Vitality Blog

The Real Truth Behind Gluten Sensitivity

Nutrition Tips offered by Vancouver Registered Holistic Nutritionist

This is a topic almost like religion to most people interested in health and well-being. This became all too apparent when I attended the gluten free expo in Vancouver in 2013 with a friend of mine. They had anticipated no more than 3,000 people, which to me already sounded like an unusual amount of people interested in attending such an event. But what’s even more surprising was that they had to shut the doors two hours into the expo because they unknowingly sold 9,000 tickets. WOW! This was when I first realized that this was real – that this was something people were quickly catching on to.

You may be hearing an underlying tone in my writing at this point, and you are correct, I feel it is a trend, but I feel people are still speaking their truth – “they do not digest wheat”. I needed to know why – “why are so many people presenting with symptoms similar to (IgG type) allergies when they ingest gluten?” And the truth lies in another contentious topic Genetic Modificaiton – that’s right GMO! Now, I am aware that we have been consuming GMO wheat for many years, so my question has to be further clarified – “why NOW are so many people presenting with symptoms similar to (IgG type) allergies when they ingest gluten?” The argument still lies within the fields of Monsanto.

While we still use Monsanto’s seeds in the production of most conventional (non-organic) wheat, we have more recently started dousing our fields with “Round up” just prior to harvest in order to boost yields and reduce harvest times. The result is that this herbicide is directly absorbed into the wheat kernels that we end up consuming. Studies have shown that glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) residues regularly show up in our bread samples.

Nutrition Tips offered by Vancouver Registered Holistic Nutritionist

The problem is the accepted view is that glyphosate is not harmful to mammals. However, glyphosate is a known toxin – in fact this active ingredient found in “Roundup” is a known disruptor in the shikimate pathway found in beneficial microbes found in our gut (commonly referred to as probiotics). These probiotics play a critical role in human health as it is becoming more and more apparent that the immune system starts in the gut. These “friendly bacteria” play a critical role in digestion, prevent what is known as “leaky gut syndrome” (permeability of the gastrointestinal tract). They also synthesize those important B vitamins that have been one of the more popular supplements for many years now.


Some conditions that are associated with the effects of glyphosate are:
• Gastrointestinal disorders
• Celiac disease
• Macrocytic anemia
• Depression- deficiencies in tryptophan (precursor to serotonin), tyrosine (precursor to dopamine)
• Reproductive issues
• Thyroid disease
• Kidney failure
• Cancer
• Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
• Poor bile production

The list just goes on primarily due to the effects that glyphosate has on a very integral enzyme found in our bodies called Cytochrome p450.

So now that we have this information what can we do about it?
1. Don’t purchase products containing the main crops that use Roundup if you are not sure the source of these products.
• Wheat, feed barley, oats
• Canola
• Flax
• Peas
• Lentils
• Dry Beans
• Soybeans
• Forages

This does not mean do not eat these – just ensure they are non-GMO and organic.

2. It’s best to make your own products using your own flours that you are sure are free of GMO products and are safe to use. Try using alternatives to your general flour (eg. Quinoa flour for cookies and cakes or spelt flour for pizza crusts and breads)

What is most important – eat WHOLE FOODS, and if not be aware, know where your food is coming from and make educated choices. What we put in our bodies today may not affect us now, but it may affect how we age and how we handle the aging process, so why not be conscious consumers now?

Working with Allergies from a Nutritional Standpoint
Allergies are so often the cause of your digestive system being damaged, so working on healing the gut is paramount when addressing allergies and the first thing any qualified nutritionist look into. If symptoms persist allergy tests can be performed to more thoroughly elucidate what could be the causative factors. The most important advice I can give is if you are suffering from recurrent digestive issues/upset, seek out a qualified Registered Holistic Nutritionist. They are well trained to help you start from the bottom and get to the root cause.

Excellent articles to read on this topic are:
1. Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance
2. Monsanto Roundup: The Impacts of Glyphosate Herbicide on Human Health. Pathways to Modern Diseases
3. Monsanto’s Roundup Responsible for Skyrocketing Rates of Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance and Other Wheat-Related Illnesses?
4. GMO-Free Brands
5. Human cytochromes P450 in health and disease
6. Preharvest Staging Guide

Have a great day,
Karen Tattersall
Vancouver Registered Holistic Nutritionist

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