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So this is just me wondering about all the things I've read, not anything official or anything like that.

It's in regards to zonulin. http://www.umm.edu/news/releases/zonulin.htm

In a nutshell, this doctor, over the past 10 years, (and I've read at least one of his published journal articles, so he's outwardly practicing proper science), has discovered that in celiacs intestinal cells (only done in vitro, not live people), when exposed to gluten, will create large gaps between the cells via a molecule called zonulin. It is significantly more pronounced and different than the effect of gluten on non-celiacs cells.

What this means is that instead of having a nice, pro-active barrier to prevent any molecules from entering the bloodstream, now anything slightly smaller than the gap that's created can enter the bloodstream.

Keep in mind that a lot of absorption of nutrients and whatnot is done actively through proteins in the intestinal cell membranes.

When I first heard about the connection to of 'leaky gut syndrome' and celiac disease, I was really confused. If my gut is leaking, then why would I have nutrient deficiencies? It seemed counter-intuitive. But, I suppose active transport could potentially bring more, say, iron into my bloodstream than just passive absorption.

And then it hit me. This effect might actually be benefical for people with celiac disease. Afterall, if I don't absorb ANY nutrients, I'm going to die.

Celiac disease was first discovered in very sick kids who, by and large, WOULD die.

What if leaky gut syndrome, or an increased effect of zonulin, was actually selected for? There's huge selective pressure when death, especially before the individual has kids, happens. Anything that prevents a death in young people, especially if it exists in 1/150 people (that's pretty large when thinking about genetic diseases that cause DEATH), would invariably end up in the population at large.

It all just makes so much sense to me! AFterall, sickle cell anemia has been selected for, a disease that causes blood thinning and potentially can kill you, but protects you from malaria, (which WILL kill you) in some African populations. This would be the same sort of thing.

It also, (although I feel less certain about this), explains this 'increase' in celiac disease that we see. We've all probably read the study done on blood samples of American soldiers from the 1950's to find out that celiac disease is higher now than in the 50's. BUT, if in 1950 more kids simply died of celiac disease, perhaps unknowingly from it, (hell, we have a hard time diagnosing ourselves even today!), then it makes perfect sense that there'd be fewer soldiers who had it. (Although, might I add that soldiers are NOT the general population, and I question how many people in the military even now have celiac disease. It can be pretty debilitating, and military jobs can be hugely demanding.) My rationale is that since 1950, there's actually been more selective pressure for leaky gut syndrome, therefore there's simply more adults who LIVE with celiac disease.

This theory of mine also makes sense as to the sudden-seeming entrance of gluten intolerance. In order for the majority of celiacs to benefit from leaky gut syndrome, it makes sense that there's non-celiacs who HAVE leaky gut syndrome, especially if they're a non-celiac carrier of the genes that are associated with celiac disease. I'm guessing that gluten intolerance is likely just leaky gut syndrome. The VAST array of celiac symptoms seem to be well explained by, well, the fact that we're letting anything and everything into our bloodstreams! Not only would symptoms depend on what we eat, (which varies hugely between individuals, especially if we take quantity into consideration,) but also on other specifics in each individual body response. It being a relatively new thing, there's more likely to be less homogeneity, simply from a genetic-selection standpoint.

Lastly, if zonulin, as the doctor who's done research on it postulates, that it's responsible for a wide-array of other auto-immune diseases which, I have to point out again, usually don't kill people at young ages, were selected for in our population, it also explains the increase in all those diseases too.

I guess when we've finally got whatever drug that this guy's creating to prevent this increase in zonulin with the ingestion of gluten, we'll see what happens to people, see if they get any better. If what I say is right, then non-celiac gluten-intolerant people will feel loads better, while celiacs themselves (provided they're eating gluten of course), may initially feel better, but then should get worse after a prolonged period of use since it takes time for nutrients stored int he body to get used up. I'd expect individual changes in celiacs symptoms too.

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