Gluten Is DESTROYING Your Health (Stop Eating It TODAY!) | Mark Hyman

A few decades ago, most people didn’t know anything about gluten. Today there is an unmistakable trend of people going gluten-free in the hopes of solving all of their gut woes. Why is this?

In this mini-episode, Dr. Hyman explores this question with the world’s top gluten expert, Dr. Alessio Fasano. Dr. Fasano founded the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1996. In 2013, he moved the Center to Massachusetts General Hospital and renamed it the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment. He is chief of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at MassGeneral Hospital for Children and professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Find Dr. Hyman’s full-length conversation with Dr. Fassano here:


Dr. Hyman is an 11-time New York Times bestselling author, family physician and international leader in the field of Functional Medicine. His podcast, The Doctor's Farmacy, is a place for deep conversations about the critical issues of our time in the space of health, wellness, food and politics. New episodes are released every Wednesday here on YouTube, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

Find him and more of his content all over social media:


Dave McKinnon

  • Cathleen Forche' says:

    I am of Irish heritage. Our family has suffered from gluten/wheat problems for generations… it went undiagnosed. Diverticulitis , surgery and other medical treatments were “answers”, but most of us did not stop eating the main culprit. People suffered the symptoms and found some remedies, to prevent pain and worse, but there was no support for eliminating gluten/wheat/new wheat etc. I am happy to have so many choices compared to the past that are made without gluten. I can have pasta once in a while. God Bless

    • Gabe Angel says:

      Yeah that’s the thing. It’s a common narrative about a lot of conditions ‘well this didn’t exist in the past so x must be causing it’. That’s like saying gravity didn’t exist before Isaac Newton discovered it so the apple that fell on his head must have caused gravity’! It existed, we just didn’t understand it, and most conditions are no different.

      In the past people with Coeliac disease were still sick but the symptoms were probably blamed on other things and most of them probably died of malnutrition, dehydration from severe diarrhoea, anaphylaxis, etc. without ever finding out the cause. Then one day someone discovered coeliac as a condition and suddenly people who had miscellaneous symptoms before could be diagnosed with an actual condition and, better yet, learn how to control the symptoms!

      Also, the more well known a condition becomes, the more people will recognise symptoms in themselves and consult a doctor about it (or ask their doctor if this could be a contributing factor to symptoms they are already having looked into/treatment for) or, in the case of something like substance allergies/sensitivities, even just change their lifestyle to see if it helps, so an awful lot of people realised their body experiences symptoms relating to wheat/gluten in recent years just because it became such a widely known thing, not necessarily because anything had changed.

    • Redneck Philosopher says:

      @Gabe Angel Yes. People with severe celiac probably died in childhood from dehydration. Then they didn’t survive to pass on their genes. Very likely.

    • Kitti McConnell says:

      Wheat cannot thrive in Ireland’s damp climate, so it was not a common food there until transportation routes got mechanised.

    • Cathleen Forche' says:

      @Debbi Morgon Reality is, that people will partake in pasta and so forth occasionally. it is great to have that choice/ luxury after all of these years. 99% of my diet is organic Garden of Eden style. I have eaten that way for decades, but now I can have the occasional piece of cake, or other comfort foods when they were completely off the list before. We can’t just deny people with broad statements when they realize wheat is not their friend. Now we can put in into perspective. Once they are clean with their food, they will realize what a challenge it is for their body when they eat wheat, which would be real bad, or see happy but sluggish results of legal “comfort” foods made with rice, quinoa etc.

  • Gray Harrison says:

    My wife became sensitive to eating wheat products, which made her increasingly sick until she could not eat wheat at all. Then, in 2019, a trip to France showed that she could eat anything she wanted – baguettes, croissant, pasta, etc. So, she started making her own bread from organic Italian flour and Einkorn flour when we got back to the US, and has no issue. The idea promoted here that “they make bread differently” in Europe doesn’t make sense. My wife makes bread the “quick” way, only letting the dough sit for 2 hours. She does not have any reaction to eating Italian flour. However, even one bite of anything made with flour from the US makes her sick. Bottom line: There is something very wrong with the wheat grown in the US.

