“Are you aware that lectins can affect your health?”
I asked a group of friends. I wasn’t referring to the hormone leptin or an Irish Leprechaun.
No one knew I was talking about a type of protein in food that can trigger faulty digestion and other chronic problems. Or that a new natural product, “Lectin Lock”, could help to minimize exposure to lectins.
One hospital, in 1988, advertised a “healthy eating” lunch for its staff. One item contained red kidney beans and 31 staff enjoyed this dish. But at 3 p.m. one of the surgeons vomited while operating. During the next four hours 10 more staff suffered severe vomiting and diarrhea.
What had caused this reaction? Studies found no pathogenic bacteria in the food. But the red kidney beans contained a high concentration of one type of lectin that adversely affects some people.
It’s been said that good health begins with sound digestion. But Lucretius, the Roman philosopher poet, added another pertinent point. “One man’s food is another man’s poison,” he said.
For instance, one type of lectin, Ricin, present in Castor beans, is so potent that a minute amount causes death. It has been used in espionage as a murder weapon.
Depending on one’s genetic makeup, other types of lectins either initiate or aggravate problems such as Crohn’s Disease, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, Lupus, fibromyalgia, skin problems, food intolerances and allergies.
Studies show that dietary lectins also increase polyamine production in the intestines causing halitosis (bad breath).
Some lectins enter the general circulation of the body and attach themselves to the bladder, nerves and other tissues, which in susceptible people, results in an inflammatory response. Moreover, almost everyone has antibodies to some dietary lectins in their blood. So many food allergies are actually immune system reactions to lectins.
Today there’s a trend to eat less processed grain food, which is more nutritious, but unfortunately it contains more lectins. Nightshade vegetables such as potatoes and tomatoes are very high in lectins and have been known to trigger symptoms of arthritis.
The genetic modification of food has also changed lectin content.
Today’s epidemic of obesity is the result of many factors. But lectins have been shown to block certain digestive hormones, which leads to an increase in both appetite and obesity.
So how can people who are suffering from intestinal food intolerance, joint troubles, arthritis and chronic inflammatory conditions decrease the effects of lectins?
Purchasing organic sprouted grain bread products (with no added gluten) is the safest way to get the nutritional benefits of grain with decreased amounts of lectins because sprouting destroys lectins. And since lectins are water soluble, soaking beans several times before cooking removes much of the lectins.
But lectins are found in 30% of our food, such as fruits, vegetables, seafood and especially grains, beans and seeds. Nor are they destroyed by stomach acid or enzymes, making them virtually resistant to digestion. So since it’s hard to escape them, some people need additional help.
“Lectin Lock” is composed of a number of natural ingredients that lock onto lectins. This keeps them from binding onto the gut’s intestinal cells.
One ingredient, Bladderwrack, a nutritious seaweed, binds and inactivates certain lectins, viruses, yeast and bacteria such as H. pylori, responsible for peptic ulcers.
Okra, another ingredient, clears away excess mucous formed as a result of food intolerance or food allergy in the digestive tract and allows for an improved absorption of nutrients. And sodium alginate reacts with gastric acid to form a vicious gel that acts as a barrier to acid and eases the problems associated with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
Obviously, if you know a certain food is causing problems, avoid it. Lectin Lock is not an open-ended invitation to overindulge. But it can help those who can’t always say no to junk foods, highly processed refined foods that increase the effects of dietary lectins or who are genetically sensitive to lectin.
So taking two or more Lectin Lock at the start of a meal can help to remove what can become one man’s poison.
For more information see the web site www.vrp.com or call the toll-free number 1-800-877-2447