How does wheat gliadin damage the intestines?
Sayer Ji, in his essay entitled The Dark Side of Wheat discusses 6 harmful effects wheat can have on both celiac and non-celiacs alike. I will spend time summarizing each of these 6 adverse effects in the next series of posts.
Gliadin Creates a Negative Immune Response:
Gliadin is an alcohol-soluble protein component of wheat that is high in the amino acids proline and glutamine. In a study published in GUT in 2007 the purpose was to study the effect of gliadin on the innate immune system of patients with and without celiac disease. In order to do this intestinal biopsy cultures were taken from both celiac and non-celiac participants and challenged with crude gliadin, the gliadin synthetic 19-mer (19 amino acid long peptide) and 33-mer deamidated peptides. Results showed that ALL patients produced and interleukin-15 mediated immune response. This means it initiated in all patients an inflammatory immune response. The researchers concluded:
“The data obtained in this study supports the hypothesis that gluten elicits its harmful effect, throughout an interleukin 15 innate immune response , on all individuals.”
The difference between those with celiac disease and those without celiac disease is that those with celiac disease went on to also develop an adaptive immune response with further immune mediators causing a further and more damaging effect on the intestinal villi. BUT, the concern is that this study demonstrated that everyone had a negative, inflammatory reaction initiated by gliadin and not just those with celiac disease.
Don’t forget our explanation of epigenetics: Your environment that consists of your diet, chemical exposure, stress levels, etc…. is more powerful in causing dis—ease in your health than your genetic DNA you were born with. For example, if you take a lot of NSAID’s (naproxen, advil, aspirin, motrin, etc……), these profoundly increase intestinal permeability and then you eat the typical American diet full of wheat products and other grains, then you are constantly increasing the level of inflammation and toxic stress in your system and leading your system down a path toward autoimmune disease and dysfunction.
Seeds Are The Babies of Plants:
Another interesting concept to think about is that wheat grain that is used to make flour and other food substances comes from the seeds of the plant. Seeds are the babies of plants and determine the continuance of their species. Plants are living things and just like porcupines or skunks or other living things have methods to protect themselves from predators so they can survive. Plants do not typically have armor or spray horrible smelling liquids at their preditors, BUT, they do contain toxins (lectins) and anti-nutrients (gliadin/gluten) to protect them against predators. I will discuss lectins further in these discussions later.
How to Know if Wheat or Other Foods are Toxic to Your System?
There are all sorts of lab tests to assess a person for food allergies or sensitivities, but they cost a lot of money and for many of my patients the results make it look like they are sensitive to everything. The problem is that so many people have a leaky gut with dysfunctional gaps in the tight junctions between the enterocytes (cells) of the intestinal lining and they are not digesting their foods appropriately enough. As a result, many substances that are trying to be absorbed through the intestinal lining are being seen by the immune system as foreign and initiating an immune/inflammatory response and making us sick.
BUT, there is a way to cleanse and quiet your system on your own and then once it is quiet and not so reactive to systematically expose your system to different foods or food categories and test for yourself whether you are sensitive to wheat or other foods or not. This method is called an Elimination Diet and is the most powerful tool I know of for anyone to use to identify their individual food sensitivities.
I believe in the power of this method so much that I have put together a “Detox Plus Program” that walks anyone through the steps of how to do a 3 week comprehensive elimination detoxifying diet and then how to systematically re-challenge the different foods. My program includes:
- A step by step guide to support you through the process
- 5 supportive and educational video talks by me educating and empowering you on:
- Your body’s detoxification pathways
- The Most supportive supplements to take during a detox
- Stress reduction methods
- How to systematically re-challenge each food or food category correctly to determine your sensitivities.
- What to do after your detox is over and where to go from here.
If you would like to learn more about my “Detox Plus Program”, then visit my clinical website: www.tmurraywellness.com. From the homepage follow the link to learn how to “Put a DENT in your Pain” through Diet, Exercise, Nutrition and Treatment:
Then, for free:
- Take the Medical Symptoms Questionaire and score your overall health
- Listen to my overview talk on how to Put a DENT in your Pain through Diet, Exercise, Nutrition and Treatment.
Finally, take a look at my “Detox Plus Program” and decide if it may be the answer you are looking for to feel better and empower yourself to optimize your overall health.