Gluten is a buzzword for a lot of people right now. However, what is gluten, and what does it do to the body?
First and foremost, gluten is a structural protein for wheat, barley, and rye foods. While nearly all foods are made with protein, there are different forms of protein. There is functional protein, which our bodies use very efficiently to create amino acids and then other protein structures (like enzymes, hormones, etc.), and there is structural protein. Structural protein builds, or makes, a substance; though, it can be very inefficient in the body for extracting the amino acids. This is due to a necessity for a rigid molecular structure. What does this mean? Quite simply, it means that structural proteins are much more difficult to digest.
That being said, what is necessary to digest gluten? Dipeptidyl Peptidase IV. Whoa! What is that? Dipeptidyl peptidase IV is an enzyme in the body that is responsible for the digestion of gluten (and casein, to which much of the following discussion can be included). Enzymes are heat and pH specific, which means that they do not work when one of these factors is incorrect. Heat is typically correct apart from some extreme cases (freezing, burning, or having a fever), and is therefore not typically an issue. However, the pH value of the stomach, where most enzymes reside, is highly variable. This is because the food someone consumes can directly affect the pH values. Alkaline, or basic, foods will usually turn acidic in the stomach, which is the desired effect. However, the opposite is also true where acidic foods will turn alkaline in the stomach.
Internal pH values were not as big of a problem in the past (give or take 60 years ago), nor is it a big problem in other countries. However, this is an immediate and paralyzing threat to the American people. This is because nearly everything is processed. The processing system makes certain foods, such as flours and sugar, into a very acidic form.
These “foods” are then used on a wide scale in a number of products. This destabilizes the pH in the stomach, making the strength of the stomach acid very weak. Then, the enzyme responsible for digesting gluten is inhibited almost completely due to an incorrect pH value. This means that the body cannot break down the gluten protein molecule into amino acids.
To Be Continued…. Click here!