Jamie Oliver

Why Gluten-Free????

JAN 01 @ 20:16

by YaDa Chef

Why Gluten Free and Casein Free?

By Joseph Yacino 

Why Gluten Free and Casein Free?
By Joseph Yacino

The first and foremost reason for a gluten free lifestyle would be for people with celiac disease, a genetic disorder that affects 1 in 133 Americans. Symptoms of celiac disease can range from the classic features, such as diarrhea, weight loss, and malnutrition, abdominal bloating, mild weakness even bone pain.  However those suffering with joint pain, loss of balance or other neurological and auto-immune disorders such as lupus may also benefit from a similar diet.

Those with Celiac Disease are unable to process the gluten molecules.  The gluten actually attacks the lining and the “fingers” or villi in the small intestines causing tearing and ulcers which can affect the body’s ability to process other foods especially dairy and dairy products due to the fact that the enzyme created to break down the lactose is produced in the villi. 

One theory is proteins (casomorphines) that are partially or undigested can “leak” into the blood stream and attach themselves to neuro-receptors and amplify reactions.  Specifically in children with autism these casomorphines can reduce the desire for social interaction, block pain receptors and add to the general confusion in the brain. If dairy/casein is eliminated casomorphine levels will drop and behavioral improvements are likely.

New evidence shows Non-Celiac Gluten intolerance is much higher.  Up to 1 in 7 are gluten sensitive and suffer from the same symptoms.  These people are known as non-celiac gluten sensitive or (ncgs).

The most effective way to identify ncgs is through the Elimination. 

The Elimination Diet is extremely restrictive for the first few weeks and should be closely supervised by a doctor or registered dietician.  You will not be able to eat breads, pastas, alcohol, sugar, dried fruits, dairy, soy products, and coffee, tea, and seafood, spicy or processed foods.  This leaves lamb, rice, along with certain vegetables and fruits. 

A less restrictive and much easier way is to get a journal.  Write down EVERYTHING you eat and any adverse effects felt.  Eliminate any foods that are causing any difficulties.  Do this for a minimum of 30 days to insure the results are accurate.  There are websites that can help you on your journey such as foodintol.com. 

It is important to remember getting better takes time.  It took years of eating the wrong foods to make you feel bad.  You may feel a difference after 3-5 days such as increased energy and an easing of the bad symptoms.  You can cheat, but remember the consequences. 

Genetic inheritance, infections and liver function can influence this type of sensitivity. 
According to the recent medical literature, people with the following conditions may benefit considerably from a gluten-free diet.

Ataxia (loss of balance)
Late-onset Friedreich ataxia
Down’s syndrome
Cognitive problems (brain fog)
Type 2 and Type 1 Diabetes
Crohn’s Disease

Autism and Casein/Gluten

Protocol recommends that every autistic child be placed on a gluten-free, casein-free diet for at least 3 months. To most Autistic children, gluten and casein are the equivalent of poison.  It takes that long to see results. 

Parents have been reporting a connection between autism and diet for years.  The research being done now shows that certain foods seem to affect the developing brains of some children and are causing autistic behaviors. This is not because many of these children are unable to properly break down certain proteins.

Research has shown an unusually high percentage of peptides in the blood of autistic children causing opiate like activity.  These findings have been confirmed by Johnson & Johnson’s Ortho Clinical Diagnostics.  Gluten and casein were the two biggest offenders.
Researchers in England, Norway, and at the University of Florida had previously found peptides (breakdown products of proteins) with opiate activity in the urine of a high percentage of autistic children. Opiates are drugs, like morphine, which affect brain function. These findings have recently been confirmed by researchers at Johnson & Johnson’s Ortho Clinical Diagnostics. The two main offenders seem to be gluten (the protein in wheat, oats, rye and barley) and casein (milk protein.)
Studies are underway to examine the effectiveness of the gluten free casein free diet, which has not gained widespread acceptance in the medical community. One recent study found behavioral improvements in children with autism on a GFCF diet, while another study found no significant effects from the diet.  Not every child will be affected by this diet and results can vary from dramatic to just a slight or no improvement.


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