Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Pumpkin Pie w/Gluten Free Crust That Almost Wasn't.

Once upon a time, Catherine fell in love with an overpriced drink from Starbucks, which she would buy as often as she could afford, but it was a seasonal flavor, and seasons end. This particular season was fall, and this particular flavor was Pumpkin Spice coffee, which you've probably already deduced, given its power of seduction over American females far and wide.
She missed her drink so much, she endeavored to recreated the flavor on her own, investing her limited free time, experimenting like a mad scientist with cans of pumpkin pie filling and exotic spices. There were disasters, and then breakthroughs, and many pots for the whole family to clean.
Eventually, the recipe was perfected, and for months she had but one complaint: it's too chunky. She used bigger words, but the end result was that the residue from the pumpkin settled in her coffee so that finishing a cup of Pumpkin Spice coffee was never as good as starting it.
So she added a final step to her preparations: straining. After boiling her pumpkin pie filling with her secret blend of spices, she would strain the delicious goodness into a bottle, which when mixed in the coffee still created the desired flavor, but left no gritty mess at the bottom of her breakfast blend.
One day her husband walked through the kitchen during her process of straining and wondered aloud: "What do you do with the left overs?" He knew full well that she discarded the leftovers, since the refrigerator wasn't stuffed with tupperware brimmed with pumpkin pie filling, but he had a bit of thrifty hoarder in him, and it pained him to see perfectly good paid for product being discarded that might still have a use.
When he noticed later that week a bowl being filled with pumpkin pie filling, the sense of the coming season (Halloween!) enticed him to find some gluten free pie crusts on his next shopping stop. It had to be gluten free, of course, as her husband had been sucked into the current dietary fad with promises of curing the problems of non-celiac gluten sensitivity he never knew he had.  Though he was loathe to spend $5.00 on 2 measly pie crusts, he overcame his reluctance and made the purchase with visions of desert and Thanksgiving in his head.
So he mixed up the leftovers with some condensed milk, a little sugar, a pinch of salt, and baked it at 450 for 15 minutes, then at 350 for 45 minutes, and it came out perfect, especially with some whipped cream on top.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Faith Based Corruption and Compromise

Anyone remember George W. Bush's Faith Based Initiative Program?  In 2001, an executive order opened up the federal coffers, under a newly created branch of the executive office, to any and all organizations of faith involved in community services that overlapped with Federal programs.  The Catch 22, of course, was that in order to receive money, any organization's involvement with the Federal funding had to be contingent upon them not talking about, thinking about, or acting on their actual faith.

This was called: "compassionate conservatism".  Now, instead of relying on people's tithing and volunteerism, advertising their presence in the community and preaching the word of God as they engaged in his work, Churches could just apply for a grant, do the same thing, just quietly, and wear emblazoned t-shirts and have a sign hanging behind them and hope that was enough to get some sort of message through.  It was a true compromise of ethics; both of the government's role as protector of religious freedom by standing apart, and of any faith based organization willing to take on the burden of increased government oversight, control, and regulation of their activities.

While clearly of good intentions, it stirred up a number of fears, criticisms, and lawsuits during the Bush administration.  Many were concerned about pagans, satanists and other fringe "religions" getting their hands on government money and abusing the non-secular public-use clauses guarding the hen house.  Some were concerned radical Muslim groups posing as charities would funnel grant money to terrorist organizations. Only a few bothered to point out what should have been the most obvious concern: "Whenever you take the government shekels, sooner or later comes the government's shackles."

The threat was never an external one; it was the gall of any of these organizations to believe that their own faith is not corruptible.

When Obama was elected, one of the first things he did was to rename the faith based initiative office. It was previously called: "White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives", and in an executive order on Feb 5, 2009 (one of his first), officially renamed it to the: "White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships"

This is important, because this wording entirely changes the nature of the grant program by removing any veil that the government is simply awarding money to good causes.  It is no longer a "community initiative", now it's a partnership with the government.  Yes, annoying people may parse the sentence and interpret the words entirely differently just to be annoying, but the fact remains: the purpose of the funding is no longer to empower faith-based community initiatives, it is to partner with the government to receive funding for government goals under the guise of social services.  I would argue that it was always this.