    • Katie Did says:

      All wheat?
      Even organic?

    • Gray Harrison says:

      @Katie Did Hi Katie, there are some suppliers of organic wheat here in Colorado that my wife can tolerate, but not on a regular basis. The problem is that there is so much RoundUp (glyphosate) being sprayed on crops in the US that even organic farms are somewhat contaminated.

    • G Skyle says:

      ​@Gray Harrison Where can you get Italian flour from? Do you have a brand name?

    • Fara Gräf says:

      france and italy have their own wheat. pitty german not, german got it from USA.

  • mw sales says:

    Dr. Hyman makes a good point. In the northern US and Canada where they have cool summers, they spray the wheat and kill it with roundup poison to dry it, 2 weeks before they get ready to harvest it. Here in Oklahoma and the southern states, it’s hot enough where the wheat naturally dies and dries without having to poison it. The problem is, when you buy flour in the grocery store, you don’t know where it’s grown.

  • Halifaxguy says:

    The story of the wife being able to eat pasta outside of North America resonates with me. I have TERRIBLE I.B.S. complications if I eat bread/wheat products here in Canada. When I was in Paris and in Ireland just before the pandemic I held off for a while and tried it and had NO issues. It was so wonderful I ate it every day that I was there for 3 weeks with no issues at all. A week after getting home I tried ‘homemade’ bread from the grocery store bakery. I didn’t get through a single sandwich before I knew what a horrible mistake I had just made.

    • Siri E says:

      Yeah! I crave regular bread so much. I can’t have it here in Canada.

    • Dee Pattison says:

      Using organically grown wheat should help quite a bit. Glyphosate is truly not beneficial to humans.

    • Redheaded Gypsy says:

      When the pesticide companies are growing YOUR food…yeah, it’s an issue. Grow most if your own food.

    • Barry Piper says:

      You mean the first few bites of the sandwich were already in your colon before you could finish the sandwich? Do you not have a stomach?

  • ZsOtherBrother says:

    Thanks for this enlightening video.
    I have a couple of questions:
    1) Is it true that some recent wheat cultivars, (last few decades), are even higher in gluten, or have a more elastic type of gluten, because it makes for a “fluffier” bread?
    2) What are the different types of gluten, and what are the differences between them when it comes to how our bodies handle them and are affected by them?

    I’d also like to add that there’s a type of Egyptian wheat that doesn’t trigger celiac flare ups, so aside from preparation processes, pesticides, and gut health, it seems that gluten type and percentage are a definite factor.

    Thanks again.

  • hostadaze says:

    Exactly 50 years ago this summer my Dad, sister and I watched as my mother withered away to almost nothing because of undiagnosed Celiac disease! At that time doctors didn’t know much about it, so I would imagine there were plenty of people who died undiagnosed. Luckily my Mom found out what it was and survived. She’s 87 and until very recently, was doing well.

    • E432 R says:

      Something very similar happened to my Grandma – she was misdiagnosed for 10+ years and was so miserable, and then finally figured out it was Celiac. After she healed, she thought she could have a little bit here and there and she is now so horribly malnourished and lives in a nursing home in a sad state of dementia. It makes me so sad that a lot of her issues are probably from untreated Celiac. (I realized I have it at 29, and have been researching it a lot.)

    • Mystic Fox says:

      I’m glad you mom got better. As a historian watching that intro my first reaction is that they were sickly or dead, not necessarily that the diseases didn’t exist at all. Failure to thrive as it were.

  • Steve Fitz says:

    I was having problems 60 years ago and was treated for irritable bowel my entire life until I had repeated bouts of diverticulitis and had surgery. I am a cardiologist and my symptoms were not consistent with celiac disease in the textbook of medicine. When I was recovering from surgery I heard Jillian Anderson talk about her clients with celiac disease and their symptoms were like mine. I went gluten free and was much better.

