Maybe you aren't gluten intolerant after all (long post warning)

Tarzan

More than 500 posts
There seems to be an epidemic of gluten intolerance these days and wheat is the main source of gluten so it gets the blame for most of the issues, but have you ever considered that maybe it's not the wheat that's causing the problems?

Wheat has been a staple for many years all around the world and most populations have been able to tolerate it with no problems with a few rare exceptions mainly involving people with compromised immune systems or digestive issues. So what's changed in the last 30 years to turn wheat from a benign staple to a toxic menace for so much of our population?

Most scientific sources state that wheat crops are not genetically modified, wheat is hybridised and most wheat is polyploid, that is it has multiple sets of chromosomes compared to many other organisms that exist in the more common diploid state with one set of chromosomes coming from each parent. It's hard to point the finger at polyploidy being the culprit because polyploid wheat has existed for many years before gluten intolerance and ceoliac disease became common. 3 levels of ploidy were categorised as early as the 1920's and wheat for the most part caused no issues for many years after that, so polyploidy seems to be a non issue.

One factor that has changed in the last 30 years is the way wheat is being grown, and the main change has been the broad scale use of herbicides. The main herbicide being sprayed with wheat is Roundup with the main active ingredient being glyphosate but the herbicide being sprayed on wheat is not being sprayed the way most people would think a herbicide would be used.

This is where things get really interesting, the glyphosate/roundup is being sprayed on the crop about a week before harvest to kill the wheat plant and dry it out. When glyphosate is used like this it's called a desiccant or a ripening agent. This is done to ensure an even harvest as slightly unripe wheat will be forced to loosen its grip on the wheat grains and enable the threshing machines to extract all the wheat that would normally be lost. So to reiterate almost ripe wheat is drenched in glyphosate/roundup just before harvest. This has become industry standard practice in many agricultural crops.

But glyphosate has been proven to be non toxic in mammals because we lack the pathway that plants and other lower forms of life have that facilitates glyphosate's effectiveness, most of it simply just washes out of our system as it's water soluble and any residue is not toxic because we lack that the required pathways to metaoilise it ie.the shikimic acid pathway

When we examine glyphosate a bit further. glyphosate is a synthetic amino acid based on the common amino acid glycine with a side chain of methyl phosphonate attached. So basically glyphosate is an analogue of glycine and our bodies can't tell the difference and will even use glyphosate in preference to glycine in some cases when protiens are constructed & cells are created because of the strong negative charge of the glyphosate molecule.

So when toxicity tests on glyphosate are carried out it's simply not toxic in the traditional sense, it has no observable toxic effect to mammalian cells. that's where it starts to get really interesting.

When glyphosate is present it gets incorporated into newly manufactured protiens the protiens created are inferior to normal protiens, they tend to make poorly formed weak structures. Glycine is the most abundant amino acid in the human body and it's a large component of many different types of collagen that hold us together, glycine is also a neuro transmitter and it acts on the serotonin system to regulate many excitory functions including inflammation.

So our cells build new proteins in the nucleus using a multi-phase pathway, the DNA is used as a master map (so to speak) and the DNA sequence is mapped to RNA in a process we call transcription. After transcription to RNA the ribosmes in our cells use the RNA sequence through a process known as translation to assemble new proteins from amino acids and then the proteins get folded into a functional working proteins, partly at the ribosome and then they finish folding after the amino acid chain has been linked. Proteins are incredibly complex structures that don't just exist as static entities, they can be like mini machines that perform some absolutely amazing tasks, they really are wonder of nature.

This is where glyphosate can be used as a substitute for glycine and get incorporated into the proteins as they are being manufactured. When glyphosate is used, the newly folded proteins can be faulty or mis-folded as the glyphosate doesn't key into other sites in the protein the same way that glycine does, it's a different shaped molecule and because of its physical structure sometimes parts of the newly folded protein can't key into their respective sites in other parts of the protein. Normally a mis-folded protein would be rejected by the ribosome and disassembled back to amino acids and then recycled but apparently ribosomes don't recognise the proteins assembled with glyphosate and they pass the test so speak and then get incorporated into new cells.

So that was a layman's view of protein synthesis, I'm an engineer not a scientist so if there's any technical errors in that explanation feel free to chime in and correct me. I know some of you guys have science degrees so any input would be welcome here.
 
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Tarzan

More than 500 posts
I had to break this up into two parts so the forum software would allow it. it appears there's a limit on how many words can be posted.
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So that intro was fairly well established scientific knowledge (as far I understand it as a layman), the next part is based on little more than personal observation and could well be explained as wild conjecture. Some if this is factual but I draw a few links that are largely undocumented and could well be way off the mark.

