Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity

The following is a transcription taken from an interview with Dr. Thomas O’Bryan and Maximus Mark Ottobre on Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity.

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Note: The Australian spelling is Coeliac, in this transcription we have used the American spelling of Celiac.

Mark: This podcast is brought to you by maximusmark.com. Hey folks, welcome to the show that punches you in the face with information… but in a good way. It’s Maximus Mark. And today I have for you the “Gluten Show.”  But this isn’t your average gluten show… no. We are kicking it Maximus Mark style and I’ve tracked down one of the world’s leading authorities on the topic, Dr. Thomas O’Bryan.

Dr. Thomas O’Bryan is an internationally recognized speaker, specializing in gluten sensitivity and the celiac disease. He is the Sherlock Holmes for chronic disease and metabolic disorders. He holds a teaching faculty position with the Institute of Functional Medicine and the national University of Live Sciences.

Dr. O ‘Bryan is passionate about teaching the many manifestations of gluten sensitivity and disease, as they all occur inside and outside the intestines. You can learn more about Dr. O’Bryan by visiting www.thedr.com.

So with all that said, let’s welcome Dr. O’Bryan to the show.

Hi Tom, it’s Mark. How are you doing?

Dr. O’Bryan: Hi Mark, very well, thanks. How are you today?

Mark: I’m very good. Absolute pleasure to speak to you today and really looking forward to this call. I’ve learned a lot of your stuff, and listened to a lot of your videos. I went in your website and downloaded a lot of your podcasts. And it’s really great information, really great what you’re doing.

Dr. O’Bryan: Thank you.

Mark: Really appreciating you coming on today and talk about it.

Dr. O’Bryan: You bet, happy to do it.

Mark: Thanks for that.

How did you become a leading expert in the field of gluten?

Dr. O’Bryan: Well, I was in a seminar in 2001 with Dr. David Perlmutter, neurologist from Naples and he was talking about a study that was just published in the journals of neurology.

He talked to about 10 people with unrelenting migraines. And their migraines were so bad that they were unable to work. And the average was 8 years that they had been out of work, on workman’s compensation. And when you’re on workman’s compensation, you’re not a malingerer. These are people who are truly suffering.

And somehow, what came up for me was, I wondered what it’s like to live in that house, what it’s like for the children of that family when dad’s got a headache. “Shh, shh, shh, quiet, quiet dad’s got a headache.”

How is it growing up in a house like that and the house suppressed, like the children being suppressed in that family where they hadn’t had an income in eight years? Living off retirement funds, and disability and whatever they could get.

So I ordered that paper because I was caught by the concept. And I read the paper. Turned out that seven out of ten of those migraine patients were sensitive to gluten. They did not have celiac disease, they were sensitive to gluten.

And the doctor took the gluten out of their diets and seven out of ten never had a migraine again and two out of ten had partial relief, and the other one refused the diet.

I said that wrong. Ten out of ten has sensitivity to gluten. Seven never had a headache again on the gluten-free diet, two had a partial relief from a gluten-free diet, and the tenth one refused to diet.

Mark: Wow…

Dr. O’Bryan: So that really caught me. So I looked at the references at the back of the paper and ordered those papers and started reading them, and I’ve read hundreds of articles now on this.

Mark: So yeah, ten out of ten. Let’s start with the most obvious, what is gluten and what foods is it found in?

Dr. O’Bryan: Yeah, good, good, good question. Gluten is the protein in most grains.  It’s a family of proteins. Rice has gluten, corn has gluten… But there is a toxic family of glutens that are found in wheat, rye, and barley.

So anything that is made from wheat, rye, and barley will have some of this protein in it and if you’re toxic to that, your body thinks that you’re eating a poison. And when you’re eating something that’s dangerous to you, the immune system comes into action to go after it. And that what happens to celiac disease or with gluten sensitivity. In general, the immune system goes after these proteins of glutens to destroy them.

So that’s not a problem at all. But if you’re having toast for breakfast, and a sandwich for lunch, and pasta for dinner, and the next day you’re having toast for breakfast and a sandwich for lunch, and lasagna for dinner, and the next day you’re having toast for breakfast, and a blueberry muffin for lunch, and croutons on your salad for dinner… I think you get my point that we keep eating more and more gluten.

I guess the easiest way to say is that there’s a collateral damage that occurs. And once collateral damage occurs, from all the immune activity trying to protect you from a poison, then it has a life of it’s own.

