Monday, March 21, 2011

Anti-Nutrient: Lectin, The Master Key

Besides figuring out that I felt ill every time I ate grains, learning about the presence of lectins was what helped me to take that final step in eliminating them from my diet. Lectins are really what prompted me to do a little spring cleaning in our pantry and remove every form of grain from our shelves - I find them that scary.

Lectins are sticky little proteins that took me a while to understand. Like other anti-nutrients, they serve to protect against fungus, bacteria, pests and animals. They also help bacteria fix atmospheric nitrogen to the roots of legumes. In our bodies, lectins bind to carbohydrates and contribute to leaky gut syndrome by striping down the protective mucus coating in our intestines. They can also provoke allergic reactions and immune system responses, such as auto-immune diseases. And, most amazingly, they can act as hormone mimics. Lectins have been shown to cause insulin and leptin resistance, both which contribute to obesity and other more serious diseases.

Dr. Ben Balzer writes this about lectins:
"Lectins are like master code-breakers. The cells of our bodies are studded with receptors which are like code pads to ensure stimulation only under the correct circumstances. Lectins have the ability to crack these codes and stimulate the receptors causing a variety of responses - covering basically the full repertoire of the cell and even tricking the cell into doing things it normally cannot do." (1)
If lectins can act like a master key inside our body, imagine the havoc they can wreck. We might just find that lectins are playing the leading role in the onset of many of modern world diseases.

Kind of makes you want to clean out your pantry too, doesn't it.

Sources
The New Evolution Diet, by Arthur De Vany
https://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/1896-plants-bite-back.html
http://paleolithicdiet.wordpress.com/2008/06/22/antinutrients-your-key-to-bad-health/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaGyjoc9DOY
http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/search/label/lectins

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