Gluten Summit Archive

Over the last weeks and months , I have been sharing information from the speakers at the Gluten Summit. Today I would like to share the interview with Dr. Deanna Minich.

Gluten Summit 2013

A Grain of Truth: The Gluten Summit
Dr. Deanna Minich, PhD, FACN, CNS
Nutrition For the Soul: Moving Beyond a Gluten-Free Diet

  • Gluten can penetrate through the skin through various household and personal care products

We eat with our skin. And, I’ve developed a lot of passion around personal care products and gluten because I was seeing in the clinic that some people were getting well and having raving success. And, then, others seem to have about 60 to 80% success, a lot of women. And, I noticed that these women were also consumers and users of a lot of personal care products.

So, we would start talking about household products. What are they inhaling? What are they slathering on their skin? What shampoo are they using? Of course, many times you see hydrolyzed wheat protein as one of the main ingredients, even in lotions. And, so, that stuff sits on our skin. And, the way that it works is by penetrating the skin. So, we can set off that autoimmune cascade even at that level.

  • Skin is similar to tissues in the intestinal tract

The goal of how those products work is by at least getting into perhaps the epidermis, the upper layer of the skin. Whether or not it gets into the systemic circulation, there can still be a process that is offset in the skin. And, keep in mind, as you know, the skin is very similar in tissue to the gastrointestinal tract. So, if we’re having a reaction at the skin level, and people are observant of that and they start to notice even changes in their skin…But, more notably, even if they have changes in their health when their omitting gluten in the diet, and they’re still seeing something happen. …

The experts can say that these things don’t penetrate the skin. But, in my clinical experience–and that’s all I can speak from; I haven’t done research on this–in my clinical experience, I have seen that people respond very well when they start to omit personal care products that contain gluten. They stop losing hair. They stop having skin symptoms.

  • Dr. Minich wrote a book on food additives that can be very helpful to people working on maintaining a healthy diet free from gluten.

And, I wrote a little book and published that back a couple of years ago. It’s called An A-Z Guide to Food Additives: Never Eat What You Can’t Pronounce.  And, in that book, I give a whole list of different ingredients that you would find in a label that would contain gluten.

  • Lots of gluten free food products include unhealthy ingredients like fat and sugar which can be just as bad for us as the gluten!

So, the way that I can say that gluten-free diets could be, perhaps, not as beneficial for our health is when we start to substitute the gluten-containing items that are not as healthy, that are processed, with gluten-free options that contain high amounts of sugar, high amounts of fat. They’re just as bad as their gluten-containing counterparts. So, the only thing that changed with that food was the omission of the gluten, but not necessarily the quality of the food.

  • Our relationship with food says lots about how we live.

… our relationship with food and eating says so much about how we live. And, how we live, says so much about how we’re eating. So, the more aware we are and the more conscious we are about our eating behaviors, it’s almost like that can ripple through and change how we live.

So, I find it fascinating when I’m asking patients, “Just tell me, give me some adjectives that describe how you eat?” And, I might get words like, “fast.” I might get things like, “chaotic,” “rushed,” “processed.” And, so, then I have them draw a correlate with their lives and I say, “Well, are your lives fast? Are your lives chaotic? Are they processed. Do they feel fast? Do they feel just like they’re zooming past you, your daily moments?” And, typically you’ll see that people see the connection. That, “Wow, if I slow down and I’m more conscious about my food, does that mean that everything around me starts to slow down?”

  • Going gluten free involves every part of us.

Going gluten-free is going to involve every piece of who we are. Even if we take those different aspects. The body, we’re going to see changes in the immune system and how we function. The emotions, I spoke to that. Our sense of power and self-esteem. We have to be really rock solid within ourselves to really take on something new in a completely…We have to have a lot of will-power. And, we have to forge forward. We also have to have self-love. So, the whole aspect of love, really caring for ourselves and nurturing for ourselves and making that commitment because really and truly, in order for us to love others, we need to love ourselves.




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Over the last weeks, I have been sharing information from the speakers at the Gluten Summit. Today I would like to share the interview with Dr. Mark Hyman.

Gluten Summit 2013A Grain of Truth: The Gluten Summit

Presenter: Dr. Mark Hyman, MD
A “Functional Approach” to Lifestyle
Can Transform Your Body

NOTE:  Dr. Mark Hyman’s book, UltraMind Solution was instrumental in helping me find help BEFORE I was diagnosed with Gluten Intolerance.

