Gluten can cause leaky brain and gut


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


  1. I have been eating gluten free from several months, although I slip up some days. If I don’t have celiac disease,how bad is one day out of 15 of eating wheat? I am not positive I have this type of sensitivity but I know milk products bother me and due to some symptoms, I think I have leaky gut. I am debating getting the repairvite and debating whether the lab testing is necessary (celiac panel was negative). I’ve been doing my own research but can’t determine which comes first – the food allergy or the leaky gut and I don’t know how to tell if each other food is bad (soy, corn, etc.).

    • I would highly recommend Cyrex Labs Array #2 and #4 for both Leaky Gut Syndrome and Gluten Sensitivity. The reason most celiac panels are negative when gluten-sensitivity is suspect is they are not sensitive enough, only looking at alpha-gliadin and not the whole gluten molecule and every component. The saying I use with my patients is “you cannot be 90% pregnant.” This holds true with gluten-sensitivity as well. If you are sensitive, it can take 6-9 months before all antibodies are out of your system and … just one exposure to gluten can cause an inflammatory reaction for 3-6 months.

      Your best options are to find a doctor locally who can test using Cyrex labs for array #3 (Gluten Proteome and Sensitivity panel) and put you on the Repairvite protocol based on suspician of leaky gut. Markers like magnesium, phosphorus, protein, albumin and globulin along with low thyroid free T3 and anemia point the way towards leaky gut and can act as very cheap blood test markers. Run Cyrex Labs Array #2 down the road to ensure it’s healing properly. I hope this helps. Check our for a list of doctors I work with around the country.

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