Gluten-Intolerant: Myth, Meme or Epidemic?

Many people have a hard time believing that food and what we eat could possibly make some of us very sick. I’ve been covering gluten as one of the potentially offending foods lately as I’ve come to understand more and more about it. I’ve had to deal with multiple food sensitivities and so I’ve been doing quite extensive study and research so as to understand and also to heal myself. I’m discovering that this is not at all an isolated incident and scores of people are affected. Many have no idea that food sensitivities may have great significance to their well-being.

Our food supply and the foods we eat don’t look anything like they did even 50 years ago. We have altered many many things about the way we nourish our bodies (how we grow our food and how we prepare it too). So much so that sometimes rather than nourish, we are inadvertently poisoning ourselves.

This post is dealing with gluten. If you’re interested in considering the whole food supply this post is good: Eating real whole food is important to our mental and physical wellbeing (featuring a video about the horrors of the food industry)

And below is some explanation as to why gluten in particular has in the last 50 years become such a problem for so many people:

Gluten-Intolerant: Myth, Meme or Epidemic?

If gluten is such a major player in our diet, how is it that anyone would be “intolerant” of such a useful protein? The answer combines history with biology. Consider that the practice of agriculture is a scant 10,000 years old. We humans, by comparison, have been evolving as large-brained primates for over four million years. Our ancient digestive system has simply not had time to adapt to this alien protein. Some people are able to handle gluten with no apparent problems, but many others develop wheat allergies, gluten intolerance, or celiac disease — all different, but all reactions to the gluten in our grains. Still others may have sub-clinical damage that goes unrecognized and undiagnosed. It would appear that wheat itself is a universal human toxin, and those who are symptomatic are simply the figurative canaries in the coal mine.

Yet every society has its signature bread or pasta. Wheat has such a long cultural tradition, with biblical roots and innumerable branches, that any mention of harm prompts cries of alarm and outrage.  Where did this explosion of gluten intolerance come from? Has something changed?

In fact, it has. As our food is increasingly processed, the demand for gluten has grown. Over the past 50 years the original ancestor of wheat has been so thoroughly hybridized that today’s version bears little resemblance to its parent. It has been dwarfed, made more robust, and had its gluten content deliberately increased in modern time to up to 50% higher levels than ancient forms of non-hybridized wheat. A predictable correlation: over the same 50 years, celiac disease has increased by 400%, and the rate of gluten intolerance parallels that rise. (continue reading)

For more posts on Beyond Meds that deal with gluten in our diets and why it’s good to rule out as a potential health hazard if you’re dealing with almost any on-going health issues see:

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