This is how you develop other autoimmune diseases with gluten sensitivity. And we know that autoimmune diseases are one of the primary causes of morbidity and mortality. That means getting sick or dying in the world today and we know that autoimmune diseases are ten times more common if you have gluten sensitivity.

So the number one cause of death in the world, of the highly industrialized world, is ten times more common if you have sensitivity to gluten.  Gluten is the gasoline on the fire for most people. There maybe others also, but gluten is the primary one.

Mark: One of the things I heard you mention in the past interviews and podcasts is that 70% of celiacs goes undiagnosed, because there’s no symptoms in the gut. Is that correct?

Dr. O’Bryan: Actually, that’s close. That’s one out of eight. For every one that has symptoms in their intestines, there are eight that don’t.

They’ve got brain symptoms, or joints symptoms, or skin symptoms, they’ve got psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis or recurrent ear infection or migraines, or attention deficit, or kidney disease, or muscle cramps, or anemia, or miscarriages… the list goes on and on and on.

Mark: So miscarriages are also linked to gluten intolerance, is that correct?

Dr. O’Bryan: Oh yes. I actually published a paper on this in the Journal of x of Gastrology in 2009 called Reproductive Disorders and Celiac Disease. And gluten sensitivity, celiac disease, is one of the most common causes of unexplained miscarriages.

Mark: Wow… That’s… I didn’t know that one. So gluten you spoke before, about your immune system obviously on alarm. So one of the things I sometimes get a little bit confused with is…

Does gluten cause an inflammation response, or does it cause an immune response? And why is that significant?

Dr. O’Bryan: Good. The inflammation is the mechanism of all the generative diseases. As far as I know, the generative disease, at the cellular level, is always in the inflammatory state, always.

When you eat a food that you’re allergic to, your immune system gets called into action. And what it does is it goes after that food to attack it.  It attacks that food, and it does so by producing cytokines, which are chemical bullets, if you will. That will cause the inflammation that kills the cells, or it destroys that protein.

You also make antibodies against that food. First, it’s the natural immune system, called the innate immune system, and you make these interleukins that produce cytokines and try to destroy it. And when they can’t do their job any longer, they may have to call in the reserves. And the reserves are the antibodies.

And the antibodies come in, and the antibodies attack the substance and try to destroy it also.  It’s always an inflammatory mechanism by which the invader… it’s always an inflammatory response that kills the invader.

Mark: Right, gluten causes the inflammatory response. And then, is there an immune response to that?

Dr. O’Bryan: Gluten causes the inflammation response. What happens is that gluten causes mechanisms in the intestines, it’s called the intestinal permeability or the slang term for this is ‘leaky gut.’ There’s leaky gut occurs within 36 hours of eating gluten. And leaky gut occurs because the immune system is attacking these gluten protein molecules and trying to destroy them. And it does so by producing this inflammation, these cytokines that causes inflammation that destroys the cell. When you have recurrent episodes, this minor amount of inflammation is almost undetectable until you’re getting exposed to the same day after day after day after day… now it becomes an inflammatory state. And now you’ve got measurable amounts of inflammation and all the tissue damage that occurs from that.

Mark: Alrighty. So it’s my understanding that if you have any type of gluten sensitivity, you basically can’t have a period in your diet. Why is that?

Dr. O’Bryan: Well the rule is you can’t be a little pregnant. And, you can’t have a little gluten. And the reason for that is that the mechanism by which the antibody are produced to the gluten proteins of wheat, barley and rye, is the same mechanism by which the antibody is produced to measles or any other of the vaccines that we’ve received in our life.

So what happens with the measles vaccine, as an example, they give you an injection of the bug measles. Your brain says, “this is not good for me.”

And there are generals in your immune system. Army, Air Force, Navy… generals… And the brain says, “You general, you know our General Gluten, take care of this.”

General Gluten produces an assembly line that starts making soldiers.  Those soldiers are called antibodies.  And those soldiers are trained to go after gluten. That’s all they do, or go after measles. All they do is go after measles.

Now those soldiers in your bloodstream; they go around shooting all the measles bugs that you were injected with. And when all the measles bugs are destroyed; General Measles, who’s watching all this will say, “Okay, turn off the assembly line. We don’t need more measles antibodies here right now.  You shouldn’t have any measles antibodies in your bloodstream right now unless you’re exposed to measles. You shouldn’t have any.”

But General Measles is now vigilant the rest of his life. His main job, if measles ever come back, General Measles doesn’t have to build an assembly line again.  He just needs to flip the switch and turn it back on. And the antibodies are out very very quickly.

