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#517561 - 08/26/17 04:53 PM Low Lectin Diet might be helpful for AS or RA
ValsMum Offline

Registered: 07/05/10
Posts: 1187
I am sensitive to dairy, grains, nightshades and beans. I think that is why I felt better avoiding starchy foods. I read this today and I thought I would share the article below: ...............................................................................................................................................................................................................
Do not confuse lectins with leptin, lactose, or pectin.

Lectins are proteins that bind to carbohydrates or glycoproteins (proteins that contain carbohydrate chains) (R).

Proteins termed lectins (from the Latin legere, “to select”) have the ability to bind to specific carbohydrate molecules (R).

Lectins allow cells to bind or communicate with each other (R).

They are found in every living organism, including viruses, bacteria, and most foods, to one degree or another, but most of them are harmless (R). Scientists have been studying lectins since 1884.

Some scientists believe that lectins are part of a plants’ protection mechanisms (R). Plants also use lectins to communicate with their environment, for cell organization, and as reserve proteins, among other functions (R).

Different Types of Plant Lectins
In plants, lectins are concentrated in seeds, early stage leaves, and roots. Leaves typically contain fewer lectins, although this may vary from plant to plant (R). A great example of a leaf is romaine lettuce.

The types of lectins that are often found in foods and can produce sensitivity include (R, R2):

Legume lectins such as white kidney beans. On average, 15% percent of a bean’s proteins are lectins.
Cucurbitaceae lectins, found in the sap or juice of cucumber, melon, and squash.
Prolamins, such as gluten and gliadin, are the alcohol-soluble lectins found in cereal grains.
Agglutinin or hemagglutinin is so-called as it can cause blood agglutination (clumping of blood cells). Examples include wheat germ and soybean agglutinins (R).
Plant agglutinins have been characterized by testing their ability to clump blood cells of certain blood types (R), which suggest that people with certain blood types may be more susceptible to health problems due to lectins than others.

Some plant lectins, such as castor bean ricin and white kidney bean agglutinins, are very toxic to humans and rats. Ricin can cause blood agglutination and might be used in chemical warfares and genetically engineered herbicides (R).

White kidney bean hemagglutinins can cause acute nausea, followed by vomiting and diarrhea (R).

Are You Lectin Sensitive?

You can see how substances interact with your problematic genes, which genes you should be careful about, and which substances best fit you.

Most important, you can see if you have the lectin sensitive gene, and if you do, find out ways to reduce lectin sensitivity.

With using SelfDecode, I’ve been able to figure out that the cannabinoid gene is the most important for lectin sensitivity. I drew on multiple lines of evidence to figure this out. After seeing the gene in all of my clients with this food sensitivity (and I have 2 bad alleles), I was able to confirm the important role of this gene.

It’s a perfect fit when it comes to the evidence implicating this gene. SelfDecode (with 23andme) will tell you if you have it.

Harmful Effects of Dietary Lectins
1) Lectins Are Resistant to Digestion and Are Absorbed Into the Bloodstream
Lectins can withstand heat and digestion in both rats and humans. Plant lectins have also been recovered intact in human feces (R, R2).

They can be readily transported through the gut wall into the blood (R).

In the blood, lectins may stimulate the immune system and modify hormone functions or get deposited in blood and lymphatic walls (R, R2).

2) Lectins Damage the Gut Lining Causing Leaky Gut
Lectins bind to surface glycoproteins and gut lining cells causing damage to the villi, increasing the uptake of intestinal content by the cells, and shortening the microvilli (R).

Some dietary sources of lectins, such as wheat, can directly break tight junctions in gut cells (R).

Lectins cause leaky gut, allowing increased exposure of both dietary and bacterial antigens (inflammatory agents) to the immune system (R, R2).

Lectins can also interfere with nutrient absorption (R).

