Jamieson Health Center Newsletter
February 16, 2011
Volume 3, Number 1
Dear patients, dear friends,
I’ve felt prompted to write this newsletter for some time now. Gluten sensitivity is a very complex and serious condition that can cause neurological and autoimmune disorders. This newsletter provides the clinical evidence for both.
Many of you suffering from chronic conditions are sensitive to gluten. I advised you to change the way you eat by eliminating bread, pasta, and all grains from your diet. However, you may think there is no clinical evidence that gluten is toxic or has any health consequences. You may say: “Everything in moderation” or “Jesus ate bread, so it must be good!”
Unfortunately the bread that Jesus ate doesn’t exist anymore. Through thousands of years of cross-breeding and hybridizing, today’s wheat contains much more gluten, so it‘s more appealing and makes better bread. In addition, in the US, gluten is altered through a process called deamidation to make it water soluble so it can be mixed with other foods. Unfortunately, the end product is much more inflammatory and causes many hidden allergies.
Today’s labs only test for sensitivity against gliadin alpha to rule out Celiac’s disease, an autoimmune disease in which gluten causes your body to attack the tissues of the intestines and cause leaky gut. Gliadin alpha is just one of the many compounds of gluten to which you can be sensitive. When the test comes back negative, patients think they are safe and can eat gluten. Unfortunately, gluten is much more complex and contains a host of different proteins and peptides to which each one of us can develop sensitivities. As a matter of fact, studies show that patients with Celiac’s disease represent only a third of patients with gluten sensitivity and neurological manifestations. The threat to our health is much bigger than Celiac’s.
Many recent clinical studies have investigated the impact of gluten. I hope you take the time to read the ones I’m referencing in this newsletter. You will learn that gluten and its different compounds can cause various autoimmune and neurological disorders. Gluten sensitivity can mimic ALS, cause Type 1 diabetes, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, obesity, menstrual and reproductive health complications, cancer and early death. It can cause psychiatric illnesses, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ADD/ADHD, autism, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and forms of epilepsy. The list of studies is a long one and my intent is not to water it down but quote the studies as they are. That’s why this newsletter is much longer than usual.
BUT, studies also show that cutting gluten from your diet can improve or even reverse some of the above conditions.
So if you are suffering from a chronic condition, I recommend you change the way you eat. You are not going on a diet, you are not starving. You still enjoy a good meal. But you are avoiding the foods that are toxic for you, just like you would avoid mercury, or aluminum.
Once you eliminate those foods from your diet, you will feel much better and your symptoms will disappear. It will give you a feeling of empowerment, since you can control how you feel by what you eat.
I also recommend a program to repair your gut, and to take enzymes to protect against accidental gluten intake. In the case of autoimmune disorders, I can help you to further manage and avoid flare-ups, as discussed in our November 2010 newsletter.
As a first clinical step, you can get a blood test to identify any gluten sensitivities. Just recently, in January 2011, a new lab now provides comprehensive saliva and blood tests for gluten sensitivity, beyond gliadin alpha. They also offer a test to identify any cross-reactive foods. When you develop sensitivities to gluten, most often you will develop sensitivities to proteins that are very similar to gluten. The most probable cross-reactive foods are coffee, casein found in milk, oats and corn.
To order a gluten sensitivity lab test or for more information about how we can help you with your chronic condition, give us a call and receive a free consultation.
I want to thank Dr. Kharrazian for compiling the list of clinical studies and Dr. Vojdani and Dr. O’Bryan for their continued research of gluten sensitivity.
Yours in good health,
Dr. Samuel Jamieson, D.C.
The truth about wheat and gluten.
The complexity of gluten sensitivity.
As most of you know, gluten (from Latin meaning "glue") is a protein composite that appears in foods processed from wheat and related species, including barley and rye. It gives elasticity to dough, helping it to rise and keep its shape, and often giving the final product a chewy texture. Gluten is a source of protein, both in foods prepared directly from sources containing it, and as an additive to foods otherwise low in protein. Gluten can be found in breads, cakes, pastries, cookies, biscuits, crackers, battered foods, cereals, snack foods, pastas and pizza. It is also used as a flavoring additive, a thickening and clarifying agent and is therefore found in many processed foods.
What is gluten sensitivity?
