Anti-nutrients: What You Don’t Know is Likely Killing You!
By A. True Ott, PhD ND
Feb. 2013 ® All rights reserved
Most people know about nutrients such as proteins, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals and the important role they play in human health and vitality. Conversely, most people are woefully ignorant about anti-nutrients. In fact the vast majority of people, even most health-conscious vegans, have never even heard of the bio-chemistry term.
My desktop biochemistry dictionary defines anti-nutrient as: a substance that interferes with the utilization of one or more nutrients by the body, as oxalate and phytate, which prevents calcium and other mineral absorption in the G.I. tract. I want to make sure the reader understands this most important fact: if you ignorantly are consuming large amounts of anti-nutrients in your daily food (and most people –especially vegans- are) you are very likely deficient in critical mineral nutrients – especially calcium, magnesium, potassium, iodine, selenium, vanadium and chromium (what I call “The Magnificent Seven” essential minerals). Because these prime minerals are the precursor elements to the production of cellular enzymes and hormones, (minerals are co-enzyme factors) an inability to absorb the minerals in the gut begins a downward spiral of poor health. You see, without minerals, your cells and organs can’t produce enzymes. Without these essential enzymes, your endocrine glands can’t efficiently produce hormones such as testosterone, (men) estrogen (women), adrenalin, and of course – insulin. Moreover, recent studies have shown a definite link between low hormone production with the big three killers – cancers, heart disease, and stroke.
Ignorance is bliss, right?
So, exactly what are “oxalates and phytates”, and how does one eliminate these toxic anti-nutrients from the diet? That indeed is the million-dollar question!
Let’s look at oxalates first. By definition, oxalate and oxalic acid are organic acids that come from three primary sources: the diet, from fungi such as Aspergillus, Penicillium and Candida, and they also come into existence from certain metabolic processes in the body. Oxalates are very powerful oxidants that initiate free radical attacks on cells and organs. Free radicals, remember, are simply unstable elements that are lacking electrons.
Foods rich in oxalate are: soy products, whole wheat grain (especially buckwheat) spinach, leeks, sweet potato, swiss chard, figs, rhubarb, blueberries, almonds, pecans, cashews, peanuts, beetroot and beet greens. These foods contain over 50 mg oxalate per serving. But wait, these are healthy foods and vegans love them – how can they possibly be, in any way, harmful? The answer lies in to what extent the oxalates are neutralized in the body.
You see, oxalate combines with calcium carbonate ions to form oxalic acid crystals in the blood. The kidneys in turn, remove the oxalic acid crystals as the blood circulates in the kidney. These crystals are very sharp and jagged, and eventually, (if not neutralized) concentrate into something called kidney stones – an extremely painful condition. Moreover, continuous kidney stone formation weakens the kidneys – and quite often causes life-threatening kidney failure. A microscopic view of the surface of a kidney stone reveals the razor-sharp edges of the oxalic acid crystals.
Significantly, recent studies are conclusively showing that elevated oxalate levels are a major factor in causing AUTISM IN CHILDREN! Yes, that’s right! Dr. William Shaw of the Great Plains Laboratory has authored a remarkable paper on this topic that includes this graphic chart showing how autistic children all have elevated oxalate in their urine streams:
Not only is oxalate a factor in kidney stones, and autism in children, but it is also a primary agent in chronic fibromyalgia and “leaky gut” syndrome. Get the picture yet? Since oxalates are not present in meats such as chicken, beef, pork and fish – and since vegans don’t consume meat – it is critically important for vegans to NEUTRALIZE oxalates in their high-veggie diets for optimum health. The good news is, oxalates are effectively neutralized by enzyme activity – which leads us straight back to the importance of co-enzyme mineral supplementation and of course, enzymatic ANTI-OXIDANT supplementation.
Mother Earth Mineral (M.E.M.) products are specifically designed to be taken sub-lingually (under the tongue), meaning the minerals bypass the G.I. tract for maximum, efficient absorption directly into the bloodstream. They are completely water-soluble, and are bound to the water molecule in angstrom-sized form – exactly as minerals in food such as meats are absorbed in the normal, healthy human gut. Additionally, the mineral products are each “redoxed” by a proprietary electro-magnetic process in order to give them “extra” electrons – making them also act as powerful anti-oxidants – to further help neutralize the unstable free-radical oxalate molecules in food and as created by the body’s natural metabolic processes. Furthermore, M.E.M. has developed a very powerful , 100% vegetable, lysozyme ENZYME product named AquaVivos E.W.E. (Enzymatic Water Enhancer) that when taken as directed has helped numerous chronic kidney stone-forming vegans by neutralizing the oxalate crystals before they form “stones”. Anecdotal reports also show that it dramatically helps with symptoms of autism, for the very same reason.
