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    Lectin reduction/avoidance diet: Thoughts? Anyone doing it?

    I'm a firm believer in the idea that there are ties/links between MS and our diet.

    Some believe that MS and many other auto-immune diseases are caused by "gut" issues; that the intestines have issues which allow "food particles" (for lack of a better term; I'm not a doctor/researcher) into the bloodstream which eventually get into the brain and cause the auto-immune response that gives us MS. Like it or not, that's one theory.

    I doubt we'll find a magical cure from diet, but I'd happily eat sawdust and drink cat urine if it'd mean a substantial improvement.

    A big advocate of the lectin theory of diet to address auto-immune disorders is Dr. Steven Gundry who runs a website, has a YouTube channel and has written books on the topic.

    What I'm curious to get is feedback about this lectin theory, and especially from anyone who might have tried this type of diet. Anyone?
    59M / RRMS / Dx1987 / Ocrevus

    #2
    When I read about lectins, dont remember where, I gave up red kidney beans. That was about 7 years ago. Those were the highest lectin food that I had been eating on a regular basis. My understanding is that plants produce lectins with the purpose of making the critter that eats them feel ill so that they wont eat them. By carefully cooking, you can lower the lectin content of legumes.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Golgotha View Post
      I'm a firm believer in the idea that there are ties/links between MS and our diet.


      I doubt we'll find a magical cure from diet, but I'd happily eat sawdust and drink cat urine if it'd mean a substantial improvement.

      A big advocate of the lectin theory of diet to address auto-immune disorders is Dr. Steven Gundry who runs a website, has a YouTube channel and has written books on the topic.

      What I'm curious to get is feedback about this lectin theory, and especially from anyone who might have tried this type of diet. Anyone?

      I am going to have to look into this. I also believe that our diets play a huge role in this. I am going to have to research this more tonight.My diet is already pretty restrictive , but I am with you I'd live off sawdust and cat pee if it meant I never have an issue with this.

      Comment


        #4
        Hi Golgotha ~

        I really don't have an educated opinion on lectins and MS, or other autoimmune diseases.

        Ironically, though, the people in all 5 Blue Zones (the healthiest people in the world), include beans and legumes as a staple food in their diets.

        Perhaps some people have problems with lectin foods, just as some people have food allergies and sensitivities?

        Take Care
        PPMS for 23 years (dx 1998)
        ~ Worrying will not take away tomorrow's troubles ~ But it will take away today's peace. ~

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by KoKo
          I really don't have an educated opinion on lectins and MS, or other autoimmune diseases.
          Neither do I; that's why I'm asking.

          Originally posted by KoKo
          the people in all 5 Blue Zones (the healthiest people in the world), include beans and legumes as a staple food in their diets.
          I had never heard of the Blue Zones until you mentioned them, but it was interesting to note that Gundry addresses that specific point about here in this video. His main points being that soaking beans destroys some of the lectins, and pressure cooking does the same but to a higher degree.

          Originally posted by KoKo
          Perhaps some people have problems with lectin foods, just as some people have food allergies and sensitivities?
          That's one point that he makes repeatedly: That cultures that eat a lot of tomatoes (one high lectin food) have developed cooking techniques to rid the foods of a great deal of the lectins; with his point being that with our modern diets and mass corporate-prepared foods we've tossed out much of old wisdom.

          I get it that much of this and the level of details he goes into could easily fall into the category of pseudo-science or quackery. On the other hand, reading about MS diets for years it's often said in other completely un-related diets that the same types of foods (e.g. peppers, nightshades, gluten) could be sources of allergies that could exacerbate MS symptoms. What hits home with me is that those various potential "allergens" also are pretty high in lectins.

          Gundry's various "rationales" could possibly address this, hence me being curious about whether anyone else has tried this.
          59M / RRMS / Dx1987 / Ocrevus

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Temagami
            When I read about lectins, dont remember where, I gave up red kidney beans.
            In one MS diet book I read legumes were listed as one of the foods that people with MS could be sensitive/allergic to. I similarly eliminated legumes from my diet for about a year. (FWIW, the diet was no cure-all but may have made a minor improvement -- or was that just fluctuations in MS? I don't know.)

