by THOMAS on Feb 14, 2012 • 12:54 am
Gluten, the priciple protein found in wheat and to a lesser extent in oats, barley and rye, begins to affect our bodies very early on in life. One of the first things an infant is introduced to during teething is gluten. At this stage in an infants development, their digestive system is still in the developmental stages and highly permeable. This highly permeable digestive system is necessary for the rapid exchange of nutrients in the developing system but is also potientially succeptible to invasion by unwanted intruders. Gluten is just such an intruder and is able to enter the infants system fairly easily due to the relatively weak stomach acid at this stage of development. When protein leaves the stomach and enters the small intestine relatively intact, an ensuing inflammatory response occurs as the immune system tries to sort out the invader. The result is a irritation of the lining of the intestine and a compromise of its function. This effects the bodies ability to properly digest food and hense there is a loss of valuable nutrients. The cumulative effects of long term exposure (over years) can leave the digestive system in considerable disarray. This in turn can lead to a variety of end stage health problems including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulosis, diverticulitis, collitis, and yes colon cancer.
A proper functioning digestive tract is the foundation for good health. I can not stress enough the importance of making sure you and your children develop healthy nutritional habits and the earlier the better. Learn the importance of eating whole foods including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Avoid unhealthy snack foods, sodas, milk, wheat products and even fruit juice. Yes fruit juices as it is important to get the whole part of the fruit as without it, you are missing valuable nutrients and fiber. Also become familiar with healthy bacteria cultures in yogurt, kefir, and probiotics. Use betaine hydrochloride, a natural supplement for the stomach, as an aid to digestion. This will help to boost the stomach acid and break down those proteins before they enter the small intestine.