Superman’s Kryptonite
– Is In Our Food –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

July 18, 2021

 

As a young kid, I loved to read Superman published by DC Comics. The character was created way back in 1938. And I loved watching the original TV series, The Adventures of Superman. The shows aired from 1952-1958. And then there were all those reruns.

Superman was the strongest man on earth. Nothing could harm him – except Kryptonite. Kryptonite was a greenish material from Superman’s home planet of Krypton. Kryptonite emitted substances, which Superman’s body could not tolerate.

Kryptonite’s properties would weaken Superman and destroy his powers. First, it caused pain and nausea. But with prolonged exposure, it would kill him.

Does all this sound familiar? Substances like Kryptonite are hidden in some of our food!

Humans’ Kryptonite

Humans are designed to be strong and healthy. We get our nourishment from clean air, pure water, and nutrient-dense foods. But our genetic code does not have the ability to destroy certain elements that could weaken us at first but kill us over prolonged exposure.

Among these elements are anti-nutrients. They are our Kryptonite.

Anti-nutrients are found in plants and are the plants’ defense mechanisms to prevent their species from being eaten and becoming extinct. They also ensure that their babies (i.e., seeds) continue to propagate the species. These toxic chemicals discourage animals from eating the plant and therefore assures the plant’s survival.

Lectins, phytates, oxalates, and gluten are some of the major antinutrients. By causing gut discomfort, widespread inflammation, and nutrient malabsorption, they can wreak havoc in our body if we eat large amounts of them continuously.

Obviously, if we don’t eat them, they can’t bother us. Eaten occasionally in small amounts, they may not be too harmful. Specific food preparation techniques may render some of them less harmful. But their toxic effects are cumulative. Our body can be damaged if we eat them frequently over long periods of time.

 

Human Kryptonite

 

#1 Lectins

Lectins are proteins that attach to carbohydrates in the gut, bloodstream, or any tissues in the body. They form clumps of cells that can cause immune and gut reactions – specifically chronic systemic inflammation.

For example, lectins will bind to glucosamine, which is a carbohydrate that covers your joints. The result could be inflammation and pain around the joint.

Here’s another example: The mucus that lines mucous membranes is a mucopolysaccharide. It is a bunch of sugar molecules that traps lectins. When we eat lectins, our mucus production can go into overdrive as it attempts to bind to as many lectins as possible. This may make us feel inflamed and congested. That’s why some people who drink pasteurized milk from conventionally raised cows may often have a lot of mucus production and congestion. This milk contains “A1 casein”, which has lectins that stimulate an overproduction of mucus.

Lectins lurk almost everywhere. Large amounts of lectins are found in raw legumes like beans, peas and lentils as well as whole grains. Also, nightshades, which includes tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, goji berries, peppers, paprika, and chili peppers, are high in lectins. A plant’s seeds and skin contain the highest amounts of lectins. Some herbs like basil, rosemary, garlic, chives, ginger and parsley contain high levels of lectins.

Once you begin removing lectins from your diet, it could take up to 2 years to heal your gut.

 

#2 Phytic Acid & Phytates

Similar to lectins, phytic acid is manufactured by plants. It is the storage form of phosphorus in the seed. When the plant grows, phytic acids release phosphorus to help the plant grow.

In humans, phytic acid prevents the absorption of specific minerals in our gut and reduces the digestibility of proteins in our diet. Phytic acid binds to calcium, iron and zinc when ingested, forming complexes preventing these minerals from being absorbed and used by the body. When phytic acid binds to a mineral, it is called phytate. Phytates aren’t digested when we eat them because we lack the enzyme phytase that would break them down.

The dominant foods containing phytic acid include beans, seeds, nuts, grains & legumes as well as some roots and tubers.

 

#3 Oxalates

 

When oxalates are eaten, they bind to minerals to form crystals like calcium oxalate or iron oxalate. This can occur in the colon, in the kidneys, or in the urinary tract. By binding these minerals in the gut, oxalates reduce their bioavailability and can lead to mineral deficiencies.

For some people, consuming oxalates may lead to developing kidney stones. About 80% of all kidney stones are formed from calcium oxalates although there are other forms.

Raw cruciferous vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and radishes have large amounts of oxalates. Other high-oxalate foods include cacao, black pepper, rhubarb, almonds and beans. Herbs containing high levels of oxalates include turmeric, cloves, and cinnamon.

