by Sayer Ji
Now that celiac disease has been allowed official entry into the annals of established medical conditions, and gluten intolerance is no longer entirely a fringe medical concept, the time has come to draw attention to the powerful little chemical in wheat known as 'wheat germ agglutinin' (WGA) which is largely responsible for many of wheat's pervasive, and difficult-to-diagnose, ill effects. Not only does WGA throw a monkey wrench into our assumptions about the primary causes of wheat intolerance, it also pulls the rug out from under one of the health food industry's favorite poster children since high concentrations of WGA is found in "whole wheat," including its supposedly superior sprouted form. Below the radar of conventional serological testing for antibodies against various gluten proteins and genetic testing for disease susceptibility, the WGA "lectin problem" remains almost entirely obscured. Lectins, though found in all grains, seeds, legumes, dairy and our beloved nightshades: the tomato and potato, are rarely connected with health or illness, even when their consumption may greatly reduce both the quality and length of our lives.
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