Beyond Gluten-Free: The Critical Role of Chitin-Binding Lectins in Human Disease

Posted: June 7, 2011 in Health News
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“While eliminating wheat from the diet is an excellent and necessary step for improving health, it may not be alone sufficient, especially in those with serious health challenges. There are other lectins in the Western diet that have properties similar to wheat lectin (WGA), namely, “chitin-binding lectins.”  Remember, “chitins” are long polymers of n-acetyl-glucosamine, the primary binding target of wheat lectin. Wheat lectin and “chitin-binding lectin” therefore are functionally identical. These chitin-binding lectin containing foods are:

1) Potato (view abstract)

2) Tomato (view abstract)

3) Barley (view abstract)

4) Rye (view abstract)

4) Rice (view abstract)

Yes, you are seeing correctly: “gluten free” potato and rice, which are two of the most commonly used ingredients in “gluten and wheat free” products, are on this list. These foods contain a lectin structurally and functionally similar to wheat lectin.  While the “nightshade” connection with inflammation has a well-established history, even if the scientific explanation for the connection has been somewhat lacking (perhaps until now), the fact that RICE is on this list amounts to a dietary bombshell. This may also explain why the grain-free diet often produces such superior over simply the wheat or gluten-grain restricted diet and why in some cases elimating rice may be necessary for full recovery from diet-induced or diet-related ailments.”

 

 

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