GM Foods Proposed as Trigger for Gluten Sensitivity
The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) recently released a report proposing a link between genetically modified (GM) foods and gluten-related disorders. In the report, a team of experts suggests that GM foods may be an important environmental trigger for gluten sensitivity, which is estimated to affect as many as 18 million Americans.
Citing U.S. Department of Agriculture data, Environmental Protection Act records, medical journal reviews and international research, the authors relate GM foods to five conditions that may either trigger or exacerbate gluten-related disorders, including the serious autoimmune disorder, celiac disease:
- Intestinal permeability
- Imbalanced gut bacteria
- Immune activation and allergic response
- Impaired digestion
- Damage to the intestinal wall
Although wheat has been hybridized over the years, it is not a genetically modified organism (GMO), which can only be created by a laboratory process that inserts genetic material into plant DNA. There are nine GMO food crops currently being grown for commercial use: soy, corn, cotton (oil), canola (oil), sugar from sugar beets, zucchini, yellow squash, Hawaiian papaya and alfalfa.
Most GMOs are engineered to tolerate a weed killer called glyphosate (Roundup). They contain high levels of this toxin at harvest. Corn and cotton varieties are also engineered to produce an insecticide called Bt-toxin. The report focuses primarily on the effects of these two toxins.
“The Bt-toxin in corn is designed to puncture holes in insect cells, but studies show it does the same in human cells,” explained IRT Executive Director Jeffrey Smith. “Bt-toxin may be linked to leaky gut, which physicians consistently see in gluten-sensitive patients.”
“Based on my clinical experience, when I remove GM foods as part of the treatment for gluten sensitivity, recovery is faster and more complete,” added Emily Linder, MD. “I believe that GMOs in our diet contribute to the rise in gluten sensitivity in the U.S. population.”
The best way to avoid GMOs is to purchase certified organic or Non-GMO Project Verified products. Download a shopping guide at NonGMOShoppingGuide.com or the free iPhone app, ShopNoGMO.
The markets for both gluten-free products and non-GMO products are expanding. Gluten-free sales are expected to exceed $5 billion by 2015 while Non-GMO Project Verified sales went from $0 to more than $3.5 billion in the last three years.
For a full report, visit http://www.glutenandgmos.com.
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