Posts Tagged ‘wind’

What are Lectins?

Monday, May 15th, 2017

What are Lectins?

Do you suffer from symptoms after eating? Such as digestive symptoms, foggy brain, sinus congestion or aches and pains. Do you notice it after gluten containing foods or just can’t track what’s causing it? Chances are you’re body is reacting to components in plants called lectins.

What are lectins? So happy you asked!

Lectins are the plants natural compounds to ward off pests, fungal and bacterial attack. That is, the plants natural immune system. When plants are under attack they raise their lectin numbers to fend off the attacking pests. This is the system by which pesticides work. However, pests are gaining tolerance resulting in needing an increase of pesticide to be applied to the plant and thus a further increase of the plants lectins.

Modern wheat strains vs old style grains

Our modern wheat strains have been modified to produce more lectins to be highly pest resistant. This very clever genetically engineering won Norman Borlaug a Nobel peace prize in 1970 and changed the industry inexplicably. However, years later we are discovering the health consequences of our daily foods containing such an immense amount of lectins.

Let me explain:

The modern wheat (Triticum aestivum) is a genetically engineered species containing three distinct sets of chromosomes. These chromosomes can produce over 23,000 unique proteins. Thus this modern species contains high protein and gluten levels plus wheat germ agglutinin (WGA). WGA is a lectin which provides wheat with its resistance to insect pests, yeasts and bacteria.  Interestingly WGA binds to N-acetyl D glucosamine in the chitin of the insects, disrupting their cell structures and killing them.

Why are lectins so bad?

It is this WGA (lectins)  which can also directly damage tissues of the human body wherever N-acetyl glucosamine is present, even if the individual doesn’t have any genetic predispositions or susceptibilities to immune mediated mechanisms. For example, the auto-immune conditions or inflammatory reactions. However, the presence of lectins can and do exacerbate inflammation for auto-immune conditions such as Coeliac’s Disease, making symptoms worse. This can explain why chronic inflammatory and degenerative conditions are gaining prevalence in wheat-consuming populations.  It destroys the villi in your intestines, leading to malabsorption, nutrient deficiencies and infections!

Tissues within the human body that contain N-acetyl D glucosamine are:

  • All mucosal membranes throughout the digestive system, respiratory system, etc.
  • Connective tissues in joints
  • Brain cells and organs
  • Skin
  • Arterial bifurcations, including around the heart.

It is proposed that it is the increased lectin content that are causing major health problems for people rather than gluten. For example, many Australians experience health problems after eating products made from Australian grown wheat. Where as if they travel to other countries and consume wheat based products from there they do not, i.e. France or Italy. Such countries grew different strains of wheat which were largely unmodified like our Australian grains. Hence, the end product (croissants, baguettes, pasta, pizza bases) had less lectin resulting in fewer reactions after eating. Of course this has now changed as the high yield strains are now more global.

Is it just grains which we get lectins from?

Furthermore, when livestock are fed grains high in WGA lectins this then passes through their system to the products we consume. For example, dairy milk. Therefore, if you’re experiencing symptoms after consuming dairy it may not be lactose or actual dairy protein but the lectins passed through the dairy cow to their milk. Likewise with meats, hence the advantage of consuming grass fed meats only.

There have been some notable improvements when individuals have ceased dairy and gluten products, possibly due to the decrease of consumed lectins. Some of these conditions include:

  • (Gut mucosa) – Irritable bowel syndrome:  bloating, burping, wind, flatulence, diarrhoea, constipation
  • (Joints) – arthritis, fibromyalgia
  • (Hippocampal cells) – mental and behavioural conditions
  • (Lung mucosa) – asthma
  • (Beta pancreatic cells) – diabetes
  • (Coronary artery cells) – Cardiovascular disease
  • (Skin) – psoriasis and eczema
  • Autism & Aspergers, non-verbal children and adults

How can lectin intake be reduced in diet?

As it is impossible to maintain a healthy diet and avoid lectins if you are experiencing symptoms pertaining to lectins the key is reduce intake and increase tolerance.

Firstly, even organic and spray free fresh fruit and vegetables contain lectins, but if they’re not engineered they should contain less. Grass-fed meats and dairy is the best way forward for proteins to reduce lectin intake.

How can tolerance to lectins be improved?