But what about the other nasty anti-nutrient named phytate? Are you sure you even want to know after learning about oxalates? Well, since Knowledge is Power, and Ignorance is NOT bliss, here goes:
According to a recent study published online by PubMed, Phytate is best defined as “a naturally occurring compound that is ingested in significant amounts by those with diets rich in whole grains.” Furthermore, the study proves that phytate is the primary anti-nutrient culprit in osteoporosis! You mean eating a diet RICH IN WHOLE GRAINS leads to osteoporosis??? Indeed it does. But phytate and phytic acid not only causes osteoporosis, good reader, but dozens of other dangerous and debilitating disease states including diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and stroke! What a nasty anti-nutrient protein!! Do now understand what you don’t know about anti-nutrients may well be killing you?
Here are the basics you need to know and understand. Phytate is a protein substance found in the shell (bran) and germ of the wheat kernel and soy bean, primarily. It is mother-nature’s preservative – keeping the dormant wheat seed kernel and soy bean intact until it sprouts into life when planted. When ingested in the human body, phytate in the form of phytic acid accumulates in the human intestinal track and BLOCKS ABSORPTION OF MINERALS – ESPECIALLY CALCIUM AND MAGNESIUM IONS from the food. So get this truth if nothing else from this paper: it doesn’t matter how “organic” and mineral-rich your food may be, or how many mineral supplements you SWALLOW, if your gut is loaded with phytic acid (and most American guts are) – you simply are going to be deficient in Calcium and Magnesium and other vital minerals!!!
Why is it that “most American guts” are loaded with phytates and phytic acids? Simply because most Americans’ PROCESSED FOODS are loaded with phytates of course! Most Americans consume processed carbohydrates from wheat products. It is literally their “daily bread”. Buns on hamburgers, sandwich breads, dinner rolls, extruded and sweetened breakfast “cereals”, snack chips, – the list goes on and on. On page 39 of his amazing book “Cereal Killer” – nutritional researcher and author Alan L. Watson declares: “The most dramatic change in human diets in the past 10,000 years is the transition from a high-fat hunter-gatherer diet to a high carbohydrate, GRAIN-BASED diet that came with the invention of agriculture. During the last 100 years, we have witnessed the ever-increasing refinement of those carbohydrates.” Indeed!
My personal research has shown that prior to WW II, America consumed large amounts of low-phytate-content seeds such as hemp, flax and millet – and their bread was made from millet and flax flours. However, in 1951, millet seeds and seed flours were demonized in America thanks to a highly-publicized “false-flag” event in France where an entire village was supposedly poisoned by “ergot” mold toxins. (Author Hank Albarelli debunked this big lie in his 2009 book A Terrible Mistake – showing the event to have actually been LSD drug experimentation by the CIA of all things.) Regardless, WHEAT GRAIN became the staple, primary food of America beginning in the 1950’s thanks to policies implemented by Eisenhower’s Dept. Of Agriculture Secretary, a man named Ezra Taft Benson. Within a decade, heart disease and cancer cases had spiked in America. The death rates, (despite untold millions of dollars spent, and decades-long efforts of such organizations as the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society) from heart disease, stroke, and cancer have not decreased – only escalated in this country. WHY? I submit the answer lies in the anti-nutrients – oxalate and phytate.
Just as the aforementioned study on phytate and osteoporosis clearly shows, when MAGNESIUM deficiencies occur, the heart develops chronic irregularities, the blood begins to clot unnaturally, and heart attacks and strokes are the inevitable result. Furthermore, when the minerals chromium and vanadium are blocked from absorption by the phytate compounds, the pancreas cannot produce insulin as efficiently, and type 2 diabetes results. Eventually, if the problem is not addressed, the pancreas will shut down insulin production completely, and type 1 diabetes is manifest with the daily injection of the insulin hormone.
Now I don’t want to be labeled a “conspiracy wacko” here – but I need to point out that the mega-corporations that have produced America’s processed food and grain products since 1951, loaded with preservatives and anti-nutrients, are also controlled by the exact same group of people that also happen to sit at the heads of “Big Pharma”. I submit that’s not by accident – and I also submit that is likely why this information will not appear in the “mainstream” media of TV and Newspapers. You see, it should be readily apparent that if people can take meaningful steps to neutralize these anti-nutrients in a major way, the multi-billion-dollar-a-year pharmaceutical drug industry would lose not only massive profits, but also its powerful Washington D.C. Lobby that gives us such monstrosities as “Obama-Care”.
