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Epilepsy and Diet

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You can now go to the new site!
The New is done! Yes, the time has finally come for this homemade Website to go the way of the buffalo. I know that you all join me in looking forward to using a site that is better organized and more accessible....prettier, too! I've even corrected most of those annoying typos (I hope).

You can go directly to the Epilepsy and Diet section of the new by going here: 

Let me know what you think! It's not too late to make some changes.

Dogtor J

In This Section:

Dogtor J and "Luke", an epilepsy success story.

* IMPORTANT NOTE:  I have been studying idiopathic epilepsy since April of 2000. When I began, I pretty much knew only what I have been taught in veterinary school- that no one knew what really caused epilepsy and that once seizures reached a certain frequency or severity, medication was needed to help control them. But over the past 8 years, I have learned so much more than that, including the food connection, environmental factors, the role of viruses and even about seasonal influences. This study has been done in a progressive fashion and each step was built upon previously acquired knowledge.

Therefore, the papers I have written reflect this progression, with the latest dealing with the important role of the virus. So, PLEASE read as much of this section as you can handle to get the most complete view of the picture of epilepsy. It is a "syndrome" with many factors coming together, all of which need to be dealt with effectively in order to achieve optimal results.

You can click on any of the following links to read these important articles on epilepsy in both pets and humans. They can also also be found in the Epilepsy and Diet section of Be sure to check out the Testimonials section and read the success stories from numerous pet owners as well as a rising number of people who have employed this diet for their own or their child's epilepsy.


The Epilepsy Diet Made Simple- Out of necessity, this is the same introductory paper I have on the G.A.R.D. section of this Website. It is a summary style piece that explains the logic behind the diet I have developed to help manage epilepsy. It is filled with "med-speak", however, and may be a bit more difficult for the layperson to understand than the following papers. I wrote this article in response to a request by doctors who were asking for a more concise, medically-oriented explanation of the diet to offer to their epileptic and pain suffering patients. It is about 5 pages long when printed out....a step in the right direction, anyway. I decided to lead this section with this paper even though it jumps right into topics that the rest of this section builds up to. Consider it an outline for what you will find in much greater detail in the papers and addendums that follow.

* How to Control Idiopathic Epilepsy Naturally- (New!!! as of 3-06) This paper is another work in progress. I will be updating this section as my studies continue. I have been successfully treating pets with epilepsy using diet changes alone for nearly 5 years now. The results have been as astounding. At first, I knew very little about how and why the response could be so dramatic when a patient was place on this restricted diet. But over the past 5 years, I have come to understand many of the pathomechanisms of food intolerance as well as other secondary factors that lead to this "syndrome" we call idiopathic epilepsy. I have also been pursuing research into supplements and other auxiliary therapies as well as helpful diagnostic testing in an attempt to insure and speed recovery. This paper helps to summarize my findings.

* Food Intolerance, Epilepsy, and "The G.A.R.D."- This is the transcript for my lecture at the 2007 NAVC (North American Veterinary Conference) in Orlando. It was the second hour that followed a talk on food intolerance in general. This speech on epilepsy briefly covers most aspects of the "syndrome" we call epilepsy and introduces the role of viruses in the development and perpetuation of idiopathic epilepsy. 

* Idiopathic Epilepsy- The Dietary Solution- This 13-page paper chronicles the discovery that limiting the diets of epileptic dogs will halt their seizures. It takes the reader through the step by step process that I went through to arrive at this conclusion. I do not claim to be the first nor the only one to have made the connection between food and epilepsy. However, this story describes exactly how I arrived at this independently of anyone else's work other than reading that celiac children (those with gluten intolerance) showed significant improvement in their seizures once wheat was eliminated from the diet. The rest was arrived at by my own medical research and "intuition", which was followed by even more research. For specific diet recommendations, see the section DogtorJ's Food Handout.

* Veterinary Diets to Control Seizures- The response of epileptic dogs (and people) to the elimination diet (The G.A.R.D.) has been one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. The papers in the epilepsy section (Epilepsy and Diet) explain this incredible phenomenon. You can see DogtorJ's Recommended foods by clicking here.

* My Current View of Epilepsy in a Nutshell- This letter to a client basically sums it all up. I will be writing an entirely new paper in the near future that will contain all of this information- and more. I think the following letter will serve this purpose for the time being. It has most of the elements of the "syndrome" we call epilepsy.

* An "Epilephany"- Viruses, Serotonin, and Light Boxes to Help Treat Epilepsy (New!!!)  This is a letter that I wrote to my friend and colleague Dr. Jean Dodds today (1-12-06). It started out...innocently a question that I was posing to her brilliant mind asking whether she thought that light therapy could help epileptics as it does people with seasonal affected disorder (SAD). Once we understand the vital serotonin connection, which this letter goes into more deeply, then we can see how light therapy...the right kind of light therapy... may benefit those with epilepsy by boosting their serotonin levels. BUT, as I am prone to do, I got a little off topic and unloaded some other loaded questions and thoughts on her. It turned out to be a pretty good summary of everything I know and believe about how diseases...yes all diseases...occur. Hope you get something good from it.

* Viruses and Epilepsy- A Forum Post- Here Is a post that I made on a human epilepsy forum in response to a question concerning a viral infection that later resulted in epilepsy. This is explainable. 

*Seasonal Seizures? - (New as of 1/07) This a collection of Emails and posts that address this important observation. Yes, many epileptics (both humand and veterinary) experience an increase in seizure frequency and severity during the shorter days of the year (November to April). Serotonin and vitamin D levels are two of the key factors.

*The Glaring Example- This is a post that I found on a casein intolerance Website years ago. It shows the extreme effect that miniscule amounts of the proteins of the "big 4" can have on the central nervous system in sensitized individuals. The focus of the post is on autism but this would also be true of epilepsy. I tell people to simply think "peanut allergy" to get a handle on how little it can take to cause major problems. Strictness in following the diet is the key to success. 

*Links to Scientific Articles- I should have done this years ago, but I am starting (as of 2/07) a section of links that show how much researchers know about the role of food intolerance (e.g. celiac disease) in epilepsy. I hope this helps to convince the reader of the importance of this crucial element in this oftentimes very controllable condition. 

* Letter to a Mother of an Epileptic Child- (New as of 3/06). This letter summarizes what I believe causes this "syndrome" we call epilepsy and the logic behind my approach to treating this condition.

* Another Letter to a Mother of an Epileptic Child- (New as of 9/07). This letter also summarizes what I believe causes this "syndrome" we call epilepsy and the multiple benefits of The GARD  when employed for epilepsy, autism and other neurological conditions.

* Foods to Avoid, Foods to Enjoy- In this section, I will try to make it clear which foods should be avoided when coping with the "excitotoxin"-related disorders such as epilepsy, insomnia, ADHD, chronic pain (e.g. fibromyalgia), and neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, MS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and more. Autistic patients should benefit from these dietary guidelines as well, especially the avoidance of the gluten grains, soy, and dairy products. Please also check out the autism, ADHD, and food addiction parts of the Appetizers section.

*Estrogens in Food- (link only) There are estrogens in foods which should be considered in formulating the ultimate diet, especially for women and those suffering from epilepsy, pain, and other excitotoxin-related disorders. We know that estrogens are inflammatory and immunosuppressive and sensitize neurons to the action of glutamate (e'g catamenial seizures, PMS). I will be expanding this section as time allows. Please also see the Appetizers section for more on this and other issues in women's health.

* Testimonials- Click here to read a number of the testimonials I have received over the years. I stopped placing them on the site a nunber of years ago when I became overhwhelmed with Emails. However, I will have a new rotating testimonial section with some of the newest success stories on my upcoming site. In the meantime, here are a few more Epilepsy Testimonials, some of your letters that state how the diet has helped your epileptic pet...or you. Yes, people are responding as well.

* Your letters, my answers- This section has some of your Emails concerning epilepsy and diet, with my responses following them. I have sent this paper to a number of AKC breeder sites to inform them of the results that I have observed in my practice once I began applying those concepts purported in this paper. Since that mail-out, I have been getting a steady stream of great stories that support the findings in this paper.

Some of the letters I have received and subsequently answered were so awesome that I have decided to publish them. They can be found after the paper below. I will be adding to these regularly so check back often if your are interested (or still skeptical).

Please continue to write to me about your experiences with epileptic pets. I did not foresee the incredible value in sending out this paper to my readers. I have already had so many great stories and cases come out of it that I am very excited about what the future holds. Please do not hesitate to write, positive or negative. So far, the "negatives" have turned out to be positives, as you will read in the testimonies below.


I have been studying idiopathic epilepsy for over 7 years. When I began, I pretty much knew only what I have been taught in veterinary school- that no one knew what really caused epilepsy and that once seizures reached a certain frequency or severity, medication was needed to help control them. We knew that certain breeds were more prone to epilepsy than others but no one spoke of diet, viruses, environmental factors, and the things I now write at length about .
This has been a continuous learning process, beginning with the amazing discovery of the celiac-epilepsy connection in the early days of my research. This was the doorway into a mansion filled with rooms of answers that I knew nothing of in my first 20 years of veterinary practice. Each time I opened a door, another room presented itelf, each complimenting the other. The information that I was gaining built upon itself in a phenomenal way, not cancelling out the previous discoveries but rather completing them.
The malabsorption syndrome caused by the "big 4" (gluten, casein, soy, and corn) that I first described in
Idiopathic Epilepsy- The Dietary Solution was...and still is...integral to the develpment of this "syndrome" we call epilepsy. The role of lectins added a new dimension to the damage being done by "the four horsemen".
But it was the information concerning viruses that put it all in perspective. Tne reader will find a number of articles in this section that speak to the importance of the role of viruses in the pathogenesis of seizures.
In fact, I am now convinced that "idiopathic epilepsy" is ultimately viral in origin, some of which are acquired and others being embedded in our very genome. The diet does play a huge role in why these viruses cause seizures but the reason why one individual with severe food intolerance develops seizures while another doesn't is likely to be the viral status of the glial cells (and neurons). To support this idea, there are over 25 viruses known to cause seizures in man, many of which are ubiquitous and latent in nature (e.g. Epstein Barr, Herpes simplex, varicella, measles, mumps, Coxsackie virus and many others). These viruses have a real affinity for the glial cells ("nurse cells" to the neuron, if you will) that control the levels of the neurotransmitter glutamate at the synapse, among other things. 
Therefore, the relationship between the diet and epilepsy becomes one step more complex than I described in my earliest works once we see the role of the virus. Yes, the malabsorption and maldigestion syndrome that results from the food intolerances play a HUGE role in the disease of the neurons as well as the demise of the immune system, both of which set the stage for the viral involvement. Then, add to the mix the effect of the lectins on these same cells, as well as those of the thyroid gland (with low thyroid levels being capable of dramatically lowering the seizure threshold) and the picture becomes clearer. Next come the negative effects on the liver, kidneys, and intestines, all of which are vitally involved in glutamate metabolism. Now throw in the environmental toxins that are known to be neurotoxic and you have a situation that is ripe for the onset of seizures.
So, I would encourage the reader to examine all of the evidence presented in this section if they truly desire to understand this life-altering yet fascinating condition. In addition, we can use this knowledge of epilepsy to understand other related conditions that afflict so many individuals. These same principles can be applied to ADHD, insomnia, pain syndromes, and many other neurodegenerative disorders (MS, ALS, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and more) both in our understanding or their origin and their treatment. Our knowledge of epilepsy can then be the doorway into a fuller understanding of many of the diseases that plague man and his companions.


The Epilepsy Diet Made Simple

By Dogtor J.



