Sometimes people think they are gluten-intolerant when in reality they are lectin-intolerant. Lectins are natural proteins found in foods that can react with blood type antigens. Simply put, lectins make things stick together. But lectins can cause blood cells to clump together, increasing the chance for a reaction. Some lectins will attach to cells where insulin should go, preventing real insulin from doing its job. Or they can block a hormone from being released, or encourage the body to release a different one. They can make the liver or kidneys more sluggish.
There are blood type antigens found all throughout the digestive tract, and the negative effects of dietary lectins can cause inflammation in the gut and affect digestion. Lectins are very blood type specific, so foods that are toxic for one blood type, may not be for another. Lectin damage can be responsible for many of the health problems that make people consider a gluten-free diet, such as achy joints, fatigue, skin problems, and digestive issues.
Wheat germ agglutinin, or WGA, is a potent lectin found in wheat. Many people who think they’re gluten-intolerant may have problems with WGA instead.
Sometimes the switch to a gluten-free diet worsens health. For example, a B Blood Type individual may stop eating white bread, but then replace it with a gluten-free product containing corn, or an O Blood Type will choose a product made with tapioca, which is a neutral food for them. By going “gluten free,” they actually added in other foods/ingredients that can have negative effects on their health. This is why it is important to remember that a one-size-fits-all gluten free food may not be right for you.
Tapioca- Avoid for B and AB
Potato Starch – Avoid for A and O
Vinegar – Avoid for A, AB, O
Corn Starch – Avoid for B, AB, O
Don’t confuse wheat free to mean gluten free; read your labels, and if you have a questions, double check your food values either in Eat Right 4 Your Type, or the handy Blood Type Diet App for IOS or Android.