That’s why if you go to Africa to visit, you need vaccinations months ahead of time for all the strange diseases… dengue fever, yellow fever, all of the diseases that you might be at risk of contracting in Africa. You need vaccinations ahead of time.

But if you are going to visit 5 years later, you just need a booster shot 2 weeks before you go.  Because you just need to wake up the general again to start making the antibodies.

Mark: So I’ve heard in the past, a lot of people talk about that it takes 90 days, it is basically a 90 day rule that it takes the body to reset and for the antibodies to go down. Can you talk a little bit more about this?

Dr. O’Bryan: The lifespan of antibodies is anywhere between four to six weeks… perhaps a little longer, maybe up to eight weeks.

So one exposure to gluten… General Gluten, get s turned on, he flips the switch, the antibodies are produced within 14 days, and they are around four to six weeks, four to eight weeks… somewhere around that category from one exposure.

So if you’re having gluten everyday, the mechanism just stays, the assembly line is up and running, working three shifts… three 8-hours a day.

Mark: So is there… I guess we’ve said before you can’t be a little pregnant… I remember you telling a story about as much a one milligram, not even a full gram of gluten will cause response. If basically, someone goes to a restaurant, and someone’s making pasta, and they use the same spoon to make the steak, that can actually cause a gluten response. Is that right?

Dr. O’Bryan: That’s exactly right. In senses of individuals, that’s all it takes.  The codecs limit is 20 parts per million. So imagine a million pinheads sitting on your desktops… a million pinheads. Then imagine how many 20 of those are.  That’s how much gluten it takes to activate general gluten.

Mark: So not a lot at all. Just a little gluten will cause a response. So let me ask you this. People have been taking about oatmeal and having oats in the morning, and porridge and these types of things. But to my understanding, these are made in the same place as other wheat products. So in your opinion, is that to say we should avoid rice or oatmeal?

Dr. O’Bryan: Well, they are different grains. Oats… it’s been published that when oats grow out of the ground, there’s no toxic gluten in them.  When you buy oats off the supermarket shelf, there’s gluten in them. And its contamination is cross-contamination when they harvest the oats from the field, they fill in the truck to drive to the manufacturing station, and it’s contaminated with wheat from last week when they don’t clean the truck. Or in the same facility with those in the air, on the assembly line, something like that.

Here in the US there are a few companies that are very proud to put on their label “gluten free” oatmeal or  “gluten free” oats. And they go out of their way, and they test their batches to ensure that they are completely gluten-free.

So in general, it’s not safe to eat oatmeal out in the restaurant. In general, if you’re celiac, it’s not safe because when they’ve looked at different brands of oatmeal, they’re all contaminated. Even those from the oats only facility, like McCann’s, which is a famous oat company here in the US that comes from Ireland. They’re grown and they’re packaged in Ireland, which is an oats-only facility. Put two out of the four samples that they looked at, have levels of gluten above the toxic limit.

So if you eat oats, and we recommend our patients to eat oatmeal, it’s okay. And if you don’t eat it the way we see they should, then we take oats out. But you just have to make sure that the oats you are using are gluten-free oats.

Mark: Right, and that is normally advertised on the packet.

Dr. O’Bryan: That’s correct.

Mark: Cool. So let me ask you this. So in case someone turns around and gets a gluten test, and comes back they are not intolerant, they can actually have gluten. Would you advise to keep having gluten?

Dr. O’Bryan: Well, there’s a couple of different levels to that answer. The first one is body language never lies, it never lies. And many of us speak a second language, perhaps Spanish or French or Italian, many English-speaking people speak a second language.

How many speak body? Most of us don’t speak body at all. We don’t understand the language. We don’t listen to it. If something is going on, we take an aspirin and get rid of the headache. But if we get headaches two or three times a week, we take aspirin two or three times a week, and not worry about it.

It’s like going under the dashboard of a car, and a hot leg comes on, and so you go under the dashboard, and you look for a wire going under a hot leg and you cut the wire. And you don’t see the hot leg anymore, and you keep driving your car.

We don’t speak body.  And we should learn to speak body. From that context, the best test in the world, stop eating gluten. Completely stop from two to three weeks.

Notice what happens. If you feel better, and then you go back and start eating gluten again, and then you start heading to feeling not better, then your body is telling you, “I don’t feel better when I’m taking this, when you put this thing in me.” So that’s the first answer.

The second answer is that the tests are notoriously inaccurate. It’s called total villous atrophy. That means… the inside of your intestine… it’s a tube… your intestines are tubes going through your abdomen.

