Our colon and intestine is home to trillions of bacteria that determine which of our genes will be turned on and off. Dr. Fasano gave a beautiful analogy of our genes as a piano, and our intestinal bacteria as the piano player who determines what type of song the piano will play? Will it be a happy, healthy song or a sad, sick song? At one point in the future, we may be able to test our genome, our bacterial genome and figure out how they interplay, who is at risk for disease, and how the bacterial genome could be modified to prevent or stop the disease.
Dr. Brady has been collecting information on the types of bacteria present in those with autoimmune conditions. Dysbiosis is always a factor (an imbalance of good vs. bad bacteria in the gut). He shared studies of how autoimmune disease can be induced by one type of gut bacteria and erased by the introduction of another type. Individuals in remission were found to have the right balance of normal bacterial flora, and those that were sick and experiencing a multitude of symptoms had an abnormal balance. This is why I am a huge proponent of probiotics and fermented foods.
Dr. Davis, the author of Wheat Belly, was extremely captivating with his dissertation on the origin of wheat and theory that humans should not eat any grains. According to Dr. Davis, human beings did not evolve to eat grasses such as wheat, corn, or rice. He believes that most of the modern diseases are due to grain consumption and that gluten free is a sliver of what we need to do to restore the gut and our health. Personally, I feel that a grain free diet is the best option for those with autoimmune conditions!