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Schizophrenia / Mental Problems and Celiac Disease

The following was written by Dr. Kalle Reichelt who is a leading celiac disease researcher at the Pediatric Research Institute in Oslo, Norway. Please direct any questions regarding this article to him at: K.L.Reichelt@rh.uio.no

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What most people ignore is that both peptides and trace (biologically significant amounts) amounts of proteins are taken up across the gut mucosa (1,2). Because one molecule of gluten contains at least 15 opioid sequences it is quite clear that this could cause a problem. Increased peptide excretion is found in the urine of celiacs before treatment (3) (Reichelt et al in prep). This is confirmed by a series of papers that demonstrate intact food proteins in mothers milk (4-7). A Canadian group has confirmed that gluten does change a brain enzyme and monoamine levels in cats (8). Their findings a significant even though cats are not gluten eating animals. There is increasing evidence that components from food can indeed cause serious psychiatric (9-12) and neurological (13-16) diseases. Even rheumatoid arthritis may have a link to food proteins (17), and it well established that stress increases gut permeability. Nobody denies the possibility of reactive depression, but there is little reason why this could not be made worse by dietary factors. Because antibodies are indeed induced by peptides it may even be so that dietary peptides by mimicry to endogenous cell surface peptide sequences, may be responsible for many autoimmune diseases (18).

References:

  • Gardner MLG (1994) Physiology of the gastrointestinal tract. Edit: LR Johnson. Raven press 3rd edit. pp 1795-1820.
  • Husby S et al (1985) Scand J Immunol 22:83-92.
  • Klosse JA et al (1972) Clin Chim Acta 42:409-422.
  • Kilshaw PJ and Cant AJ (1984) Inter. Arch Allergy Appl Immunol 75:8-15.
  • Axelsson I et al (1986) Acta paed Scand 75:702-707.
  • Stuart CA et al (1984) Clin Allergy 14:533-535.
  • Troncone R et al (1987) Acta paed Scand 76:453-456.
  • Thibault L et al (1988) J Clin Biochem Nutr. 4:209-221.
  • Hallert C et al (1982) Psychic disturbances in adult celiac disease III.Reduced central monoamine metabolism and signs of depression. Scand J Gastroenterol 17:25-28.
  • Singh MM and Kay SR (1976) Wheat gluten as a pthogenic factor in schizophrenia. Science 191:401-402.
  • Dohan FC and Grasberger JC (1973) relapsed schizophrenics: earlier discharge from the hospital after cereal-free, milk-free diet. Amer J Psychiat 130:685-686.
  • Reichelt KL et al (1990) The effect of gluten free diet on glycoprotein attached urinary peptidee excretion and behaviour in schizophrenics. J Orthomol Med 5:223-239.
  • Gobbi G et al (1992) Celiac disease, epilepsy and cerebral calcifications. The Lancet 340:439-443.
  • Paul K-D et al (1985) EEG-Befunde Zoeliakikranken Kindern in Abh{ngigkkeit von der Ern{hrung. Z Klin Med 40:707-709.
  • Kahn A et al (1987) Difficulty of initiating sleep associated with cows milk allergy in infants. Sleep 10:116-121.
  • Hadjivassiliou M et al (1996) Does cryptic gluten sensitivity play a part in neurological illness? The Lancet 347:369-371.
  • Kjeldsen-Kragh J et al (1991) Controlled trial of fasting and one-year vegetarian diet in rheumatoid arthritis. The Lancet 338:899-902.
  • Karjalainen J et al (1992) Bovine albumin peptide as a possible trigger of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. New Eng J Med 327:302-307.

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