Was there any media mention, let alone a months-long uproar with opinion pages splattering useless critical/complementary opinions, over this name-change?  Has there been any media coverage or mention of the Office of Faith-Based Partnerships since 2009?  I certainly don't recall it being on anyone's media radar since Bush left office.

So, since 2001, the government has slowly been extending its grasp and control over Faith-Based programs in need of money for social services, until in 2009, these social services openly became "partnerships" with the government, and the grants evolved into a daily listing for social services on some Federal webpage, where anyone willing to sacrifice their religious freedoms in the name of their religion could apply and get money to do God's work without involving God, based on what the government wants to fund and how it wants to fund it, which may or may not overlap with what people of faith should be doing to serve God.

While I'm certain there are thousands of examples of abuse of this system prior, nothing exemplifies this perversion and corruption of the already compromising faith-based "partnership" than the current crisis of illegal immigrant children flooding across the U.S. borders.

The government started advertising for temporary housing for massive numbers of illegals even before they showed up, and they're still advertising now.  They advertised for security for their internment housing of illegals as they were caught coming in.  They advertised for shipping the illegals around the country.

What was once a slow burn of corruption and moral compromise through political funding has now turned into a waterfall.

How much money does it take for a Baptist to call himself a "Brown-Shirt"?  What good service in the name of God allows for the sort of compromise where you can justify hiding the truth from people, threatening health workers, and adopting a self-described moniker evocative one of the most vile and inhuman eras of history?

The Baptist Brown-Shirts.  Dwell on that for a minute, if you're wondering how deep and disturbing this corruption of faith in service of the government really is.

Of course it's spread much further than that; the uproar over illegal children being shipped around the country is raising hackles and opening a number of eyes to see that their own Churches may be dealing directly with DHS.

NY church backs out of federal plan to house illegal immigrant children - not because anyone cried foul - they just missed the application deadline.

A good bulk of information on Churches using government money to care for illegal immigrants can be found here: Refugee Resettlement Watch.  I'd link individual articles, but this site is pretty expansive, and I work for a living.  It's not just Baptists.  It's Catholics, Lutherans, Hebrews, A variety of evangelical groups... ironically, the only groups I've not seen signing up to house illegal children are Islamic groups, though it wouldn't surprise me at all if there are and even the loudmouthed conservatives are holding back reporting on it out of fear.

To anyone looking, the conclusion that the flood of illegal immigrant children is an "engineered" crisis is not difficult to reach.  It is clearly intentional, and was planned by the government, and enacted to be as detrimental, dehumanizing, demoralizing and divisive to the actual American citizenry as possible. Religious organizations that seek funding in order to assist these illegals are truly partnering with and enabling the government. 

Oh, certainly; these children do need help, and the churches should be involved - but on their own terms. To surrender your faith and freedoms in exchange for funding makes you even less than a partner; it makes you a parasite - because the government is not responding to a social problem; it's creating it. Churches involved in this are not being charitable - they're profiteering.  You can delude yourself that what good you're doing outweighs the ills you accept in order to do so, but this is a fool's argument: the ends never justify the means. Fouled actions taint all outcomes.

Find out if your Church or Organization is accepting government funding, any arena, and urge them out of it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Why aren't there any Gluten-Free diet studies on Type-2 Diabetics? Oh Wait... There Are

Updated Below: Found Some Studies

After reading Wheat Belly, and Grain Brain, and doing a load of research myself, I find myself wondering why there have been no "official" studies of Type 2 Diabetics (T2D) on a Gluten-Free diet.  I've been keeping up, as best a layman can, with current research on the topic, but, really, there's very little out there beyond a couple of doctors selling theories and cookbooks, and some basic research into processes that are so technical and specific, it's difficult to ferret out the full implications or make any lifestyle decisions based on them without thoroughly digesting the material.  And for those not studied in medicine, it's not an easy task.

