Lectins create fat metabolism problems because they mimic hormones that control weight gain. What are lectins? They are plant proteins that are highly resistant to breakdown from heat or digestion. They provide a defense for plants against bacteria, viruses and invaders, but can create problems for humans.
Unfortunately in some human bodies they cause enormous digestive problems, fat gain and unwanted hyper immune reaction. You might be wondering how to they do damage with some people but not other?
Dr. Peter D’Adamo has written books and followed research that explains why lectins are a problem. He correlates lectin reactions to blood types. Because of different genetics that follow blood lines, these lectins attack and wreak havoc to your health. One of his most popular books is “Eat Right 4 Your Type”.
When I first heard of this book, I was skeptical that blood types could explain digestive problems, aches and pains in the joints and general food intolerances. I’ve since become a believer that there is credibility to this connection. As I read a passage in his book about the tendencies for my blood type, it was uncanny how it fit my profile. As a result of this I’ve since eliminated gluten, a common problem lectin, as well as the lectin causing dairy intolerances. I have eliminated some aches and pain, especially in the joints by eliminating these lectin containing foods.
Okay, how do lectins affect fat metabolism? Lectins are notorious for docking at hormone receptor sites and interfering with hormone function.
Hormones are crucial for proper fat metabolism. The journal of Neuropeptides has reported the lectins in wheat, lentils, green peas, corn and potatoes bind to insulin receptor sites.
With the blockage of insulin receptors by lectin decoys, insulin cannot function properly. A lack of insulin function prevents proper metabolism of glucose. This excess glucose is ultimately converted into triglyceride fatty acids. These fatty acids become stored as fat in your body’s fat beds.
Yet another problem is caused by the lectin, gluten. It is known to block a hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK) which is important to appetite control. It puts the brakes on hunger and appetite. When it gets blocked you naturally eat more and get fat because you are hungry.
CCK is a hormone that is important in fat and protein digestion. It is peptide (protein type) hormone in the digestive track. Its action triggers the release of digestive enzymes and bile produced by the pancreas and gall bladder respectively.
At one time cholecystokinin was called pancreozymin, no doubt a descriptive term that labeled its end result; the release of pancreatic enzymes and bile needed for digestion. While it is helpful in metabolizing fats, it also has the function of appetite regulation. It is considered an appetite suppressant. It functions both as a digestive hormone as well as a satiety hormone.
CCK helps coordinate the emptying of stomach contents for optimal processing and assimilation of both fats and proteins from the small intestine. It additionally helps coordinate the release of bile which is an important emulsifier for fats. Appetite suppression is believed to be partly due to stomach emptying of its contents… how fast or slow the stomach is emptied. Source: Wikipedia Health Encyclopedia.
Lectins can be very disruptive to body chemistry, especially that of glucose metabolism. Lectins are proteins that have an affinity for sugar molecules and they bind to them. This makes a compound that the body perceives as a foreign object. The body launches an attack against this protein/sugar compound. This raises havoc with your immune system, wasting its resources on a false enemy…Denis Van Loan D.D.S.