Gluten intolerance seems to be a topic that has been very much in the limelight lately. More and more people are claiming gluten intolerance. Also, more and more stores and supermarkets struggle to create entire shelves of gluten-free products. If you’ve heard this term, but are not entirely sure what it means, we are here to tell you. It refers to digestive problems caused by a protein called gluten. This protein is most often found in wheat, barley, or rye.
But lately, research has discovered that it might not be the gluten in wheat that people are allergic to. But then what? Maybe glyphosate herbicides, which are used to kill weeds. The most well-known herbicide designed to kill weeds is called Roundup. People have been increasingly using it in recent years, despite the scientists’ warnings. For plants, it works as an antibiotic that kills bacteria. But what are its effects on humans? We’ll get to that in a minute. But first, let’s see what is the process of harvesting wheat in the United States. Also, why this is one of the reasons behind what people perceive as gluten intolerance.
The Wheat Harvesting Protocol
Usually, in the United States, a few days before harvesting begins, farmers drench crops in Roundup. This makes them bigger and easier to collect, and dries them as much as possible. Moreover, exposing crops to glyphosate makes them release more seeds, which leads to a richer crop. In 2012, the US Department of Agriculture revealed that this chemical was present on no less than 99% of durum wheat, 97% of spring wheat, and 61% of winter wheat.
People call this practice “desiccation”. It guarantees that people who consume products made from that wheat will also ingest the chemical. What is even more alarming is that the market does not accept malt barley sprayed with glyphosate, and peas and lentils as well.
Glyphosate disrupts the life of gut microbes that are beneficial for humans and that synthesize amino acids. We call these beneficial gut bacteria probiotics. They help with digestion, immunity, vitamin synthesis, and many other things. When humans experience symptoms after ingesting such a chemical, they believe that what they are feeling is intolerance to gluten.
Consuming Conventional Wheat
On the same line, another reason why you might have gluten intolerance is the consumption of wheat coming from conventional sources. Even if you do not experience any symptoms after consuming glyphosate-sprayed wheat, the wise thing to do would be to avoid eating it anyway. And if you do experience symptoms, make sure to stop using wheat coming from conventional sources. An option to this would be for people to use unhybridized Einkorn wheat for whatever they need it in their household. Also, avoid eating wheat altogether when going out to a restaurant. Unless you decide to eat organic, you might not be able to avoid consuming this chemical-infused wheat in the future.
Damaged Gut Flora
After discussing the connection between gluten intolerance and glyphosate herbicide, we have discovered two surprising reasons behind your gluten intolerance. The first one is farmers spraying the crops with Roundup. The process of harvesting is the second one. This is especially true if you are consuming conventionally treated wheat instead of unhybridized Einkorn wheat. This reasons are strongly connected and dependent on one another. Now, is time to explore another rather surprising reason that might contribute to you having gluten intolerance.
We are talking here about something called dysbiosis. This is basically the name for the imbalance in your gut flora which causes it to become damaged. This imbalance means that you have too few beneficial bacteria in your gut, and too many bad bacteria, parasites, or yeast. If you are a person who consumes gluten and you take antibiotics or consume food that your body was not able to properly digest, this can increase the risk of you becoming gluten intolerant.
The risk that dysbiosis increases the possibility of gluten intolerance is even more serious in infants. This happens when they are being fed wheat before being able to fully process it. But why is that? Dysbiosis creates some products in your gut that are a sign of you getting infected by microbes. These products, together with the yet undigested gluten fragments, alert you immune system. The presence of both at the same time tricks the immune system into thinking that the gluten fragments are the microbes that have invaded your body.
Gluten Intolerance Summed up
The spread of gluten intolerance in recent years has raised the alarm in what concerns the reasons behind this increase. Although there might be other causes which affect people’s ability to properly digest gluten and become gluten intolerant – such as dysbiosis – the main reasons behind this issue are glyphosate and its use on crops. Because of the use of this chemical on wheat crops before harvesting begins, many people end up ingesting a quite large amount of it on a daily basis. Moreover, if you are not paying enough attention to where the wheat you are consuming is coming from, it might increase the risk of you suffering from gluten intolerance. The best alternative to that is to consume as much organic food as possible.