Wheat Contains Not One, But 23K Potentially Harmful Proteins
October 13, 2012
Sayer Ji Waking Times
Most folks don’t realize that when we are talking about health problems associated with wheat, or gluten, we are not talking about a monolithic entity, a singular “bad guy,” solely responsible for the havoc commonly experienced as a consequence of consuming this grain. After all, how could just one villain cause the 200+ different clinically observed adverse health effects now linked in the biomedical literature to wheat consumption?
No, the problem is that “gluten” is an abstraction, and in its perceived singularity profoundly misrepresents the true extent of the problem, much in the way that the tip of an iceberg does not convey the massive threat submerged below …
Gluten is the Latin name for “glue,” and signifies the doughy complex of proteins within the wheat plant, further classified as either gliadins (alcohol soluble), glutelins (dilute acid or alkalis soluble), or other. Because wheat is a hexaploid species (doesn’t that sound creepy?), the byproduct of three ancestor plants becoming one, with no less than 6 sets of chromosomes and 6.5 times more genes than found in the human genome, it is capable of producing no less than 23,788 different proteins - a fact as amazing as it is disturbing.
Well, any one of these proteins could elicit what is known as an antigenic response, i.e. the immune system identifies a wheat protein as other, launches either an innate or adaptive immune response, and attacks self-structures accidentally, as a result.
So, if only one protein could incite an adverse reaction, what would 23,000 different proteins do when presented to the body for processing simultaneously? And what if many of these wheat proteins were disulfide-bonded proteins, that is, “glued” together (Remember, gluten is the Latin word for glue) with the same, sturdy sulfur-based bonds found in human hair and vulcanized rubber – (think bowling ball plastic tough!) – which is to say, impossible for our digestive system to break down fully?*
What would happen is that many of these proteins would pass through our intestinal tract, made more permeable by the dual effects of gliadin (zonulin up-reguation) and wheat lectin (the invisible thorn), hence “opening pandora’s bread box” of autoimmunity and systemic inflammation.
Keep in mind that 23,788 proteins is a very large number. And given the recombinatorial possibilities inherent in such a large number of distinct, different proteins, some of them have emerged — by sheer accident — as nearly identical (homologous) in structure and configuration to both narcotic drugs and virulent components of immune-system activating microbes.
Gliadin can be broken down into various amino acid lengths or peptides. Gliadorphin is a 7 amino acid long peptide: Tyr-Pro-Gln-Pro-Gln-Pro-Phe which forms when the gastrointestinal system is compromised. When digestive enzymes are insufficient to break gliadorphin down into 2-3 amino acid lengths and a compromised intestinal wall allows for the leakage of the entire 7 amino acid long fragment into the blood, glaidorphin can pass through to the brain through circumventricular organs and activate opioid receptors resulting in disrupted brain function.
There have been a number of gluten exorphins identified: gluten exorphin A4, A5, B4, B5 and C, and many of them have been hypothesized to play a role in autism, schizophrenia, ADHD and related neurological conditions. In the same way that the celiac iceberg illustrated the illusion that intolerance to wheat is rare, it is possible, even probable, that wheat exerts pharmacological influences on everyone. What distinguishes the schizophrenic or autistic individual from the functional wheat consumer is the degree to which they are affected.
The digestion of gliadin produces a peptide that is 33 amino acids long and is known as 33-mer which has a remarkable homology to the internal sequence of pertactin, the immunodominant sequence in the Bordetella pertussis bacteria (whooping cough). Pertactin is considered a highly immunogenic virulence factor, and is used in vaccines to amplify the adaptive immune response. It is possible the immune system may confuse this 33-mer with a pathogen resulting in either or both a cell-mediated and adaptive immune response against Self.
So, while acknowledging that “gluten” is a problem is a good, first step in the acknowledgment of the dangers of wheat, it is just the beginning of a journey into understanding the true nature, and extent of damage caused by this debilitating food.
Wheat causes weight gain and sickness
Thursday, November 03, 2011 by: Duke Mansell
(NaturalNews) What if you were eating right and following the advice of all your doctors to eat more "healthy grains" but continued to gain weight with worsening blood work? Millions of Americans continue to follow the diet backed by the ADA (American Diabetes Association), AHA (American Heart Association) and many other government agencies, which indicate a diet with 6-8 daily servings of whole grains is necessary for optimal health. Unfortunately, it appears this is not the case, and wheat products are a detriment to everyone's health.
Wheat is far removed from the wheat eaten by our ancestors. In the last 100 years it has been mutated into something monstrous. It is now a "Frankenwheat" and many people are unaware of its destructive capacity. Dr William Davis is a cardiologist who was having no success with his diabetic patients utilizing diets with whole grains. What he found in his research was shocking and has a far reaching effect on the health of everyone from meat eaters to vegetarians.
Wheat has a specific protein called gliadin. When this protein is digested in the intestines, it releases exorphin, an opioid peptide. This peptide crosses the brain/blood barrier. These peptides then bond with opiate receptors in the brain creating an addiction to wheat. It is an appetite stimulant and increases the amount of wheat you eat. This opioid peptide is so addictive that a pharmaceutical company is seeking FDA approval for a drug to block the receptor sites and to induce weight loss. With no other changes in diet or exercise the average test subject lost 22.4lbs over the course of 6 months. Instead of adding harmful pharmaceuticals removing wheat from the diet would provide greater health benefits.
