Wheat Is A Cause of Many Diseases, I: Leaky Gut

I realized last week that I often call wheat the most toxic food, but I haven’t really explained why on the blog. The book has a detailed explanation, which focuses on toxicity effects and on autoimmune processes attacking the gut and thyroid. Here I would like to add to the book’s argument by showing how wheat causes other autoimmune diseases.

There are about 50 diseases which are thought to have an autoimmune basis. Autoimmune diseases are caused by three processes:

  1. Leaky gut and inflammation. A leaky gut lets bacteria and food toxins enter the body. In the body, these precipitate an immune response which creates inflammation and a chance for antibodies to form.
  2.  “Molecular mimicry.” A bacterial protein or food toxin resembles a human protein sufficiently closely that an antibody to the foreign protein may also recognize human proteins, potentially precipitating attacks on self tissue.
  3. Adjuvant activity. Vaccines are produced by bonding an antigen (the target of the hoped-for antibody) to an adjuvant (a molecule that greatly increases the likelihood antibodies will be made – a sort of catalyst). If a “molecular mimic” can bind to an adjuvant, then autoimmune disease becomes much more likely.

Wheat causes many autoimmune diseases because it promotes all three aspects. I’ll look at each aspect in a separate post this week.

Leaky Gut

In a recent comment – it’s nice to have smart readers! – Rich brought up the links between wheat and leaky gut.

Leaky gut is the first step toward autoimmune disease. As a recent review states:

Susceptibility to at least 50 diseases, including celiac disease (CD) and type 1 diabetes (T1D), has been associated with specific HLA class I or class II alleles. A common denominator of these diseases is the presence of several preexisting conditions that lead to an autoimmune process…. In all cases, increased permeability precedes disease and causes an abnormality in antigen delivery that triggers immune events, eventually leading to a multiorgan process and autoimmunity. [1]

Gluten is a complex of proteins found in wheat, rye, oats (PAJ: see comments), barley, and other grains. One part of gluten is a type of protein called prolamins, which are chiefly responsible for gut damage:

It is the gliadin fraction of wheat gluten and similar alcohol-soluble proteins in other grains (collectively known as prolamins) that are associated with the development of intestinal damage. A common feature of the prolamins of wheat, rye, and barley is a high content of glutamine (>30%) and proline (>15%), whereas the nontoxic prolamins of rice and corn have lower glutamine and proline content. [1]

I’m quoting this because it speaks to the differences among grains. Rice and corn do not contain gluten. Corn contains other dangerous toxins, but is not a primary cause of autoimmune disease. Rice is the only grain we consider safe to eat.

From Cholera to the Cause of Leaky Gut

The mechanisms by which wheat causes leaky gut have been intensively studied by Dr. Alessio Fasano’s group. In 1995 Dr. Fasano and colleagues discovered that a toxin released by Vibrio cholerae, the bacterium that causes cholera http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholera, causes tight junctions to open for a time. [2] This makes the small intestine leaky.

Dr. Fasano and colleagues suspected that the bacterial protein’s action must mimic some natural human protein which controls intestinal permeability. In 2000, they discovered this human protein and named it “zonulin.” [3]

Wheat and Crohn’s Disease

They subsequently showed that gliadin stimulates zonulin release. Gliadin binds to a receptor called CXCR3, and activation of this receptor triggers zonulin release and increased intestinal permeability.

Interestingly, zonulin release was much higher and longer-lasting in Crohn’s disease patients than in healthy patients. [1] Restriction of gluten restores intestinal integrity in Crohn’s disease patients.

So Crohn’s disease patients should absolutely not eat wheat!

Leaky Gut and Type I Diabetes

A leaky small intestine is a feature of many autoimmune diseases, but Crohn’s disease and Type I diabetes are notable for highly permeable small intestines. Patients with both diseases have high serum levels of zonulin. [1]

In a rat model of Type I diabetes, the BioBreeding diabetes prone or “BBDP” line of rats often develops a leaky gut at age 50 to 75 days when eating a (toxic) diet of rat chow. Zonulin levels increase up to 35-fold at this time, but were reduced if the rats were fed a gluten-free diet. Rats with the highest zonulin levels developed Type I diabetes develops 15 to 25 days later. If a compound that blocks the action of zonulin is given to the rats, Type I diabetes incidence is reduced 70%. [1, 4]

This shows how crucial a leaky gut is to onset of autoimmune diseases like Type I diabetes, and also how quickly diseases can develop once the gut is compromised. The longer the gut is leaky, the greater the likelihood that some autoimmune disease will develop.

