I’m just back from a great few days at THE best nutrition conference – the annual conference of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals http://www.nanp.org/conference/speakers-sessions/
Dr. Tom O’ Bryan, DC, an expert on gluten, presented the following in his very interesting talk:
- “One particularly detrimental consequence of increased intestinal permeability” (or leaky gut) caused by gluten sensitivity or celiac disease “is the translocation of bacteria (e.g., E. Coli) and bacterial products (lipopolysaccharides or LPS) also known as endotoxin which creates a proinflammatory environment and increases the oxidative stress burden in the enteric nervous system”
- “Even minute doses of microbes within the gastrointestinal tract, levels that do not trigger an immune response, are capable of influencing neurotransmission in the paraventricular hypothalamus, the central nucleus of the amygdala and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. All three of these regions are involved in the processing of emotions related to anxiety and mood.”
- “It is suggested that patients with” depression “should be checked for leaky gut by means of the IgM and IgA panel used in the present study and accordingly should be treated for leaky gut”.
In summary, gluten sensitivity or celiac disease can lead to leaky gut which can in turn allow endotoxins called lipopolysaccharides/LPS to relocate into the blood stream. This causes inflammation, oxidative damage, neurotransmitter deficiencies and depression and anxiety.
The study above, refers to depression, however, research also shows that LPS plays a role in stress and anxiety too.
Dr. O’Bryan also discussed the role that LPS plays in rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune and musculoskeletal disorders.
Dr. O’Bryan recommends IgG food intolerance testing to identify leaky gut (if you show up with food intolerances to many foods then leaky gut may be an issue) and then to first heal the gut.
These foods will need to be eliminated for at least 3 months and then added back slowly and one at a time. Many people are surprised to find out that they have issues with seemingly healthy foods like salmon, green beans, peas, strawberries, almonds etc. Of course, eliminating gluten goes without saying. This is the approach that I use with my clients and is part of the holistic approach that must be used when someone has any mood or physical health problem.
He also talked about LPS antibody testing from Cyrex labs and I look forward to learning more about this.
It was a really great conference, with locally sourced gluten-free meals included in registration! I am gluten-sensitive and it was such a pleasant change to be able to attend a conference and know that what I’m eating won’t affect me!
All the presentations were recorded and will be available for purchase from NANP next month.