibodies rising slowly and it is this slow progression that probably allows many of us to feel we are able to successfully use these foods. Interestingly, vitamin D supplementation has been shown to reduce the production of autoantibodies, perhaps this could be the basis of future preventative treatment ?
Cardiologist Dr William Davis, explains peptides from gliadin act like opiates, further stimulating appetite and creating cravings for carbohydrates, this is part of the story behind his suggestion grains contribute to heart disease and diabetes.
“If you wanted to inflict diabetes on a world – you would have them eat plenty of whole grains, that is how you create diabetes” Dr W Davis.
When Dr Davis implemented a wheat free diet in his patients, they experienced unexpected health transformations; weight loss, reduced blood pressure, reduced plaque build up, reduced pain in joints, reduced formation of blood fats. Davis uses a wheat free diet to reduce blood sugar levels in his patients and improve cholesterol values and advocates eating a wheat free diet for everyone. Since implementing this protocol, the rate of heart attacks and CVD within his patient community has reduced substantially.
The gluten e-summmit was a wonderful collection of lectures and presentations at the cutting edge of medicine, immunology and science. The overwhelming message is to axe grains from our diet and replace them with fresh vegetables and other plant based foods; quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth for continued good health and longevity.
Wishing you rude with health,