Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gluten Free Planet - you can help me write the book

Gluten Free Planet

Introduction to the new book


“We don't know a millionth of one percent about anything”. Thomas Edison


Your first thoughts about the gluten-free planet idea might be to dismiss the concept as ridiculous. Maybe crazy or whacky. However, I challenge you to answer the question: “Why not?

This apparently crazy concept has got me intrigued. The practical question we are posing is “Under what circumstances could a gluten-free planet become a reality?”

This book is being created by the collaborative effort from the amazing people/friends on our facebook group “Gluten Free Planet”: https://www.facebook.com/groups/100433633347630?ap=1

Modify the food, or modify the people?

There are two schools of thought about celiac disease: 1) Modify the food and avoid gluten (lifelong), or 2) modify the people so that they can tolerate gluten. The default option is do nothing – just leave millions to suffer unknowingly from the deleterious effects of wheat/gluten.

Modify our body

The first approach is to use drugs and/or vaccines to modify your immune response to gluten. The idea is to force your immune system to react differently to gluten, so you will not get sick.

Prof Bob Anderson (http://www.wehi.edu.au/faculty_members/dr_bob_anderson), a celiac disease researcher in Australia, has set up “The Coeliac Research Fund” (CRF) which he says is the first organisation in the world to actively seek to solve the problem of celiac disease. He believes that to do this, it is just a matter of working out the molecular basis for celiac disease, which will then revolutionize treatment and prevention.

I understand this to mean giving us drugs and vaccines, and making alterations to our immune systems so that we are able to tolerate a potentially toxic food (that is the gluten and other wheat proteins) that without this immune-protection make us sick.

I am totally opposed to such an interventionist research program. This research is centered on the idea of creating commercially successful new pharmacology products. Many patents have already been applied for. Vaccines are already in the early testing phases. The pharmo-commerce machine is already being created.

Should we give drugs and vaccines to smokers?

This is like saying that smokers should be given drugs and vaccines to allow then to continue smoking, rather than making it easy for them to quit. And it would be easy to quit smoking if we lived on a tobacco-free planet.

One of the CRF researchers, Dr Jason Tye-Din, wrote in the Coeliac Link magazine (2011): “As to why people with coeliac disease get symptoms is not well understood … we believe that certain chemicals are released by the body after eating gluten, and these can lead to adverse symptoms.”

This is such a vague comment to base the drive to create a vaccine. It is my hypothesis that the main pathway for gluten-harm is through the neurologic pathways.

Or … modify our food

The other approach is to modify your food. This is the current and only way that people with celiac disease have been able to manage their gluten-sensitivity. This has been the standard approach for the last 60 years.

This has meant eliminating every speck of gluten from our diets, and replacing it with other (more) nourishing foods. The gluten-grains of wheat, rye and barley have to be completely avoided. However, our big problem is that of cross-contamination. In this food-processing-world, wheat and wheat derivative are either purposefully added to foods, or it creeps (gallops) in by accident. Consequently, this makes it difficult to completely eliminate gluten from our lives.

Thus, if all foods and food-manufacturing activity could be transformed into being gluten-free, the problem would be solved.

Over the last decade, there has been exponential increases in the availability of excellent gluten-free products. It has never been easier to adopt a gluten-free diet. But the cross-contamination problem remains unsolved, and is likely to be getting bigger.


Request; This is the first part of my new book - you can contribute to it by writing feedback in the comments - next post will lay out the proposed structure.

Cheers and thanks

Dr Rodney Ford http://www.drrodneyford.com

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