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Schizophrenia and Gluten Sensitivity – is there a connection?

Should Patients With Schizophrenia be put on a Gluten Free Diet?

A recent research study published in the journal, Biological Psychiatry identified that schizophrenic patients have elevated antibody reactions to gliadin (a gluten protein found in wheat, barley, and rye).
Individuals with recent-onset psychosis had increased levels of IgG and IgA antibodies to gliadin compared with control subjects. Individuals with multi-episode schizophrenia also had significantly increased levels of IgG antibodies to gliadin…

This is not the first time research has made this connection

Additional research by Drs. Reichart and Landmark discover elevated IgA antibodies to gliadin, beta-lactoglobulin, and casein (dairy protein) in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia compared to non schizophrenic controls.
  • The term “Bread Madness” has been coined for those experiencing psychotic events after grain exposure.
  • The chemical – gluteomorphin (found in gluten) has been shown to alter brain function
  • Gluten has been linked to leaky brain syndrome.
  • Gluten exposure has been shown to cause brain inflammation.


Biol Psychiatry. 2010 Jul 1;68(1):100-4. Epub 2010 May 14.

Gluten Free Society’s Stance:

This study sheds light on the fact that most mental disorders are actually influenced by food choices. Food and food additives are the ultimate drug. Ever see a child have a hyper reaction after eating food dyes or sugar? Think about it… Pharmaceutical medications are typically derived from singular chemicals from plants and animals. How many times have you eaten something so that you could satisfy some mental craving. Peptides in grain and dairy have been shown to stimulate pleasure centers in the brain. Most psychiatrists completely dismiss the fact that food plays a role in mental health. The late Dr. Abram Hoffer spent his life researching the correlation between schizophrenia and nutrition. He had a higher success rate at treating schizophrenia to remission than any of his colleagues. Think about this: Schizophrenia is supposedly an imbalance in brain chemicals. Psychiatrists give drugs to try and restore this imbalance. However; to date, it is a rare occurrence for a psychiatrist to actually measure the brain chemicals they are trying to treat. It makes much better since to measure these imbalances but to also determine what is contributing to or causing these imbalances. In the case of schizophrenia, gluten and casein can play a major role in contributing to the disease.

All schizophrenic patients should have the following lab tests before blindly taking medications:

  1. HLA-DQ gene analysis to identify gluten sensitivity
  2. Vitamin and mineral analysis (
  3. Neurotransmitter testing to identify chemical imbalances in serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, histamine, and other neurochemicals that influence brain function.
  4. Additional food allergy testing to identify other foods that may be playing a contributing role.
If you want to learn more about Dr. Hoffer’s research his book is available below –

Dr. Hoffer’s Book is available here!

12 Responses

  1. Hi! I am trying to find a Gluten Free doctor in San Diego County. I live in the North County region and want to find someone near me – Carlsbad, CA. What I have found is that Chiropractors are the ones carrying the banner, but few M.D.’s. I want to find an M.D. who knows all the ways that gluten sensitivity can wreck havoc on the endocrine system. I am hypothyroid, have exhausted adrenals and some sort of chronic virus going on. It makes sense to me to have a solid M.D. and a Chiropractor working together. How can you help me?

    Thanks so much!

  2. I highly encourage anyone diagnosed with or presenting symptoms to be tested as recommended in the above article. The testing, dietary changes, and nutritional supplements (following testing) has restored my son’s mental and physical health. He did not respond to mainstream psychiatric treatment and medication and in fact, his symptoms were exacerbated. Now, less than a year later, his recovery now seems miraculous!

  3. I have recently begun to wonder if there is a connection between gluten sensitivity and alcholism. My theory is that if you remove all grains (live Totally Gluten Free) from an alcholics life, that they will no longer have a problem with alcohol. Dr Osborne, do you know if this connection has been made?
    Thank you for all your great information!

  4. Dr. Osborne,
    I have been GF for 18 months now…will the gluten sensitivity test show me true results now? I have not found a Dr. here in Las Vegas who is up to date on Gluten Sensitivity or Celiac. Everything I have learned and changed in my eating habits have been the result of reading your web-site and every book or article I’ve found.

  5. Dr.Osborne, is there a connection between gluten and cystic fibrosis? I think my whole family are gluten sensitive, I see all the related disorders in them, I have been confirmed as gluten intolerant, my life changed totally, and my health too, after going GF. Now my nephew has been diagnosed with a positive sweat test as having CF, but I’m suspecting CD…???

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