If I hadn't, almost out of despair for lack of improvement, decided to try going gluten-free, I'd surely be a heavy skeptic still.

I've been tracking my own progress very closely, and while a successful case study of one is fine, especially if you're me; it doesn't go much farther than that. 1 in 8 Americans have been diagnosed with T2D; about 25 million people. Another 7 million likely have it, and just don't know it, yet. A recent predictive study suggests that 40% (up from the current 8.5%) will develop T2D during their life time.

How many of these diabetics could find the road to health and freedom, like me, by simply removing one ingredient from their lives? One ingredient removed that allows the reintroduction of many other foods typically restricted from diabetics. I'm certainly not the first to try this; and I hope I'm not the last - but why aren't there any doctors actually compiling an "official" study?  Well, I'm hardly the one to ask about ongoing studies, so maybe there are indeed some in progress... but it's been years since these theories were introduced, and gluten-free has become such a big dietary "fad" that many people are trying it without any understanding of it, so much so that others are rebelling against it with obsolete facts and information, of which I've formed a fun collection of writings.

While a conspiratorial skeptic might suggest that it's Big Pharm keeping us all down so they can drug us forever to profit off of a chronic condition; the truth of the matter is that there are too many competing, profitable interests for that to be the case.  Gluten-Free is now a big and growing market. If eating gluten-free truly reverses diabetes for more than one, it would be a much more powerful selling point if it had some scientific studies backing it, even if funded by a gluten-free manufacturer.  Especially if we expect people to spend $5 on a pack of 4 gluten-free hamburger buns.  It's worth it occasionally, if you're not paying for constant medication; but the more people who realize gluten is poisoning them, the greater the demand, the more they will sell, and competing companies will bring the cost down.

So where are the damned studies already?  I have a daily e-mail alert, so I know there are recent studies with Type 2 Diabetics eating almonds and tree nuts, whey protein, and lord knows what else - and while each of these discoveries are fantastic and great, none of them are claimed or shown to immediately reverse T2D dramatically, like removing gluten from my diet did for me.  If you doctors can afford to study the effects of eating a handful of nuts and spiking your dinner with muscle powder, why can't you study the effects of the biggest dietary movement since you bastards screwed up the world with the low-fat and low-cholesterol horseshit that's made everyone sick and fat since the 1980's?

Surely there's some doctor or research group out there willing to give it a go.  Hell, once a diabetic is diagnosed, they're taking their blood sugar at least once a day and getting their blood tested every three months no matter what their diet is - it's not like there's any additional big costs for such a study.  All that needs to be done is recruitment, and it's not like there's a lack of T2 diabetics.  Just shout out at any gathering of a dozen or more people and watch the hands go up.  I'll bet a busy doctor sees dozens of diabetics daily, regardless of their specialty - diabetics get sick more often.  Be a scientist, damnit - do a study.

I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this world, but it'd be nice to see it proven.

Update (7th September 2014):

It took me a while to find these because I was looking for "gluten-free" when Paleolithic is also gluten-free. I guess the word Paleolithic makes it more worthy of study, since it sounds all sciency, where gluten just sounds like you're clearing your throat, so these authors didn't bother tagging their studies as gluten-free.  I'm not eating Paleolithic, and it looks to me like I'm improving better than most in these studies with my cheese, milk, and GF grains/grasses, so I'm sticking with it for now.

Regardless, would still be nice to see confirmation studies on gluten-free as a sole restriction, lest some ignorant jackass Gibsonite claims it's all about the FODMAPs again.  If you're a Gibsonite, please read his 3rd study (Gluten may cause depression in subjects with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity), recognize that 75>32, and 5>1, understand that I never suffered from IBS so his 1st and 2nd study are completely irrelevant to me, and then go see how many fried gluten dumplings you can shove up your ass.

A Palaeolithic diet improves glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischaemic heart disease.

Effects of a short-term intervention with a paleolithic diet in healthy volunteers.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Gluten-Free, 3 Months, Lab Results

I just got my lab results back for 3 months gluten-free.