In humans, the relationships between these diseases are much the same as in rats. Crohn’s disease and Type I diabetes are co-morbid: the prevalence of Crohn’s among Type I diabetics is 6- to 9-fold higher than in the general population. Meanwhile, newborn children exposed to wheat at 3 months of age or earlier, when the gut is immature, are 4- to 5-fold more likely to develop Type I diabetes. [4]


Leaky gut is a prerequisite for development of autoimmune disease. Wheat seems to create a transient, mild leaky gut in nearly everyone, but in Crohn’s disease the gut becomes chronically and severely leaky in response to wheat consumption.

In rats, this leaky gut can lead to development of autoimmune diseases like Type I diabetes in as little as a few weeks.

If you eat wheat, it’s probably only a matter of time before you develop some disease or other. All of the autoimmune diseases, from rheumatoid arthritis to Hashimoto’s to lupus, are made more likely by wheat consumption. Why not switch to rice or other “safe starches” and save yourself some trouble?

Related Posts

Other posts in this series:

  1. Why Wheat Is A Concealed Cause of Many Diseases, II: Auto-Antibody Generation. Oct 28, 2010.
  2. Why Wheat Is A Concealed Cause of Many Diseases, III: Adjuvant Activity Nov 1, 2010.


[1] Visser J et al. Tight junctions, intestinal permeability, and autoimmunity: celiac disease and type 1 diabetes paradigms. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 May;1165:195-205. http://pmid.us/19538307.

[2] Fasano A et al. Zonula occludens toxin modulates tight junctions through protein kinase C-dependent actin reorganization, in vitro. J Clin Invest. 1995 Aug;96(2):710-20. http://pmid.us/7635964.

[3] Wang W et al. Human zonulin, a potential modulator of intestinal tight junctions. J Cell Sci. 2000 Dec;113 Pt 24:4435-40. http://pmid.us/11082037.

[4] Watts T et al. Role of the intestinal tight junction modulator zonulin in the pathogenesis of type I diabetes in BB diabetic-prone rats. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Feb 22;102(8):2916-21. http://pmid.us/15710870.

Leave a comment ?


  1. Good piece Paul,

    It appears we are very very much on the same track. Perhaps we should join forces one of these years. This is my post on the leaky gut: http://bit.ly/a9Gvjk. I also involved legumes, dairy, egg whites and nightshades in the picture. VBR Hans

  2. Hi Hans,

    Thanks for the link … yes, many toxins have the potential to impact the gut.

    If you have any ideas for how we can join forces to good effect, shoot me an email.

    Best, Paul

  3. You state that “restriction of gluten restores intestinal integrity in Crohn’s disease patients”. I suffer from crohn’s and went gluten free almost 3 months ago. i’ve noticed some improvement, but wonder how long it takes to heal the gut. regardless, i feel better off gluten and will likely continue the diet for life.

  4. For me it took over a year of being on strict gluten/grain free diet before my small intestines had healed significantly (I was Celiac, but did not suffer from Crohn’s). At the advice of an Integrative Medicine doctor I started taking L-Glutamine (3gms 3 times per day) and the really seemed to accelerate the healing process.

    I’m interested in finding out more about the toxins in corn. I’ve recently added some corn back into my diet, but I’ll get rid of it if it’s going to cause damage. Do you plan to do any postings specific to corn and other non-gluten grains?

  5. Hi, Wheatless.

    There’s a bit about corn toxicity in the book … Corn causes niacin deficiency / pellagra, which is rare on diets that don’t include corn or sorghum … Also corn oil seems to be more toxic than other oils with comparable fatty acid content, probably indicating the presence of a fat-soluble toxin.

    I could do posts on these things if there’s reader demand. But otherwise I’ll wait until there’s new information not contained in the book, and blog about that.

  6. If I may, Steve, I recommend you read the other posts on the perfect health diet about bowel disease, where lots of great recommendations for healing the gut are made.

    In a lot of cases, simply removing the toxin from the diet will not lead to complete healing. Oftentimes, bacterial imbalances have developed and probiotics are needed to put the gut in the right environment to heal. Some vitamins and minerals also tend to help because they are probably lacking in anyone with a damaged gut. Some of the very important ones are magnesium, iodine, cooper, vitamin k2, selenium and vitamin D. You should also probably limit iron and calcium consumption, which can feed biofilms formed by undesired bacteria.

