The History of Food Intolerance and Allergy
All organisms have evolved through natural selection over many thousand of years to survive and reproduce in their individual environments. Viruses and bacteria were serious threats to survival of the animal kingdom. These microorganisms had evolved with membranes with structures resistant to destruction by their environment capable of carrying out their essential functions such as giving and receiving messages, adhering to other cells and invading host cells. All viruses and bacteria that are designed to invade and prosper in animals evolved with membrane proteins rich in the amino acid, proline (see Figure 1), whose rigid structure bent through 90˚ imposes a fixed conformation on the membrane proteins that makes them resistant to digestion by the animals’ digestive enzymes (Refer to our Virus and Bacterial Membrane Proteins document). Mutations of the membrane proteins over the years conserved prolines so that they did not lose their digestion-resistant property.
A high proportion of animals evolved with an immunity gene (in humans this gene is HLA DQ2 or DQ8 or a closely related gene) that specifically recognized peptide groups that had a proline adjacent to a hydrophilic amino acid so they had an innate immunity against viruses and bacteria once the gene had been switched on. Those animals without this gene were at great risk from viral and bacterial infection.
Plants that evolved in an environment where they were at risk of being eaten by an animal learnt over time to lay down proline-rich proteins in their parts that were attractive to be eaten by animals because the animals with the immunity gene that recognized such proteins should know that these plants will over-stimulate their immune system and damage their health. (Refer to our Plant food proline-rich proteins document). Animals should have an innate ability to detect this risk, but we modern adult humans seem to have lost that ability to sense the problem. New born humans have that ability, and stone-age man certainly had that ability. Plants also use digestion-resistant proline-rich proteins to encapsulate their energy source, vitamins and minerals that are required for regeneration. When animals eat the plant, their digestive systems are unable to utilize the total plant nutrition. Indeed most plant food commonly eaten by humans and other animals only release between 10 and 60% of their available nutrition by the time the food leaves the small intestine.
Stone-age man ate a diet of lean meat, fish and limited plant-based food that had been tested especially by the female members of the family to ensure it was safe for them to eat.
The end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago brought a major change to the human population. Throughout the world new grasses grew that were easily cultivated with seeds that were easily harvested. Agribusiness was born. The corn grew in central and south America, rice in Asia and abutting areas, and wheat grew near the Black Sea. Perhaps the corn proteins were so resistant to digestion they simply passed through the digestive system without harming the health of the people because they have retained a high proportion of people with the HLA DQ2/DQ8 gene. Rice proteins have a few prolyl peptides that are spread out in the protein structure allowing the proteins to be digested efficiently. The original wheat varieties and the more recent varieties have “gluten” proteins that are proline-rich resistant to digestion and that bind well to the HLA DQ2/DQ8 gene causing the immune system to be over-stimulated once it has been switched on by an initial infection or by stress or by over indulgence of the food or now by vaccination.
(Refer to our Cereal Grain Proteins Structure document).
Wheat grains produced excellent flour and wild yeasts grew on it to produce alcohol. It was a good feed for their cattle and other animals producing meat and milk. Agribusiness had certainly arrived and these products were traded to the west. Food intolerance and its autoimmune diseases caused a reduction in the proportion of the population with the HLA DQ2/DQ8 gene across Europe because of an increased mortality rate. However, the Celtic and other tribes in Cornwall, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Scandinavia, and northern Europe down into areas such as Czechoslovakia rejected such a major change to their culture and for thousands of years refused to eat this “western” food. They preserved the high proportion of people with this gene and have passed on their immunity gene to their families to the present day. In some parts of the world, such as in Africa, the proline-rich proteins in wheat were digested by fermentation and successful flour was made from the fermented wheat that did not challenge their health.
Are you at risk?
People with an immunity gene different to HLA DQ2/DQ8 do not have a risk of food intolerance and autoimmune diseases from proline-rich proteins but their health is adversely affected by their failure to digest plant-based foods’ proline-rich proteins with their encapsulated energy, minerals and vitamins before entry to the large intestine where bacterial fermentation of the nutrients causes the pH to drop below 6.2 killing-off good bacteria that need neutral pH for cultivation, allowing bad bacteria to dominate and produce toxins that impact adversely on health.
Migrations of peoples around the world mixed the HLA DQ2/DQ8 gene back into “western” populations.
In Australia, before the arrival of western people with their wheat flour and alcohol, the original people were classical stone-age people: very fit and healthy. Many people with Celtic blood were brought or freely came to Australia since 1788. People from Asia, the Americas, Africa, Italy, Greece and the Middle East with the HLA DQ2/DQ8 gene migrated here. They have passed on their immunity gene very successfully so that over 30% of the Australian population has the HLA DQ2/DQ8 gene and in some regions it is much higher than 30%.
What are the options?
If these people wish to have a healthy life, to be capable of producing healthy children and to protect them from food intolerance and allergy and the associated autoimmune diseases, they must either rigorously follow a strict Paleo diet which has not been modernized with the latest fads or use a technology such as is offered by Biohawk to digest the proline-rich proteins before the food is put into their mouth.
Figure 1: proline structure
THE 2 STEP PLAN