"The Gluten Effect" Book

Doctors Vikki and Richard Petersen, founders of the celebrated HealthNOW method, have released their book The Gluten Effect.

With the growing demand for information and education on the subject of gluten, it couldn’t have come at a better time. And, with the growing number of health issues related to gluten sensitivity and celiac disease being researched, a book was needed to shed light on this critical subject. This book does just that.

In The Gluten Effect, Doctors Vikki and Richard Petersen expose the dangers that gluten poses and, using the celebrated HealthNOW Method, provides the path to good health for those with gluten sensitivity.

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What Some Experts Have to Say:

“The Drs. Petersen have cracked open a world hidden from view but one that causes untold suffering for millions.  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.  This book can save your life!”

- Mark Hyman, M.D.
New York Times best-selling author of UltraMetabolism, The UltraSimple Diet and The UltraMind Solution



Dr Jeffrey Bland -quoted in Functional Medicine Update

“I did want to give you some information on a good book that you can send your patient to. That is a contemporary book on the gluten story called, The Gluten Effect.  The authors are colleagues, Dr Vikki and Rick Petersen.”

“It’s written really for the patient to bring them up to speed as to the implications on the [gluten] story beyond that which they might have heard of frank celiac disease.  So another resource you might keep in mind for your patients – The Gluten Effect.”

Thousands of clinicians worldwide practice “functional medicine”-a term Dr Jeffrey Bland coined to describe the practice of personalized medicine that focuses on the cause of chronic disease instead of the symptoms. He established the Institute for Functional Medicine and is one of the original founders of Bastyr University, both of which also teach nutritional medicine applications.

Dr Bland has written 9 books on nutrition for healthcare professionals and the general public. And he’s the principal author of over 100 peer-reviewed research articles.




The information contained in The Gluten Effect is very valuable and the interpretation of the research is unusually insightful. The authors have also melded a large array of apparently disparate information into a cohesive body of helpful information. The detailed examination of gluten’s many and varied impacts on health and cognition is most impressive, and I really like the case studies included as they provide excellent examples of the various features of gluten sensitivity.

The Gluten Effect is a gem of healthful, helpful information and insight.

Ron Hoggan, Ed. D.
co-author Dangerous Grains, Cereal Killers
author Smarten Up!
editor: Scott-Free Newsletter www.celiac.com




“The Gluten Effect is well written, comprehensive without being encyclopedic and spiced with inspiring stories. It is delightful and I hope it gains a wide readership. Gluten sensitivity is finally being widely recognized as a significant trigger for a multitude of symptoms and cause for real degeneration through many systems of the body. Removal of gluten from the diet can be life-changing for those that have suffered.”

David S. Jones, MD
President, IFM (Institute for Functional Medicine)
Director of Medical Education




“I am the owner of a specialty food store and I am passionate about getting out the word on celiac disease. Health issues could be avoided if more testing were done in this population. I would love to carry your book, “The Gluten Effect” as it is the best book I have ever read and I have read them all. I just can’t say enough about it.”

Carol Sheehan,
Owner of “My LOW-CARB Life”




“We’d like to thank Drs. Vikki and Richard Petersen, the authors of  “The Gluten Effect”, for the addition to our library. If you’re new to gluten intolerance, this book discusses what causes you to become gluten sensitive. It follows with an easy to understand description of how the immune system works and how and why gluten affects it. Since symptoms can be so diverse and not just digestive, and since diagnosis may be delayed because the symptoms don’t fit, they included detailed information about them.

However, you don’t have to be new to gluten intolerance to appreciate this book. I was diagnosed years ago and thought I knew just about all there was to know. However, this book gave me a greater knowledge of the little details that I didn’t fully understand.

I have a friend whose brother has celiac and developed a severe heart problem due to this disease. I never understood how that could happen. After reading “The Gluten Effect”, I know why. This book pressed home the fact that gluten intolerance can have wide ranging effects on the body and you must treat the root cause and not just individual symptoms. It would make a good reference book for a home library.”

Emma Leyburn,
GIG Newsletter




Years before an international symposium of doctors got together to declaregluten sensitivity a legitimate disease with its own set of symptoms, Drs. Vikki and Richard Petersen were compiling case studies of patients who clearly manifested such sensitivities to gluten. In 2009, they published The Gluten Effect, a compendium of the far-reaching and dangerous effects of gluten, beyond celiac disease.