Many of you have expressed the need to have this work simplified, especially health professionals trying to make sense of my recommendations. I do understand and will vary from my stated philosophy, that being that I do not believe in fast-food medicine and that the more you understand, the better you will be able to apply these principles. We do live in a world with the fast-food mentality and this has reduced our time, patience, and the mental energy needed to really deal with the vital issues that face us. Sad but true.

So, here are the nuts and bolts of “the G.A.R.D“....the glutamate/aspartate restricted diet...that has helped so many pets and people with epilepsy, ADHD, insomnia, fibromyalgia (pain syndromes), chronic fatigue/depression, IBS/heartburn, and much more. It should make perfectly good sense. If not, once again, I have not done my job....yet.

1) There are 4 known "foods" that can induce villous atrophy of the duodenum*: gluten, casein, soy, and corn. The gluten comes from the gluten grains: wheat, barley, and rye. Casein comes from cow's milk products and is mostly absent in goat's milk. The absence of casein in goat's milk is what makes it the "universal foster milk." (*The duodenum is the first section of small intestine after the stomach. The villi are the tiny, finger-like projections that absorb nutrients. Atrophy is the wasting away/destruction of these villi.)

2) Adhesives are made from these four foods. Powerful, industrial-strength glues are made from gluten, casein, and soy. Corn is also used to make adhesives but those made from this food are weaker, used for paper/cardboard products whereas those made from the other three can be used to make glues capable of holding metal together. The glycoproteins from these foods are clearly VERY adherent.

3) Simple-stomached animals (non-ruminants) are incapable of completely breaking down these "glues". Celiacs are the proof. These troublesome glycoproteins DO adhere to the duodenal villi after passing from the stomach, surviving the acid designed in part to break it down. This is the known pathophysiology of celiac disease. This adherence and the ensuing immune response causes serious damage to the duodenal and even jejunal villi.

4) The duodenum is responsible for the absorption of calcium, iron, iodine, B complex, vitamin C, and many trace elements (zinc, boron, manganese, lithium, magnesium, and more). In fact, 95% of the intestine's vitamin D activity (involved in calcium absorption) takes place in the proximal (first) one third of the duodenum. (Here's the rub: I have yet to meet a doctor...veterinary or human...that knows or remembers this simple truth concerning the absorption of nutrients taking place in the duodenum. In fact, I have had a number of doctors look me in the eye and tell me that it absorbs "nothing". This is unfathomable to me, although I did not know this either, until I began my research. Therefore, I am NOT throwing stones here. But I am very disappointed in the educational process that we as health care providers go through if basic truths like these are lost.

5) The official number now being published by the medical profession (Johns Hopkins University and Mayo Clinic) is that 1:122 Americans have celiac disease (gluten intolerance). This is a staggering number and a vast change from "a rare disorder affecting less than 1:5000 people" that was being purported at the time of my diagnosis 5 years ago. BUT remember: wheat is only one of the four gut-damaging foods and is only the number two human, dog and cat allergen. Cow milk is number one. Casein intolerance is bound to be even more prevalent.

6) The allergies to these four foods (gluten grains, cow's milk, soy, and corn) are formed at the time the damage to the gut is taking place. These four foods are the top human, dog, and cat allergens for a reason. They are the PRIMARY allergens- those that do harm to the gut and elicit an immune response in the process. All other foods allergens are SECONDARY to this damage, drawing an immune response as they pass through the damaged gut. This is called the "leaky gut syndrome" and this is the accepted pathophysiology of adulthood food allergens in celiac disease, not a theory.

7)There are antibody-sized glycoproteins that we derive from foods that are now termed "lectins". It is crucial that we understand these dietary proteins and the potential harm they can do. There are good and bad lectins in our food components, with the most damaging being from the same four foods listed above. For a great paper on this subject and a good discussion of their involvement in immune-mediated diseases, click on this link (

8) Glutamic acid (glutamate) and aspartic acid (aspartate) are two NON-essential amino acids. Our bodies manufacture all of the required amounts of these two amino acids from other proteins. Glutamate is one of the principle neurotransmitters in our brain. The amount of glutamate at the synapse is regulated by the adjacent glial cell (astrocyte), which removes excess glutamate from the synapse to prevent over-excitation of the impulse-receiving neuron. Glutamate is not only neurostimulating, it is potentially neuro-lethal. Excessive glutamate at the synapse is the described pathomechanism in Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS), with that excess leading to the death of that neuron. Similarly, the "glutamate cascade" is the known cause of brain death regardless of the cause of our bodily death. Therefore, it is clearly very important for the synapse to have the proper level of glutamic acid present at any given moment. Excessive glutamate can lead to overstimulation of neurons (e.g. seizures, reduced pain threshold, sleep disorders, and emotional disturbances) or neuronal death (e.g. ALS).

9) Glutamic acid is the parent protein in MSG (mono sodium glutamate). MSG is used as a neurostimulator, acting to sensitize the open-ended nerves in our taste buds so that food will taste better. MSG is a KNOWN trigger of seizures, as is its sister amino acid, aspartic acid- the parent protein in artificial sweetener in aspartame (Nutrisweet). Both are neurostimulators (and "excitotoxins", as Dr. Russell Blaylock terms them) and the very proof lies in the purpose for their use in the food industry.

10) It has been commonly held that blood sources of these two neurostimulating amino acids do not cross the "normal" blood brain barrier, that layer of cells that protect the brain by limiting the passage of certain blood components into the brain. This contention is only partly true, as there are areas of the brain that are not protected by the normal blood brain barrier. Also, the key word in the above contention is "normal". The question is whether we have normal barriers any longer. Air pollution, hydrogenated oils, and normal immune/allergic responses are known to alter the permeability of the blood brain barrier. Therefore, with 90% of prepared foods containing trans fats, with most of us living in highly polluted environments, and with huge populations of us experiencing significant allergies, it is reasonable to question the integrity of our "normal" blood brain barrier.

11) Wheat gluten is 25% glutamic acid by weight. Casein from cow's milk is 20% glutamic acid by composition. Soy protein has much more glutamate than either of these two. Corn contains the least amount of these two non-essential amino acids but it DOES potentially do harm to the intestinal villi and IS a very common food allergen. This has become even more of a problem as we have genetically modified corn, the evidence of which came in the recent news concerning Starlink corn (CRY9C), the culprit in the "Taco Bell shell" fiasco a few years back. The reader should really search out the complete story.

12) 70% plus of the calories of the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) come from dairy and wheat alone, the number one and number two food allergens in humans, dogs, and cats. Remember: The damage they do to the gut is the root cause of the allergies. These foods are loaded with glutamate. Allergic reactions affect the blood brain barrier. The products made from these foods are often very high in refined sugar and hydrogenated oils.

13) Cow milk products, wheat, and soy are the leading sources of dietary estrogens. Dairy products have been related to breast cancer, prostate cancer, endometriosis, and polycystic ovaries. Dairy and soy have been both incriminated in altering the onset of first menses in our children, with dairy first bringing that age down from 15 to 12.5 years and soy bringing it further down to 8 years of age (in 16.7% of our little girls). Estrogens are both inflammatory and immune suppressive. Their role in breast cancer is well documented, setting the stage for the viruses that cause breast cancer. (Put "virus, breast cancer in your search engine.) Estrogens play a role in catamenial seizures (inflammatory), PMS (obvious), and in the immune suppression that helps unleash the opportunistic viruses that we have acquired over our lifetime, including Epstein Barr and others that occupy our brain. Put “virus, seizure” or “virus, epilepsy” in your search engine and read about the viral agents known to be involved in seizures.

14) The damage to the duodenal villi results in a chronic, progressive malabsorption of the nutrients it normally absorbs. Again, those nutrients include calcium, iron, iodine, B complex, and vitamin C along with numerous trace minerals. Evidence of this malabsorption is everywhere you look in this country- osteoporosis, iron deficiency anemia, thyroid diseases, folate deficiencies, and immune incompetence. Celiacs represent the worst of the worst, acting as a "who's who" of what goes wrong with humans, dogs, and cats. Growth abnormalities, juvenile bone diseases, dental issues (cavities) , and iron deficiencies are obvious evidence of the malfunction taking place in the duodenum. In veterinary medicine, the most food allergic breeds have the worst juvenile bone disorders and suffer the worst cartilage failure as adults (intervertebral discs, heart valves, and supportive ligaments such as anterior cruciate ligaments). The evidence of the chronic malabsorption of calcium and vitamin C...the building blocks for our skeletal system (collagen) is EVERYWHERE once we see this KNOWN process is taking place. What we can't readily see is how normal enzyme systems (e.g. those in the liver, kidney and brain) that control blood and neuronal glutamate levels suffer from the deficiency in those vitamins critical to the function of that enzyme. What we DO see is the consequences- the effects of the excess glutamate in the brain in the form of seizures, pain syndromes, insomnia, and neurodegenerative diseases. Another element that is difficult to accurately measure is the competence of the immune system. But you do not have to be a doctor to know that an individual that is not getting adequate levels of vitamins and minerals would have a less than perfect immune system. Celiacs stand out here once again, leading the pack in immune incompetence (e.g. fighting mono, shingles, and herpes), immune-mediated diseases (lupus, rheumatoid disease, etc), and cancer (e.g. a 50 fold increase in colon cancer). Put “cancer, virus” in your search engine.

NOTE: In April of 2006, I came to understand something very important about viruses, their role in nature, and their place in what we call diseases. I encourage the reader to examine my newest section, Viruses-Friend or Foe.  I am now thoroughly convinced that much of what we call "disease" is simply the reaction of viruses that are in situ (some of which are known to be embedded in our very DNA) to noxious stimuli, some of which we term "carcinogens" when they are powerful enough to cause these viruses to form tumors, their ultimate adaptation. As in cancer, I believe the virus(es) involved in epilepsy cause seizures because it is the right thing for them to do in order to protect the neuron. Excessive glutamate is not only neurotoxic but potentially neurolethal, as illustrated by Lou Gehrig's Disease and by the glutamate cascade that causes the death of our brain regardless of the cause of our bodily death. I believe that seizures help prevent neuronal death in the epileptic by disposing of excessive glutamate. AND,  I believe that the viruses that take up residence in the glial cells "know" exactly what they are doing by making this occur in that it is a form of adaptation to the conditions (malnutrition) and insults (lectins, excitotoxins, chemicals) with which they are faced, just as other viruses form tumors to protect themselves and the cells they were designed to protect from the carcinogens we keep throwing at them. Adaptation...which is what viruses were designed and created to do. 

15) The G.A.R.D. is primarily an elimination diet. It is "simple" but not necessarily easy. It is certainly much more easily accomplished in our pets tat in our own lives. In the dogs and cats, it can be a simple as changing from pet food "A" to pet food "B" after checking the ingredients. However, eliminating snacks and treats seems to be just as hard for some pet owners to do as it is for them to do in their own lives. What to eliminate becomes quite obvious, dictated by the condition being treated and degree of affliction. The "worst of the worst" require the strictest elimination, often showing marginal recovery without doing so but demonstrating significant improvements when enough is done right. Once the molecular nature of the immune system is understood, the reason for the variation is response is very clear.

16) The first to eliminate are the "big 4" (or the four horsemen of the apocalypse, as I like to refer to them)- gluten, casein, soy, and corn. This shuts off the damage being done to the duodenal villi, a step of paramount importance in the full recovery from any condition imaginable. Logic should dictate this to be true...and it does. This also eliminates the top four primary food allergens and main sources of glutamate, estrogens, and lectins. Could this step be any more important???

17) The next step is to eliminate the "crack cocaine" versions of these non-essential amino acids...MSG and aspartame. This can be difficult in the human diet and often requires intense research for the hidden sources of MSG. There are MSG and migraine support Websites that deal specifically with this issue. Diet drinks must be eliminated immediately. Put "aspartame syndrome" in your search engine and believe the testimonies that you read.

