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Love & Guts

Jan 11, 2019

#77 Have we all gone Gluten Free Crazy? Is gluten really the demon we believe it to be?

Advancing innovation in research, clinical care and education, Alessio Fasano, MD, has dedicated his life to improving the quality of life for people with celiac disease and other gluten- related disorders.

He founded the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1996 and moved the Center to Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, Massachusetts in 2013, where he serves as chief of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition and professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

At MGH, Dr. Fasano oversees a clinical team that treats children and adults for celiac disease and issues related to gluten. As director of the Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center at MGH, he runs a research program with approximately 50 scientists and staff researching cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, shigella vaccine, necrotizing enterocolitis, autism spectrum disorder, and the emerging role of the gut microbiome in health and disease and other topics.

He is widely sought after for his expertise in celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders and is author of Gluten Freedom, with all proceeds supporting celiac disease research.

I must say Dr Fasano is a legend and is a rather big deal for me. His work is something I have been following since I first heard him speak at the International Congress On Natural Medicine Hosted By Metagenics many moons ago.

In this episode we cover

  • What motivates Alessio to work in the area of celiac research and gluten intolerance
  • The difference between celiac disease, non celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) and wheat allergy
  • How gluten affects the brain and contributes to autoimmune conditions
  • Why are we so affected by gluten
  • How iron deficiency anaemia is linked to gluten intolerance
  • His discovery of zonulin, a protein produced in the gut that causes the tight junctions in the gut wall to open and close, triggering leaky gut.
  • What triggers zonulin
  • The gold standard diagnostic procedure for testing celiac disease
  • We unpack if we should all go gluten free
  • Myths and misconceptions about gluten intolerance
  • I must mention that all proceeds from the sale of his book Gluten Freedom, go to support celiac research at the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment