Gluten -- The Culprit of all Problems?

Repeatedly, health care professionals tell patients that they will find ways to manage their diseases and illnesses. The "management" plans usually include prescription drugs to treat their symptoms, not to cure the underlying problem that is making patients sick.

One school of thought from Dr. David Perlmutter, M.D. suggests that eliminating the majority of carbohydrates from our diets and trading them for healthy fats may be a solution to many common complaints, such as Alzheimer's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's Disease. He tells patients that preventative measures are the best medication he can prescribe.

Over the years, a variety of diets or meal plans have been recommended for ultimate health. From low fat nutrition to full-on vegetarianism, science has continually evolved in what professionals recommend to people who want to eat for improved health. However, science is now suggesting a way of eating that is 2 million years old, according to Perlmutter.

Carbohydrates are believed to be brain killers. (Yikes!) Experts suggest following a diet that is high in fat and low in carbs in order to promote brain growth and health. A Mayo Hospital study showed that carbohydrates have a significant effect on the risk for Alzheimer's related dementia. Study participants who followed a higher carb diet were 89 percent more likely to experience dementia. However, those who followed a high fat regime were 44 percent less likely to develop dementia.

That's pretty impressive. But, that's only the start. New research indicates that a diet full of gluten may create a leaky gut AND interferes with the blood/brain barrier in the brain. When the barrier is leaky, patients are at higher risk for autoimmune issues, elevated thyroid functions, MS and rheumatoid arthritis.

Eliminating gluten is one of the most common recommendations used by some nutritionists to fix a leaky gut. Once you get rid of gluten, the body begins repairing itself with probiotic bacteria and other healthy flora.

Additionally, a diet high in gluten and carbs will cause your mitochondria to go awry, according to Perlmutter. The mitochondria are essential tiny organelles that live in your cells. They regulate the cell's DNA and determine whether a cell lives or dies. When they are affected by gluten, they don't always work properly. When mitochondria failure occurs, patients develop any number of autoimmune diseases and conditions. When patients change their diets to exclude gluten, the mitochondria thrive. They have an effect on the brain that is similar to a growth hormone, causing new brain cell production. They also work to reduce the production of free radicals, which may reduce chances of developing cancer.

When you abandon gluten from your diet, you're going to be challenged daily. However, Perlmutter suggests that the cookies, cakes and breads may lead you to an early grave, if you don't. Changing the way you eat may save your life.

Consider these elements you can incorporate into your diet:

  • Roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 c. rice (in moderation)
  • Blueberries or other fruit (in moderation)
  • Above ground vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts)
  • Small servings of protein (grass-fed beef or wild salmon)

Foods really do play a significant role in our lives. Becoming dedicated to your own health and acting proactively will pay off with risk reduction of disease and illness. That's a benefit that no cookie or cake can compare with!