Against the Grain: Mycotoxins in Our Food

The story of mycotoxins begins with the story of agriculture. In prehistoric times, humans initially began farming by forest gardening, planting along river banks, and planting in the wet foothills during monsoon season. Later, more organized farming began in the Fertile Crescent, India, Western Asia, and Egypt with these crops: wheat, barley, flax, vetch, lentils, peas, and chickpeas. As time passed, peoples in the Americas, Eastern Asia, and Africa began their own farming and agriculture techniques. (more…)

A Gluten for Punishment: the Whole Grain Assault on Health

 
Nathan Daley, MD, MPH

Waking Times

From Few to You

Among thoughtful and informed medical providers and public alike, there is an ongoing transition toward recognizing adverse health effects from grains as being common and normal rather than rare and abnormal.  Not all medical providers, of course, support this change in perspective and some are downright hostile toward it.  Likewise, a segment of the public seems to be irritated by the gluten free trend and consider it just a silly fad.

Yet, if medicine is to be science based, no credible medical provider can dismiss the possibility that a large proportion of the U.S. (and possibly world) population may be sensitive to certain molecules present in most grains.  Similarly, those that belittle the gluten free movement as a fad might, in fact, be an unknowing victim of grain sensitivity.

Celiac disease may have been described by the ancient physician Aretaeus of Cappadocia in the first century CE.  It was not until the 1940′s, however, that the Dutch physician Willem Karel Dicke connected the disease to wheat as a result of the Dutch famine of 1944, in which wheat was scarce and those suffering from the disease seemed to dramatically improve.  Since that time, modern medicine has narrowly defined the disease as an autoimmune disease resulting from the ingestion of gliadin, a component of wheat gluten. (more…)

Wheat Gluten Sensitivity and Autoimmune Disease by Jeffrey Dach MD

wheat Gluten Celiac AutoimmuneGluten Sensitivity, Autoimmune and
Neurological Disease
by Jeffrey Dach MD

This article is Part Three of a Series.
For Previous Parts,
Click Here: Part One and Part Two

Two Very Mysterious and Complicated Cases caused by Gluten Sensitivity

What is wheat gluten?

Gluten is a protein in grains such as wheat, rye, barley, spelt, triticale, kamut,and possibly oats.  In susceptible individuals, about one per cent of the population, Wheat Gluten stimulates an immune response which may damage the inner lining of the gastrointestinal tract, or cross-react with other tissues in the body producing auto-immune, neurological and psychiatric illness.

Upper left image: A variety of foods made from wheat, all containing gluten. Courtesy of the USDA and Wikimedia Commons.

Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity ?  Shag Carpet or Flat Carpet ? (more…)