            With this lectin idea, however, that wouldn't have made much of a difference since if this theory is correct (note the "if") I would've been getting lectins from other sources.

            Originally posted by Temagami
            By carefully cooking, you can lower the lectin content of legumes.
            It's funny, I view cooking as a chore and not a joy. (Call it a guy thing if you want. ) A while ago I bought an InstaPot and wanted to use it just to save time/effort and as part of an effort to eat healthier. But I've barely used it since it seemed to be more trouble than what it was worth.

            If I adopt this low/no-lectin diet, I'll have a renewed effort to use that pressure cooker. My guess is I'll give up legumes, but since I have a fondness for quinoa I'll pressure cook that and some other things to break up lectins.
            59M / RRMS / Dx1987 / Ocrevus

            Comment


              #7
              You make good points, Golgotha.

              I guess the only thing one can do is try eliminating questionable foods, and see if it makes a difference in symptoms, or how the person feels, as you did with gluten.

              I do eat tomatoes, peppers, and beans/legumes. I very rarely eat meat (if a family member brings a meal over that includes meat, I do eat it, though.)

              Basically I follow the Mind Diet, a variation of the Mediterranean Diet, which I feel pretty good on. Everybody is different.

              Take Care
              PPMS for 23 years (dx 1998)
              ~ Worrying will not take away tomorrow's troubles ~ But it will take away today's peace. ~

              Comment


                #8
                I just realized that I veered off from your original topic on lectins, Golgotha.

                Sorry about that! (Can I blame it on the time change?)

                Take Care
                PPMS for 23 years (dx 1998)
                ~ Worrying will not take away tomorrow's troubles ~ But it will take away today's peace. ~

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by KoKo
                  I do eat tomatoes, peppers, and beans/legumes.
                  At this point, so do I -- except I eat minimal legumes.


                  Originally posted by KoKo
                  Basically I follow the Mind Diet, a variation of the Mediterranean Diet
                  I had no idea what the Mind Diet was so I looked it up.

                  So we're similar, though I probably eat more meat than you do. I basically eat tons of veggies, some organic but most not, lots and lots and lots of greens, very little-to-no dairy or legumes and I'm 99.78% gluten free (only a rare slip-up). My meat consists of anti-biotic free/decent chicken breasts and wild caught fish primarily, but I'll occasionally have some beef or chorizo when I eat "junk food." My "vice" is tortilla chips, which I use for eating guacamole. (I never liked guac until I discovered that spicy guac works as a laxative for me. )

                  My diet was created as sort of a practical "best of" ideas of all of the various MS diets I've tried; taking common themes from various ones. (I credit Dr. Wahls' diet and greens for improving my eyesight to better than 20/20 for distance vision.)
                  59M / RRMS / Dx1987 / Ocrevus

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Golgotha View Post
                    My "vice" is tortilla chips, which I use for eating guacamole.
                    Mine too! Tortilla chips and salsa, with mashed avocados, is my special occasion treat. It's not really all that bad, considering the variety of junk foods available.

                    Originally posted by Golgotha View Post
                    My diet was created as sort of a practical "best of" ideas of all of the various MS diets I've tried; taking common themes from various ones. (I credit Dr. Wahls' diet and greens for improving my eyesight to better than 20/20 for distance vision.)
                    You're doing a terrific job with your diet plan, Golgotha.

                    Take Care
                    PPMS for 23 years (dx 1998)
                    ~ Worrying will not take away tomorrow's troubles ~ But it will take away today's peace. ~

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Forgot to add that I don't drink the wine that is included in the Mind Diet.

                      I do eat a good amount of blueberries and strawberries, though.

                      Take Care
                      PPMS for 23 years (dx 1998)
                      ~ Worrying will not take away tomorrow's troubles ~ But it will take away today's peace. ~

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Golgotha View Post
                        I'm a firm believer in the idea that there are ties/links between MS and our diet.
                        ...

                        What I'm curious to get is feedback about this lectin theory, and especially from anyone who might have tried this type of diet. Anyone?
                        i've also become a firm believer in the links between MS and our diet. I wish I would have known, years ago, what I know now. I would have made different decisions.

