Friday, May 13, 2011

Wheat Poisoning Explained

One mechanism, anyway: Lectin-Based Food Poisoning: A New Mechanism of Protein Toxicity:

"At least one form of muscular dystrophy is caused by a failure in the membrane repair mechanism [17]. We have shown here that binding of cell surface glycoproteins by lectins interferes with the exocytotic events associated with membrane repair (mucus secretion) and that lectins potently block repair. We here propose a second category of disease that can be explained as a failure in the plasma membrane repair mechanism. Lectins, we hypothesize, are toxic when present in the GI tract based on two, inter-related effects. First, resealing failure occurs within the general population of GI tract cells normally exposed to membrane disrupting levels of mechanical stress, leading to their necrosis. The second lectin-induced effect is exocytotic failure within the subpopulation of GI tract cells that normally secrete mucus, leading to a decrease in protective, lubricating mucus secretion and a consequent increase in the incidence of mechanically-induced membrane disruption events. Because lectins, based on the damage they do to the lining of the GI tract, and their hypertrophic effect, have been implicated in, respectively, celiac disease [18] and cancer [19], knowledge of this mechanism may have implications beyond a better understanding of food poisoning."