The inside of the intestine is lined with shagged carpeting.  And each shag absorbs different nutrients.  The shag overhears calcium, the shag overhears magnesium. This one is oils, this one is good fats, this one is proteins, all the shags absorb different nutrients.

Celiac disease, which is gluten sensitivity effect in the gut. Celiac disease works the shag. So you don’t have shag carpeting anymore, you have beriberi.  And if you have beriberi carpeting, you don’t absorb calcium. You get osteoporosis; it’s not rocket science.

That’s why the analyst of the internal medicine, they say every osteoporotic patient needs to be checked for celiac disease. Celiac disease could be the cause of their osteoporosis.

So I say to the doctors, when they show me a test. I say “Doctors, when the analyst of the internal medicine say every osteoporotic patient needs to be tested for celiac disease, because celiac could be the causes of osteoporosis, which one are you not gonna check?” Then there’s silence in the room. So the tests are notoriously inaccurate because, we go back up, the tests are on the money, completely accurate. Right on the money, very high degree of sensitivity and specificity… 96, 98, 100%. Very, very accurate if you have total villous atrophy.

If your shags are ward down completely, you’ve got beriberi. The blood tests are very accurate. If you only got partial wearing down, or if you just got the inflammation, nothing worn down yet… the blood tests are wrong up to seven out of ten times. So the blood tests are very accurate on all the studies saying how accurate they are for celiac disease. But celiac disease requires the shags to be worn down completely.  Total villous atrophy.

I call this the conundrum, gluten sensitivity. This is why so many people get a blood test, they come back negative, but they stop in a week, they feel better. If the blood test says negative, I guess I can eat wheat.

So they’re not listening to body language. They’re listening at a piece of paper that was wrong.

New tests have just come out here in the US, the last 3 months… the reason is the tests are wrong, and they’re not sensitive enough… One of the reasons is because… see, gluten is a protein. And the protein molecule is made up of hundreds of amino acids. They’re the building blocks, if you will. They’re the bricks that make up the wall of the protein gluten.

Digestion is removing the mortar from in between the bricks, so each brick comes off. Good digestion breaks down your protein into a single amino acid. They go right through the shags into the bloodstream.

That’s normal, that’s how it’s supposed to occur.

But when you have gluten sensitivity, it’s like someone took a sledgehammer to the wall. And broke the wall into big clumps, 17 bricks, 33 bricks, 18 bricks, 44 bricks. These big clumps of bricks still have the mortar on them. That’s when you have gluten sensitivity and you don’t break down your food very well.

Those big clumps go into the bloodstream, and the immune system goes into the bloodstream to fight it. And here comes the whole cascaded effects.

The blood test looks at one clump. They look at a 30-brick clump. It’s called 33-mer peptide of gluten, called alpha gliadin. All of the tests look for the same thing, alpha gliadin. That’s all they look for. But we know that there are over 60 peptides of gluten clumps of the brick wall. Sixty different ones that the gluten will react to.  Why are we only testing one? Which is my question.

A laboratory opened up just three months ago. And they’re testing the top ten peptides of gluten.  And now we aren’t getting the false negative anymore. And people are getting exactly what they got and there is an accurate test. The lab is called Cyrex, cyrexlabs.com. You’re listening and you can go there and they can find the doctor in their area, that has an account with Cyrex and order the test to be done.

And if they don’t have someone in their area then Cyrex will tell you where the closest one is.

Mark: Do you do it internationally?

Dr. O’Bryan: Not yet. Soon, but not yet. I’ve been speaking Mexico, Canada, and London, Brazil… and they’re all very, very interested and they really want this test because it makes perfect sense. So we hope within the next year.

I was actually speaking with someone last week from New Zealand, who would like to bring in the test over to New Zealand and Australia.

Mark: That’s great.

Dr. O’Bryan: I’m sure next year, they’ll be there.

Mark: So, I guess alot of my listeners are listening in from Australia. What tests can we ask for? Or is it really learning to speak body?

Dr. O’Bryan: Well, the only tests that are available, if you say you want a test for gluten sensitivity, what they check is gliadin. Because 50% of studies say 50% of celiacs will have antibodies to gliadin, but the rest of them don’t. And they say, “Well, that’s not a good test then.” They’ll say it’s not a sensitive test. Well, that’s true.

That’s because these people are reacting to different peptide. The other 50% reacting to gliadin are not reacting to gluten morphine, or glutinents. Or 17 mer or 13 or 11 mer. They’re not reacting to the 33 mer. So the first test that’s done, such as I believe the only test done in Australia is for the 33 mer gliadin peptide and the other is transglutaminase.

