I recently watched the documentary called What’s With Wheat. It is a documentary that discusses the negative health consequence of consuming wheat and grains. This is something that I have seen in my own patients, I see it more and more that kids have sensitivities to gluten and gliadin (proteins in wheat products).
In the documentary they discussed many negative aspects of wheat. They talked about everything from genetic modification, how it is grown, hormones that are put on the crops, and how it is processed. Through the constant changes in production it has greatly increased the health related concerns that come from it. I highly recommend this documentary for you to check out, you can find it at whatswithwheat.com .
The specific topic that I want to discuss from this documentary is something called glyphosate. Glyphosate is a broad spectrum systemic herbicide and crop desiccant. It is sprayed on all non-organic crops, and it is commonly known as round-up.
This topic is important to me because when I do an urinary organic acids test on a child, many of the kids that have autism, ADHD, or learning delays have elevated markers for glyphosate in their urine. This means that kids are getting round-up in their body from the food they are eating. This is a scary thought to think that the things we spray on crops to kill other organic species we are also ingesting and damaging our own bodies.
Many experts say that round-up does not affect human tissues, and it only affects bacteria cells. In saying that they would be correct, but what most people don’t understand is that your gut made up of more bacteria cells than human cells! We live in a symbiotic relationship with bacteria, and that same bacteria is what makes out gut healthy. Our gut bacteria area also responsible for making the majority of our neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are extremely important for our brain to develop well, and function well. When Glyphosates are elevated on an organic acids test I often see neurotransmitter levels being low as well.
The reason for this is due to a pathway called the shikimate pathway. The shikimate pathway is what allows bacteria in our gut to produce neurotransmitters that we use! The thing is glyphosates disrupt the production of phosphoenolpyruvate which is needed to go into the shikimate pathway to get the production of neurotransmitters started. Without phosphoenolpyruvate we do not have the ability to produce tryptophane (which supports serotonin production), tyrosine and phenylalanine (which support dopamine productions and other neurotransmitters).
So the simple question is what can we do to help our community produce better health? According to this documentary we should not consume any type of grains, unless they are ancient grains that have not been modified by farming practices or had any glyphosates sprayed on them. I don’t know that I 100% agree with the film on this aspect because some grains can be beneficial for some people if produced correctly and at home.
What I do agree with is that no one should be consuming gluten or gliadin (wheat) because the research is showing that we can not digest these proteins at all. In my clinical experience they only create issues for kids development as well.
Another aspect that I agree with is that when consuming all foods they should be whole foods that are not processed, and that they need to be organic. Most organic foods are not sprayed with glyphosates and therefor do not disrupt your gut microbiome and your neurotransmitter production!
To keep your gut and brain healthy:
- Get grains out of your diet
- Go organic
- Don’t eat processed foods