  • electraspy says:

    I truly believe it’s city or county water that is ruining our guts, even with filters systems. Husband & I both grew up in the countryside that had water wells, never gut issue. In our 30’s, we moved to the city and had our children. We started having gluten issues within a year. Myself & my daughter would break out in hives. My husband & son would have awful stomach issues.We lived in 3 different places over 6 yrs, all on city water. We had to eat gluten free for years. 6 yrs ago, we bought a ranch in country with a water well. We started noticing our sensitivity to occasional cheats, say cookies, weren’t causing any issue. Eventually we started testing reg foods and in last 2 yrs we have had no issue whatsoever. Wheat bread, pizza, pasta… no issue, no hives, no bloat, no toilet issues & no vomiting. For us, I’m convinced City Water was wrecking our stomach balance.

    • PH-121 says:


    • G Skyle says:

      How about using Reverse Osmosis water?

    • Milena Koncar says:

      Interesting and very possible!!💯 I sometimes feel when i drink water from the filter on an empty stomach, that then i start getting stomach upset and acidity, like burning.

    • Milena Koncar says:

      ​​@G Skyle i heard from many natural healers that the best water is destiled water with an additional fluoride filter.

      Reverse osmosis is good but takes away all good minerals. So u have to put them back on with himalayan salt.

      I really would do reverse osmosis filtered water into a destiler, then add the himalayan salt.

      Then drink or cook.

      Thats my plan.

    • Snowbird says:

      I don’t think it’s the tap water. I haven’t used tap water in nearly 2 decades and I have issues with gluten.

  • velvetpaws999 says:

    About 25 years ago, I discussed this in Germany, with a farmer who studied agriculture and has a PhD in this field. He told me that the wheat of pre-WWII was different. It contained – naturally – just traces of gluten. Then, the farmers were paid for their wheat grains by means of determination of the gluten content. More gluten, higher price. The gluten is one of the key ingredients that gets extracted from wheat, for usage in other food items that are now industrially produced and have to be processed for preservation and consistency etc… So, more gluten, more money for the farmer per ton of wheat. This then triggered the selection of grains higher in gluten content, and it was pushed basically to the extreme. In other words, even in the bread we eat, there was never this much gluten. It seems that human bodies don’t like gluten, but can deal with minimal amounts without any problems. Now, when we are overloaded with gluten, not only in the bread itself, but also in most other commercial food items, our body cannot process this onslaught. We are getting allergic to it and we can no longer tolerate it.
    Gluten is invisible, so it is impossible for a normal consumer to see it and avoid it. And labeling for gluten is relatively recent. Before that, nobody knew in detail what was put into the food items we all eat.
    I wish we would reconsider the way we make our food. All these additives (colorants, preservatives, humectants, taste enhancers, processing aids, etc etc…) are making our food more or less questionable, if not outright unsafe. We usually find out AFTER lots of people are already sick. That is unacceptable. Children have all kinds of issues which were never known pre-WWII. Before that era, there was hardly any processed food out there. The TV dinner craze and such all began after that fateful war.

    • Bianca Hotca says:

      Yes, in Europe they seem to have a greater control of what goes in food and how it’s made and I have a running theory for that. Few preservatives and additives. I witnessed that with some food products I bought made in Germany. In Romania, where I’m from, some relatives bought some lunch meats, they have to be eaten in just a few days because they will spoil. Do you know why the farming methods changed in Europe after ww2? More output for farmers, means getting paid better? Who’s screwing who?

    • Dorcas D says:


    • Casey Vessey says:

      I heard this too. I read they genetically modified it with more gluten because the yields were bigger and weighed more meaning more money. Such a similar story but same kind of idea. It wasn’t here like this, We havnt changed.

    • Avatar of Justice says:

      Final Justice for American Exceptionalism 😢

  • Zoraida Sifontes says:

    This is definitely true for me. I started developing gastrointestinal issues after moving to the U.S. I remembered the first three years were specially hard, even eating out at nice restaurants would cause an incredible amount of abdominal pain.

