The link between gluten and fertility is a relatively recent discovery. You may have heard that gluten should be avoided if you’ve been diagnosed with unexplained infertility or if you are suffering from recurrent miscarriages. However it seems the effects of gluten on fertility and it’s ability to predispose to infertility are further reaching than was originally thought.
Is Wheat Bread Predisposing You To PCOS & Infertility?
According to a renowned gluten and wheat researcher and the author of the “Wheat Belly”, Dr. William Davis MD; “Two slices of whole wheat bread raise your blood sugar higher than consuming 60 spoons of sugar – which is higher than one Sneakers bar!”
That’s staggering and has a devastating effect on your insulin levels, predisposing you to insulin resistance, inflammation, leptin resistance, diabetes, high cholesterol, weight gain, obesity, hormonal imbalances and infertility.
Wheat Makes You Hungry Every Two Hours!
There is a type of carbohydrate that’s unique to wheat. It’s called Amylopectin A and it’s responsible to elevating your blood sugar higher than 60 spoons of pure sugar! To make matters worse it makes you hungry every two hours. So you may be thinking that you are eating healthy because you are consuming complex carbohydrates and rather than reaching for chocolate you snack on whole wheat bread in between meals. Now we know this is not the best solution if you are trying to get pregnant especially if the cause of your infertility is PCOS or excess weight, which are both predisposing you to failure to ovulate.
Leptin Resistance and Insulin Resistance Caused By Wheat
Lectin of wheat, the so called wheat germ agglutinin, also predisposes you to stay hungry and overeat. Leptin and ghrelin are two hormones which control your apetite. When your energy reserves in fat start getting low, ghrelin is released by your fat cells to signal hunger. When you eat enough leptin is released to signal your brain that you’ve had enough food and to stop eating. However when you eat wheat bread, leptin resistance occurs and your brain fails to inform you to stop eating.
Immunological Side of The Story
Gluten falls into a high food intolerance group meaning that many people are intolerant to it. Wheat was genetically modified back in the 60s and 70s to contain more gluten. Why? Because it makes the bread more fluffy and other baked goods taste nicer. However gluten is also added to many other foods such as salad dressings, sauces, ketchup etc. It’s used as a thickener. As a result we are overloaded with gluten. If you have an IgG food intolerance to gluten each time you eat a food containing gluten your immune system goes into overdrive and become more agressive. This can predispose to miscarriages and implantation failure. In addition each time you eat a food your immune system reacts to there is a higher level of inflammation in gut, which coats your small intestines with mucus and prevents proper nutrient absorption. Gluten can also predispose to destruction of microvilli – small finger-like projections in your small intestines where nutrient absorption takes place.
Do You Have Any Of These Symptoms?
Wheat and gluten intolerance can be literally seen on your face! Here are some of the common signs according to Dr. Davis MD:
If this is you, don’t despair. Cut out gluten and wheat from your diet. Beware of gluten free products as many ‘healthy alternatives’ are not so healthy. In as little as three weeks you should start seeing and feeling the difference.
What To Eat?
As always we come back to organic vegetables, with preference for dark leafy greens, fruits with preference for low GI variety, nuts, seeds, legumes, quinoa, wild fish, and small amounts of lean, free range animal protein sources.
I highly recommend that you listen to the full podcast with Dr. Davis on Dave Asprey’s fantastic blog Bulletproofexecutive. You can see the link below.
What do you think about the gluten and fertility link? Would love to hear your thoughts.
Iva Keene is co-founder and director of Natural-Fertility-Prescription.com. She has been a qualified, accredited Naturopathic Physician for over 13 years, holds a Bachelor's degree in Health Science and a Masters degree in Reproductive Medicine. Since founding NFP in 2008, Iva's articles, videos, guides and reports have reached over 1.3 million people. Iva has dedicated her professional life to supporting couples on their path to parenthood with scientifically grounded information, protocols and coaching around preconception care, natural infertility treatments and integrative reproductive health.