Most people know that celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that doesn’t allow the body to process gluten. But did you know that there are other autoimmune disorders associated with gluten? Also, most people are aware that gluten intolerance can lead to digestive distress. But did you know that “more than 75% of gluten sensitive patients have no digestive complaints”?

In addition to the more obvious manifestations of gluten intolerance, there are a numerous other diseases and disorders associated with gluten. Not only can gluten affect your intestines, it can also affect your brain, nervous system, immune system, and hormones. Gluten can cause depression, obesity, weight loss, fibromyalgia, and memory loss. Gluten has also been linked to autism, ADHD, ADD, and skin disorders, including the serious dermatitis herpetiformis. Plus, there are non-celiac autoimmune disorders associated with gluten, including hypothyroidism, autoimmune cardiomyopathy (a form of heart disease), lymphoma (cancer of the blood), rheumatoid arthritis, insulin dependent diabetes and osteoporosis.  This litany of diseases and symptoms requires anyone with chronic conditions to take a serious look at their diet.

My favorite aspect to the book is the individual case studies highlighted. There’s the 75-year old man who had been suffering for a decade with ataxia (imbalance), poor sleep, fatigue and high blood pressure, all of which improved or disappeared after following a gluten-free diet. There’s the middle-aged insulin dependent diabetic woman who was able to get off insulin entirely after 5 months on a gluten free diet. And most surprisingly, was the elderly woman who’s bone density actually improved after following a gluten-free diet! There are many more case studies, all real people who saw major improvements in their health after following a gluten-free diet: allergies disappeared, eczema cleared up, migraines went away. And the list goes on. But the Petersen’s don’t rely on anecdotal evidence alone to make their point. Their book is highly referenced with studies from leading medical journals, as well.

Their book is easy for the layman to read and they are very good at detailing the science behind how gluten does what it does. They get into the “anataomy of a grain” so as to explain just how gluten and your body interact, and why your immune system considers gluten to be a toxin. They mention that the timing of when gluten is introduced to a developing child has an important role to play, and that many diseases that show up in adulthood actually began in childhood. They also note that once an autoimmune disorder has been triggered by gluten, it is not always possible to completely reverse the disease. Which is why Drs. Petersen are urgent in their pleas for you to test yourself and your family for gluten sensitivity as soon as possible, if you experience any chronic conditions that haven’t been solved.

If you’ve been trying to determine whether or not you are one of the millions of Americans who are gluten sensitive, or you are worried about other members of your family, I urge you to read The Gluten Effect. There is a simple self-diagnostic test in the beginning of the book to see if you might be gluten sensitive, followed by in-depth discussion of the different diseases and symptoms mentioned above. At the end of the book, they explain how to get tested, as well as some of the limitations of these tests. And they give you a glimpse into how they treat patients in their California practice, including starting with a “hypoallergenic diet.” Drs. Vikki and Richard Petersen do an excellent job in raising awareness of the dangers of gluten, to both laymen and doctors alike, while providing hope that it can be possible to find good health again.


Heather Jacobs





Another great “gluten” book.

I loved this book– every book I read about gluten intolerance and celiac disease teaches me something I did not know.

I love how this book focused on the problems– even the rare ones that come from consuming wheat when your body reacts to as a toxin…

This is a great book for anyone that thinks wheat or gluten may be sabotaging their health or for the newly diagnosed or seasoned celiac alike– I really enjoyed it. It was simple to read.




This book is packed with all the details and anecdotes you could need to understand the insidious effect gluten can have on your body. Mind you, I thought I ate very healthy (minimal red meat, lots of veggies) before learning about gluten sensitivity.

My story. I was lucky enough to hear a seminar from one of the author’s back in 2003 at the same time my allergy medicines “quit working” for me. I couldn’t sleep, my nose ran 24×7 and then my eyes puffed up. For weeks nothing was working and I was frustrated beyond belief. It was easily the worst attack in 10 years since being in California. I was approaching my mid 30s and I guess my body was showing it’s age a bit.

Through a free educational seminar (prior to this great book being available) as well as personalized nutritional testing program, I developed a respect for the “sensitivity” of my body to gluten and sugar. In just 3-4 days of zero gluten and zero sugar, my swollen eyes had resolved themselves with out any medicine. My runny nose had reduced, and I slept 8 full hours for the first time in weeks. That was my “light bulb moment”. I had gluten sensitivity! I went gluten free for 6 months, and then slowly introduced a “treat” of bread or pizza once a week. After a while I fell off the wagon, only to find the allergies return with a vengeance. Back on the wagon, the allergies were under control and then gone. Wow!

