Wheat/Gluten Free? • Judy A. Fulop, ND, FABNO • Northwestern Integrative Medicine • 312.926.DOCS
Gluten-Containing Grains • Introduced 10,000 years ago with the advent of agriculture • Gluten is the structural protein of wheat, rye and barley • Basis for a variety of flour- and wheat-derived food products consumed throughout the world • Main antigen of gluten -- gliadin • Gliadin inhibits cell growth, induces apoptosis, causes loss of tight junctions in gut (leaky gut)
Celiac Disease • 1% of the entire population • Auto-immune disorder with adaptive immune response against ingested gliadin • Specific markers: serum anti-tissue transglutaminase (tTG) autoantibodies, and anti-endomysium antibodies (EMA) • Genetic markers HLA-DQ 2,8
Celiac Disease vs. Wheat Allergy vs. Gluten Sensitivity • Celiac disease (CD) is an immune-mediated enteropathy triggered by the ingestion of gluten-containing grains including wheat, rye, and barley in genetically susceptible individuals • Triggers intestinal permeability • Reaction to gluten can involve either an allergic reaction (wheat allergy) or a nonallergic response (gluten sensitivity) or an autoimmune response in subjects genetically predisposed (CD)
Gluten Sensitivity • Individuals who do not have celiac disease or a wheat allergy • Symptoms are triggered by gluten exposure and alleviated by gluten withdrawal • Individuals do not have to have processed in a totally gluten free kitchen
Gluten and Your Stomach • Incompletely digested molecular remnants irritate the delicate lining of the digestive tract • May resolve and person may be able to tolerate small amounts of wheat and gluten
Gluten and Your Brain • For some wheat/gluten is addictive • 30% of individuals who go off wheat experience a withdrawal: extreme fatigue, mental fog, irritability, inability to function at work or school and even depression for several days to weeks after eliminating wheat/gluten • Exorphins (exogenous morphine-like compounds) • Polypeptides of gluten: gluteomorphin and prodynorphin bind to morphine receptors of the brain
Schizophrenia and Grains • Only two overtly insane chronic schizophrenics were found among over 65,000 examined or closely observed adults in remote regions of Papua New Guinea (PNG, 1950-1967) and Malaita , Solomon Islands (1980-1981), and on Yap , Micronesia (1947-1948). • In preneuroleptic Europe over 130 would have been expected. • When these peoples became partially westernized and consumed wheat, barley beer, and rice, the prevalence reached European levels. • Our findings agree with previous epidemiologic and experimental results indicating that grain glutens are harmful to schizophrenics.
Science. 1976 Jan 30;191(4225):401-2 • Schizophrenics maintained on a cereal grain-free and milk-free diet and receiving optimal treatment with neuropleptics showed an interruption or reversal of their therapeutic progress during a period of "blind" wheat gluten challenge. • The exacerbation of the disease process was not due to variations in neuroleptic doses. • After termination of the gluten challenge, the course of improvement was reinstated. • The observed effects seemed to be due to a primary schizophrenia-promoting effect of wheat gluten.
99% of People Whose Immune Systems React Negatively to Gluten... • ... don't even know it! • Dr. Hadjivassiliou, respected researcher in area of gluten sensitivity and the brain at Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffeld (1966) • People with gluten sensitivity can have issues with brain function without having any gastrointestinal problems (2002)
Wheat/gluten and Obesity • Wheat/gluten triggers a cycle of insulin-driven satiety and hungered • Paralleled by ups and downs of euphoria and withdrawal • Distortions of neurological function and addictive effects • These all lead to fat deposition from extremes of blood sugar and insulin
Glycemic Index (GI) • Measure of how much blood sugar levels increase in the 90 to 120 minutes after a food is consumed • Whole wheat bread has a GI of 72 • Plain sugar has a GI of 59 • Salmon and walnuts have GIs of close to 0 • Gluten free substitutions (cornstarch, rice starch, potato starch and tapioca starch) have GIs as high as wheat products
Gluten and Inflammation • Osteoarthritis • Rheumatoid arthritis • Hypothyroidism • Heart disease • Cataracts • Diabetes • ....and more
Taking these drugs “increases intestinal permeability allowing for [food particles] to access the immune system which set off autoimmune and inflammatory processes,” reasons Dr. Brogan who describes the use of these drugs. generally as suppressing symptoms rather than getting to the root cause of the pain.
What's Happened to Our Wheat? • Harvesting of wheat and storing with corn and soy contaminates • “From a human nutrition standpoint, it is ironic that wheat milling methods to produce white flour eliminate those portions of the wheat kernel (bran, germ, shorts, and red dog mill streams) that are richest in proteins, vitamins, lipids and minerals.” • Changes to increase gluten for baking • "Green Revolution" (1950's) stocky little high-yield plant, a distant relative of the wheat from past
A Gluten Free Trial • Consider avoiding wheat/gluten for 2-4 weeks, note any differences • After 2-4 weeks add gluten back in and note the differences
Gluten Containing Foods-Avoid • Wheat: pasta, bread, grass • Couscous, kamut, graham • Barley, rye, spelt, seminolina • Soy sauce, teriyaki sauce • Beer, malt, brewer's yeast • Blue cheese, groats, miso • Sprouted wheat or barley
Gluten Free Foods-Enjoy • Veggies, proteins and fruits • Rice, potato, buckwheat • Millet, pea, beans • Almonds, pecans, nuts • Sunflower and pumpkin seeds • Chickpea, carob, aramath
Symptom Checklist • Fatigue • Joint pain • Headaches • Appetite • Weight • Focus/thinking • Mood • PMS • ....and more
Wheat/Gluten Free! • Judy A. Fulop, ND, FABNO • Northwestern Integrative Medicine • 312.926.DOCS