  • Sugar, not fat, is causing more health problems  and sugar, in the form of flour, is a big source of sugar in our diet.

Fat makes you thin. And, sugar makes you fat. And, sugar in the form of flour is one of the biggest sources of sugar in our diet.

The way in which we grind the flour, the way in which it’s grown, the super starch molecules that are in it–the amylopectin-A–because of the genetic hybridization creating a dwarf wheat strain that’s got a much higher starch content, the average whole wheat bread today has more sugar content than sugar. So, if you have two tablespoons of whole wheat bread, you’re going to raise your blood sugar more than two tablespoons of table sugar. And, most people don’t get that. And, once you get that you’re going to change your relationship for the foods you’re eating and the wheat you’re eating.

… Two tablespoons of bread have more of an effect on blood sugar than two tablespoons of sugar.

  • Gluten free flours have a greater impact on our glycemic index than wheat flour

I would say that gluten-free cakes and cookies are still cakes and cookies. In fact, it may be worse than cakes and cookies because it’s made from flours that are even higher glycemic than wheat. Flours like rice flour or potato starch or tapioca starch or other kinds of flours that are extremely high glycemic.

…which means it raises your blood sugar faster. So, if you take whole wheat flour and you compare it to, let’s say, rice flour, the rice flour is actually worse in how fast it raises your blood sugar. So, you’re substituting a thing that’s very bad with something that’s even worse. And, I see often people balloon up on gluten-free foods. So, gluten-free junk food is still junk food.

  • Gluten sensitivities can cause a host of other problems

There are people who have antibody-mediated sensitivity. So, they have other antibodies, gluten antibodies, anti-gliadin antibodies. And, they’re elevated. But, they don’t have full-blown celiac. So, they have a negative biopsy, but they may have intestinal inflammation. Those people are also ill. There’s about 7 or 8 percent of the population that has that. Certain populations like autistics and schizophrenics, it’s up to 18 to 20 percent of those people. That’s almost one in five autistics or schizophrenics that have anti-gliadin antibodies. That’s another level.

  • Artificial sweeteners are just as bad for us as sugar

Artificial sweeteners we think are a free food…..One large soda–a 20-ounce diet soda– which is common, increases your risk by 66%. And, the average diet soda drinker has three per week. And, some people have three per day.

And, we know that this drives significant cravings that dysregulate their brain chemistry. So, you have an extraordinary amount of sweet receptors on your tongue. And, also, even in your intestinal tract you have sweet receptors. And, when you stimulate those sweet receptors with a compound that’s a hundred to a thousand times sweeter than regular sugar, it’s like crack cocaine for your brain.

And, I can tell you if you’ve talked to people who drink these things, they’re highly addicted to artificial sweeteners. And, it causes a cephalic phase insulin response where you get a spike in insulin, which then causes your body to shift into a fat storage mode. And, it also can affect your sugar, your blood sugar, causing a drop in blood sugar, leading to increased appetite. It also slows your metabolism.

And, in animal studies, they found that animals who have artificial sweeteners actually eat more food quantity even though it’s less calories, and they gain more weight. They gain 14 percent body fat in two weeks simply by switching to artificial sweeteners. So, if you’re going to have something sweet, have something sweet.

Watch for more of “What I Learned from the Gluten Free Summit” in later posts.



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More Info from the 2013 Gluten Summit

Posted January 25, 2014 By Sandy

Over the last weeks, I have been sharing information from the speakers at the Gluten Summit. I was not able to attend nor listen to the talks, but  have copies of the lectures.

Gluten Summit 2013

A Grain of Truth: The Gluten Summit
Presenter: Cynthia Kupper, RD
After the Diagnosis: Supporting YOU With Making Sense of Labels, Dining out with Confidence and Transitioning Smoothly to a Gluten-Free Diet

NOTE:  I was fortunate to meet Cynthia at a GIG meeting in Spokane last summer.  Here is what she shared at the Gluten Summit in November.

…the Gluten Intolerance Group is actually a 40-year-old organization, as of 2014. I’ve only been with the organization about 18 years. The impetus for starting this organization was that the research dietitian who founded the organization, Elaine Hartsook, realized that there was no support for people with celiac disease back then. And actually, in 1974 it was still considered an orphan disease, so it was thought to be very rare. And she was looking for a way to help support people in finding a lifestyle that was gluten-free.

