GLUTEN & LEAKY GUT
I just got back from a seminar that was put together by the brilliant DATIS KHARAZZIAN and presented by equally brilliant SHANE STEADMAN. It was called, "Gluten and Leaky Gut". For those of you who are unaware, Gluten is a glue-like protein found in wheat that is itself made up of a combination of two proteins; Glutenin & Gliadin. This is important for you to know if you read any GLUTEN RESEARCH.
One of the questions that I asked myself as a one-time Kansas wheat farmer, is how something that was once so healthy and good (bread is, after all, a Biblical food), can supposedly now be so bad. As crazy as it sounds, I am seeing statistics that show that well over half of all Americans have some degree of sensitivity to wheat protein (Gluten), and this group seems to be growing in both numbers and intensity, with each passing study on the subject.
This is a big deal because I grew up in the Fat Free Age. You know ---- the era in which we were told tat dietary fats are the "Great Satan", and if you want to be healthy you need to eat 8-11 servings of grains a day --- the foundation of the Food Pyramid.
THE USDA'S FOOD PYRAMID
REASONS FOR INCREASED GLUTEN SENSITIVITY
- GMO / INTENSIVE HYBRIDIZATION: Although you will often hear that wheat has been "Genetically Modified" (GMO), this is not accurate ---- yet. Monsanto is currently working on this. However, because the food industry has an infatuation with gluten (they use it as thickening agents, food starches, malt extract, emulsifiers, stabilizers, and a whole host of common Food Additives), they have been hybridizing wheat for increased gluten content for decades. Although it is difficult to know exactly how much more gluten there is in the wheat than there used to be, suffice it to say that the difference is significant --- particularly in the grade of wheat used for baking.
- THE PROCESS OF DEAMIDATION: Gliadin is not water soluble (it is alcohol soluble). The process of making it water soluble so that it can be used by the food industry is called, Deamidation. A 2003 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology showed that although most people did not react to heirloom varieties of wheat, many had severe reactions to to Deamidated wheat. A shocking study from a 2008 issue of the European Journal of Inflammation confirmed this by touting Deamidated wheat as possibly being the number one source of hidden food allergies and sensitivities. This could be due to the fact that the part of the Immune System that actually attacks invaders (T-cells) is strongly activated by Deamidated Gliadin. Gluten just happens to be the most common benign item that is recognized by the body as foreign.
- CROSS CONTAMINATION: This is simply referring to the fact that when various grains are harvested, hauled, dumped, stored, milled, etc, they will cross-contaminate. For instance, neither corn nor oats contain gluten. However, unless you are purchasing these from a company that is certified "Gluten Free", there will be massive cross-contamination from every step of the process. Bottom line: for a grain to be "Gluten Free", it must never come in contact with grains that have Gluten in them. Think about it; you only hear about Gluten Free Diets. Never "Low Gluten" or "Reduced Gluten" diets. This is because once your body is making antibodies against the Gluten Protein, it takes less than 20 parts per million to trigger a reaction. I treat a school teacher who is so Gluten Sensitive that she has more trouble during the school year, despite being on a strict Gluten Free diet. This is because if she simply has contact with people / children who eat wheat, she reacts. Fortunately her husband is Gluten Free as well.
- LONG TERM WHEAT STORAGE & ACCOMPANYING PROCESSES: When wheat is stored in grain bins, all sorts of really nasty chemicals are mixed with it to keep it from spoiling, as well as keeping bugs from infesting and devouring it. These include antifungals, pesticides, and a slew of other things that you hope to never be exposed to. Then there is the issue of enterotoxins being produced by bacteria in the stored wheat. Enterotoxins are produced by many different bacteria. They are often cytotoxic (they kill cells) and act by altering the membrane permeability of the mucosal cells of the intestinal wall. This sounds like so much medical gibberish until you realize that this process is actually descriptive of something called...........
- LEAKY GUT SYNDROME / INCREASED INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY: Due to INFLAMMATORY processes that occur within the body due to subclinical infections, poor diet, stress, lack of exercise, certain medications, dysbiosis, Gluten Intolerance / Gluten Sensitivity, etc, etc, etc, the "tight junctions" between the mucosal cells of the Small Intestine become loose. This allows food particles, parasites, toxins, virus, bacteria, molds, fungus, too-large food particles, and who-knows-what-else, to be absorbed into the blood stream. Once there, the body recognizes these as foreign and the Immune System begins to attack them. In some cases, this is normal and good, however, the reactions often end up out of control. More information on LEAKY GUT SYNDROME (widely known within the medical research community as "Increased Intestinal Permeability")
- INCREASED STRESS, HYPERACTIVE IMMUNE SYSTEMS, & THE SUBSEQUENT IMMUNE SYSTEM INTOLERANCE: Once the process of Leaky Gut is underway, the results can be devastating. Inflammation causes Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Leaky Gut Syndrome causes Inflammation. The whole thing spins in a viscous cycle, resulting in an almost unlimited number of health problems.
- INFLAMMATION: Although everyone thinks they know what Inflammation is, few people actually know what it is. For more information, see the posts that are HERE.
- S.A.D: This is the Standard American Diet; and in most Americans, it's far worse than anyone could have even dreamed of 25 years ago. We should be eating vegetation, and animals that ate vegetation (or ate other animals who ate vegetation). Just remember that grain is not vegetation. Oh, and corn ---- it is a grain as well. When you eat a grain-based diet (particularly when those grains are heavily processed), you will eventually end up looking like a corn-fed beef. And never forget that Obesity causes inflammation --- a huge causal component of Leaky Gut Syndrome. Overeating any one particular food ---- especially if that food is a heavily processed grain (wheat), leaves one particularly susceptible to creating antibodies against that food.