    For me, a diet very low in carbs and very high in fat without any fruit or even starch for that matter with the addition of small dose iodine and magnesium supplementation as well as a high quality probiotic is what seems to help the most with my gut condition. I’m not saying that our conditions are alike, but only giving you some pointers.

  7. Hi Sebastien, thanks for helping out. I’m glad our advice is helping!

    By the way, I noticed recently that I had forgotten to reply to a comment of yours sometime back. I emailed you to apologize but my email bounced back. I do try to respond to all comments that have questions.

  8. btw — pellagra can be avoided if the corn consumed is first soaked in lime water, as the Native Latin Americans have done for centuries (in tortillas, etc.).

    Soaking grains helps pre-digest them and greatly reduces their toxicity. Have you looked into Weston A. Price’s research much?

  9. Hi Gluten-Free,

    We’re big fans of Weston A Price and his present-day heirs. That said, like many we’re busy people who don’t have time at home for traditional methods of food detoxification. So we generally advocate avoiding foods that aren’t detoxified by simple cooking.

    Congrats on your lovely toddler, Gluten-Free!

  10. thanks sebastien for the insight. i’ve made big changes in my diet (more in line with Paul’s suggestions) and i’m hoping for the best. i’ve never found much benefit with probiotics (and i’ve tried several). curious as to which one was beneficial for you. i have been incorporating more fermented foods in my diet which at least are nourishing, regardless if the bugs are actually helping anything.

  11. I would be interested in more information on the toxicity or otherwise of starchy seeds such as teff, amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa. I do tend to do a long soak and/or fermentation if possible, with the hope of neutralizing anything that needs neutralizing.

  12. Hi Sue,

    We had some discussion of alternative starches here: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=582.

    There’s some uncertainty about those seeds because they’re not heavily studied, and there have not been enough people using them as staples to provide a good test. Wheat has been a staple food for billions of people over thousands of years, so there’s been time to detect medical conditions.

    Best, Paul

  13. Paul wrote:

    “….Wheat has been a staple food for billions of people over thousands of years….”

    Hi Paul, I’m curious about this. Did Weston A. Price or any other like-minded researchers find any healthy traditional cultures who consumed wheat as a staple?

    I understand that modern varietals are different, higher in gluten and more damaging, than heirloom or ancient varietals.

    I’m less clear as to whether there were traditional peoples eating wheat regularly who maintained good overall health, good dental & bone health, etc.

    Do you happen to know?


  14. Hi Michelle,

    Price’s book is actually online: http://journeytoforever.org/farm_library/price/pricetoc.html

    Price seems to have believed that whole grains were OK, that it was flour that was bad. See, e.g., Chapter 6, http://journeytoforever.org/farm_library/price/price6.html, chapter 15, http://journeytoforever.org/farm_library/price/price15.html, and chapter 16, http://journeytoforever.org/farm_library/price/price16.html.

    None of the hunter-gatherer populations ate wheat, but certainly farming cultures did.

  15. Hi Paul,

    I just found you blog and love the materials. I will be sharing many of these articles with my patients and blog followers.

    I will order you book when it is amazon.com ready. Thanks for providing such great information!

    In health,
    Brandon Schultz, D.C.

  16. Paul,

    Speaking of Fasano and healing intestinal barrier, there is a paper from him where he uses hydrolysed casein to restore impaired intestinal barrier (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20853098).

  17. Hi Mario,

    Thanks, I saw that paper. It’s interesting but I’m not sure what to make of it. Hydrolyzed casein is distasteful and is rejected by mice, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2254509/. Casein digests to a lot of bioactive peptides and some of them are associated with negative effects. I don’t know which peptides remain in hydrolyzed casein and which don’t, and what the effects are.

    But it is possible to get hydrolyzed casein supplements, and maybe people with Crohn’s should consider it.

  18. Thanks for the links, Paul.

    I’m looking forward to getting your book in the mail!


  19. Hi Paul,

    Any thoughts on your diet as it pertains to eliminating recurring canker sores (Aphthous ulcers)? I’ve struggled with them since my teenage years, culminating with outbreaks of 8-10 at a time for weeks on end during my 5-year stint with vegetarianism after college.

    I switched to a primal/paleo style diet (lots of grassfed meat and fat,no grains, dairy or nightshades – probably higher protein/lower carb than you recommend) about 2 years ago and have seen improvement, but still get outbreaks from time to time (2-3 sores at a time now with less frequency and faster healing).