Oxalates can bind to calcium in the blood and form tiny, sharp crystals that can be deposited anywhere in our bodily tissues. These oxalate crystals can cause joint pain or burning sensations in our eyes, mouth, ears and throat. They’re often the hidden, underlying cause of unresolved health issues. And when an effort is made to limit oxalate intake, health improves.

However, it may require several months for oxalates to leave the body’s tissues. If you decrease your oxalates too quickly, you might experience what’s called oxalate dumping, which is where the body rapidly gets rid of its oxalate stores, leading to several uncomfortable symptoms.

Examples of symptoms of oxalate dumping include:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Hives or skin rashes
  • Mood changes
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Painful urination
  • Muscle cramps
  • Trouble focusing

 

 

#4 Gluten

 

Gluten, which contains lectins, is a family of proteins that is present in wheat, rye, barley, and some other types of grains. As a matter of fact, gluten could be an ingredient in many processed foods, cosmetics, prescription medications, and nutritional supplements. The human body cannot completely digest gluten. One of the remnants of the incomplete digestion of gluten is gliadin and its other gliadin structures.

Gliadin, a form of lectin, has the potential to slowly and deliberately destroy various tissues of the body. Its effects are cumulative, producing chronic inflammation over time.

It causes gut dysbiosis and opens holes in the gut lining, allowing toxic substances and undigested proteins to leak into the bloodstream. Researchers have proven this damage to the gut lining occurs in every human whenever gliadin is present in the intestines.[1] This is known as increased intestinal permeability but is generally called a “leaky gut”.[2]

However, the human body is resilient and reparative. The cells of the intestinal wall replace themselves every 4-5 days.[3] If anti-nutrients and other irritants to the gut were not reintroduced again, you would have a new epithelial lining in your gut after a week. But the problem is a process of repetition. Constantly consuming gluten as well as being exposed to the other anti-nutrients or any other gut irritants will perpetuate damage in the gut.

 

A Perfect Solution to “Human Kryptonite”

As I see it, Kryptonite affects Superman as Anti-Nutrients affect Humans. Eliminate anti-nutrients, and you’ll eliminate their toxic harm.

Bringing animal-based foods into your diet while limiting plants containing lectins, phytates, oxalates, and gluten will help take your health to the next level. If you’ve noticed joint pain, never-ending fatigue, or bloating, they might just disappear when you focus on (1) removing the toxic effects caused by antinutrients and then (2) increasing the bioavailability of nutrients by consuming animals “nose-to-tail”.

My Better Belly Blueprint is my mini-eBook where I describe a 70% animal-based diet including up to 30% plant-based selections, which minimize lectins, phytates, oxalates, and gluten.

By the way, if you’re a Superman fan, Superman, The Movie is streaming on HBO Max.

 

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4377866/

[2] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2019.02233/full

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2965634/

 

 

 

Check out my training on the Better Belly Blueprint! You can watch it HERE.

 

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Gluten:
Weapon of Mass Destruction

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
August 7, 2017

 

 

Gluten: The Original Weapon of Mass DestructionMaybe I’m being too dramatic. But, I’ll still take the liberty to call gluten, the original weapon of mass destruction. Let me explain.

 

Gluten

Gluten is a family of proteins that is present in wheat, rye, barley, and some other types of grains. As a matter of fact, gluten could be an ingredient in many processed foods, cosmetics, prescription medications, and nutritional supplements. The human body cannot completely digest gluten. One of the remnants of the incomplete digestion of gluten is gliadin.

 

Gliadin

If gluten is the original weapon of mass destruction, then gliadin is the trigger that causes the destruction.

 

Gliadin has the potential to slowly and deliberately destroy your body. Its effects are cumulative, producing chronic inflammation over time. It opens holes in the gut lining, allowing substances to leak into the bloodstream that should never be there. Researchers have proven this damage occurs in every human whenever gliadin is present in the intestines.

 

Gliadin causes a chemical reaction in the intestinal wall. As a result, cells in the one-cell-layer-thick lining of the gut separate. Then, undigested particles of food and toxic substances can leak through the openings into the bloodstream.

 

However, the human body is resilient. The cells of the intestinal wall replace themselves every couple of days. If gluten were not reintroduced into the diet again, then there would be no permanent damage from this onetime occurrence. But, the problem is the process of repetition – constantly consuming gluten.

 

Leaky Gut

Unhealthy leakage from the intestines into the bloodstream is known as a leaky gut. Gliadin triggers the breakdown in the gut lining. When undigested particles of food or toxic substances get into the bloodstream that never should be there, the immune system becomes activated. The immune system is like an army that is called into battle. The immune system’s purpose is to get rid of foreign elements. The process to rid the body of irritating substances is called inflammation.

