Gluten: All you need to know, with Dr Tom O’Bryan

Podcast Highlight: episode #88 of A Quirky Journey podcast!

Do you need to be a coeliac to have a problem with gluten? Dr Tom O’Bryan says, no! Learn why gluten is such a problem to so many people. Download the full episode on iTunes or listen in on The Wellness Couch, A Quirky Journey. We’d love to hear your feedback and questions about this episode, so feel free to comment below!

Guest Description

Dr. Tom O’Bryan is an internationally recognised speaker and workshop leader specialising in the complications of Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity and Coeliac Disease as they occur inside and outside of the intestines.  He is the founder of  He recently hosted the paradigm-shifting ‘The Gluten Summit – A Grain of Truth’, bringing together 29 of the world’s experts on Coeliac Disease and Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity at During this interview, Dr O’Bryan goes into great detail as to why gluten is so problematic: from our inability to digest it, to the inflammation it causes in our system, to the pesticides used in growing gluten-containing grains. If you’re considering quitting gluten, or at least trying to get off gluten for a while, we highly recommend you listen to this eye-opening episode of A Quirky Journey. 

Episode Description

To gluten or not to gluten?

Gluten is a protein found predominantly in wheat, rye, barley and oats, and is prevalent throughout our food system in many processed food products such as bread, pasta, cereal, pastries, cakes and more. There are many schools of thought as to whether or not gluten is problematic to our health as a human species, or if only those with Coeliac disease need to remove gluten-containing food items from their diets.

We now know that there is a spectrum of gluten sensitivity that affects a wider range of the population, deemed non-Coeliac gluten sensitivity. Dr O’Bryan explains to us that gluten is harmful for everyone and is an inflammatory compound that causes a cascade of detrimental affects within our bodies. It is also linked to the plethora of autoimmune conditions we see today, including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Crohn’s, diabetes, Hashimoto’s, etc.

This is an informative podcast that is great to share with family and friends who may unknowingly have health symptoms and issues that are related to gluten consumption.

Here is what else we covered:

  • Wheat and the immune system response within the human body
  • How wheat and the gluten protein are indigestible by the human gut
  • Ancient grains and their gluten content
  • Ancient strains of wheat
  • What happens in the body after just one exposure to gluten
  • Gluten and autoimmunity
  • The shikimate pathway, pesticides and herbicides used with wheat and how they affect our health
  • Dr O’Bryan’s food recommendations (particularly pre-biotic and probiotic foods for gut health)
  • Much more!

Jo and Fouad also cover their favourite options for a gluten-free, fuss-free, whole food ChristmasAn information packed episode!

Noteworthy Quotes From Dr O’Bryan

“No human has the enzymes to break down wheat, the proteins of wheat, into their individual amino acids. Amino acids are the only molecules of protein that are supposed to get through the intestines into the bloodstream…”

“Every human gets intestinal permeability when they are exposed to wheat.”

“One exposure to gluten gives you elevated antibodies for months.”

“Your intestinal tract is a tube. It starts in the mouth and goes to the other end. And it’s one big long tube… 20-25 feet long. And it winds around the abdomen. Inside the tube is lined with cheesecloth – the intestinal epithelial lining. The reason it is lined with the cheesecloth is that only the tiniest of molecules are supposed to be able to get through the cheesecloth and get into the bloodstream. If you think of proteins like a pearl necklace. [Digestive] enzymes act as scissors to cut the pearl necklace into each smaller clumps and smaller clumps and smaller clumps of a pearl necklace. Until you get down to each individual clump or pearl of the pearl necklace. Those are called amino acids. And those go right through the cheesecloth into the bloodstream. And then your body uses those amino acids as the building blocks to build new bone cells, new brain hormones, new liver enzymes. All the cells that we make require proteins. It’s part of their construction.

The problem with wheat is that no human has the scissors to cut wheat down into each pearl of the pearl necklace. So those clumps of the pearl necklace that you are left with…your immune system says, ‘Whoa, what is this?! This is not good for me!’ This causes inflammation. The inflammation tears the cheesecloth. Now bigger clumps of the pearl necklace can get through the tears in the cheesecloth into the bloodstream.”

Useful Links

You can find Dr Tom O’Bryan here, and learn more about his book ‘The Autoimmune Fix’ here.As a special gift for you, Dr Tom has shared his video series ‘Betrayal-The Autoimmune Disease Solution They’re Not Telling You’ for free. This series was created for people to learn the ‘big picture’ principles from scientists and Clinicians, with many patient testimonials of reversing MS, RA, and Chronic Fatigue.  The entire 9 Episode Series is free to watch here.


2 thoughts on “Gluten: All you need to know, with Dr Tom O’Bryan

  1. Danielle says:

    Hi there, I would love to hear your opinions on ‘wheat free’ oats. These are oats that are grown on there own and processed in wheat free facilities. I have read claims that oats are only harmful for coeliacs due to the cross contamination? There are so many arguments around this online, what is the real truth??
    Thank you!!

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