Have you ever wondered why other people can use a popular diet, and the pounds shed for them, but when YOU try this diet you end up gaining weight? How can this be?? Lectins are sugar-binding proteins found in all foods that interact with your blood type; all foods interact with your blood in a good, bad or neutral way. Lectins and polyamines are compounds found in foods which can interfere with a variety of health promoting processes in the body.
When you eat a food that’s incompatible with your blood type, they can interfere with digestion, metabolism, and your immune system. Not only can this contribute to poor health, inflammation, and illness, but it can also contribute to weight gain and make it extremely difficult to lose weight. Not only do lectins cause our blood to needlessly stick together, making it difficult to eliminate toxins, but lectins interfere with an appetite suppressing hormone called leptin (note the difference).
Lectin’s role in weight gain
When the hormone leptin is found in sufficient amounts, it tells the brain that “we’re full” thereby suppressing appetite and helps us burn calories more efficiently. When we have hormonal leptin resistance, incompatible lectins can occupy these hormone sites causing an abnormal and voracious appetite. When these hormone receptor sites are blocked, it is difficult to feel satisfied even after eating enough food, and we may constantly feel hungry. Obese people have been shown to have very high levels of hormonal leptin resistance. Poor quality calories, lack of enzymes and nutrients, eating junk food or refined overly processed foods can also be a source of incompatible lectins.
Lectins, Blood Type and weight gain
Our blood type plays an important role interacting with lectins. A common effect of lectins is to cause the sugars on the outer surface of our cells to cross-link with those of another cell, effectively causing our cells to stick together. This process of cells sticking together is called agglutination, which is the most well known effect of most lectins. Not all lectins cause agglutination. A few types of lectins cause certain cells to proliferate. Basically, lectins make things stick to other things. The degree that lectins “choose” the cells they stick to is primarily determined by the degree of “glycosylation” that a particular tissue has. Glycosylation refers to when a sugar attaches to proteins, fats and other molecules. For example, the cells lining the small intestine wall usually are very well glycosylated therefore have many sites for lectin binding.
If you have incompatibilities with wheat, and you eat wheat, these lectins bind to the intestinal wall. This can cause a myriad of problems, one of which can be weight gain. This is also one reason why some people who are diagnosed with CD, or Celiac Disease, are not necessarily the extremely underweight sterotype that plagues many CD diagnosed people.
Lectins and digestive issues
A person who is incompatible with certain types of meat (because of lectins), can become weak, lethargic and susceptible to infection. Lectins have been known to cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, bloating, fatigue, buildup of unfriendly bacteria and a smorgasbord of immune system problems. When cells begin to stick together, and there’s not a specific reason requiring this to happen such as clotting, serious health problems can begin to appear. Lectins that are incompatible with your blood can cause the inhibition of digestive hormones as well as the production of toxins. Some lectins resemble the sugars found on harmful bacteria; therefore can cause an autoimmune attack on our own cells.
Lectins can attack your system in various ways—well beyond what we normally think of as digestive problems:
- Lectins can cause weight gain, and make weight loss difficult
- Lectins can interfere with the immune system
- Lectins can interfere with protein digestion
- Lectins can activate autoantibodies in inflammatory and autoimmune conditions
- Lectins can damage the intestinal lining
- Lectins can influence gut permeability and can contribute to “leaky gut”
- Lectins can block the transportation of hormones
- Lectins can impair absorption of nutrients
- Lectins can stimulate organ overgrowth (such as our pancreas in cases with insulin resistance)
- Lectins can penetrate the blood brain barrier (BBB) and contribute to cognitive problems
Eating for your Blood Type can have an important effect in reducing your exposure to weight gain related lectins. If you follow your specific blood type diet, you can balance the proper amount of polyamines along with minimizing your exposure to lectins that are incompatible with your body. Eating for your blood type can give you more energy, greater mental focus and clarity, reduces stress and helps you lose weight.
It is therefore important to have a complete nutritional assessment which determines your blood type, secretor status, and genotype when it comes to building the foundation needed to create optimal health and wellness and allow us to age gracefully. Genotype refers to the genetic make up – this takes into account one’s genetic history. We perform this type of analysis in our office, which can help everyone, and help unravel some of the mysteries that some people of mixed race ancestry have also experienced when it comes to diet and their health.
What if my genetics are the cause of my health decline?
Genetic issues regarding diet and health do not need to be a problem where you have to give up, and believe that you have to accept “the hand we were dealt.” While we can’t eliminate or add new genes, we can turn up the volume on certain genes and silence others through careful application of diet and supplementation. This is called epigenetics. The net result is a vast improvement in our health and happiness. Supplementation is imperative today, but we only get partial results with our health when we leave out the importance of diet.
SWAMI knows genotypes and what you should eat to build your health!
We work with the SWAMI GenoType software to help our patients build health through food and nutrition. SWAMI creates one-of-a kind diets, based on a person’s blood type, fingerprints, health history, biometric measurements and over ninety other variables. SWAMI incorporates over
100,000 years of forensic anthropology following ancestral diets. By emphasizing cultures with good health and longevity, SWAMI GenoType evaluates each of over 700 foods for over 200 individual attributes (such as its cholesterol level, gluten content, presence of antioxidants, etc.) to determine if a food is either a superfood or toxin specifically for you.
Based on your specific test results, SWAMI GenoType considers a food to be either of three values: a ‘superfood’, ‘neutral’ or ‘toxin-avoid’, then each category of foods are broken down based on these values. Certain genotypes of people can pack on the pounds when consuming certain whole grains like wheat, while others require these foods for adequate blood sugar balance.
SWAMI is especially helpful for those who have made many changes to eat healthy, but have still hit plateaus in feeling better or turning around chronic health issues. SWAMI provides the analysis and provides many recipes that can work for you. Additionally, we apply our clinical judgment by identifying specific nutritional deficiencies during the examination and provide appropriate supplement recommendations needed to bring about rapid optimal healthy change.