    I now have wide range of food sensitivities including gluten and lactose and was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder at 32.

    • a l i c i a ∙ says:

      I came back from a trip to the Netherlands, now I’m in Malta and bloated asf and gained 2 kg. My thigh gap is nearly gone too.

    • flowers says:

      My son is only 18 and dealing with abdominal pain whenever he eats we have eliminated dairy and wheat gluten but still issues perhaps pesticide sprays I have no idea would you possibly have any suggestions

    • Zoraida Sifontes says:

      @flowers Has he seen a gastroenterologist yet? If not, I highly recommend it. I got tested for gut diseases and bacteria after my post and it turned out to be H.pylori. I was put on antibiotics and have been doing so much better since.

    • flowers says:

      @Zoraida Sifontes not yet but thank you so much that is a great suggestion and so glad the antibiotics worked! I will ask his Dr as he’s ordered a bunch of blood work

    • Bybby Abby M.S. says:

      @flowers Yous should take him to a professional doctor so they can see what’s wrong and what you can so to help your son, the best we can do when we are not okay is not go to a professional in the area.

  • Cindy Lemire says:

    I grew up on antibiotics because of problems I had. The antibiotics obviously destroyed much of my colon/intestinal good bacteria. I ended up with a number of gut issues and when I grew up, working to help and heal myself with diet. So by my early 20s the side effects were obvious. One was, I couldn’t eat wheat, breads etc. This was 40 years ago, before it became what they call the “fad”. I was grinding my own organic wheat and making my own bread when I realized it was the source of my pain. So there are many factors killing our society. I think if more focus was on natural healing instead of automatically using chemicals to treat every problem, we would be way ahead.

    • steve6375 says:

      I had a similar experience. RA for 60 years (started at age 5). When I retired a bought a bread machine and after many months realised my RA was now really bad almost every day. I gave up wheat and was much better almost immediately. However, a lot of products labelled as ‘gluten-free’ (in UK) actually make me flare up the next morning so now I give up all grains and I am pain free and medication free after 65 years! The only problem is that now I have become a celiac. If I accidentally consume a small amount of grains/glutens (say in a breakfast nut bar), i do NOT get RA symptoms and so I think I am OK to eat it. However, I slowly developed bowel and gut problems which then leads to all the classic celiac symptoms and I get very ill. As soon as I cut out that nut bar which had wheat flour in it, my celiac symptoms started to immediately improve after months of being really ill. I suspect that because I had been grain-free for 5 years previously, I had no gluten-eating bacteria in my gut. Then I ate small amounts of gluten each morning and it attacked the villi in my gut. i.e. once you have been gluten-free for a long time, you cannot tolerate any amount of gluten (because you have lost the ‘good’ bacteria?).

    • Sharing my thoughts says:

      Did you find any probiotics or treatments to improve your gut health?

    • steve6375 says:

      @Sharing my thoughts Not as such. I found it is very important to read the ingredients label on ALL foods. For instance, with one particular make of Yoghurt, the raspberry one is OK, but the peach one says under the ingredients list ‘may contain gluten, nuts and egg. After a month or so I realised that the peach one (my fav!) was actually harming my gut and now feel much better since I stopped eating it! Also, I don’t eat much/any fish or eggs, but recently started taking Omega-3 veg-derived oil and its really working.

  • Ryan says:

    One reason may also be that traditionally bread was fermented for 3 days and made from a starter culture. This process helped break down the gluten. The bread in the store today is quickly mass produced in a short time using yeast. The Weston A. Price Foundation has lots of information on this.

    • Cindy Lutz says:

      So, like sourdough…at least, as I make it…now? No yeast? But the flour itself could still be an issue…?