Now for the good news! Phytic acid can be quite easily neutralized in wheat grains by simply sprouting them before eating. A 2009 study by Unxian Mak et. al. – published in the Cereal Chemical Journal, entitled “Germination of Wheat: A Functional Proteomics Analysis of the Embryo” showed that a truly amazing transmutation occurs in the wheat kernel after soaking in distilled water for three days. 63 proteins (including all anti-nutrients) either decrease significantly or disappear altogether. At the same time, 35 NEW protein chains make their appearance. Top on the list are ENZYMES including Phytaze (the enzyme that dissolves and totally eliminates phytate and phytic acids) and the wonder-enzyme of life – H+ATPase which produces Adenison Tri-Phospate (ATP) life energy in the human cell!
Here is how you do it: Take the grain, rinse it three times in tap water to clean the surface. Then place the grain in a clean bowl, cover it with DISTILLED WATER with a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar added. Let the grain soak for 72 hours (three days) in a warm place (around 70 degrees F). The grain will sprout and you will see a tiny root and stem forming. This shows that the transmutation has occurred and the harmful anti-nutrients have been eliminated. Moreover, what you now have is easily the most complete, enzyme-rich “health food” I have ever seen in my 20 years of nutrition study! If I were to engineer the “perfect” balanced food loaded with the entire enzyme spectrum and vitamin/mineral load, I couldn’t do better than the simple kernel of wheat sprouted in this manner.
Please understand that these phyto-nutrients, these powerful life-giving “enzymes” are extremely heat-sensitive. They will be destroyed at 140 degrees F in just a few minutes. They must be consumed “raw” in other words. You can preserve them, however, by drying them on a low heat setting (under 100 degrees F). When dried, you can then grind them into an incredibly healthy and tasty flour – which in turn can be made into a dough which when rolled and placed on a low-heat griddle makes an incredibly good and healthy tortilla. But here’s the big secret: just a handful of the sprouted grain daily will give your body the broad-spectrum ENZYMES it needs to neutralize much of the anti-nutrients in the other veggies you love to eat! This is life-saving knowledge, especially to the vegan and raw-food enthusiast.
In conclusion – allow me to share a Christian insight into this discussion. Regardless of whether you are a “believer” or the most ardent atheist, this information is at the very least historically accurate. When Jesus was conducting His ministry in Judea, Flavius Josephus the historian, documented that there were certain Greeks “of the study of Hippocrates and the Age of Peracles” teaching the principles of the healing arts to select Jews. I submit this was an early “Medical School”. In the New Testament Gospel of St. John, Chapter 12, verses 20-24 we read concerning these “certain Greeks among them” who met with Philip and Andrew seeking a brief audience with Jesus. I submit these Greek “physicians” had heard the incredible stories of miraculous healing, and the most recent account that Jesus had literally raised a man named Lazarus from the dead. Therefore, they desperately wanted to meet and interview this man named Jesus of Nazarith – and so they did.
John doesn’t elaborate on this meeting, other than to record for posterity what Christ told them. John 12: 24 KJV reads: “Verily, Verily, I say unto you (talking to these Greek physicians), EXCEPT A CORN (KERNEL) OF WHEAT FALL INTO THE GROUND AND DIE (i.e. germinate) IT ABIDETH ALONE; BUT IF IT DIE, IT BRINGETH FORTH MUCH FRUIT!” One has to wonder what this parable means. Why did He specifically use a kernel of wheat as a metaphor to His coming crucifixion? In the Christian teaching, Christ’s death and resurrection ON THE THIRD DAY brings LIFE to the soul of man. Furthermore, the CARNAL man (the toxic body of man) is changed (transmuted) by this event of grace into a completely new entity full of LIFE ENERGY – just exactly as the germinated, sprouted wheat kernel changes from a toxic, anti-nutrient-loaded inert “dead” form into what is easily the most “perfect” life-giving end product. Christ was in the tomb three days, and the miracle of wheat happens in three days as well. Coincidence? I’ll leave it up to you to decide.
For further reading and corroboration visit these great website articles:
For “Essene Flat Bread “: http://earthstar.newlibertyvillage.com/essenebread.htm