Did you know wheat is linked to
weight gain and many other health ailments?
If you have been wondering what the harmful substances that we nowadays find in wheat are, and how they may affect our body, then here is some interesting information for you to read.
Although we generally assume that we have been eating the same wheat strains for many centuries this is not so. Modern wheat varieties have been cultured and “improved” over the last 10.000 years (when humans changed from a nomadic palaeolithic diet to an agricultural diet) for improved protein contents. At present we have identified over 23.000 different proteins in wheat. The best known protein is gluten (meaning: glue). Some people have an intolerance to this protein which is partly mediated by genetic factors. This is known as coeliac disease. However gluten, used in industry as a glue, is actually very hard to digest for all humans.
Recent research in Italy has shown that all test subjects including non coeliacs showed inflammation and increased immune response in the bowel lining when exposed to gliadin, another well researched wheat protein. Gliadin in fact opens up the protective bowel lining and enables larger amino acid chains to enter the blood stream thereby creating auto immune reactions in the body. This is further aggravated by the use of NSAID and aspirin. The use of which is quite common practice for children with fevers. Even more interesting is that gliadine breaks down into a peptide that is remarkably similar to an immune stimulant adjuvant in the whooping-cough vaccine which could also help to explain the increase in wheat intolerance that we see today.
Another of these larger chain peptides is the 7 amino acid long gliadorphin which will pass the blood brain barrier and attach itself to the opoid receptors there. This explains why eating bread makes us feel so good and addictive and why our children mostly want pizzas and pasta. Like any drug it can cause mental disturbances and mood swings that in extreme cases can lead to psychiatric pictures such as manic-depressive states and schizophrenia.
There have been a number of gluten exorphins identified: gluten exorphin A4, A5, B4, B5 and C, and many of them have been hypothesized to play a role in autism, schizophrenia, ADHD and related neurological conditions.
To quote from Sayer Ji’s thought-provoking article, ´The dark side of wheat’:
John B. Symes, D.V.M. is responsible for drawing attention to the potential excitotoxicity of wheat, dairy, and soy, due to their exceptionally high levels of the non-essential amino acids glutamic and aspartic acid. Excitotoxicity is a pathological process where glutamic and aspartic acid cause an over-activation of the nerve cell receptors leading to nerve and brain injury. Of all cereal grasses commonly consumed wheat contains the highest levels of glutamic acid and aspartic acid. Glutamic acid is largely responsible for wheat’s exceptional taste. The Japanese coined the word
umami to describe the extraordinary “yummy” effect that glutamic acid exerts on the tongue and palate, and invented monosodium glutamate (MSG) to amplify this sensation. Though the Japanese first synthesised MSG from kelp, wheat can also be used due to its high glutamic acid content. It is likely that wheat’s popularity, alongside its opiate-like activity, has everything to do with the natural flavour-enhancers already contained within it. These amino acids may contribute to neurodegenerative conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer disease, Huntington’s disease, and other nervous disorders such as epilepsy, attention deficit disorder and migraines.”
Another protein called Wheat Germ Agglutinin (WGA) actually blocks the leptin receptor in the hypothalamus which regulates the hunger feeling and as
such stays switched on. Obesity is the result. WGA also has been shown to have an insulin like effect contributing to weight gain and insulin resistance, the common cause of diabetes 2. WGA causes inflammation of the arteries. This may explain why in the famous China Study heart disease was related not to cholesterol levels and not to meat or dairy intake as might have been expected but to wheat consumption.
GIVE THEM BREAD AND GAMES
In Roman times, it was common practice to win the popular vote by providing free wheat and circuses and entertainment to the populace to win their votes and keep them appeased. Now we also know how that works on a physiological level. In a 1997 study in the American Journal of Medicine it was shown that wheat diminished the blood circulation in the frontal cortex.
The frontal lobe houses the following functions:
Recognizing future consequences resulting from current actions
Choosing between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ actions
Overriding and suppressing socially unacceptable responses
Retaining longer term memories which are not task-based.
Determine similarities and differences between things or events.
I suppose that suited the ruling elites pretty well in those days and explains why the Roman Empire was called the Wheat Empire and paid their soldiers in shaves of wheat and forced the conquered populations to adopt a wheat-based agriculture.
Although other grains like rye barley and oats also contain gluten and lectins, removing wheat from your diet should be your initial step in a proactive approach to better health. If after a few months your complaints have not fully subsided it might be advisable to try eliminate all grains.