  • nancy benson says:

    At just over a year old my daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease by a Yale graduate pediatrician. That was in 1970. It is a genetic disease for her. My family is Northern European. As soon as she went on a rice, banana and lean meat diet she began to thrive. For those that actually have celiac disease it is debilitating and ruinous to their ability to thrive. It is not intolerance it is devastating to their health. It is an auto immune disease like Crohns and Minimal Change disease, asthma, lupus. And it isn’t something that has happened in the last 50 years. Gluten sensitivity is different than celiac disease. Full blown celiac in a child is like watching your child starve and not knowing what is causing it. Their belly swells. Their skin becomes fragile, eczema broke out on her. They are sick! After doctors said it was an allergy to milk for months I finally took her to the pediatrician that diagnosed it, and we had a biopsy done and she had celiac disease. That saved her from years of suffering.

    • Atheria PsychicGal says:

      My dad didn’t find out he had Celiac Disease until he was about 62. By then, he was down to a skeletal 118 lbs., had severe anemia, and prostate cancer. Now, in 2022, at age 87 he’s still doing okay due to getting off gluten years ago. I’m to the point where I think no one should eat gluten. I’m not a celiac, but have clear negative health side effects when I eat gluten.

    • dag118 says:

      No one realizes how sick they get, unless you experience it for yourself. One of my children had all you describe, plus bleeding intestines. My other child had seizures from gluten. Their diagnosis saved their lives, they are now in their thirties and healthy adults.

    • reesa serik says:

      I work with a lady that suffers from Celiac. In her 60’s huge red flags started going off with her doctor. She was virtually all vitamin and mineral deficient, including iodine. After extensive test he finally discovered that the walls of her intestines were covered in gluten. The gluten was sticking to the intestinal walls — her body unable to flush it out. Her body was not absorbing the vitamins, minerals and nutrients from food. (This is a layman’s explanation.) He ordered her to quit eating anything with wheat gluten. Anything she had in the house, she needed to get rid of. Eventually her body recovered and her thyroid improved — the Celiac disease becoming less severe. This is how I learned of Gluten intolerance, and started researching it. It seems that there is no one set standard of how it effects people. Seems people will react differently. Getting off the gluten worked for me and it worked for her. Recently, my cousin (our mothers were sisters), her daughter and my son have been diagnosed with gluten intolerance. This is more than coincidence. I am beginning to think it may be a hereditary thing. I think the gluten intolerance is much more prevalent than we think. For some people the symptoms are mild and not noticeable. But over time, the problem gets compounded until your body can no longer handle it as you get older. Just my thoughts. So glad you found a doctor who was open minded to gluten intolerance. The majority of the medial industry will not recognize it.

    • reesa serik says:

      @Atheria PsychicGal I am not celiac either, but I am definitely gluten intolerant. I get severe stomach bloating, dizziness, extreme nauseousness the shakes — all within 15 minutes of eating wheat. Then I projectile vomit — and I mean projectile; it comes ‘flying out’. Then, once my stomach is empty all the symptoms fade. If what I ingest is small enough that I do not vomit it out, I suffer from severe arthritis pain that last for weeks. Gluten can attach itself to any inflammation in the body (which is what arthritis is) and irritate it. If I avoid wheat — completely — I have zero arthritis pain. So, for all the years I experienced pain in my shoulder and hip (which have been diagnosed to have arthritis); ever since my early 30’s, it was because I was eating wheat. So, I check all labels. Even vitamins and medicines can have gluten in them. It is not just in foods. It is also in shampoo, soap — you cannot name everything gluten is in. I use gluten free shampoo and soap. That was when the eczema I suffered with since my early 20’s, completely went away. No outbreaks — nothing. It is a real problem, do not let anyone make you believe it is not.

    • Atheria PsychicGal says:

      @reesa serik EEEEK. I do avoid gluten in skin/hair products as much as possible too. I also buy specific gluten free oatmeal. A weird symptom I had for years that went away when I ditched gluten was bloody, painful, scabby sores up inside my nasal passages. I didn’t know that was a gluten thing until this woman in Colorado with Celiac mentioned it.

  • Atheria PsychicGal says:

    My dad is an official celiac disease sufferer and my sister and I have definite gluten issues despite not being celiacs. When she was in Rome a few years ago she discovered what I’d heard about from others…that she tolerated the wheat in Italy fine. She now imports Einkorn wheat and bakes her own breads.

