(NaturalNews) Gluten intolerance has reached epidemic proportions -- a staggering 40 percent of the U.S. population now suffers from it in one form or another. Celiac disease alone strikes one in every 133 Americans. Taking into account the fact that gluten sensitivity has risen sharply over the last 20 years, researchers and food safety advocates are looking at the role GMOs play in this this dramatic spike.
The dynamics of food intolerance
When a person has a sensitivity, the body believes the ingested food is an 'invader' and embarks on a mission to destroy the irritating substance. Unfortunately, the microvilli in the small intestine are harmed in the attack and leaky gut syndrome develops. Because of this damage, the gut wall becomes overly permeable and molecules of food are inappropriately digested. These molecules then leach into the bloodstream and the body responds with inflammation. Food sensitivities and malabsorption issues soon follow. This sets the stage for a spectrum of disease from autism to irritable bowel syndrome to cancer.
Compromised gut lining linked with GMOs
Gluten is notoriously difficult to digest even under the best of circumstances. Because of this, it is a prime candidate for triggering a food intolerance -- especially when the intestinal wall has been compromised. While genetically modified wheat, rye and barley have yet to make an appearance in the marketplace, several other GM crops may be responsible for the dramatic rise in gluten intolerance. Jeffrey Smith's documentary Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives reveals how GMOs destroy the digestive tract of mammals. Smith believes that the Bt toxin found in genetically modified food actually creates holes in the gut lining, leading to leaky gut syndrome. This may explain why gluten intolerance has become prevalent since GMOs were introduced into the food supply.
How to heal the gut from GMO damage
A good first step to healing leaky gut syndrome and subsequent gluten sensitivities is to remove all genetically modified and gluten foods from the diet. Wheat, rye and barley are the primary foods that contain gluten, but cross contamination during processing is common with other grains like oats. Once the diet is purified, adding probiotics, healthy fats and a few specific supplements will help to rebuild and heal the digestive tract.
Leo Galland, MD and director of the Foundation for Integrated Medicine recommends the following:
Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) - A polypeptide that heals damage in the small intestine.
Saccharomyces boulardii - A beneficial yeast that helps to soothe gut tissues.
Glutamine - Assists in repairing villous atrophy and minimizes the passage of toxins through the intestinal wall.
Gamma-oryzanol - Repairs ulcers in the intestinal tract.
Fiber, probiotics and essential fatty acids have also been shown to encourage gut wall integrity.
With GMOs wreaking havoc on our digestive systems, it's no wonder gluten intolerance is on the rise. By taking active steps to clean up the diet and heal the gut, this widespread malady can be conquered and health restored.
"GMOs cause Gluten Disorders, Auto-immune and Neurological Diseases" Nicholas Corrin, Friday Harbor Holistic Health, March 21, 2012. Retrieved on November 6, 2012 from: http://www.fridayharborholistichealth.com
"Gluten Sensitivity Baffles Celiac Disease Specialists" Christina Frangou, Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News, Issue: October 2010. Retrieved on November 5, 2012 from: http://www.gastroendonews.com
"Leaky Gut Syndromes: Breaking The Vicious Cycle" Leo Galland, MD, Foundation for Integrated Medicine. Retrieved on November 6, 2012 from: http://www.mdheal.org/leakygut.htm
"Do You Have Leaky Gut Syndrome?" Leo Galland, MD, Huffpost Healthy Living, September 10, 2010. Retrieved on November 6, 2012 from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com
About the author: Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, wellness coach and natural foods chef, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.