Is It #Gluten Withdrawal, Or Spinach?!

English: Spinach plant, Castelltallat, Catalon...
English: Spinach plant, Castelltallat, Catalonia Català: Planta d’espinac a principis de novembre, Castelltallat, Bages (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Carolyn has once again been doing some digging for us after she discovered what she thought was gluten withdrawal was actually a reaction to spinach of all things. In March (I know, I know; I’ve been busy!), she sent the following message to me:

I was wondering if anyone has had a gluten like reaction to spinach? I have been suffering semi mild reactions on and off for a while and have finally pin pointed it to spinach….Perhaps this is widely known in the TGF world and i have missed the info on it due to lack of concentration, fatigue etc from eating the green stuff!!

Well, no, that was a new one on me. I put down my forkful of spinach.

So, why would spinach be an issue? Well, I have written about the effect of the morphine/opiate like effects of gluten and casein before. Here’s a reminder for you on gluten withdrawal:

Gluten contains an opoid-like substance called gliadorphin. Much like casomorphin in dairy, the gliadorphin binds to opiate receptors in the brain and can affect behaviour and cognitive function by mimicking the action of opiates like heroin and morphine. This has most often been seen in autism and, in this regard, the Feingold Association advises:

“If necessary, casein and gluten items can be replaced very slowly, a tablespoon per day, for example. Remember that this is an addiction condition, and the child may have serious withdrawal symptoms, including behavioural deterioration, if changes are made too quickly.” That may not be bad advice for all gluten-sensitives.”

Well, Carolyn has weedled out that spinach has a morphine-like issue all of its own. She sent me a link to a report which included this quote:

Spinach…contains opioid-like peptides in the form of rubiscolin. Individuals who are sensitive to the opioid-like peptides in gluten and casein are also sensitive to spinach in the same way. 

Rubiscolins are a newly discovered group of opioid peptides apparently and there are others suspected including egg, oats and rice as well as one produced by certain bacteria and moulds in the body. The report goes on to explain how these morphine-like protein fractions can affect us:

Opioid-like peptides act on endorphin receptors throughout the body and can cause problems such as aches and pains, headaches, lowered pain threshold, digestive problems (usually but not limited to constipation), nausea, abnormal hunger, motivational problems, mental/behavioural problems, brain fog, irritability, weight problems, cravings, and histamine release.

What appears to happen is that gluten and casein have the strongest effects in individuals who have naturally low levels of endorphins or who are ‘resistant’ to endorphins due to endorphin receptor polymorphisms. They act as natural analgesics and provide a mild sense of relief and demotivation in the short term, but during withdrawal cause increased pain, anxiety, and negative symptoms.

In other words, if you feel you are suffering withdrawal symptoms as described above, try dropping the spinach too. We will have to find out more about this endorphin resistance. That’s a new one on me, too.

Of course, we have to also realise that the reason we get the reactions is that the protein fragments have found their way through a barrier and docked at a receptor site. As Mark Sisson says in his interesting piece Is Wheat Addictive?:

It may be addictive, but not to everyone. If your gut is permeable enough to allow passage of opioid peptides into your blood, I could see it causing problems. If your gut is healthy and intact, maybe it’s not such an issue.

So, back we are to the hyper-permeability of barriers yet again and to the solution of the problem being to stop the stuff getting access in the first place! Barrier Plan. Simples. Not actually, but you know what I mean!

Well done, Carolyn, aka Sherlock 2.

10 Replies to “Is It #Gluten Withdrawal, Or Spinach?!”

  1. I eat a handful of raw spinach every night but I’m going to watch to see how I feel after I eat it! Sometimes I’ve noticed I feel a bit spaced out but did wonder was that black pepper. I was told raw spinach is very good for constipation that’s why I eat it but it’s better raw – cook it and it’s bad for you – is this true. Also I read that spinach can be a very depressing food – is that also true?

  2. I don’t know about raw or cooked, Janet, but I suppose you get much more weight-wise cooked so would be higher nutrient intake maybe. It could indeed be depressing if the person had the issue with opiates I have described, yes.

  3. Wow!

    I love this site. Thank you to Miki and Carolyn for opening up the opiate trail.

