Dr. Holly
Dr. Holly

Most people love bread. But bread has got a pretty bad rap this past decade and for good reasons. But do you understand the problem? Do you know how to get around it? It is pretty easy…

First off, let’s understand the problems; then let’s solve the problems! So we can enjoy our bread!!

  1. Most people think of gluten issues when they think of bread/flour, but what is it about gluten that is an issue
  2. Availability of nutrients: yes whole grains do have nutrients, but the problem is that many nutrients like minerals are attached to phytates (phytic acid) and consequently, we cannot absorbed them. in fact, these same phytates can also bind to minerals in our digestive tract and prevent us from absorbing the minerals – oouch.
    • a seed holds a variety of nutrients: enzymes, minerals, proteins, starches, sugars, and vitamins all of which are necessary for the seed to germinate. But many are bound to compounds like the phytates to keep them from activating the enzymes until the seed is ready to germinate
    • there are three parts to a seed grain:
  • the germ (or the egg of the seed)
  • which is surrounded by the endosperm (the greater inner part which can be compared to the placenta of a human egg & contains starch, oils and proteins)
  • which is then surrounded by the bran (protection for the rest of the seed and includes oils and phytic acid)
  1. Have you heard of gluten intolerance? Have you heard about lectins? Well, the gluten protein, gliaden contains lectins. Now lectins are found throughout the plant kingdom and provide a natural defense in plants against things like fungi and insects…but the are not necessarily good for us. Unfortunately, barley, kamut, oat, rye, spelt and wheat all have lectins in the seed germ, although wheat has a much higher content. And of course, there is a lot of information about how modern wheat are different from the old wheat and actually have more lectins. Lectins have been under fire for causing a variety of issues:
    • interfering with our DNA/RNA
    • disrupting endocrine/hormone functions
    • interfering with normal gut function
    • White-Bread_2532cause leptin resistance (a hormone that controls fat metabolism)

as a consequence of the 3 above issues, lectins are responsible for:

