Is it Really Necessary for Someone With ADD/ADHD to Avoid All Grains?

There are numerous studies that link ADD/ ADHD and gluten.  In fact, there is one study that links celiac and ADHD.  So it might just be that the avoidance of all grains containing gluten is essential for the natural maintenance of ADHD.

It has been my experience that the removal of all grains does matter because there are no “safe” grains in this country.  There are two reasons why I say that.   First, I don’t trust the cross contamination potentials of the non-gluten free and the gluten free grains.  They are normally transported, processed, and stored in the same plants and containers that have or had gluten-containing grains in them.

Second, and more importantly, it’s probably not just the gluten that is causing the problem.  The real troublemaker for anyone that is sensitive to gluten is gliadin.  Gliadin is a portion of the gluten protein, but it is also found in other grains; like buckwheat, bulgur, wheat, rye, oat, barley, and oatmeal.

Gliadin is the main protein that causes the toxic reaction in our intestine to gluten.  This toxic reaction causes the normally very tight gap junctions between the cells of our intestine to loosen.  This may sound horrible, but it’s a protective mechanism.  The opening of those junctions releases water into the intestine attempting to flush, as quickly as possible, the toxin out of the body.  The longer and more gliadin that is present the loser the junction’s get.

The problem is that this loosening of the tight junctions (called leaky gut) allows larger proteins into the body.  These proteins present to the immune system as a foreign invader and doing what immune systems do; it starts attacking those proteins.  The problem with this immune reaction, and why I say that there aren’t any safe grains in this country, is a phenomenon called cross-reactivity.  This means that the gliadin protein looks a lot like other proteins, especially other grains, to the immune system.  When those proteins look like, the immune system attacks assuming that both of them are foreign invaders and mounts the defenses.

The foods that are most often part of this cross-reactivity are corn, rice, yeast, casein, millet, soy, and quinoa. These cover a significant amount of the grain alternatives, and again, leads me to say that there isn’t a safe grain for your immune system and consequently, you.

So yes, if anyone who has a tendency towards ADD or ADHD, you're going to be much better off avoiding all grains.  Honestly, even if you don't have that tendency, but just want your gut and brain to work at their best capacity, cutting grains from your diet will benefit you tremendously too.

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