The gluten craze has begun. Even the food industry has caught on to the fad, and it makes me cringe when I hear, “I lost X lbs. Going gluten free!” Now granted this is a very big draw, but it steals from the fact that gluten is a bit more complex and possibly more dangerous than just a weight gaining protein.
A new article from Science Daily talked about a study that linked gluten sensitivity during gestation with a rise in schizophrenia for the child. This is a study that backs previous studies about the interaction with the brain and gluten sensitivity.
There is a reason that gluten and brain disorders go hand in hand. I believe that a couple of proteins called occludin and zonlulin are responsible. These are proteins that are responsible for keeping cells of the gut together. Think of them as gates that are keeping things out of the yard. Studies have shown that gluten sensitivity can cause the body to create more zonlulin leading to more gates into the system . This allows endotoxic bacteria, gluten, and other proteins to be exposed to our blood stream. This is called a leaky gut. When endotoxic substances and larger proteins such as gluten get into the blood stream, then they get exposed to our immune system. This causes a cascade of autoimmunity and chronic inflammation.
So what does that have to do with schizophrenia? The article linking zonulin and gluten also found that the blood-brain barrier has zonulin as a protective protein too. The study postulated that zonlulin levels can go up in the blood-brain barrier, thus causing an immune reaction and inflammation in the brain. This is why we are finding problems with children who are born of gluten sensitive mothers.
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Research is very slow, and it might be awhile until the medical community correlates these studies into practice. In the meantime it is important to stay up to date on the gluten subject. I think that this subject might even be the reason that concussions are becoming such a problem. Not that gluten is causing concussions, but the inflammation caused by the autoimmunity is leaking into the brain slowing the healing process. The process may not even finish before another concussion has occured.
There will be some time before the research about this subject is out, but that doesn’t mean you cannot be proactive. If you have a child that is in sports and you suspect that there is a concussion, then have them heal their gut. This in turn may help them heal their brain, and that is something that you don’t want to mess with. If you would like information on how to heal the gut, then contact the office. There is a program that uses dietary and supplemental supportive care that can help get rid of any inflammatory agents, and allow the gut and blood-brain barrier to be healed.
If you are pregnant and you would like to know if you are gluten sensitive, then make a call to the office. Dr. Conway will help you analyze a metabolic assessment form, and see if you are qualified for a comprehensive blood test that can check to see if you have gluten sensitivities.