    I will be studying this topic with interest. The first thing that I thought when I saw the teaser in my inbox was that spinach is high in oxalates that chelates at least calcium and since I would assume it was non-selective it its metal binding it might also pull out zinc as well. Cooking leaches some of the oxalates but I have never been able to eat the stuff. I get the same tongue tanning (as in leather hide) reaction from Swiss Chard and Beet Tops. I do not get this reaction from Kale that is said to be the most nutritious green on the planet. I do, however, cook everything I eat. The reason is to kill microbes. Microbes and their endotoxins can mimic a gluten reaction. ALL plants have anti-digestion enzymes in them that can only be deactivated by heat and taken away from the food by boiling or steaming. This goes counter to the crowd that says to eat raw food for the digestive enzymes but that camp has never offered a scientific answer to the antitrypsin in beans and other digestion inhibitors in other plant material. Oxalic acid is what makes Rhubarb leaves toxic. Cruciferates like Kale, Collards, Broccoli (I never eat cauliflower it is very bad) ALL have goitergens (yes, goiter creating compounds). The dichotomy is that these plants must all be steamed or boiled to get rid of the goitergens and this runs counter to the health crowd that claim the thiocyanates are ‘good’ for you because they are antioxidants.

    The total lack of biochemistry among repeaters of ‘facts’ they learned from unbalanced (I meant journalistically —) sources is downright dangerous. Albert Szent Gyorgyi said that the human body cannot build biomolecules in the absence of oxygen radicals. The common trend is to push antioxidants. If the antioxidants KILLS your thyroid then what possible advantage could it be? since a perfectly working thyroid can actually transmute elements without a cyclotron.

    For a gardening tip: If you grow your own vegetables consider growing any of the various Kales (Blue, Red Russian, Siberian) with a trace mineral fertilizer (Biogenesis Mineral Matrix, ) and make sure that they grow in the coolest part of the season and you should be rewarded with leaves that actually taste sweet.

  4. Interesting – I suspect that the protein in spinach called rubiscolin is also in chard and beet tops which are all in the same scientific family as spinach – chenopodiaceae – i aslo find I react to chard – as yet haven’t challenged beet tops. Kale, broccoli etc all belong to the brassicaaceae family so perhaps htey have a different protein dis similar to the opiate like one found in grains and spinach. Now all we need is to find a scientist willing to research that! If my theory is right then we could use our intolerances for testing what belongs to the chenopodiaaceae family and what doesn’t!!

    1. Hi Carolyn,

      We need a propellerhead on retainer.

      When I consulted a chart on plant Families that was organized by common name (not latin) I found that Buckwheat and Rhubarb were in the same geneline. In the old days before labcreated biofilms I would make up buckwheat pancakes heap on the blueberries and Grade B maple syrup. Those were the days —-

      Recently, I cooked up some buckwheat groats and simply put them to my tongue and immediately my lower bowel reacted. Had to beat it down with a glass of baking soda.

      I’m just slinging facts like a Jackson Pollack painting, but if Rhubarb selectively concentrates oxalates then it makes me wonder if it was the starch, the protein or some other subtle chemical trigger that caused an actual instantaneous reaction in the beast of the belly. (?)

      When I was reminded of the sugarbeet presence in the cheno — chenopod— Goosefoot Family of plants it reminded me of the early work of Theron Randolph who demonstrated on film that he could induce mental derangement based on exposing a patient to glucose solution that was derived from beets, corn, or cane sugars depending on the specific allergies of the patients to the ingredients. Dr. Randolph’s work focused on environmental toxins as the triggers for the aberrant responses back in the 1960s and 1970s, but the mass Polio vaccinations (environmental toxins) of the 1950s predated his observations and that of Peter D’Adamo’s father who did the groundbreaking work on genetic susceptibility to lectins. Given the long history of the use of Castor Oil as a purgative, it makes me call into question not the validity of the Blood Type Diet but its origin. As we have all experienced and Randolph put on film the inescapable residue of any of the parent material whether as a physiological or in homeopathic dose of the offending substance that can provoke reactions at unbelievably low levels of consumption/exposure. This begs the question of whether the Ricin that HAS to be in the Castor Oil has not set up the human race generationally for an over-reaction to hemagluttinizing Lectins. (?)

