Cucumber COULD cause dementia ,doctors admit – after Gwyneth Paltrow’s site was ridiculed for warning against the green vegetable


Gwyneth Paltrow faced scrutiny after a guest writer for her health website claimed a protein in cucumbers could lead to Alzheimer’s.

Goop is ridiculed for promoting expensive lifestyle products and many questionable health theories.

In a recent post, Goop’s Dr Steven Gundry – a heart surgeon and cardiologist specialist from California, said he found a link between memory loss and lectins found in cucumbers ,tomatoes and whole grains.

He said such food could even lead eaters to develop dementia.

The article sparked a flurry on Twitter, with readers gleefully making fun of the ‘ridiculous’ suggestion.

But it seems this time Gwyneth may have the last laugh.

Nutritionists and doctors who normally criticize Goop have admitted to Daily Mail Online that there is evidence to show lectins are harmful to the gut and could cause a host of issues – and possibly memory loss.


England’s Dr Tom Greenfield, who examines the effects of lectins on different blood types, said the protein can ‘absolutely’ play a role in brain disorders.

He said the protein impacts people differently and the damage they can cause really comes down to a person’s genetics.

He said: ‘There is a specific link to blood types. You can’t say “avoid all lectins” because some might be good for people and bad for others.

‘Lectins can change your body, immune system and blood levels. They can block insulin receptors and over time this can affect blood vessels, even in the brain.

‘So if blood vessels aren’t working, it will cause damage to the brain.’

Dr David Jockers said lectins have been shown to block nutrient absorption, which leads to problems.

He said: ‘In general they are stressful on the body. Lectins have an affinity to latch on to leptin and insulin receptors.’

He added: ‘I don’t think lectins are a major cause of dementia and Alzheimer’s, but I could see how they could be a factor.’

Nikki Ostrower, holistic nutritionist and founder of NAO Nutrition & Wellness, said the idea of avoiding foods with lectins is common among experts but lesser-known to the public.

She said: ‘Before pesticides plants developed their own way of fighting off threats. When we consume these foods raw we are ingesting that natural repellent.

‘They are anti-nutrient, can cause leaky gut issues and could even be responsible for autoimmune diseases.’

Lectins are found in a variety of food that are deemed healthy, such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, soy, grains, sprouted grains, beans and some diary products.

Ostrower said it may be unrealistic for some people to cut out all of these foods entirely, so she recommends cooking them.

She said: ‘If you cook them, you are lightening the burden of the harm. Also, soaking and fermenting will help.’



Dr Steven Gundry, a heart surgeon and cardiologist specialist, has warned patients to stay away from lectins.

The protein is found in plants and serves as its natural defense system.

He said the nutrient could lead to problems in the gut, which in turn can lead to brain disease.

Here are some common foods that contain lectins:

  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Soy
  • Whole grains
  • Milk

According to the Blood Type Diet, certain lectins impact different blood types differently.

They recommend to stay away from these foods, depending on blood type:

Type O: Wheat, soybean oil, peanuts, kidney beans

Type A: Lima beans, tomatoes, eggplant, garbanzo beans

Type B: Chicken, corn, soy, lentils

Type AB: Chicken, corn, bananas, fava beans

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