The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) has special camps to help children deal with gluten sensitivity:

We actually do a couple of things. We run two children’s camps across the nation. Our children’s camps are mainstream camps. That means we go to camp with 400 other children who don’t have a gluten sensitivity. And, we use that as an opportunity to not only have our children [10:00] have a wonderful camp experience, but to educate 400 other children about gluten sensitivity. And, we do that through games, through food sampling, and things like that.

Just because a food is gluten free does not necessarily mean it is good for you:

So, just because it’s gluten-free doesn’t mean it’s a healthy food. So many of the gluten-free products today are still made with highly refined flours and starches, have extra sugar, possibly extra fat. And, we’re just going to add to health problems by using them.

So, even on a gluten-free diet, you need to be very selective about the foods that you eat so that you’re getting whole grains and good fiber sources and rounding it out so that you’re getting adequate vitamins and minerals through a variety of foods. I would say color your plate with a lot of colors, and that would be fruits and vegetables. And, watch these starches that we’re eating.

Gluten Free labeling in the US can be confusing.  Cynthia explained it here:

…the definition of “gluten-free” in the United States is 19 ppm gluten content or less. …So, a product that is labeled in the United States as “gluten-free”, whether it has wheat starch or oats in it, has to be 19 ppm gluten content or less. So, that’s a very strict definition. And, what we know from the research is, at that level it should be a safe product for people with gluten sensitivity.

The GIG also certified certain restaurant’s gluten free dishes:

Yes, we have a Gluten-Free Food Service Certification Program. So, we give them a manual….And these are policies and procedures that they have to have implemented.  Once they’re all ready to go–they’ve trained, they’ve implemented their policies and procedures, they’ve provided the documentation on proving that they can determine what is gluten-free, etcetera, in their menus, their recipes, their ingredients–we send an inspector into the location. And, we actually have an objective audit form. So, it’s a pass/fail at 85%. And, if you can’t pass, you have a probationary period in which you can correct.

For more information on the Gluten Intolerance Group, check out their website!

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More of What I Learned from the Gluten Summit

Posted January 4, 2014 By Sandy

Before the Christmas holidays, I shared some of the points I learned from Dr. Daniel Amen talk at the Gluten Summit (read the previous post)

In case you did not hear about The Gluten Summit …..

Gluten Summit 201329 experts and opinion leaders gathered to prove to the world that it MUST ask, “Could health issues be caused by gluten?”

So, I am going through the talks one by one and plan to share with you some of the highlights.

First talks I have read are about Gluten and it’s affect on the brain.  Here are some of the things I learned:

A Grain of Truth:  The Gluten Summit — Presenter:  Erica Kasuli, MS, RD, CDN  Designing a Brain-Optimizing Gluten-Free Diet the Whole Family Will Enjoy

  • Many health symptoms are just a sign that something is not right in your body.  Simple statement, but often we just want symptoms to go away without thinking about what they are telling us!

And, we probably feel sick but because we live in this society of go, go, go, we just keep going even though we feel sick, and we keep pushing our bodies….


But if we don’t listen to these different symptoms, and we just go “Oh, my heart’s fine,” then we might not get that wakeup call. And, so the same thing with all these symptoms is that the depression, the ADD, the bloating, the asthma, the skin rashes, the arthritis, these are all symptoms. These are your body’s way of trying to get your attention, of saying, “Something that you’re feeding me is not working right,” or “Something that’s going on is not working right.” Because if food is fuel, after each meal you should feel energized and happy and confident and full of ready to take on the day.


And, what happens is we’ve been eating gluten our whole lives since we’ve been born. And, we’ve been having gluten or dairy and sugar and these foods that are not foods that are fuel for our body. And, what happens is as we get older, we start to think that these symptoms are normal signs of aging. Well, these are not normal signs of aging. These are your bodies now finally breaking down because it can’t take so many years of something that is a toxin to it.

  • Our brains are mostly water and fat — so sugar is the bigger problem in our diet than fat!

One thing I wanted to say is that your brain is 80% water. Of that 20% that’s left, 60% of it is fat. So, it’s really important that people understand that it’s sugar that’s causing a lot of our symptoms, not fat. And, there’s many kinds and forms of sugar. Sugar, we typically think, is just candy. You know, sucrose sugar. But, lactose–dairy–is a sugar. Fructose, drinking high amounts of juice. Fresh fruit is okay, but high juice is a sugar. Anything that ends in -ose. So, sucrose, lactose, fructose, and glucose. So, that’s why when we eat a lot of gluten, the gluten glucose has the same sugar response.

