Friday, July 23, 2010

Is Pesticide Residue Causing Celiac Disease?

I was just reading an article about pesticides used in farming in the last 100 years and found a startling discovery about wheat. In "The Tangled History of Arsenic and Farming," Makenna Goodman excerpts a book by Will Allen called The War on Bugs. He happens to mention something about grain storage that made my skin crawl. Here is an excerpt:

In addition to its explosive and pest-killing abilities, all the tests on carbon bisulphide indicate that it is a neurotoxin and fetotoxin that causes thyroid and adrenal changes and heart, liver, and kidney damage. In spite of its considerable toxic drawbacks, it is today a widely used fumigant for insect control in stored grain. When used as a grain fumigant it is usually combined with carbon tetrachloride to reduce fire and explosive hazards.

Carbon bisulphide, as Allen illuminates, is a nerotoxin that causes metabolic changes in the human body. This sounds too close to some people's celiac symptoms for my liking. Virtually all people ate grain, including wheat, for thousands of years. Now all of a sudden this staple is not healthy for us anymore? Is it the carbon bisulphide treatment of grain that could be causing problems for some of us?

In her article, found here, she also details the use of other poisonous substances used in growing our food. Why is increase of things like autism, fibromialga, crohns and now celiac disease, paired with the last 100 years of chemical farm methods? Hmmmm....


  1. What about the carbon tetrachloride (CCI4). Carbon tet is a volatile organic solvent that disrupts the immune system and causes a lot of gastrointestinal problems.

    Supposedly, the farmers fed the poisoned grain to their cows and if the cows (with 9 stomachs) did not get sick, then the fumigated grain was okay for human consumption.

    I like you're thinking here. Medical research indicates that you are probably right. All you need to do is add the affects of both chemicals.

  2. Let me add something more:

    Recent studies in animal models demonstrated that bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract can cross over the intestinal barrier to infect extra-intestinal sites and/or the systemic circulation, a process known as bacterial translocation. Various pathological changes such as damage of the intestinal barrier can increase the incidence of bacterial translocation. CCI4, and likely carbon bisulphide, damages this barrier in lab animals.

    The CCI4-damaged microvilli in rats demonstrated that permeability changes might occur before the development of pathological abnormality.

    CCI4-induced bacterial translocation occurs in rats--the increased permeability between epithelial cells contributes to the translocation.

    Bottom line is that eating toxic grain could cause not only celiac's disease, but other bacterial induced illnesses, hyperimmunity, and autoimmune disease.

  3. Dave, this last post is VERY interesting, especially since some anecdotal evidence I've run across suggests that celiac can occur AFTER a bout of intestinal illness. Case in point is Elisabeth Hasselbeck, she detailed in "Living Without" how sick she was after having a stomach bug. I'll detail this in another post. Thanks for commenting!!

  4. Dave, I read your second post again and thought of "leaky gut syndrome." Would these be one in the same? Or are they related? And why on God's earth hasn't anyone else talked about this? If IBS is so prevalant, why are we not looking at our food supply? Every doctor complains about the American diet, but virtually no one is taking a hard look at all the additives, preservatives, pesticides used on and in our foods. Again, thanks for your comments. :)

  5. Superb blog post, I have book marked this internet site so ideally I’ll see much more on this subject in the foreseeable future!

    1. Thanks Manish! ;)

      I am a busy wife, mother, freelance writer and property manager and when you posted we were in the middle of a business startup! Things have just now calmed down enough for me to look at my blogs again.

      My main focus of this blog is to make gluten free fun. Topics like this won't be covered a lot, but I AM interested in the scientific connection between diet and illness, as well as biochemistry and how it affects the neurological system. It is just too much of a coincidence that the rise in MS and autism is directly in proportion to the toxic load on our bodies.

      We only recently found out that plastics, ALL plastics, not just BPA, leach estrogen mimicking chemicals. What effect does this have on obesity for instance? Well, many women who have PCOS are overweight AND have high estrogen levels. It was once thought that these women ate too much which caused their estrogen levels to rise, which caused their PCOS symptoms. What if plastics are to blame for the rise in estrogen levels and the weight gain and PCOS are a RESULT of the exposure instead of the other way around? Since excessive estrogen is converted into testosterone, this may explain the increase in appetite.

      As you can see I've thought about this and will probably continue to think about it with regards to gluten free living. When I get this sleeping baby off my lap I may think about actually spilling my thoughts into a blog post again. :)

      Thanks again for your comment. It lets me know I'm not just talking to myself, AND that what I'm saying may have an impact. :)