Gluten sensitivity is a condition by which your body develops antibodies against gluten, and considers it a toxic substance. This has serious consequences. As shown in the clinical studies below, it causes inflammation in the tissues of your body and can lead to autoimmune diseases and various neurological disorders.
Some patients develop gluten enteropathy also called celiac disease, in which gluten causes your body to attack the lining of the intestines. Most people are familiar with celiac disease. Your body develops antibodies against the protein gliadin alpha found in gluten.
However, gluten sensitivity is much more complex. Gluten contains not just gliadin, but different forms of proteins and lectins against which your immune system can develop antibodies, each with their own health consequences.
A 2007 study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry found that patients with a disease of the intestines (celiac disease) represent only a third of patients with neurological manifestations and gluten sensitivity. I further quote:
“Gluten sensitivity is best defined as a state of heightened immunological responsiveness in genetically susceptible people. This definition does not imply bowel involvement. That gluten sensitivity is regarded as principally a disease of the small bowel is a historical misconception. Gluten sensitivity can be primarily and at times exclusively a neurological disease. The absence of an enteropathy should not preclude patients from treatment with a gluten-free diet. Early diagnosis and removal of the trigger factor by the introduction of gluten-free diet is a promising therapeutic intervention.”
Breakdown of wheat and gluten.
In order to understand the complexity of gluten sensitivity, it is important to understand the immunochemistry of gluten and grains like wheat. Wheat contains both protein and lectins, and both break down into different compounds to which your body can develop an immune response:
· The protein is called gluten.
· Lectin is a type of ‘wheat germ agglutinin’ (WGA) found in the germ of all grains.
· Gluten breaks down into gliadin, glutenin and gluteomorphin
· Gliadin has different expressions or epitopes. They are gliadin alpha, beta, gamma and omega.
· Gliadin and glutenin further metabolize into deamidated gliadin 15, 17 and 33 by the enzyme transglutaminase.
This is important because your body can develop an immune response against each one of those compounds and the response manifests itself in different ways. As discussed in the section on Gluten Immunochemistry below, those compounds can contribute to various neurological disorders such as ADD/ADHD, autism, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, forms of epilepsy, as well as autoimmune disorders. Until today, most labs unfortunately only test for gliadin alpha (indicating celiac’s disease (CD)) and therefore fail to diagnose gluten sensitivity in many patients.
Impacts of gluten sensitivity on your health.
Many chronic patients ignore my advice to eliminate gluten from their diet. They doubt that gluten sensitivity has severe consequences to their health. In the following paragraph, I’m quoting recent clinical studies discussing numerous dangers of gluten. The studies predominantly focus on CD, which is caused by sensitivity to gliadin alpha. Therefore those studies represent only a small subset of the dangers of gluten sensitivity.
· Patients with CD or gluten sensitivity show frequently associated autoimmune antibodies, spanning anti-endocrine, anti-gastrointestinal, anti-nuclear, anti-cytoskeleton and anti-neurological antibodies, putting them at high risk for auto-immune disorders. See Pub.
· Celiac disease can mimic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS disease). Gluten can cause a lesion in the brain, e.g. in the motor cortex, causing problems with movement. A strict gluten free diet can regenerate the myelin (but not the neuron), and reverse the disease. See pub.
· 10% of patients with Type 1 Diabetes have CD. Since the study didn’t check for gluten sensitivity, the actual percentage is much higher. See pub.
· Studies show an increased prevalence of thyroid disorders with CD. See pub.
· CD is often accompanied by osteopenia, osteoporosis, and osteomalacia, destroying bone or tissue. See pub.
· Studies show that transglutaminase found in gluten is involved in the pathological processes responsible for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Supranuclear Palsy, Huntington’s and other recently identified polyglutamine diseases. See pub.
· Studies show that psychiatric illness is a main cause of disability in undiagnosed adult CD. Depressive psychopathology is a feature of adult CD. See pub.
· Studies suggest that CD is associated with ADHD-like symptomatology. A gluten-free diet may improve symptoms significantly within a short period of time. See pub.
· Studies show increased levels of anti-gliadin antibodies in 37% of rheumatoid arthritis patients. Only gliadin alpha was tested, not other epitopes. See pub.
· Obesity is more common in children with CD than previously recognized. See pub
· CD may have complications on menstrual and reproductive health. It can cause delayed menarche, early menopause, secondary amenorrhea, infertility, recurrent miscarriages, and intrauterine growth restriction. See pub.
