A deeper insight into how harmful gluten is and what diseases it can provoke
To show us how harmful gluten is we have the fact that it is difficult to digest and triggers allergies. It also activates the immune system and, thus, creates numerous potential dangers for your body. Because these are scientifically stable facts, the “anti-gluten movement” is getting stronger. And rightly so!
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I have already reported on Leaky Gut Syndrome and I have mentioned several times that gluten causes leaky gut. But not how:
Leaky Gut Syndrome is linked to a gut with a damaged lining. The connections between intestinal cells break and, therefore, cells die off more often and faster.
If the body cannot replace them quickly enough, holes will appear in the fragile intestinal layer. Then we speak of the leaky gut syndrome, a perforated bowel.
There is a messenger called zonulin. This occasionally loosens the connections between the intestinal cells (tight functions) to allow individual proteins and pathogens to pass out of the intestine. This is a normal mechanism of the immune system to monitor what is going on inside the intestine.
However, gluten triggers a massive formation of zonulin and, thus, the body and immune system get flooded with proteins, toxins and pathogens, which we can sometimes find inside the intestine.
Furthermore, the storage protein directly attacks the intestinal cells, binds to them and triggers inflammation there.
That is why gluten is so harmful to the gut. For this reason, it is recommended in many clinical pictures to avoid any grain.
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Gluten favors leaky gut syndrome and, thus, chronic inflammation in the body, a flood of the body with allergens and pathogens.
That’s why gluten has been linked to so many autoimmune diseases, for example, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, type 1 diabetes.
The protein is, therefore, suspected of promoting autoimmune diseases. Since it also appears to be a cause of autoimmune diseases, we predominantly recommend avoiding gluten and cereals (gluten-free diet) when treating autoimmune diseases.
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Celiac disease is a well-known autoimmune disease in the intestine that is based on gluten intolerance. Gluten is difficult to digest, binds to the intestinal cells and stimulates the immune system in such a way that the immune system attacks the intestinal cells.
The mechanism behind it is most likely the binding of gluten to an endogenous protein called transglutaminase. The immune system then recognizes this complex as ‘foreign to the body’.
Gluten is the direct trigger of celiac disease. More than 200,000 people in the United States are affected by this disease every year.
Behind many autoimmune diseases, gluten is not the only trigger, but a co-factor. With celiac disease, however, it is straightforward. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are still under discussion.
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Gluten is an allergen and the immune system can be allergic to it.
It is also a trigger for cross allergies. This means the emergence of allergies to proteins that are very similar to gluten.
Anyone who is allergic to the storage protein will not tolerate the cross-allergens either. The most common cross allergies appear to be milk proteins and coffee.
However, since gluten also causes chronic inflammation9 in the entire body and, thus, chronic immune activation, it is very likely that the protein indirectly increases an allergy to normal foods.
If you suffer from numerous food allergies, you should take a look into your intestines and check for leaky gut syndrome and gluten intolerance. Note the gluten intolerance symptoms.
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In the mass media, so-called experts, are happy to point out that people with celiac disease make up only one percent of the population, i.e. 200,000 people in America. This is allegedly not a reason why the other 370 million should eat gluten-free.
This is roughly the same reasoning as for alcohol: Many Chinese and Japanese only tolerate homeopathic amounts of alcohol.
They immediately get intoxicated or even alcohol poisoning. The same amount of alcohol will not have much effect on most Americans and Europeans.
But just because this small amount of alcohol does not cause direct and obvious poisoning in us is not a reason why alcohol does not cause any damage to our bodies in the long run either.
That is exactly the case. Alcohol is always harmful, no matter how much.
It is exactly the same here: You do not have to be suffering from celiac disease to have a harmful effect on your body.
We can observe negative effects even in non-celiac patients. In fact, 60% of all people carry antibodies, i.e. immune proteins, against gluten in the blood.
This means that the immune system reacts to the storage protein, even if it has 60% no celiac disease. Nevertheless, gluten triggers immune reactions and inflammation in the majority of consumers.
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Opiates are substances that, like opium, bind to the body’s pain receptors and block them. In this way, it suppresses pain and raises the mood.
At the same time, these substances make you dependent; just like opium. Why am I telling you this?
I have already mentioned that gluten is not digested or only partially digested. It can produce snippets of gluten that have an opiate-like effect. By the way, a similar process occurs in milk, which is not as strong for the grain’s storage protein, but it is also present.
Therefore, many people have the feeling that they cannot do without their daily slice of bread or bowl of cereal. The reason behind this could be a slight dependence on grain products.
We summarize: The storage protein triggers a direct allergy to cereal products as well as to other, harmless foods. It favors leaky gut syndrome, damages the intestinal cells, favors autoimmune reactions (see autoimmune diseases causes). It, furthermore, is the direct cause of celiac disease and triggers an opium-like effect in some people.
Not an easy stand for the protein right now, is it? Now, do you understand why so many people are currently picking on gluten? The question now is – why?
People have been eating grain products and gluten for 10,000 years. Never in human history has this been so directly associated with health problems as it is today. Why right now?
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Why is gluten so harmful?
Don’t get me wrong. Cereal products and, thus, also gluten has made civilization possible for mankind. Through them, we got away from our alter ego stone age man, created cities, technology, civilization, culture, prosperity. This would not have been possible without grain.
Suddenly, the grain is the target of such accusations. Is that fair?
The most important way of consuming grain is and remains bread. At least in our latitudes. Bread and baked goods, also pasta in southern countries.
Many important baking properties of the grain, such as rising, the “fluffy texture” in the finished bread, the crispy part – all of this comes from gluten.
Therefore, cereals with more and more gluten have been grown over the past millennia to improve the baking properties.
In the past 100 years, this breeding has made huge progress. In the past 100 years alone, the protein content in cereals has increased more than in the previous 10,000 years.
The gluten content in modern wheat has nothing in common with the natural gluten content in wild emmer and einkorn (farro).
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Bakery industry and sourdough
The best way to prepare grain has been sourdough throughout human history. Sourdough always had several hours to days to rise.
Microorganisms such as yeast and lactic acid bacteria pre-digested the dough and the grain, making it more digestible. Gluten also gets largely broken down during this process.
Since industrialization, the bakery trade has also undergone upgrades and modernization: Everything has to run quickly and sell at the highest amounts possible.
It takes lots of time and love to make good sourdough bread. In the bakery industry, there is no longer any room for this today.
It is rare to find bakers who work with real sourdough and let it rest for a long time to make it digestible. Therefore, microorganisms cannot make the break down of gluten, thus, even this dough only develops its harmful effects in your body.
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Is gluten-free just a trend?
As long as you work with cereals that contain a maximum of storage protein, and as long as the bakery trade remains industrialized and sourdough has no more space to unfold its benefits, the effects of the protein in the body will continue to exist.
A countermovement regarding a gluten-free diet will always exist, because as long as the causes persist (industrialization, gluten content) the symptoms (celiac disease, leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome) will persist.
As long as the way to prepare grain is not completely overhauled, there will also be a gluten-free “trend”.
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We have now in detail discussed how harmful gluten is, its negative effects and causes. Are you now unsettled: Can your body tolerate gluten at all?
Do you subconsciously harm your body from the daily consumption of industrially manufactured grain products? Please, share your sentiments regarding this topic with us in a comment below. We are always looking forward to reading from you.
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