- LACK OF THE PROPER ENZYMES TO BREAK DOWN GLUTEN: Guess where enzymes come from? They mostly come from naturally raised and ripened vegetables. Without fresh or frozen vegetables, your digestion will be poor. Without a wide variety of vegetables in your diet, you will have low levels of enzymes, including the enzymes used by the body to break down wheat protein. How big a problem is this? Back when James Dobson was still hosting Focus on the Family, he reported a medical study saying that 1/3 of all American children under the age of 18 got ZERO servings of vegetables a week ---- unless you count ketchup and fries as a vegetable ---- like our Public Schools do.
- A STEADY BARRAGE OF VACCINES AND ANTIBIOTICS FROM CRADLE TO GRAVE: Contrary to popular belief, ANTIBIOTICS do not strengthen the immune system. In fact, one of Medicine's dirty little secrets is the fact that antibiotics actually weaken the immune system ---- severely. What most people are unaware of is that vaccines do the same thing. Sure, they might keep you from getting a certain disease (and they might not), but the process leaves you with an immune system that does not work like God intended it to. People end up trading things like Chicken Pox or Measles for AUTOIMMUNITY. What does the government-backed research say about this? Not much, to be sure. However, if you go online and start searching, it takes about two minutes to realize that this is a huge problem in America ---- and getting worse as the number of vaccines we are giving our citizens skyrockets. The problem with vaccine reactions is that they are neurological and immunological --- particularly difficult to overcome. It also means that they can cause just about any health problem you can imagine. All I can tell you that people who have taken lots of antibiotics tend to be highly intolerant to lots of foods ---- especially wheat. This is most likely a function of the antibiotics destroying the gut's "good bacteria" which make up a whopping 80% OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM. Once the bad bacteria, fungus, candida yeast, etc, take over the gut; the immune system will malfunction. This malfunctioning is frequently in the form of ramped up immune system reactions ---- the immune system reacting to all sorts of benign things that it perceives as threats.
BUT DOC; I'VE BEEN 100% GLUTEN FREE FOR A YEAR - AND I STILL FEEL LIKE CRAP. WHAT GIVES?
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HIDDEN SOURCES OF GLUTEN
And by the way, It's not just about what you eat or do not eat. Gluten is commonly used as a thickening agent / stabilizer in soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, detergents, spices, prescription and OTC medications, toothpaste, mouthwash, stamps, envelopes, and even children's stickers. And we have not even gotten to food items yet! Things like additives, soy sauce, dextrin, fillers, artificial colors, as well as all sorts of things you cannot even begin to imagine, contain gluten. And as I said a moment ago; once you are sensitive, it only takes a microscopic amount to trigger a reaction.
GLUTEN SENSITIVITY / INTOLERANCE
(BLOOD TESTING -vs- INTESTINAL BIOPSY)
Believe it or not, there are still a lot of doctors out there who believe that if you do not have "Celiac Disease", then wheat is not and cannot be your problem. However, the truth is that some people's wheat sensitivities are just as severe, or actually even worse than having full-blown Celiac Disease. Intestinal biopsy is not all it's cracked up to be for many reasons.
For one, the Small Intestine is one of the quickest healing organs in the body. Research tells us that unless the biopsy is done at the right time, in the right place' the intestinal damage will either be missed completely, or healed enough that it does not meet the criteria to be considered Celiac Disease. Just how bad does the damage have to be? The Intestinal cells must be totally destroyed. And if they're not, these people are told that gluten is not the cause of their problems, leaving them spinning on the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND. Lastly, Celiac Disease is simply the name given to Autoimmune Gluten Sensitivity of the Small Intestine. What about the Gluten-induced autoimmune reactions to hundreds of other different tissues in the body? One of the biggies being looked at right now in people with equilibrium issues is an autoimmune reaction to one's cerebellum (brain). Bottom line, call it whatever you want; if you have a problem with wheat you need to avoid it.
GLUTEOMORPHIN & GLUTEN ADDICTION
One of the fragments that Gluten is broken down to is called Glutomorphin. If you recognized this as is a combination of the words Gluten and Morphine, you would be correct (milk is broken down to Casomorphin). Morphine is one of the single most addictive compounds known to man. In many individuals (particularly those with Autism Spectrum Disorders and behavior disorders) Glutomorphins act just like morphine by fitting into Opiate Receptors in the brain.
This is why you can find cases of people (frequently children) consuming soy sauce from the fridge, children's stickers, or even mom's cosmetics (yep, makeup is often thickened with Gluten), to get their gluten fix. As you can imagine, this is a tough one to conquer. Fortunately, Gluteomorphin sensitivity can be tested for. Just remember than an individual whose immune system is making antibodies to gluteomorphins or casomorphins will have a much tougher time in the early phases of a gluten-free diet. In fact, they might get worse for a couple of weeks or so. This group of people will tend toward Bipolar, Self Hate, DEPRESSION, and ADDICTIONS --- especially food addictions; and especially Gluten-containing foods and processed carbs.
Gluten Sensitivity is a foundational issue in a wide array of health problems. Hopefully, your family is aware of this. If not, forward it on to those who could benefit. While you are at it, you can help spread the word by liking us on FACEBOOK.