Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wheat and lactose

Apart from gluten there are a large number of other proteins in wheat. I wanted to go in to the problems of wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) in slightly more detail than I did the last time I posted on the toxicity of wheat.

WGA is a lectin. The technical definition of a lectin is a protein which attaches itself to a carbohydrate moiety on the surface of a cell and "does something" to the cell. WGA is an insulin mimic. This paper from 1973 sums it up nicely.

"wheat germ agglutinin [is] as effective as insulin in enhancing the rate of glucose transport and in inhibiting epinephrine-stimulated lipolysis in isolated adipocytes."

"The possible implications of these findings to certain biological properties (mitogenicity) of these lectins and to the mechanism of action of other growth-promoting substances are considered."

Mitogenicity is the key word. WGA causes cells to divide. Interestingly so does insulin, in pretty much the same areas of the gut as WGA...

Let's look at gut structure more closely. The surface of the gut is highly folded. The bits which stick up (villi) provide the brush border. The brush border is the area which does the actual digesting and absorbing of food. The folds between the sticky up bits are called the crypts. Deep in here active cell division occurs. As the cells divide they migrate up from deep in the crypts towards the brush border. As they migrate they mature until, as they arrive at the tips, they become typical brush border digestive cells. They do some digesting for a while, then get sloughed off to be replaced by more up and coming cells from deep in the crypts. It's tough at the top for a cell in the gut lining.

WGA, as we've noted, has "mitogenicity". The cells deep in the crypts, minding their own business, suddenly get told, by WGA, to divide. Now. Never mind biological need, complex inter-cell signaling, nutritional needs, just divide NOW. And again. Once more. Keep going.

Let's say normal gut turn over requires the cells get replaced every three or four days. It's around that. Crypt cells will divide to meet this need. Drop on WGA and they will divide irrespective of the needs of the gut. This results in rapid proliferation and migration of cells up up to the tips of the villi.

The end result, when WGA is given given to normal rats (note, these rats do not have gluten allergy), is a trashing of the gut, resembling early coeliac disease. Note the short villi.

With rapidly turning over digestive cells and minimal time for them to mature, how good will the brush border be?

Not very good!

The brush border produces all of the really interesting enzymes needed for the last stage of digestion. Most people know about lactase but the brush border also makes the enzymes to break down peptides to amino acids, all sorts of disaccharides to monosaccharides and even breaks down ingested triglycerides. Some of these enzymes are inhibited by WGA before it damages the gut, others are enhanced. Weird.

As a classic example, many many people are lactose in tolerant. They get gut rot when they drink milk. They may well avoid all dairy for the rest of their lives. However, it's pretty obvious from this thread that eating wheat trashes the brush border, where lactase is produced. This happens in NORMAL animals (and people). So it's impossible to genuinely say a human is lactose intolerant while they are eating wheat.

Humans are mammals after all, lactase is produced on demand whenever lactose is present, why should we be lactose intolerant?

If we have sub clinical coeliac disease then the loss of lactase is very straight forward. And very reversible.

My argument is that no one is likely to be tolerant of WGA. The effects on the gut lining do not require allergy, they are intrinsic to the nature of the lectin WGA and the glycosylation of the gut lining cells. Undoubtedly allergy will make matters much worse (and may give you a positive blood test, thus providing an ad lib supply of gluten free junk foods from the NHS).

Anyone unable to correctly digest fat, a specific protein or certain carbohydrates should really be thinking about wheat.

It's a metabolic poison.

I'm sounding like Dr Davis.


BTW, if WGA and insulin are so driving to mitosis, why don't they promote intestinal cancers? They do. Both of them. Though I guess omega 6 fatty acid excess and vitamin D deficiency should get a look in as partners in crime...

EDIT: see comments for a apology re reference inaccuracy on this BTW add on.


g said...

is rice (brown or white) have similar insulin mimetic properties?


Peter said...

I doubt it, there are relatively few problems from rice compared to the gluten grains (just diabetes from the carbs), unless of course you are HLA B27 positive. I was going to chase Barley and Rye, as they're positive for gluten but I doubt they have WGA. Never quite got round to it (my son woke up from his afternoon nap!). There are insulin potentiators in the gluten fraction, so this muddies the water somewhat too...


