Wheat Lectin Damages Our Tissues
Wheat contains lectins, which are small sugar binding proteins. These proteins bind to numerous different cells in our bodies and cause damage. First, they can bind to the outer surface of the microvilli of our small intestine and cause shedding or destruction of the brush border membrane. This will lead to decreased surface area of the villi for absorption of nutrients and it will accelerate cell losses. This destruction of the intestinal wall brush border is not caused by the immune system, it is caused by the lectin itself and will lead to malabsorption of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
Second, lectins bind to the same receptors in our brains (hypothalamus) that leptin is supposed to bind to. Leptin is a hormone that tells us we are full when we eat a meal. If lectins block Leptin from binding to its receptor in our brain, then we do not know we are full and we just keep on eating. Have you noticed that you can eat a ton of grains prior to feeling full? Or do you notice that you are hungry again only an hour or so after eating cereal for breakfast? This is the mechanism that causes this and leads to obesity. If you want to lose weight and have the ability to feel full appropriately then stop eating wheat and monitor the effect over a 3 week period.
Third, lectins bind to similar sites as insulin and imitate insulin, but do Not carry out the same metabolic activity as insulin. Insulin helps us to metabolize sugars and utilize the sugar to produce energy; but, if the insulin cannot do its job properly than this is called insulin resistance and leads to diabetes. Therefore, the lectins in wheat are a cause of high blood sugar, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.
Finally, lectins do not only cause damage in the intestine, they also travel in the blood stream to other organs and cause damage. For example, wheat lectin has been shown to cause an IgA antibody response in the kidneys that damages kidney cell. This means it can cause an autoimmune reaction that can destroy kidney cells or initiate kidney cancer.
As I have been saying in this series of posts, a Comprehensive Elimination Diet is the gold standard procedure for determining the food triggers in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases:
Comprehensive Elimination Diet:
- I have been having patients do 3 week comprehensive elimination diets for a number of years now since I started studying and implementing functional medicine concepts and I have seen so many powerful changes for the better in peoples’ health that I created “The Detox Plus Program” to give people the information and guidance they need to implement a detox for themselves. Information about my program can be seen on my clinical website: www.tmurraywellness.com.
- Follow the link to “Putting a DENT in Your Pain”
- Take the medical symptoms questionnaire and score your overall health
- Listen to my overview talk for Free that explains how to start detoxing and cleaning up your gut in order to reclaim your health.
- Purchase my “Detox Plus Program” and empower yourself to clean up your gut and feel better starting today!