Lectin-Blocking - Deflect Formulas
Deflect products provide anti-adhesive therapy to lectin sensitive individuals.
These ABO specific formulas block the effects of dietary lectins before they
cause problems, by providing a source of free blocking carbohydrate.
What is lectin?
According to an old definition 'lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins or glycoproteins.' William Boyd therefore coined the term lectin in 1954, deriving it from the Latin word legere meaning 'to choose.' Boyd was also the first researcher to identify the blood type specificity of many common dietary lectins.
Typically, lectins can bind to many of the carbohydrate antigens found in the gut and immune system, causing a variety of health problems. These can include intestinal dysbiosis, bowel hyperpermiability, immune dysfunction, food sensitivities and systemic inflammation. This is usually accomplished by direct agglutination of the target cells. Lectins can occur in very common foods in the diet, and the majority are specific for the carbohydrates of the ABO blood typing system. In one study, the edible parts of 29 of 88 foods tested, including common salad ingredients, fresh fruits, roasted nuts, and processed cereals were found to possess significant lectin-like activity as assessed by hemagglutination and bacterial agglutination assays.
Several common lectins, in particular, wheat germ agglutinin, are known to bind
to the insulin receptor and mimic the hormonal effects of insulin on adipose
tissue, an under-appreciated action that can account for why individuals on
high carbohydrate diets often have difficulty controlling their weight. Thus,
lectin blocking is a safe and rational method for enhancing weight loss.
In the words of one lectin researcher:
'Most lectins in our diet are resistant to breakdown during gut passage and
are bound and endocytosed by epithelial cells. These lectins are powerful exogenous
growth factors for the small intestine, can induce dramatic shifts in its bacterial
flora and interfere with its hormone secretion. In addition, lectins, which are
transported across the gut wall into the systemic circulation, can modulate the
body's hormone balance, metabolism and health. Although these physiological effects
are mediated or reinforced by immune responses, they are primarily the result
of the specific chemical reactivity of lectins with cell surface receptors of
What is Deflect?
Deflect is a natural product composed of 'blocking sugars' designed to interfere
with the adherence of troublesome dietary lectins. Since many lectins are ABO
blood type specific, there are 4 different Deflect formulas: one for each blood
type. The blocking sugars in Deflect can be considered 'sacrificial molecules'
that attach to carbohydrate receptors on the lectins, rendering them unable to
bind to the cells of the body.
The Deflect formulas provide a source of free blocking amino sugars which bind and block lectins before they can attach to the cells.
Since each blood type is susceptible to lectins with different carbohydrate specificities,
Dr. D'Adamo designed formulas to block lectins by using mono and poly saccharides
specific for each blood type.
Situations where Deflect products may be indicated include:
- Carbohydrate intolerant individuals who typically gain weight on high carbohydrate diets.
- 'Leaky Gut' and intestinal dysbiosis.
- Food sensitivities.
- Individuals with a low inflammatory threshold.
D'Adamo Personalized Nutrition produces the Deflect line of dietary supplements
based on the writings of distinguished naturopath Dr. Peter D'Adamo, author of
the best-selling book Eat Right 4 Your Type. Deflect products provide
anti-adhesive therapy to lectin sensitive individuals. These ABO specific formulas
block the effects of dietary lectins before they cause damage, by providing a
source of free blocking carbohydrate. Since each blood type is susceptible to
lectins with different carbohydrate specificities, we've designed formulas that
block lectins by using mono and polysaccharides specific for each blood type.
Deflect products are also an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber
for that particular blood type.
Deflect isn't going to allow you to regularly consume avoids any more than a
bulletproof vest can't protect your head, arms or legs. It may have some value
as a 'morning-after' pill, but beyond that I would not posit... It is used to
primarily repair lectin damage, typically by lowering the activity of lectins
in the gut and blood. Some lectins are not food derived (such as bacteria,
Candida, pollen, or even our own immune systems) and dietary avoidance will not
One way this repair mechanism works is by 'prying off' lectins that have already
adhered to cellular receptors, such as insulin. Since insulin blockage by dietary
lectins has been linked to both insulin resistance and obesity, using Deflect
can help accelerate weight reduction in diet-compliant individuals by speeding
up the time it takes for the regeneration of new insulin receptors or the 'cleansing'
of the old ones. This can take upwards of one year in some individuals who just
follow the diet, and explains why some dieters do not see weight loss in the
early stages of the program. It is because of this 'lectin-locking' function
that many other diets (which do have accelerated weight loss in their early stages)
cause their followers to lose muscle mass and fat -when what we want is to lose
only the fat. If the weight loss in Eat Right For Your Type is occasionally slow,
at least it is healthy: Losing only body fat means that that a person's weight
loss can sometimes be only 50% as rapid as other programs which are destroying
muscle and fat. The problem is that muscle is hard to get back, and any drop
in muscle mass results in a lower metabolic rate, leaving the dieter more likely
to gain back the weight, but this time only in body fat.
Many lectins can amplify the effects of auto-immune disease, such as thyroiditis,
rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, fibromyalgia and pemphigus. Research shows
that some of the lectins that can cause this may actually be manufactured by
the body itself (serum lectins). By acting as sacrificial molecules, Deflect
can block this action.
People with 'food sensitivities' or 'leaky gut' usually have a phenomena called 'active endocytosis' where prior lectin damage results in an intestinal absorption surface that actively scoops up macromolecules. Because these larger molecules are very antigenic, then tend to increase local inflammation and thus increase the leaky gut. Again, by acting like 'sacrifical molecules' Deflect can block this, while also inhibiting bacterial adhesion to the gut as well (bacteria use their own lectins to attach to the intestines) a secondary cause of leaky gut. The amino sugars in Deflect can also help prevent re-infection by H. pylorri and many gram-negative bacteria which cause bladder infections, by flooding their own lectin receptors, thereby preventing adhesion, the first step needed for infection.
The amino sugars in Deflect encourage healthy bowel flora, although they do not provide a source of flora themselves. These same amino sugars are healthy enhancers of joint gliding surface and synovia as well.