Quick google: Barley has a near identical lectin, I assume rye has too, rice doesn't.

team smith said...

hi peter

in the comments section of the previous post you mentioned thyroid as being auto-immune and vitamin D...would it be vit. D deficient that caused it? i am curious if you know anything about Raynaud's syndrome and what may help it? i have had this as long as i can remember and i was just informed that it is auto-immune and could be caused by gluten intolerance.

it seems that i cannot find any significant information about it to help me deal with it. as per your comment on my last question about digesting fats i have cut out all grains, esp. gluten and it is helping, even though i still have to use potatoes or yams as a vehicle for half a stick of butter. :)

thank you, amanda

HeartCipher said...

Hi Peter,

Your posts about Ketones in various places have got me thinking about a few different processes that are said to be heart healthy...

I'm wondering if some single mechanism in each of these processes (ketone production) is the key element within them that makes them heart healthy.

1 - Fasting is supposed to be hearth healthy. You've written about how fasting produces ketones.

2 - Low carb diets improve blood lipids and critical lipoprotein profiles.

3 - Aerobic exercise is heart healthy. Rabagley, over at the ImmInst.org forum writes as follows in post #13 here:


"In my experience: if you're functioning on ketones from the beginning of the run, there isn't a 'wall'. The "wall" is the effect of your body shifting from glucose to ketone metabolism while you're under load. If your body is already converting fat to ketones for energy, there's no switchover, so no wall. Healthy human fat reserves are MUCH deeper than healthy human glycogen reserves (two orders of magnitude more available calories, even for slender people)."

What I'm wondering about is whether ketones, in some way, are an element that are heart healthy. Or perhaps some other element closely associated with ketone production.

I've read that aerobic exercise is somewhat muscle wasting if done too intensely... that's the same process you wrote about in your Fat Retrieval and Storage post right?

Just thinking out loud...

Peter said...

I think Dr. Stephen Phinney has probably written most on this subject. When I switched to low carb I had about a month of severe exercise intolerance, as in I noticed my leg muscles when I walked up stairs! I did all of my serious endurance work as a teenager, using mostly sucrose, gritted teeth and bloody mindedness (marathon kayak racing). I'd love to have known then what I know now! I'd definitely go for ketones, but training up on ketones takes time. Back in the 70s it was a matter of who got through the wall first tended to win. I was lucky!

Re ketone bodies and cardiac health, have a look here

This group seem to have a very clear understanding of mitochondrial energy metabolism. Though I don't aim for frank ketonuria I think all LC eaters have some available ketones, even when eating as high as 50g/d carbs. Even if they don't, the ability to mobilise free fatty acids for both muscle use (including cardiac) and ketone generation is fully primed and ready to go...

You picked up that niacin hits the beta hydroxybutyrate receptor from Dr Davis' blog?


Peter said...

Hi amanda,

The people I know who have sorted out immune mediated problems have always cut out all grains, minimised omega 6 fats, low grade supplemented omega 3 fats and controlled both blood glucose and insulin levels. The case for vitamin D as an immune modulator seems quite convincing to me but it does seem possible to improve without normalising it, though I see no reason to avoid this. The other anecdote is a few grams of vitamin C per day. The lower the carb intake the less important I would guess this is, but 3-4g/d appears to have relatively little potential for problems. I use rather higher doses than this, on demand, as my paracetamol replacer when I get a cold. It's not a nutritional dose rate but as a pharmacological agent I prefer it to a known hepatotoxin!

I met a client at work who had been diagnosed, as an adult, with dermatitis herpetiformis (coeliac disease of the skin) in addition to intestinal coeliac disease. They told me their GI probs cleared up within a couple of weeks of going gluten free but their skin took 6 months. Some go quicker than others.

There is some case to be answered by casein too re auto immune disease, but this is less clear cut.

The bad news is that not all immune mediated problems are gluten/WGA triggered. Most may be, not never quite all.........


ttlaitin said...

several of the references articles mentioned something about carbs somehow inhibiting the effects of the lectins:

"All of the effects observed with the plant lectins are reversed by simple sugars that bind specifically to these plant proteins." [1]

"...These changes were prevented by simultaneous administration of the appropriate sugar to inhibit binding, indicating that the effects were related to binding to carbohydrate residues of intestinal cells." [2]

what does that mean? eat carbs with lectins and there's nothing to worry?