18) Eliminate the other sources (listed in the following article) of glutamate. Peanuts, for example, are VERY high in this non-essential amino acid, being soy's closest cousin. All legumes are rich in glutamate as are the bean family (not green beans), which include garbanzo, lima, black, kidney, and navy. Lentils are also rich in glutamate. Certainly, these foods are nutritious in other regards, but for those battling excitotoxin-related disorders, they should be limited until full recovery is attained. Then, perhaps as the body functions (enzyme systems, blood brain barrier, neuronal sensitivity, and tissue health) return to normal, these can be eaten again. Perhaps not.

19) RUN from hydrogenated oils. For an incredible read, click here for David Dewey's Hydrogenated oils- The Silent Killers ( You will see how these trans fats- one of man's worst creations- play a vital role in atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, and in neurodegenerative and immune-mediated conditions. Learn how they kill an American every 3.5 seconds. In the context of our discussion, they damage the blood brain barrier, disrupting enzyme systems, and allowing excess glutamate levels to build in the brain by preventing their exclusion. Thankfully, pet foods do not contain appreciable amounts of these deadly fats. But after reading David's article, you may have a clue why pet's do not suffer from clinical atherosclerosis...yet.

20) In summary: The G.A.R.D. allows the gut to heal, thereby reversing the malasorption of nutrients that are vital to the health of all tissues and systems, including the brain and immune system. It is also naturally hypoallergenic, which relieves symptoms and improves the function of the blood brain barrier. It is low in dietary estrogens, which in turn reduces inflammation and improves immune function. And mainly, the G.A.R.D. is low in the non-essential amino acids glutamate and aspartate, which clearly ARE crossing into the brain in the same fashion as their concentrated forms (MSG and aspartame), causing over-excitation of neurons. The elimination of the offending foods has resulted in phenomenal improvements in seizures, pain syndromes, insomnia, ADHD, bipolar disease, and even MS and ALS. Because these foods are also the primary food allergens, their restriction also relieves numerous symptoms such as nasal congestion, asthma, heartburn, IBS, skin allergies, ear problems, and more. And when the immune system recovers from the malnutrition and over-stimulation from which it has been suffering (being over-worked and under-paid, as I stated in The Answer), it can better handle the viruses, bacteria, mycoplasms, and air pollution it faces everyday. As we learn more and more about the role of viruses in cancer, immune-mediated diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases, we will easily see how our food choices have contributed so greatly to our downfall. Imagine an immune system capable of not only fighting off these opportunistic organisms but also even being capable of eliminating many of the ones that we have harbored for years.

Sound too good to be true? The bottom line is that this elimination diet works! And, it should make sense.... perfectly good, common, everyday horse sense. If it doesn't, then.........yes........I haven't done my job....yet.

Dogtor J.


Here are a couple of great sites for looking up the nutritional profiles of food, including their glutamate and aspartate content:
Simply click on the food you are inquiring about, then scroll down toward the bottom of the page until you see the chart in the Nutritional Profile section. There is a click-on link after that chart (just above the References section) that reads "In Depth Nutritional Profile for (chosen food)" .  Click on that link and then just scroll done to the aspartate and glutamate listings. Make note of the serving size at the top of the chart so that you'll be making an accurate comparison.  You will quickly see the huge difference between the glutamate/aspartate content of healthy fruits/vegetables versus items such soy, wheat, barley, and the bean family (with the exception of green beans).

How to Control Idiopathic Epilepsy Naturally

by Dogtor J.


The following is another work in progress. I will be updating this section as my studies continue.
I have been successfully treating pets with epilepsy using diet changes alone for nearly 5 years now. The results have been as astounding. At first, I knew very little about how and why the response could be so dramatic when a patient was placed on this restricted diet. But over the past 5 years, I have come to understand many of the pathomechanisms of food intolerance as well as other secondary factors that lead to this "syndrome" we call idiopathic epilepsy. I have also been pursuing research into supplements and other auxiliary therapies as well as helpful diagnostic testing in an attempt to insure and speed recovery.
Here is my approach:
1) Immediately institute The G.A.R.D. (The glutamate-aspartate restricted diet)  This is the key.  We want to rapidly reduce the amount of the two non-essential, neurologically active amino acids, glutamate and aspartate while eliminating the foods that can do harm to the intestinal tract. The above link goes into detail. 
    a) Avoid all gluten (wheat, barley, rye, and all forms of wheat including bulgar, durham, graham, spelt, spelta, kawmut, or triticale)
   b) Avoid all casein (cow milk products, including milk, cheese, and even some non-dairy creamers)
   c) Avoid all soy (Read labels. Its everywhere)
   d) Avoid corn
   e) Avoid all MSG  (60% of prepared foods have it, including soups)
   f)  Avoid all aspartame (Nutrisweet).
   g) Severely limit (or avoid altogether) the consumption of the bean and lentil family (navy, black, lima, garbanzo, soy) which are rich in glutamic acid and may cross react immunologocally with soy. Once symptoms are completely under control, some of these may be reintroduced of desired but observe closely for recurrence of those symptoms.
   h) limit or curtail the consumption of nuts and seeds (especially peanuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios) until symptoms are under control due to their high glutamate content. But, as with the bean family, once symptoms are controlled, they can be reintroduced. For example, walnuts are a very healthy source of protein, omegas, some B complex, and magnesium while being some of the lowest in glutamate.
   i) Avoid all high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a known neurotoxin.
   j) Limit or, at least, drastically reduce consumption of refined sugar. Sugar is in direct competition with vitamin C by white blood cells and excess amounts will prevent uptake of this important vitamin by those cells.
For the dog, I recommend the IVD/Royal Canin potato-based diets. These are sold through veterinarians or select PetsMarts with vet offices in store. Here is the Royal Canin Website. Look for the Limited Ingredient Diets( However, do not be confused by the fact that the vast majority of their other diets are filled with the "big 4". For a more complete listing of foods that do no contain these potentially harmful ingredients, please read DogtorJ's Food Handout found here:  Remember, for epilepsy the most effective diets have been the potato-based foods above.
For people who are interested in pursuing this course, it is "simple"...but certainly not easy. But results can be swift and dramatic. You can get an idea of how I have accomplished this by reading my paper What in the World Do I Eat found here: You can also read more about the benefits of this diet in The G.A.R.D. and Pain Management sections of this site.
For motivation, you can find a thread of testimonials here: . Although this is a breed forum for Labradors retrievers, the testimonies listed include both veterinary and human success stories.
Once recovery is well-established, an individual may find that they are able to resume eating more beans and nuts as long as they are clearly not allergic to them. The avoidance of the "big 4" (especially gluten, casein, soy) should continue indefinitely. Above all, be strict and consistent!
2) Begin vitamin and mineral supplementation. Remember that the "big 4" have been potentially causing the malabsorption of calcium, iron, iodine, B complex, C, and trace minerals such as zinc, copper, magnesium, manganese, and more. This supplementation should be done under the advice of a knowledgeable person and follow recommended dosages. Particular care should be taken in the use of the fat soluble vitamins A,D,E, and K which can be toxic in high doses. I recommend that at least the following be considered for supplementation-
   a) A multi-vitamin with Zinc
   b) B complex
   c) Vitamin C
   d) Vitamin D, either by itself or in an omega three supplement
   e) Omega three fatty acids (Fish oil, specifically)
Avoid chewable veterinary vitamins as they are usually loaded with offensive proteins (wheat, dairy, soy, corn) in order to make them palatable. Read all labels on vitamins and supplements in an attempt to avoid these same proteins in human products.
For a great book, check out Treating Epilepsy Naturally by Patricia Murphy. It can be found on Amazon:
3) Have blood tests done, particularly to evaluate thyroid and liver function. Hypothyroidism can lower the seizure threshold and the diagnosis of this common and oftentimes insidious condition can be crucial in the control of seizures. As the liver is integral in the control of blood glutamate levels, it is easy to understand how liver disease could worsen seizures.
   a) Thyroid tests- For veterinary patients, I recommend the reader visit this site and have the thyroid tests done by Dr. Dodds and her lab ( ).
   b) Liver function- There are routine tests included in standard blood panels that help to evaluate liver function. However, there are specialized tests (e.g. bile acids tests) that can be done to better determine liver function/mass, especially in the case of chronic conditions such as chronic active hepatitis and liver shunts.
4) Consider alternative/auxiliary therapies- Once the underlying causes of disease are better understood (e.g. food intolerance, seasonal changes, decreasing daylight/serotonin levels, etc), then we can more easily visualize other therapies that will aid in the recovery. 
   a) Light therapy- to improve serotonin levels. Read my paper An "Epilephany"- Viruses, Serotonin, and Light Boxes to Help Treat Epilepsy to help you see the rationale behind this approach. It can be found here: . 
   c) Tryptophan and 5- HTP supplements- Please write to me at about the use of these for epilepsy.
   e) Chelation therapy- to reduce heavy metal loads on the body/brain.
   f) Air filters to reduce inhalant allergies and environmental pollution 
5) Auxiliary testing- Again, once the underlying causes and secondary issues (such as serotonin deficiencies, food and inhalant allergies and their effect     on the deteriorating blood brain barrier, and more) are better understood, then we will know better what to test for to insure and speed our recovery. 
   a) Food allergy testing- For veterinary patients, I recommend VARL (Veterinary Allergy Reference Labs) Here is their Website their ( ) . Your veterinarian can submit this test for you. For humans, I recommend The Sage Systems blood test ( )as they test for numerous antibodies against a wide array of foods and additives.
   b) Serotonin levels- I would love to see more MDs run this test on their epileptic patients. As far as I know at this writing, this test is not available to veterinarians. I am convinced that we will find that many epileptics are very low in this essential hormone, neurotransmitter, and mood/seizure moderator.
I hope this helps. Please contact me at if you have any questions about what you have read or have any suggestions that would improve this paper or the Website.