OK so we know that mammals don't have the pathway to metabolise glyphosate but our gut bacteria do and as it turns out one registered use for glyphosate is as an anti-biotic. It seems to kill beneficial bacteria quite well but it's less effective on some of the so called bad bacteria species like clostridium for example. So if you're ingesting glyphosate in everything you eat then it has the potential to disturb the natural balance of your gut flora. One interesting fact with glyphosate is that it won't kill a plant growing in a sterile media, the root bacteria plays a major role in killing the plant.

Moving on with this wild speculative hypothesis, glycine is the predominant amino acid in our bodies and it's a major component of collagen. Collagen is largely what gives our bodies structural integrity, it's abundant in cartilage, skin and many other tissues, especially our gut lining. So if our gut lining is manufactured from proteins containing glyphosate masquerading as glycine those collagen structures could have the potential to lack the structural integrity of the same structures without glyphosate in the proteins. So our gut could undergo an attack on dual fronts - first the compromised gut bacteria compounded by a gut lining lacking the structural integrity that it would have in the absense of compromised collagen structures. A course of anti-biotics from the doctor could possibly even add to the impact.

We have industry standards on levels of glyphosate allowable in food products which are typically quite low, but some suggest that even at a few parts per billion that could equate to billions or even trillions of glyphosate molecules being incorporated into our cells and affecting our gut microbiome.

It's been quite well documented that what natural practitioners have labelled as leaky gut syndrome (and the medical establishment denied for decades) can indeed manifest in the form of "loose junctions" in the gut wall. These loose junctions in some people are exacerbated by ingesting wheat products and it's well documented as zonulin gliadin interaction. So it seems there's something going on here that wasn't much of a problem before the widespread use of glyphosate became standard practice.

So in my observations (a self study of 1 that is scientifically meaningless) what happens to me is that I go gluten free (grain free really) and my health improves out of sight. Then I start eating bread, pasta and hamburgers etc and other grain products and my health starts to deteriorate, sometimes to the point where a disk in my back gets herniated and pinches off a nerve and also all my old injuries flare up. So years of trial and error have seemed to prove that getting back off the grains (which are almost all sprayed with glyphosate a week before harvest these days) and upping my intake of dietary glycine, either from grass fed gelatin or as an isolated amino acid will reverse the problem in a few weeks and I recover as strong as ever until I start eating wheat products and then relapse again.

Another use for glyphosate is as an industrial de-mineraliser and it just so happens that I worked for years at power stations where they have thousands of miles of pipes that need to be de-mineralised and even though I wasn't using it myself I was in close proximity to the guys who were and I got doused with it almost daily. Sometimes I'd have to empty it out of my boots and wash it off my face when I was sprayed with it, There were well over 50 times when I was completely drenched with it at much higher concentrations than any farmer would ever use on a crop. So I don't know if all that exposure sensitised me to it or whether I'm just genetically more sensitive to it than some people. One point of interest is that most of the other guys who worked those jobs with me are dead. One of the engineers even drank some to prove how it safe it was when I asked him about how toxic it was, he died of cancer too. I grew up eating a lot of wheat and I could tolerate without issue until about the time when I started getting drenched with it.

It seems that glyphosate has a particular affinity for manganese and coincidentally there are quite a few natural arthritis supplements on the market that incorporate manganese into the formula, could be nothing who knows? But when livestock are poisoned with glyphosate a common way to treat them is to give them sauerkraut juice and manganese supplements to bind the glyphosate and help to excrete it.

So maybe there's another angle to gluten intolerance no one speaks of?

Feel free to shoot it down guys, as I said it's wildly speculative and largely based on a layman's understanding and personal observation.


 
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Neuro-Bob

More than 2500 posts
You’re onto something. It’s not specifically gluten per se, but something related to it. I know multiple people that are only gluten intolerant inside the US. In Europe, for example, it gives them no problem.

In general I think there is something wrong with the American food supply that contributes to many “allergies.” I couldn’t give more detail than that, but it feels to be a solid concept.
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
In general I think there is something wrong with the American food supply that contributes to many “allergies.” I couldn’t give more detail than that, but it feels to be a solid concept.
I agree 100%. Something is not right.

As far as the OP premise I used to harbor this exact theory as well, but after reading about the typical use of glyphosate as a dessicant for wheat crops I had my doubts. According to industry they just don't use a lot of it and its use is not as widespread as we are led to believe.

That all changed after recent testing demonstrated some pretty high levels of the chemical in a wide variety of oat and cereal products, in many cases higher than the allowable and somewhat arbitrary current legal level. These levels dropped to zero detectable for organic counterparts.

