I presented several slides on lectins while in Europe and told the audiences that the human body does not make all the necessary enzymes to properly break down lectins/glutens which are found in carbohydrates and are part of our inflammation and disease processes. We have recognized lectins/glutens for more than one hundred years.
Why has it now become such a problem? To better, understand we first need to be educated in what they are. Think of lectins/gluten as a protein containing a key that fits a certain type of lock. This lock is a specific type of carbohydrate. All life forms, plant and animal, insect and fungus have cell membranes that contains carbohydrates, which sit within, and project from the membrane. When a lectin/gluten with the right key comes in contact with one of these ‘locks’ on the gut wall, artery, gland or organ it ‘opens the lock’, and disrupts the membrane and damages the cell. This in turn initiates a cascade of immune and autoimmune events leading to cell death. I went on to explain supplemental enzymes formulated for this problem can assist in eliminating the cause.
Being gluten intolerant should not stop you from quality of life. Because it is difficult to test conclusively, many people will be diagnosed based on a wide variety of screenings and observations. The most common symptoms are gastrointestinal problems (or gastrointestinal distress) such as diarrhea, flatulence, gas and bloating. Other symptoms may include joint pain, fatigue and headaches. Think about the fact that there can be 250 or more symptoms, related to gluten intolerances. In fact, it can manifest itself as Candida.
Is gluten intolerance a wheat allergy? Unbelievably you can have wheat allergies but not have gluten intolerance. Confusing to be sure but they are two different responses in your body. Gluten intolerances or sensitivities happen slowly over a period of time and are more nutritional deficient. Symptoms of wheat intolerance will manifest itself as a typical allergy; quickly with a single exposure.
Exposing the problem: in answer to the question posed earlier in this document. Why is it now such a problem if it has been in our foods for hundreds of years? The answer to the question is simple but with serious consequences. Much of our food has been genetically modified and in doing so they have transferred lectins from animal, plant, bacteria, human and virus DNA into our foods to enable them to last longer on the shelf or into the seeds to grow foods quicker in a smaller area. They are called GMO (genetically modified organisms). This has confused our digestive systems and since around 80% of our immune system is present in our digestive system, the response is an allergy to these foods simply because the body does not recognize them.
What can one do if suffering from gluten sensitivities? Now that we understand, what gluten/lectin and/or wheat intolerances are and why we are having such a reaction to them. I want to remind you that they are not just a protein problem but also proteins combined with carbohydrates referred to as glycoproteins in food.
When asked to formulate a supplemental enzyme product for these intolerances the formula must have specific blended proteases required for gluten/lectins found in food. Proteolytic enzymes are necessary for the proper beakdown of casein and wheat proteins. The formula also needs several different carbohydrate splitting enzymes called “polysaccharolytic” which work differently from each other because carbohydrates have many different kinds of linkages. The carbohydrate on gliadin is very complex, consisting of xylose, glucose, galactose, and arabinose all plant sugars. It is typical of plant cell walls, which require hemicellulase, pectin, and lignin, for proper degration. An additional yet specific probiotic named Bifobacterium Lactis to block the toxic effects and balance the increased permeability to the gut. This type of formula can be a benefit to those suffering from these intolerances and require gut balance.
I received a question about these allergies and the comment was that enzymes do not work for this problem. Actually, supplemental digestive enzymes are necessary when the human body does not genetically produce the enzymes needed for these confusing modified organisms we now find in our food sources.
History of gluten intolerance is to remove the foods containing gluten out of the diet; you might ask yourself if this is possible? Avoiding the genetically modified organisms by purchasing organic or growing, your own food makes sense. Nevertheless, when you travel or eat out quality of life begins to take a back seat. Those of us suffering from this intolerance might benefit by taking the supplemental enzymes and probiotic formulated to address these hidden in foods.