A Letter to the Mother of an Epileptic Child
Hi T.,
It's good to hear from you. I hope that I can be of some help.
Epilepsy is an interesting "syndrome"...multiple things coming together to produce the outcome. As you may know, epilepsy typically strikes humans between 2 and 14 years and then again after age 65. In the dog, it occurs mainly between 6 months and 6 years. Why does it wait? What is waiting? What triggers it to come out of hiding? Did these individuals catch something or were they born with it? If they were born with it or acquired it sometime earlier, why did it wait 'til 12 years to show up? These are all great questions and there are good answers, I believe. And, the answers to these questions not only tell us what may be causing epilepsy but also what to do about to best manage/cure it. 
I am convinced that THE main underlying cause of epilepsy is a virus. There are numerous viruses that are known to cause seizures so this should not be a stretch, many of which cause seizures as part of the clinical disease they cause or later after they have been latent for a while. They have cultured live measles and mumps viruses out of the brain of elderly people who have no associated symptoms. Viruses can be acquired through natural infection, casual contact, and even from mother (and father) to offspring prenatally. In fact, your DNA has more viral information in it than it does genes. Wow! The point of this is that viruses can have many presentations, from acute disease to chronic latency without symptoms to anything in between.
So, how hard is it to believe that a virus that has remained dormant for 12 years has suddenly arisen and is causing problems? It happens all of the time. Over 50% of our kid have Epstein Barr infection by age 5. Wow! 95% of Americans have this virus in their body by age 40. Wow again! And Epstein Barr is a KNOWN cause of seizures. When does mononucleosis show up more than any other time? In the teenage years. The question is, when it shows up between 12 and 18 years, is it a new infection or is it the one they got before age 5 showing up? Ahhh...great question. The main way to tell is the clinical course. If the teenager throws it off in a few days like my daughter did, then it is likely to be a new infection. If it takes 6 weeks to get rid of the guy, like it did me at age 13, then it could be either. But, I would bet that those who take soooo long to get rid of him acquired it early and he just surfaced. Why did he surface? Because something "unleashed" him. What? A sudden physiological insult or an incompetency in the immune system developed... or both.
Why does mono show up in teenage years? Well, what isn't happening in those years? They are under a lot of stress and their diets are horrible for the most part (fast food addicts) and their body is changing rapidly due to hormonal issues. It is a critical time in their lives. They are also starting to get closer to the opposite sex. Yes, they call mono the "kissing disease", although that is certainly not the only way they acquire it. Other things happen at this time as well...acne, epilepsy, and the second spike in lymphoma (lymph cancer). Yes, the first spike is at age 5-6, then 15, then 40, then the incidence shoots up after 65, a typical pattern for a viral illness (We KNOW that lymphoma is viral now. Epstein Barr causes a few of the rarer forms. Oh oh). 
I write all of this to set you up for what is likely to be the cause of epilepsy (virus), what unleashed it (the stress of the teenage years), and to then cover what we have to do about it. What do we have to do about it? Make you son as healthy as possible. That's how you "cure" epilepsy. What does that involve? We must STOP doing what we are doing that is dragging down his health and also do all that we can to build up his health. Simple, right? Yes, simple... just not easy.
First of all, one of the most damaging things to our entire body turns out to be some of the very foods we eat the most of. Millions of people are like me, intolerant of gluten, casein (cow milk), soy, and corn...the "big 4" that I write so much about. It is very important for you to understand this part. It is the entryway into the rest of the solution. This would be a good time for BOTH of you to read or reread The Epilepsy Diet Made Simple, found here ( ). That'll cut this Email length considerably. :):):)
Then, you are ready to read or reread How to Control Idiopathic Epilepsy Naturally found immediately after the paper above. About half way down that main page, you will find an addendum that has the food rich in glutamate listed. (I am sorry for the scrolling, but this is a pretty primitive Website but that will all be changed in the near future.)
Here is that section:


Here are a couple of great sites for looking up the nutritional profiles of food, including their glutamate and aspartate content:
 Simply click on the food you are inquiring about, then scroll down toward the bottom of the page until you see the chart in the Nutritional Profile section. There is a click-on link after that chart (just above the References section) that reads "In Depth Nutritional Profile for (chosen food)" .  Click on that link and then just scroll done to the aspartate and glutamate listings. Make note of the serving size at the top of the chart so that you'll be making an accurate comparison.  You will quickly see the huge difference between the glutamate/aspartate content of healthy fruits/vegetables versus items such soy, wheat, barley, and the bean family (with the exception of green beans).

For example, recently my wife started eating peanuts and raisins as a late night television snack. Almost immediately, she started having very restless sleep and was complaining about soreness in her muscles and back. A quick trip to the chart showed very high levels of glutamate and asparate in peanuts.

I'm just glad that my canine patients don't eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and down it with a big glass of milk like our ADHD kids do. Let's see: wheat bread (with gliadorphins and plenty of glutamate and aspartate), peanut butter (LOTS more glutamate and asparate), jelly ("sugar gel"), and all of it washed down with cow milk (casomorphins and plenty of glutamate. Oh yeah. Don't forget the arachadonic acid for you pain sufferers).

Hmmmm..... It does all make sense, doesn't it?


Foods rich in glutamate and aspartate:

1) Grains: Wheat, barley, and oats are highest. Corn and rice are lower than the previous three but higher than potatoes.

2) Dairy Products: All Cheeses (cheddar, Swiss, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, PARMESAN) are very high. Casein is very concentrated in cheese and is 20% glutamic acid by composition.

3) Beans: Soy, Pinto, lima, black, navy, and lentils

4) Seeds: Sunflower, pumpkin, etc.

5) Peanuts: Very high, as are cashews, pistachios, and almonds. I have more detailed charts on the site to show exact values for the various nuts. Everything in moderation applies when eating nuts of any kind. So, I do not recommend you reach for nuts when you are really hungry unless you can stop after a few. Nuts are very good for moderation. For example, seven almonds a day gives you what you need .

6) Diet drinks: Primary source of aspartate (aspartame)

7) Prepared foods, soups:  70% of prepared foods and many soups have MSG

8) Meats: Note- All meats are naturally rich in glutamate and aspartate. Lamb (and eggs) are the lowest,  while rabbit and turkey are the highest.

However, I believe that the amount in a normal serving of meat should not be enough to cause problems. I think that it is all of the other "unnatural" sources when combined with the meats that are causing the problems. Again, the main reasons why the "big 4"- gluten (wheat, barley, rye), dairy, soy and corn- are so harmful are, not only are they rich in glutamate, but they do harm to intestinal villi inducing malabsorption of nutrients and then shower the body with their inflammatory lectins once absorbed by the body. It is the combination of these effects that make the "big 4" so detrimental in seizures.

Meats (and tree nuts) do not have these other harmful effects. But there are individuals whose neurons are so diseased and overly-sensitized to glutamate that their meat protein intake should be restricted to some degree until they and their brains are healthier. I have now had cases of canine epilepsy that required some restriction of animal protein in order to halt their seizures. But this should be a temporary requirement, with a return to normal levels being accomplished once an individual is off the "big 4" long enough.

One of my newest concerns is the presence of glutamate in the flesh of grain-fed animals, especially chickens, turkeys, and cattle. This is s topic of discussion on the celiac forums and we are now believing that this is a real concern and could explain why some celiacs are not responding to elimination diets. Catfish are also grain fed.

The fact is that 60-70% of the American Diet is wheat and dairy (with heavy emphasis on cheese). This combined with the amount of artificial sweeteners being consumed and the addition of SOY has led this country into an epidemic of pain syndromes, including fibromyalgia. Epilepsy is definitely on the rise in pets and the combination of wheat and soy in pet foods is playing a huge role. I am seeing first time epileptic dogs within three weeks of starting such diets.


Food low in glutamate and asparate:

1) Fruits

2) Vegetables

3) Potatoes

4) Lamb and eggs are relatively low.

5) Tree nuts (e.g. pecans, walnuts, macadamias) NOTE: These are relatively low when compared to peanuts and cashews. I have more detailed charts on the site to show exact values. Pecans, for example, have half the amount of glutamate that peanuts have but that is still quite a bit. Again, everything in moderation applies when eating nuts of any kind. I do not recommend you reach for nuts when you are really hungry unless you can stop after a few. Nuts are very good for moderation. 7 almonds a day gives you what you need .

The main thing to cut out is the gluten, casein, and soy. These are the main players in epilepsy...the guys doing the intestinal harm, providing HIGH levels of glutamate, causing allergic reactions, and providing estrogens that also play a role. During the recovery phase...that time when the body is healing, regaining its vitamin stores, and getting the viruses back under control, it is best to avoid the other foods rich in glutamate (nuts/seeds, beans, grain and foods with ANY MSG or Nutrisweet. The worst epileptics should eat these and the grain substitutes very sparingly, until their neurons have had a chance to return to normal. How long does this take? Good question. It takes some longer than others and also depends on how much they've cheated and where they live. Air pollution is a major player in neurodegenerative diseases and my worst epi cases almost always live in the most polluted cities. 
So, are you getting the picture yet? Think of your son as having "decompensated". He was fine until age 12 and then something changed. The "big 4" foods play a HUGE in this as they damage the intestinal villi that absorb the major vitamins and minerals he needs to stay healthy. Secondary factors like hormonal changes, environmental pollution, time of year (seizures are worst during the short days of the year), and others are also playing a role.
Some will stop seizing immediately upon removal of all dairy and gluten. Others require a much stricter diet. Other have to take major supplements like the ones outlined in How to Control Idiopathic Epilepsy Naturally . Other will benefit from light therapy to raise their serotonin levels. Think of epilepsy as a spectrum disorder, just like autism, asthma, depression, cancer, and most other things that afflict us...some individuals are much worse than others. Once we understand the nature of the food intolerances and all of the secondary players in this "syndrome", it is easy to see why the spectrum exists.
I have a paper on my site called What in the World Do I Eat? It can be found here. It gives examples of every day food that I eat, most of which would be fine for me if I were an epileptic. I DO eat just as I suggest others do. And as a result, my pain threshold is through the roof and I sleep really well now, with boundless energy during the day. Going caffeine-free really helped, but I did this last. We really can't go caffeine free until we cut out the "depressant" foods...the gluten grains and dairy and any other foods that were allergic to. For major allergy sufferers who have epilepsy, it is a great to get food allergy tested like I suggest in the paper How to Control Idiopathic Epilepsy Naturally .
I hope this helps. I know it is a lot but epilepsy is complicated. It will become "simple" as this sinks in and some time passes but it will continue to be difficult to eat right in this world we have created...until the food intolerances become more well-known and the big manufacturers of food (like Nabisco and Sarah Lee) start making gluten-free products. That day IS coming and it may be sooner than you think. Celiac awareness is skyrocketing. It should. Some researchers think 1:30 people have it and don't know it. That is BIG...and dairy and soy are potentially even worse. :(
Let me know if this brings up more questions.

John B. Symes, D.V.M (aka "Dogtor J.")
(Read: Food Intolerance- Man and Animals versus Gluten, Casein, Soy, and Corn...OR...How We Won the Battle of Helm's Deep"

Idiopathic Epilepsy- The Dietary Solution

By Dogtor J.



I have been practicing veterinary medicine for twenty-three years. I graduated with honors from veterinary school in the late 70's, received the Upjohn Award as outstanding senior student in small animal medicine, and followed that with an extracurricular internship at a prestigious medical institution in Boston. I mention these things not to boast but as a matter of fact to illustrate the point that I was more than conventionally schooled in basic medicine and clearly had an ample mind for that medical training. And yet, I fell into the same pattern that most doctors do, that of taking a history and examining that patient just long enough to determine which drug was appropriate to facilitate their recovery. In many cases, this is an appropriate approach...or at least it used to be.

Three years ago, I was personally handed a diagnosis that would change my life forever. At the age of forty-five, I found out that I had celiac disease, also known as gluten intolerance. Once I began researching this condition, a medical revelation of astounding proportion struck me right between the eyes. The list of conditions that celiacs like myself suffered from was a who's who of what is wrong with humans, dogs, and cats. This list included every symptom and condition that I had experienced over the years, including the allergies, heartburn, irritable bowel, headaches, insomnia, chronic fatigue/depression, joint and spinal problems, memory and balance loss, and even my fibromyalgia. However, the list went on to include strong tendencies toward so many of the "diseases" that are taking our friends, acquaintances, and loved ones from us. These were the more devastating conditions such as immune- mediated diseases and cancer. Celiacs truly were the glaring example of what was wrong with human beings.

The Epilepsy Connection

One of the most interesting findings involved epilepsy in the celiac child. In one short article that I came across, it was stated that children with celiac disease who also had epilepsy had their seizure frequency improve, dramatically in some cases, once a gluten-free diet was instituted. As I was already in the mode of comparing what I had read about humans to what I experienced in my veterinary practice, I took this idea on as a project. I was already seeing the potentially universal nature of the damage caused by gluten and the correlation of celiac disease and epilepsy was something that I somehow knew was going to be totally explainable.

The first clues came in the analysis of the components of wheat. Gluten was clearly a major culprit and understanding the pathophysiology of its role in celiac disease was of paramount importance. The first hint was that gluten was used in industry as an adhesive. This just made sense when I read about celiac disease for the first time as the text explained how gluten adhered to the villi of the duodenum. Suddenly, the role of the "glue-ten" in industry and the development of celiac disease became clearly related.

