A gluten-free diet as a lifestyle treatment for chronic illness has helped many patients recover from longstanding health issues. Despite some high-profile commentaries to the contrary, many doctors and nutritionist note success when they ask their patients to eliminate gluten from the diet. It’s clear why this works for those with actual celiac disease, but the mechanisms are somewhat less clear for patients with gluten sensitivity, as well as those with no known gluten reactions. A recent study from the laboratory of Alessio Fassano, MD, at Harvard-Mass General may help illuminate the impact of gluten on the gut and its role in the development of issues unrelated to celiac disease.

The study explored the effects of the protein gliadin, a component of gluten (found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye) that triggers immune responses in some patients, on the integrity of the intestinal barrier (lining). Researchers took upper intestine (duodenal) biopsies from four populations: patients with active celiac disease, patients with celiac disease in remission, patients with gluten sensitivity, and patients with no known gluten reactions. In all of the groups, intestinal permeability was significantly increased (“leaky gut”) by exposure to gliadin; altered gut barrier function was especially pronounced for those with active celiac disease and those with gluten sensitivity.

These findings suggest that even for people who lack known issues with gluten, eating gluten may increase intestinal permeability. In 2013, IFM presented Dr. Fassano with the Linus Pauling Award in Functional Medicine for his discovery of the connection between intestinal permeability and autoimmune diseases, including celiac disease. His research indicates that many autoimmune diseases develop in the presence of three factors: genetic predisposition, environmental trigger(s), and intestinal permeability (“Leaky Gut Syndrome”). If the findings of his research are corroborated, anyone who eats gluten could be increasing their risk of any autoimmune disease to which their genes make them susceptible through changes in intestinal permeability.

You can help avoid triggering of autoimmune diseases and inflammation of the gut even if you have not decided to follow a gluten-free diet by feeding the cells that line the intestine so they can be healthy and happy. GI-Vive, by Formulated Nutriceuticals, is designed as a daily supplement powder (mixed into water or any beverage) to maintain a healthy and vibrant gut lining.


GI-Vive is a blend of nutrients and botanicals that support the health of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Modern diets and lifestyles can aggravate the lining of the GI tract with chemicals, allergens and bacteria. A healthy GI system acts as the body’s first line of defense, supporting proper digestion and immune function, and promoting optimal wellness.
An easy-to-use powder that tastes great in any beverage and contains the health-promoting polyol xylitol as a sweetener.