You would have to be living under a rock not to have noticed the fire-storm surrounding gluten and its adverse effects on a person’s well-being.
Gluten is actually gliadin, a protein found in wheat and wheat products.
Gluten is not an essential nutrient for humans. In fact, we do not have the proper enzymes to break down gluten to the individual amino acids so that the human body can use them. When our digestive tracks try to break gluten down and that results in our bodies breaking it down to something called gluteal morphine. Yes, that is morphine and it does affect the same brain centers that the medication morphine does.
Because our bodies don’t have the proper enzymes to break down gluten, our brains need to accommodate it. Ever since humans have been eating gluten, our brains have done a pretty good job of doing that so that the effects of gluteal morphine is not dramatic and we can get some sort of benefit from eating wheat grains.
So why now are grains (wheat grain, in particular) becoming such an issue for us? The story actually begins with hope. Back in the 1930’s, hybridization of wheat was pursued in order to increase the hardiness, yield and variety of places that wheat can be grown, and it was done to fight hunger.