3) Lectins Stimulate the Immune System
As lectins cause leaky gut and are readily absorbed into the bloodstream, most people develop antibodies against dietary lectins (R, R2). These antibodies don’t necessarily protect you from harmful lectins. Whether this causes disease depends on individual susceptibility.

In mice, administration of lectins through the nose or by feeding stimulates IgG and IgA production similar to that of the cholera toxin (R).

Lectins can potentiate the immune response to antigens that wouldn’t be inflammatory by themselves. For example, mice fed with wheat germ agglutinin and egg white protein develop much stronger antibody responses to egg white protein than if they are fed egg white protein alone (R, R2). Therefore, consumption of lectin-containing food concomitantly with other products can increase the likelihood of developing sensitivity to other food products.

As lectins can potentiate the immune response to other antigens, it is proposed that lectins might be used along with oral vaccines (R).

Lectins can induce mast cell reactions suggesting that they can aggravate allergies (R) and histamine intolerance.

4) Lectins Causes Autoimmunity
As lectins can act as immune system and leaky gut triggers, lectins can cause autoimmunity in susceptible people (R).

Lectins trigger autoimmunity by binding to glycoproteins and glycolipids (sugar molecules attached to proteins and fat), such as sialic acid, on the surface of the cells. Interestingly, the brain and gut are rich in sialic acid (R).

In humans, sialic acid is present in body fluids (blood, breast milk, gallbladder excretions, synovial fluid, sweat, gastric juices, and urine) and tissues (red and white blood cells, platelets, salivary glands, throat, stomach, cervix, colon, cartilage, etc.). In the blood, it’s found in fibrinogen, haptoglobin, ceruloplasmin, α1 -antitrypsin, complement proteins, and transferrin (R).

Lectins also increase inflammation by stimulating IFN-gamma, IL-1, and TNF-alpha production as well as HLA class II expression in gut cells (R).

5) Lectins Affect the Gut Microbiota
The presence of lectins affects the composition of the gut bacteria and may cause dysbiosis (microbial imbalance) predisposing to autoimmune diseases. However, the mechanism by which lectins affect gut bacteria is not fully understood.

Lectins reduce intestinal heat shock protein (iHSPs) levels, an anti-inflammatory protein that is important for the healthy interaction with the gut bacteria. Also, lectins interfere with iHSP functions, thus reducing the gut lining’s sensitivity to oxidation and inflammation (R).

In rats, dietary lectins increase gut levels of E. coli and Lactobacillus lactis, both of which have proteins similar to HLA and are associated with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (R).

Kidney bean lectins can cause E. coli overgrowth in the gut, while snowdrop lectins and mannose-specific lectins can block this effect (R).

6) Lectins Causes Abnormal Cell Growth
Lectins can cause enlargement and overgrowth of cells in many tissues, including the intestine, pancreas, and liver (R, R2).

They can trigger lymphocyte growth and activation in cell-based studies (R).

7) Other Links Between Lectins and Health
In addition to autoimmunity, there are also other links between lectins and health.

However, most of these studies are cell-based or model organism-based, so additional animal or human studies are necessary to confirm these findings.

Lectins and Insulin

At low doses, wheat germ agglutinin can mimic the insulin function in fat cells. However, at higher doses, wheat germ agglutinin can cause insulin resistance in a cell-based study (R).

Enlargement of the pancreas due to dietary lectins may reduce insulin levels in rats (R).

Lectins and Obesity

Wheat germ agglutinin and ricin from castor oil can increase fat synthesis in fat cells (in a cell-based study) (R).

Lectins and Brain Functions

In roundworms, lectins can be transported from the gut to dopamine neurons, and interfere with neuronal and dopamine functions, suggesting that it may contribute to Parkinson’s disease in humans (R).

Lectin Avoidance Cures Autoimmune Disease

A study of 800 autoimmune patients evaluated a diet that avoided grains, sprouted grains, pseudo-grains, beans and legumes, soy, peanuts, cashews, nightshades, melons and squashes, non-Southern European cow milk products (Casein A1), and grain/bean fed animals.

