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Gluten and Celiac Disease

May 13, 2011 Diet/Insulin, Environment 3 Comments

More and more people are sensitive to gluten and wheat. We have not changed in the last 50 years but the wheat we eat has. An excellent article at the WSJ here.

Modern wheat varieties have short stems, the result of RHt dwarfing genes that reduce the plant’s sensitivity to gibberellic acid, a plant hormone that lengthens cells. RHt genes were introduced to modern wheat varieties in the 1960s by Norman Borlaug from Norin 10 cultivars of wheat grown in Japan. Short stems are important because the application of high levels of chemical fertilizers would otherwise cause the stems to grow too high, resulting in lodging (collapse of the stems). Stem heights are also even, which is important for modern harvesting techniques.

If you wish to take control of your health, giving up grains is a key element. Many of us who come from heritages that have a long association with wheat have been able to tolerate it until middle age. BUT it now looks like even this period of tolerance is being reduced – for 90% of the wheat today is the novel variety from the 1960’s .

Better than going Gluten free – give up grains.

Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. Jeremy says:

    Agreed that new strains of wheat are causing serious problems for many people. But this does not necessarily mean that all grains are automatically equally bad. Brown rice? Wild rice? What about legumes? My mom is allergic to wheat, but can happily eat rice and spelt.

    • robpatrob says:

      Jeremy – have a look at Staffan Lindeberg’s work – no one ate grains 15,000 years ago. If you ate a legume, you would have died. Canola was inedible 60 years ago. The premise of this work is to fit our evolution. Those of us who come from agricultural heritage have some adaptation but we lose this as we age and the damage also accumulates. Again check out Michael Rose’s last few Theses.

      The core idea here is to find the best alignment to what have have evolved to eat.

  2. Jeremy says:

    The theory is very compelling, and I’m sure there are benefits to living that way. I haven’t read all the literature, but it still looks like it is a theory in the early stages of development. Sugar and new strains of wheat are smoking guns that support the theory, because we’re connecting them to specific disorders, and that insight makes us look at all similar substances with justifiable suspicion. As guidance to further research to see which of these other foods might be harmful, I’m fully on board — but I wouldn’t automatically assume that every grain/legume was guilty by association. What about flax seed? What about the lowest-glycemic grains? You seem awfully sure that these are equally bad.

    I’m not trying to be contrarian, and indeed I’ve been following and sharing your recent interests…but the note of evangelistic fervour puzzles me a bit. But I guess if people are healthier being more restrictive with their diets than they need to be, so what?

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