Transglutaminase is an enzyme that is in the Saran wrap that covers the shags. Do you have Saran wrap over there?

Mark: Ah, I think we call it that… You mean cling wrap?

Dr. O’Bryan: Ah, right just like the cling wrap. So transglutaminase is an enzyme inside the cling wrap. And if you’re buying the extra antibodies for transglutaminase, you destroy the transglutaminase, you destroy the cling wrap. And you get the leaky gut intestinal permeability. It’s such a major problem.

So, the only tests that are over there are gliadin and transglutaminase as far as I know. And if you’re positive there, you’re really positive. If you’re not positive there, it doesn’t mean that you’re negative for celiac disease. It just means that that test doesn’t identify it.

So the most sensitive thing that you can do is to get a gluten-free and dairy free diet for three weeks. No dairy of any type and no gluten of any type for three weeks.

The enzyme that breaks down the sugar molecules in dairy, the enzyme is called lactase. Lactase is produced in the single cell outside lining in the shags of the epithelium. So when your shags are inflamed, or when your shags wear down, you don’t produce the enzymes to break down the protein molecules in dairy. And you feel more inflammation because of the poorly digested protein molecules of dairy. In papers where they’ve looked at this, they put people on a gluten free diet and check to see if they were making their enzymes to dairy. And in six months, the answer was no.

It took a year, on the gluten-free diet. And some of these people, not all of them, started making their enzymes again to break down dairy.

Mark: Right

Dr. O’Bryan: When you eat dairy, if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, your body still thinks you’re eating gluten. It’s called the cross-reactive reaction.

Mark: And I think you’ve talked about caffeine, getting rid of caffeine except green tea. What is their reaction in caffeine?

Dr. O’Bryan: Well, there’s two levels to answer that question. First, is part of the protocol to heal the gut… getting caffeine out of there is important because it will cause inflammation in the intestine and you’re trying to heal the damages there.

Another level to answer that question is that caffeine is a cross-reactive food. Excuse me, coffee… Coffee is a cross-reactive food. So if you’re sensitive to coffee, not everyone is… But if you’re sensitive to coffee, your body thinks you’re sensitive to gluten and you keep getting the same damages as if you’re eating gluten.

Mark: Right, so how do you find out if you’re sensitive to coffee?

Dr. O’Bryan: Well the tests fro Cyrex labs, they have a test called cross-reactive foods. This lab is set up specifically to identify gluten sensitivity and identify the complications that occur from gluten sensitivity.

This lab, I do believe is going to change the face of medicine in terms of tests because the doctors will have much more ammunition now to show to the patient why they feel the way they do which will instill more compliance. The patients will follow along with the recommendation and then they get better.

Mark: What do you think of the… I guess the compliancy of the doctors to implement lifestyle changes to the patient? Because I don’t know… the western medicine does things a little bit to the other side, that’s the prescribed pills rather than look at the patient’s health.

Dr. O’Bryan: Well that’s true. That’s because that’s how they were trained. Unfortunately, the educational system for the medical doctor is not what it teaches them about health care. They’re taught about crisis care.  And when there’s a crisis, here’s the medication to use.  And we call that acute care, and it’s of great value.

And almost all of the medication that have been approved in the US, I’m not sure if they have this in Australia… But certainly in US, all of the medications have been approved for short-term use.  They were not designed to be taken long-term.  And the result… when you take them long-term… nobody knows how things are gonna be. And people get surprised with some of the complications that occur.

Unfortunately, our medical doctors are not trained in health care. They’re trained in crisis care. So we need to re-educate them, and there are many, many schools now that are doing that.

Functional medicine is beginning to take a more primary role in the education of medical doctors which is just fabulous. With that said, we’ll have the best of both worlds.

Mark: I heard a parent say the other day, it was at a debate that we were having… Obviously I did not want to take part in it because my opinion was a little bit too outspoken. One of the parents said that you should get your child adapted to gluten. So you give your child gluten at an early age and they will adapt to it. Can you explain perhaps the problem with this approach?

Dr. O’Bryan: There are some research papers that have identified in the group of high risk infants… meaning their parents, one or two… of their parents have celiac disease. In that group of high risk infants… if you introduce minutes amount of gluten to them, between three and six months of age… not before, and not after… but between three to six months of age… it seems to have a beneficial effect in strengthening their resilience in being exposed to these foods that they are likely genetically sensitive to.

