The Dangers of Lectins

Lectin Lock – A Natural Defense Against the Hidden Cause of Food Sensitivity – Chris Meletis ND

The official definition of a lectin is “Any of a class of proteins that bind specifically to certain sugars and so cause agglutination of particular cell types.” Lectins are actually produced by plants for several known reasons, and likely other unknown ones. The primary identified role of these carbohydrate-binding proteins perform is to protect plants from predation. Wheat, for instance, contains wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), which has been found to bind to a wide range of predator’s bodily tissues containing n-acetyl-glucosamine (NAG) or sialic acid. NAG, as an example, is part of the cell wall of bacteria, yeast, nematodes, and even the chitin of insects are comprised, in large part, of NAG. Mammals also are susceptible to WGA lectin induced adverse health changes, which can be explored further here: Wheat Germ Agglutinin WGA.

Lectins may also function to modulate rhizomal microbe populations, organizing or influencing their behavior in a way beneficial to the plant. Nothing in nature is, after all, entirely malignant. A venom may kill or act as a medicine, for instance, based on the dose and application. The reality, however, is that lectin-rich foods predominate in the Western diet, primarily through our obsession with grains, nightshade plants (e.g. tobacco, tomatoes, peppers, chili, potatoes, etc.), dairy products, and grain-fed animal products. While almost everything we eat contains lectins, these aforementioned categories contain particularly pernicious forms (varying in toxicity according to genotype, other dietary factors, etc). So, why do we eat them? One answer is that they are highly addictive. Many contain opioid peptides that act like narcotics, analgesics or stimulants.

More on lectins from a previous essay:

“Nature engineers, within all species, a set of defenses against predation, though not all are as obvious as the thorns on a rose or the horns on a rhinoceros. Plants do not have the cell-mediated immunity of higher life forms, like ants, nor do they have the antibody-driven, secondary immune systems of vertebrates with jaws. Therefore, they must rely on a much simpler, innate immunity. It is for this reason that seeds of the grass family, e.g. rice, wheat, spelt, rye, have exceptionally high levels of defensive glycoproteins known as lectins, which function much like “invisible thorns.” Cooking, sprouting, fermentation and digestion are the traditional ways in which people, for instance, deal with the various anti-nutrients found within this family of plants, However, lectins are, by design, particularly resistant to degradation through a wide range of pH and temperatures.” Source: Lectins on

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