Chen Ben Asher – Functional Nutrition – Silicon Valley – Is Leaky Gut Rooted to Gluten Sensitivity?

When there is an imbalance in the gut, individuals experience intestinal and extraintestinal autoimmune, inflammatory and other disorders. Leaky gut is one of them that is important to address. New research shows its connection to gluten.

There is a lot of research that shows a link between leaky gut and gluten. This connection even has a specific name – “intestinal permeability.”[1] Another name for it is leaky gut. One of the leading gluten sensitivity researchers Dr. Alessio Fasano is one of those who discovered this connection.

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Gluten impact

First discoveries always noted that leaky gut affects the villi of the small intestine. Now it is clear that the impact is much bigger. It affects the gut, the brain and various tissues in the body. Same goes for gluten especially for those who are gluten sensitive. Gluten “directly impacts the intestinal lining through zonulin production. Zonulin is a protein that directly causes leaky gut.”1

  • Antibodies

Gluten has an impact on the formation of antibodies. These antibodies later can cause inflammatory chemicals that lead to tissue damage. Antibodies can also negatively impact other tissues of the body and cause autoimmune disease.

  • Medications

Many might not know, but many medications have gluten in them. As an example is anti-acid medications that increase the number of bacteria in the gut and infection. Another incorrect treatment is overuse of antibiotics

  • Stress

Gluten can be seen as a chemical stressor. It can take different forms like vitamin and mineral deficiency. Board nutrition specialist Chen Ben Asher notes the importance to choose the right supplement program to each. Loss of nutrients negatively impacts the healing process.

  • Bacteria

Gluten can cause changes in intestinal flora and thus later lead to infection. This is one of the reasons why many yogurt companies are adding beneficial bacteria or as they call them “live,” “good” bacteria to their products.

  • Cytokines

The research shows that gluten contributes to pro-inflammatory cytokines. They are chemicals that cause damage to cells.

  • Neurotransmitters

Gluten provokes neurochemical changes of the production of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are “chemicals that allow the nervous system to communicate.”1 The Gluten Free Society lists few of them: epinephrine, serotonin, acetylcholine, dopamine, and histamine. Gluten also causes direct damage to nerve tissues that later contributes to neurological diseases like autism, ADD, migraine, bipolar, neuropathy, schizophrenia, epilepsy, etc. A helpful solution in many cases is a special gluten free diet designed by specialists for each case.

  • Digestive chemicals

It is proven that gluten can cause damage to the intestine, the liver, the pancreas, and the gallbladder. These organs are important for producing of digestive chemicals and enzymes.

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Leaky gut is a serious issue that needs special attention to deal with autoimmune disease and other health problems. Gluten and gluten sensitivity particularly is a well-known cause of these diseases. Everyone who has suspicious about gluten sensitivity, should draw more attention and get genetic testing.



[1] Leaky Gut Syndrome – Is Gluten at the Root? Accessed from: https://www.glutenfreesociety.org/leaky-gut-syndrome-is-gluten-at-the-rootrel=”nofollow”

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