So, what is minute amounts of gluten? Well, a child between three to six months of age doesn’t have teeth yet. So they’re still breast-feeding.  I believe we recommend for our patients to consider, that when your child gets teeth, its time to give them food.

Until then, there’s one food that is ideal for them… so a child breast-feeding between three and six months. So if the mother has just a little bit of gluten, half a cracker… half a cracker is just all it takes. And if she chews it very well and takes some digestive enzymes, those protein molecules will get into the blood going to the infant.

And you’re exposing the infant to minute amounts, pre-digested, poorly but pre-digested gluten, minute amounts of it… and it appears to be able stimulate the immune system to desensitize that baby to gluten. It appears to be that way. It’s not a recommendation from the American College of Pediatrics or any other medical education group that I’m aware of. But there is some talk about it and there has been some papers written about it.

Mark: Okay, and if the child is let’s say, two or three years old, or four years old, is that too late in a sense?

Dr. O’Bryan: Well, if the child has not had gluten, and they are two to four years old, they’re well on the way to being extremely healthy and strong. As the numbers keep getting out above the frequency of gluten sensitivity it keeps getting more and more shocking.

If they are between two to four years of age, and the parent wants to know what to do here, if there’s a family history of celiac disease, or gluten sensitivity… the first thing I will do is recommend the genetic test. If the child is carrying the gene, don’t expose them to gluten.  If you can keep gluten out of their life, they’re gonna do so much better. If they got the gene, and there’s family history of celiac disease.

If the child does not have the gene, then you can do, if you want I guess… you can do a small amount, which would be a third of a cracker. I just give a small amount, you have to chew it really well and do that three, four days a week, for a couple of weeks, then do the blood test. Looking for the antibodies to multiple peptides of gluten.  Not just the gliadin, but multiple peptides. And hopefully, the test will be over there before too long so that Australians will have access to it also.

Mark: Yeah, so functional medicine… I guess a tip that I was given, was blue eyes, blonde hair are actually more at risk of having intolerance to gluten. Is it true?

Dr. O’Bryan: Well there is a tendency for certain ethnic groups to have more tendencies towards it, more vulnerability towards it, and blonde haired, blue-eyed is one of those groups.

The Mediterranean cultures Greeks, Italians, French, North Africans, and the Norwegians, the Nordic cultures also have a high sensitivity, vulnerability as those Asconasy Jewish people. And I’m not sure that there’s been a differentiation between Australia, New Zealand and the US, I think they all fall into the same category.

Mark: Right, okay. One of my teachers taught me that gluten affects the brain. And basically builds plaque block on it like a tooth. Can you explain this?

Dr. O’Bryan: The most common system of the body that’s affected by gluten is brain, not the gut. The most common system is the brain. And can cause what’s called the small vessel disease, where some of the blood vessels plaque up. They get hardened. Not inside the center of the blood vessel, but at the walls of the blood vessel, it get hardened. Other areas of the brain, it will cause white matter lesions. In the brain where part of the brain tissue called white matter, starts to calcify. It just hardens up. And there are actually some papers on reversing some lesions in the brain when you put the person on a gluten-free diet.

Mark: So would gluten be linked to things like Alzheimer’s?

Dr. O’Bryan: Yes it has actually. The Journal of Gastrology in 2008, they published a paper to people. They checked the amount at the Alzheimer’s facility after they put them on the gluten free diet. Because they came back, they were functional again.

And it’ll affect any tissue of the body, any tissue of the body. I’m sorry, let me say it a little different … it’ll affect any tissue of the body. When I say it like that, when I repeat it three times four times… then someone asks me, “Well, can it affect my liver?” I’ll say it’ll affect any tissue of your body. Your thyroid, your skin, your nose, your eyes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, the list goes on and on and on. There are over 19,000 papers now published in the medical literature on gluten sensitivity and celiac disease.

Mark: So it can even affect things like muscle tears, and muscle pulls and things like that?

Dr. O’Bryan: Oh my goodness, any tissue in the body. But especially that, you bet. The athletes, they have a lot of fibrosis. We found out that when they go on a gluten-free diet, their muscles soften up. They’re much more pliable, which allows them to be more elastic, it means they get much more power out of every contraction of the muscle.

Mark: I just want to ask you some facebook questions. Some of these we kind of already answered, but just to reiterate, one of the facebook questions I got is, “What about rice?”

Dr. O’Bryan: Rice does not have toxic gluten peptides in it. Rice is rice. Some people are allergic to rice, some people are allergic to tomatoes, and some people are allergic to artichoke. You could be sensitive to anything.

