August 12, 2011

Top 10 Surprising Facts About Wheat/Grains

By Tim Lochhead

#2 Protease Inhibitors

Last time we introduced the concept that all living things, plant or animal, have defensive or offensive mechanisms for survival.

Grains and wheat have several nasty defences ones that work to disrupt predators (anyone who would eat the grains). We looked at lectins (proteins found in grains and wheat) and how they wreak havoc on our digestive system.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Another protective mechanism of grains and wheat are protease inhibitors. These are enzymes that prevent the breakdown of proteins. So, when you eat grains and wheat in particular, you do not fully digest your food.  This leaves more large proteins, including lectins, intact to disrupt your digestive lining. More things good or bad can break through where they shouldn’t get.

The result? More inflammation and autoimmune response (recall this is where good things leak out, and your own immune system sees something that shouldn’t be there and ‘tags’ it to be attacked. So if it’s something good like protein, that protein sequence gets attacked all throughout your body. The same protein that makes up different tissues all through your body gets attacked by your own immune system; hence, autoimmune condition).

If course, that fact that you’re not fully digesting your meal and protein is a direct problem itself. Recall that proteins are building blocks for our bodies. You might have heard the saying “you are what you eat”, well factor in digestion and “you are what you absorb”. It’s hard to rebuild your cells and support 100s of enzyme processes (all of which rely on protein) when you aren’t absorbing it.


Check back in a few days for yet another surprising fact about grains and wheat.