Peter said...

No, lectins are very very very specific about which sugar combinations, the order the sugars are arranged and the exact linkages between the sugars that they will attach to. Our cells are covered with sugars attached to cell surface proteins. Lectins ONLY attach where they see "their" sugar moiety.

There are plenty of mammalian lectins, they are a communication system between cells, using sugar/protein interactions, that plants disrupt to discourage predation.

Very interestingly glucosamine (the arthritis nutracuetical) exactly fits into and blocks the ability of WGA to bind to human tissues with "its" sugar moiety on their surface. Obviously anyone wanting to control arthritis should start with the elimination of grains for this reason. Why take an antidote to WGA when there is no nutritional need to eat the WGA in the first place?

There is a nice editorial here in the BMJ by Freed. Pusztai, mentioned at the end, got sacrificed to the GM agribusiness interests which owned Tony Blair (and I guess now own Gordon Brown). Pusztai was silly to go to the press before publication on GM toxicity, other than that he was right.

ItsTheWooo said...

How can WGA act as an insulin mimic if insulin is a polypeptide, not an amino acid? Furthermore, how is it possible for WGA to enter the bloodstream in tact via digestion?

Even if it were true that WGA had a similar amino acid sequence as insulin, ingesting it would effectively deactivate it, the same way ingesting insulin promptly deactivates it (the peptide chains broken during digestion).

It may be true that WGA can have a local action on the gut similar to insulin, before it is broken down, but this must be very limited in scope due to the fact WGA must be broken down into its base amino acids by digestion.

Even if we assume this is true, it must be a considerable overstatement to conclude that WGA is anything like hyperinsulinemia in the body.

Forgive me as I have not read the studies but if WGA promotes cancer, did the researchers bother to control for the systemic hyperinsulinemic effect of wheat products? Most wheat products are very high glycemic, unless the diet is starvation-calorie.
The link between insulin and cancer is already poorly understood, so I'm assuming they did not.

BTW very interesting blog and looking foward to reading it, I love nutrition science :)

Peter said...

Hi itsthewooo,

There is quite a detailed discussion of exactly how insulin like WGA is and how exactly WGA affects insulin receptors in the paper from this current post. The coloured links are clickable.

The other two papers you need are Pusztai on systemic absorption and the somewhat contradictory paper from Dalla Pellegrina and make up your own mind.

A little more information about lectins and systemic disease from the BMJ is here.

There's also a nice overview of lectins here.

This last one might be your best place to start.


PS a good criticism of this post would be to point out that the link suggesting WGA causes cancer is NOT what the paper in the link says, it merely says intractable coeliac disease leads to cancer. This is well accepted medically. Whether there is continued exposure to WGA in these patients or exactly what constitutes intractable coeliac disease is open to debate. I would have appreciated being pulled up on this. Enjoy the lectinology. The answers are all in the studies. That's why I cite them.

g said...

Hi Amanda!

I sort of had undiagnosed Raynaud's as teen/til now -- always cold in the hands and cold intolerant. After the D got up 25(OH)D 60 ng/ml, not only do I feel great and mild asthma (which is autoimmune, btw) completely resolved (had it for 6mos and even QVAR inhalers didn't work), the cold fingers and hands completely went away. Gone, despite being the middle of winter. check out these articles. The 2nd link -- search for Raynaud's -- there's a review of a small trial I believe.


Physicians Treating 25(OH)D to > 55 to 60 ng/ml therapeutic range:

Dr. Gerry Schwarfenberg, MD, CCFP

Dr. Garland, UCSD, Oncology (cancer prevention)

Dr. Davis, Cardiologist, FACC (reverse CAC score on EBT and plaque)

team smith said...

g, thank you so much! one thing first, can you translate this--
25(OH)D 60 ng/ml --what does it mean--is it a test result of testing your vitamin D levels? or is it the amount of supplemental D you took?

also, after i asked about Raynaud's on this blog i went to Dr. K's site (which i had no idea who he was and had to search around here to figure it out, lol) but on his site he lists diseases and illnesses the Optimal Diet has helped and Raynaud's is in the list!

i don't really understand most of how he says to eat, at least the proportions and i can't get the book here in the US, but i am working on a high fat, low carb and moderate protein diet with no grains. i have had 12 raw egg yolks a day the last couple of days along with high fat cheese and lots of butter. i feel great and this morning may have been a fluke, but it was only 12F degrees and i didn't have my usual reactions when we went outside. i also take supplemental D3 and other supplements.

i'm off to read the articles you provided! thanks again.

