GMOs Implicated in Gluten Sensitivity

A report released last November by the Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) proposes that genetically modified foods may be to blame for the growing number of cases of gluten sensitivity and gluten-related illnesses since their introduction in the 1990s.

According to Dr. Tom O’Bryan, an acclaimed expert on celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, “The introduction of GMOs is highly suspect as a candidate to explain the rapid rise in gluten-related disorders over the last 17 years.”

Gluten is a compound found in grains such as wheat, rye and barley. It is also contained in the vast majority of processed foods. The executive director of the IRT, Jeffrey M. Smith, explains, “Gluten sensitivity can range in severity from mild discomfort, such as gas and bloating, to celiac disease, a serious autoimmune condition that can, if undiagnosed, result in a 4-fold increase in death.”

An estimated one percent of the population has celiac disease, and many individuals remain undiagnosed. Many others have some form of “non-celiac gluten sensitivity,” which does not show up in blood tests. The IRT estimates that approximately 18 million Americans have some form of gluten sensitivity, or gluten-related health issues.

The IRT report cites a collection of data from medical journal reviews, international research, the US Department of Agriculture and the US Environmental Protection Agency records. It implicates GMO alfalfa, soy, corn, cotton oil, canola oil, zucchini, yellow squash, sugar beets and Hawaiian papaya for their connection to gluten-related discomfort.

Smith details how a “possible environmental trigger may be the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to the American food supply, which occurred in the mid-1990s.” This may help explain why our nation saw such a rise in gluten sensitivity since this time.

The report links potential damage done by GMOs to five different areas: impaired digestion, imbalanced gut bacteria, intestinal permeability, immune activation and allergic response, and damage to the intestinal wall. Smith says, “Bt-toxin, glyphosate, and other components of GMOs, are linked to five conditions that may either initiate or exacerbate gluten-related disorders.”

The report explains that the Bt-toxin may have this effect by actually leaving holes in human cells. As far as glyphosate, the report states, “Even with minimal exposure, glyphosate can significantly reduce the population of beneficial gut bacteria and promote the overgrowth of harmful strains.”

stomach painThe claims made by biotech companies that GMOs are perfectly safe are slowly but surely being found to be highly suspect. The more negative effects we see from GMOs, the clearer it becomes that they have no place in a healthy diet.

This connection between GMOs and gluten issues is just one of their many potential consequences; we should choose to avoid them now before more negative effects are discovered.



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