Gluten leaves the stomach as an adhesive and subsequently sticks to those delicate villi of the duodenum, those structures vital to the absorption of essential nutrients such as calcium, iron, iodine, all water-soluble vitamins such as B and C vitamins, and most trace minerals such as boron, zinc and magnesium. The implications of this became immense. Without certain vitamins, proper bodily development and function would be slowed or halted and most enzyme systems would be affected. The immune system would certainly suffer from the relative lack of vitamin C and other essential nutrients. It seemed as though the Pandora's box of medicine had been opened and the celiac was the innocent recipient of the plagues it unleashed.

But this was only the beginning. This did not explain epilepsy...yet. However, the second clue put me on the right track. I quickly found that the foods that caused problems did so in a myriad of ways. Gluten had its damaging effects, causing malabsorption, maldigestion, and what we refer to as the "leaky gut". (This is beyond the scope of this paper but is covered in depth in The Answer found on my Website .) But, there were other components of wheat that had serious ties to the subject at hand. The second clue was the fact that monosodium glutamate was often made from wheat (and soy).

A quick review of the uses of and the side effects of MSG spoke volumes about the true nature of idiopathic epilepsy. As most people know, MSG is used as a flavor enhancer. Its mode of action is as a neurostimulant, stimulating the open-ended nerves in the taste buds of the tongue. By sensitizing these nerves, monosodium glutamate has the effect of making food that passes over them more flavorful. However, there is a significant portion of the population that suffers from serious side effects from the use of MSG, the symptoms of which are directly related to the effect MSG has on the brain once it enters the general circulation. These include migraine headaches, pain syndromes, the "MSG rush", and even seizures. Once it is understood that glutamate is a neurostimulant, these symptoms should not be a surprise.

The fact is that glutamate and its "fraternal twin" amino acid, aspartate, are normal neurotransmitters in the mammalian brain. However, the dietary sources of these amino acids cannot be tolerated well by a certain segment of the population, including many of our pets, especially in their concentrated form. MSG is the source of such concentration for glutamate while artificial sweeteners containing aspartame are the corresponding source of aspartate. It was easy to find the evidence that aspartame was causing the same variety of symptoms in susceptible individuals, including seizures in humans. I knew I was on the right track now.

The third clue came in the study of the devastating condition of Lou Gehrig's Disease, otherwise known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In brief, the condition is caused by the build-up of glutamate at the neuronal synapse. The concentration of glutamate ultimately reaches a neurotoxic level resulting in the death of the adjacent neuron. In summary, glutamate is neurotoxic at high levels, actually being lethal to the nerve if high enough. This is obviously true of its relative, aspartate, which accounts for the reports of memory loss, pain syndromes, and seizures tied to its use. I was getting closer to the truth.

The next findings started pulling everything together and I felt that I was well on my way to explaining why the celiac children were recovering from epilepsy. I began studying why the primary food allergens in pets and people were identical and fell into a limited grouping. According to the FDA, the primary childhood allergens were cow milk, wheat, eggs, and soy, in that order. Veterinarians have known for over twenty-five years that cow milk and wheat were the principle food allergens in dogs and cats. Why was that so and why were they the same in those species? The answer came in the form of "glue".

It didn't take long to find that one of the main proteins in cow milk was casein, which is also used in industry as an adhesive. The evidence was everywhere I looked. It was also evident that medical researchers had one of its components, alpha s-1 casein, as being pegged for its involvement in autoimmune disorders, just like the principle protein, gliadin, in gluten. The revelation then came that allergies were just the warning sign of what was to come if we continued to consume these foods, especially in the quantity that Americans do. Dairy products and wheat now make up more than 60% of the American diet. There had to be a link between this fact and the high rate of allergies, asthma, immune-mediated diseases, and cancer among the American population.

The "glue" connection had been made. The foods that were the "stickiest" were the primary food allergens. But what about those eggs sitting in the number three position? As it turns out, they were simply an example of a "secondary" food allergen, one that forms when the gut has been significantly damaged by the primary foods wheat and cow milk (and another food yet to come). The "leaky gut" from the villous damage allows food protein to come into contact with the bloodstream and immune system in a form that it doesn't recognize. This leads to an immune response to that food and the development of "secondary" food allergies. As eggs are one of the first proteins fed to children after they are raised on cow milk formulas, this just made perfect sense. Otherwise, it makes no sense that eggs, as one of the most bioavailable, high-quality proteins on the planet, would be a primary allergen. But, as a secondary allergen, especially in light of the timing of the introduction of this natural protein after the two unnatural ones, it all makes sense.

But, we must still deal with the number four allergen, soy. Remembering that allergies are just a warning sign, I approached my investigation of the newest "health food" with a renewed vigor. I had learned a long time ago that our body doesn't make mistakes and that there were no contradictions like the one that faced me. Is soy a health food or not? If so, why is it number four already and we aren't even eating much of it yet...or are we?

Once again, it did not take long to find the truth about soy. As I mentioned, soy is used as the other "natural" source of MSG. In fact, it has nearly six times the concentration of glutamate and aspartate of any of the other sources already mentioned. I then put the words "soy adhesive" in the search engine of my computer and was not surprised at all that it, too, was used as an industrial adhesive. Then, I read about the processing of soy to rid it of anti-nutrients in order to make it edible and I could clearly see that we weren't dealing with a health food here.

The "glue" and the concentration of neurostimulants had been well established in the top food allergens. I turned my attention to the other allergens, the grains, and found the same. Yes, the next most troublesome food was corn. The analysis of corn showed high levels of glutamate and aspartate, as did all of the remaining grains rice, barley, and oats. It was a universal trait among the grains and it became clear why we eat them for energy and become carbohydrate addicted. Our brains love all of these dietary stimulants, including caffeine, sugar, chocolate, diet drinks, almost as much as it likes the illegal ones like cocaine. It is likely to be the level of glutamate and aspartate in these complex carbohydrates that give us the energy, not the calories themselves.

But why do some individuals have intolerance to these "normal" components of food? I put normal is quote because I now question the wisdom behind the consumption of these complex carbohydrates, especially at the aforementioned rates. Conventional wisdom has been turned on its ear a bit by the concept purported by Dr. Adkins. He is right about one thing. We don't become obese from simply eating fat. It occurs mostly from eating the complex carbohydrates, which are, in turn, converted to fat when the less active person does not use the calories from these foods. These foods are also many of the major food allergens, as previously mentioned, partly because they are all used as glues, sticking to the duodenum as they exit the stomach. The heartburn we experience is likely to be due to the stomach's dire attempt to break down the glue. My heartburn of three years duration disappeared the week I went off all wheat. These trouble foods are also all glycoproteins (part carbohydrate, part protein) that appear to severely disturb the immune system of susceptible individuals, playing a vital role in the triggering of autoimmune disease. This, too, is covered in The Answer.

The Key

But, I believe the key to idiopathic epilepsy lies in a combination of these factors. Those foods that are rich in glutamate and aspartate are also the foods that adhere to the duodenal villi. Once again, the principle offenders are the gluten-containing grains, the casein-containing dairy products, the soy protein, and to a lesser extent the corn products. By coating the villi, they must reduce the ability of those structures to do their job in the absorption of the essential nutrients required to form the reductase systems that are necessary to clear the neurostimulants from the tissue or the bloodstream. This would have to be true of anyone who consumes these "glue" containing foods. However, in what I call the "worst of the worst", the celiacs, casein intolerants, and soy intolerants...the immune system mounts an assault on the "glue" inducing severe villous atrophy. The villi literally shrink away as a result of the immune attack. This is the lesion of celiac disease.

I have been able to find only three food components that induce this serious change in the villi. They are gluten, casein, and soy protein. I believe that corn and even rice may do this to some extent but the well-known causes are the previous three. Once again, these are the top three primary childhood allergens according to the FDA. This is no longer a surprise. The allergies were just the warning sign of what was to come. And, as I tell my clients, "If you don't like these warning signs, you're not going to like the next set of warning signs either. And, if you don't like them, you're really not going to like what they are warning you of."

The conclusion was simple. The foods to which we are allergic are so for a reason. The primary offenders contain a glue component that sticks to our duodenal villi. These substances block the absorption of essential nutrients as well as provide high levels of the amino acids glutamate and aspartate. In the worst of the worst, the individual cannot form the reductase enzymes necessary to eliminate these neurostimulants from the synapse or the blood and seizures occur.

Therefore, it just made sense that limiting these allergenic foods would potentially have a positive effect on the person or pet suffering from epilepsy as well as have a beneficial effect on a number of other chronic illnesses, especially those in the idiopathic category. This is exactly what has happened in my practice as well as my personal life.

The Results

I immediately began applying what I had learned to myself and the patients in my practice. All of my chronic symptoms listed earlier disappeared over a short period of time. Gone were the intestinal and neurological symptoms in short order. The pets were also making miraculous recoveries from chronic allergies, intestinal disorders, and pain syndromes as well as the subject of this dissertation, epilepsy.

Yes, the idiopathic epileptics were improving one after the other, mostly over night. It did not matter whether they were having five seizures a day or one every three months. They all stopped having as many seizures and most were able to be taken off of their medication or never required anticonvulsants to control their seizures. I now have close to twenty epileptic patients under control by applying this principle. They are on a variety of diets, each with a different degree of glutamate restriction. Some have required only the big three (wheat, dairy, and soy) to be restricted. Others required corn restriction as well and were placed on rice-based diets. The worst of the worst required the potato- based diets. Some began on one diet but required "upgrading" to a more restricted diet months to years down the road.

I have so many great stories to tell that I could fill volumes with clinical vignettes. Suffice it to say that the food connection was proven over and over again, both on purpose and by accident, through planning and trial and error, and by owners making regular mistakes in food selection. In some cases, one bowl of the wrong food generated seizures within hours of consumption with those seizures becoming immediately under control with the restoration of the restricted diet.

I came very close to publishing my data many times while waiting to amass more substantial numbers of affected patients. How many did I need to go public? I would ask myself. Did I require five, ten, or fifty to be credible in the eyes of my peers? I began writing to my alma mater very early on but was unable to generate much interest. I was surprised and disappointed at first but I decided to be patient. I knew the time would come.

Then, in walked the glaring example. He was number eighteen on the roster of epileptics and would soon be the poster child for this concept. He was a handsome four-year-old German shepherd that was being treated for epilepsy by a colleague of mine. He was brought to me, however, to be put to sleep because his condition had deteriorated over the last year despite the use of two different anticonvulsants. The owner told me that he came to me because the other doctor would not put him to sleep due to the fact that there was more medication to be given. But, the owner was tired of seeing his dog convulse and Shadow had experienced nearly thirty seizures the night before he was presented to me.

Little did my new client know, the information he was about to receive would change his pets life forever. I explained the concept of limiting the diet of the usual suspects (wheat, barley, dairy, soy, corn, and even rice) and how that could stop the seizures almost immediately. He seemed to understand. I told him that we were going to feed his pet a commercially available potato-based dog food. I explained that potatoes had much less of the offending neurostimulants due to the fact they were not in the grain family. (I have a chart of all of the foods we consume with their respective levels of glutamate and aspartate.) I asked him if he would like to know the odds of his dog recovering and he said, I guess. I boldly told him that if Shadow didnt get well, he would be the first out of my last seventeen dogs. He liked those odds.

Then came the interesting part. The medical history was so classical that it propelled this pet to the head of his class. His seizures began three years ago and within two months of a diet change, when the owner switched from one of my safe foods to one of the most forbidden on the market. This was coincidence number one. The second point was that his seizures only occurred at night around ten or eleven oclock. He was always fed early in the evening at approximately five oclock. There was that four to six hour interval that I had determined to be so typical of these pets. Just like the insomniac who is awakened in the middle of the night and the ADHD child who becomes intolerably hyper hours after eating, the epileptic has seizures when that critical amount of glutamate finally reaches the brain, hours after digestion has begun. So, the required amount of time between the offending food being ingested and free glutamate reaching the brain appears to be about five hours.

