Data suggests that since the 1950’s incidence of Celiac Disease has quadrupled and an estimated 1 in 100 people in this country are now dealing with the condition. In so much as these numbers are possibly being driven up by better screening and diagnoses of the condition, there are many that feel the number is significantly higher. Still higher yet is the estimated percentage of the population that are dealing with some type of issue regarding gluten, mainly gluten sensitivity and or intolerance. But what is driving these numbers?
To better understand we need to look back over Human history up to and including the present day and current food supply. The Paleolithic era which makes up the dominant time span in modern Human history extended from approximately 2.6 million years ago to around 12,000BP (before present). During this time known as the Stone Age Humans lived in a largely nomadic society of small bands that subsisted on what could be hunted and gathered. Very little if any of this diet would have involved any kind of grains that contained gluten.
Then around 10,000 to 12,000BP some major changes take place and we start to see evidence of the domestication of animals and the practice of farming. Consequently the people of this new time period known as the Neolithic era begin to stay in one place as these practices allowed for the long-term storage and procurement of food. In turn, this allows for more complex societies to evolve and of course the rest is history.
Among the first crops to be farmed by the people of this new era are cereal grains such as wheat and of course wheat contains gluten. This sudden change in diet happened literally overnight when considered against the relative backdrop of time regarding Human history. Suddenly, and some would say within the blink of and eye, our recent food supply has changed again, and this time much more dramatically. In the last few decades the food supply has become bleached, processed, laden with chemicals and inundated with higher and higher concentrations of gluten in virtually every food on the market.
Additionally the food supply is increasingly genetically modified. Although wheat is not genetically modified at this time it is becoming widely accepted that other GM crops such as those designed to produce the toxin Bt and those modified to be glyphosate resistant are contributing directly to the rise in Celiac Disease. The Bt toxin kills invasive insects by punching holes in their gut and glyphosate a weed killer works similar to an antibiotic and kills certain enzymes and beneficial bacteria in the soil that are needed by weeds to live.
Both the Bt toxin and glyphosate are passed on into the food supply therefore it is not difficult to postulate that Bt and glyphosate could both be highly detrimental to the digestive tract in people. Bt acts in the Human digestive tract similar to how it affects insects and the chemical glyphosate killing much needed healthy bacteria in the gut similar to the negative affects of taking antibiotics. Of course all the while knowing that Celiac Disease is the direct result of a poor functioning digestive system.
There is written record dating as far back as 3,500BP that demonstrates digestive issues most likely due to gluten containing foods. The evidence suggests that the Human digestive system has not yet fully adapted to the change that took place to the standard diet at the end of the Paleolithic era and additionally it is not adapting well to the more recent, sudden, and drastic changes to the modern food supply. Even to this day the average person cannot properly digest gluten, and while for most it does not become a serious issue, for many the result is Celiac Disease.
Written by DMK of Seven Grains