Do lectins re­ally cause in­flam­ma­tion?

Clean Eating - - LETTERS & ADVISORY BOARD -

– SARAH AN­DREWS, FRANKFORT, KY

Q/ A/With the pub­li­ca­tion of The Plant Para­dox (Harper Wave, 2017), by Steven Gundry, MD, lectins seem to be the lat­est “anti-nu­tri­ent” re­ceiv­ing at­ten­tion. Lectins are pro­teins found in foods like grains, legumes, night­shade veg­eta­bles (such as pota­toes, tomatoes, pep­pers and egg­plant), dairy and eggs. Gundry the­o­rizes that these pro­teins can lead to in­flam­ma­tory re­ac­tions that cause a whole host of au­toim­mune and de­gen­er­a­tive dis­eases. How­ever, the ma­jor­ity of re­search on lectins has been con­ducted in test tubes or on an­i­mals, not on peo­ple. Plus, the lectins in food can be de­ac­ti­vated or re­duced by soak­ing, sprout­ing, fer­ment­ing or cook­ing. There’s far more ev­i­dence to show that a plant-based diet is as­so­ci­ated with re­duced lev­els of in­flam­ma­tion and a lower risk of heart dis­ease, di­a­betes, can­cer and other chronic dis­eases.

– ERIN MAC­DON­ALD AND TIF­FANI BACHUS

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