Do you suffer from a skin condition? Have a mental imbalance (anything from ADD to Dementia to Depression)? Have irritable bowl with diarrhea, constipation, or even both? Suffering from chronic fatigue? Or do you suffer from allergies? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these, hold off on your next run to the local pharmacy where you’ll grab a quick fix. In fact, a fix may actually come from your diet. Chances are you’re suffering, on some level, from a corn sensitivity.
You might be trying to think back to the last time you had some corn on the cob. Shockingly enough, you’re actually getting corn in your system from many other sources. It’s a staple food source, often part of three to four meals a day! If it comes in a package, corn is most likely an ingredient. Why? Well, high Fructose Corn Syrup is the go to sweetener in this country. Most of the cattle in this country are fed corn to fatten them before slaughter. Even some beers use corn as their grain of choice. So even if you don’t eat corn from the cob, you are getting a significant dose of corn everyday. Michael Pollan has a great quote, “We are “mazazi” or walking corn, if you eat the standard American diet”
Corn has been a part of diet for over 9,000 years when it originated in Central and South America. So why is it now becoming a problem? Well, the niacin (vitamin B3) in corn is in a ‘bound’ form making it unavailable for ingestion in the human body and can actually act as an anti-nutrient. To counter that, traditional Native American cultures made hominy by treating corn with lime and wood ashes (alkalines). This would aid in the assimilation and digestion of the niacin.
That’s no longer the case, though. For the majority of the population, modern food processing, storage methods, and a loss of traditional practices have resulted in many corn products having little or no viable niacin. And for people living in countries where it’s a staple, the risk of developing clinical or sub clinical pellagra increases.
Of Italian roots, pellegra means skin (pell) and rough (agra). Rough skin is a nutritional deficiency syndrome that results from a deficient intake of niacin, or a failure to convert tryptophan to niacin. There are four characterizations of pellegra, known as the ‘4 D’s’:
- Dermatitis (Skin gets inflamed either allergically or from minor trauma)
- Diarrhea (including inflammation of the mucous membranes)
- Depression (including irritability, anxiety, confusion)
- Dementia (including delusions, disorientation, hallucinations)
And I want to add a few more things to this list. First, B3 is massively important for energy production in the human body. If you are deficient then you may suffer from chronic fatigue or possibly Fibromyalgia. Second, niacin is also much needed in hormone production, helping turn cholesterol into testosterone and estrogen. So if you have hormonal imbalances, you should remove corn from your diet.
Corn has crept its way into every aspect of our food chain, and I can’t state enough how much it is subtly wreaking havoc with our collective health. In later posts I’ll talk about how GMO corn can destroy your health and what corn is doing to our environment.