Depression: Could it Be Linked to Gluten?

A health clinic in California is using a unique approach to helping people stop taking antidepressants. Their gluten intolerance treatment might have some potential for helping depressed people. Gluten sensitivity could cause depression-like signs such as low energy, irritability and insomnia. Dr. Vikki Petersen, also a clinical nutritionist, wrote a book called The Gluten Effect to explain the potential connection between the consumption of gluten, which is the protein in wheat products, and depression.

On the clinic’s website there is a quote from Dr. Mark Hyman, MD about  the book, “The Gluten Effect is a remarkable window into the innumerable ways in which gluten – that sticky little molecule found in bread and hidden in so many other places – can cause everything from autism to dementia, from depression to psoriasis and so much more.  If you have nagging symptoms that just don’t go away, and you have no idea where they come from, you may be suffering from the gluten effect.” Some research seems to indicate there could be a connection between gluten and mental health, such as  a research study conducted in Finland that found youth on a gluten-free diet showed fewer psychiatric symptoms after three months.

Of course, not all cases of depression will show an improvement on a gluten-free diet, because most people who are depressed are not experiencing sensitivity to gluten, or allergic reactions. Some percentage of depressed people might benefit from trying a gluten-free diet, however. The Gluten-Free Society has published information indicating gluten could be linked to a number of health problems.


Image Credit: USDA

Related Links

10 Biggest Depression Triggers

11 Signs of Depression



Dale Overall

Intriguing, blame food for what ails us. Soon there will not be anything on the planet left to eat...first it is red meat, then it is wheat - what next - we won't be able to eat asparagus?

Then there are people like Hilary who states that for some depression is their "loyal companion" - don't worry, smile, be Happy! Accept your lot in life if you have lost your job, been raped or sexually abused or have a chemical imbalance. Pull up those bootstraps people and clench those teeth and snap right out of it! You can be happy you just have to Work at it...and above all Be Productive! Some people have no medical knowledge whatsoever when it comes to clinical depression.

Going gluten free is fine if one has actual allergies but there is a lot of effort involved involving avoiding foods that are wheat free and many people with depression have enough problems as it is without living on a vastly restrictive diet.

Tiffany P.
Tiffany Pastore4 years ago

WOAH!!! SLOW DOWN PEOPLE!!! Depression sufferer right here! 9 years searching for an underlying cause. By the end of week 2 gluten-free, I was already feeling amazing! Gluten intolerance causes stress on the body, the body creates the stress hormone cortisol, and that messes up EVERYTHING in your body. Including all sex hormones. That is why stress effects us physically in so many ways. So a little research on gluten and you'll soon figure out how exactly gluten may cause depression. My new diet sure set me straight! I will never eat gluten again!

Kari Knabe
Kari Knabe4 years ago

Interesting, thanks for the info!

Emma B
Emma B4 years ago

Not to discount gluten intolerance, food allergies, or depression (or anything else), but the smell of fresh baked bread makes me happy....

Jane Barton
Jane Barton4 years ago

Depression results from ENVIRONMENTAL ABUSE and that comes in many forms. It comes by way of Catholic priests RAPING ALTAR BOYS FOR 2,000 YEARS, it comes by way of
with FOOD. Bad memories cause depression, poisoned food causes dementia/Alzheimers.

Cecily Pretty
Cecily P.4 years ago

Interesting, but I'm not convinced of the validity here...

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola4 years ago

thanks for sharing this article

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola4 years ago

thanks for sharing this article

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton4 years ago

Thanks for the info.

New G.
W. C.4 years ago

Thank you.