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Dr. Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

As co-author of a new book titled “Cereal Killers” slated for release in the fall of 2009, the study of the impact of gluten continues to be a driving passion in my life.

I am fascinated by the way that gluten induces illness and impedes learning while it alters mood, behavior, and a host of other facets of human existence. Sure, gluten’s impact on health is an important issue, but that is only the most obvious area of impact. Mood disturbances, learning disabilities, and the loss of quality of life due to psychiatric and neurological illness are even more tragic than the plethora of physical ailments that are caused or worsened by gluten.  The further I go down this rabbit hole, the more I realize that grains are a good food for ruminants - not people. I teach at the Royal Roads University, Continuing Studies.

My Web page is:
www.DangerousGrains.com


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Photo: CC--thebittenword.com

Experts have decreed that pure oats are safe for people with celiac disease.  The definition of this disease is based on a very specific type of injury to the intestinal wall that heals following the removal of gluten from the diet.  This intestinal damage, called villous atrophy, is caused by the interaction between the immune system and certain proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley.



CC--ITU/I.Wood

Dr. Catassi and colleagues reported, in the September of 2013 issue of Nutrients, that during the previous 21 months for every ten reports about celiac disease, there was one report of non-celiac gluten sensitivity (1).  They plotted the publication ratio over the last 60+ years, showing that there has been a steady increase of reports on non-celiac gluten sensitivity in the medical literature...



We're talking about the dietary staple of Western Civilization, right? This is not the staple of the Asian diet or the African diet or the diet for the Americas. Not even all European populations have been eating it as long as those earliest farmers in the Middle East.



Photo: CC - opensourceway
I was disappointed to read the opinion article by   Dr. Di Sabatino and Dr. Corazza  published in February 2012 by Annals of Internal Medicine (1).  The article itself is mostly  reasonable and thoughtful. However,  they implicitly assert gluten to be a healthy food by stating that they wish to prevent "a gluten preoccupation from evolving into the conviction that gluten is toxic for most of the population" (1).  In that single statement they are making dietary recommendations in the absence of evidence; the very situation they claim to want to rectify.


I was disappointed to read this opinion article in The Atlantic (titled: A Gluten-Free Diet Reality Check) when there are three U.S. studies demonstrating that about half of overweight and obese children and/or adults with newly diagnosed celiac disease lose weight following institution of a gluten free diet (GFD).


Photo: CC-RDECOM
Through the hard work and concerted efforts of many support groups and individuals throughout the US, along with the generosity of Instituto Di Ricerca in Italy, research funding was accumulated. Early in the Twenty-First Century, under the auspices of the Center for Celiac Disease Research, a new epoch in celiac disease awareness was born.


Subscribe to Journal of Gluten Sensitivity for more articles like this one.
This is a controversial topic. Elizabeth Hasselbeck`s book, The G-Free Diet (1), has been attacked because it suggests that a gluten free diet can help some people lose weight. One celiac support group has condemned this book as misleading (2).  However, I thought it was a pretty good book, and I’m grateful for the public attention that Hasselbeck has drawn to celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.


Through the hard work and concerted efforts of many support groups and individuals throughout the US, along with the generosity of Instituto Di Ricerca in Italy, research funding was accumulated. Early in the Twenty-First Century, under the auspices of the Center for Celiac Disease Research, a new epoch in celiac disease awareness was born. Spearheaded by Dr. Alessio Fasano and several other prominent gastroenterologists, a large multi-center study was undertaken and the rate of celiac disease in the general U.S. population was determined to be at least 1 in 133


Ron Hoggan responds to recent article.
Mr. Dunning represents corn as a choice for bread-making prior to the advent of wheat, rye, and barley cultivation. However, the evidence suggests that corn was not yet available 10 to 15 thousand years ago when wheat, the earliest of these three grains, was first cultivated so it wasn’t available more than 20 thousand years ago when wild barley was first exploited ( 1 ). The evidence also indicates that corn was not available in the Near East, where wheat was first cultivated, as corn was a New World food developed by Mesoamerican indigenous peoples ( 2 ) half a world away.  In short, corn was not a discarded option for bread making when and where gluten grains were first cultivated.

One of several early mentions of geographic tongue (glossitis) in association with celiac disease may be found in the medical textbook "Coeliac Disease" by Cooke and Holmes, Churchill Livingstone, 1984, on pages 84 and 85 under the heading "glossitis". They say that it occurs, to a greater or lesser extent, "in a majority of celiac patients". 

Thank you for your interesting article on gluten-free dieting.  I was very pleased to read that you include patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity among those who should follow a gluten free diet.  I assume that you have arrived at your estimate of 20 million who are afflicted with wheat allergy, non-celiac and celiac gluten sensitivity using Dr. Fasano’s  estimate that 6 to 7 percent of Americans have what you refer to as this “milder form of gluten intolerance”. 


New insights into celiac disease and schizophrenia
Do you know where LSD comes from? It is made from gluten grains.  In 1938 Albert Hofmann, a Swiss chemist, discovered LSD, having refined it from a mold that grows on grains.  However, it was not until 1943 that he discovered its psycho-active properties.  In his own words Hofmann states: “I synthesized the diethylamide of Iysergic acid with the intention of obtaining an analeptic.”

Here is Dr. Ron Hoggan's response to Slate's unfortunate article "Throwing Out the Wheat" which was written by

Gluten sensitivity and celiac disease have long been seen as a gut disease. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a variety of erroneous medical perceptions, leading to limited and distorted perspectives on the impact of gluten on human health. After a battle of more than 50 years, celiac disease is now widely recognized both in and out of the medical profession, as common and treatable only with a gluten-free diet.

Dr. Ron Hoggan, Ed.D. shares his insights, gained after years of research, regarding what constitutes the most healthy diet for everyone—especially those with celiac disease.

This article appeared in the Spring 2006 edition of Celiac.coms Scott-Free Newsletter. Celiac.

This article appeared in the Autumn 2005 edition of Celiac.coms Scott-Free Newsletter. Celiac.

This article appeared in the Spring 2005 edition of Celiac.coms Scott-Free Newsletter. Celia

This article originally appeared in the Autumn 2002 edition of Celiac.com's Scott-Free newsletter.

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