Lectins and their benefits

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Jennifer
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Re: Lectins and their benefits

Postby Jennifer » Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:21 pm

I just started reading Dr. Gundry's book. I don't know if this is the correct place to put this criticism/correction or not and I suppose in the grand scheme of issues with lectins in humans it's a small one, but it really makes me not want to read the rest of his book. In the first chapter, Dr. Gundry talks about feeding corn and soy to cattle. He makes the claim that the lectin in these foodstuffs give cattle heartburn and so they feed limestone to the cattle to prevent the heartburn. I have a masters degree in ruminant nutrition (I know, random) and this is completely incorrect. I will give Dr. Gundry a bit of a pass in that I believe he was trying to simplify the issues of feeding corn and soy to cattle, but it's just wrong.

Cattle do not have stomachs that are anything like we have. You've probably heard that they have four stomachs - yes they do, or you could think of it as one stomach with four chambers. Regardless, the first stomach, the Rumen is an incredibly large fermentation vat. (why they are called ruminants). In fully grown cattle, it can hold 40/50 gallons....pause for a minute and think about the size of a 40 gallon trash bag that you use to clean your yard - it's impressive. In that Rumen is a vast array of fermenting bacteria, fungi, and protozoans, water, and foodstuffs. Those microflora have one job and that is to digest the plants for the cow. The cow eats grass/hay/etc. the fiber goes into the rumen, the fiber is fermented. That fermentation produces volatile fatty acids, gases, more bacteria as they reproduce, etc. The VFAs are absorbed by the cow for energy. Cows will regurgitate the fiber to chew some more = increased surface area = more fermentation = "chewing the cud."

After the rumen, the water/small particles of foodstuffs/microflora then pass through the reticulum (tripe), omasum, and abomasum (considered the true stomach = stomach acid), and then into the intestines. This chewing and fermentation is why cow pies don't have fibers in them like horse manure and elephant manure (if you've ever stopped to look). Farm girl here...

Anyway, it is extremely important for the cow to maintain a fairly neutral pH in the rumen because that supports optimal production of VFAs for energy and optimal production of bacteria which the cow digests and serves as an important source of protein. When a cow eats grass/hay etc, they eat a mixture of structural carbohydrates (cellulose), non-structural carbohydrates (starch), and indigestible fiber (lignin, etc). A proper ratio of structural to non-structural carbohydrates, along with the buffering of saliva keep the pH where it needs to be (a little starch: a lot of cellulose). When a cow is fed too much non-structural carbohydrate, it favors a different group of bacteria which produce different VFAs and the pH in the rumen goes down. This change in microflora can start a downward spiral of pH which eventually can kill off/reduce the microbes that digest the non-structural carbohydrates. This can then cause acidosis which leads to a whole host of problems that would take all kinds of space to write about - I'll leave it with -it's bad. THIS is why you might feed a buffering agent such as limestone to a cow eating non-structural carbohydrates (soy/corn). NOT because of lectins.

Should cattle eat corn and soy? Probably not. Does feeding them things they aren't really supposed to eat mess up their digestive system? Generally yes. Does feeding them non-structural carbohydrates like corn and soy provide a cheap source of calories (think government subsidies) that fattens them up quickly for slaughter and thereby turns a greater profit? Yes. Is that the right thing to do? Well, that's a whole different subject.

POINT BEING. I read that short paragraph about cattle getting heartburn because of lectins and obviously had a cow. (see above) I will try not to throw out the baby with the bathwater and will keep reading.

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Stavia
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Re: Lectins and their benefits

Postby Stavia » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:34 pm

Jennifer how interesting. I love learning new things. I personally don't follow the lectin theory but I found some useful snippets in the book that I could use. But there are members who find their inflammatory markers (tnf alpha) and symptoms (acheing joints, skin irritation) flare on lectins.


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Re: Lectins and their benefits

Postby ru442 » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:45 pm

Jennifer I found this fascinating... thank you for sharing!
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Re: Lectins and their benefits

Postby ncjlhp » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:12 pm

This is fabulous information. Thank you. I read the book and have found several things that I take issue with, factually ,regarding ancients and their diets, habits, height. That may not negate his theory but I do question and try to think through the issues as I try to figure out my personal protocol as it pertains to what he recommends. I think the book is valuable food for thought- lol. It is important to think through all these protocols and make sure we are not buying into hope without knowledge. That being said Dr.
Gundry's book presents valuable information for that process. I will continue to do just that as I try to figure out how I proceed with my life as an E4/E2.

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Re: Lectins and their benefits

Postby Russ » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:52 pm

Jennifer wrote:I have a masters degree in ruminant nutrition (I know, random) and this is completely incorrect. I will give Dr. Gundry a bit of a pass in that I believe he was trying to simplify the issues of feeding corn and soy to cattle, but it's just wrong.