· CD causes a certain increased risk of cancer and early death. It is not an innocent condition. This strengthens the argument for patients to adhere to a gluten-free diet. See pub.
For more information about gluten sensitivity and any of the conditions mentioned, call our office at 408-517-0706 or visit our website at www.jamiesonhealthcenter.com.
Why is gluten sensitivity so much more prevalent today?
Recent 2008-2009 studies show that the prevalence of celiac disease (CD) has increased dramatically, and not simply due to increased detection. A clinical study investigated the long-term outcome of undiagnosed CD and prevalence during the last 50 years by comparing serum of thousands of Air Force soldiers from 50 years ago with that of matching 12,768 current young adults.
The study found that the rate of undiagnosed CD was 4 to 4.5-fold greater in the recent cohorts than in the Air Force cohort. During 45 years of follow up it also found that undiagnosed CD was associated with a 4-fold increase of death. Those with the greatest mortality rate were identified as having silent CD.
Many people don’t take gluten sensitivity seriously. They say “I like everything in moderation”. Or they say “But Jesus ate bread, so it must be good”. Unfortunately the bread that Jesus ate doesn’t exist anymore.
· In the United States, our grains are genetically modified and/or hybridized so they can withstand pesticides and grow higher yields. Foods to avoid are any foods containing corn, soy, canola and cotton seed, sugar beets, and now also alfalfa. Just last month, the USDA is now allowing Monsanto’s Roundup Ready GM alfalfa to be planted without restrictions. For more information on how to avoid GMO products, read the article on the Weston A. Price foundation website.
· Much of the industrial wheat, even whole wheat, has been selectively cross-bred and hybridized over thousands of years to contain more protein and be more glutenous. The reason is because it’s more appealing. It makes better bread, since the gluten is what holds it all together.
Other reasons for increased gluten sensitivity are:
· In the United States, gluten is also being modified through gluten deamidation, a process that changes gluten so it can be mixed with other products like milk, etc. This makes gluten more inflammatory.
· Gluten is stored in bins for an average of 2 years leading to enterotoxin contamination.
· Due to improved hygiene, the hypothesis is that our immune systems are less robust and hyper sensitive to compounds.
· Many patients have leaky gut syndrome, which allows undigested proteins, including gluten, to leak into the blood stream.
· Chronic stress breaks down immune tolerance.
· Poor nutrition
· Enzyme insufficiency
Why is sprouted grain dangerous?
Through thousands of years of selectively breeding wheat for increasingly larger quantities of protein, the concentration of WGA lectin (wheat germ agglutination) has increased proportionately. WGA is largely responsible for many of wheat’s pervasive ill effects. What’s more, WGA is found in highest concentrations in “whole wheat,” including its supposedly superior sprouted form.
What is unique about the WGA glycoprotein is that it can do direct damage to the majority of tissues in your body without requiring a specific set of genetic susceptibilities or immune-mediated articulations.
As Dr. Mercola says:
Lectin is a defense mechanism for the wheat plant, designed to ward of its natural enemies such as fungi and insects. Unfortunately, this protein is also very resistant to breakdown by living systems, and it easily accumulates in tissues where it interferes with normal biological processes and acts as an anti-nutrient.
Typically, sprouting, fermenting or digestion can help to negate some of the harmful effects of such anti-nutrients (as in the case of fermenting soy, which removes many of its anti-nutrient properties). However, lectins are resistant to these types of processes.
For this reason, lectins exist even in “healthy” sprouted breads and may be in their highest concentrations in whole-wheat varieties.
Mercola notes some of lectin’s dangerous qualities in his commentary, saying that lectin is, among other things:
Mercola goes on to say that WGA lectin may even:
What is Gluten Cross-Reactivity?
It’s also important to understand that because you are sensitive to gluten, you may also be sensitive to other cross-reactive foods.
· Cross-reactions arise because the cross-reacting food shares an epitope in common with the immunizing antigen, or because it has an epitope which is structurally similar to one of the immunizing antigens. See pub.
· This means that foods that cause a cross-reaction to gluten also need to be avoided. See pub.
