Lectins are chemical warfare by plants that cannot run and hide from you. It is their defense against all of us, including insects, fungi, animals, and you, that would eat them into extinction. Eat too much of one thing and you will develop problems from its normal lectins. Lectins are pesticides plants create against you, pest that you are!
You have the ability to deal with natural amounts of plant lectins, mostly by eating a varied diet. There are different lectins and we stay healthier if we don’t consume any one of them in excess. Lectins are natural pesticides against insects, fungus, animals, and humans. Some plants have more resistance than others to certain pests, and companion planting allows plants to “borrow” pesticides from each other without expending energy to make every lectin themselves. This is part of why polyculture is successful at growing food without dumping toxins on everything. Plants, in combination, are a potent cocktail of resistance to being eaten.
If you spend a lot of time observing your food sources, you see these things intuitively. As you get farther from the basic foods you need, intuitive knowledge is lost. The market economy’s answer is better living through chemistry. Chemistry is awesome and interesting, and I took a few classes myself, but it does not see the whole picture. Once any process is enshrined into the profit structure, it is not easily removed.
When scientists create GMO plants, they insert lectin genes from plant or animal A into plants B through Z. Through incomplete understanding, they kept a crop from being eaten by insects but turned it into something that is toxic to humans.
For example, in a varied diet, your intestines deal with many lectins successfully, and because some plants have fewer lectins, the total amount is not overwheming. However, Monsanto has inserted lectins into all major food crops, and your intestines have trouble with the overload.
Lectins are proteins with a “sticky” polysaccharide on one end that attaches to proteins in your body. They cause damage that must be repaired constantly. We are designed to do this. Research shows that simply rotating primary foods is enough to limit lectin-related damage.
When the amount and types of lectins are increased unnaturally through gene splicing, our bodies fail to complete repairs. It is like having a storm come through the neighborhood every day. You need a period of calm to repair the house or it is eventually destroyed. You fix 1 window but 4 were broken. It adds up until the house falls down.
One of the first and most important damage sites that your body tries to repair is the food processing system: the stomach and small intestine. Lectins bind with the intestinal lining villi and damage them. Your repair system will abandon other problems to repair this critical site. Damage in your gut prevents nutrients from being absorbed properly, even if eaten, and you need those minerals and proteins as building blocks.
The lectins, in overload, eventually create intestinal leaks and start leaking lectins into your blood stream. Commonly called leaky gut syndrome, it causes massive health problems that are often diagnosed separately from the underlying cause, with treatment of symptoms rather than treatment of the cause.
When lectins start moving through your body they attach to any tissue they come across, from pancreas to throid to liver to kidneys, etc. This kicks up another storm because your immune system goes into overdrive and attacks your own body. This doesn’t end well.
The inflammatory response adversely affects your immune system, nervous system, and endocrine system.
Lectins are linked to many diseases, for example, celiac, IBS, Crohns, Hashimotos thyroiditis, colitis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and arthritis. About 70 million Americans are known to suffer from digestive diseases, but the number is much higher since the connections of other diseases to leaky gut syndrome are not always noticed.
It is a complex dietary problem exacerbated by GMO gene splicing of lectins and a corporate food supply that relies heavily on seven GMO crops, meaning our diet lacks the diversity to give us breaks in the storm to give our body time to make necessary repairs.
Lectins are natural except in excess and we have already evolved ways to deal with them, diversity of food being the first and foremost.