Low Lectin Diet Sends Autoimmune Diseases into Remission
Over the weekend of March 20-23, 2018, the American Heart Association held its EPI|Lifestyle 2018 Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, Louisiana. Over 700 physicians, dietitians, nurses, and other health scientists gathered to learn and present their latest research findings in the field of cardio-metabolic health and epidemiology. It sounds like a snooze fest for the uninitiated, but wait until you hear the findings from Dr. Steven Gundry’s clinical trial involving autoimmune patients.
This post contains two Amazon affiliate links to Dr. Gundry’s books. Read my Amazon Associates Disclosure on this page for more information.
Center for Restorative Medicine
Dr. Steven Gundry is the founder of the Center for Restorative Medicine at the International Heart Lung Institute in Palm Springs, CA. His 40-year career includes thousands of surgeries, patented medical technologies, and dozens of board memberships.
For the past two decades, his focus has been a revolutionary (or should I say evolutionary…) nutrition plan that has–no exaggeration–sent thousands of patients into remission from hundreds of diseases and unexplained health issues. It sounds too good to be true, but here are the findings Dr. Gundry presented at the the 2018 Scientific Sessions from a recent clinical trial.
Autoimmune disease is on the rise and has been for decades. Women are twice as susceptible as men. (1) Researchers remain unsure of the exact interplay among environmental, genetic, hormonal, and nutritional factors that trigger the body to attack itself. For those lucky enough to receive a diagnosis, relief often comes in the form of immunosuppressant drugs, which leave the body vulnerable to further attack.
- disturbing proper function of the gut microbiome (2)
- breaching the protective barrier of the small intestine (3)
- mimicking bodily tissue to “trick” the immune system (4)
With this theory in mind, Dr. Gundry and his team set out to develop a nutrition plan that would eliminate most or all lectins responsible for these three effects. The diet, now called the The Plant Paradox Protocol, is the still-evolving result of hundreds of clinical success stories. Dr. Gundry puts his theory to the test by examining whether certain dietary components activate proven autoimmune biomarkers of inflammation in his patients’ blood.
Autoimmune Patients on the Diet
Dr. Gundry tracked 102 consecutive patients with proven markers of autoimmune activity (rheumatoid factor, antinuclear antibodies, etc…) and biomarkers of inflammation. Patients showed signs and symptoms of:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
Patients eliminated most dietary lectins, including grains, beans, legumes, peanuts, cashews, nightshades, squashes, and casein A-1 dairy products. They supplemented with probiotics, prebiotic fiber, and polyphenols. Every three months, the following biomarkers for inflammation were measured from blood samples:
- high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP)
- tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha)
- interleukin 6 (IL-6)
- autoimmune markers
95 of 102 patients achieved complete resolution of autoimmune markers and inflammatory markers within 9 months. The other 7 patients had reduced markers, and not a single patient had no changes. 80 of the patients weaned off all immunosuppressants and other prescribed medications, with no rebound effects.
Click HERE to see an abstract summary of Dr. Gundry’s presentation.
What this Means
A responsible researcher would say we need more trials, bigger sample sizes, control groups, and a greater array of autoimmune diseases to confirm that a lectin-limited diet can cure autoimmune disease. The responsible researcher in me agrees with this statement.
An autoimmune patient would say “SIGN ME UP.” The undiagnosed autoimmune patient in me said this 9 months ago and self-replicated the findings of the study in my own home. I’m not the only one.
Thousands of people are attempting the diet and achieving seemingly extraordinary results. Not all of us have found the cure yet (I’m still not 100% symptom-free). But, frankly, we don’t have time to wait around for research to catch up. We are using Dr. Gundry’s research in real-time to heal our bodies and live the life we were supposed to live before autoimmune disease stole it from us.
Ready to get started? I’ve got the recipes.
1) NCBI: Updated assessment of the prevalence, spectrum and case definition of autoimmune disease.
2) NCBI:The role of gut microbiota in immune homeostasis and autoimmunity
3) NCBI:Breaking down the barriers: the gut microbiome, intestinal permeability and stress-related psychiatric disorders
4) Journal of Glycomics and Lipidomics: Lectin Array Analysis of Purified Lipooligosaccharide: A Method for the Determination of Molecular Mimicry
5) SelfHacked: Dr. Steven Gundry–Stop Autoimmunity with a Lectin Free Diet
6) Alternative Therapies in Health: Food Immune Reaction and Autoimmunity