  1. diabetes
  2. high blood pressure
  3. imbalance in the leptin hormones
  4. increased blood insulin
  5. weight issues
  1. So what do leptins do? They bind sugars and carbohydrates to cellular membranes causing disruption in cell signaling processes. Now there are two types of lectins and they do different things:
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin (WGA): it is a glycoprotein (protein – sugar combo) found in the germ: binds N-acetly-glucosamine and N-acetylneuramine acid. But we need the N-actyel-glucosamine to help with anti-inflammatory processes. Unfortunately, if it is bound to the N-acetylneuramine, it can’t help us
  • Alpha-gliaden, a gluten protein found in the endosperm: binds to the mannose sugar found in many fruits and vegetables; although related to glucose, it behaves differently.  For instance, it helps prevent urinary tract infections by inhibiting/preventing bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract
  1. another and perhaps even bigger problem with breads/grains is the RoundUp fertilizer that contains bio glyphosates. These dangerous compounds found in the fertilizers and then the plants and then you, causing:
  1. ADHD: In farming communities, there’s a strong correlation between Roundup exposure and attention deficit disorder (ADHD). It is currently believed that this is due to the link between glyphosate’s and the disruption to the thyroid and thyroid hormone functions.
  2. Alzheimer’s disease: laboratory results show that Roundup causes the same kind of oxidative stress and neural cell death (apoptosis) seen in Alzheimer’s disease.  It also affects an enzyme, CaMKII, that is linked to Alzheimer.
  3. Anencephaly (birth defect): There is an investigation concerning women living with 1,000 meters of pesticide applications who have babies born with anencephaly.  There appears to be an association between the glyphoste and an abscence of brain/skull/scalp that forms during the fetal development.
  4. Autism: There is a correlation between Bioglyphosates and a number of autistic pathologies. Gut dysbiosis observed in autistic children and bioglyphsate toxicity damage important healthy gut bacteria that suppress pathogenic bacteria. In addition, glyphosates are known to increase the accumulation of aluminum accumulation in the brain – again a huge component for autism.
  5. Birth defects: There are now several studies identifying the birth defects caused by Roundup / glyphosate:
  6.  women living with 1 KM of sprayed fields were more than 2x as likely to have birth defects in Paraguay
  7. congential defects were 4x greater in the decade after RoundUp was used on crops in Chaco, Argentina
  8. disrupts the Vitamin A (retinoic acid) signaling pathway, which is crucial for normal fetal development
  9. Birth defects included: an imperforate anus, growth hormone deficiency, hypospadias (an abnormally placed urinary hole), a heart defect and a micro penis.
  10. Brain cancer: one study showed that children with brain cancer were 2x more likely to have a parent exposed to RoundUp than healthy children.
  11. Breast cancer: Glyphosates provoke breast cancers via estrogen receptors in rats.
  12. Cancer:  Cancer is 2-4x higher in Argentina farming communities where RoundUp is used – they are now called “fumigated towns”, than the national average.  Glyphosate induce DNA damage, which has been demonstrated in numerous lab tests.
  13. Celiac disease and gluten intolerance: Fish exposed to glyphosate develop issues similar to celiac disease. Both humans and fish exposed to the glyphosates develop imbalances in gut bacteria; impairment in enzymes required for detoxification; and nutrient deficiencies including:  mineral and amino acids.
  14. Chronic kidney disease:  Workers in Central America, Sri Lanka and India have a much higher incidence of kidney dysfucntion which is believed to the result of glyphosates combining with hard water and nephrotoxic metals.
  15. Colitis:  Glyphosates suppress the good bacterial that clostridia. Clostridia has a high resistance to glyphosate which allows for a significant overgrowth, and in particular of, C. difficile, is a well-established causal factor in colitis.
  16. Depression: Glyphosates are known to disrupt the production of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that regulates mood, appetite and sleep.
  17. Diabetes: in a study on rats, RoundUp was associated with lower testosterone causing testicular cell morphology and a delayed puberty.
  18. Heart disease: Glyphosate can disrupt the cellular enzymes resulting in lysosomal dysfunction, a major factor in cardiovascular disease and heart failure.
  19. Hypothyroidism: One study of over 65,000 people in farming communities in Argentina where Roundup is used, “fumigated towns”, foundd higher rates of hypothyroidism.
  20. Inflammatory Bowl Disease (“Leaky Gut Syndrome”): in addition to other gut issues, Glyphosate can provoke a severe tryptophan, an amino acid, deficiency. This can lead to an extreme inflammatory bowel disease that severely impairs the ability to absorb nutrients through the gut, due to inflammation, bleeding and diarrhea.
  21. Liver disease: Even very low doses of Roundup can disrupt human liver cell function, according to a study published in Toxicology.
  22. Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS): Glyphosates interfere with sulfate transport to the liver and other parts of the body. Neural sulfate deficiency is associated with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
  23. Multiple Sclerosis (MS): there is a correlation between IBS and MS which may be the result of several gut issues caused by glyphosates: imbalance in the gut bacteria; disruption of the villi; leaky gut syndrome (allowing gut bacteria to leak into the vasculature triggering an immune reaction resulting in the destruction of the neural myelin sheath.
  24. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma: A systematic review of 3 decades of meta analyses found a relationship between non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and agriculture pesticides in general; and B cell lymphoma and glyphosates in particular.
  25.   Parkinson’s disease: Herbicides are well documented for causing neurodegenerative disorders. Glyphosates and cell death is also well documented.
  26. Pregnancy problems (infertility, miscarriages, stillbirths): Glyphosate is toxic to human placental cells which of course can provoke all kinds of issues.
  27. Obesity: Glyphosates provoke a shift in gut bacteria (killing off some and allowing others to go into overgrowth) which is now recognized to contribute to obeisty. Endotoxin producing bacteria transferred from an obese person to mice cause obesity in mice.
  28. Respiratory illnesses: 65,000 people in “fumigated” farming communities in Argentina had a higher rate of chronic respiratory illnesses.

Now let’s attempt to solve the problem…

  1. We talked about how phytates bind to minerals and prevent absorption – but if we ferment, as in sourdough, the combination of the ascidic environment, the moisture  and the phystase enzymes released by the microbes release the phytates from the nutrients and now we can absorb them – yeah us
  2. In fact, both germination and fermentation (i.e., sourdough) processes both provide phytase enzymes that break apart the phytates and the minerals
  3. But what about the lectins? Well fermentation, i.e., sourdough, breaks down the lectins, again using enzymes produced by the fermentation process – yeah again
  4. Now you can go even further by adding rye into your starter – why? because rye is naturally low in gluten and contains pentosans which help the bread to rise

Now there are a couple of other tips you might be interested in:

  1. potato starter works better in a wider temperature range than a wheat starter
  2. and certainly in consideration of the RoundUp issues, you want to make sure what you use is organic

Here’s to your health.

For more information, contact: holly@choicesunlimited.ca

Dr. Holly is a naturopathic doctor that holds a PhD in Psychology and Biochemistry, specializing in balancing mind, body and energy of the system.

Disclaimer: This article provides general information only and is not a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or other health care practitioner.