If you’ve read my blog on Gluten you will have learned that it is a type of Lectin.  A lectin, is an anti-nutrient, its job is to provide protection in and around a plant seed to stop them from being eaten by bugs or get a fungal growth.  As a protective agent and not a nutrient, they are predominately indigestible by us as the structure can’t be broken down by the enzymes we make for digestion.

Because of this, they can irritate the wall of the intestines and can influence our immune system, by getting through the cell wall by splitting the cells apart, termed leaky gut, or they can actually go through the cell to get to the immune system on the other side and set off a response.

It is this immune response that can trigger a cascade of tissue responses.  The Wheat Germ Agglutinin (WGA) is the most researched and problematic.  The antibodies to wheat germ agglutinin can also bind with the skin, mouth, stomach, intestinal wall, colon, thyroid, cartilage, liver, pancreas, kidneys, prostate, muscle, heart, breast, eye and brain.

So you can start to understand that it doesn’t just affect the gut, but has systemic effects.

The most serious effect on the gut is Coeliac disease where the body has an auto-immune response to Gluten.

Then there is non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), where people experience symptoms similar to those of coeliac disease but instead of an auto-immune response, it is what is called innate immune response.  This is the first response the immune system has towards invaders, so when you eat gluten, it stimulates a leaky gut. This is where the joints that hold the cells together loosen and allow gaps for the gluten to cross the gut barrier and may instigate cross-reactivity on the other side of the gut lining.

Here’s where it’s important for those with Auto-Immunity, especially Hashimoto’s and those with Thyroid disorders.

In Hashimoto’s disease, you have antibodies to anti-thyroid peroxidase (TPO) and these antibodies can be set off by eating foods that you think are unrelated to the thyroid. However, wheat germ agglutinin cross-reacts with the TPO antibodies!

‘Molecular mimicry’ is a term that is used when the way a molecule or pathogen that enters the body has a similar pattern of make up (amino acids) that already exists in the body with an antibody made to it. This may activate an antibody immune response towards both tissues, creating cross-reactivity.

In 2017, 210 foods were tested again thyroid hormones T3 and T4 for cross-reactivity and many were found to have this cross-reactivity see table below:


So, if you know you are a coeliac, you have antibodies to gluten. These antibodies trigger inflammation in other tissues of the body including the thyroid, brain, joints, heart and neurotransmitters.

If you know you are NCGS, you may be reactive to Gluten.  By consuming, you may be activating the cross-reactivity and inflaming the thyroid hormones.

If you don’t think you have an issue with gluten, you may unknowingly have issues with WGA that stimulates TPO antibodies or have molecular Mimicry to T3 or T4 thyroid hormones.

I know all of this information can be overwhelming and confusing.  The good thing is, that there are simple solutions available and you don’t have to stress about how to remove gluten from your current eating because I have that all covered with my gut restoration and whole food nutrition methods, that are adapted for weight loss, hormone balancing or thyroid support.

If you’d like to know more about this or other topics, you are welcome to join my free membership on face book. Thyroid, Metabolic, Hormone Harmony Hub. 

I’d love to see you there

Inspiring Wellness





Lambert J, Vojdani A (2017) Correlation of Tissue Antibodies and Food Immune Reactivity in Randomly Selected Patient Specimens. J Clin. Cell Immunol 8: 521. doi: 10.4172/2155-9899.1000521

Vojdani A, O’Brayn T, Kellermann GH. The Immunology of Gluten Senstivity Beyond the Intestinal Tract: Immunosciences Lab. Received October 16, 2007 – Accepted January 18, 2008 European Journal of Inflammation. Vol. 6, no. 2, 49-57 (2008) 

Killilea DW, McQueen R, Abegania JR. Wheat germ agglutinin is a biomarker of whole grain content in wheat flour and pasta. J Food Sci. 2020;85(3):808-815. doi:10.1111/1750-3841.15040

Vojdani A, Afar D, Vojdani E. Reaction of Lectin-Specific Antibody with Human Tissue: Possible Contributions to Autoimmunity. J Immunol Res. 2020;2020:1438957. Published 2020 Feb 11. doi:10.1155/2020/1438957

PreviMedica Group L.L.C., 2018 https://cellsciencesystems.com/pdfs/Lectins.pdf

Ballantyne, S 2013, The Paleo Approach, Victory Belt Publishing Inc, USA



Table 1 Recreated from:

Datis Kharrazian, Martha Herbert, Aristo Vojdani, “Immunological Reactivity Using Monoclonal and Polyclonal Antibodies of Autoimmune Thyroid Target Sites with Dietary Proteins”, Journal of Thyroid Research, vol. 2017, Article ID 4354723, 13 pages, 2017.


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