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In 2021 a group of Yale immunobiologists published a paper in the journal Cell arguing that substances in processed food, as well as chemicals in common household items such as dishwashing detergent, might be disrupting our normal immune response to food. When the immune system encounters noxious substances along with food, they note, this can cause “the immune system to react to food proteins the way it would react to toxic substances.”

Glyphosate — an ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, which is commonly sprayed on corn, soybeans, wheat, and oats — has also been shown to damage the gut lining and disturb the microbiome. Some research suggests that widespread use of glyphosate might be linked to the rise of celiac disease, an autoimmune condition in which dietary gluten damages the small intestine.

Mercury in fish can also contribute to gut permeability, says naturopath Dan Lukaczer, ND, director of medical education at the Institute for Functional Medicine.

This was excerpted from “Making Sense of Food Allergies” which was published in the May 2022 issue of Experience Life magazine.

Mo Perry

Mo Perry is an Experience Life contributing editor.

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