Peter said...

The vitamin D aspects become more and more interesting. Although I'm a long term committed LC eater, you have to say that humans can be healthy on a wide range of macronutrient ratios, provided they are composed of food rather than junk. I'm just wondering exactly how critical Vitamin D is for the tolerance of 70% calories from carbs on Kitava. Bruce's comments about limiting PUFA to facilitate the action of vitamin D might go some way to explaining why LC high SATURATED fat diets limit D responsive illnesses.

Hmmmmm what if ALL we needed to do was pop a D pill a day???????


Peter said...

Just another though from that time I spend on Fridays pottering down the M4 in heavy drizzle wondering if dawn will arrive...

Summer/Autumn nutrition, carbs and nuts with Vitamin D. Winter/Spring, animal fat and no vitamin D. Might fit the seasons. Are there families of nutrition?

Better than thinking about how much aviation fuel is travelling overhead as you queue past Reading.


Psipsina said...

Just found your blog recently and am grateful I have.

You wrote: "As a classic example, many many people are lactose in tolerant. They get gut rot when they drink milk. They may well avoid all dairy for the rest of their lives. However, it's pretty obvious from this thread that eating wheat trashes the brush border, where lactase is produced. This happens in NORMAL animals (and people). So it's impossible to genuinely say a human is lactose intolerant while they are eating wheat."

I had read that many people with celiac are misdiagnosed with lactose intoleranace. What you describe could account for this.


Peter said...

Hi migraineur,

Yes, we're mammals after all! This post largely came from a friend of a friend who had a youngster of about 18 months of age, who had just developed multiple food allergies, the sort where the eczema flared hugely and promptly after some meals but not others. The doctors suggested lactose intolerance, I've no idea why. He was still being breast fed! This was the one food without problems. Stopping the wheat stopped all of the food reactions. Nan knows when he gets wheat by accident at nursery because he gets a GI upset, but so far no eczema flares. But lactose intolerance????


g said...

I remember hearing about Phinney (UC Davis) was I was a student at UC Berkeley. Now I wish I could recall! Thank you for the ketone and cardiac link!

I consume a lot of walnuts, almonds and chicken thighs and eggs. I feel the best when I have a fatty breakfast. Most days, my breakfast is a handful of fish oil and approx 1/2-cup almonds. It's somehow very satifying (but I know sounds gross). I'm so satiated that sometimes I wish I didn't have to spend time eating or cooking at all (but my kids wouldn't be too happy about that). Honestly, if I could just wear a TPN on somedays I'd be perfect as a clam -- along w/a central line for a continuous infusion of caffeine :)

How would you break down your diet? Is it 40% fat? 45% 50% fat? I weight train sometimes so I try to get in 1 to 1.2 g/kg protein on those days (so I don't waste lean tissue elsewhere).
How do you breakdown the fat components-- MUFAs 10% mead oil? omega-3 2-3%? SFA 30-40%? of the total diet?

My very bright nutritionist informed me that it's necessary to consume enough mixed tocopherols (vit E) in order to counter all the lipid peroxidation that occurs with consumption of fish oil/ PUFAs, cod liver oil or other fats. the vit E is the most $$ expensive thing that I buy from my nutritionist... since i get so much from nut sources, I try to only take the E 2-3x/wk, not daily.

I didn't know about the Vit-D relationship with PUFAS. I remember though that DR. D mentioned that Loren Cordain said that the wheat aggluten protein somehow prevents the activation of Vit D in the skin by the sun. wheat is so evil... (but not the bran part or psyllium) since Vit D plays an anti-inflammation role in the body, I guess it might have to work harder if there is a high dietary intake of omega-6 PUFAS (which is pro-inflammatory). a lot of things have to work hard, including the PPAR receptor that I've been readin on.