Rice is on the cross-reactive food panel because a lot of people eat rice on a gluten-free diet, and that’s not a problem. But remember, we’re not supposed to be eating the same food everyday. The only thing we’re supposed to have the same is water. Everything else is supposed to come through the seasons. Solid diets will vary due to seasons.

So once you eat rice, five, six, seven days a week, you easily can build up a sensitivity to rice.

Mark: Yes, for sure. What can you say about the statement that gluten is nothing to be worried about if you’re not a celiac?

Dr. O’Bryan: If it’s the general public, they just don’t know and it’s not their fault. If he’s in the same position, he’s got his head in the dark places. There are hundreds of hundreds of articles about gluten sensitivity outside the gut causing ataxia. Ataxia is when you get the cerebellum area of your brain destroyed and you can’t walk very well anymore. And there’s noting wrong with your legs. It’s that you don’t have control in your brain.  And that’s from gluten.

As a matter of fact, that’s the main cause of idiopathic ataxia. Idiopathic means we don’t know where the problem comes from. When someone’s got ataxia, and it’s idiopathic, gluten sensitivity is the main culprit. It’s published in the literature. Gluten sensitivity will cause chronic fatigue. It will cause fibromyalgia, it will cause major depressant disorder.  Not minor depression where little medication helps or moderate where they can take a couple of drugs… Major depression which is very, very difficult to treat. These people just don’t function very well. And they are staying alive on their medication.

Gluten sensitivity causes major depressant disorder, by itself without celiac disease. So that person, if it’s a healthcare practitioner, they need to read the literature a little more before making statements like that.

Mark: Why should the average person take out gluten from their diet… ‘cause as you’ve said… it can lead to all these other kinds of problems and it affects all the other tissues in the body.

Dr. O’Bryan: What you’ll find out in the next year or so in the papers that are published is that seven out of ten that were checked have gluten sensitivity. You just have to have a test that is sensitive enough to identify them. Seven out of ten. And with gluten sensitivity, auto-immune diseases are ten times more common.  So most of them die with auto-immunity disease. So, it shortens your life, reduces the quality of your life, you suffer more. But it doesn’t happen in a day with one family. Unfortunately, it happens accumulatively over a number of years.

Mark: Now, the last phase of the question I was actually given… I have never heard of this one… But I wanna ask you… This is what the naturopath said in Perth.. Not sure if this is correct.

But she said that, if you’re gluten intolerant, you may not be intolerant to all types. She said there are four types. But I never heard of four types. Have you heard of this, or does the naturopath have no idea what she is talking about?

Dr. O’Bryan: I don’t know what you are talking about four types of gluten. There are different strains of wheat, there are different peptides when you break the wall. And efficiently, there are different peptides… 33-mer, 17-mer, 11-mer… There are over 60 peptides that are fugitive.  Meaning they start their immune response from gluten. There’s different types of gluten. But it seems like this person is talking about different categories of gluten. And I don’t know what she is referring to.

For example, let’s talk bout sprouted wheat. And is it better to eat sprouted wheat? The answer is no. The proteins are not broken down into single amino acids. With sprouted wheat, they still have to be digested, and the body is very resistant in digesting this protein. So, a vast majority of people will still have gluten sensitivity and celiac disease eating sprouted wheat. You can’t do it, it’s not a safe food.

Mark: Please correct me if I get this wrong. But when we eat gluten, gluten raises antibodies, and those antibodies attack the gut, in turn that inflames the G.I. tract, and that attacks the intestinal lining and the cell wall set up to increase gut permeability and all those things that we don’t want. And that can cause leaky gut.  Is that right, or am I missing something in the picture there?

Dr. O’Bryan: That is correct. You got it exactly correct.

Mark: Excellent. So, what are your final thoughts, and how would you sum up gluten?

Dr. O’Bryan: One of the 70 pregnant women admitted to the hospital with any reason, whatsoever, turned out to be a celiac patient.  Now to be a celiac patient, you have to have a total villous atrophy. So if they have expanded their horizons, to look for total villous atrophy, or just an increase of inflammation from gluten, the number won’t just be one out of 70. It would probably go up to 20 or 30 out of 70 who have gluten sensitivity. But the only numbers they used were the celiac. So it’s one out of 70 having celiac disease.

Ninety percent of these women have poor outcome of pregnancy… 90% of them. Meaning, they lost the baby, it was a premature birth, and the baby was born with a birth defect something 90% of them. Everyone of those women, when you put them on a gluten-free diet for a year, nine out of them had a healthy second baby. No I’m sorry, eight out of nine of them had a healthy second baby.

