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Gluten affects learning and behavior

Posted on June 19th, 2007 by Alison ADD A COMMENT »

glutenandlearning.jpgRon Hoggan, Ed. D., is the author of a wonderful book, Dangerous Grains, about celiac disease and gluten-associated medical conditions. I consider this book a must-read for anyone with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

Dr. Hoggan has recently written an article entitled “How Gluten Grains Can Impede Scholastic Achievement” which appeared in the Price Pottinger Nutrition Foundation Journal in April (Hoggan, R. “How Gluten Grains Can Impede Scholastic Achievement” Health & Healing Wisdom, Spring 2007, Vol. 31; #1). He has given me permission to share his article on this site.

I encourage everyone to read it in its entirety, however the article requires full focus because it is chock-full of information, some of it quite technical with regards to brain functionality. For those of you who may not read the article, I hope you will at least read what I interpret as Dr. Hoggan’s main points (leaving out the technical stuff). For those of you who want to get to the head of the class, go ahead and read the whole article – it is really good.

“How Gluten Grains Can Impede Scholastic Achievement” – the main points:

  1. Learning disabilities and behavior problems are increasing.
  2. Our grain consumption is on the rise.
  3. Certain people are not adapted genetically (based on their heritage) to gluten grains because of the relatively short time (compared to human existence) that grains have been around.
  4. People in general may not be adapted to gluten grains because of all the changes that humans have made to the grains themselves.
  5. Grains make up much more of our diet today than in the past.
  6. Gluten grains have been shown to cause neurological damage.
  7. Celiac disease patients have reported more frequently than the rest of the population: abnormal blood flow patterns in the brain, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities and dyslexia.
  8. Gluten sensitivity patients have problems with learning and behavior which are very similar to those found in newly diagnosed celiac patients.
  9. Gluten sensitivity is found in 11% to 12% of random groups in the U.S. and U.K. (celiac disease accounts for 1% of the population).
  10. Patients with gluten sensitivity showed improvements in learning readiness after at least three months on a gluten-free diet.

Wow – did you follow the logic here? Quite fascinating, even moreso when you read the full arguments. He concludes by stating that the food guide recommendations (the pyramid), which advocate gluten grains and dairy products, are misleading and dangerous.

For other reading by Dr. Hoggan, see this list of articles on a variety of topics related to gluten intolerance. Thank you, Dr. Hoggan, for the article and for the work that you do!

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