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GLUTEN AND LEAKY GUT

What if you have none of these special conditions: celiac disease, a grain allergy, gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance. Now are you off the hook? Nope.

Even among people who have no special sensitivity, gluten triggers the release of a protein called zonulin. I realize that zonulin sounds like the name of a creature from outer space, but it's actually a protein produced in the small intestine. Like any sci-fi villain, zonulin is insidious and potentially quite dangerous, dismantling the proteins that create the tight junctions that we talked about in

. Tight junctions are what keep your intestinal lining neatly sealed up so all the partially digested food stays inside. When zonulin messes with those junctions, some of that food leaks out, and your immune system thinks it's being invaded again. Suddenly, you're developing food sensitivities to foods you used to tolerate, and the overall immune response is increasing your level of inflammation. Inflammation causes symptoms plus weight gain.

If the details are too hard to remember, just keep this simple formula in mind:

gluten → leaky gut → food sensitivities → inflammation + weight gain

That's really all you need to know — and it should inspire you to stay off the gluten.

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