    Since starting the primal diet, I’ve also supplemented magnesium, D3, and acidophilus and try to eat a portion of fermented foods each day (home made sauerkraut, pickles, coconut milk kefir, etc).

    While the diet has helped with a lot of immune issues for me, the sores are still an annoyance and I also struggle with adding muscle despite heavy lifting for over a year now (6’1″ – 145lbs).

    Sorry for the long message, but do you have any thoughts? I’m working my way through the book and curious if you think some diet/nutrient deficiency is the issue for me, or perhaps an underlying infection?

    Thanks for all your work on this blog!

    – Eric

  20. Hi Eric,

    First, be sure to take vitamin C. I say that because your weight is very low, and C deficiency can cause that as well as the inability to put on muscle.

    I would also add some safe starches.

    Most mouth sores but not aphthous ulcers are caused by herpes simplex Type I, which is an extremely common chronic infection. The techniques in Step Four of our book are good for this, especially autophagy induction. Keep the mouth clean with good dental hygiene to keep down inflammation.

    For aphthous ulcers nutrition is one of the first things to attend to, now that you are on a primal diet. You might follow all the nutritional recommendations of our book, plus extra B12, B6, thiamin, riboflavin, and biotin. Optimize vitamin D and get some K2. Iodine and selenium.

    Since the cause of aphthous ulcers is unknown, it’s really a matter of working through all the important dietary and nutritional steps to get all the easy fixes, and then evaluating from there possible infectious etiologies.

    I think you should attack the weight issue. How long have you been so slender? If you’ve been losing weight, I would suspect either malnutrition (probably C or insufficient glucose) or some sort of parasitic infection. Are you frequently hungry? What happens when you fast?

  21. Thanks for the response, Paul.

    I’ve always been pretty skinny, between 150-170 most of my adult life, depending on diet. I was a textbook skinny-fat vegetarian. I ate a lot of soy and grain products. Not much muscle to show for it, and carrying a lot of flab in the mid-section. Since going primal, I’ve really leaned out (probably around 10-12% body fat). I probably lost 20 lbs just from the vegetarian to primal switch without any conscious effort to reduce calories.

    Hunger’s not a problem, now that I’ve cut out grains and sugar. I’ve tried fasting, both 24hr and leangains-style modified window, without any serious hunger.

    I’ve been doing a Body By Science once-a-week HIT lifting protocol for the last year. I won’t say I haven’t gained *any* muscle, but not nearly as much as I would have expected given the increased strength I’ve seen. When I’ve tried eating more to gain weight, I just end up putting on belly fat and not a lot of muscle.

    – Eric

  22. Because of Leaky Gut the waste particles are allowed to enter our body.

  23. Eric,

    I had the same problem for for years, untill I stopped eating peanuts (was one of my favorite foods). If I start eating peanuts regulary, they come back within 2 weeks, every time.
    May not be your issue, but worth a try.


  24. Thanks John,

    Unfortunately, I haven’t had a peanut in over a year and I still get them 🙁

    I just had a coworker tell me that he discovered his are triggered by fluoride (not the SLS) in toothpaste, something I’d never heard of.

    I have to think that there’s some underlying low-level autoimmune issue or nutrient deficiency going on, as I feel like I’ve eliminated all the obvious culprits. Either that or the trigger is something ubiquitous (like fluoride in toothpaste/water – fingers crossed!)

    – Eric

  25. Just a point of clarification. True oats are gluten free. They do not have the gliadin structure that wheat, barley and rye (and close relatives) have. If you pay close attention to Fasano’s work, even he doesn’t mention oats. As long as the oats are grown in noncontaminated fields, and processed safely, they are gluten free. Which isn’t to say we should eat them any way, but I hate seeing misinformation about gluten. For those of us with Celiac Disease, this is a very important distinction.

    • Hi Alissa,

      Thanks for the correction. I’ve edited the post.

      I do believe that oats should be excluded from all diets. While oats may not specifically contain gluten and may not interact with antibodies derived from wheat gluten, they do have toxic and immunogenic compounds of their own. Avenin is the main prolamin in oats; oats also have a high glutelin content.

      Here is some background from http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/theglutenfreediet/a/OatsForCeliacs.htm:

      Cross-contamination was a major reason why oats were considered unsafe in the past. Oats, wheat and barley are usually grown next to each other in the fields, processed in the same grain elevators, milled with the same equipment, and transported using the same containers. Inevitably, the grains co-mingle and the oats become contaminated with gluten.

      Today, some growers are dedicating fields and equipment to producing oats alone. It has finally become possible to obtain pure oats, free of cross-contamination, from specialized vendors….

