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HN4U Blog

Holistic Nutrition News

Published January 31st, 2017 in HN4U Blog

Edition 20 -Vol1 2017

What are Lectins and are they bad for me?

What are “lectins” and why should you pay attention to them? Lectins are a protein that can bind to cell membranes. Lectins offer a way for molecules especially sugars, to stick together without getting the immune system involved, which can influence cell-cell interaction.

“In 1988 a hospital launched a “healthy eating day” in its staff canteen at lunchtime. One dish contained red kidney beans, and 31 portions were served. At 3 pm one of the customers, a surgical registrar, vomited in theater. Over the next four hours, 10 more customers suffered profuse vomiting, some with diarrhea. All had recovered by next day. No pathogens were isolated from the food, but the beans contained an abnormally high concentration of the lectin phytohaemagglutinin.”

Lectins are abundant in raw legumes (beans, peas, alfalfa, peanut, and lentils) grains, and most commonly found in the seed part which becomes the leaves when planted. Lectins are additionally found in dairy products and some vegetables. While lectin content in food is relatively constant, genetic modification has created level fluctuations in many legumes such as soy, alfalfa, wheat, corn, and rice.
A National Institutes of Health report published in the British Medical Journal April 1999 provides valuable information on the validity of reducing lectins in your diet. “Lectins are carbohydrate binding proteins present in most plants, especially seeds and tubers like cereals, potatoes, and beans. Until recently their main use was as histology and blood transfusion reagents, but in the past two decades we have realized that many lectins are (a) toxic, inflammatory, or both; (b) resistant to cooking and digestive enzymes, and (c) present in much of our food. It is thus no surprise that they sometimes cause “food poisoning.” However, the really disturbing finding came with the discovery in 1989 that some food lectins get past the gut wall and deposit themselves in distant organs.”

In plants, lectins are a defense against microorganisms, pests, and insects. The evolution of lectin formation in plants serves as a way for seeds to remain intact as they passed through animals’ digestive systems. Lectins are resistant to human digestion also especially in today’s world of compromised digestive microbiome, and they enter the blood unchanged. Any food component that passes through the digestive lining unaltered into the blood stream compromises our whole health. Current research has irrefutably linked the “Leaky Gut.” process with brain health.

With winter well upon us the levels of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), reduced immunity, and chronic inflammation are on the increase. This is the time of year we are most likely to feel our worst both mentally and physically and tempted by comfort food. A review published in Nutrients March 2013 describes lectins as “anti-nutrients” and a leading contributor to many health challenges.…. “Inflammation is the response of the innate immune system triggered by noxious stimuli, microbial pathogens, and injury. When a trigger remains, or when immune cells are continuously activated, an inflammatory response may become self-sustainable and chronic. Chronic inflammation has been associated with many medical and psychiatric disorders, including cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, cancer, autoimmune diseases, schizophrenia, and depression.”

I encourage you to take control of your health in 2017 through change – if what you have been eating is making you less then your best – grab the bull by the horns and take it down and out of your life.

To Your Good Health in 2017

3. Gilbert RJ. Healthy eating day. Communicable Disease Report. 1988;33:3–4.
6. Nutrients 2013, 5, 771-787; doi:10.3390/nu5030771


Oh so easy Buckwheat Pancakes
This recipe comes from a longtime friend and mentor – Norm Michaels.

1 cup Bobs Red Mill Buckwheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 organic egg
1 ¼ cups raw milk, or milk substitute

Mix dry ingredients together
Lightly beat egg and milk together then add to dry ingredients, stir till mixed well.
Cook pancakes on a cast iron griddle or skillet – oil griddle with lard, bacon grease, olive oil or organic butter.
Serve with fruit compote or maple syrup.

If you have never made pancakes before I suggest you read the cooking step by step directions from a standard recipe before beginning.


Attention Clients
Effective October 4, 2016, all INNATE Response™ direct sales business will be fulfilled by Emerson Ecologic.
This means we are not able to provide these supplements to you through the Natural Partners virtual dispensary. Please note Innate Response is still Tammera’s Primary Product Line of Choice. Clinically this product line has outperformed, across the board, as a generalized support, for 85% of our clients.

Our amazing web team will be looking into setting up an Emerson Dispensary for your convenience.

Look for an update in your next Newsletter, or call the office 541-430-1078 to place your order with Tammera in person.


Up Coming Events


National Association Of Nutrition Professionals (NANP) 2017 Conference

May 4-7, 2017 Portland Waterfront Marriott Hotel

Tammera will be presenting on May 5