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Can Going Gluten-free Protect You From Brain Disease?

Celiac.com 03/20/2014 - No one wants a brain disease, and some recent books on the effects of gluten-free diets are suggesting that a gluten-free diet might actually protect you from brain diseases.

One such book is Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar — Your Brain's Silent Killers, by David Perlmutter, M.D., a practicing neurologist.

Photo: CC--IntelFreePressSymptoms of celiac disease are known to include intestinal difficulties associated with an adverse immunological response triggered by gluten. This response, which leads to inflammation in the gut, can happen elsewhere in the body too.

According to Perlmutter, inflammation is at the root of many diseases and complications, including, brain decay.

According to Perlmutter, gluten can lead to inflammation in the brain, which he believes leads to conditions like dementia and Alzheimer's.

Perlmutter says that gluten, by triggering the immune system, causes inflammation in the brain, which promotes the brain's glycation by circulating blood sugar. Gram for gram, wheat raises blood sugar levels more than sugar itself.

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Perlmutter encourages strong dietary changes that have drawn some criticism. Specifically, he has recommended an intake of 60 or fewer grams of carbohydrate per day.

Some point out potential negative health consequences of a high-fat, low-carb diet, both in healthy people and for those with specific conditions, like adrenal or thyroid issues.

However, Perlmutter's take on brain glycation, in which gluten triggers an immune response in certain people, contributing to inflammation, and to inflammatory disease, such as diabetes and Alzheimer's, may have some foundation. 

Perlmutter is a reputable neurologist, so his opinion and insight go beyond anecdotal evidence and speculation. It will be interesting to see how much of his perspective is borne out by science. Meantime, Perlmutter certainly makes for interesting, thought-provoking reading.

What's your experience? Has going gluten-free made an impact on your brain function and awareness?

Read more at: Celiac.com and at Medical Express.com.

Celiac.com welcomes your comments below (registration is NOT required).





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2 Responses:

 
Pamela Barnes
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said this on
25 Mar 2014 2:50:05 PM PDT
Dr. Perlmutter is right on. I not only work in Neurology, I was sick for 40 years, no one knew it was gluten, they diagnosed me with everything but, ever since I stopped eating gluten 8 years ago, I have never been sick since. They are now discovering what we were taught in the past is incorrect, no one believes it or wants to change, too bad, you lose! If you want to stay healthy, stay away from sugar, carbs and gluten, it makes perfect sense! Try it for 2 weeks and see if you don't feel better.

 
Hev
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said this on
09 Nov 2014 12:55:52 AM PDT
I was sick for 25 years plus. In the end I diagnosed myself with a gluten related disorder. A year and a half later, after miraculous health improvements my doctors finally decided they agreed with me!

The biggest change to my health has been the improvement in my brain function. I actually feel like my IQ has gone up 20 or 30 points! I can think clearly and I'm alert and healthy all day every day. I'm rarely tired. I feel beter than I did when I was 21. I'm now 51. I have been a long hard dtruggle to get it right, but it was so worth it as I now have my life back.




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That's a great question to ask. Thanks for arming me with good ones. I'm doing my research to be able to stand my ground. Ironically, my endo. Was the most helpful doctor I'd seen and my GP has generally not seemed to have a clue. I have PCOS and Hashimoto's thyroiditis, when I moved to the area and saw him, he was resistant to refer me to an endocrinologist (before I moved to the area, I'd already been seeing an endo. For three years for follow ups since I'd been diagnosed.) My endo. Was able to treat the thyroid antibodies well, they went down without synthroid or surgery (which previous doctor's had suggested). However, I think she dropped the ball on the Celiac blood panel (which I think endos should Definitely be more aware of). And my GP seemed much more aware on this issue. I think the takeaway is always do your research, advocate for yourself, and let second opinions fill in the gaps in knowledge some on your care team may have. (But also, ditch them if they don't know what they're talking about) Also, I live in an area with a doctor shortage... Thanks for the welcome to the community!

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Silk Cashew milk is pretty creamy and close to dairy milk, I love Macadamia milk, almond milk is a tad thin in most brands but a good sub and normally enriched with calcium, vitamin D and E. Coconut milk is a bit acquired and can range greatly in consistency, rice milk is normally very thin like 2% school carton milk and bland. Elmhurst Harvest has started making SUPER rich and creamy milks with walnuts, almond, and macadamia nuts, with talk of bringing back the pistachio milk. I personally love the almond and cashew blends from blue diamond or silk. If you need a nut free version Good Karma makes a decent flax milk. There are a few other brands out there that make some good ones here locally I love the HEB Organics almond milk best almond milk I have ever tasted rich, fulfilling, and just perfect. NOTE, avoid the shelf stable versions from almond dream, cashew dream, blue diamond, silk, HEB they are normally much thinner and bland. Cheese, On block cheeses Dayia makes a good Havarti, smoked Gouda, and cheddar. the shreds from there are pretty bad in taste. Follow your Heart makes a great provolone and decent on everything else. Lisanatti makes godly good shreds for jalapeno jack, cheddar, and mozzarella, they melt better then real cheese as they lack the greasy oil mess. Their blocks on the other hand are way to soft. Julian Bakery makes a passable mozzarella but only if your melting it over something or in something the flavor and texture is off but it is the only cheese I found you can order on amazon lol. Kite Hill makes some really good soft cheeses, I tried a few others like hedei ho and found they are too salty or the flavor way to off to even call cheese. Ice cream there is Nada Moo, and So delicious for some of the top dairy free ones. I personally can only have one called wink which is a unsweetened one. Yogurt the So delicious and kite hill take the top in my opinion but they are the only ones that make a good unsweetened so I can not comment on others. I make my own parmesan and cheese sauces from scratch myself from various ingredients. Even make my own cheddar biscuits and cheesy garlic breads. Hell just made a batch of cheesy cheddar and chive biscuits this morning, OHH the buttery goodness of Nutiva Butter flavored coconut oil I love cooking with, sauteing, and using in savory foods. last week I found it was great with carb free noodles and herb seasoning. I am thinking of using it in my cauliflower Alfredo sauce next time also.

From what I've read 2 slices a day should be enough for the challenge. I think they'll have more gluten than the milky way's. Now I want a milky way Have one for me tomorrow dalek100!

Did you ever figure out what corn gluten is in? I can not find any information