As a recap, just over 3 months ago I went from taking 2000 mg Metformin daily, along with an ace inhibitor for blood pressure, to no medication, when I changed to a gluten-free diet and eased major restrictions on sugar and fat intake.  My daily fbs has been between 100-120 (112, 3-month average).  I've been eating lots of cheeses, fatty meats (pulled pork, ribeye, etc.), and I allow myself to indulge in sweets daily, provided they're gluten-free.  I go to bed each night with a bowl of Corn Chex with a handful of blueberries thrown in. There are these chocolate covered fruits from Costco I love to snack on, and sometimes I'll stop at a gas station and get some Reeses Pieces or a Butterfinger.  I've tried a couple of gluten-free bread replacement thingies, but most of them are inedible, so none of them are a regular part of my diet, but Duncan Hines Betty Crocker makes a phenomenal GF devil's food chocolate cake mix, so that'll be a monthly treat, I suspect.

I describe all of this because I haven't allowed myself this sort of indulgence of my sweet tooth in years, and I'm enjoying the hell out of it without the same sort of consequences prior to eating GF (though there are still some consequences).  I still feel phenomenal, but I have not been exercising much for about 2 months, since my walking buddy, Hunter, a 10 year old Golden Retriever of great personality, got sick and passed.

So, when we look at my lab results, let's keep in mind that, for the past 3 months, I've been gorging on sweets and fat well beyond any traditional recommended diet for a diabetic, and the only restriction I'm placing on my food is that it be gluten-free and free of sodium nitrates/nitrites (which I've found gives me sciatic nerve pain, and blisters on my feet, while uncured meats don't).

I started about a year ago with the diagnosis of diabetes with an A1c reading just over 10.  On a traditional diabetic diet (low carb, no sugar, low fat) along with exercise and doubling my daily intake of Metformin from 1000 mg to 2000 mg/day , I was able to bring it down to 7.1 just before switching to gluten free.

On the gluten-free diet, with minimal exercise, no medication, and no diet control except for removing gluten, I've continued to drop, albeit minimally, to an A1c of 6.9.  For reference, normal is considered 4.8-5.6.  I'm sure if I restrict the sugars again, I'll be able to get to "normal" easier - but damn it's nice to be able to eat sweets without having to take a nap, feel awful, get moody, or have a high blood sugar reading the next morning.  Same with mashed potatoes.

I also had my lipids tested.  In December of 2013, 3 months into a strict "diabetic" diet, my triglycerides were 318 (normal is 0-149).  This time, they were 113.  My HDLc was nearly the same; 34 prior, 35 this time (target is over 39), but the other big change was VLDL and LDLc.  My VLDL dropped from 64 (normal is 5-40) to 23, and my LDLc increased from 94 (normal of 0-99) to 142.  Now, according to traditional interpretation, a high LDL is of concern, but since they also took my VLDL (very low density lipoprotein) and I see that it dropped dramatically, I'm not worried as VLDL carries the triglycerides and is what aggravates atherosclerosis, and likely other amyloid problems as well.

Pulled pork and grilled Ribeye - well, boy, there's fat in them there meat; it's what makes it taste good.

I suspect my body just needs more time to heal after a lifetime of gluten before things settle into "normal", whatever the hell that is. Autophagy, I understand, can be a slow process, but I suspect the LDL's will convert to HDL's as more of the amyloids eventually work out of my system.  More exercise will help; but going GF hasn't cured laziness, I fear.

Otherwise, going gluten-free and maintaining it has been relatively effortless, I'll add; certainly compared to starving myself, treating sugar as the devil, and feeling guilty when inevitably indulging, and trying to exercise when fighting fatigue and constant lack of energy.  Sure, I miss a couple of things, but with what I've been able to add back into my diet, it's not much of a loss, and eventually I'll figure out how to make a decent loaf of gluten free bread - hell, maybe even some French Bread for a po-boy.  If not, using a fork is good enough.

