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The Pros And Cons Of A Lectin-Free Diet For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Saturday 23 November 2019


From ProHealth:



The Pros And Cons Of A Lectin-Free Diet For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

By Rachel Horton
November 21, 2019
Copyright © 2019 ProHealth, Inc. All rights reserved.

Paleo is passé. Lectins are the new enemy, and they will destroy you. Or so we’re told. Does the lectin-free diet have any potential to alleviate fatigue, clear brain fog, and restore your GI to its fullest potential? Or will you drive yourself to the brink of insanity when you realize there are only ten foods you can now eat? Most importantly, are there any potential benefits to adopting a lectin-free diet for ME/CFS?

The lectin-free diet has gained attention recently, thanks to celebrity endorsements and Dr. Steven Gundry’s popular books, including The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain. I came across the lectin avoidance diet through the work of Joe Cohen, the researcher behind, a trusted natural health resource. Joe’s approach is less about self-aggrandizement and supplement hawking and is more focused on reducing the body’s inflammatory response. This is not about demonizing lectins, but rather, identifying individual foods that might be troublesome for you.

What Are Lectins?

After years of decrying the evils of gluten, many may wonder: what are lectins? Lectins are proteins found in a variety of plants, including grains and certain vegetables and fruits, and these proteins bind to carbohydrates. According to Dr. Gundry, lectins are part of the plant’s self-preservation apparatus. Lectins are generally thought to be harmless, though in extreme cases (ricin, for example), lectins can be lethal. But Dr. Gundry hypothesizes that lectins (which cover a broad category of proteins and include gluten) are the root of inflammation and a number of cardiovascular diseases.

Why Go Lectin Free?

The supposed benefits of lectin avoidance include weight loss, less inflammation, improved cognitive function, cardiovascular disease reduction, more energy and better GI function. Dr. Gundry claims that lectins interfere with thyroid hormones, which could contribute to fatigue.

Symptoms of lectin sensitivity include fatigue (especially after eating), GI dysfunction, brain fog, weight issues, inflammation and joint pain. (You can find a full list of possible symptoms here.) Many of the potentially lectin-related symptoms are also ME/CFS symptoms.


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