But, I had to know what happened the day before he brought him in. This would be the third point. Why did this serious cluster of seizures occur? At first, the owner said that there was nothing different about that day. It was not until he returned to pick Shadow up that evening that he told me about the chicken feed. Yes, the day before, the owner had put out chicken feed and Shadow had eaten a large amount of it. (I told the owner, and he later confirmed the fact, that chicken feed was absolutely loaded with wheat.) He then proceeded to eat an extra large bowl of his regular dog food at his usual feeding time. The violent seizures began about four hours later.

I had found my poster child. It was time to go public with the findings.


Idiopathic epilepsy is not so idiopathic anymore, is it? I now view my epileptic patients as little Lou Gehrigs sufferers, unable to clear glutamate and aspartate from their brain. Whether this is an accurate description or not is yet to be proven but the overall concept just described explains nearly all aspects of idiopathic epilepsy.

The cause of the seizures is bound to be the accumulation of the neurostimulants glutamate and aspartate in the brain. Limiting the dietary sources of these amino acids halts the seizures, over night in most cases. This has benefited 100% of my epileptic patients. But the benefits are more than first meet the eye.

The beauty of our body is that it always does the right thing. We may not like what it is doing at the time...the fever, the chills, the gastrointestinal symptoms, the MS attack, the seizure...but it is doing what is proper in all of these cases. The reason we dont like these symptoms or why someone would think that what I just wrote is totally absurd is because they dont understand what the body is trying to do during these episodes. Once again, The Answer goes into greater detail here. But the wonder of it all is that the seizure is actually therapeutic. It took me a while to see it, but this is clearly the case. The seizure occurs in order to clear the brain of the offending agent, the glutamate. If it didnt do so, the level would reach neurotoxic levels and actually kill large numbers of brain cells, just like it does to neurons in Lou Gehrigs Disease. Yes, the seizure has a purpose.

But that brings up a vital issue. Are we doing the right thing by medicating these patients with anticonvulsants? The answer is clearly No if we understand the true nature of epilepsy, isnt it? By sedating the brain, we make it less responsive to the glutamate and aspartate. Therefore, these neurostimulants are allowed to reach much higher levels than would normally occur. But fortunately, most individuals will ultimately have a seizure while on medication, relieving the brain of the neurotoxic levels. This is exactly what we see clinically and those seizures are often the most violent, coming in clusters. Now that we understand this concept, we can explain this phenomenon.

We can now also explain the aura. Epileptics often experience a distinct sensation before having the seizure. Even pet owners that have had epileptic pets for years have picked up on the strange behaviors that precede some seizures. Migraine sufferers, especially those that experience the cluster suicide headaches, often report seeing bright lights and having fleeting thoughts just before the attack. This is the beauty of nature again, issuing a warning sign that the episode is about to begin. These warning signs are bound to be generated by the rising levels of glutamate stimulating the brain just before they reach critical mass. Once that level is reached, the seizure occurs, clearing the brain of the culprit.

In addition to successfully managing the epileptic, the dietary solution provides insight into the wide variety of presentations of this elusive condition. For instance, the typical age of onset in the dog ranges from six months to six years. If this is simply a genetic defect of some sort, why does that first seizure occur over such a wide range of ages? Also, why is it often a progressive condition in the afflicted individual, beginning with milder seizures and longer intervals but changing into more violent attacks that are closer together? This suggests that the cause of the seizures is getting worse over time, doesnt it? The idea that there is a lessening of the epileptics ability to handle the glutamate by a progressive deficiency in the reductase enzymes just makes sense. As the glue-induced malabsorption in the gut worsens, the individuals ability to process the rising glutamate in the brain becomes impaired by the dropping reductase levels. This explains both the variance in age of onset and the shrinking intervals between seizures. In addition, the attacks get more violent, especially once we institute anticonvulsant therapy thereby allowing the levels of glutamate to reach more toxic levels.

One final issue is the matter of the side effects of those anticonvulsants. In the veterinary profession, it has been presumed that the behavioral changes that can be seen with patients on long-term medications are actually caused by the anticonvulsants themselves. I suggest that we rethink this idea and consider the possibility that it is in fact the long-term suppression of the needed seizures that does the harm. Could it be that the allowed build up of glutamate in the brain resulting in neuronal death is the actual mechanism for the attitude changes such as aggression or lethargy? Why one pet turns hyperactive and aggressive while another seemingly loses his will to live becomes a little more understandable when viewed through the eyes of the actual death of brain cells.


In conclusion, the critical matter of why one dog has epilepsy while another does not on the same food can be best resolved in the concept of the individuals ability to manufacture the necessary reductase enzyme (e.g. glutamine synthetase at the synapse or glutamate dehydrogenase and the transaminases in the liver) to clear these neurostimulatory amino acids from the brain or from the bloodstream. Seizures will occur in those individuals who have inadequate production of those enzymes and who are consuming foods that are rich in glutamate and aspartate. The lack of the reductase enzymes in either the brain or the liver is likely to be caused at least in part by the malabsorption of those vitamins that are responsible for the formation of that enzyme system. This is due to the glue that is inherent in that food which ultimately damages the duodenal villi or at least causes a temporary blockade by coating their absorptive surface. (We must keep in mind that in the pet, every bite of food is uniform and with each meal, the foods that contain the glue will affect the ability of the duodenum to do its job.) This glue blockade also helps to explain the epidemiologic fact that the countries that drink the most cow milk have the highest rate of osteoporosis. The casein in the milk is blocking the absorption of the calcium in that milk. It is that simple, Im afraid. Osteoporosis is also epidemic among celiacs. Now that the reader understands the role of gluten, this is no longer a surprise.

As in the human celiac patient, the true damage to the gut will be even more recognizable by the formation of food allergies. Unfortunately, not all celiacs have food allergies but most will if the history is taken thoroughly. Both the human and veterinary professions have horribly overlooked the role of foods in allergies in my opinion. But, any veterinarian will vouch for the fact that the most allergic breeds (the Golden retriever, Cocker spaniel, Labrador retriever, German shepherd, Poodle, and Beagle to name a few) are the most common epileptics. This is no longer a coincidence. The allergic symptoms, such as skin and ear disorders, are simply the warning signs that the deeper damage is taking place. This, of course, is true in humans as well.

But, the interesting thing is that the foods that are bad for our pets and us literally scream at us that they are just that. My next paper will be entitled Warning Signs (or How you should have known what you have now was coming based on what you had before). The allergies are just the tip of the iceberg. The excess glutamate and aspartate also stimulate the pain center in our brain, making is as sensitive as the taste buds they were intended to affect. This contributes significantly to an abnormally low tolerance to pain as seen in fibromyalgia, rheumatoid disease, and other conditions accompanied by painful stimuli. Once again, my fibromylagia of two years duration disappeared the month I eliminated wheat. This result is now totally explainable.

These trouble foods do harm in a myriad of ways, it is clear. The idiopathic epilepsy is simply a severe warning sign. I believe a pet left to its own instinct would avoid such harmful foods by trial and error. But, the startling reality is that our pets would never even be exposed to these problem foods in the wild. They would never eat wheat, barley, corn, rice, or oats in nature, as they are all man-made, man-raised crops. In fact, the history of these grains is absolutely fascinating and can be found in The Answer.

So, we can add one more element to this argument, one that rarely fails to illustrate the truth. That is whether something is natural or not. In this case, the foods that create the most problems are totally unnatural for the pet. Cow milk, soy, and all of the aforementioned crops are in that category. Should we be that surprised at the results of their consumption when viewed in that light? But, shouldnt we also be concerned about the human being? Are we that different? Is it natural for the human to continue to drink milk after weaning? We would be the only mammalian species to do so if that were the case. It is a universal mammalian trait to stop nursing once the birth weight is tripled.

Many would ask But what about orphans? The answer I give to them is simple. That is where the sheep and goat milk comes in, neither of which contain appreciable amounts of casein, the problem ingredient in cow milk. Goat milk has been known as the universal foster milk for millennia. The ancients knew this. That source of milk was the reason the Greeks elevated the goat to the heavens in the form of a constellation. It was much later that man chose the wrong source of dairy supplementation, the cow.

We have made a number of similar bad choices in the past, many quite recently. Most of our grains are either corrupted versions of their ancestors or simply poor selections from the start. Man created common wheat from what I lovingly call "God's wheat" in about 400 A.D. This is well described in The Answer. Man also improperly selected corn over the more natural grains like quinoa and millet. But our latest decision to consume soy, which I term the "third plague" behind man's wheat and cow milk, is the "worst of the worst". The rise in pain syndromes and epilepsy in both humans and animals will testify to that fact.

There have been more than ample provisions of nutrients for all creatures on earth. In nature, the animals eat what is proper and that which harms them triggers their warning systems into action to let them know that they have made a mistake. These warning signs range from sore throats to severe allergic reactions. I now doubt whether epilepsy occurs very often in nature due to the likelihood that the symptoms preceding it...the allergies, gastrointestinal symptoms, and lethargy following meals...would warn them off of those offending foods. It is just man who seems to have a difficult time grasping or holding onto this concept.

Why is that? Why has man forgotten that our body does everything for a reason? Why have doctors and veterinarians like myself in the past become so convinced that we are smarter than our body, taking it upon themselves to counteract everything our body does to get through its daily challenges? When did we leave our first love, the wonderment we shared of how perfectly this creation was put together?

We will not succeed until we return to our origins, reexamining plaguing conditions like epilepsy more through the eyes of a child. "Why does my body do that?" you can almost hear them ask. Why, indeed? We're not asking the right questions about heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, immune-mediated diseases, or epilepsy. However, once we do, answers seem to pop up everywhere.

So, are we really a genetically flawed organism, doomed to extinction, which cannot exist without medication? The idiopathic epileptic is now an example of how wrong we can be in thinking so.

Dogtor J.


New Addendum (as of 3-3-05)

I am inserting a rather urgent update at this point in time and this place in the site for a numbers of reasons. A recent event has taken place that has thrown my work into the spotlight and I need to make some things very clear. (The addendums that follow this one are also clarifying statements but not quite in the same category as this one.) Note that when I say “clarifying”, I do not mean that what I have written in the past is “wrong”. Incredibly, very little of what I have written from the beginning has required correction. I have simply added to what I have written in the past as my research has continued.

From the beginning, I have alluded to the role of viruses in the development of many of the conditions that befall us. The more I have studied, the more I have seen that this role is HUGE…much greater than I had ever imagined. For example, there are medical researchers that have believed for years that ALL cancer is caused by viruses: not just some, not just most, but all. “But what about all of those carcinogens we hear about all of the time?” you must be asking. To me, they can now best be described as secondary factors that either suppress the immune system, cause chronic damage tissue, or damage our DNA thereby facilitating the work of the real culprit…the virus. As preposterous as this may sound to the lay person, it makes all of the sense in the world to me now, after having studied what they do…their “M.O.”...for the past 5 years.

It has also become painfully clear that viruses have major roles in the development of degenerative neurological conditions, such as epilepsy, autism, MS, and others. Certainly, there may be other organisms/agents involved (e.g. mycoplasms, prions) but we KNOW that certain viruses absolutely love the central nervous system. I have written about them many times in other areas of this site. The herpes viruses stand out (H. simplex, varicella, Epstein-Barr) but so do the paramyxoviruses, represented by the canine distemper virus as well as the human measles and mumps viruses.

