There's a LOT of confusion out there these days about whether gluten is a real hazard to your health or not.
many news reporters on popular national TV shows have frequently shown
the story from 2 totally opposite sides of the spectrum, highlighting
some experts that say gluten only negatively affects a small % of the
population that is officially "gluten-sensitive" or people that have
Celiac disease, while highlighting other experts that say gluten is
affecting a very LARGE portion of the population with various
inflammation and auto-immune related health problems that most people
So I'm bringing in one of the experts that I've found on this topic, to clarify exactly how gluten could be affecting YOU... did you know that gluten could possibly be causing "tiny holes" to form in your intestines (aka, leaky gut) from the chronic inflammation that gluten can cause... and can also be causing nutrient deficiencies from damage to specialized cells in your intestines
that control nutrient absorption.
The TRUTH about Gluten
by Kelsey Kale - Natural Food Chef & Nutritionist
One of the most common objections I get from people when I mention about the benefits of going gluten-free or grain-free is, “Well, yeah, I would cut it out - but I don’t have a problem with gluten.”
this may be true for a small percentage of the population, more studies
are showing that even those of us who think we “don’t have a problem
with gluten,” are actually experiencing life-depleting side effects from
eating it - but we just don’t know it
that these symptoms are hidden necessarily (though sometimes patients
with celiac disease have no visible symptoms right after they eat
gluten) - more often we blame our symptoms on something else, and we
forget to consider gluten as the source of the problem.
The Secret Ways Gluten Is Hurting You
Consider these facts:
Responses to the ingestion of wheat can be divided into three types...
Let’s start with some basics. There’s a difference between being “allergic” to gluten, having celiac disease, and just being gluten sensitive
responses like skin rashes and breathing problems appear to be related
to a variety of wheat proteins. Studies done with purified wheat
proteins that tracked specific autoimmune antibodies in patients' blood
showed that 60% had antibody responses to α-gliadins and β-gliadins, 55%
to γ-gliadins, 48% to ω-gliadins.
On the other hand, certain
wheat reactions, like WDEIA or “Wheat Dependent Exercise Induced
Anaphylaxis” (a tongue twister, I know!) are syndromes that are known to
be caused by a specific type of grain protein, ω5-gliadins.
important to note that those with gluten sensitivity don’t experience
their reaction in the same way that those with celiac disease do (though
it may feel like it) - gluten sensitivity is not the same autoimmune
response as celiac. People with gluten sensitivity have more of a
reaction such as “set up a barrier to fight this one time irritant”,
while those with celiac disease start building an internal army and
develop specific antibodies to gluten so they’re constantly prepared.
>> Celiac Disease is 4 times more common today than it was 50 years ago
and scientists are seeing that the popularity of gluten free diets
isn’t just a fad - the actual number of people with a real autoimmune
response to gluten is going up. An autoimmune response is more serious
than an intolerance because this response causes your body to begin to
attack its own cells. An intolerance or sensitivity to gluten is less
severe and is more like your reaction to a cold or parasite, which
attacks the “invader” but not your body.
This increase in celiac
disease is likely due to a combination of the constant experimenting and
hybridization of the wheat plant in an attempt to increase growth rate
and the amount of grain each plant grows. There’s also the fact that
wheat and flour based products now make up a large majority of the
average person's diet (even in countries like China where rice was a
staple, wheat-based products are beginning to take over and instances of
gluten-related illness are beginning to rise).
there are no testing measures in place to determine if these newly
developed “franken-grains” are safe for human consumption (or if the
newly created plants present any side effects when eaten by humans),
we’re being served something called “wheat” that’s actually a far cry
from the original plant that our grandparents knew and loved.
>> As many as 29% of us may have a gluten allergy or intolerance and do not know about it
a study published in 2007, researchers took gut biopsies from celiac
patients as well as patients with no gluten-related symptoms. Five out of six of the patients “without symptoms” showed inflammatory autoimmune blood proteins
when they were exposed to gliadin (a component of gluten).
Similar studies done on populations in the UK and Germany showed that when tested, 3 times more people were sensitive to gluten
than they originally thought.
“autoimmune blood proteins” are markers that tell the body to create a
system-wide inflammation response (especially in our intestines). This
happens for two reasons: One, it helps our body get rid of the offending
gluten as quickly as possible; And two, it sends us a painful message
telling us not to eat that food again.
