Chronic gastrointestinal issues such as GERD, IBS, SIBO, and autoimmune disorders such as Crohn's disease are on the rise. Some have theorized that Lectins could be at least partly to blame.  Here are the basics behind this theory: Lectins are a type of protein that can bind to cell membranes. Lectins are abundant in raw legumes and grains, and most commonly found in the part of the seed that becomes the leaves when the plant sprouts, aka the cotyledon, but also on the seed coat. They naturally help protect the host plant against potential threats, which in turn makes them difficult for humans to digest. Basically plants can’t defend themselves like many animals can, so lectins are like their built-in defense mechanisms. lectins may contribute to a wide range of health problems including (but not limited to) gastrointestinal (gut) problems, intestinal damage, food intolerances, inflammatory and autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Lectins are resistant to normal digestive processes and can interfere with the assimilation and absorption of nutrients from food. So, if your gut health is already compromised, consuming lectins may not be the best idea. Continuing to consume lectins can lead to further damage and an increase in gut permeability, which is a gateway for increased inflammation.  Our take: Lectins are a great source of fiber and nutrition, AS LONG AS you have a good non-GMO, organic source. Some of our patients have improved by avoiding lectins but lectins are certainly not a problem for everyone, especially if they are cooked properly, which dramatically reduces their lectin content., as Dr. Greger MD points out in this video. For those who might be sensitive, a lectin elimination might be necessary. For a specific list of lectin-containing foods to avoid and ways of cooking to reduce lectin content, see https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319593.php.  Dr. Gundry MD is most known for his research in this area. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWRkR5fr-Eg What do you think? please reach out and let us know. Do you think you may have Lectin or other food sensitivities? Contact our office for further evaluation.

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