Yes, I agree about the Vit D -- it improves insulin sensitivity (and perhaps also allows for storage during abundant carbs in the summer?) perhaps the lack of insulin sensitivity in the winter d/t hypovitaminosis D was actually a survival trait to help people live through harsh stark frozen white Ukraine winters? Hypothyroidism (induced by vit D deficiency!) would also help reduce metabolic rates and wasteful movement. Humans can adapt to live anywhere on earth even the Arctic (and they're crazy! i'm spoiled in Cali *grin*).
The sun drives all life forms... it does make some sense eh?

25(OH)D is the blood test that the doc needs to order (if they order 1,25 test it's wrong).

If you're in the UK or Canada -- 50ng/ml is equivalent to 125 nmol/L.

btw one of my best friends was reading DR. D's blog, and stopped wheat on her son with eczema this past xmas. he used to be one 'big oozy mess' she said and now his skin is 'beautiful'.
hope that helps!

gosh, this is so great -- i don't know who else to talk biochem with!! i'm extremely glad to find other big geekazoids too :)
I appreciate all your time and responses! g

Peter said...


Q, How do you know you have worked for too long in Critical Care or Accident and Emergency?

A. When you believe that caffeine should come as an intravenous infusion for personal use and your first reaction on meeting a perfect stranger is "nice veins".


Peter said...


I think I'm right in saying bruce joins me up at around 80% calories from fat. It's mostly just over half saturated and just under half monounsaturated. I had though my own PUFA were around 10-20g/d but bruce pointed out they may well be a bit lower than this. This means the requirement for vitamin E is very low, minimal PUFA intake, minimal substrates for lipid peroxidation. Minimal fruit also means minimal pro inflammatory substance intakes.

I have a post brewing generally about insulin and inflammation/PUFA and am beginning to realise that vitamin D may do the opposite, so there may be some balance between diet macronutrient ratio and sunlight exposure. PPARs and NF kappa B are big switches, and it looks like Vit D may hit another...

I doubt either of us is a great fiber person in any form, GI function works fine without once the gluten is gone, and some of us are not so keen on its cholesterol lowering effects (me anyway!), especially if it results in small dense LDLs when I may own third rate receptors!

I have been a bit down on Cordain, with good reason, but he can be a good source of information if you make your own interpretation of his data. I don't really think he slants his biases to please his funding sources, I think he eats, sleeps and lives those biases. So it's natural for him to believe we all need to be on statins. But if he knows that wheat blocks D synthesis, I wanna know!

It's a bit like our cardiologists lost in the lipid hypothesis, these are not evil people looking to disseminate cardiomyopathy, neuropathy and impotence. They're doing the best they can in a wrong paradigm. Many take statins themselves.

People at the top, making wrong decisions with the real data in front of them, and money grubbers in the backrooms of pharma advertising companies may be exceptions to this comment!


g said...

Guess what hitting PPAR a or g does? it seals the junctions in the skin, to form the barrier. I believe PPAR probably has the same role and benefit in the colon to (to ameliorate IBS, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's, prevent colon CA and proliferation).

Fish oil and MUFAs are the natural ligands for PPAR! (I bet SFA too is but haven't had time to phish through PubMed)


g said...

The joke was funny... 'nice veins' that's great!

Your son might like this (my 8yo loves it and so do i)

those money-grubbers in the backroom of pharma advertising groups are trying to broaden the scope and FDA indications of drugs like Avandia and Actos (for breast CA, gut diseases, & psoriasis) when EASY diet manipulations would achieve the similar remissions and improvements -- wheat/gluten elimination and natural PPAR dietary ligands (fish oil, walnuts, olive oil, almonds, dietary fats). Right, and the 'big switch' Cholecalciferol Vit D3!!!