Many a friend has jested me on my “gluten free” diet only to try the diet and watch headaches and previously issues such as uncontrolled weight gain disappear. Every person’s body is a little different, so the side-effects of the sensitivity are too. For me it’s an uncontrollable horrible runny nose (post nasal drip) and very bad sleep (wake several times a night). For other’s it’s migraines, etc…

As you can imagine, I highly recommend this book. If you have a previously unexplained allergy or unexplained body ache or sleeping troubles, this book is a must read. If you wonder about proper nutrition, you need the data in this book to go beyond the simple “food pyramid” and learn what the Gluten Free subject is all about and how you can improve your nutrition without adding lots of suppliments. Mind you, I take some suppliments. The thing is, all the supplements in the world won’t help if you are eating food that your body has a sensitity too. There are substances which can throw your adrenal system into a continual low grade allergy attack. Although not the title subject of this book, I learned that as I got older, the more I would pay for taking my adrenal glands for a ride on the blood sugar roller coaster (that one can of soda a day for 5-10 years took a toll over time.)

Finally, the authors are very professional. Excellent training, and dedicated to the subject of nutrtional health. They run a clinic that specializes in finding the root cause of your body problems and try as I might I found it impossible to find an equivalent group for my family in New York area to visit. They have a very hollistic program that starts with a thorough medical examine to rule out any undetected medical problems. In short, they aren’t one of these fly by night one size fits all “vitamin” programs. My mom ran into one of these and was against all “nutrional” programs until I nudged her to visit them during a vacation to see me.




The information I applied helped me to rid my body of some very annoying issues

I’ve always been pretty healthy, but I’ve had some minor problems with “hereditary” skin rashes I thought would never go away. I was also tired all the time, waking up tired, tired in the afternoon, tired in the evenings, despite getting a good amount of sleep.

I read this book which explained gluten sensitivity in a very real way to me, great examples and success stories from people with the same issues as me.

I decided to try it taking myself off gluten. After a few weeks I noticed I was waking up full of energy and I wasn’t tired throughout the day or in the evening, I was attentive and had no attention on being tired.

I few months later I noticed my skin hadn’t broken out in a while, anywhere on my body, the rash I had for my entire life had gone away.

The book was easy to read and quite enjoyable. I recommend it to anyone with any type of body issue.




Drs. Vikki and Richard Petersen, D.C., C.C.N., a husband-and-wife team of chiropractors and certified clinical nutritionists who founded the HealthNOW Medical Center in Sunnyvale, California, have co-authored an extremely valuable and informative book, The Gluten Effect.

Anyone with gluten intolerance or sensitivities knows that gluten causes widespread problems for many people. The list of conditions caused by gluten alone is numbered in the hundreds. Luckily, the solutions are far simpler than the symptoms. This book explains why and how.

The Gluten Effect points out the major problems and minor problems associated with gluten intolerance or sensitivities, explaining it all in a simple-to-understand manner. Anyone can comfortably get educated about gluten with this very book.

Dr. Vikki Petersen, who is gluten-intolerant, noticed while conducting routine business at the HealthNOW Medical Center familiar signs over and over again with many patients. These patients suffered from a variety of symptoms: fatigue, hormone issues, skin disorders, mental issues, diarrhea, weight gain, and thyroid issues to name a few. Through research she learned they all were gluten-intolerant. This book shares some in-depth discoveries and incredible stories of transformed lives and bodies by addressing the culprit, gluten.

The HealthNOW Medical Center does not “specialize” in gluten issues; in fact the center prides itself at getting to the “root” of the problems of their patients. They couldn’t ignore the fact that so many of these “roots” were indeed gluten. Supported with vast experience, this book was destined to be written and shared with others.

The Gluten Effect explains in detail the vast ramifications and other problems which can arise with undetected effects of gluten. The doctors go on to explain the complexities of the body’s systems and how they interrelate, but again in a way which any reader can grasp and make use of to better his life and his health. The book clears up the confusions of testing, diet, allergies, and connected auto-immune diseases and much more. It’s packed with truly valuable information.

Celiac and gluten awareness is on the rise. A book like this is one which helps to get the truth out there. When a book is so well-written that doctors can gain a better understanding of the topic–but also any mother, father, teacher, or the general layman–then I know it is a book that will make it and should be well-promoted.

I HIGHLY recommend this book.

Tina Turbin



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