Grains have been mentioned over and over in previous articles when we chat the Low Carb High Fat Diet. On today’s episode we find out why grains are so bad for you. Zonulin is an important word to remember when it comes to the above question. Discovered in 2000 by Alessio Fasano and his team at the University of Maryland School of Medicine; it is a protein that modulates the permeability of tight junctions between cells of the wall of the digestive tract. The human body carries about 100 trillion microorganisms in its intestines and gut, many of these we are not adapted to. This includes proteins, which if they enter our bloodstream, can lead to the development of autoimmune diseases. The link that has been discovered with regards to Zonulin is that it opens up and breaks down the gut barrier. This can result in proteins flooding into the bloodstream.
Grains and Zonulin – What is the link?
The body immediately sees these proteins as foreign, and it activates an immune response. What happens then is some of the proteins leaked into the bloodstream react to our own tissue, so antibodies start to form that not only react to this protein but our own cells. The link to grains is Gliadin (glycoprotein present in wheat) which activates Zonulin signaling irrespective of the genetic expression of autoimmunity.
The research is starting to question if all autoimmune diseases and that includes; Rheumatoid arthritis, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Coeliac disease and also Multiple sclerosis which is a neurological disease, is linked to this. They are beginning to believe that all of these conditions are because of excessive Zonulin excretion, and its subsequent filtering of proteins into the bloodstream.
The research around Zonulin suggests that while humans are not designed to digest grains and the cereals made from them, genetically modified crops and cereals are no worse than traditionally produced ones. However research on GMO crops and the health issues surrounding them varies from case study to case study. Time will tell which side is right.
Are genetically modified grains even worse?
When it comes to cereals and grains, results speak for themselves. As a major cut out element in the LCHF diet, the benefits of dropping them from your diet are evident. Along with the reduction in sugar intake, the results in medical condition improvements is immense and cannot be refuted.