Chen Ben Asher – Functional Nutrition – Silicon Valley – Can Villous Atrophy Also be Caused by Corn, Dairy, Soy, Parasites and Gut Infections?

Villous atrophy might be an unfamiliar term for an average person, but this is a serious health problem that needs further attention to avoid it. It is important to understand what exactly this condition means and how to avoid it.

The condition appears “when the microscopic cells are lining the small intestinal tract, called ‘villi’ or ‘microvilli,’ became damaged”[1] to an extent that they look atrophied. Before biopsy (rime when it is possible to notice this processs) there are major health problems that a person will have. There can be different reasons for it.

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To damage villi, there there must be inflammation. The inflammation then leads to leaky gut syndrome. In the small intestine has cells that are so designed that they can absorb nutrients in the spaces between cells or so-called “tight junctions.” When parts are inflammated, they spread apart, even more. That allows bigger parts to get in, including food molecules. Immune cells immunocytes also become damaged that are important for the immunity as such. Then the body is more prone to different infections, “especially digestive tract infections such as the H Pylori Bacteria, Candida and C-difficile Infections”1 as well as others.


Villous atrophy symptoms

  • Digestion problems
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.


Gluten sensitivity, infections, and other causes

It is the main trigger that causes villous atrophy. Other contributing factors are “untreated parasitic infections, other food sensitivities, and poor eating habits.”1 Board certified nutrition specialist Chen Ben Asher notes that the most important thing is to go on a gluten elimination diet. Gluten is in different grains, dairy products, soy, and others.

Gluten in corn

Different corns can contain gluten or become contaminated somewhere in the production or preparation. It requires further attention.


Soy has also proved to cause “cause extensive damage and atrophy of the villi in the small intestine.”[2] Sometimes it is not even possible to tell if the cause of atrophy is gluten or soy. There are different research that supports the claim that soy is connected to villous atrophy. One of the examples is from a French research that claims that “intolerance to soybean protein may be associated with cow’s milk protein intolerance”[3] that caused villous atrophy. The problem started to disappear after 18 days of suspension of soybeans from the diet.

Problems with dairy products

There can also be a problem with enzymes that help to digest food, for example, it is not possible to secrete the enzyme lactase, a person cannot digest lactose and becomes intolerant to milk. A person should avoid processed and “non-foods” as they contribute to inflammation.

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Stopping eating gluten and having a treatment that helps to heal the gut might be only a temporary solution. It is important to find the right solution to each separate cause to avoid villous atrophy. Infections and other problems with the digestive tract might take even six months and more to heal. A professional specialist can help to start with finding the underlying cause, start the right diet and provide other solutions.



[1] Villous Atrophy. Accessed from: http://www.easy-immune-health.com/villous-atrophy.html#ixzz4WJ5VTttHrel=”nofollow”

[2] Soya Villous Atrophy. Accessed from: https://healthunlocked.com/glutenfreeguerrillas/posts/588550/soya-villous-atrophyrel=”nofollow”

[3] [Acute villous atrophy due to intolerance to soy bean protein] Accessed from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/987760rel=”nofollow”

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