Wheat also has a highly digestible carbohydrate unique to wheat in the form of amylopectin A. This carbohydrate increases the blood sugar higher than white bread, table sugar or a snickers bar! The glycemic index of wheat bread is an amazing 72! Compare that to table sugar at 59, and you see how wheat bread is working against health. The increase in blood sugar due to wheat causes the pancreas to release additional insulin; this insulin pushes the sugar into the cells, thus increasing abdominal fat dramatically. After 90 to 120 minutes, the glucose/insulin levels drop quickly and create immediate hunger.
This yo-yo effect on glucose/insulin levels also creates an issue with glycation. The simple explanation of glycation is the combining of a protein and a sugar molecule without an enzyme. These glycated proteins travel through muscle tissues and joints and lodge themselves in hard to reach places; they begin to wreak havoc on the body. They are the beginning of AGE or advanced glycation end products, which are implicated in age related chronic diseases.
Wheat also contains indigestible lectins; lectins are wheat proteins that have the canny ability to "unlock" normal intestinal barriers and allow foreign food particles to enter the body. Does this sound like "leaky-gut syndrome"? Even those that rectify leaky gut issues tend to have the same problems again; this is likely due to the lectins found in healthy wheat products that unlock intestinal barriers.
Check any food label and you will see that wheat is in almost everything. The only way to avoid wheat products is to utilize more almond flour, flax meal and coconut flour among others. The real take away is humans were not built to digest an endless supply of easily digestible carbohydrates. It is unfortunate wheat is no longer the "amber waves of grain" our forbearers remember because today's wheat is leading everyone down a path towards diabetes and degenerative diseases.
October 2, 2012 by Dr. Davis
“I think totally eliminating wheat is too hard! What if I cut back, say, 80 or 90%? Can I still get most of the benefits?”
The short answer: No.
Let me explain. If you cut back on sugar by 90%, you obtain 90% of the benefits, right? 90% less weight gain, 90% less insulin provocation, 90% less dental cavities, etc. Simple arithemetic.
But, as with many things in this wheat-distorted world, that simple arithmetic does not hold with cutting back on wheat. Instead, a bizarre calculus of metabolic distortions apply because of several long-lasting effects of modern semi-dwarf wheat.
There are several reasons why just cutting back does not work:
1) Disruption of bowel flora
Wheat-eaters experience undesirable distortions of the microorganisms in their intestinal tract: different species, different numbers, and shifts in location (migration higher up into the small intestine, and even duodenum and stomach). Wheat-eaters have fewer desirable lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, and more undesirable species of E. coli, bacterioidetes, and even Salmonella and Clostridia. Occasional wheat consumption, likely via wheat’s amylopectin A, wheat germ agglutinin, and gliadin, maintain undesirable bacterial and fungal populations and prevent a shift back to healthier species.
2) Small LDL particles that cause heart disease are triggered for 10 or more days at a time
Large, relatively benign LDL particles persist for 24-48 hours after formation, cleared by the liver promptly. Small LDL particles, triggered to extravagant degrees by the amylopectin A of wheat, persist for an unusually long period, much longer than the larger LDL particles. Once triggered, the human liver does not recognize unnatural small LDL particles, causing them to persist for an abnormally long time and allowing prolonged and repetitive interactions with the wall of arteries to create atherosclerosis (leading to coronary heart disease, heart attacks, stents, bypass surgery, as well as your hospital to boast about its record number of heart attacks treated).
3) The gliadin protein of wheat stimulates appetite
Even occasional exposure to the opiate-like exorphin polypeptides that result from digestion of the gliadin protein of wheat are enough to stimulate appetite. Appetite is stimulated, but not for more salmon or steak, but for carbohydrates–more wheat, more cornstarch, more candy, more soft drinks, more junk. Occasional wheat consumption therefore makes adhering to a healthy diet more difficulty, as your impulse control is under the influence of the gliadin opiate, an effect that lasts several days after every indulgence, occasionally longer.
4) Glycation is forever
Recall from the discussion in Wheat Belly that, whenever blood glucose ranges above 90 mg/dl (5 mmol/L), glucose-modification of long-lived proteins in the body, or glycation, proceeds at an accelerated rate: the higher the blood glucose, the greater the quantity of glycation.
It means, for instance, that you have, say, a Snickers bar and experience a blood glucose of 134 mg/dl and glycation occurs in the proteins of the lenses of your eyes (cataracts), the proteins in the cartilage of knees and hips (brittle cartilage, arthritis), the proteins in the cells lining arteries (stiff arteries, hypertension, atherosclerosis), and structural tissue of the skin (wrinkles, “liver” spots of aging). Have two slices of whole wheat bread as a ham sandwich and blood sugar peaks at 170 mg/dl (a very typical blood sugar after wheat consumption) and glycation develops at a greater rate. Glycation in long-lived proteins is irreversible–the effect cannot be undone: cataracts do not reverse, bone-on-bone arthritis does not regenerate, wrinkles do not unwrinkle. For all practical purposes, once you glycate, you glycate for good.
All in all, it means that cutting back on wheat by 80 or 90% does not yield 80 or 90% improvement in the health destruction wrought by wheat. Maybe it yields a fraction of those benefits, say, 20-30%. Cutting back on wheat, like cutting back on unsafe sex and practicing safe sex on weekends only, can still get you into a heap of trouble.