Dr. David Clark, DC - Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Functional Neurologist- explains exactly what current research say about the danger of milk and gluten sensitivity.
I'm going to share with you the recently confirmed number one danger to your health if you have gluten sensitivity, celiac disease...and that is consuming milk products.
About a year and a half, maybe two years ago, I posted a very popular video on the danger of milk and gluten sensitivity. At that time I explained that the problem with milk and gluten sensitivity and celiac disease is the issue of cross-reaction.
In January 2013, the research paper by Dr. Aristo Vojdani (PhD immunologist) was published (Journal article here) that confirms the problem.
The biggest danger if you are gluten-sensitive...or have Celiac disease...or are following a gluten-free diet...is MILK and milk products.
It's all about cross-reaction. So let me explain that.
Cross reaction occurs when the antibodies that the body is making to tag one food (gluten, in our example) attach to a different food that is not the original food (milk products). This is called cross reaction.
In Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity (let’s not debate the semantics, they’re functionally the same thing) you have a problem with gluten. Your immune system is reacting to gluten and is trying to kill it, so it makes antibodies to tag the gluten.
Antibodies are like little flashing, adhesive strobe lights that are designed to attach onto the gluten protein so that the immune system cells can find it and try to kill it.
When those antibodies attach to some food that’s NOT gluten --because that food looks SIMILAR to gluten--that’s called cross reaction.
The recent Vojdani study confirms that the number one offender of all foods that they checked were milk products---and this includes all the things that are in milk. Here's what they tested:
- Whole milk
- Alpha and Beta caseins
- Milk butyrophilin
All of these, no matter which component you look at, they were all the biggest cross reactors of the foods tested.
What does this information about milk and cross-reaction mean to you if you’re someone who is gluten sensitive, or someone who has diagnosed Celiac disease?
It means you’d better stay away from milk products...and here’s the thing:
...It doesn’t matter if the milk is organic.
...It doesn’t matter if the milk is raw.
That has nothing to do with the cross-reaction phenomenon. It is the nature of milk itself that is the problem.
Milk contains proteins that are similar enough to the gluten proteins that the antibodies for gluten will attach to the milk protein...and then the immune system will direct an attack on the milk proteins.
Here's how I see this in my patients....
A person will have started a gluten-free diet because they may have read that it’s a great way to lose weight...
...or they may have an autoimmune condition like rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s, Type 1 diabetes...
...or they just may be doing it because they think it’s healthy...
and this person feels a little bit better.
And it's a bit disasppointing because they don't enjoy the miraculous turnaround that they hear a lot of people are enjoying when they go on a gluten-free diet. Here's why...
When you investigate that person's diet you find out they’re still eating milk products.
I’ve lost count in my practice how many people have already made major diet changes by the time they make it in...BUT they’re still coming to me because they STILL have symptoms associated with their autoimmune condition (Hashimoto’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Type 1 Diabetes).
They DID feel better on a gluten-free diet, Paleo Diet or SCD, but when I do a little look detective work on their diet...they’re still eating milk products!
I ask them about it and they say,
“Well yeah, I do eat cheese/ice cream/milk...but not that much.”
Then I have to tell them it doesn’t matter how little milk producst you’re eating. You cannot eat milk products if you’ve got known gluten sensitivity or you think you do. You can’t eat it.
Milk products are really, really dangerous.
To be fair, we know cross-reaction is a problem. We know that cross-reaction does happen with these milk proteins, but....
Cross-Reaction is NOT guaranteed to happen in every individual patient.
I have had some patients who I would have sworn would have had a problem with milk... but, in fact, they did not, as evidenced by the lab testing results and their clinical symptoms. These few patients had no problem with milk, they were the minority.
Less than 2% of my gluten-sensitive patients had NO problem with milk.
So, the take away message is this:
Milk products are the most problematic thing for someone that has gluten sensitivity, Celiac disease (or even an autoimmune condition.)
I encourage you to make sure that you’re working with a doctor that knows exactly what I just told you. If that well-meaning doctor is not reading...not staying current...then that well-meaning doctor could give you BAD information.
Your health is just not worth it. You don’t have time for that.
I hope this was helpful for you. I’ve got a lot more information to come because there was an amazing body of information in that paper.
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© 2013 David Clark. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. David Clark, DC
Functional Neurologist (FACFN)
Diplomate College of Clinical Nutrition
Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist
Vestibular Rehab Specialist (ACNB)
1515 W. NC Hwy 54 Ste 210
Durham, NC 27707