For myself I don't have any problems with gluten, I experienced no improvements etc when I started baking my own bread from 100% organic ingredients. I don't eat a ton of pasta and breads, but certainly a few servings of both per week.

But I am also (and have mentioned it many times on the forum and elsewhere) a firm believer that everything we eat has some form of chemical or natural biological insult associated with it, variety in the diet being the only way to reduce this exposure.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
@Tarzan, if you'll forgive a greatly simplified line of thinking, I concluded that since my grandparents didn't have this problem, it was the wheat that changed. From what I know, bakers like gluten, so wheat that's more glutenous probably make more consumer-friendly-seeming baked goods.

Me, I am impervious to all this. I could live happily on bread and cheese with an occasional fruit or vegetable thrown in. Yesterday's "snackage" for me and my 22-year-old son was

Sourdough bread
Grated sharp cheddar cheese
Grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
Garlic power
Fresh ground black pepper

Put cheese + cheese + a little garlic powder and a little black pepper on the bread, heat in the toaster oven on 400 F until the cheese starts to bubble, finish on broil. OMG, we could go through a loaf of bread of those. Yum ...

-S-
 

Neuro-Bob

More than 2500 posts
@Tarzan, if you'll forgive a greatly simplified line of thinking, I concluded that since my grandparents didn't have this problem, it was the wheat that changed. From what I know, bakers like gluten, so wheat that's more glutenous probably make more consumer-friendly-seeming baked goods.

Me, I am impervious to all this. I could live happily on bread and cheese with an occasional fruit or vegetable thrown in. Yesterday's "snackage" for me and my 22-year-old son was

Sourdough bread
Grated sharp cheddar cheese
Grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
Garlic power
Fresh ground black pepper

Put cheese + cheese + a little garlic powder and a little black pepper on the bread, heat in the toaster oven on 400 F until the cheese starts to bubble, finish on broil. OMG, we could go through a loaf of bread of those. Yum ...

-S-
Every once and again I go for what I call a “French peasant” meal of a loaf of bread and a block of cheese. A bit off topic, a bit simpler than you’re glorious snack, but semi related to the point.....I could live mostly off bread as well!
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
Yes, and there is the Lord's Prayer, which includes the line, "Give us our daily bread."

On our honeymoon, we travelled through the French countryside in a rented car - we often bought a baguette or other bread, a nice big piece of cheese, and a bottle of wine, and that was food during the day.

-S-
 

Tarzan

More than 500 posts
I really can't see gluten being a problem for me either, I grew up on wheat based cereals and copious amounts of bread and pasta etc. I didn't even know what gluten was until the mid 90's. I still love all that stuff, so that's why I always drift back to that type of diet and then I start getting problems.

I've seen a bit of data on it and there's a correlation in the rise of gluten related problems that pretty much follows the increase in glyphosate levels. As we all know though correlation doesn't equal causation so it's easy to argue that there could be other factors at play.

I just know that when I get off wheat and grains in general I recover quite quick and I've repeated that cycle many times. As I said it's a wildly speculative hypothesis (not even that really, just a hunch) and I posted it to be scrutinised to see what other more knowledgeable think about it.

For me it shows up as inflammation in my joints, first in the smaller joints in my wrists (which I've broken a few times) and if I ignore it for too long I always end extruding a disk in my back. I get a few bowel issues but not the classic celiac symptoms perse. It could be an avenue for investigation for anyone with creaky joints collagen issues like bursitis or joint problems that seem to persist without a known cause.
 

Al Ciampa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
@Tarzan, if you'll forgive a greatly simplified line of thinking, I concluded that since my grandparents didn't have this problem, it was the wheat that changed. From what I know, bakers like gluten, so wheat that's more glutenous probably make more consumer-friendly-seeming baked goods.

Me, I am impervious to all this. I could live happily on bread and cheese with an occasional fruit or vegetable thrown in. Yesterday's "snackage" for me and my 22-year-old son was

Sourdough bread
Grated sharp cheddar cheese
Grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
Garlic power
Fresh ground black pepper

Put cheese + cheese + a little garlic powder and a little black pepper on the bread, heat in the toaster oven on 400 F until the cheese starts to bubble, finish on broil. OMG, we could go through a loaf of bread of those. Yum ...

-S-
Steve, if I lived on bread and cheese, I would also live on enemas.

More power to you; I’ll live vicariously through you, sir.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
Steve, if I lived on bread and cheese, I would also live on enemas.

