Wheat hides in many of our foods.
Gellinger / Pixabay – Wheat hides in many of our foods.

In my humble opinion, I believe that wheat is the number one cause of most of our medical problems – even more than sugar.  There is substantial data supporting gluten and the increased formation of zonulin in the intestinal tract. In 2000, zonulin was discovered at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine. Zonulin is a protein. It modulates the permeability of the tight junctions between cells of the wall of the digestive tract. The interior wall of the small intestine prevents non-nutrient materials from leaking into the bloodstream. Zonulin waits for various nutrients to pass by and creates a small opening for that nutrient (vitamin, mineral, etc.) to enter the blood stream. This is how your blood system gets the nutrients to take to other places in your body. This is how we extract the nutritional benefits from the foods we eat.

Eating wheat (gluten) has been shown to cause zonulin levels to increase above normal. When zonulin levels are too high, larger than normal holes are created in the intestinal tract –– allowing gluten, undigested food particles, toxins and other waste products to enter your bloodstream. This has been termed ‘leaky gut’. Leaky gut is associated with autoimmune diseases. Some are them are:

● Ankylosing spondylitis
● Asthma
● Psoriasis
● Celiac disease
● Inflammatory bowel disease
● Multiple sclerosis
● Rheumatoid arthritis
● Systemic lupus erythematosus
● Type 1 diabetes
● Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
● Schizophrenia
● Brain cancer
● Breast cancer
● Glioma
● Lung adenocarcinoma
● Ovarian cancer
● Pancreatic cancer

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, aspirin, etc.) inflame the leaky gut response making it ‘leakier’.

Gluten is the primary reason many foods taste so good.
Meditations / Pixabay – Gluten is the primary reason many foods taste so good.

Some people are highly allergic to gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye). An autoimmune response is generated immediately when they eat gluten. As a result, a small battle is fought inside the intestinal tract. This autoimmune response damages the villi (small, fingerlike projections) lining the interior wall of the intestine. This prevents or reduces the absorbability processes of the digestive system. This allergic reaction is called Celiac disease. Celiac disease is hereditary. If you have a parent with Celiac disease, there is a ten percent chance of developing this disease.

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