                        I'm currently on a fairly restrictive diet recommended by my functional medicine doctor. No wheat, no dairy, no cane sugar. I've also had an IgG 184 Food Sensitivities Panel test done. The first time (in June) showed sensitivities to all of the 6 high lectin foods that one article identified: red kidney beans, soy, wheat, peanuts, tomatoes, potatoes. After avoiding wheat and dairy, and eating sugar and all of my sensitive foods very sparingly for 8 months, I had a second test done in February and just had my results mailed to me this week. Tomatoes and potatoes are now off my restricted list.

                        In these months since summer, my MS has not become worse and a few symptoms seem to be improving.

                        For more information, check out my thread here: https://www.msworld.org/forum/showth...edicine-Part-2
                        ~ Faith
                        MSWorld Volunteer -- Moderator since JUN2012
                        (now a Mimibug)

                        Symptoms began in JAN02
                        - Dx with RRMS in OCT03, following 21 months of limbo, ruling out lots of other dx, and some "probable stroke" and "probable CNS" dx for awhile.
                        - In 2008, I was back in limbo briefly, then re-dx w/ MS: JUL08
                        .

                        - Betaseron NOV03-AUG08; Copaxone20 SEPT08-APR15; Copaxone40 APR15-present
                        - Began receiving SSDI / LTD NOV08. Not employed. I volunteer in my church and community.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Mamabug View Post
                          i've also become a firm believer in the links between MS and our diet. I wish I would have known, years ago, what I know now. I would have made different decisions.

                          I'm currently on a fairly restrictive diet recommended by my functional medicine doctor. No wheat, no dairy, no cane sugar. I've also had an IgG 184 Food Sensitivities Panel test done. The first time (in June) showed sensitivities to all of the 6 high lectin foods that one article identified: red kidney beans, soy, wheat, peanuts, tomatoes, potatoes. After avoiding wheat and dairy, and eating sugar and all of my sensitive foods very sparingly for 8 months, I had a second test done in February and just had my results mailed to me this week. Tomatoes and potatoes are now off my restricted list.

                          In these months since summer, my MS has not become worse and a few symptoms seem to be improving.

                          For more information, check out my thread here: https://www.msworld.org/forum/showth...edicine-Part-2

                          How do you get that test done? Im kinda worried it would come Back with me having nothing to eat. But it would still be Interesting

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Daisycat View Post
                            How do you get that test done? Im kinda worried it would come Back with me having nothing to eat. But it would still be Interesting
                            Yeah; it really does restrict my diet significantly. It's not hard to stick to at home but it makes eating in restaurants a challenge. An even bigger challenge is eating places where I don't have a choice what to order, like at church meals, etc. Thankfully, my church is getting much better at offering dietary options for those with restrictions.

                            I don't think "regular" doctors do it. My functional medicine doctor (Dr. G) sends me to a lab to have it done. It's a big part of what he does; his field is clinical nutrition and he believes that "food is medicine". I find it interesting that, even before the first test was done, he recommends no wheat, no dairy, no sugar for all of his patients -- and even eats a lot that way himself. And, my IgG test results show that my sensitivities to wheat, gluten and dairy are very high. (It doesn't test for sugar.)

                            I think that other functional medicine doctors might do it too. It is expensive -- costs about $300 and insurance doesn't cover it.
                            ~ Faith
                            MSWorld Volunteer -- Moderator since JUN2012
                            (now a Mimibug)

                            Symptoms began in JAN02
                            - Dx with RRMS in OCT03, following 21 months of limbo, ruling out lots of other dx, and some "probable stroke" and "probable CNS" dx for awhile.
                            - In 2008, I was back in limbo briefly, then re-dx w/ MS: JUL08
                            .

                            - Betaseron NOV03-AUG08; Copaxone20 SEPT08-APR15; Copaxone40 APR15-present
                            - Began receiving SSDI / LTD NOV08. Not employed. I volunteer in my church and community.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              A lot of that sounds how I eat already now. Im no dairy, then as low as possible with sodium, saturated fat, sugar, wheat.

                              I eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and chicken/turkey/fish.

                              I just wish there was a straight forward answer of what diet is best. So many of them say different things.

                              Comment

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