Can Gluten and Dairy Cause Neurologic Symptoms?

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A new study examines the role, in a population of 400 screened donors, of wheat and milk proteins in triggering of a brain-based immune response.

  • Both celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity can result in autoimmune conditions including diabetes, arthritis, thyroiditis, and neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis and gluten ataxia. This study aimed to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the neurologic manifestations of potentially undiagnosed sensitivity.
  • Approximately half of those who reacted to wheat also reacted to brain-based peptides, and the same was found in the subgroup reacting to dairy. This process of cross-reactivity is termed molecular mimicry and refers to the immune system's response to a perceived foreign protein or to the inflammation it causes locally (for example, lectin-induced tissue destruction).
  • I've previously discussed the literature supporting gluten-brain clinical significance and highly recommend that anyone suffering from psychiatric or neurologic symptoms consider a month-long (at least) elimination of these two categories of foods, gluten and dairy.

Read the Nutrients study yourself: The Prevalence of Antibodies against Wheat and Milk Proteins in Blood Donors and Their Contribution to Neuroimmune Reactivities.

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About Dr. Kelly Brogan

KELLY BROGAN, MD, is a holistic psychiatrist, author of the New York Times Bestselling book, A Mind of Your OwnOwn Your Self, the children’s book, A Time For Rain, and co-editor of the landmark textbook Integrative Therapies for Depression. She is the founder of the online healing program Vital Mind Reset, and the membership community, Vital Life Project. She completed her psychiatric training and fellowship at NYU Medical Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College, and has a B.S. from M.I.T. in Systems Neuroscience. She is specialized in a root-cause resolution approach to psychiatric syndromes and symptoms. Learn More