More power to you; I’ll live vicariously through you, sir.
So it is written and so it shall be. Any time you have the urge for bread and cheese, let me know and I will consume on your behalf.

:)

-S-
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
A look at the conventional thinking behind the increase:
What’s really behind ‘gluten sensitivity’?

"My main reason for doing that study was to find out a good method of finding gluten-sensitive individuals," he says. "And there were none. And that was quite amazing."
-------------------------------------------------------

And an extremely deep dive into some of the research implicating glyphosate. TIL that it also being used on a large scale on sugar cane as a ripening agent. Have already swapped out all my cereal products for organic, I will probably do the same for all my breads, pasta and sugar after reading this:

Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance

They concluded that the prevalence of undiagnosed celiac disease has increased dramatically in the United States during the past 50 years.
In this paper, we have systematically shown how all of these features of celiac disease can be explained by glyphosate's known properties...We argue that a key system-wide pathology in celiac disease is impaired sulfate supply to the tissues, and that this is also a key component of glyphosate's toxicity to humans.


 

Sean M

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
@Tarzan Thanks for taking the time to write that out start the discussion. @North Coast Miller, interesting and thoughtful contributions as always.

I'm also in the "not a scientist" camp, but there is definitely something "in the water" that is puzzling. Something definitely changed in the food supply in the last 50 years, especially the last 30.

I haven't heard of the "glyphosphate hypothesis" before - it is interesting. I wonder, has anyone studied two groups: one that eats organic wheat (no Roundup) compared to the treatment group? That would isolate glyphosphate as a key player, and not something about the wheat itself.
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
@ Sean M,
I have no idea why there aren't any studies about this, maybe ethical reasons or no one has been able to effectively isolate non-celiac gluten intolerance from other background noise.

In the first test I linked, of people with "known" gluten intolerance only 20% had any issues when eating gluten laced snack bars - the placebo triggered more distress.

It should also be known that the glyphosate hypothesis paper came under a lot of fire for broad reaching conclusions. Not that it was decisively debunked, but it failed to find direct evidence of glyphosate acting in the pathways it claimed at common ingested quantities.

Its pretty interesting that a lot gluten sensitive people in the US report being able to eat breads and pasta in Europe without the same issues.

Something's fishy but really we're stumbling in the dark.
 

Tarzan

More than 500 posts
I'm also in the "not a scientist" camp, but there is definitely something "in the water" that is puzzling. Something definitely changed in the food supply in the last 50 years, especially the last 30.
It's funny that you mention about there being something in the water. I live reasonably close to the dam where they store our drinking water and it's standard practice to spray all the drainage culverts & the edges of the creeks feeding the dam with glyphosate/roundup. They even spray weeds with it right up to the edge of the dam. The percentages getting into the water would trivial in the grand scheme of things but it's another source of dietary glyphosate.

I have no idea why there aren't any studies about this, maybe ethical reasons or no one has been able to effectively isolate non-celiac gluten intolerance from other background noise.
I've seen a few articles that show the regulatory bodies are largely stacked with industry insiders and they are unwilling to fund studies into it because they feel they are justified to say it's been proven to be safe.
 

ali

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Possible suspects to add to the Cluedo envelope of possible villains....insecticide/food additives, gluten, fodmaps, excess protein, alcohol, bacterial imbalance.. ...depending on individual susceptibility and genetics.

The envelope that holds this cartel....stress.

We are ON 24/7.....are we ever rested and are we all underslept?

What we eat, our food production chain and food habits have all changed in line with a non stop lifestyle.
It's all linked, somehow.

Of all the known foods and drinks we consume, the one with the most robust science that affects every system in our body is alcohol.
Alcohol is toxic.

When you throw in just a massive amount of excess energy into a stressed system, which never has chance to recover from energy overload WITH a potent toxin....there. Quite possibly the prime suspect but how many of us....myself absolutely included in this cognitive dissonance.....do not view it as such?

I'm sure we all have had this advice in our younger days before going out to get totally rat-arsed....'have a glass of milk, it'll line your stomach'.

Before lactose intolerance, obviously.

So collagen/glycine for a fix?

Yes. Completely agree. There are a number of pathways that affect glycine levels.

Creatine too! Amino acid profile glycine, methionine and arginine.

I rarely drink these days. I was only a moderate drinker, on the 'a glass with a meal but I just might finish the bottle' kind of moderation.

I think Ive been mostly mildly pissed and have blamed gluten for my digestive concerns.

I rarely drink now. Gut health is good. Collagen when I've had issues.
And, possibly, lowering red meat in my household (veggie teenagers) has led to better protein balance, more glycine, less methionine. But who knows?
 
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