Most of these patients started with elevated levels of TNF-alpha (an inflammatory molecule), which were reduced to normal after 6 months on this diet.

The study concluded that increased adiponectin is a marker for lectin and gluten sensitivity, while TNF-alpha can be used as a marker for gluten/lectin exposure in sensitive individuals (R).

Dr. Steven Gundry, the author of the study, frowns upon foods that originated from America.

See my podcast with the author of the study: Dr. Steven Gundry.

To download a list of allowed and banned foods on the lectin avoidance diet, click on the bottom below.

I see myself as a canary in a coal mine as I’m sensitive to many foods.

Over time, I’ve built up a list of food products that cause an insignificant level or no inflammation.

At some point, I realized that many of my health problems resulted from lectins.

I understand that not everyone is the same, but I notice that others who are very sensitive to foods can handle these foods as well.

This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to eat anything else for the rest of your life.

This diet is just to inform you about the foods that are relatively safe. Personally, I live off of these foods and try not to stray.

I mention to cut out some products if after a few weeks you still have inflammation. It takes around five days of total abstinence to unmask a food or chemical but at least two weeks to remove the residual traces. It can take longer for autoimmune disease symptoms to normalize.

Lectins are mainly concentrated in the skin and seeds of plants.

19 Major Compounds That Can Cause Inflammation
The name of the diet is somewhat of a misnomer because there are many compounds in food that can cause inflammation. But I believe lectins are the worst culprits. The key here is to eliminate the items that cause you problems. Read this post to see a full list of this 19 compounds.

You should get a good amount of protein in the morning – about 30 grams.

Your diet should consist of 20-30% protein if you are suffering from an autoimmune or chronic inflammatory disease.

Fish – My top 5 are frozen wild-caught salmon, fresh wild sardines, roe (fish eggs), oysters, and anchovies (any low-toxicity seafood is ok)
Meat products
Beef – Preferably grass-fed
Chicken – I eat the whole chicken except for the sharp bone fragments, which I chew to get the marrow out
Cricket Flour
Hemp Protein
Liver – Beef or chicken (without additives)
Bone broth – Best to make your own
Brewer’s Yeast or Nutritional Yeast (without synthetic folate)
Cooked tempeh – Some people can’t handle this. This is probably not allowed on Dr. Gundry’s diet.
Eggs are fine from a lectin standpoint, but people easily develop egg allergies in stages of chronic gut inflammation.

My favorite source of safe carbs is raw honey. Not all raw honey is good. Two of them that work for me are Clover Honey and Orange Honey.

Fruits aren’t rich in lectins, but they have tannins. I eat fruit occasionally, even though they spike my immune system. My favorites are pineapple and citrus. Dr. Gundry looks at melons unfavorably.

Starch – I find purple sweet potatoes the least inflammatory whole food starch. Japanese sweet potatoes aren’t too bad either. Any sweet potato is fine as long as they are pressure cooked. I would still pressure cook the purple sweet potatoes.
Fruits – Blueberries, pineapple, citrus, golden berries, papaya, mulberries, and mango
Fiber – Hi-Maize resistant starch is my main source of resistant starch these days. Nice, clean, hypo-inflammatory starch. 25 g/day to start.
I use Raw Honey and Hi-Maize for all of my carbs.
Use Caprylic acid, Black Cumin Seed Oil, extra virgin olive oil and ghee for your oils.

Cut omega-6 oils out (except black seed oil).

Try to have a couple of tablespoons of caprylic oil daily. Space it right, and you shouldn’t have gastrointestinal effects. Use 1 tbsp Black Cumin Seed Oil and extra virgin olive oil daily.