 

Inflammation by itself is normal and is necessary for a healthy body to function and heal. However, when holes in the gut lining occur regularly from continuous reintroduction of gluten in food, inflammation becomes constant. Constant inflammation is unhealthy. It affects the entire body and can cause damage to any organ or tissue anywhere in the body.

 

Through a complex system that is not completely understood, the immune system may go haywire. The immune system could begin destroying healthy tissues in the body. The result is called autoimmune disease.

 

Chronic & Autoimmune Disease

Chronic inflammation is the beginning of practically all chronic disease and autoimmune disease. Chronic and autoimmune diseases occur when (1) the gut becomes overly permeable on a constant basis, (2) chronic inflammation prevails and permeates through the blood system, (3) a genetic weakness in some remote tissue reacts to this chronic inflammation, and (4) the confused immune system starts to attack healthy tissues.

 

In essence, gluten (as the original weapon of mass destruction) provided gliadin (the trigger of the weapon) to ultimately become the precursor to most (if not all) chronic and autoimmune human diseases.

 

The manifestation of a chronic or autoimmune disease could take years to develop from repeated insults to the body. A person probably would not know these destructive changes were slowly occurring. Damage becomes cumulative until the disease becomes obvious many years after the first insult occurred long ago.

 

Role in Gum Disease

Systemic chronic inflammation may play a role in the development of gum disease. The chemicals that are released in the bloodstream from chronic inflammation may affect the cells around teeth, making them more susceptible to bone destruction and the progression of periodontitis. This article suggests various scenarios implicating autoimmunity in the progression of periodontal disease.

 

Take-Away Message

Our body is a marvelous machine. It will repair and replace its tissues on a regular basis. However, when there is constant and site-specific damage, the body’s reaction is to become chronically inflamed. Once the seed of mass destruction is planted and nurtured, chronic degenerative diseases ultimately result.

 

The first and most important action to take is to avoid whatever stokes the flames of inflammation. In this case, stop eating or using any product that contains gluten!

 

 

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Stop! Read This!

evolution rI found the following post online by NancyKay. It was written in 2008, but it is pertinent. It impresses the point that what goes, or does not go, into our guts could be severely damaging to other parts of our body – namely our gum tissues. Read this excerpt carefully. Could this, or something like this, be happening to you?
 
I have been following a faithful gluten-free diet now for at least two years after beginning to eat gluten-free and feeling so healthy. Because my saliva celiac test came back borderline, I guess I thought that at some point it might be okay to try gluten again. I discovered the awful truth this month.
 
I started out with a sour dough roll. Then I added a much-missed item: an apple fritter. Neither seemed to bother me, so I enjoyed eating a few more apple fritters over the next couple of weeks. During that time I began to get sore gums, and I attributed it to some dental work I needed to get done. Well it got worse. I’ve been twice now to the periodontist. A biopsy came back positive for Mucous Membrane Pemphigoid, and I’ve got an appointment with a specialist next week for treatment. MMP (Mucous Membrane Pemphigoid) is an autoimmune disease of the mucous membranes, and it can affect any part of the body that has mucous membranes: eyes, mouth, nose, digestive tract, anus. Sound familiar?
 
It occurred to me today when I got my biopsy results that this all started with the gluten about a month and a half ago and that it might all be related. I called my naturopath and told her about my diagnosis (but not that I had eaten gluten). She said that this was all related to celiac and to stay off gluten completely.
 
The manifestation of a gut-lining problem caused by grains could make itself known with differing diagnoses and symptoms. The manifestation could show itself as bleeding gums, or a skin lesion like psoriasis, or a glandular problem like hypothyroidism. You may develop joint soreness, headaches, or general fatigue. In the post I quoted above, it caused or exacerbated MMP. Your weakest cells or your vulnerable areas would most likely be the affected parts. Most importantly, you don’t have to experience gut discomfort or pain to have a gut-lining problem that causes chronic or autoimmune diseases in other locations of your body.
 
The bottom line is to heal the gut first, and then a healing process could begin for other symptoms. Be aware that grain products that have damaged the gut lining in the past will continue to wreck havoc in the body in the future. If you have eliminated grain products but reintroduced them – even minutely –  in the future, they could set off cascading effects throughout your body. It is not only critical to eat the right foods, but also critical to avoid the bad foods forever.