Steven Gundry, MD
Author of The Plant Paradox
Most of us have heard of gluten—a protein found in wheat that can cause widespread inflammation in the body. Americans spend billions of dollars on gluten-free diets in an effort to protect their health. But what if we’ve been missing the root of the problem?
In The Plant Paradox, renowned cardiologist and heart surgeon Dr. Steven Gundry reveals that gluten is just one variety of a common, and highly toxic, plant-based protein called lectin. Lectins are found not only in grains like wheat but also in the “gluten-free” foods most of us commonly regard as healthy, including many fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and conventional dairy products. These proteins, which are found in the seeds, grains, skins, rinds, and leaves of plants, are designed by nature to protect plants from predators (including humans). Once ingested, they incite a kind of chemical warfare in our bodies, causing inflammatory reactions that can lead to weight gain and serious health conditions.
At his waitlist-only clinics in California, Dr. Gundry has successfully treated tens of thousands of patients suffering from autoimmune disorders, diabetes, leaky gut syndrome, heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases with a protocol that detoxes the cells, repairs the gut, and nourishes the body. Now, in The Plant Paradox, he shares this clinically proven program with readers around the world.
Man started out as tree dwelling creatures. We ate a lot of leaves, and fish and shellfish, which built a big brain. Man’s lineage separated from apes about 8 million years ago.
Harnessing of fire is what changed us into humans. No primate can break down the cellulose in plants. That requires microbial action, which means a large belly. Fire breaks down cell walls, so fire allowed us to replace a lot of bacteria because cooking breaks down plants. We can cook tubers and get calories from them that no other animal can.
A sugar molecule that lines our blood vessels, Neu5AC, is different from what great apes have. We share Neu5AC with chicken, fish, and elephants. Cows, pigs, sheep, great apes carry Neu5GC. Eating meat can cause heart disease because we make an antibody to Neu5GC. Meat may be bad for us because it makes us attack our own blood vessels by mistake. We don’t attack our own blood vessels when we eat fish and chicken.
We are designed to grow up, have babies, and then get out of the way. Our children are the rocket; we’re the solid fuel rocket boosters that are meant to be jettisoned. We’re dead weight after reproducing with no advantage to the species by living beyond reproductive years. There is no genetic impetus to have us live a long time and become a drain on the system, and thus there is no evolutionary pressure for humans to change from Neu5GC to Neu5AC. Elderly will survive if only taking their fair share of food and are still contributing. Most lose weight after adulthood, return to their 13 year old weight, and lose muscle mass. If at 85 you have muscle mass of 30 year old, you’re still contributing and are useful, so you would predict carrying muscle mass into old age would be a good thing to do. Studies show muscle mass increases longevity.
Why does the heart get clogged up? Simple carbohydrates are very different from complex carbs with resistant starch. Resistant starch has molecules that are resistant to digestion but our gut bugs like them, are prebiotics. Probiotics have to be fed things they like, need to be fertilized. If guts aren’t given what they like to eat, the bad bugs take over. Are 2 sets of bugs that live in our guts, which has over 10,000 species in it. Obesogenic bugs love sugars and saturated fats. Lean-making bugs like leaves. Fat kids who got prebiotics lost a lot more weight than kids who didn’t. Bugs in the gut can change. When kids were given prebiotics, microbiome changed to friendly bugs. Microbiome of kids not give prebiotics stayed as obesogenic.
Key to losing weight is in your gut and the bacteria you foster there. It’s not cholesterol, which is just an innocent bystander.
Prebiotics are tubers, which include sweet potatoes, yams, jicama, green bananas, plantain, sorghum, millet. We’re told fibers are good for us. In Africa, no colon cancer. Dr. Denis Burkitt studied their poops, which were huge, and said it was the fiber keeping the colons of Africans healthy. England didn’t have many tubers, so Burkitt mistakenly said fiber in grains was equivalent to tubers. He died of colon cancer. All fiber is not the same. Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) is a lectin and is one of best ways to produce atherosclerosis in an animal model.
What causes atherosclerosis? Sugar, fruit juice, which is mainline sugar. Artificial sweeteners kill off good bacteria in gut and promote growth of bad bacteria. White rice is safer than brown rice because hulls of brown rice contain lectins. Plants defend themselves with lectins to make people sick. Lectins promote obesity and pre-diabetes syndrome.
Legumes – no human being ate peas, beans until 10,000 years ago. 20% of all food poisoning in US is caused by lectins in undercooked beans. Pressure cooking destroys the lectins.
Potatos are a nightshade, also tomatoes, pepper, eggplant, goji berries. Nightshades have highest lectin content of any food . We all originally came from Europe, Asia, Africa. Our bodies have only been exposed to foods from American continent for 500 years and we haven’t adapted to nightshades. Must pressure cook potatoes, peel and deseed tomatoes. Native Americans in southwest peeled and deseeded chili peppers. Quinoa- Incas used 3 detox processes to get rid of lectins in quinoa.
What role do virus, bacteria, fungi have in atherosclerosis? Big role, they cause inflammation. Mycoplasma found in vascular plaques. Flossing dramatically lowered inflammation markers by removing bacterial colonies from the mouth.
Wild rice, all grasses, have lectins. Pressure cooking destroys all lectins except gluten. Lectin is a tough protein to degrade with just heat, needs pressure and heat to degrade. Instant Pot, Cuisinart make good electric pressure cookers.
Ideal diet: We’re designed to eat a lot of leaves. Chard, brassica vegetables, flowers, leaves with a lot of prebiotic sugars – radicchio, Belgian endive, asparagus, okra. Food is a vehicle to get olive oil into your mouth. Studies say using 1 liter of olive oil per week improved memory, 67% less breast cancer than with low fat diet. Olive oil has polyphenols in it. Polyphenols change bacteria in our gut and change how DNA is expressed. Eat a polyphenol rich diet – blood vessels dilate, become more flexible, less sticky on inside of blood vessels.
Free-range chicken has never gone outside. Legally that label only means an open door with the potential for a chicken to go outside 5 minutes every hour . If you eat chicken, eat pastured chicken.
Soaking and fermenting foods is good. Rotting is effective at having bacteria do the work of destroying lectins. Sourdough bread much safer because of fermentation.
Statin drugs are a crutch. Some people are so out of whack that they can use statins temporarily until their metabolism is restored. Study of 65 year olds showed higher mortality when on statins.
Small dense LDLs – it’s the oxidized ones that are bad. Total cholesterol or LDL isn’t useful.
Most people deficient in D3. Need 5,000 IU a day. No such thing as Vitamin D toxicity. Most people are deficient in fish oil. Brains need fat. People with the highest omega-3 index have largest brains and largest area of memory.
Get polyphenols, which are found in grape seed extract, extra dark chocolate, green tea. Need magnesium, which helps get sugar out of the bloodstream. Most people are very deficient.
Raw, grassfed dairy. Casein A1- e.g. Holstein vs. casein A2 – Guernsey, Swiss Brown. Jerseys are mixed. A1 dairy is a major cause of diabetes and atherosclerosis. A1 cream is okay, but not cheese. Dairy from Italy, Switzerland, France is A2. High quality ice cream manufacturers use A2 because they have more cream.
Why do people in Italy have such good health when they eat so much pasta? Pasta is a negative factor overcome by olive oil, vegetables, fish, and red wine. Cereal grains are a negative factor.
Dr. Steven Gundry M.D., Cardiologist, and clearing out the arteries with diet and nutrition, June 8, 2017