Do I still recommend trying GF to everyone else in the world?  Hell, yes!  Yet...  I'm no longer the evangelical convert.  I've found most people are happy with their ongoing, slowly worsening health problems, and they already know everything about it and how to deal with it so don't care to listen or read about new ideas, let alone believe any of it.  I suppose it's the same-but-opposite of the instant-expert syndrome I've been suffering from after going GF.  Not that I'm giving up on spreading the good word; it's just tiring, so I don't talk about it much unless asked.

I still maintain my research pages, however, so if you haven't checked them in a bit, take a peek.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

What Happens if The Impossible Space Drive Works?

If you haven't heard; a supposedly "impossible" space drive has been proven to work. Unfortunately, it's not a warp engine, but it is something just as mind-bending and conventional physics defying: the EM Drive. The EM Drive is a propellant free, directed microwave engine.

It uses no propellant, and supposedly produces thrust by directing microwave photons, which, on the surface, appears to violate conservation of momentum. Your microwave oven doesn't wander around on your countertop every time you make popcorn, so how are the microwaves in this engine working differently? What are they pushing against? The answer appears to be nothing,.. or... everything. But if it works.. then from an engineering perspective, understanding why is only important in order to make it work better.

So let's assume, for the moment, that further testing will prove out the three positive test results so far, and enough understanding of the process is unraveled so that improvements in design and efficiency can happen. Just how good would it need to be to be a true game changer?

I'm not a rocket scientist, and I've spent my career working in imperial units under static conditions, so using metric is a flashback to college, and you'll forgive me if I make blazing simplifications, but I'll try to avoid glaring mistakes:

The EM Drive appears to produce thrust based on the electrical power provided. The current "best" results show 750 mN / 2.5 kW, or 300 mN / kW, assuming a linear expression of thrust/power. Since we're talking about an engine that creates thrust without using mass, the actual acceleration experienced will be dependent upon the mass of the craft itself, and the amount of electrical power it can output, so we should examine anything attached to the engine in terms of Wattage/Mass, or kW/kG.

In terms of current satellite technology, this drive is already a game changer. Current advanced satellites use ion drives, which consume 1-7 kW power to produce 20-50 mN thrust. Ion Drives use propellant, which eventually runs out. Put an EM Drive on a satellite, even it weighs more as an engine than an ion drive with it's standard propellant package, and your satellite is capable of staying in orbit as long as the power and drive is working, and even of shifting orbits without reducing its planned lifespan.  All this drive has to do to change satellite technology forever is to consistently repeat its current result.

What about deep space probes? We can almost do a direct comparison to the Deep Space Ion missions, as the solar powered generator created 2.5 kW, but the ion engines only produced 92 mN. Assuming an EM engine of this size weighs the same as the Ion Engine, the craft would have accelerated 7.8 times faster, and would have been propellant independent. Equipped with an atomic battery, like many of the deep space probes (Pioneer, Voyager, Cassini), and free from carrying propellant, you'd have a craft capable of accelerating for decades. Probes to the outer gas planets would take weeks or months, instead of years. A trip to Alpha Centauri might even be on the table, but the craft would have to stay alive for 100+ years.

So, that's where it stands now, assuming the current results are accurate. What happens if we give the engine some real power, instead of household appliance power?

Let's attach a small nuclear power plant to the EM engines. Something capable of producing about 20 MW of power. At 300mN/ kW, we'd get 6 kN of thrust. A nuclear reactor of this size weighs about 13 metric tons, assume the engines add another 2 metric tons, and we want a craft and payload of 5 metric tons for an even 20 metric tons.  So, our acceleration would be 0.3 m/s^2, about .03 G, so Earth to Mars in about 23 days; not bad timing.

Now, what happens if the thrust ratio can be improved with better design? Just for fun, let's up it to 1N/kW. Now our 20 metric ton craft has 20 kN of thrust, and an acceleration rate of 1 m/s^2, about .1 G, so Earth to Mars in about 12 days.

Now, let's assume Lockheed Martin's skunkworks Fusion project, or the Polywell Fusion project has a breakthrough, and for the same weight, we can produce 200MW, instead of 20. Now our 20 metric ton craft is accelerating at 10 m/s^2, about 1 G, so Earth to Mars in about 4 days.