Caprylic acid – The best oil. Try to have 3-5 tablespoons daily (1-1.5 with each meal). Reduce dosage if you get gastrointestinal problems and work up. MCT oil is also good.
Black Cumin Seed Oil – Anti-inflammatory oil with thymoquinone.
Avocados or guacamole (without additives)
Extra virgin olive oil
Ghee – In moderation for sauteing, stir-frying, and using for sleep.
Avocado Oil
Hemp seeds – This is the only seed that I tolerate.
To some people seeds cause problems, but they are better than nuts. In the beginning, stick with the above mentioned and eventually try the seeds. I don’t eat seeds since I get some degree of inflammation from them.

Romaine lettuce
Steamed or boiled or stir-fried cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, or brussels sprouts)
Sprouts – broccoli, alfalfa, etc.
Other non-night shade vegetables are fine.

Dulse Powder or Nori for iodine
Sunflower Lecithin – After meals for PS and PC
Italian Seasoning
Nutritional yeast (no folic acid)
Other spices are ok in general.

Chili, paprika, or cayenne pepper are part of the nightshade family, so some people might react to them.

Nutrients To Add
For missing nutrients and copper excess as a consequence of a lifetime of plant-based diets, you can use the Life Extension Mix Powder.

Life Extension Mix Powder or Multivitamin + Multimineral
If you need more calcium and potassium (which will be missing if you don’t eat dairy and plant-based foods), you can take the following supplements:

3 capsules 2X a day Calcium and magnesium
1g 2X a day Potassium citrate
Food Groups Excluded on the Lectin Avoidance Diet
All grains
Nightshades including tomato, peppers, potato, and eggplant
Gluten from wheat, rye, barley, malt, and maybe oat
Legumes – All beans including soy and peanut. Cashews are part of the bean family and are not allowed. The Pythagorean code prohibited the consumption or even touching any bean (R). People with an enzyme deficiency that increases oxidative stress can’t eat certain beans such as broad beans (R).
Dairy including milk, and milk products as cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, and kefir
Yeast (except brewer’s and nutritional)
Fruits should be avoided during the trial period but can be added back in.
Look for symptoms of intolerance: bowel, sleep, or mood changes, memory impairment or any other significant changes you can relate to the ingestion of the food group. It may take a week or so for the symptoms to appear.

To download a full list of foods to eat or avoid on the lectin avoidance diet, click on the button below.

Edited by ValsMum (08/26/17 04:58 PM)
Diet change has improved my RA. I feel best eating raw veggies and some fruits and avoiding grains, sugars, nightshades, beans and dairy. Sed rate dropped from 65 to 19, but it took over a year.

excess fat/oils = pain for me
recipes for raw food on Youtube "raw food romance"
and "healing josephine" Josephine is in remission from RA after two years by change diet/exercise

#519835 - 07/26/19 12:01 AM Re: Low Lectin Diet might be helpful for AS or RA [Re: ValsMum]
DBrereton Offline

Registered: 07/05/13
Posts: 3
Loc: Melbourne
Anyone had great success from the Plant Paradox diet? I am getting ready to give it a real go so any advise from someone who did it fully would be awesome?

#519850 - 08/12/19 07:37 PM Re: Low Lectin Diet might be helpful for AS or RA [Re: ValsMum]
Sue22 Offline

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 21342
Loc: Upstate NY
I've thought about it, and wonder if some lectins are a problem for me. I don't think it is all lectins for me, as things like beans actually seem to help my GI. But I do wonder about the nightshades like tomatoes and eggplant, as I flare more in the summer when those things are abundant, so last summer and this summer I cut out all eggplant and most tomatoes...they say it is the skin and seeds mostly so tomato sauce and ketchup and BBQ sauces should be ok.

So, yeh, I've read about it and considered it, and have been experimenting with less eggplant and tomato.


Spondyloarthropathy, HLAB27 negative
Humira (still methylprednisone for flares, just not as often. Aleve if needed, rarely.)
LDN/zanaflex/flector patches over SI/ice
vits C, D. probiotics. hyaluronic acid. CoQ, Mg, Ca, K.
walk, bike
no dairy (casein sensitivity), limited eggs, limited yeast (bread)


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