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  • Joan Rothchild Hardin

Addictions – Gluten

There are many addictions besides drugs like tobacco, alcohol and narcotics. They all involve the gut-brain axis. For example, there’s wheat addiction.


Substances produced during the digestion of wheat, called polypeptides, are able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier separating the bloodstream from the brain. Once inside the brain, wheat polypeptides bind to the brain’s morphine receptors, the very same ones used by opiate drugs.


In a World Health Organization study of 32 wheat-consuming schizophrenics with active auditory hallucinations, the opiate-antagonist naloxone was found to reduce their hallucinations, alerting researchers to the mind-altering effects of wheat.


And, in case you need further evidence of the addictive quality of wheat: It has been shown in laboratory animals that administrating the opiate-blocking drug naloxone also blocks gluten-derived exorphins from binding to the opiate receptors in the brain.


Furthermore, in two separate studies, opiate-blocking drugs administered to non-opiate using, non-psychotic, wheat-eating humans with uncontrollable appetite have been shown to reduce both calorie intake and cravings – and the effect seems specific to wheat-containing products.