Gluten can cause leaky brain and gut

Question Eating gluten doesn’t upset my stomach. Why should I consider eliminating it from my diet?


Eating gluten, the protein found in wheat and wheat-like grains, has been shown to make the lining of both the brain and the digestive tract permeable or “leaky.”

Leaky brain

A leaky brain allows bacteria, heavy metals, environmental toxins, and other harmful substances into the brain where they can damage brain tissue.

Leaky gut

A leaky gut allows undigested food, bacteria, yeasts, and molds to slip into the bloodstream, triggering inflammation, food allergies, and food sensitivities.

Zonulin makes the linings more permeable

Zonulin is a substance in the body that determines the permeability of the lining of the brain and gut. Research shows eating gluten stimulates zonulin, causing these linings to become leaky. Celiac disease, an autoimmune reaction caused by gluten, further increases zonulin.

Symptoms of leaky brain and leaky gut

A leaky brain is vulnerable to such neurological conditions as depression, ADD/ADHD, chronic pain, autism, mental illnesses, seizures, and facial palsies. A leaky gut creates not only digestive issues, but also leads to systemic inflammation, food intolerances, and chronic stress.

Repairing leaky brain and leaky gut:

  • Adapt a strict gluten-free diet
  • Determine other food sensitivities (such as to dairy, corn, eggs, soy, nuts, other grains, etc.)
  • Manage hypoglycemia or insulin resistance (blood sugar imbalances) by avoiding sweets and minimizing starchy foods,
  • Make sure your vitamin D level is adequate
  • Work with your practitioner for specific therapies