    • Saad Khan says:

      It’s the chemically grown wheat of the US, hybridized for a short size and higher number of kernels. This is resulting in a massive nutritional imbalance and a much higher gluten content. So yes most U.S. grown wheat is a big no no.

    • Shurretep says:

      Yes I suffer from coeliac disease. I live in England where bread products are often made from hard wheat which contains higher gluten content. When I visit Greece I can tolerate some bread very well, particularly good restaurant bread. Back in England, I find I can also tolerate sourdough bread, owing, no doubt, to the longer processing time referred to at the beginning of the video.

  • Nick Meale says:

    That was a pretty powerful speech. I make pizza for a living in Australia with cheap Aussie wheat but long fermentation times, 24 hours or longer. I get the same response that people can ‘digest my pizza better’ than others. Whether you believe it or not is another story but long fermentation and minimal yeast seems to be key. Make no mistake that all the italians I’ve worked with know about long fermentation times for bread/ pizza and homemade pasta techniques in their restaurants.

    • Evan Hunke says:

      I have a small side business selling sourdough out of my condo…it takes me start to finish almost 7 hours or more before its ready to go into the oven and it takes an hour to bake, for big bread companies that isn’t acceptbale and they take short cuts with additives. of my customers, some avoid gluten for health reasons yet none of them have a medical reason to do so and they all compliment me that my bread doesn’t make them feel funny…trust me my bread only stays in one piece because of one thing…GLUTEN. I swear this whole gulten free fad, sorry celiac people I know your out there and I mean no disrespect I am talking about others, but this fad is designed by big food companies to get our attention off the other additives that are the real route of people’s disgestive problems. Hell I thought I was doing myself a favor by switching from regular coke to coke zero, it was destroying my stomach…went back to the real stuff but in moderation, no upset tummy! We just need to get back to natural food, not depriving ourselves of everything we enjoy…

    • Nick Meale says:

      @Evan Hunke I hear you loud and clear. Homemade baking need to make a comeback

    • Danny Gill says:

      ​@Evan Hunke I agree, but coke is horrific for you.

    • Nick Meale says:

      @Danny Gill  Yeah, but I will say sugar in moderation is better than some sweeteners, especially sweeteners in diet coke, etc

    • Tom Jones says:

      Yeast fermentation eats the gluten in wheat.

  • Arlene Gomes says:

    It was an issue 50 years ago. My nephew who is now 62 had celiac disease and had to be on a gluten free diet. Back then, there were no “gluten free” products on the supermarket shelves. My sister in law had to watch his diet so carefully and I remember him getting really sick.

    • Majestic Artimus says:

      there’s tons of gluten free products on the shelves; meat, milk, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts, rice, fish, fowl, butter, cheese etc. Plenty to eat.

    • Jennifer Silves says:

      ​@Majestic Artimus Now there is.


  • chinookvalley says:

    I was really sick with a lot of illnesses as a kid. At age 7 we moved to a farm. TA-DA! My immune system turned 180*. Fresh grown foods with NO chemicals, around livestock and domestic pets, played outdoors dawn till dusk when I wasn’t in school. My parents made a wonderful decision that saved my health and my life.

  • Aiden Martin says:

    I’ve had gluten intolerance all my life but I didn’t know that I had it. I knew the illness and symptoms I had ran in my family but it wasn’t until my niece was diagnosed when she was an infant that we had a name for what was wrong. Been off of gluten for several years now and it’s definitely made a difference to my health. No longer having daily headaches, frequent migraines, hand tremor, leg pain and restless legs syndrome as well as gut problems.

  • Christopher Berry says:

    So many personal testimonies. Dr Fasano is a global treasure. His work on Zonulin alone is massive – that he has the time to discuss this with Dr Hyman for us on youtube is an honour to his respect of disseminating knowledge without economic motives. Thanks.

  • Testing Instruments says:

    Wonderful explanation. I am gluten free for almost an year. I feel great. Your explanation is very useful for convincing people to go out of gluten.

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