Day 2 of the Gluten Summit and no one was pulling any punches. According to Dr Fasano, a leading paediatric gastroenterologist from the USA, “we do not need gluten, nutritionally it is useless for us”. Swedish research has shown introducing gluten grains too early to your baby’s diet can increase the risk of coeliac disease by up to 79%.
In babies genetically predisposed towards coeliac disease, Dr Fasano recommends waiting until after the first 12 months to introduce gluten to allow normal tissue development, muscles, bones, nerve tissue, brain neurons. If we do not need gluten, why bother introducing it at all, he asks and states further, we need to go with preventative medicine and every report is showing that removing gluten from the body of genetically predisposed humans will reverse and heal the damage caused.
The integrity of our gut lining seems to hold our health in balance, if the integrity of the gut is good and the permeability of the intestine not damaged, our health is sound. BUT, as soon as the permeability of our intestine is challenged and damaged, our health can take a huge hit. Permeability can be affected by infections, pollutants, chemicals, GMO, stress and this can develop into food allergies, inflammation and auto-immune disease. The environment you expose yourself and your children to has a direct impact on the integrity of your gut. The point Dr Fasano is making is that it is the health of the gut barrier we need to protect and treat to prevent disease. Gluten has been shown to increase gut permeability, an antibody immune response and is an auto-immune instigator. Composition of bacteria in the gut is a key factor impacting our intestinal permeability. This microbiome helps intestinal immune funtion to mature, without this we can develop inflammation and autoimmunity. We need to make good friends with our bacteria, they hold the balance of our health and autoimmunity in their hands (do bacteria have hands?). Our microbiome effects how our genes are expressed. It is highly influenced by the environment in the gut – by our nutrition and daily food choices, pollution, chemicals, radiation. The use of antibiotics create changes and imbalances in the microbiome
coeliac disease is the only autoimmune disease with an indisputable environmental trigger – gluten. By removing the trigger, the condition is cured.
The advice is to take action early, don’t wait for intestinal permeability to really reduce your health, remove gluten completely. Gluten causes peripheral neuropathy, joint pain and skin issues, you don’t have to experience gut problems for this to be happening. EVERYONE suffers intestinal permeability on eating gluten. Not everyone is impacted by this, why is not completely clear but what is crystal clear is that removing gluten from your body and your diet will enhance your health.
Dr Rodney Ford, a paediatrician from NZ, has launched the Gluten Zero Global initiative and feels we should all remove this protein from our diets. He claims a third of all people with chronic illness are gluten affected but don’t necessarily show on any blood tests. Removing gluten early on will prevent many neurological problems and autoimmue diseases. Traditionally, gluten has been associated with gut issues but better research reveals it is our brain, nervous system, and our entire body that is affected by gluten.
Recent research from Sweden shows even maternal antibodies to gluten can result in a huge 70% increase in risk of schizoprenia for their offspring.
Accordind to Dr Ford, every pregnant woman should be checked for IgG antibodies for gliadin and if positive, should remove gluten from their diet for the duration of pregnancy and subsequent breastfeeding. The call is to remove grains and replace them in the diet with more nutrient dense foods in particular vegetables. Ford does not support the explosion of gluten free products available in the supermarkets, they are highly processed using refined flours and sugars.
He is pushing for zero tolerance to gluten in products, reducing the current 20 parts per million our food labelling laws allow, claiming even a tiny amount can create a gluten reaction.
Liz Lipski, a nutritionist, claims the standard western diet is so inflammatory for our gut lining just a normal diet creates reduced absorption and an increased gut permeability. She recommends we improve our microbiome by increasing fibre and fresh vegetables in the diet, up to 12 cups daily ! Golly, green smoothies might need to be on the menu !
The take home message today seems to lie in our gut with our bugs, “intestinal permeability and GI issues really underlie so many diseases that we think don’t have anything to do with digestion at all in our minds” Lipski.
We create systemic inflammation in the body from our food choices. It requires good food choices and relaxation to produce good gut function. Happy thoughts seem to equate to happy gut ! Consider then, we produce neurotransmitters in our gut, they are responsible for many things including our mental health and happiness. If their production is reduced through gut imbalances then mental health issues will surely follow. The depression and low moods of gluten sensitivities are well documented.
A happy brain would appear to be a gluten free brain.
until tomorrow and day 3….. wishing you rude with health,