circular wrote:Thanks for the context Theresa. I still struggle with whether to be super strict about lectin foods. I'm definitely very low lectin (of the grain, legume and dairy type) and really have been for many years lower than the SAD, but I have very high adiponectin. Do you know if he has any recent clarifications out about the association he's seen as a clinician between high adiponectin and lectin sensitivity? This unresolved issue is a big thorn in my protocol. I can't take him at face value. I need more. Not saying he's right or wrong, I'm just a person who needs more detailed explanations.
Dr Gundry continues to beat the drum about lectins but I am not aware if there are any recent studies that collaborate what he says. I do know he seems to have convinced Dr Bredesen and Dr Mercola. I also know Dr Mercola and Dr Gundry were writing their most recent books – Fat for Fuel
and Plant Paradox
– at about the same time. Dr Mercola called Dr Gundry’s book one of the best health books of the year and said he wished he had known of the lectin connection when he was writing Fat for Fuel
because he would have included it in his book. Dr Mercola has said his next book, a cookbook to accompany his Fat for Fuel
book will incorporate the lectin connection.
FYI, your adiponectin is not a measure of lectins. Adiponectin is merely a traffic sign, not a measuring stick. In other words high adiponectin indicates a person is sensitive or not, but doesn’t not say how much inflammation is going on in the body, that’s TNF-alpha.
Having high adiponectin is usually considered a good thing, it’s a “skinny hormone.” It’s plays an important role in the modulation of glucose and lipid metabolism in insulin-sensitive tissues. Low adiponectin is associated with obesity, insulin resistance, CAD, and dyslipidemia.
Obese people tend to have low adiponectin, but this doesn’t mean they’re not lectin sensitive, it just means the obesity is suppressing adiponectin, they can have low adiponectin and be highly lectin sensitive.
Maybe you already know this, but it was the women’s health study showed that skinny women with high adiponectin levels had a very high incidence of dementia, and this study took ApoE into account. Since this made no sense, Dr Gundry was intrigued and observed is that a lot of his patients with auto-immune disease who had elevated inflammatory markers had elevated adiponectin. He observed that people with rheumatoid arthritis had a very high adiponectin level and most people with rheumatoid arthritis are quite thin. When he took lectins away from these patients, their TNFalphas fell to normal, their joint pain went away, their brain fog went away, whatever.
When I first saw Dr Gundry, I wasn’t noticing any autoimmune issues, brain fog, bloating, excessive congestion, nor had I had my tonsils out, although I did have tonsiloliths when I was younger (little white “stones” that form on the tonsils, they are a collection of dead white blood cells), those are all lectin sensitivity clues. (Sometimes there’s no obvious correlation to lectins, in my 30s I was diagnosed with large fibroids, which Dr Gundry said can develop in response to lectins, one of the fibroids is now shrinking, not sure if that’s menopause or low lectins, or a combination of the two.)
On my first blood test with Dr Gundry three years ago, my adiponectin wasn’t particularly high, but my TNFalpha was high. After following Dr Gundry’s dietary recommendations to avoid lectins in addition to his other recommendations to increase my insulin sensitivity and improve my lipids, my adiponectin has gone up (a good thing), and my TNFalpha, which reflects how much inflammation is being caused by the lectins, has gone down and maintained consistently good, low levels. Also, interestingly, a lab test introduced a year ago also showed that while I don’t have the gene for celiac disease, I react strongly to gluten. Essentially, I have the disease but not the gene, a situation which Dr Gundry says makes sense to him but confounds the celiac researchers. So I continue to stay away from lectins. I should also note on this diet my husband’s congestion went down and his rheumatoid arthritis which was just starting, went away.
I appreciate your skepticism with regard to Dr Gundry. He’s one voice going against conventional wisdom, making recommendations not based on any trials/studies, but rather on his own personal “laboratory” i.e. the thousands of patients he’s treated after transitioning to functional, or as he calls it, restorative medicine 17 years ago. All I can say is it works for me and it has worked for many of his patients. We all must follow our intuition as well as the studies.