  • Too much sugar and Alzheimer’s is related

And, researchers are now linking a sugar-laden diet to Alzheimer’s. And, they’re even calling Alzheimer’s type three diabetes because insulin is made in the brain. It’s not made in the pancreas. And, our national sweet tooth is leading to what we call brain decay. And, Dr. Amen has coined the term of “psycho diabetes” because sugar really is not our friend.

  • Lowing inflammation in our bodies will help with weight control

But, we want to, in a sense, mimic calorie restriction without eating less calories because we don’t lose weight by eating less calories. It’s not about calories in, calories out. It’s about lowering inflammation. And, gluten and dairy and sugar increase inflammation in your body. And, when that happens, they’re trig-gering a symptom which makes it harder, then, to lose weight. When you take out these triggers, then the weight and such just falls off.

Plan to share more information as I work through the written transcripts of the Gluten Summit!





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What I Learned from The Gluten Summit

Posted November 30, 2013 By Sandy

Did you get a chance to listen to the speakers at The Gluten Summit was held earlier this month?  Personally, I missed the audio presentation, but got a chance to view the transcripts.

In case you did not hear about The Gluten Summit …..

Gluten Summit 2013

29 experts and opinion leaders gathered to prove to the world that it MUST ask, “Could health issues be caused by gluten?”

So, I am going through the talks one by one and plan to share with you some of the highlights.

First talks I have read are about Gluten and it’s affect on the brain.  Here are some of the things I learned

A Grain of Truth: The Gluten Summit — Presenter: Dr. Daniel Amen, MD
How Gluten Can Affect the Brain, and How to Optimize Brain Function!


  • Low Fat Diets are bad for your brain:

And, then, the second step is to avoid anything that hurts your brain. And, this is, perhaps, where gluten may come into the conversation. So, the first thing that hurts your brain is, one, not knowing about your brain’s health and not caring. The second thing is having the Standard American Diet that’s filled with processed food, excessive amounts of fat, sugar, and salt, although I have to quality fat because sixty percent of the solid weight of your brain is fat. So, having healthy fat is absolutely essential. Low-fat diets are bad for your brain. But, bad fat is clearly a problem: trans fats or cheap oils that boost omega-6 fatty acid levels in your body, which are pro-inflammatory.

  • Negative thinking patterns are clearly bad for your brain:

Not focusing on what you’re grateful for is bad for your brain. And, one of the most insidious things that is bad for your brain is hanging out with unhealthy people. People are contagious. And, if your friends tend to be unhealthy, guess what? So do you. So, I often tell my patients, “Find the healthiest person you can stand, [10:00] and spend as much time around him or her as possible.

  • Food is either medicine to your brain or poison:

And, your brain uses twenty percent of the oxygen you breathe, and about twenty-five percent of the calories you eat. So, food is medicine or it’s poison. And, it’s through this journey that I realized that milk is often toxic to people. Probably the best users of cow’s milk are baby cows. And, that gluten from wheat for a certain percentage of the population can clearly be poisonous.

  •  Wheat can be addictive:

Yes, the benzodiazepines in wheat or the gluteomorphins that bind to the heroin or opium receptors in the brain create that addictive tendency quite easily.

  • Tackle football can cause brain damage:

So, we did the big NFL study where we scanned and treated 150 NFL players, active and retired players. And, what we found was that they all had brain damage. So, you should not let your kids play tackle football. I mean, I don’t know how else to say that clear. Your brain is soft, your skull is hard. Your brain runs your life. Why would you ever hurt it unless you weren’t that smart?

But, the exciting news was even though they all had brain damage, eighty percent on a smart, natural program showed cognitive improvement and increased blood flow to the brain. So, even if you have been bad to your brain, you can make it better. And, we can prove it.

  • Eliminating wheat can help children with Attention Disorder:

We know an article was published in the Journal of Attention Disorders that, when they looked at children diagnosed with celiac disease and they put them on a gluten-free diet–it was 132 children–every child or their parents reported improvement in all twelve markers of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Every marker improved in every child within six months.

There’s another study. Pelsser from Holland put children on an elimination diet. And, after six months they had 73% reduction in symptoms. It’s the same effect as Ritalin. And, there’s just no side effects to being on a really healthy diet minus potential food allergens. And, people go, “Oh, there’s nothing to eat!” And, it’s like, “You know, God gave you a big brain for a reason. There’s a whole bunch of things to eat.”

I will be sharing more info learned from The Gluten Free Summit in a later post!




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