This kills people. It kills people and you don’t know that it was gluten.  You think that it was an unexplained miscarriage.  You think that it was liver problems the mother died with. No, it was a liver problem secondary to gluten sensitivity.  You think it was a heart attack your grandfather died with. No, it was a heart attack secondary to gluten sensitivity; most of the time.

So if you don’t feel like a million bucks in life, the first thing, the very first thing I would recommend people to consider… If you don’t feel like a million bucks … and that means not artificially, with 2, 3, 4 cups of coffee a day, or couple of pastas in the afternoon to keep your energy up or eating lots of candy, or excess exercise, nothing to keep you artificially stimulated. If you don’t feel like a million bucks, please consider gluten as a potential candidate that’s holding you back from living the life that you deserve to live.

Mark: Yeah, yeah, for sure. So, you have a couple of DVDs and I’m sure there are a lot of listeners out there who wanna learn more about gluten. Can you direct us on how we can get hold of those DVDs and podcasts and things that you’ve done.

Dr. O’Bryan: Yes, of course. My website is www.thedr.com and there’s a link to a number of past webinars and interviews that I’ve done. You can listen to them.

And there are two DVD’s. The first DVD is about two and a half hours. It’s with my friend Susan Vess, and a brilliant nutritionist, and a chef. Her website is specialeats.com. And that DVD, I talked for two and a half hour to the general public, with slides, pictures, and a presentation on what is gluten sensitivity, what is celiac disease, how can it manifest, and I do that for two and a half hours. And Susan comes on and discusses about how to begin a gluten-free diet. And that’s on the website, thedr.com.

The second video is a set, it’s a 3-DVD set. A professional video of my all-day talks last year on gluten for doctors. So it’s a little more technical, much more technical.  But that one, if doctors order that, or help your practitioners order that… they take a test, we then list them on the website as a gluten coach.  And we put a caddy out there, which says, “I don’t know how these people practice, but they were on the seminar, or they reviewed the seminar and passed the test. So they know about gluten.”

And so that’s called “find a gluten coach.” It’s on our website also. Doctors order that second DVD, they take a test, they then become a gluten coach. There’s no charge for them for that, no back end, I don’t want anything from them. I just want people to be able to find somebody that knows what they are talking about when they’re dealing with gluten sensitivity.

So two DVD’s… The two and a half hour one and the seminar one. They’re both on the website.

Mark: Excellent. And what does the future hold?

Dr. O’Bryan: Gluten sensitivity, the mechanism, the most common mechanism that stimulates the development of autoimmune diseases.  And the papers will be coming out on that in the next two to three years. Paper after paper after paper.

Tests are about to be available called predictive antibodies. Where you can do a panel of 24 antibodies, usually antibodies is $200-$300 for one, and this lab is doing us 24 antibodies for about $400., I think. So it’s gonna be 24 different antibodies to your brain. And you can find where the autoimmune mechanism is going on in your brain, years before there’s so much damage, when there’s an obvious symptom…. or antibodies to your heart, or antibodies to your skin, or antibodies to lupus. Years before you have symptoms. Which will give the patients an opportunity, a window of opportunities to shift their lifestyle. Because they will be able to show you what’s coming down the pipe for you.

So that’s on the horizon. Our goal right now is to get a word out about gluten completely. So that every doctor knows just the basics about this. And then educate how to address gluten sensitivity and the celiac disease.

Mark: Sounds fantastic. You’re really doing some awesome work. And I want to thank you so much for being on the show. And just reminding our listeners to check out Dr. Tom O’Bryan s’ website: www.thedr.com, for more information, you have to contact Dr. O’Bryan.

So thanks once again. Really appreciate it. Wish you the best of luck in the future. Thank you so much for your contribution in the field of nutrition because it’s absolutely awesome.

Dr. O’Bryan: Thank you so much. And thank you for spreading the word with us out there. And the people that listened to you today… this may change their life.  So thank you so much for this opportunity to share this information.

Mark: You’re very welcome. Speak to you next time Tom.

Dr. O’Bryan: You bet, bye-bye.

Mark: So that was the gluten show. Hope you enjoyed. Remember to check out Dr. Tom O’Bryan’s DVD’s at www.thedr.com. Links can be found in my website, or just jot in to Google to find this out.

Hope you guys enjoyed. Post your comments and remember to share this with your loved ones and your friends. Speak to you next time guys!

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