We understand food intolerance as the inability to consume certain foods or nutrients without suffering adverse health effects. Food intolerances , in early stages, are usually limited to digestive symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting or cramps, and are generally caused by difficulties in digesting and absorbing certain substances or nutrients contained in food or water. Initially, there is no allergic reaction involving the immune system. The symptoms of an intolerance last for a few hours after consuming the food, unlike allergies, which are triggered more quickly.
Similarly, it is interesting to distinguish between those that are transient and permanent, those that occur occasionally, due to an occasional disease state (intestinal flu, indigestion or poor digestion of diverse etiology, irritative or infectious gastritis, anxious mood or states of mourning, in which the ability to process food and motility may be temporarily altered and door to suffer a symptom of intolerance), from which they can derive from an acute or chronic digestive or liver pathology.
It must also be borne in mind if the person is subjected to any state of stress, acute or chronic, metabolic or psychic, where a change of polarization can occur in the intestinal membranes, which as we know are governed by electrical impulses, a mechanism controlled by the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.
There are a number of genetic, organic, functional, and environmental factors that can promote and trigger food intolerances:
1. Genetic factors:
We speak of genetic factors when the problem of intolerance derives directly from the predisposition of the individual.
Babies are born with an immature digestive system, prepared to tolerate only breast milk. As they develop, their digestive and absorptive system, anatomically, physiologically, functionally, matures and becomes competent to digest and absorb molecules that are more complex and more alien to their original environment.
For example, the enzyme lactase, which will allow lactose-containing milk to be digested, is inductive. In the baby, a copy of suckling breast milk is produced, which will stimulate it. In the early stages of life, digestion is delicate and expensive: flatulence, early gut pain, poorly formed excrement, etc. As time passes, the situation is normalizing thanks to the increasing adaptation to the external environment.
There are individuals whose symptoms persist over the course of months and years. Sometimes all life. Then there is talk of permanent intolerance . In the case of gluten intolerance, it is called celiac disease . There are other forms of celiac disease of later development, or asymptomatic. According to research, in all cases of celiac disease there is a genetic component.
2. Food additives:
Through food, we incorporate additives that are added in order to preserve and improve the hygienic and sensorial quality of the same (preservatives, flavors, colors, emulsifiers, texturizers …). Most of these substances used by the food industry are synthetic molecules, they do not exist in nature as such. Therefore, they are called xenobiotic or foreign in the living organism. The eliminatory organs cannot process them or free themselves from them, which means that they accumulate in certain points: liver, kidney, lungs, adipose tissue, neurological tissue, skin, etc. It may happen that an intolerance secondary to xenobiotic saturation develops at the head of time .
In the same way, it may be the case that toxic substances or foreign molecules are generated at some stage of the manufacturing, packaging or storage process. Our body has numerous sensors that are sensitive to the impact that these substances produce and that enter through the mouth, lungs or skin, that are distributed saturating and attacking different organs and are the cause of certain disorders and diseases. In this sense, we could highlight the sentinel function and therefore the protection that suffering from food intolerance can have.
3 CTPS / COPS: Persistent Environmental Toxic Compounds and Persistent Organic Compounds
There are environmental pollutants such as lead, mercury and other heavy metals, and organic compounds such as synthetic hormones, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, petrochemicals, etc. that persist long decades in between. In fact, 80,000 chemicals were introduced into our environment after the 19th century, and most of the human effects are unknown today. Less than 1% of these products have been analyzed to measure their effects on the body.
The pollutants and toxic products are widely distributed in our environment: cleaning products, plastics (phthalates and bisphenol A), which are in bottles or bottles of water, and the water and air. Perfumery and cosmetics. Electronic materials. Flame retardant materials, textiles, kitchen utensils … They are called “hormonal disruptors”, since they are known to affect the endocrine system.
A team of INRA researchers at Toulousse has shown that perinatal exposure to low doses of bisphenol A (BPA), which were considered safe for humans, could increase the risk of food intolerances in adulthood. These results corroborate the decision of the French authorities, which banned the use of BPA in baby food packaging in 2013, and in all food packaging in 2015.
4. Allergens and / or toxins naturally contained in food
It is well known and described that there is almost no food in common use that does not contain any molecule of a toxic nature for the human organism, which can sometimes lead to acute poisoning (depending on the dose and the way of using the food) and in the medium or long term, produce food allergies or intolerances.
For example, legumes include antitrypsins, which inhibit enzymes to digest proteins. The highest representative of this group is soybean seed. For one simple reason: these antinutrients can be largely inactivated by cooking these foods. We eat vegetables regularly cooked. But the so-called “soy milk” is derived from the soybean seed, which in fact is a smoothie of those raw then. It appears that the processing, UHT, to which this liquefied is subjected to in order to be safely packaged and marketed, was not enough to inactivate antitrypsins.
