Updated March 2020
Why Are Lectins So Problematic For People with Thyroid Disorders, Chronic Pain and Autoimmune Disease?
Learn more about Lectins, Thyroid disease and autoimmune disorders by watching my latest video.
Lectins are a family of proteins found in almost all foods, especially beans and grains.
Lectins in plants are a defense against microorganisms, pests, and insects. They may also have evolved as a way for seeds to remain intact as they passed through animals’ digestive systems, for later dispersal- This is why Lectins are poorly digested.
But why are eating lectins so problematic for people with Thyroid disease, Rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune diseases? The answer to that lies in something known as leaky gut.
Lectins are problematic because they are sticky molecules that can bind to the linings of human tissue. This poses problems for those with genetic predisposition towards autoimmune diseases.
Many food lectins can interact with and damage the delicate lining of the small intestine and lead to a “leaky gut” via inflammation of the microvilli (the finger like projections of the intestinal cell that increase surface area for better nutrient absorption).
Because the lectins can damage the intestinal villi leading to leaky gut, they have the ability to enter and circulate throughout the bloodstream. Once they enter the bloodstream, they can bind to any tissue in the body — thyroid, pancreas, collagen in joints, Nerve tissue and cause an inflammatory immune attack on the above mentioned tissues.
This binding can disrupt the function of that tissue and cause white blood cells and the immune system to attack the lectin-bound tissue, destroying it.
This is an autoimmune response. The lectins in wheat for example, are specifically known to be involved in Rheumatoid arthritis.
It was once thought that simply soaking beans, nuts, seeds and grains eliminated the lectins content. This is no longer accepted and is being challenged by man. Lectins cause damage to the intestinal lining.
Heal the Intestinal Villi With My Three Favorite Supplements
Zinc is an essential trace mineral important to many functions of human health. It plays a role in maintaining cellular metabolism and gene expression. Zinc is critical to a diverse group of physiological processes, such as immune function, insulin signaling, tissue repair, vision and neuro-transmission. It is second only to iron in worldwide incidence of deficiency, impacting 2 billion people in developing nations. Due to the wide range of functions regulated by zinc, deficiency, or even marginal deficiency, can have serious health implications.
Zinc is fundamental to the activity of over 100 enzymes and supports immune function, protein synthesis, tissue growth, DNA synthesis and cell division.1-5 During pregnancy, infancy and childhood, the body needs zinc for proper growth and development.6-9 Zinc also helps tissue repair and is important for adequate functioning of the senses of taste and smell. Daily intake of zinc is necessary to maintain adequate levels within the body because the body has no specialized zinc storage system.10
The importance of bioavailability is obvious. If consuming a zinc supplement has little effect on improving the body’s zinc balance, there is no reason to ingest it. Signs of inferior mineral supplements include the use of cheap, poorly absorbed, rocksalt minerals. Reacted Zinc is formulated with the superior amino acid chelate form, zinc glycinate, which does not ionize in the gut and therefore is not impacted by dietary factors and is absorbed at a higher rate than those formulated with zinc salt forms.
Comparison studies have shown significantly superior absorption of mineral chelates compared to other mineral forms.
• Chelated zinc is 230% better absorbed than zinc sulfate
• Chelated zinc is 390% better absorbed than zinc oxide
• Chelated zinc offers greater protection from interfering dietary factors
Mild to moderate zinc deficiency impacts immune function11 by slowing down the activity of macrophages, neutrophils, natural killer cells, and complement activity.12 Individuals with low zinc levels have shown below- normal immune activity that can be corrected by zinc supplementation.12-13 Low zinc status has been associated with increased risk of immune challenges that benefit from improving zinc levels.14-17
Zinc plays a role in maintaining the integrity of skin andmucosal membranes.12 Patients with skin weakness have been observed to have abnormal zinc metabolism and low serum zinc levels.18 Many clinicians have used zinc to benefit patients with thin, fragile skin.19
Researchers have demonstrated that both zinc and antioxidants support eye health in those with age-related loss of visual acuity and general visual decline, by preventing free radical cellular damage in the retina.20-21 One population-based cohort study suggests that high dietary intake of zinc, as well as beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E, was associated with added support for eye health in elderly subjects.22
A variety of acquired factors can disrupt the small intestine brush border, which may result in low activity of brush border enzymes. SIBB-Zymes™ supplies a blend of enzymes normally found in the small intestinal brush border that are critical for the final steps of carbohydrate and protein digestion.
Disaccharide enzymes (lactase, maltase, and sucrase) are supplied together with glucoamylase to assist optimal cleaving of sugars and carbohydrates that if left undigested may affect absorption and microbial fermentation, contributing to a shift in the balance of yeast and bacteria.†
SIBB-Zymes™ includes an active enzyme blend of peptidase and protease with dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV) activity.
Peptidase and protease enzymes help break down plant and animal proteins, including casein (milk/dairy products), gluten (wheat, rye, oats, barley, and other grains), and soy.†
SBI Protect is the only purified, dairy-free source of immunoglobulin G (IgG) available as a dietary supplement. Serum-derived bovine immunoglobulins (SBI) provide the highest IgG concentration available for GI and immune challenges where allergens are a significant concern.
Pure IgG helps to maintain a healthy intestinal immune system by binding a broad range of microbes and toxins within the gut lumen. SBI Protect provides 1,200 mg IgG in a one-scoop serving.
Autoimmunity is on the rise globally, and recent research demonstrates a connection between autoimmunity and intestinal permeability. The discovery that the gut barrier plays a key role in immune health fueled the search to strengthen it.
In that search, researchers found that the binding capabilities of immunoglobulins have a positive effect on gut barrier function.
Immunoglobulins bind microbes and toxins in the GI tract and eliminate them prior to immune system activation. As these unwanted triggers are removed, it resets healthy immune tolerance and builds a stronger barrier to the external environment.
Other Articles That May Interest You
- Lectins As A Cause of Leaky Gut Syndrome, Autoimmune Disorders and Weight Gain.
- The Number One Cause of Hypothyroidism Is Almost Never Tested. Dr. Hagmeyer Video Series
- Autoimmune Diet|Naperville Institute For NeuroMetabolic Solutions|
- Coffee and Gluten Intolerance Connection| Dr. Hagmeyer Video
- Learn more about Functional Medicine, Our Testing and Treatment