There's something I don't get,does SFAs (palmitic acid, etc) bypass lipid peroxidation? it doesn't require Se and Vit E to minimize free radicals? Don't all fatty acids get processed similarly? what am i missing?
THANK YOU so much you have no idea for the 'link' with niacin and betahydroxbutyrate receptors!!! i'm a pharmacist and I had N-O I-D-E-A! That is so cool ;-P

Zetia hits the LXR receptor... were u aware? that's why I love it too. it's nearly non-toxic and extends lifespans (in worms and mice too). Nissen's bogus.
What MUFAs do you consume, mainly olive oil? what do you drizzle it on (apparently not greens :) *aha ha*) carpaccio? it's really good on tuna or beef tartare! w/some capers and lemon...
what's phenylacetic acid (related to vinegar at all?) it also hits the PPAR receptor...


Peter said...

Hi g,

I've only scraped at the surface of PPARs and my general impression was that their activation turned on a host of genes needed for effective fat burning. I'd picked up that there was a suspicion that NEFA were the natural ligand, which makes sense. Can you push me towards its tight junction effects?

Re sat fats/peroxidation

It's very difficult to get oxygen/free radicals to react spontaneously with a fully saturated hydrocarbon. It has only single C-C or C-H bonds and is very stable. The double bond in oleic acid is more susceptible to disruption but the really susceptible molecules are those with multiple double bonds. Most particularly those this three or more, these are the best staring point for generation of malondiadehyde (MDA), the classic marker of lipid peroxidation. Interestingly some MDA can be formed from linoleic acid too (only two double bonds here).

Under rather artificial circumstances linoleic acid also produced more easily oxidisable chylomicrons that fish oil, not at all what you would expect...

I get my monounsaturates mostly from butter, beef dripping and pork fat, they're all around 40% oleic acid, no need for the veggie oils unless as a flavouring for Bolognaise sauce! Apart from coconut the most saturated fat is suet (abdominal fat from cattle), but it's hard to obtain and butter tastes much better.

I'll try the song with my son tomorrow, see what he thinks!


g said...

Hi Peter,
I think that this is the link for PPAR's role in skin (and I assume parallel role in colon):

I think that I have the PDF still, u can email me... g

Peter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
g said...

Read Cordain's comments... about wheat affecting pigmentation and therefore Vit D activation via the skin.

I've been thinking about your fantastic thoughts... 'third rate receptors'! omg I luv that. so many polymorphisms exist in nature -- we're all so unique, individual and different (very Darwinian I'm sure). I used to roll my eyes when I heard 'nutrigenomics' but now there really seems to be evidence how it's necessary to match our receptors to food. Is heterozygous FH related to ApoA5? I thought cats never had MIs and heart disease (or is that dogs?) In your opinion, is that related to their diet or genetics?


Peter said...

Hi g,

Just had to blog on your link, thanks. Very interesting.

Both cats and dogs do do heart disease, every type of cardiomyopathy you care to mention. I was taught neither did strokes nor coronary thrombosis. MRI scanners put an end to "no strokes" and dogs certainly get IHD. Get enough carbohydrate in to their diet and I guess cats will too, but that's not in the literature yet.

I loose track of the apo numbers/letters. Once you've given up on the lipid hypothesis trying to find out which lipoproteins are "good" or "bad" becomes a bit pointless. There's quite a lot more on FH I ought to blog but time is.......


trainmadsmum said...

Hi Peter,

Just sitting here scoffing my full fat cottage cheese and reading some of your posts with special interest. Finally a voice in the wilderness about a fat/protein diet. (How can I not listen to a man who has a cat on his shoulder? There are two vying for position on mine as I type.)I am a coeliac who feels so much better on a high fat/protein diet. I have long suspected many of my problems, once gluten free stemmed from insulin spikes and carbohydrates. I have argued the point with countless doctors who think I am mad, they are probably right on the sanity, but they want me to be dairy free as well. (Perhaps as am a lowly graduate in agricultural science I should not argue with the white coats). I am particularly interested in primative diet, believing we were more hunters than gatherers. I doubt if we are meant to eat meusli and bran.

Best wishes,
Kay in New Zealand

Peter said...

Hi Kay,

I'm not sure Toby remotely considers himself to be a cat as he was hand reared from birth.... "Cat" is that big black grumpy thing with sharp and swift claws, which sits on the other sofa. "Cat" baiting the real cat in our house is his absolute favourite occupation. Toby LOVES risk sports. We discourage him.


