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How come if gluten and lectins affect everyone, why everyone doesn't have an autoimmune disease?

by 43 · March 17, 2014 at 03:09 PM

I get that everything affects everyone differently, but how come my family that lives int he caribbean who eats rice and gluten have nice skin and seem really healthy, and some people in America eat lectins and gluten and seem super healthy but aren't their intestines being damaged by lectins...maybe not their villi like with celiacs, which is a further adaption. Have these people adapted to eat wheat and lectins whereas I haven't...or is celiacs the adaptation. I wish it were as simple as they have better gut flora, but there must be something they have that I don't.

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16813 · March 13, 2014 at 10:51 AM

It's like a lottery.

It's unlikely that this will ever happen and when it does, it's usually after many years of consuming wheat. This is why you could get away with half a life time of eating toast and eggs for breakfast, pasta for lunch and dinner and all of a sudden get very sick without warning and be in disbelief about the true cause.

When the autoimmune system sees a foreign amino acid, it picks a sequence to use for its antibodies. If that sequence is very short, such as in wheat, it's possible it will match the body's own sequences.

What's more common is that when gliadin signals zonulin and opens up the enterocytes, and the victim eats other foods, such as eggs, they can develop allergies to eggs (or other foods) because whole undigested egg proteins do not belong in the blood stream. This is another reason why people don't recognize the true culprit and avoid it. They just think they're allergic to eggs or dairy, or other foods.

Some of this gut permeability also depends on your gut flora and how well it functions. Eating the kinds of high carb foods provided by a Standard American Diet tends to shift it towards allowing more damage.

Luckily, after some time, the immunoglobulins for a particular allergy (or autoimmune disease) can go away when the offending protein doesn't show up for a long enough time. And not all immunoglobulins have an immediate response. More often than not, the response is delayed by many hours, so it's very hard to correlate what you had for breakfast with the reaction you got at night.

In a way, you could think of gliadin signalling zonulin as wheat's way of cheating the lottery. If the gut isn't permeable, it can't let gluten in and not much of consequence happens. but because it does, the other way to look at it is that it's the direct root cause for very many autoimmune diseases.

In addition to gliadin, there's also a cholera bacteria called Vibrio cholerae that can signal zonulin. see:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zonulin

Zonulin can also open up the blood brain barrier allowing gliadin, gluten, or other large particles in the brain possibly causing things like brain fog, headaches, migranes, etc.

I remember reading somewhere that humans are the only species that uses zonulin to open up the enterocytes, and that this is used in fetuses to allow substances in through the umbilical cord, or perhaps through the mother's milk, but that it shouldn't be opened up after the child grows, but I can't find a reference for this at this time. (Of course, both plants, and bacteria can always signal this pathway and cause havoc.)

It has also been found that victims of septis have large amounts of detectable zonulin:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23457771

Here's some refs for the rest of the above.

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15 · March 13, 2014 at 06:09 PM

Creative, very few people are Celiac but many are gluten sensitive. The exact proportion is open to debate but some guess about 1/3 of the population is gluten sensitive. That doesn't mean they have overt symptoms; if you have overt symptoms, then you're either Celiac or gluten hypersensitive. Plus you could be on your way to Celiacdom if you're gluten sensitive.

I don't buy everything the Paleo food police say. But the case against gluten is pretty strong, especially if you have autoimmune issues. So is the case against dairy but only if you're gluten-sensitive or have underlying autoimmune diseases.

So the short of it all: do pay attention to gluten, as it is deceptive and the actual process of becoming sensitive is stealthy and latent. But do not be led astray by non-existent food allergies, which is wildly in vogue in Paleoland, thanks to books like the AIP and Minding My Mitochondria. The latter book, unfortunately, is pseudoscientific gobbledygook parading as a cure for autoimmunity, which is really unfortunate. Food sensitivities are legit. They exist. However, they develop due to immune deficiency that you develop along the way when you become more and more rigid and adopt orthorexia. Gluten and dairy sensitivities are real. So are nightshade and egg white sensitivities. Beyond that, however, you need to thoroughly vet these so called food sensitivities because they might coincide with autoimmune flares or stress-induced phenomena. If you apply some rigor to the analysis, about 50% of the supposed allergies are psychosomatic and nonsensical. However, the other 50% is legit.

There are some people on this board who're applying food avoidance protocols to non-autoimmune situations. Some even think they can avoid gout if they follow "strict Paleo," believing that sugar is the immediate trigger of gout. That would be food avoidance ad retardum, truly horseass backwards for a protocol that does have some usefulness when applied correctly.

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0 · March 13, 2014 at 02:52 PM

Your families' skin health may also be contributed to your geographical location and abundance of vitamin D exposure. Comparing that to other northern Americans may suggest the difference in being "really healthy" that you speak of.

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40588 · March 13, 2014 at 12:22 AM

Not everybody has dysfunctional guts that cannot handle gluten, lectins, casein, etc… in fact, very few people do have problems with them! Many paleo theories are based upon sick people being normal. Sick people are abnormal!

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