Oh, lookie there, at 1 G acceleration, we've also created a craft that can float around on earth. Add just a couple of watts and you can move around, or launch directly from the surface, without chemical rockets, or jet engines. You've got the friggin' Millenium Falcon.

I like my assumptions. Maybe I'll get to retire on Mars.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Against the Grain - the Gluten-Free Backlash

I'm getting such a kick out of all the ill-informed, poorly researched, highly-opinionated articles against the gluten-free "movement", that I feel they deserve their own page of dedicated links.  Sure, sometimes, they get a rise out of me with their attitude; but mostly it's a sad display of Hanson's Razor: never attribute to malice what can more adequately be attributed to stupidity.

Or sloth, I'll add. Laziness is likely a better indicator of the nature of these articles than stupidity, though the two are often interchangeable.  "Oh, crap, what do I write about today?"  Oh, I read this opinion by so and so, I suppose I should throw in my 2 cents, too. Research it?  Screw that.  Try it and see?  What, are you on crack?

The general trend of these articles is the position that people are too stupid to understand changes in their body, they're too stupid to understand the science, they're too stupid to think for themselves and are just following the rich and famous, too stupid to eat a nutritional diet, and, furthermore, since the authors are too lazy to look at any research themselves beyond highly biased, misunderstood opinions of research someone else did and was chosen based on confirmation bias and not the contents of the actual research - well, then not only are non-celiac gluten intolerant stupid; they must also be wrong, especially if these doctors who didn't research it either say so.  Oh, and lack of evidence is also proof of absence, because you're stupid, and your example of self isn't "evidence."

And we hate how you cause a commotion at the restaurant asking about gluten in this and that, and cause traffic jams in the grocery store by looking at labels for a really long time.  And if you open your mouth one more damn time about how much better you feel and how you lost weight, I'm going to write a nasty, nasty opinion article!

Perhaps the worst thing about all of these articles (in totality) is the difficulty it's going to present in convincing people, even when science catches up with explaining the results people are having, that if they're suffering or at risk for the wide variety of diseases associated with gluten, that they, too, should try gluten-free.

I'm curious, though - will these writers eat crow when that happens?  I seriously doubt it.  Are you one of these authors?  I won't comment on what's specifically "wrong" in each article, unless you ask. I made the mistake of e-mailing one of these authors, and while he was polite enough, made no attempt at self-examination of falling trap to a logical fallacy, which he accused me of when I pointed a fact out that highlighted his. However, the result was my article on Peter Gibson.

Anyway, here's the Anti-Gluten-Free Wall of Opinion:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Breaking: Gluten Misfolds Proteins, linked directly to many Amyloid Diseases.

This is pretty much the smoking gun I've been looking for in my 2 month search for an explanation of how and why gluten affects my diabetes so drastically.  In my search, I've discovered plenty of research evidence that it DOES affect people, not just with diabetes, but a very wide range of other illnesses.  The problem is, there has been no full explanation of a biological mechanism that shows the cause and effect relationship, which is a much more convincing argument to have at hand than to just say "it works, try it."

This particular discovery explains not only a vast array of illnesses, but it does so from a completely different angle than I was specifically searching (microbiota).  This is not to say that gluten doesn't effect the body's microbiota - research shows it does, but not why, so I'll still be looking for future answers to still unanswered questions, but in light of this, they don't seem nearly as important.

My Google Alerts, under my Type 2 Diabetes tag, popped up this article today: New technology reveals insights into mechanisms underlying amyloid diseases.  "Figuring out how and why amyloid plaques form is exceedingly difficult, because one needs to follow the atomic shapes of the protein molecules as they assemble." says lead investigator Martin T. Zanni, PhD, from the article.

In brief: Zanni's new equipment allows them to watch the process of short amylins join together first into a sheet, and then the sheet twists into longer fibers (amyloids).  What Zanni specifically makes no claim to understanding is what initiates the formation of the sheets; only that he can see them form.

