Lectins are the carbohydrate-binding proteins that promote inflammatory responses. They are found in legumes and promote Crohn’s disease, systemic lupus, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. They also cause leaky gut and gastrointestinal dysbiosis. The two toxic lectins are prolamins and agglutinins.
For vegetarians, a plant-based diet is most likely replacing meat with legumes as an alternative. But the damage caused by the lectins within the legumes is often ignored. Not only do they offer nutrition levels incomparable with actual meat proteins, but their toxicity needs to be recognized as well.
Prolamins and agglutinins are hard to digest and cause irritation to the small intestine. When the microvilli are damaged it can lead to numerous disorders and autoimmune diseases. They also have the potential to contribute to obesity.
It is the members of the pea family that contain the toxic lectins. This includes foods such as peanuts, pigeon peas, soybeans, kidney beans, mung beans lima beans, lentils, fava beans, chick peas, carob, green and yellow peas.
Green beans such as snow and snap peas are better tolerated in a healthy gut.
Lectins can be found in more than just legumes. They are also found in grains (barley, rice, rye, wheat, corn etc.) Many gastroenterologists agree that the damaging effects caused by the lectins are also leading to the development of Celiac disease. Genetics and frequent consumption play a role.
It is essential to eliminate these lectins for gut health. The most widely known source of prolamin is in gluten. Food items such as quinoa, corn and oats can severely damage the digestive tract of those with Celiac due to the high levels of prolamins found in each.
Agglutinins are found on the coatings of grains and pseudograins and they are supposed to protect the grains from fungus growth. Genetically modified crops have higher amounts of agglutinins to insure higher yields.
Toxic lectins also cause inflammation and induce cytokine production. This leads to a leaky gut. Lectins have also been found to serve as a significant factor in the progression of Alzheimer’s. The also cause adhesion of numerous bacterial strains to the intestines, brain tissues, urinary tract, lungs and corneal cells. Adhesion of the bacteria to epithelial cells can be a critical first stage of disease progression.
Lectins are even beginning to be recognized as playing a role in cancer progression. It must be kept in mind that the higher the levels of GMO found in the diet, the higher the levels of lectin being consumed.
At Second Nature, we test patients with a comprehensive microbiome analysis to identify preliminary and on-going disease. We individualize treatments, but everyone takes GOOD GUT Probiotics, Immune, Repair and Detox. Many have reversed their clinical presentation in a matter of weeks. Of course, we highly recommend GOOD GUT products to prevent and reverse your chronic disease.
We look forward to delivering the best products and the best customer satisfaction on the planet. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This blog and recommended products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Schedule an appointment with your Naturopathic doctor for a full evaluation.