The Gluten Free Summit is a weeklong online event from November 11-17 that is put on by thedr.com. Signing up for the Summit is free but each day the webinars are only available for free for 24 hours
Today, well known gluten expert, Dr. Alessio Fasano had a 1 hour webinar that blew me away. Although I have seen him speak live 3 times, I’m amazed by how much more is new in research about both Celiac and non-Celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). Two statements in particular really made me think.
First, Dr. Fasano made the statement that no human tolerates gluten well. His reasoning is that we only became agrarian creatures 10 000 years ago and in evolution years, this is just a blink. Therefore, our bodies have not yet evolved to healthfully deal with the gluten containing grains. He provided information about several studies for infants to support this including that offering gluten containing cereals to babies between 2-4 months of age actually increased their rate of Celiac Disease sevenfold to over 7%.
The second statement was that for overall health, the biggest factor for any human is their gastrointestinal biome. This is the range of over 1 000 types of bacterium that we have in our gut that helps protect us in many ways. Given that the gut is linked to so many other systems in our body (including hormones and brain function) that a gut that is inflamed and not function correctly with all of the bacterium has a profound effect on how well we function overall. Dr. Fasano also links it to the explosion in autoimmune disorders including type I diabetes and MS.
Given that in the early 2000s, Dr. Fasano and his team at the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital and Hospital for Children, were treated with great skepticism for their view on gut health and leaky gut and now it is accepted science, I take his theories very seriously.
I knowingly ate gluten (despite my NCGS) on Sunday and am now paying the price dearly. Dr. Fasano’s findings will also make me think twice about the studies he mentioned for those who have gluten exposure/inflammation and the long term health consequences for even those who get exposure only once a month (knowingly or otherwise). Being a non-Celiac made me think that it wouldn’t be a big deal to cheat every so often. I definitely know differently now and if I stray, you have permission to link me back to this blog post!