How GMOS Are Af­fect­ing Your Gut Health

Delight Gluten Free - - Enlighten - BY JOY­ANA PETERS MCMA­HON, DE­LIGHT CON­TRIB­U­TOR

Learn about ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied or­gan­isms (GMOS) and how they may af­fect your gut health.

GMOS or Ge­net­i­cally Mod­i­fied Or­gan­isms are be­ing given quite the hype right now. Ev­ery time I go to the gro­cery store I see more la­bels on foods tout­ing that they are Gmo-free. I’ve also heard in the news that some of the largest sup­port­ers for man­dated GMO la­bel­ing are gluten-free con­sumers. Now, some of that is just be­cause gluten-free con­sumers are gen­er­ally more la­bel con­scious and cau­tious about what goes into their food. But oth­ers ar­gue that GMOS are ac­tu­ally linked to the in­crease in gluten sen­si­tiv­ity and ex­po­sure could be an un­der­ly­ing cause of celiac dis­ease. This re­search has yet to be proven. But there has been a huge ex­plo­sion in more doc­u­mented cases of celiac dis­ease that do co­in­cide to around the time GMOS hit the mar­ket. So, could GMOS be the an­swer? Let’s do some dig­ging.

Most GMO crops are en­gi­neered to with­stand the ef­fects of the weed killer Round up. One of the main in­gre­di­ents of Round up is glyphosate. Since the crops re­main alive af­ter be­ing ex­posed, they re­tain a large amount of the glyphosate, which gets pro­cessed into your food later. Glyphosate is a po­tent an­tibi­otic and her­bi­cide.

As we know, the risks of be­ing ex­posed to an­tibi­otics is al­ways the reduction of ben­e­fi­cial bac­te­ria and pos­si­ble growth of harm­ful strains in the gut. Corn and cot­ton GMOS are also en­gi­neered to with­stand the ef­fects of an in­sec­ti­cide called Bt-toxin. Corn is one of the most used prod­ucts in Amer­i­can food sources. There­fore, peo­ple are be­ing ex­posed to both glyphosate and Bt-toxin on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. Re­cent stud­ies have shown links be­tween both glyphosate and Bt-toxin and five con­di­tions usu­ally as­so­ci­ated with gluten-re­lated symp­toms in­clud­ing, “leaky gut,” an im­bal­ance of gut bac­te­ria, dif­fer­ent im­mune re­ac­tions and al­ler­gies, im­paired di­ges­tion and de­struc­tion to the in­testi­nal wall. Hmm, co­in­ci­dence? Also con­sid­er­ing Bt-toxin is con­structed to kill in­sects by punch­ing holes in their in­testi­nal tracts- it could stand to rea­son that it does not seem like a far stretch to imag­ine it do­ing so to hu­man guts as well. In fact, a 2012 study found ev­i­dence con­firm­ing this. Bt-toxin has been found in ev­ery ker­nel of ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied corn tested, has been proven to sur­vive hu­man di­ges­tion and been present in the blood of 93% of preg­nant women tested and 80% of un­born fe­tuses. Re­searchers claim this toxin and its gut punch­ing ef­fects could be an in­te­gral an­swer to our celiac ori­gin ques­tions. So there is some con­vinc­ing re­search out there about GMOS pos­si­bly caus­ing or ex­ag­ger­at­ing a ge­netic pre­dis­po­si­tion to celiac dis­ease. But what about af­ter di­ag­no­sis? Aren’t GMOS present in many gluten-free foods? One of the pri­mary in­gre­di­ents sub­sti­tuted in many gluten-free foods is corn. Un­for­tu­nately, this is an ironic prob­lem fac­ing the shelves right now. It’s been ex­cit­ing to see the ex­plo­sion of gluten-free foods hit­ting the mar­ket and yet, eat­ing many of them might pos­si­bly con­tinue to harm our al­ready im­pacted and sen­si­tive gut health. So what can we do to help our­selves? For starters, it pays to steer clear of many of the pro­cessed op­tions on the shelves. We’ve been hear­ing that for years any­way be­cause of the sug­ars and other un­nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents added to those prod­ucts. So here’s just one more rea­son to add to the grow­ing list to ad­vo­cate for clean eat­ing and cook­ing. It also helps to ed­u­cate your­self about the most pop­u­lar crops that are ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied. Corn is the most well known of­fender, but other high risk crops in­clude, yel­low and acorn squash, zuc­chini, bok choy, flax, canola, al­falfa, sugar beets and soy. It also pays to sub­scribe to web­sites like the NON-GMO project at http://www. nong­mo­pro­ject.org/. They pro­vide lists of high risk and mod­er­ate risk crops based on up to date in­for­ma­tion and trends. They also pro­vide links to stores that are stock­ing NON-GMO al­ter­na­tives as well as ver­i­fied prod­ucts that pass in­spec­tion. They also pro­vide an app for guid­ance while shop­ping. Buy­ing cer­ti­fied or­ganic prod­ucts is a good first step. It is not al­ways a guar­an­tee, un­for­tu­nately, since or­ganic prod­ucts are not re­quired to la­bel GMOS. But there is a less likely chance of GMOS be­ing uti­lized in or­ganic prod­ucts. Hope­fully, by fol­low­ing or­ganic la­bels and be­ing aware of the mod­er­ate and high-risk crops, you’ll be most equipped to nav­i­gate and steer clear of the GMOS present in your lo­cal gro­cery store. Again, we are not yet pos­i­tive of the links be­tween GMOS and celiac dis­ease. If any­thing, the re­search con­nects more prob­lems with the sprays used than the ac­tual crops them­selves. But in my ex­pe­ri­ence, it al­ways pays to err on the side of cau­tion when you can. Just be­ing mind­ful of the pos­si­ble links and choos­ing a NON-GMO al­ter­na­tive when of­fered could make a dif­fer­ence. And the ben­e­fits of clean eat­ing and by­pass­ing pro­cessed foods will al­ways help your gut health long term.<

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