How Much Gluten is OK?
This blog is part 3 of 3 in a series about gluten. If you haven’t read parts 1 and 2 you can refer back. So the questions is asked, “How much gluten is OK?”
That’s a tricky question, and it depends on each individual’s immune status. The weaker immune system will require more diligence and a healthier diet; the stronger immune system can handle more insults but will weaken after time. So the take a way….eat as healthy as you can, as much as you can. When you can understand how the immune system works, you can better negotiate your choices. That is of course, if you feel that’s important in your life. We all see people make poor choices every day. The questions are, what do you want, and what are you willing to do to get it? If you want to be a top level triathlete , how much would you have train, everyday? If you want to be really healthy, what type of lifestyle would you have to adopt? Diet/supplements, water, exercise, stretching, meditation? Taking care of your immune system is taking care of the core of your health. One of your most powerful tools is your diet, thus brings us back to immune health and gluten.
I have mentioned in my previous blogs that the “wheat” we encounter today is vastly different than what our ancestors consumed. In the book, Wheat Belly, Dr. William Davis discusses how the original wheat has been transformed into something dramatically different for today’s society. From the original strains of wild grass, modern wheat has blossomed into 25,000 varieties and almost all of them the result of human intervention. Without getting into too much detail, the original wheat contained 14 chromosomes. Now the wheat of today has exploded to well over 140 chromosomes. In a study by Song, Ni and Yao, they discovered that proteins found in a wheat hybrid, compared to its two parent strains, contain 5% unique proteins, meaning they didn’t come from either parent. So how did they get there? The answer is unexpected mutation. And now the question arises, how does that affect human physiology? Well the jury is out on that, but are you willing to find out the affects 10+ years into the future? When talking about gluten, we must include a discussion about Celiac Disease(CD). In the past 5 decades, CD went from 1 in 700 to 1 in 100. Shaoul and Lerner stated that CD is a life long autoimmune condition of the G.I. tract affecting genetically susceptible individuals and went on to say that the most frequent associated autoimmune disorder was autoimmune Thyroiditis and Type I diabetes. They further stated that almost any tissue can be affected by the immune dysregulation. In previous blogs, I mentioned that conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, ADHD and Huntington’s disease can be associated with CD and gluten intolerance. As with many progressive disease issues, the symptoms may not be present early on. That doesn’t mean that the immune system isn’t being taxed and eventually malfunctioning.
I now pose the question, how much gluten is OK? That is a question you have to answer yourself. Reviewing the information I have provided;you can now ask yourself these questions: how much do I want to consume with the health issues I have (or may not have), and how will it affect my long term health and longevity? When you seek alternatives to wheat, you have to be a smart shopper. Grains such as amaranth, quinoa and millet are great alternatives to wheat. You may have to adapt to the new and different taste, and yet the change will open up a new path to your families health.
If you have any additional questions you can always contact the friendly staff and Fresh and Natural. If you have any questions for me you can contact me directly at my office. Wishing you an wonderful and healthy spring.
Paul Westby DC, DACBN