Yeah, I didn’t post a “research of the day” yesterday. Turns out it’s far easier to read studies than it is to read them AND write about/summarize them. Oh well!
What they did:
- Took macaques and found 4 that were sensitive to gluten and 4 that didn’t appear to be sensitive to gluten
- Fed them a gluten containing diet, and a gluten free diet – 10 weeks each
- Measured changes in gene expression as well as in antibodies associated with gluten ingestion
- Tried to relate the genes being expressed to their functions and make inferences as to why certain genes were being expressed while others weren’t
- The gluten sensitive macaques showed an antibody response to the gluten containing diet in the the form of anti-gliadin-antibody (AGA) and transglutaminase-2 antibodies (TG2) – Which frequently show up in those with Celiac Disease (in the human population)
- There was a significant difference in the expression of genes when the macaques were fed gluten containing diets
- They were labelled as important (due to previous studies making associations between certain genes and certain health outcomes) to cancer formation, a reduced ability to detoxify, and decreased actin and collagen producing mechanisms (to help with scar tissue formation, possibly)
- They were right – Genes associated with killing cancer cells were down-regulated, those associated with sustaining life in cancer cells were up-regulated, detoxifying genes were down-regulated, as were the actin and collagen producing genes.
- The macaques each took different amount of time to heal from the exposure to gluten, and 1 of the 4 was still not back to “baseline” gene expression after the 10 weeks.
Take away info:
- HUGELY IMPORTANT – The genes are NOT responsible for the illnesses associated with them. Sure, it’s nice to label them “oh this ones the cancer gene, THAT one is the autism gene”, but really… they’re just genes, and when are they expressed??? When we live in a way that causes their expression. I feel like this study gets slanted toward genetics research as a LOT of the writing is about the genes, but they’re only being expressed because we are changing the ENVIRONMENT. Those “illness” genes weren’t being expressed until we presented the macaques with a toxic and deficient environment (the gluten containing diet).
- Imagine a 3rd group – macaques living in the wild, eating, moving and thinking in ways wild, healthy, natural macaques do. Compare those macaques to the “healthy” macaques and see the difference in THEIR gene expression. I’m willing to bet it’d be a difference like night and day.
- Gluten doesn’t JUST upset your stomach. It increases your chances for cancer and pretty much every other chronic illness associated with inflammation – THIS IS A BIG DEAL
- Even the “healthy” macaques (the ones not sensitive, had more favourable gene expression on the gluten free diet)
- We can’t CHANGE our genes, and while differences occur between how intensely one person reacts versus another to things like gluten doesn’t ultimately matter as gluten isn’t beneficial to ANYONE. Gluten didn’t help the “healthy” macaques, it just affected them less negatively.
It’s time to stop living “less bad” and start pursuing greater health. Avoiding gluten made the healthy macaques healthier, just not at as significant a level. We need MORE HEALTH, not less sickness… we’ve been trying to make less sickness for a long time and it hasn’t gotten us very far.
Have a great day and Stay Healthy, Friends!
Dr. Adam Ball
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