Why are so many people intolerant to milk and wheat?
It is all dependent on bacteria in the gut.
The digestion of milk and wheat proteins is quite complicated in comparison with other food, it involves two stages.
1) Digestive juices in the stomach help to split wheat and milk proteins into peptides (partially broken down proteins).
2) In the small intestines these peptides are subjected to pancreatic juices before reaching the intestinal wall where peptidases (a type of enzyme on the microvilli of enterocytes) break them down.
In a person with a healthy gut all of this works fine. If the integrity of the gut has been compromised however, the enterocytes are in such a poor state that the second stage does not take place. Because of this, the morphine-like structures of some of the peptides (casomorphines and gluteomorphines or gliadinomorphines) are absorbed into the bloodstream without first being broken down. They then interfere with immune system and brain function. For peptidases to do their work correctly, they need stomach acid, but again, due to abnormal flora, GAPS people usually have very low stomach acidity. They are also suppressed by the sheer number of incoming dietary peptides (by the time they reach the gut they should have already been broken down). As a result, peptidases are unable to function as normal; breaking down hormones and neurotransmitters once they have done their work. The body becomes overloaded with the debris of peptides, causing damage and even psychological symptoms.
Is it any wonder that people with MS are so toxic? The same goes for other GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) patients. Most of this toxicity comes from the digestive system which is unable to evacuate toxins or even break them down correctly. (For more information on GAPS, where it comes from and how to deal with it read Dr Natacha Campbell’s book.)
Research has shown that people with auto-immune conditions such as MS have high levels of casomorphines and gluteomorphines in their bodies. (This is also true of patients with ADHD, Autism, Depression, psychosis and Schizophrenia – for more details on how poor digestion is related these conditions, read Gut and Psychology Syndrome.) People who suffer from autoimmune diseases, alcoholism, depression and schizophrenia have damaged enterocytes because they are missing the bacteria needed to help them function correctly. This results in pathogenic bacteria damaging the gut wall, letting through poorly digested proteins such as casomorphin and gliadomorphin, which as abovementioned are impossible to digest; cross into the blood and are taken to the brain.
In order to digest lactose (milk sugar) we need E.coli, among other good bacteria in the gut. E.coli appear in the gut of healthy babies in the first few days after birth and remain there for life as long as they are not destroyed by antibiotics and other environmental factors. The absence of good bacteria leaves the enterocytes unable to digest lactose or starch. Instead they stay in the gut feeding pathogenic bacteria like Candida as well as adding to the overload of toxins, further damaging the gut wall and poisoning the body. Milk products which are fermented well are generally lactose-free because the fermenting bacteria will feed on the lactose. So well fermented yoghurt, soured cream, kefir and natural cheese are easier for the human gut to digest, and soothing to the gut lining, helping with healing and providing the body with B, biotin, k2 and other vitamins. People with MS need to be careful about dairy anyway because of its high saturated fat content.
However, milk also contains the protein casein. Research has shown that in an unhealthy digestive system, beta caseins (one form of casein) turns into casomorphin-7 and is taken up by 32 areas of the brain. These brain areas are in many cases in charge of communication, hearing and vision. In order to be harmless, milk needs to be fermented at home – you cannot trust commercially available fermented milk products, the fermentation process in these is never long enough. Further to this, these products are often then pasteurized; killing probiotic microbes and changing the protein and fat structures, removing nutrients in the process.
Another problem with milk is that it is very easy for us to develop allergies to it because of the range of antigens (immunoglobulins) in it. If a breastfeeding mother consumes dairy it is possible to the child to be sensitive to the antigens she passes on through her milk.
When mucous membranes are attacked by pathogenic bacteria produce a lot of mucous to protect themselves. Large amounts of mucous get in the way of digestion, coating food particles; stopping digestive enzymes and bile from reaching them, resulting in lots of undigested food, particularly fats. This can be seen in greasy stools and leads to deficiencies in vitamins A, D, E and K. When starch and double sugars are avoided for long time, mucous production becomes normal, improving the absorption of fats.
The state of a baby’s gut also depends on whether they are being breast-fed, and receiving all the good bacteria they need from their mother’s breast milk, and as a result it also depends on the state of the mother’s gut. This problem can be avoided by following a diet to heal the leaky gut.
This diet is nothing new, digestive disorders were treated with it in the 20th century! Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) has been used many times to cure Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and Celiac Disease. It was found that patients of these disorders react well to dietary proteins and fats. The trouble foods were complex carbohydrates from grains and starchy vegetables as well as lactose and sugars. The problem with Celiac Disease is that it has been turned in the medical world into a gluten intolerance. Many people diagnosed with Celiac Disease find that the gluten-free diet does not work for them; this is because it is not just gluten that needs to be avoided. They should really be advised to follow a SCD diet or better still, a GFCG one, so that they stop reacting to milk and wheat proteins, among other substances that leak into their blood, as well as the GAPS diet to fix their leaky gut.
If your gut wall is not working correctly, it is best to avoid wheat and milk (as well as their derivatives), to stop feeding pathogenic bacteria in order to allow enterocytes to recover, until the gut flora is restored.