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the gluten, leaky gut, autoimmunity connection


“Once people’s Immune System begins making antibodies to Gluten; for reasons that are not yet clearly understood, these same Immune Systems often begin making antibodies to self.  This is called Autoimmunity…..  Autoimmune Diseases tend to travel in packs, like wolves.  This is because your problem is not the disease itself, but the fact that your body is making antibodies to itself and will continue to make antibodies to itself until you dry up the source of Inflammation and fix the Leaky Gut.”  From the UNIVERSAL CURE section of my Blog.

Gluten Leaky Gut

Although you have probably never heard of him, the “Isaac Newton” of the WHOLE FOOD NUTRITIONAL FIELD was a dentist by the name of ROYAL LEE — the founder of Standard Process Nutritional Company back in the late 1920’s.  Today I want to give you a taste of Dr. Lee’s brilliance and show you just how far ahead of his time he really was.   Unfortunately, people of every era who are so far ahead of their peer group that the scientific community fails to understand them are often branded as “unscientific”.   In the same way that Galileo was vindicated after his lifetime, so is Royal Lee being vindicated with every passing day.  

The AMA hated Dr. Lee because of his stance on the relationship between nutrition and health (or lack thereof).  As outlandish as it might seem today, until the 1980’s, the official stance of the AMA was that as long as a person was getting enough calories and their RDA’s for the various vitamins and minerals, nutrition could not be the major factor in one’s health.  In fact, at one of Lee’s many legal proceedings, Dr Elmer Nelson, head of the FDA’s Nutrition Division, said this in response to Lee’s assertions.  It is wholly unscientific to state that a well-fed body is more able to resist disease than a less well-fed body.  One of the things these various organizations specifically attacked Lee for was his work on GUT HEALTH and Leaky Gut Syndrome. 

A foundational health principle you’ll absolutely have to understand if you ever hope to make a dent in your CHRONIC AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE(S) (HERE is a short list of some of the more common Autoimmune Diseases) is something that is most widely known as LEAKY GUT SYNDROME (the medical research community refers to it as Increased Intestinal Permeability).  Despite the fact that the biggest number of practicing physicians either don’t know anything about it or completely deny it’s existence, listen to what Dr. Lee wrote nearly 70 years ago. 

“Allergies are due to undigested protein being absorbed in the bowel.  And the lack of digestion is due to pancreas weakness [lack of or weak DIGESTIVE ENZYMES] number one, and due to possibly ulcers and inflammation of the bowel.  A combination of poor pancreas and a little colitis and you’ve got allergies.  There again, colitis is nothing but a vitamin P deficiency.  It’s the same lesion that you find in the gingiva [mouth] only further down in the mucosa.  It’s the same remedy.  You can stop that ulcerated and hemmoragic colitis just as easy as you can in the gingiva.” 

So, how in the world does a “Leaky Gut” lead to allergies / sensitivities? Instead of me taking a lot of time to explain something I already went into detail about, I will let the venerable heart surgeon, Dr. Oz do it for me (HERE).  Just understand that due to UNCONTROLLED INFLAMMATION, the “tight junctions” (small gaps) between individual cells in the Gut (intestines) become “loose”, which allows the tight junctions to get looser.  This lets increasingly large particles of undigested foods and proteins into the gut.  Your body recognizes these as foreign and begins to mount an Immune System attack on them by creating antibodies.  Here is where it begins to get crazy.  Listen to what Royal Lee said 60 years ago about this phenomenon of Leaky Gut Syndrome and its effect on health (this is transcribed from a lecture given in the mid 1950’s).

“Don’t forget now, there are two kinds of antibodies.  There are natural tissue antibodies and there are antibodies to foreign proteins.  Most of our textbooks on immune reactions discuss nothing but the antibodies that are developed against foreign proteins.  In this next period of scientific development of this physiological reaction, you’re going to hear more about natural tissue antibodies.  They’ve been discussed and described but you won’t find them in the textbooks yet.”
Let’s break down what Dr. Lee was saying here.  You body makes antibodies to foreign proteins (fragments of bacteria, viruses, molds, yeasts, parasites, particles of undigested food-based proteins, etc, that “leak” through the loosening junctions in the Gut).  One of the most common of these is GLUTEN.   Although Lee was certainly interested in this part of the Immune System, the part of the Immune System he was really interested in was the “Natural Tissue Antibodies”.  These are the antibodies that your body makes against its own tissues.  Can anyone say “Autoimmunity”?   But here is where Lee’s brilliance takes off and moves into the stratosphere.