      My current view of the overall situation is that we are suffering from chromosomal damage induced by genetic rewrites from the vaccines, so at best we can implement avoidance (Randolph’s and D’Adamo’s main thesis) until we can figure out how to induce chromosomal repair (put that into a search engine then pull out your biochem dictionaries). There are many exotic herbs researched with the suspicion that they aid in chromosome repair but the one that intrigues me is Peppermint because it is a recent hybrid (in biological time measurements) plus it has the interesting ability to really mess up homeopathy. But back to the beet-thing: I was doing a gallbladder cleanse (it is amazing what that and the liver can sequester) and was struck that the problem isn’t a clogged organ but what is clogging it: thick bile. Beets and beet tops were cited as the main folk remedy for thinning bile. Now, it seems that we are being painted into a corner at the threat of our health if we try to consume the things we need to — well — get healthy. This kind of thing is not random. It comes from generations of planning.

      On that most wonderful website link on opiates I also found reference to sensitivities to salicylates. Now, if we just put aside the historical re-write we might get some perspective on this problem. Back in the day, cholesterol levels used to be set to a low standard. After all of the vascular damage from vaccines, cholesterol is consistently high (factor in bad thyroids too) so they just raise the standards since no one can meet them. I have seen a very disturbing trend on the internet that the history of food and food consumption is being erased and rewritten so that the EXTREME gyrations we go through just to not get sick from what we put in our gobs seems as if it has always been that way. Very disturbing. Anyway, my point, even if it takes two pages to get there is that in the 2002 Burton Report on Autism, we find that Stejskal said that only 20% of the population was genetically able to mount an immune response to Thimerosal but EVERYONE was allergic to it. Seem odd and off topic to bring this up? Thimerosal or: [(ortho-carboxyphenyl)thio]-ethylmercury sodium salt; or Sodium Ethylmercurithiosalycilate; or Merthiolate; dissociates when it is shot into the body as Mercury radicals and Sulfosalicylic acid. Eli Lily inside memos called it Phenolic Acid. And who hasn’t eaten Aspirin (Acetylsalicylic acid) and Wintergreen Lifesavers (methyl salicylate) like candy? You know: sometimes it seems like I’m flippant, but that is just the way the facts are jumping like flapjacks. So, as we approach page number 3 of this response, I have to ask the musical question of whether we are intolerant, allergic, or reactive to food and its basic constituents or if our chromosomes haven’t been scrambled like eggs in a glass pan on Regulo Eleven? If, it is chromosome damage then we will never be able to process food the way we could before the damage occurred until we can induce the self-repair mechanisms in our DNA (put that into a search engine).

  5. It wasn’t glucose it was dextrose that Randolph was demonstrating in the IV fluids. Too many facts to catch the tails of while minding the business end of the tiger.

  6. Hi Everybody,

    The parent link on transgenic food
    shows that we cannot trust our food supply from at least the 1920s up; that is not giving any special attention to the 30-foot tall birdman messing with the Assryian Date Palms with the gizmo from his lunchbox as the opening picture for this article.

    On that same page was a link to:
    that blew my mind. I think that Rye is one of the most dangerous plants on the planet and here is a list of all of the grains that they grafted it into. The list shows the start date as 1993, so gauge for yourselves whether or not your troubles started or just increased during that time. Bear in mind that they used to put raw wheat flour on chewing gum to keep it from sticking in the package (don’t know if they still do, I think chewing gum is dangerous) so just because you avoid a substance in its common form doesn’t mean they aren’t getting it to you through the front door dressed up like a pig in lipstick.

  7. Hi Everybody,

    I left the topic on corn vs. cassava maltodextrin hanging on the bromelain post where I had stated that cassava was GMO. This post deals with the topic of foods that have been modified so I will continue that thread with:
    to show that in their lists they have amaranth, quinoa, sesame, banana, cassava, coconut etc. Some of these are so exotic that you would not think that they would have been messing with something that has only a boutique market in healthfood stores, but then that is probably why they were messing with them. When the genetic structure of the plants are scrambled (a word used by those who study the effects of UV light on DNA) then I don’t see how we ever had a chance from the 1920s forward. I am rethinking the defintion of ‘food’.

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