A mainstay in most Western diets, “wheat” is normally not associated with mental illness. Yetresearch has shown an intolerance to compounds within the grain can cause major neurological issues, including psychotic breakdowns. Far from a benign food, wheat has been linked with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and even diseases like multiple sclerosis along with Alzheimer’s. In the spirit of physical and mental health, many are realizing wheat is not a food to be consumed lightly.
Dangerous triggers lurking
The main health-harming culprits is found with “wheat” germ agglutinin (WGA), a category of lectins. Regardless if the wheat is soaked, sprouted or cooked, these compounds remain intact. Tiny and hard to digest, lectins can accumulate within the body and wreaks havoc on physical and mental well-being. WGA is neurotoxic, crossing the blood brain barrier and attaching to the myelin sheath, consequentially inhibiting nerve growth – a serious consideration for those suffering from degenerative neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s. Lectins also destroy the villi in the intestinal tract, creating an inflamed, leaky gut. Since there is a strong connection between the gut and brain via the vagus nerve, intestinal ill-health strongly affects the mind, mood and behavior. The gut is also considered a ‘second brain’, pumping out its own source of feel good neurotransmitters like serotonin. If normal functioning of the intestinal tract is hindered, production of serotonin dips along with stable mental states.
As troublesome as lectins are found to be, gliadin in “wheat” is a worse offender for sensitive individuals. As reported by GreenMed , a study published in the journal Psychiatry Research makes the connection between gliadin and states of mania:
“The relationship of the antibodies to the clinical course of mania was analyzed by the use of regression models. Individuals with mania had significantly increased levels of IgG antibodies to gliadin, but not other markers of celiac disease, at baseline compared with controls in multivariate analyses … Among the individuals with mania, elevated levels at follow-up were significantly associated with re-hospitalization in the six month follow-up period.”
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