The most sensitive consumers (for example, there are families who suffer from “biliary dyskinesia”), after consuming this smoothie repeatedly, may suffer delayed poor digestion, GERD, gastritis, heartburn, flatulence, and a series of discomforts secondary to the syndrome of protein malabsorption. There has been talk of pancreatic hyperplasia, which has been observed in mice. Currently there is a strong controversy around the consumption of products derived from this legume. In fact, the Orientals have always consumed it cooked or fermented. Never raw. A good example is the traditional Japanese “seaweed, tofu and miso” soup. We see then that the worst risk of soy consumption would not lie in its content in phytoestrogenic molecules,
Another example could be the solanine of potatoes, the high concentration of nitrates from natural soil to spinach and chard, biogenic amines in cheeses and wines throughout their fermentation process, which in individuals medicated with MAOIs could trigger a hypertensive crisis.
It is necessary to be able to distinguish and diagnose differentially in which case a food intolerance comes from the degree of organic competence of the patient in synergy with their genetics or in which case the triggering cause comes from the composition of the food, which in any case, sure, will promote different responses in different individuals.
5. Intestinal immaturity and intestinal permeability
The immaturity of the gastrointestinal treatment of the infant justifies the frequency of the phenomena of intolerance to vaccine proteins and also the possible establishment of a vicious circle by altering the nutritional status and the barrier function of the intestine, a fact that can lead to a serious situation with polyintolerance to multiple protein foods, and even hydrolyzates.
With birth, in addition, there is an increase in permeability for macromolecules that will gradually disappear with age. This fact allows the action of some biological components of the woman’s milk that, like the growth factors, favor the maturation of the gastrointestinal treatment. However, the passage of foreign proteins, when the child is fed with formula, favors putting them in contact with an immune system that is not sufficiently developed. The so-called intestinal barrier is actually a broad concept that includes both immunological factors (lymphoid system of the digestive system, IgA), and non-immunological factors (proteolytic, peristalsis, digestive secretions, flora, mucus, glycocalyx, intestinal epithelium). Its alteration not only occurs in the first months of life,
6. Recurring episodes of malnutrition
This condition leads to an excess accumulation of xenobiotics, CTPS and POPs on the one hand, and a deficit or lack of certain nutrients (vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, etc.) on the other, which would necessarily lead to a neutralization of the possible damage caused by the first. Therefore, a lack of protective and preventive function that predisposes you to suffer from a hyperpermeable bowel syndrome (SIHP). This SBHP could be at the same time one of the causes of food intolerances .
Immune tolerance is more difficult to obtain in children, young people and also adults suffering from malnutrition in relation to the reduction of local mucosal protection, pancreatic hypoenzymy, motility disorders and alteration in the immune response (both local as general, humoral and especially cellular).
Every day it is more frequent to receive young adults in the consultation that after starting an attempt to emancipate the home, they come with the specific demand for dietary advice to learn how to eat properly, while being able to do without eating ‘junk food’, since at the same time, affordably for their often precarious economies. Others come from an attempt at veganism, to look at dealing with spending.
They often present a malnutrition clinic, due to intake deficit or to eating massively processed industrial products (pizza, sausages, ‘cold cuts’, frankfurts, breads and salty and sweet synthetic brioxeria, canned, preserved juices, pasta, rice, some Occasionally). They do not buy meat or fish, or vegetables, or fresh fruits, or dairy, since they report intolerance. No legumes, no seeds or nuts.
The symptoms they refer to are those described by food intolerances : malaise, abdominal swelling, flatulence, diarrhea or narrowing, stomach pain, vomiting and nausea. Headaches and dizziness. Insomnia, nervousness. Depressed state. Intense fatigue, fluixesa of legs. Amenorrhea and / or acute PMS in young women.
They are often thin and ask to get “consistency”.
Some of them, with accumulations of abdominal fat and women hips, ask for advice to lose weight.
Testing often shows low levels of circulating iron, low hematocrit, and hemoglobin. Very fair white series, often neutropenia. Fair proteinogram and Vit B group deficit, alarming deficit in both sexes of low Vitamin D3 25 OH, Mg and Zinc.
80% of them come derived by Digestology, after having carried out different diagnostic tests: Food intolerances , in some cases with celiac disease + and in other cases lactose intolerance + or both diagnoses +. Although they have started to practice a diet, they say they have not experienced improvement. Most have also undergone abdominal ECO, gastroscopy and in some cases colonoscopy. It has been possible to diagnose in some case e. pylori +. Long-standing gastritis. Co-culture with some parasite, in few cases. Some irritable bowel syndrome.
They ask for a solution to their problem.
90% of those visited have eaten since childhood in nursery canteens, school canteens, caterings. Currently they follow the same eating pattern. Pasta, refined rice, donuts, tomato sauce and industrial juices, “sanjacobos”, “pavococido”, ice cream, precooked pizzas.
My opinion is that in the course of their short life they have ingested enormous amounts of chemical food additives . Phenomenon that had not happened in previous generations. The Food intolerance was not developed as it has gradually done over the last forty years. We are facing the appearance of new pathologies that, for the moment, some are called food intolerances .