· I therefore strongly urge chronic patients to cut out all grains and avoid the following cross-reactive foods:
Until recently, labs only tested for alpha gliadin anti-bodies to rule out CD. However, gluten is much more complex than gliadin. As the following studies show, other compounds in gluten are also toxic and therefore most labs will miss immune reactions to the following:
Gluten is the composite of two proteins called gliadin and glutenin. Co-joined with starch, these exist notably in wheat, rye and barley.
Although in the past only gliadins were thought to be responsible for CD, recent studies now prove that both glutenin and gliadin are immune-stimulatory in CD and it is highly probable that glutenin proteins are toxic. See pub 1 and pub 2.
2. Gluten Epitopes.
An epitope, or antigenic determinant, is a small specific portion of an antigen that is recognized by the immune system, driving the immune system to produce antibodies against it. Gluten has four epitopes: alpha gliadin, beta gliadin, gamma gliadin and omega gliadin.
· Studies show that 50% of patients do not respond to alpha gliadin, but they do to another variation of these epitopes. See pub.
· Wheat-dependent, exercise-induced anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction provoked by the combination of wheat-ingestion with physical exercise. Particularly, omega-5 gliadin is a major allergen in anaphylaxis. See pub.
A gluteomorphin is an opioid peptide that is formed during digestion of the gliadin component of the gluten protein. Gluteomorphins act as opioids and can cause severe psychiatric reactions because of their affect on the brain and the entire nervous system.
· Gluteomorphin antibodies are very common in autistic patients.
· Because of the opioid effects, starting a gluten-free diet will cause withdrawal symptoms. Patients will feel worse at first and develop new symptoms, which can last a few days to several weeks.
A prodynorphin is an opioid that is a basic building block of endorphins. It has been shown to play a central role in many processes in the brain, including how you feel about yourself, your memories and your perception of pain.
· People who don’t make enough prodynorphins are vulnerable to drug addiction, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders and forms of epilepsy.
· Gluten sensitivity develops prodynorphin antibodies, causing neurochemical deficiencies, and potentially leading to neurological disorders.
5. Wheat germ agglutination.
Wheat germ agglutination (WGA) gluten is the lectin compound of wheat. Lectins have the ability to attach to sugars or carbohydrates on the surface of human cells. They can cause clumping of red blood cells, a process that is called agglutination. The same process occurs when a patient receives the wrong blood type during transfusion.
· WGA gluten is found in highest concentration in whole wheat, including its supposedly superior sprouted form
· WGA is not found with traditional gluten testing
· WGA can damage the tissues of your body without genetic susceptibilities.
· WGA can pass through the Blood-Brain-Barrier. When this happens, it attacks the protective coating on the nerves called the myelin sheath which can inhibit nerve growth factor, and therefore prevent the development of neurological pathways. See pub.
· Anti-WGA antibodies cross react with other proteins indicating that they may contribute to autoimmunity. See pub.
· WGA appears to play a role in CD, independent from that of gluten. See pub.
Tissue transglutaminase is an enzyme present in most cells of your body, but especially your intestines. It deamidates or removes an amino group from gliadin and adds the remainder of the peptide to existing proteins. This creates an auto-immune reaction to your body’s own tissues and is linked to CD.
7. Deamidated gliadin.
Gliadin is only soluble in alcohol and cannot be mixed with other foods without changing the food’s qualities. Therefore, in many food-processing industries in the US, wheat isolates are produced by means of chemical and enzymatic treatments to induce deamidated gliadin that’s soluble in water. However:
· Deamidated gliadin is much more inflammatory and causes more immune reactions.
· In a double-blind study, subjects did not react to native wheat flour, but had severe reactions to deamidated wheat isolates. See pub.
· Deamidated wheat isolates are extensively used in the food industry as food emulsifiers, gelling agents, film formation aids, stretchability agents in meat products, sauces, soups and clarifying agents in red wine. They may be a major cause of hidden food allergies. See pub.
· Unfortunately, in Celiac patients, deamidation also occurs in the intestines. The enzyme tissue transglutaminase (tTG) found in the tissues converts gluten to deamidated gliadin, causing very strong T-cell immune reactions. This makes it a better diagnostic test for CD than the conventional gliadin antibody testing. In particular, testing for multiple peptides such as deamidated glidain 15, 17 and 33 more accurately identifies the immune response to gluten. See pub.