Mmmm, dairy. It's just so different from wheat. Now if I could have a house cow! Keep the cream, give the excess milk protein to a pig and fatten the pig up with potatoes and.......

trainmadsmum said...

Hello Peter,

House cows and dairy fattened pigs, you just described my childhood. I was a happy child.

What is your opinion of the residual effects of wheat and it's unholy colleagues in grain fed meat? Do you think there is any carry over? Just curious.

Cheers Kay

Peter said...

Hi Kay,

I think colic in breast fed human babies is probably exactly this phenomenon. All I can say re gluten in dairy is that it is at too low a level to damage my wife's digestive system. The rumen bacteria may well break down gluten/WGA far better than the simple stomach of humans.

Currently we can't practically go to grain free meat and dairy. I'd love to, but...


trainmadsmum said...

Hi Peter,

Grain fed beef is a rarity here, but the chicken is fed on all kinds of hell. However it is difficult to say if the grain causes chicken meat is a problem as there are many other nasties in poultry food. Not that I am mentioning the words "growth hormones". Not having a rumen, though I am often called a cow,I can't comment on its possible use in breaking down gluten, my appendix, like so many other coeliacs, was sliced out years ago. In the true course of nature ruminants would have very little contact with those nice, plump, plant scientist bred, gluten containing grains.

My niece's daughter had severe eczema when breatfeeding which cleared with in days of her mother going gluten free. She was born with the eczema, indicating some gluten tranference across the placental barrier.

Cheers Kay

Peter said...

Hi Kay,

I live in a world of patterns, things have to be logical and self consistent. Coeliacs having a high incidence of appendectomies and babies getting eczema from second hand lectins fit a pattern. But then humans see patterns everywhere....

Cow, pig and chickens too, mustn't forget those chickens!


Rita. said...

Is WGA broken down during a long sour dough fermentaion? Rita.

Peter said...

Hi Rita,

My skin says no. (Rye flour, not wheat, probably the same lectin. But the fermentation of the last flour top up of the starter culture was only 12 hours before baking)


Gina said...

Just wanted to leave my 2 cents about "lactose intolerance." Humans are not really lactose intolerant. Milk from any mammal, in its natural state (raw, unpasteurized, unhomogenized), already contains lactase to digest lactose. Only when we heat and pasteurize milk does the lactase disappear.
Pasteurization also destroys phosphatase (to absorb calcium) and many other enzymes. Rarely is anyone truly allergic to milk that has come from cows eating their natural diet of grass, and most often people who are believed to be "lactose intolerant" can drink raw milk with no problems whatsoever. There are those who are sensitive to casein for whatever reason, however.
Maybe you know this already, maybe not. If not, here's more info:


Peter said...

Hi Gina,

Thanks for the comment and links, I have Nutrition and Physical Degeneration and have read large swathes of WAPF's website. By far the biggest problem with raw milk is the nearest source I can find being a 2 hour round trip to the farm selling it. In Norfolk I had friends with a Jersey house cow, actually two house cows. I mostly ate the butter. They had 60 farmyard chickens too, I was their main egg purchaser!


Stephan said...

Very interesting. Holy crap there are a lot of comments here.

You mentioned your skin. I noticed recently that when I ate beans for the first time in a while, I got a patch of flaky skin on my face that had disappeared while I was grain/bean-free. Right below the lower lip, the same place I sometimes get it in the winter.

You think there could be a connection with lectins? Have you come across anything implicating bean lectins in digestive problems?

M said...

I've had psoriasis for two decades and I've been following an LC diet, with no grains or PUFAs, etc. It appears to have cured me from sensitive, thin, dry, itchy skin and even the rosacea on my face, not much help with the psoriasis so far. I've heard that it might be a good idea to apply Vitamin D3 directly to one's skin. I have been taking V D3 orally (here in Portugal, where I live, it's incredibly affordable, just 1 euro per tiny bottle of 30 ml each). The leaflet says it's made of Colecarciferol and Migiol 812 (medium chain triglycerides). In your opinion, would you say that'd be worth a try?

Peter said...

Hi M, no experience on this one. I'd try it on a small area which doesn't show... Skin-applied certainly seems closer to the physiology of D3 than high dose systemic treatement.