This full-body inflammation creates stress in our digestive tract
and can lead to tiny holes in our intestines
(known as “leaky gut syndrome”) that allow small particles of
undigested food to pass into our bloodstream. This causes even more
inflammation throughout the body. This inflammation also kills the
specialized cells in your intestines that are designed to absorb
nutrients, which can lead to malnourishment and “nutrient starvation” -
even if you’re overweight.
It’s even been thought by some
researchers that for every 1 person with celiac disease (an estimated
1.8 million Americans) there could be at least six or seven people with
“non-celiac gluten sensitivity”. This means that gluten sensitivity may
affect upwards of 10-12% of the general population (that’s another 10.8 -
12.6 million people!).
Eating Gluten Can Lead To Other Allergies
Gluten sensitivity can also cause dairy intolerance. This is because
the enzyme we need to digest the milk sugar lactose (an enzyme called
“lactase”) is created by the cells in our small intestine, and these
cells can be killed by inflammation caused by eating too much gluten.
Lastly, celiac disease is determined by the number of antibody markers
found in your stool or blood. The benchmark for beginning to diagnose
celiac disease using a blood test is an antibody count of 30+. If you
meet this number or higher you are likely to be diagnosed with celiac
disease. If you score even 1 point below this number, you technically
don’t have celiac - but you will definitely still feel all the painful
effects of gluten.
NOTE: Having a high inflammatory blood protein
count doesn’t always mean you have Celiac, so it’s best to consult your
doctor and participate in a panel of tests before diagnosing yourself.
The Effects Add Up...
reaction to gluten may not be strong enough to worry you. A little bit
of bloating here, mild swelling in the joints there - no big deal, just a
little embarrassing... right? Wrong.
Over a period of time
(let’s say a few years) low levels of inflammation in the body start to
add up. Even if you don’t experience any immediate negative effects from
eating gluten (or your reactions are “tolerable”), you could be doing
long term damage to your body.
For example, remember that this
inflammation may be killing off the cells in your small intestine that
are designed to absorb nutrients, which can leave you both fat and
starving. And chronic inflammation anywhere in the body has full-body
effects -- chronic inflammation has even been linked to terminal
illnesses like cancer and heart disease. Every bite counts.
Beware of many new "gluten-free" packaged and processed foods that are
on the market these days... Most times, these gluten-free processed
foods just simply contain highly refined flours such as rice flour,
tapioca flour, and corn starch which have severe effects on your blood
sugar and insulin levels. Many "gluten-free" processed foods also still
contain very high sugar levels.
Kelsey shows you her exact method
of eating gluten-free, but doing so in a way that HELPS you control
blood sugar and lose fat in this video she prepared for you:
Video: Kelsey's EXACT plan to remove gluten but still ENJOY delicious food
(plus lose fat)
you don't have time to watch Kelsey's video, you can also grab her
super-awesome new cookbook on how to eat grain-free while enjoying
amazingly delicious meals:
Kelsey's cookbook: Enjoy grain-free amazing meals & get a flat stomach faster
Can you HEAL gluten-damaged intestines?
A couple things on this...
1. There's a unique ingredient called Actazin in this powerful probiotic
supplement that shows strong promise at being able to help HEAL and
regenerate gluten-damaged gut-lining cells. You can read about it at
2. It's also well known that Kefir (kefir is generally more powerful than yogurt
in terms of both probiotic quantity and variety of strains) can have a
powerful healing effect on the digestive system when used regularly
because of the unique probiotics. Kefir is also generally 99%
lactose-free since the microbes consume most of the lactose in the
fermentation process, making kefir one of the easiest to digest dairy
3. If you're like me and you stay gluten-free most
days of the week, but still eat wheat based foods when traveling or at
restaurants, there's a new and very interesting ingredient called GlutenGone in this enzyme product
I use on the 1 or 2 days a week when I might dine out and eat some
foods high in gluten. I see it as a sort of "protection" against gluten
damage for those occasional days when I do eat grains.
on this same topic, if you're not yet convinced of some of the potential
health detriments to eating wheat and gluten, make sure you've also
read this article:
11 Ways that "whole wheat" can damage your body
PS -- if you liked today's article, please fwd this email on to any of your friends, family, or co-workers that would enjoy it.
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer