Allergens & anti-nutrients
Grains are the seeds of a plant. They're its reproductive material, plants don't make their reproductive material to give away to other animals, if they did they'd become extinct!
Lectins ~ are a key mechanism through which plants protect themselves against being eaten, and are found in highest concentrations in their seed form -- which makes sense, considering seeds are the plants "babies" whose survival ensures the continuation of their species.
The evolutionary strategy that many plants, particularly cereal grains have taken to prevent predation is to evolve toxic compounds so that the predator of the seeds can't eat them. This enables them to put their seeds in the soil and grow into a new plant ."
Grains, as well as legumes, contain anti-nutrients and other problem substances that may increase intestinal permeability.
Gluten (the Latin word for "glue") are proteins termed prolamins. Found in cereal grains, wheat, barley, rye, oats - it gives dough it's elasticity, enhancing it's chewy texture and ability to rise.
* Each grain has a different set of proteins known as prolamins, which are collectively named gluten:
- Wheat prolamins are called gliadins (glutanins)
- Barley prolamins are hordeins
- Rye prolamins are secalins
- Oats prolamins are avenins
- Sorghum prolamins are kafirin
- Corn prolamins are zein
We are mostly exposed to lectins from grains, beans, dairy products and nightshade plants, such as potato, tomato, and chili peppers.
Bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) plays a prominent in lectin-induced adverse effects, due to the fact that it is a relatively new form of wheat and contains wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) – a particularly resilient and problematic lectin, considering it is not eliminated through sprouting and is actually found in higher concentrations in whole wheat.
The prevalence of wheat and gluten, found in multitude of processed foods and products ranging from soy sauce, beer, salad dressing, ketchup, ice cream, imitation meats, stock cubes etc. has led to an increase of the population developing gluten intolerance or coeliac disease in those genetically predisposed.
Gliadin is the primary immunotoxic protein found in wheat gluten and is among the most damaging to your health. Gliadin is capable of increasing the production of the intestinal protein zonulin, which in turn opens up gaps in the normally tight junctions between intestinal cells (enterocytes).
In celiac disease the body will make antibodies after ingestion of gliadin resulting in severe autoimmune damage to the delicate, absorptive surfaces of the intestines.
New research shows that gliadin increases intestinal permeability in both those with, and those without celiac disease.
Leaky gut can cause digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas and abdominal cramps, but it can also cause or contribute to many others such as fatigue, skin rashes, joint pain, allergies, psychological symptoms, autism and more.
It's a vicious cycle because once your digestive tract has been damaged, it allows various gut contents to flood into your bloodstream where they wreak havoc on your health. The key to preventing this lies in altering your diet to eliminate the offending foods -- including sugars and grains -- restore and support a proper balance of bacteria in your gut.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition affecting 1 in every 100 people in the UK. Gluten protein triggers an immune response where inflammatory cells attack the villi (tiny finger-shaped tissue) that line the small intestines which promotes nutrient absorption from digested food resulting in malabsorption.
This damaged barrier triggers intestinal permeability (ie leaky gut) where toxins, pathogens and undigested food particles pass into the bloodstream, causing systemic inflammation, which can lead to long-term health conditions if left untreated.
Sufferers must follow a strict gluten-free diet, low cereal grains and avoid sugar, treating the inflammatory condition by healing the gut and following a low carbohydrate diet.
Our Second Brain - Gut Brain Axis
The gut and brain are connected via the vagus nerve, a healthy gut plays a major role in your health - both physically and mentally.
Sugar is primary food for the bacteria in our gut. When the delicate ecosystem/gut flora balance of good and bad bacteria gets disrupted, pathogenic bacteria take over which can result in 'Gut Dysbiosis'. Other common factors can contribute to this; Stress, frequent antibiotic or drug therapy, parasite infection, inflammation, processed diets.
If our intestinal tract were balanced, infestations would rarely occur. Malabsorption from the damaged villi results in lots of extra food available for the bad bacteria and yeast to feast on.