There is no definitive answer to improving the individual’s lectin tolerance, however there is some key things you can do. Have good healthy nutrient intake particularly zinc. The herb ginger is particularly high in zinc and is very good at reducing inflammation and calming and supporting function all along the digestive track. Having said that, if there is any history of stomach ulcers please consult your local herbalist or naturopath for advice.

And then there’s Kinesiology 🙂

How can Kinesiology help improve tolerance to lectins?

Kinesiology is a way to ask your body what is stressing it by what we call indicator muscles. It is largely based on Traditional Chinese Medicine meridian system and acupuncture points which are like reference points. Via assessing where the stress is the body can also indicate how to relieve the stress, thus reducing the symptoms one is experiencing. Therefore kinesiology balancing is a remarkable way to reduce symptoms.

What about Acupuncture and Chi Nei Tsang Abdominal Massage?

Also great ways to increase the energy to the gut, reduce stress and increase energy.  Chi Nei Tsang Abdominal Massage is nearly an hour on your gut – it helps to break down the scar tissue that has built up around the abdomen due to years of food-abuse that’s destroyed the villi –  let the healing begin!!!

Call us on 3348 6098 to book an apt with our Naturopaths…

Madonna Guy ND
New Leaf Natural Therapies
07 3348 6098
healthteam@newleafnaturaltherapies.com.au

You Tube:  New Leaf Health Team channel 🙂

 

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Allergy Testing, Wynnum, Brisbane…Madonna Guy ND Naturopath

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Allergy testing is something that there’s a lot of controversy about these days.  Many naturopathic clinics are being told that they can’t do allergy testing.  Weird, huh?  It seems to be an issue that the government has taken to heart, that only drugs can effectively treat allergies.

So what do we do if we don’t want to use drugs which suppress allergic symptoms such as sinusitis, asthma, hayfever, itchy eyes, itchy skin… not to mention issues such as bloating, burping, belching, wind, flatulence or more debilitating issues such as eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.

Around 75-80% of babies are born with an allergic immune system these days.  Therefore they are more likely to develop issues such as food intolerances and allergies.  Partly this is because our bodies are much more acidic these days.  As this is a huge reason for miscarriage, the body deliberately goes into the opposite immune position to miscarriage, which is the allergic immune condition…

Our clinic has fabulous results with allergies and intolerances because we use a variety of testing and treatments.

  1. We use live blood analysis to determine how well the immune system is functioning.  There are particular signs in the blood that let us know if the body is more likely to be an allergic one or not.
  2. We use other blood tests such as candida, helicobacter and celiac testing to find underlying gut issues which predispose us to health problems such as allergies and intolerances.
  3. We use urine testing such as urinary indicans and ph testing to find out how much bad gut bacteria we have and how acidic the body is.  These can both be linked to poor immunity.
  4. We also use a variety of kinesiology techniques which lower the body’s stress in relation to a particular allergen – we can find whether or not things are alleries or intolerances, or even whether it’s just an energy mismatch – an energy mismatch is when the body doesn’t ‘know’ what to do with something.  For example, if we eat spelt flour for the first time in our lives, and the body doesn’t know what to do with it, we may get symptoms of bloating, but this may be because the body just doesn’t know what to do with it…  we can balance that out…

Talk soon,
Madonna Guy, Naturopath, Wynnum, Brisbane

SIBO – Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

SIBO, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth is a reasonably new discovery, or at least has finally been proven within the medical and naturopathic fields.  For years naturopaths have worked on clearing ‘bad large intestinal bacteria’ with reasonable to good results, but when the intestinal growth is in the small intestine, instead of the large intestine, there are no tests which indicate where the infestation is, and results may not be as good.  Detoxification of the intestines has always been hugely important for preventing disease and illness, naturopathically.

The problem is that symptoms of gut issues: bloating, burping, belching, wind, flatulence, diarrhoea, constipation (irritable bowel syndrome) can be either a small or large intestine issue. 

For those of us who do kinesiology we are blessed with the ability to check where the overgrowth is (and it is often through the entire digestive tract) and what the infestation is made of: parasites, fungus, candida, bacteria, viral etc.  Thank goodness for kinesiology…

And of course, SIBO is hugely indicated in many health issues:  it has been found that 80-100% of chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers, as well as those with fibromyalgia suffer from SIBO – 80-100%.  i’m sure SIBO will be indicated in reversing chronic disease in the future.  It really gives a new perspective on treating the gut first – an old naturopathic adage…

Madonna Guy ND

Chief Clinician