The thing that the FDA, AMA, and other organizations despised him for above all else (they literally hounded him to an early grave with the constant law suits and legal battles), was his work on the relationship between Autoimmunity and malnutrition / nutritional deficiencies.  You see, Dr. Lee discovered something all these decades ago that we still don’t really understand today.  He discovered that there was a part of the nuclear matter of certain kinds of cells that would work against Autoimmunity (slow it down or sometimes even stop it) without grossly suppressing the Immune System like immunosuppresive drugs such as Corticosteroids do.  Take a look at this video describing the general way the Anti-Autoimmunity factors that Lee incorporated into dozens of his nutritional formulas work.   He called these Anti-Autoimmunity factors Protomorphagens, or PMG’s for short 

Here’s why all this is important to you today.  Firstly, it is critical to understand that the majority (60%) of the people who manifest symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity, manifest with NEUROLOGICAL SYMPTOMS.  This means that even though you may not have the traditional GI symptoms which are most commonly associated with Gluten Sensitivity, (bloating, gas, IBS, etc), you could very well be Gluten Sensitive.  The problem with this scenario is that your first signs / symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity could be heavy hitters such as MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, NEUROPATHY, PARKINSON’S DISEASE, certain forms of dementia like ALZHEIMER’S, AUTISM, or any number of others.  Many of these are only recently beginning to be understood.  For example, equilibrium problems of unknown origin are many times being tied back to autoimmune antibodies being created against one’s own CEREBELLUM.

Secondly; although Whole Food Nutritionists have been successfully using Dr. Lee’s work / products for decades to help people suffering with all sorts of Autoimmune Diseases, the science is beginning to catch up with his mind.  One break-through occurred a couple of years ago, when blood tests were finally developed for a number of the more common Autoimmune Diseases.  Enter Cyrex Labs.  Founded by one of the world’s premiere Immunologists (Dr. Aristo Vodjani, MD), Cyrex is not only the world’s top lab for testing for GLUTEN SENSITIVITY / GLUTEN CROSS-REACTIVITY, they are also testing for things like Increased Intestinal Permeability (Leaky Gut Syndrome), and is, as far as I am aware, the only lab I’m aware of that is testing the blood for specific Autoimmune Antibodies.  Although the ANA blood test (Anti-Nuclear Antibodies) has been around for a long time, all it does is tell you if you have Autoimmunity in your system.  The Cyrex test goes much farther and tells you which specific tissue(s) / enzyme(s) / protein(s) your Immune System is making antibodies to.  And they are regularly adding to THIS LIST (Array 5 is the Autoimmune Antibody list).  Let’s look at one example of an Autoimmune Disease where Lee’s knowledge (he had largely figured this thing out back in the 1940’s) and Vodjani’s incredible grasp on immunology can be seen working symbiotically.

I have repeatedly told my readers that one of the most significant (and misunderstood) health issues facing Americans today is our collective loss of Hydrochloric Acid (Hypochlorhydria).  Contrary to popular belief, we all need incredibly strong acid —- and lots of it,  in order to be able to properly digest our food (HERE).  Without enough acid (HCl), we end up with things like H. Pylori infections, ulcers, Acid Reflux, OSTEOPOROSIS, other mineral deficiencies, and a host of other health problems (follow the links — or if you are really skeptical, you could read Jonathon Wright’s (M.D.) book called, “Why Stomach Acid is Good For You“).  Two of the tests on Array 5 pertain to Pernicious Anemia (Intrinsic Factor and Parietal Cells).   One of the factors that Lee used to treat people with Pernicious Anemia was what he called “Vitamin P” (one more thing he was persecuted by the AMA / FDA about). Vitamin P contained the Intrinsic Factor from Bovine Stomach Parenchymal Tissue.  One of the nutritional formulas that Dr. Lee came up with to help deal with this problem (1950) is called Cataplex B-12.

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