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STUDY: Dietary wheat germ agglutinin modulates ovalbumin-induced immune responses in Brown Norway rats.
JOURNAL: Br J Nutr 2001 Apr;85(4):483-90
AUTHORS: Watzl B, Neudecker C, Hansch GM, Rechkemmer G, Pool-Zobel BL.
ABSTRACT: The trend towards an increased consumption of minimally processed plant food results in a higher intake of non-nutritive compounds such as lectins. Lectins are typically globular proteins that are resistant to digestion in the gastrointestinal tract. They affect the integrity of the intestinal epithelium and the absorption of dietary antigens, and induce the release of allergic mediators from mast cells in vitro. Based on this information we have studied whether dietary wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) could be involved in triggering food allergies...[technical and procedural verbiage excised]... In conclusion, these data suggest that high dietary intake of lectins such as WGA may affect the allergic response towards oral antigens in the gut-associated lymphoid tissue.
COMMENTARY: I find it amazing that many otherwise sophisticated nutritionists still manage to dispute that basic contention that lectins initiate allergic reactions in the gut. The evidence is overwhelming and is being reported in the most prestigious journals. The phenomena is so well studied, we even know the mechanisms, such as the release of interleukin-4 and histamines. One can only hope that the herd mentality that so many professionals manifest toward new ideas will eventually lead to a bit more intellectual curiosity.