I knew some of this when I formulated the G.A.R.D. (glutamate/aspartate restricted diet) and suspected that viruses were involved in some cases of seizures but the astounding results of employing the diet threw me off course a bit as to the percentage of epileptic individuals having viral infections as their underlying pathology. I feel that I know better now.

I now have to say that, as in the bold statement above concerning viruses and cancer, there is a possibility that viruses (or other infectious agents) are involved in all cases of epilepsy. Again, the rapid (and oftentimes complete) recovery of a seizing dog after being placed on the low glutamate diet threw me off for a while. How could a virus be involved if the pet was having 6 seizures a week...or a day in one case... and yet they suddenly went seizure-free within 24 hours of starting the diet, never to have another seizure? Could they get over a viral "infection" that quickly. Not likely, is it?

Ahhh, but that is where my own limited thinking comes in. Just because a virus causes a problem does not mean that it has to be an ACTIVE infection at the time we discover it. Immune-mediated diseases such as lupus, MS, throid illness, and rheumatoid arthritis present as "remitting-relapsing" conditions, don't they? The ACTIVE infection comes and goes, doing harm to cells with each attack and then becoming dormant. Hmmm....

Could that be what is happening in epilepsy? Could those dramatic cases that I write about be individuals that had an episode (or episodes) of viral infection in the past that left the brain (the glial cells of the synapse, to be precise) compromised, leading to that individual's inability to handle the dietary glutamate pouring into it for all of the reasons I wrote in the original paper? I think so. This happens in "autoimmune" thyroid disease, glomerulonephritis (kidneys), chronic active hepatitis (liver), and many other conditions that involve the immune system. The viruses rise up, cause a stir in the immune system, and the resulting attack on those viruses culminates in suppression of the uprising while unfortunately doing some harm to the host tissue at the same. Again, "autoimmune" is a misnomer. The immune system does not attack our tissue for no reason. There is always something there that it does not like. Viruses are a known candidate and likely to be involved in many, many cases of "autoimmune" disorders, just as I wrote in The Answer 4 years ago.

So, we can now see the reason for the spectrum of response to the diet in the large numbers of epileptics that I have dealt with over the past few years. Those that respond quickly and completely are either purely a victim of the physiological problems I describe in the main epilepsy paper OR they are those that have suffered a previous viral attack on the glial cells of their brain, which wiped out a number of those cells, leaving that individual incompetent to handle the abnormally high levels of glutamate in their diet. Those that respond more slowly are more likely to be in the throws of an active infection at the time the diet is instituted.

I still believe that all that I wrote in the original epilespy paper is true and applicable...the gut-damaging foods leading to a state of malnutrition that compromises the enzyme systems controlling the conversion of blood glutamate to the inactive form. That is still highly likely to be a significant contributing factor. (Dogs with liver disease can have seizures and epileptics with concurrent liver disease can have the worst seizure patterns.) But, it may not be the primary issue in many dogs. The unhealthy or reduced number of glial cells of the brain from viral infections (or other infectious agents) may be a large factor in many epileptics. In either case, the high glutamate levels, chronic malnutrition through malabsorption, and compromised brain health and immune systems all play a significant role.

Note: I have had extremely few dogs that did not noticeably respond to the diet in a short period of time. I have never claimed that it has cured all dogs or even helped all dogs. But I do claim that it has helped the vast majority of dogs and totally controlled a very large number of dogs. I have been able to identify the dietary problem in the majority of dogs that have not been controlled by the diet alone. Non-compliance is the single-most important factor, usually "involuntary" non-compliance occurring through cheating on the dog's part or through accidents happening through "polluted" supplements, treats, or overly friendly neighbors.

The questions that must be on many of your minds is "Where do these viruses come from?" and "Why do they rise up when they do, having this remitting relapsing pattern?". There are VERY good answers to these and other questions. Other questions might concern the secondary factors I write about, such as air pollution, brain serotonin levels, and neurotoxins such as mercury and benzene. They all play a role and contribute to the spectrum of affliction as well as the age of onset of symptoms. I think you will see this in the following letter.

This letter was in response to an inquiry by a new-found friend concerning the role of mercury in autism and epilepsy. I have since realized that I have downplayed the role of mercury in light of other findings. I see now that it IS a serious factor but I still contend that it is a secondary one. I could be wrong but you can be the judge after reading this letter. Note: You can substitute the word "epilepsy" wherever you read the word "autism" and this letter should still make sense.


M. wrote:


I know this will catch your eye. This article all but equates Autism with
Mercury Poisoning.


My response was:

Hi M.,

Thanks for the article. I wish it WERE that simple but I'm afraid that its
not. Everything points to other factors being (much) more important. I believe
that, once again, the immune-mediated food intolerances are the single most
important factor, allowing all of the other factors to come together to
cause the syndrome. That would explain the success stories of mothers with
autistic children having them make FULL recoveries on GFCF diets (gluten-free/casein free). Have you been to ? Click on Success Stories. Get a box of Kleenex, though. Some are real tear-jerkers.

I believe that the viruses themselves in the modified live vaccines OR
viruses already present in the brain of that child are the real underlying
cause of the severe brain depression/dysfunction in autism. These are
ALLOWED to rise up and cause the problem as a result of the immune
suppression from the malnutrition caused by the villous atrophy in the gut.
THAT would explain the concurrent GI symptoms. It is true that only 1/4 of
celiacs have diarrhea/chronic GI problems BUT autism would HAVE TO BE a
glaring example of something that happens in the most severely affected
celiac/food intolerant, wouldn't it? So, you would expect a high rate of GI
problems in these victims. They are in that "worst of the worst" category,
having become SO afflicted and at such an early age. They DO represent the
worst end of the spectrum.

NOW, add in the casomorphins and gliadomorphins from the dairy and
wheat...very depressing substances that they can/DO measure HIGH amounts of
in the urine of these kids. These are knocking them out like a morphine drug
because their brains are so affected, both by the malnutrition AND the virus
they have. Yes, there still HAS to be something individual about these kids
and a virus fits the bill.

The mercury is probably a factor as well, but I'm afraid we have a similar
situation in this issue that we do in whole milk issue. People want to blame
everything on lactose in the milk-related disorders and that little sugar is
the least of our worries. It is the proteins, hormones, and viruses (did you
get that?) in milk that are the real issues. Lactose is just an INDICATOR
that we shouldn't be drinking the stuff. Mercury is likely to be the
same...a secondary (or even tertiary) factor but a significant one just the

There is another very important thing about how vaccines "trigger" autism.
Vaccines contain a number of things: modified live or killed viruses,
mercury, and adjuvants that POTENTIATE the vaccines, making them more
powerful. Unfortunately, the latter also potentiate EXISTING viral
infections that already exist in the body. Two glaring examples in vet
medicine are vaccine induced sarcoma and vaccine reactions that we see. In
the former, there is a virus ALREADY in the body of the cat that sets up
housekeeping in the site where we give vaccines. The vaccine does not CAUSE
the tumor but sets the stage for the virus already there to set up
housekeeping and cause a sarcoma. See that? The adjuvants do this. In
various other "vaccine reactions", we see numerous "autoimmune disorders"
that occur following a vaccine. Usually, these occur a month or so after the
shot (just like epilepsy and autism does). I had a dog 6 months ago that
developed acute distemper encephalopathy ONE HOUR after a Rabies shot...ONE
HOUR. Fortunately, I had already done some study along these lines and had a decent idea that this COULD occur. I had read a great article on Mercola's
site about how the adjuvants can UNLEASH pre-existing viruses in the body
and that these reactions could occur within hours of the vaccines. This now
makes perfect sense.

So, to put it all together, what you likely have in autism are kids that
first and foremost some of the worst food intolerants (gluten, casein, soy,
corn). This is also characterized by their ADDICTION to these foods....most
are horribly addicted to dairy and wheat, an indicator that they are having
real problems with these foods. These kids are also immunologically
challenged by this food intolerance, which allows the viruses to run rampant
or for them to at least be a severe accident waiting to happen. Now, give
THEM a modified live vaccine and watch the fireworks happen. Ugh. They do
NOT handle that challenge well and the live paramyxoviruses of the MMR
vaccine go straight to their brain (or the adjuvants unleash the ones
already there.) The brain dysfunction makes them MUCH, MUCH more susceptible to the casomorphins and gliadorphins, which they have an over-abundance of in their brain because the are ADDICTED to the sources of these depressing substances, just like a drug addict. Throw mercury in there and you have a disaster.

But...BUT...put them on a GFCF diet (preferably gluten, casein, soy, and
corn free) and watch what happens. Because the food is doing SOOOOOO much, including providing the knock-out "drugs casomorphins/gliadomorphins), they make CAN make DRAMATIC recoveries...very dramatic in some cases, as read on the Now, not all will make a rapid recovery because the worst of the worst have the worst viral infection of the brain. Those with the mildest infection or who regain their immune competence the fastest recover the fastest. The worst take longer. Those who cheat on the diet will take even longer.

So, the testimonies are VERY explainable, aren't they? Even the spectrum of

You can see why I use the mercury/lactose analogy, right? I think the dairy
industry could easily be fanning the lactose myth flames because they can
take that bad 'ol lactose out of their product (thereby eliminating a very
important warning sign) or you can take a pill to help digest lactose, one
of the worst things you could do for the same reason. Could the vaccine
companies be doing the same? Could they be allowing he mercury issue to be
the main issue in autism as a scapegoat. They can take that stuff out or
better yet try to DISPROVE/DISCREDIT those that purport that mercury is the main guy (and they would be right, eh?). They would rather do THAT than
spend millions of dollars developing new vaccine technology that does no
harm. THAT is the exact same problem we have in vet medicine...getting the
drug companies MOTIVATED to change the vaccines.

We HAVE to accomplish this change in vaccines. We have all become too
unhealthy to take modified live vaccines. I'll say that again. We have all
become TOO UNHEALTHY to take modified live vaccines. THAT is the real
vaccine issue.

I hope this helps. Keep in touch,

Dogtor J
(Read: THE ANSWER- to "Why is the Plane of Our Nation's Health in a Death

In conclusion:

I think the reader can now see why I have felt compelled to put this issue in the spotlight. The G.A.R.D. has been a phenomenal success. However, it has been effective on a number of fronts, at a number of different levels. First of all, it is a major Band-Aid for the incompetent nature of these diseased brains when it comes to handling dietary glutamate. THAT is why the results can be so fast and even long-lasting. The glutamate did not belong in there to begin with, as it is a non-essential amino acid, one that the body can make from other amino acids. And yet, the pet's diet (and ours) is absolutely LOADED with this amino acid (along with its sibling, aspartate.)

And what foods provide this "excitotoxin"? The main sources are the top 4 food allergens... those that damage the duodenum. This is no coincidence. Once again, the "big 4" are the gluten grains (wheat, barley, rye), casein (from cow milk), soy (errrrrrrh), and corn. I have concluded that none of these foods are actually "good" for us. It is simply that some individuals TOLERATE them better than others. There is nothing in the way of nutrients that we derive from these potentially harmful foods that we cannot get from numerous other food sources. I have a book that lists all of the individual vitamins and minerals and their food sources and there is not one single nutrient that can only be derived from one of these four food sources (yes, including everyone's favorite...calcium). As I wrote in The Answer, think of those huge dinosaurs that NEVER got milk. We're still digging their bones out of the earth and they never had osteoporosis. Animals in nature do not drink milk and they do not suffer from osteoporosis. "Nuff said.

The G.A.R.D. then has the second (and huge) beneficial effect of eliminating the foods that are damaging the gut. This is paramount in importance, as the damage done by the big 4 (and the resulting malabsorption of critical nutrients) leads to immune incompetence and unhealthy this case, the central nervous system. This is not hard to imagine, as the levels of calcium, B complex, vitamin C, zinc and other critically supportive nutrients start to drop over time. In retrospect, I'm amazed that we last as long as we do! (Built to take a licking and keep on ticking.) The cool thing is that the body can and does reverse this with the G.A.R.D. in place.