Suspecting Gluten, at least with Type 2 Diabetes, I did a search on Pubmed to see if anyone had already found a link between gluten and amyloids, and to my surprise, not only had some researchers found a link, but they had shown that hydrolized gliadin (a digested protein in gluten) was initiating the process. Furthermore, a second study by the same group showed that the amyloids would fold into different configurations depending upon the presence and quantity of a number of other proteins.

First Article:
Peptide Mixtures Can Self-Assemble into Large Amyloid Fibers of Varying Size and Morphology August 2011, Devin M. Ridgley , Keira C. Ebanks , and Justin R. Barone

Second Article:
The Role of Protein Hydrophobicity in Conformation Change and Self-Assembly into Large Amyloid Fibers March 7, 2014, Devin M. Ridgley , Elizabeth C. Claunch , Parker W. Lee , and Justin R. Barone

As is often the case, the titles of the article are highly technical, and they make no claims as to the importance of their findings in the conclusion, or even describe the relationship of their findings into a large biological context.  Just from the abstracts, though, it's not all too difficult to tease out that gliadin and glutenin are causing proteins to misfold. 

If you look a little deeper into the abstract of the first article, you'll see that amylase is a salivary/pancreatic enzyme, responsible for breaking down starches, and myoglobin is a muscle protein, reponsible for binding iron and oxygen in the muscles. Misfolded amylase is likely involved in diabetes, while misfolded myoglobin might be what leads to ketoacidosis in diabetics, or play a roll in other amyloid muscular degenerative diseases.

While the mechanism is now clearly laid out showing how gluten is a direct cause for amyloid production, the rest of the amyloid pathways to illnesses is still somewhat beyond my ability to describe with my limited understanding, but Wikipedia is a good place to start. I will certainly be doing more research into this aspect of gluten that I was unaware of, and will certainly blog more about it as I find more definitive studies and research.

From the second abstract: "Here, a common template of trypsin hydrolyzed gliadin is combined with six adder proteins (α-casein, α-lactalbumin, amylase, hemoglobin, insulin, and myoglobin) to determine what properties of the adder protein drive amyloid self-assembly."  In English, they played around with different proteins combinations and quantities to see how they folded into different lengths and thicknesses.  The one thing in common: gliadin.

To clarify: trypsin hydrolized gliadin is one of the digested forms of gluten that can make its way into the blood stream.  Another potential source of hydrolized gliadin is from lotions, make-up, and shampoos. Casein and Lactalbumin are milk proteins, perhaps explaining why some lactose intolerant people who go gluten-free are able to drink milk again without complications, like my wife!  I'll lay odds that future investigation into other food intolerances may lead back to gluten protein misfolding, as well.

The consequence: the different shapes that the amyloids take, depending upon their constituent enzymes/proteins misfolded by gluten are a likely cause of why so many different illnesses are associated with gluten, yet seem, on the surface, so widely different from each other beyond sharing amyloidosis. It also explains why all of those amyloid diseases that are associated with gluten have been on a similar rise over the years as wheat becomes an increasingly larger portion of the daily diet.

How many amyloid diseases are already associated with gluten through other research?  Here's a short list (associated with gluten by research or anecdotal studies, and also an amyloid disease) just from what I've already searched.
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Diabetes Mellitus type 2
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Huntington's Disease
  • Atherosclerosis, Cardiac Arrhythmias
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
Those are just the ones I'm aware of.

So, if you happen to be one of those who think gluten-free was a fad: time to rethink your position.

If you're gluten-free, and someone laughs at you - point them to this article.

If you were convinced only Celiac's need to live Gluten-Free, look at your own familial risks for any of the above illnesses, and rethink your position.

And for heaven's sake; please share this.

UPDATE: Some more reading:
Prions, Alzheimer's, Protein Folding, and Mice
Increased expression and local accumulation of the prion protein, Alzheimer Aβ peptides, superoxide dismutase 1, and nitric oxide synthases 1 & 2 in muscle in a rabbit model of diabetes.
Parallels between Pathogens and Gluten Peptides in Celiac Sprue