Ladies and gentlemen of the primal community, I believe this blog post has the potential to stir up an incredible amount of conversation. Welcome to a very controversial blog post. Believe me, yinz ain’t seen nothing yet! Many of you who follow this blog are always watching for my fitness adventures and my advice on the highest quality of food. Never before have I tackled the issue of alcohol, let alone the specific alcohol of beer. Yes, beer. I have decided to shed some light on this issue today only because my beer snob friends have sparked my interests on a very big issue these days: gluten intolerance.
First, I’d like to point you all in the direction toward’s Mark’s Daily Apple so you can take a look at this guys amazing body transformation AS A BEER DRINKER. Read this story here. Well then, that’s impressive don’t you think? But hey! What does this mean then for the primal fitness as well as the paleo diet in general? I thought this whole gluten thing was serious business, right? I mean, research shows that exposure to gluten leads to autoimmune problems such as celiac diseases, hasimotos throiditis, and the bugger that starts it all, leaky gut. Not to mention gluten is an inflammatory protein that can trigger widespread inflammation in the body (I hope you all enjoy the nerdiness of this blog post). Yet, I know theat my hardcore beer snob friends cannot nor will they ever part ways with their beloved beverage of choice. And alas, I would like to announce that yours truly actually does fall into the “beer snob” category.
Yep. I’m a beer snob. Send your paleo hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
While I rarely drink much alcohol anymore (training is just too demanding for it), I have been known to have a few drafts of my favorite beers on special occasions (p.s. here’s my favorite beer of all time.) Over the years, I have noticed that this has had no ill effect on my health, and I once struggled with autoimmune problems (you can read about that on my about me section on this website). Just so yunz know, I am routinely checked by an amazing endocrinologist at UPMC who has monitored my thyroid antibody levels as well as my thyroid hormone levels for the past four years. My lab work routinely shows normal levels of thyroid hormones and as for the antibodies? consider them DEAD!
So…WHAT GIVES?!?!! What really is the issue with gluten and beer? Is beer ridden with as much gluten as we think? Is beer a sensible indulgence or something to truly be “avoided by the plague.”?
My awesome and amazing friend Mark just so happens to work at Latrobe Brewery. This whole gluten issue had me so lost, confused, and frustrated that I turned to someone who actually works in the brewing industry for some much-needed advice. Not only was Mark able to explain this gluten and beer thing to me, he wrote a 12 page paper on the issue of gluten content in beer. Today, I am posting the read only link to his paper and if you truly want to go out of your way to contact the guy, he left his information at the end of the writing piece. Now, keep in mind, this is NOT a scholarly article, but it was written by a witty guy who did some digging around on the subject.
What you are about to read might shock you, but first, I’d like to quote his disclaimer verbatim just o make you all clear that my friend Mark and I are not medical Doctors nor are we trying to make a case for the consumption of beer against solid medical advice. This is just to be an open discussion and a learning experience. Ok. DISCLAIMER TIME
This piece is intended to shed a bit of light on the issue, dispel some rumors and misinformation, and act as a spark or a catalyst to your own thought process on the matter. It’s supposed to get you thinking, to explain a bit of the why behind the what, and generally make you a more informed beer drinker. And if it helps you to one-up some know it all at the local watering hole, well, more power to you.
And now, with that out of the way, let’s get down to brass tacks!