Oh Jennifer, as many others here know, I think you and I are going to be good friends :-). If any other scientific flags go up (e.g. when you get to claims about meat, search for my comments on Neu5Gc), I will look forward to any thoughts you might have.

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Eat whole, real, flavorful food - fresh and in season... and mix it up once in a while.

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Re: Lectins and their benefits

Postby MarcR » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:25 pm

Great post, Jennifer - thank you for sharing your expertise.

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Julie G
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Re: Lectins and their benefits

Postby Julie G » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:02 pm

MedScape dives into the lectin controversy with this provocative article. So many of these health articles tend to make sweeping black & white statements for sensationalism. My current thought is that some people may be particularly sensitive to the effect of some lectins, but that wouldn't be nearly dramatic enough to capture the reader's attention. IMHO, we still have lots to learn here and the "answers" will likely be in the nuances.

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Re: Lectins and their benefits

Postby Verax » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:39 pm

TheresaB wrote:
.... the lectin content in grain products have increased as a result of genetically modifying them for pest resistance. But most countries, including those in Europe, do not allow GMO products to be grown, (although many allow import). Also, the studies that were collected spanned a very long period of time and grain products have changed considerably in recent years with the industrialization of farming practices and the resultant greater use of genetic modification, roundup (glyphosate), fertilizers, etc.


But there is as yet no commercial wheat produced by genetic modification, only by the sort of farmer breeding that has gone on since before humans transitioned from hunter-gatherers to agriculturists. Since the seeds must overwinter in the soil, glyphosates and Roundup-resistant GMO strains are not used with wheat as in maize and soybeans.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_wheat The main reason has been the complexity of the genome, which only last week was fully decoded. See Science Magazine, "Wheat’s complex genome finally deciphered, offering hope for better harvests and nonallergenic varieties." http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/08/wheat-s-complex-genome-finally-deciphered-offering-hope-better-harvests-and
The genome could even aid human health, says consortium co-leader Rudi Appels, a molecular geneticist at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia. In Science Advances this week, he, fellow Murdoch University researcher Angéla Juhász, and Odd-Arne Olsen from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences near Oslo report identifying 365 genes coding for wheat proteins that stimulate an immune or allergic response. The data could help breeders aim for less problematic wheat—what Appels calls "my personal dream."


A number of individuals complain of sensitivity to wheat but do not test positive for antibodies to gluten (diagnostic of celiac disease) yet respond to a gluten-free diet. It is possible that GMO wheat could help identify problematic wheat proteins and aid in development of strains to reduce the problem. So instead of eliminating without evidence nutritious food groups, and rejecting scientific and technical help, maybe we can link susceptible individuals and their phenomes and microbiomes with genomes of food to achieve a more personalized precision nutrigenomics and the biomarkers to follow and treat.

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Re: Lectins and their benefits

Postby TheresaB » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:04 pm

Verax wrote:A number of individuals complain of sensitivity to wheat but do not test positive for antibodies to gluten (diagnostic of celiac disease) yet respond to a gluten-free diet.


And interestingly, I never complained about sensitivity to wheat, I felt great. I've tested negative for the celiac disease gene, but I've tested positive for antibodies to gluten and eliminating lectins (which include gluten) reduced my inflammation markers.
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Re: Lectins and their benefits

Postby Verax » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:28 pm

TheresaB writes:
And interestingly, I never complained about sensitivity to wheat, I felt great. I've tested negative for the celiac disease gene, but I've tested positive for antibodies to gluten and eliminating lectins (which include gluten) reduced my inflammation markers.


To each her own. Like you, I haven't complained of sensitivity whether on or off a low-carbohydrate diet mostly gluten free or not. Although I have Hashimoto's autoimmune thyroiditis, my inflammation markers such as hsCRP are not elevated. However, 23andMe warned of a slight risk of celiac disease, and I persuaded my gastroenterologist to test for gluten antibodies, so now I have been on a gluten challenge diet with some gluten for some weeks before the test. It seems that for most celiacs there are gut symptoms, but my Bristol Stool index has been 3-4 without other signs of sensitivity, and I am told there is a non-classic celiac variety for some. I wouldn't be concerned about it much but on a recent colonoscopy the doc found inflammation, and any inflammation not addressed worries me as E3/E4, so I want to deal with it. I am not concerned about leaky gut or lectins, but I don't want to go on a completely gluten-free diet the rest of my life unless I have to, as I am told even a small amount of gluten can upset things, and gluten contaminates a lot of "gluten-free" food. There might be other wheat proteins or lectins I am sensitive to, but I have no way of knowing except the celiac antibodies now. Dr Gundry should specify and quantify his biomarkers.


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