“There are a lot of people who have no ‘neurological disease’ but they have functional impairment of the brain and neurodegeneration. This means that the degeneration is there, but they’re not far along enough to be diagnosed as having a disease.” – Dr. Datis Kharrazian, June 2017

We all hear about “Leaky Gut” or the scientific name Increased Intestinal Permeability. But did you know that you can also have Leaky Brain and Leaky Lung? Basically anywhere that you have barriers, such as the Blood Brain Barrier or the tissue in the gut (endothelial tissue) (which is identical to that of the lungs). Inflammation tends to happen simultaneously in both areas. So ‘leaky lung syndrome,’ ‘leaky brain,’ & ‘leaky gut syndrome‘ go hand in hand!

“Leaky Brain happens when the tight junctions and fragility of the blood-brain barrier become compromised and leaky.” -The International Journal of Molecular Science

What can cause a leaky blood brain barrier?

1. Inflammation. Brain on fire = Gut on fire. Leaky gut = Leaky Brain

Credit: Dr. Datis Kharrazian

2. Low antioxidants. Not having a diet high in fruits and vegetables, eating non-nourishing foods.

3. Low Glutathione levels. This is the most powerful antioxidant in your body. Glutathione has many roles in the body, such as participating in liver detoxification, helping to get rid of heavy metals in the body, protecting the blood brain barrier, anti-aging.

4. Eating wheat. Eating wheat/gluten literally destroys your brain tissue. Hundreds of documented studies have show the brain MRIs of white matter lesions in people eating wheat before and then after the healing of those lesions after being gluten free for 4-6 months.

5. Eating wheat!!!!!! *(I can’t stress this enough) Dr. Kharrazian conducted a study in 2013 showing that that the gluten in wheat LOOKS like cerebellar tissue and through “molecular mimicry” causes antibodies to a persons own cerebellum. The cerebellum controls coordination, balance and movement. There is no other food protein more devastating to the brain than gluten.

Quick test to show if you have weak/degenerating cerebellar function:

  1. Try to balance on one foot for a few seconds. First stand on your left foot only. Then stand on your right foot only. Are you easily able to balance? Do you fall to one side?
  2. Stand on each foot with your eyes closed and see if you are still able to balance.
  3. Walk heel to toe with out wavering or falling to one side. If you cannot take 3 steps then you have a cerebellar issue.
  4. Walk heel to toe with your eyes closed. If you cannot take 3 steps with out falling or wavering, you have a cerebellar issue.
  5. Try to coordinate the exact speed and timing of the right and left hands with repeated and alternating supination and pronation.

If you had any issue with doing those tests, you have degeneration of your cerebellum. You must stop eating wheat #1. And you need to strengthen the cerebellum by doing those exercises until you no longer fall over or are imbalanced.This creates neuroplasticity.

And if you still don’t think you should stop eating wheat:

You can try doing The Array 3 from Cyrex Labs, this tests the entire wheat proteome instead of just alpha gliadin (which is the most commonly tested part of wheat to determine if you have a wheat allergy. So if this comes back non reactive, you’re deemed “okay” totally neglecting all the other portions of wheat)

Transglutaminases are antibodies to your OWN tissues. The red circle is Transglutaminase 6, found in the cerebellar tissue. This is showing that every time this person eats wheat they are creating antibodies to their brain tissue. The blue circle is Gluteomorphins, which bind to the opioid receptors in the brain – actually causing you to become addicted to wheat and feel withdrawal symptoms when you stop eating it.

How to tell if you have a leaky blood brain barrier:

You can’t exactly tell if you have leaky brain, because you can’t FEEL it. There are no Nociceptors (pain fibers) in the brain. If you get a head ache, that is a vascular issue. We have to look at the whole picture of what is going on with the gut and also some questionnaires to determine what areas of the brain are degenerating.

One hypothesis that Dr. Datis Kharrazian touched on is the GABA Challenge.

Credit: Datis Kharrazian

GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter within the Central Nervous System (CNS) that reduces excitability in the CNS, and causes us to feel calm. It also plays a role in muscle tone.

  • (Side note: Ataxia is an “idiopathic” condition that is characterized by loss of muscle control, stiffness in muscles, unable to move. Studies have found that wheat can create confusion in the process that creates GABA, and cause antibodies to the enzyme responsible for the synthesis of GABA. ‘GAD 65 antibodies’.)

GABA is a relatively large molecule and should NOT pass through the blood brain barrier. So if you’ve ever taken GABA in pill form and it WORKED, you felt relaxed/sleepy….this means you have a leaky blood brain barrier. Not good!

The GABA Challenge is precisely this:

Credit: Datis Kharrazian

  1. On a night when you have nothing planned, take 1000mg of GABA
  2. Notice any unusual slowing down type feelings, tiredness, lethargy.
  3. Although rare, this response can happen too: feeling wired, excitation, agitation. This is still an indication of a compromised BBB.
  4. Any sort of change is an indication for damage to the BBB.

The protocol for repairing leaky brain is similar to that of repairing leaky gut.

1. Support the brain with nutrition. Absolute most important step is to remove inflammatory foods out of your diet.

2. Activate the vagus nerve with exercises such as singing, stimulating your gag reflex (do while brushing your teeth), and gargling water really violently for 5 minutes ’til you have tears coming out of your eyes and snot flowing!

3. Exercises to increase brain function

4. Take anti-inflammatory supplements and spices or eat them in food form. Resveratrol and Turmeric. These work to dampen inflammation in both gut and brain.

5. Aloe vera – Eating Aloe repairs mucosal lining (remember gut on fire = brain on fire)

6. Take probiotics (not cultured on dairy) – Think of the Gut – Brain axis. They are one.

7. EPA/DHA – DHA is a key part of BBB integrity. Consuming fish or a fish oil (or plant based source of DHA if you’re not into fish). 2-3 months of consuming hydrogenated fatty acids, your cell membranes become more rigid. Switching to high quality oils/fatty acids like EPA/DHA causing the cell membranes to be more fluid and carry nutrients more optimally. This impacts the BBB.

8. Doing brain exercises for memory and cognition:

– Matching card games, memory apps such as Brain Trainer, Vismory, Icue Memory, Memory Boost, Memory Pro, Memory Mice IQ Brain Teaser








The Role of Brain Chemistry and The Physiological Impact by Datis Kharrazian