Change the way you eat – go gluten-free, it’s a mindset, not a diet.
Most patients feel like they are doomed when they or their children test positive for gluten sensitivity. They immediately think about all the foods they love and can’t eat anymore. Look, going gluten-free is really a mindset, it’s not a diet. You need to decide whether you will see yourself as a victim, or be empowered by taking your health and well-being in your own hands. It’s like exercising. When you decide to do so, you know you will feel better, have more energy, be stronger, handle stress better, and maybe lose some weight. Going gluten-free is the same way. When you decide to do it, you will become a healthier person physically, emotionally and cognitively. You go gluten-free because you want more vitality, more energy, more strength, more joy, more brain power, focus, and attention. No more moods swings, anxiety, depression, aggression, rage, negative rumination. No more pain.
So you change the way you eat. You are not on a diet, you are not starving. You enjoy a good meal. But you eat a variety of and more vegetables, meat and fish, eggs, some fruit. Raw nuts as a snack. Plenty of water. And you will discover that as you cut out gluten, you will develop tastes for foods you didn’t even have before.
So here is what you don’t eat. Most grains contain gluten but there are also multiple hidden sources of gluten you need to be aware of.
So you will eat more home-cooked meals and buy less processed and ready-made foods.
First clinical step: get tested for gluten sensitivity.
· If you or your child suffers from a chronic condition, and you are not yet convinced about changing the way you eat, I strongly recommend you get two blood tests. These have just become available in January 2011 and need to be ordered through our office:
1. A wheat/gluten sensitivity and autoimmunity test (serum IgG/IgA)
2. A gluten-associated sensitivity and cross-reactive foods test (serum IgG/IgA).
These tests will identify whether you have gluten sensitivity, what foods cause cross-reactions and whether your body is developing any antibodies against your own tissues. Eliminating gluten and the cross-reactive foods from your diet will improve your condition and/or prevent the onset of an autoimmune disorder.
· In addition, I would recommend a program to help repair your gut, because most patients with gluten sensitivity have a leaky gut. Also, supplementing with enzymes like DPP IV and brush border enzymes, antioxidant flavonoids and probiotics protect against accidental gluten intake and support intestinal immunity.
· Pancreatic enzymes need to be avoided at all cost when you have leaky gut, since they can increase intestinal permeability due their ability to digest the intestinal wall. Therefore, I strongly recommend you only take supplements prescribed by a licensed practitioner specialized in chronic diseases and leaky gut.
For more information about gluten sensitivity and chronic diseases caused or exacerbated by gluten or to order a gluten sensitivity blood test, call our office at 408-517-0706 or visit our website at www.jamiesonhealthcenter.com.
JAMIESON HEALTH CENTER
Samuel R. Jamieson, D.C.
Emotional Stress Relief
Total Body Modification
1175 Saratoga Ave, Ste 8
San Jose, CA 95119
We’re on the Web!
Seminars we’ve taken.
Since I want to make a difference in your lives and that of your children, I’m constantly trying to keep up with the latest developments in healing practices, clinical research and new discoveries in the area of integrative holistic medicine. To that end, I have attended the following seminars and conferences over the last several months:
· Understanding the complexity of gluten sensitivity.
· Breaking the complex web of leaky gut.
· Nutrition Response Testing
· NeuroIntegration therapy– Level 1 and Level 2 training
· Autoimmune regulation
· International College of Applied Kinesiology Annual Meeting 2010
· Doctor of the Future – The Practice of Rational Intervention
· NeuroEndocrine-Immune Axis of Andropause
· Metabolic Biotransformation: an overview of detoxification and weight management
· Restoring Gastrointestinal Health
· Practical Blood Chemistry
· Functional Neurology for the Primary Care Provider
· Neurotransmitters and Brain
· Applied Brain Concepts
· The Thyroid-Brain–Immuno Connection
· Restorative Endocrinology: Balancing Female Hormones in Menopausal Women
· Restorative Endocrinology: Balancing Hormones in Cycling Women
· The Impacts of Estrogen on the NeuroEndocrine-Immune Axis
· Restorative Endocrinology: Balancing Male Hormones
· Advanced Nutrition Therapeutics for Addictions and OCD
Some patients have asked about previous newsletters and they can be found on our website at http://www.jamiesonhealthcenter.com/archive.htm
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