The gluten connection
It seems as our feet get deeper and deeper in this health game, we’re starting to realize just how connected gluten is to a whole bunch of nasty things – it’s pretty crazy to say the very least!
Our little friend Mr. Gluten is in a lot of places, and he’s causing some trouble.
So we’d like to talk about it…
Lately, we’ve also been reading a good amount of material that have been able to relate gastrointestinal disorders to gluten intake, and this has opened some new doors for us, and for the clients we work with.
Like with many health topics, it all goes pretty deep.
People are sick (obviously), and some of the foods they’re eating (like gluten containing foods), are making matters worse.
What’s also very important to look at here is how one’s digestion (if out of whack), can have a global effect on the body.
In other words…
If you ain’t poopin right, you may be in a bit of trouble.
Let’s start with zonulin…
What is Zonulin
Zonulin is a protein that deals with the constricted junctions between the cells of one’s intestinal system. And this system is pretty cool, as it really does control a lot within the body. It’s like a major piece of the puzzle with all of this health stuff…
The gut is awesome!
You can think of zonulin as being a type of security guard for the body’s tissues.
It’s job is to open and close spaces between cells by means of allowing the ‘good guys’ to go by and the bad ones to stop within the gut.
Proteins and good guys get the green light (or should we say the VIP pass), while the bad guys (some bacteria and toxins) get ‘bounced out.’
It’s like there’s a party in your pooper and not everybody is invited.
The Celiac, Zonulin, and Guten Connection
So as you can see, zonulin is pretty important – this little guy controls a lot.
He’s a bouncing boss…
What’s also crazy is that research now shows that the little protein zonulin can be measured at high levels with those experiencing celiac disease. People who suffer from celiac are basically unable to consume foods that contain gluten – a not so friendly’ protein which is found in wheat and various grain products.
Celiac disease is a health condition that wrecks the lining of the small intestine. This damage then prevents the intestines from absorbing food efficiently.
It’s definitely not fun, and tons of people are dealing with it. And some aren’t even aware of such conditions…
This whole zonulin connection is actually quite interesting, as people who suffer from celiac disease have greater levels of it circulating their gut than those who don’t.
This higher concentration is permitting gluten to pass through the cells of the intestinal wall.
It’s like a huge breach in the gut, and the body is SO not happy about it.
Basically, once gluten is introduced into the equation, our little ‘gastric security guard’ starts letting everybody into the party—even if they’re not on the guest list!
This ‘flood of gluten’ then generates an autoimmune response within the body – a self-attack mode if you will.
The body then produces antibodies that then attack, and this equates to one thing…
An autoimmune disorder is basically a state of ‘self attack.’
This process occurs when one’s immune system misguidedly attacks and annihilates healthy tissue – obviously NOT good.
If a person suffers from an autoimmune disease, it’s NO joke. It’s serious, and is NOT something to take lightly.
Celiac is a disorder that can be influenced by multiple factors and ‘zonulin regulation’ along with an excess gluten intake are both proving to be a major players in all of this.
We obviously need this little colonic guard in our systems, but when he starts getting all whacky, we need to understand why that is, and science is now beginning to reveal some pretty interesting findings.
Look at it like this…
As stated earlier, the topic of digestion can go quite deep. This being the case, it can be very hard to truly understand it all. If you suffer from any type of autoimmune disorder relating to digestion or whatnot, we have a few tips to offer…
Tips for improving digestion
- Remove all irritating foods from your diet. The number one best thing you can take out would be grains and grain-like products. Just stop cold turkey if you can, if not, go about it gradually! Cut back on breads, pastas, rice. Grains are proving to be very controversial, so we say stay away! Or at least try your hardest to decrease your intake.
- Go organic, do your best at buying at least 80% of your foods organic. Eat pure REAL foods.
- Check out the Paleo Diet. People have seen a HUGE increase in their overall health (digestive wise) on this diet. It’s a lifestyle change that truly works for a lot of people. Give it a shot, what you got to lose?
- Hit us up so we can get some in-depth testing done. We have some great tools to help you figure a lot of this digestive stuff out
As our endeavors regarding digestion continue, we will, without a doubt, keep you posted. We’re learning new stuff everyday, and are always anxious to share what we dig up!
Don’t forget to check out the studies below and our other posts relating to this digestion business. Ohhh, and make sure to drop a comment
Also, if you didn’t already know, we have a great eBook on shopping and staying healthy that you can get get here. So definitely check that out!
- Joey and Chris