      In numerous studies with adults and children, the majority of patients with celiac disease could tolerate limited amounts of oats. When consumed in moderation … oats did not cause abdominal symptoms or prevent intestinal healing in most cases.

      A small number of people with celiac disease, however, could not tolerate even pure, uncontaminated oats. In these individuals, a protein in oats called avenin triggered an immune response similar to gluten. There was no way to tell in advance which patients would be sensitive to avenins.

  26. ~~No response needed~~

    As someone who has suffered with allergies and rheumatoid arthritis all her life, and didn’t ever think to look at FOOD ALLERGIES as the root cause of all my ailments, I’m glad to have found Celiac info. Now that my allergies are known and growing, I’m glad to have found Paleo/Neanderthal/Caveman-type diets, because that’s about all I’m left with to eat.

    Anyway, I wanted to add “rheumatoid arthritis” to your leaky gut info. After learning and eating better, I managed to stop the arthritis in it’s tracks for now. Unfortunately, I’ve recently learned about the hormone-rheumatism connection, and that women normally experience a surge in rheumatism right before they go completely into menopause (yet, experience a cessation during pregnancy)–ever hear of this? I haven’t! Guess what’s next on my biological agenda? The Big M. I’m hoping the diets can short-circuit this for me, so I can go into menopause with some sort of bone/muscle mass and joints to support it all.

  27. A tip on soaked cornflour… since Latin American food is traditionally soaked this way, an easy way to get pre-soaked cornflour is to buy the ‘Maseca’ flour in the Latino section of most grocery stores. Corn tortillas are usually made with this pre-soaked flour. It’s a great time-saver, and a cool alternate flour. Just be sure to add extra water whenever you use it, as it’s a ‘thirsty’ flour.

  28. Nice and informative post.

  29. Thanks for this. I am thinking about picking up your book. I discovered several years ago that wheat is the cause of my previously chronic eczema, seasonal allergies, and asthma. No thanks to my allergist who instead told me I was allergic to stone fruits. I have been low carb toward paleo since.

  30. Hi Matt – Good diet makes a huge difference! I hope you like the book.

  31. Paul,

    What are your thoughts on Chris Masterjohn’s latest post stating that gluten does not cause leaky gut in non-celiacs?

  32. Hi Todd,

    Well, it’s an interesting result. There’s no question that gluten causes problems in non-celiacs – that’s the main result of the Fasano paper Chris cites, and also of papers cited by Andrew Badenoch in a post I linked today, http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=2950#1. It’s just that leaky gut does not appear to be one of those problems.

    It certainly doesn’t mean that wheat is safe to eat.

  33. A Pain In The Butt | Jan's Sushi Bar - pingback on August 26, 2011 at 8:38 am
  34. Hi Paul,

    Where can I find your suggestions for healing a leaky gut? Thank you.

  35. Wheat and Disease | Sam Snyder - pingback on January 23, 2012 at 10:02 am
  36. Eric,

    I suffered from canker sores my whole life. Since going gluten free two years ago at age 38, they have virtually disappeared. When I have gotten one, I can trace it to something clear, like I had a beer or a scratchy food like corn chips. I also notice that on the rare occasion that I do get one now, it tends to be smaller and to heal within a couple days, rather than lingering for a week or more.

    Funny, I was also skinny (same height and weight as you) until age 35 when I did a bulk up weight routine combined with a high calorie diet including shakes. Basically stuffed myself and worked out, lots of squats, 4 times a week or so. I gained 30 lbs in about 5 or 6 months. I’ve since switched to a big 5 HIT workout, which works great for strength and maintaining my physique, but I have never been able to gain lean mass on it, whether adding calories to my diet a la GOMAD or just by eating my typical PHD diet.

    I’m content around 170 lbs, so gaining mass is no longer a priority, but should it ever become one again, I’d do something other than HIT, or at least a modified version that brought in more sets, didn’t go to positive failure, and could be done maybe 3 times a week. I also might increase carbs and protein a bit, but only around workouts.

  37. Paul and Gluten-Free Real Fooder,

    Corn tortillas and masa flour (at most supermarkets in Californa an Hispanic markets everywhere) are nixtamalized corn. Nixtamalized corn is the corn that’s been processed with lime, soaked, and husks removed.

    Beware of fancy corn tortillas and chips, because the whole grain boom made places like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods go all crazy on tradition. They may include whole grain corn for all we know.

