Gluten. Toxic to some, most or all?
Gluten is one of many natural toxins, also known as anti-nutrients or secondary metabolites, that nature has placed in plants, including seeds, nuts, and beans, to protect them from being eaten by certain animals, including humans. The idea is to make the eater sick as an incentive to stop. There is an entire area of study (unfortunately rather obscure) devoted to naturally toxic constituents of plant foodstuffs.
In our infinite lack of wisdom, we appear inclined to fool with nature, a losing proposition. She always wins. So, the big question is: who is sensitive to gluten? Since we have yet to fully understand the mechanisms evolved by nature to make us sick, there is at present no definitive answer on this subject. Therefore, I will speculate, just like the medical community does freely.
Some of us with clinical experience in the world of nutrition have noticed a high correlation between people who are blood type O, and a sensitivity to gluten. That is, when gluten is removed from their diet, a variety of annoying symptoms resolve. There is much speculation as to the reason, but for now, who cares – the “treatment plan” is trivial. However, if in the future a definitive link is established, we are talking about 40% of the population .
Others speculate that perhaps the majority of the population may react adversely to gluten in some fashion. See: Is gliadin really safe for nonâ€coeliac individuals? Production of interleukin 15 in biopsy culture from nonâ€coeliac individuals challenged with gliadin peptides