Friday, February 14, 2014

Come on! Gluten DOES NOT Cause Your Brain to Melt!

If a person is going to quote a research article for the love of everything sacred in this world read the whole research paper and not just the abstract.  Because abstracts lead to mis-leading posts saying that gluten will make you into a Parkinson's and Alzheimer's retirement home hall zombie !

The "shared" article that was going around looked like this.
And said "A new study shows a significant portion of the US population not only reacts to gluten and dairy but also that this reaction causes the immune system to destroy brain and nervous tissue".

The research paper referenced is titled "The Prevalance of Antibodies against wheat and milk proteins in blood donors and their contribution to neuroimmune reactivities".  Such a googlicious title!!!

The lead author, Dr. Aristo Vojdani, is the founder of  Immunosciences Lab Inc.  So the lead researcher/author is publishing this paper about his companies auto-immune essays which happen to be for sale. Hmmm

This paper says that  "3%–4% of adults may have IgE-mediated or immediate type hypersensitivity to various food antigens".  Excuse me, "MAY"!!!  And how many people in America are told or believe they have gluten intolerance, 30%-50%.  But yet even this paper proposes that the actual number "MAY" be between 3%-4%.  Chris and I often joke about how people have a much higher chance of being a sociopath (20%) than they do of being gluten intolerant.

Moving on in the research paper… 

The basis of the experiment was to take healthy blood from a service that sells people's blood, then to examine to make sure that the donors blood did not contain any viral antibody.  The other blood samples came from a company in Europe who sold samples of patient's blood who had some sort of co-diagnosis of "neuroautoimmune disorders and celiacs disease".  Some fancy lab work was done to see if cerebellar peptides (amino acids linked together, same thing as proteins but shorter amino acid sequence) and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (just protein attached to a sugar, which helps with the process of myelination of nerves)   would mimic milk and wheat proteins.  Suggesting the possibility that the human body could mistake wheat and milk protein for important peptides and proteins in the brain. The original research actually looks ok, forego the lead researcher being founder of the assay's they used.


  1. Blogs can say anything
  2. The above research happened in a test tube
  3. Researchers don't know how any of there findings might be applicable
  4. Even if it is accurate, it makes assumptions that these mimicry milk and gluten proteins could only end up in the brain IF
    1. The gastrointestinal tract was completely non-functional
    2. The immune system was non-existent
    3. The blood brain barrier was damaged or genetically non-adaptive from preventing a donut from entering the brain - thanks for wasting my time, misleading readers, and possibility causing readers to believe that a gluten free diet could cure their neuro-diseases.

 Yin Yang Podcast is aware that gluten sensitivity and intolerance do exist. The restriction of gluten can help a certain percentage of people.  We are also aware of the terrible condition and symptoms celiac's disease can cause. We do not believe gluten will melt your brain.


  1. There is a significant difference between the number of celiacs- people with IGE-mediated autoimmunity at 3-4% of the population and those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity which are estimated at 10-40% and have IGG mediated sensitivity. You obviously don't understand the difference. There are several ways in which gluten can be problematic: atopic allergy, celiac, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and mechanical damage to the gut from zonulin in the non-allergic which creates leaky gut and can eventually lead to various allergies.In addition one can be allergic to wheat or to fructan in glutinous grains. There is significant research on the topic and you could read the following:

    J. Biesiekierski et al. Gluten Causes Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Subjects Without Celiac Disease: A Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. American Journal of Gastroenterology advance online publication, Jan. 11, 2011; doi:10.1038/ajg.2010.487.

    A. Fasano et al. Divergence of gut permeability and mucosal immune gene expression in two gluten-associated conditions: celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. BMC Medicine 2011, 9:23. doi:10.1186/1741-7015-9-23.

    Fasano A. et. al. Spectrum of gluten-related disorders: consensus on new nomenclature and classification. BMC Medicine. BMC Medicine 2012, 10:13 doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-13. Published: 7 February 2012

    1. Karen, thank you for your detailed thoughts. At the end of the blog we said "Yin Yang Podcast is aware that gluten sensitivity and intolerance do exist. The restriction of gluten can help a certain percentage of people. We are also aware of the terrible condition and symptoms celiac's disease can cause. We do not believe gluten will melt your brain." We also stated "The original research actually looks ok, forego the lead researcher being founder of the assay's they used." What we had issue with is a person who uses scare tactics to get people to click on their blog article, in which that person gets paid per click. Your written thoughts are very detailed and cited with good reference material. Thank you for clarify the mis-leadings we may have caused.