    Stick to masa flour and traditional tortilla products, which typically list lime treated corn on the ingredient list.

    The masa makes good tamales and even an extremely smooth polenta.

    Here’s a good read on nixtamalized corn. http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2009/03/wisdom-from-the-past-nixtamalization-of-corn.html

  38. Kim’s Journal: Detoxing Grace « Transition Now - pingback on March 8, 2012 at 12:50 pm
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  40. Real Food Eater

    Hey Paul,

    I know that unprepared wheat has detrimental health problems on many people. However, what do you think of thoroughly fermented (for about 30 days) sourdough wheat bread? Or 30 day fermented sourdough rye bread (which is probably a better idea because it has not been genetically modified and has less gluten than wheat)? Sourdough breads can be eaten by many celiac patients and they have been staples for many healthy cultures; I am thinking specifically of the Swiss at Loetschental Valley. Would you consider it to be safe starch?

  41. Here is a link which discuses an interesting study published in the journal Immunity (which I have no idea how to access). I asked my doctor about leaky gut and he made me feel really stupid. If anyone can explain how to access this study, I would like to bring it in to my doctor.


    And thanks

  42. WOW. I read this and almost started to cry.
    I’ve started a modified version of the wheat belly diet and I’m already feeling the effects…..
    I’ve had lupus for 17 years….

  43. Hi Paul,

    I have had bad fatigue for years and also have had two years of severe stomach bloating as the day goes on, the biggest distention happening after dinner. I have eliminated gluten which has helped, and added a small dose of betaine hcl after each meal, which has also reduced it. I want to take more, but it seems when I increase the dose to a normal (2) tablets of 600 mg at dinner, I almost seem to have some detox or die off reactions (My body seems always sensitive to supplements or medicine). Is it possibly killing bacteria in my system?

    I was diagnosed years ago with Candida and just started the candida diet a few weeks ago. But I have been feeling extremely tired and more anxious (i have had years of problems with anxiety) and don’t know if its due to too low carb or die off. How do you know the difference? What is your opinion on die off and/or detox?

    I was glad to find your diet because it does make much more sense to me – it seems wrong to not eat starches at all. But do you not find that white rice for example, feeds Candida? (And can I take a natural anti fungal while eating those starches and still kill the fungi?)

    Also, does rice not irritate the intestines if you have leaky gut? I suspect that leaky gut may also be part of my bloating and notice I can only handle small amounts of rice without being more bloated. I read a lot about the SCD diet which says to heal it you have to avoid all those grains. But I would love to not have to!

    You must be a very busy guy, Paul. Thank you for taking the time to comment on all our questions…I very much appreciate your thoughts!

    • Hi Jade,

      It’s probably just an excess of HCl. You can’t expect supplements to solve the problem entirely.

      Another digestive aid that may help is DGL, de-glycyrrhiizinated licorice.

      What is the candida diet? I wouldn’t go too low-carb against Candida. PHD is an excellent anti-candida diet, just add more vegetables.

      Die-off does happen but fungal infections are slow growing and slow dying. Unless you are taking a powerful antifungal like fluconazole, it’s usually not a major issue. The toxic load will be persistent, so you may benefit from detox aids like glutathione, vitamin C, taurine, bentonite clay, but you shouldn’t notice dramatic changes in symptoms.

      Yes, the bloating probably does reflect a leaky gut and immune response to undigested or partially digested food peptides entering the body. So you have to gradually improve digestive function.

      Rice is fairly hypoallergenic so it’s fairly safe. SCD counsels avoidance of starches when you have a colonic overgrowth of some pathogenic species. That may not be your case.

  44. Hi Paul,
    you said wheat depletes vitamin d and corn depletes niacin, but rice is not bad.
    but I heard that rice depletes thiamine(vitamin B1).

  45. Hi Paul,

    I have been reading a lot about cross-reactant foods, with a similar molecular structure to wheat/gliadin. I was wondering what your thoughts are on this or if you had come across it in your research? Rice, white potatoes and chocolate are listed sad:


    I am wondering if eating such foods could have the propensity to prevent gut healing in the case of leaky gut.

    Any insight would be appreciated.

    • Hi Claire,

      Cross-reactivity can happen but I’d be surprised if it affected as much as 33% of the population. I thought the frequency was down in the level of celiac — 0.5% to 1.5%.

      I would have to investigate to be sure but I think unless you’re extremely sensitive to wheat, I wouldn’t expect the much weaker cross-reaction to rice or chocolate or such to be of any significance.

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