This diet is also naturally low in allergens, estrogens, pain generators, and more. Allergens and estrogens both play roles here, which are discussed elsewhere on this site. There IS a good reason for catamenial seizures in women. There IS a seasonal influence on seizures that involves both allergens and the dropping serotonin levels that accompanies the shortening days. (This is discussed... along with air pollution... in the following addendums).

I hope this clarifies matters. This has been a phenomenal last few years. It has been a big, long learning process and I have documented it all along the way. You could call this site "The Dogtor J. Chronicles" (smile). But again, the cool thing has been that very few corrections have been necessary. It has been a matter of expanding the knowledge and emphasizing certain points as they became more clear. I believe the above letter summarizes things quite well, reducing its big brother, The Answer, down to a single page. (But I will be writing much more about mercury in the near future.)

Again, please feel free to contact me a  if you have any questions, comments, or testimonies. Your contribution cannot be over-stated.

Dogtor J.



Here is a great site for looking up the nutritional profiles of food, including their glutamate and aspartate content. ( ). Simply click on the food you are inquiring about, then scroll down toward the bottom of the page until you see the chart in the Nutritional Profile section. There is a click-on link after that chart (just above the References section) that reads "In Depth Nutritional Profile for (chosen food)" .  Click on that link and then just scroll done to the aspartate and glutamate listings. Make note of the serving size at the top of the chart so that you'll be making an accurate comparison.  You will quickly see the huge difference between the glutamate/aspartate content of healthy fruits/vegetables versus items such soy, wheat, barley, and the bean family (with the exception of green beans).

For example, recently my wife started eating peanuts and raisins as a late night television snack. Almost immediately, she started having very restless sleep and was complaining about soreness in her muscles and back. A quick trip to the chart showed very high levels of glutamate and asparate in peanuts.

I'm just glad that my canine patients don't eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and down it with a big glass of milk like our ADHD kids do. Let's see: wheat bread (with gliadorphins and plenty of glutamate and aspartate), peanut butter (LOTS more glutamate and asparate), jelly ("sugar gel"), and all of it washed down with cow milk (casomorphins and plenty of glutamate. Oh yeah. Don't forget the arachadonic acid for you pain sufferers).

Hmmmm..... It does all make sense, doesn't it?


Foods rich in glutamate and aspartate:

1) Grains: Wheat, barley, and oats are highest. Corn and rice are lower than the previous three but higher than potatoes.

2) Dairy Products: All Cheeses (cheddar, Swiss, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, PARMESAN) are very high. Casein is very concentrated in cheese and is 20% glutamic acid by composition.

3) Beans: Soy, Pinto, lima, black, navy, and lentils

4) Seeds: Sunflower, pumpkin, etc.

5) Peanuts: Very high, as are cashews, pistachios, and almonds. I have more detailed charts on the site to show exact values for the various nuts. Everything in moderation applies when eating nuts of any kind. So, I do not recommend you reach for nuts when you are really hungry unless you can stop after a few. Nuts are very good for moderation. For example, seven almonds a day gives you what you need .

6) Diet drinks: Primary source of aspartate (aspartame)

7) Prepared foods, soups:  70% of prepared foods and many soups have MSG

8) Meats: Note- All meats are naturally rich in glutamate and aspartate. Lamb (and eggs) are the lowest,  while rabbit and turkey are the highest.

However, I believe that the amount in a normal serving of meat should not be enough to cause problems. I think that it is all of the other "unnatural" sources when combined with the meats that are causing the problems. 

One of my newest concerns is the presence of glutamate in the flesh of grain-fed animals, especially chickens, turkeys, and cattle. This is s topic of discussion on the celiac forums and we are now believing that this is a real concern and could explain why some celiacs are not responding to elimination diets. Catfish are also grain fed.

The fact is that 60-70% of the American Diet is wheat and dairy (with heavy emphasis on cheese). This combined with the amount of artificial sweeteners being consumed and the addition of SOY has led this country into an epidemic of pain syndromes, including fibromyalgia. Epilepsy is definitely on the rise in pets and the combination of wheat and soy in pet foods is playing a huge role. I am seeing first time epileptic dogs within three weeks of starting such diets.


Food low in glutamate and asparate:

1) Fruits

2) Vegetables

3) Potatoes

4) Lamb and eggs are relatively low.

5) Tree nuts (e.g. pecans, walnuts, macadamias) NOTE: These are relatively low when compared to peanuts and cashews. I have more detailed charts on the site to show exact values. Pecans, for example, have half the amount of glutamate that peanuts have but that is still quite a bit. Again, everything in moderation applies when eating nuts of any kind. I do not recommend you reach for nuts when you are really hungry unless you can stop after a few. Nuts are very good for moderation. 7 almonds a day gives you what you need .

Addendum #2:  VERY IMPORTANT
Interestingly, I have been getting a number of Emails misstating the "theory" that my paper purports. I am very sorry and disappointed if the paper is not clearer than that. The main way that it has been misrepresented is in the underlying cause of the seizures themselves. Some have written to me questioning how gluten sensitivity can cause a reaction in the brain and thereby cause seizures. That, of course, is not what the paper states at all. But, there is at least one person on the net that has published a rebuttal of my "theory" based purely on this mistaken notion. I'm not sure how they got that idea if they, in fact, read the entire paper while actually trying to understand it.

So, I have decided to write another summary of the article and place it here for those that are still confused. The fine points of my "theory" are these:

1) The actual seizures in the idiopathic epileptic are caused by the neurostimulating amino acids glutamate and aspartate. These are non-essential amino acids, meaning that they are not required in the diet and are normally manufactured by the body from other sources. They are normally present in the brain and function as two of the primary substances involved in neurological transmission.

2) It is a know fact that MSG (monosodium glutamate) and aspartate (Nutrisweet) cause seizures in some human individuals. MSG is the amino acid glutamate (glutamic acid) while aspartame contains the amino acid aspartate (aspartic acid). These substances are specifically used for their neurostimulatory properties. MSG stimulates the taste buds thereby making them more sensitive to the foods that are passing over them. It is therefore used as a flavor enhancer. Aspartame does something similar to the taste buds while imparting a sweet taste. Both are neurostimulants and are used for that express purpose. However, both are neurotoxic in excessive quantities. This is a known fact, not a theory. They have caused seizures, migraine headaches, pain syndromes and much, much more. Aspartame has also recently been investigated in its possible role in the rise of brain tumors and Alzheimer's Disease.

3) My "theory" then suggests that idiopathic epilepsy is caused by a rise in these non-essential amino acids resulting in seizures, a known side effect of these two substances. The obvious question is why it occurs in some individuals and not others. A related question is why the onset of epilepsy is so variable, reportedly ranging from 6 months of age to 6 years or even older. Another question is why it is a progressive condition in most cases, starting with mild, infrequent seizures and often leading to uncontrollable daily seizures despite heavy medication. If this were simply a genetic defect of some sort, why don't the seizures begin right away and why do they occur so sporadically in most cases.

4) The second part of the "theory" addresses these questions. While studying celiac disease, I found that celiac children with epilepsy often greatly improved once the gluten grains (wheat, barley, and rye) were removed from the diet. The fact is that MSG has been made from wheat and soy. They are obviously rich in this amino acid. But, the main characteristic of celiac disease is the damage that the gluten does to the duodenum, that first stretch of intestine after the stomach. The gluten coats the little absorptive villi of the gut (like "glue"), induces an immune response, and causes the destruction of those villi. This part of the bowel is responsible for absorbing calcium, iron, iodine, B vitamins, Vitamin C, manganese, magnesium, boron, chromium, zinc, and much, much more.

These vitamins are essential in the formation of the enzyme systems of the body, including those of the liver and the brain that are responsible for the regulation of the levels of the amino acid glutamate. Therefore, the "theory" states that it is the progressive malabsorption syndrome taking place in the duodenum that leads to the progressive inefficiency of these enzyme systems of the body that leads to the progressive rise in the levels of glutamate (and aspartate) that leads to the progressively worsening seizures.

The amino acids cause the seizures (as they have been proven to do) while the malabsorption syndrome (which has been proven to occur in people like celiacs) leads to the underlying cause of the progressive nature of the condition. That is the "theory" and it should be perfectly clear now, shouldn't it?

5) The control of the seizures of the idiopathic epileptic involves restricting the diet of those food sources that are rich in these two non-essential amino acids. The "amazing" thing is that the sources of these non-essential amino acids are all of the primary food allergens in humans, dogs, and cats. Is that a coincidence? Of course not. It is those same foods that contain the "glue" and induce the immune response to dislodge it that the body becomes allergic to in the process. That is how the primary food allergens become so. The other common food allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, tropical fruits) are secondary allergens that are formed as they pass over that damaged area of gut, damaged by the primary foods dairy, soy, and the gluten grains (wheat, barley, and rye). This is obvious and factual.

By eliminating the sources of glutamate and aspartate from the diet, the seizures stop quickly, overnight in most cases in which the most thorough elimination possible has been made. I have had too many cases to keep track of now that have responded quickly and predictably both in my practice and on the Internet. Those cases that did not respond initially were investigated and found to be non-compliant to the diet. After further changes in the diet or the removal of supplements (mostly powders with wheat, barley, casein, soy, or kelp) or the removal of some medications (prednisone and veterinary NSAIDS such as Rimadyl), these pets came under control.

The FACT is that I have not had a pet with idiopathic epilepsy YET that has not improved applying this "theory", that is why I keep putting the word theory in quotation marks. Whether the theory is totally accurate is less important than the results it produces. It works! AND, it has worked every time I have applied it. It also follows the "Golden rule of Medicine" does no harm. I simply recommend that clients stop feeding the foods that are also causing all of the allergies anyway and feed a high quality food that is also hypoallergenic. Who can argue with that?

The response of some individual pet owners has been totally baffling to me. Their unwillingness to try this approach and negative comments would suggest that I am recommending something that is radical and dangerous. That is, in a word, absurd...ridiculous...ludicrous. (Oops. That's three words.)

Think now! "Think" is what I ask. What harm could it do? Most of these pets have concurrent allergies, which, in most cases, will improve phenomenally on this diet. We would be killing two stones with one bird, as I like to say. It cannot do harm.

And..... it will work. If it doesn't help control the seizures then you need to Email me so that I can help you figure out what you are doing wrong. I love this part of the case history because it proves the "theory" over and over again.

Oh, the stories I could tell.


*Addendum #3- This section dives into yet another piece of the pie by discussing the role of the blood brain barrier: its normal function, its permeability to the "excitotoxins",  and how it becomes damaged by air pollution, allergic and immune-mediated reactions, hydrogenated oils, and more. This will make a phenomenal amount of sense to the reader while greatly supporting the "theory" of epileptic seizures being caused by the neuroexcitatory amino acids, glutamate and aspartate.


The Role of the Blood Brain Barrier in Epilepsy

I have actually written this in a hurry, so bear with me. I am going on vacation for a little while and wanted to get this important information on the site before I left. Plus, my passion for this subject is growing even more intense and I just can't wait to tell you this newest stuff. So, here goes:

I have been studying a very important part of our anatomy. It is called the blood brain barrier (BBB), which is a protective layer of cells around the blood supply of the brain that functions to limit the entry of certain items into the brain. It normally prevents the passage of many drugs, microorganisms, toxins, and even amino acids into that all-important "command central" we call the brain.

However, there are certain things that damage the blood brain barrier, making it more permeable to these restricted items. For our application to epilepsy, the main insults that cause this to occur are air pollution, allergic reactions (the effects of histamine/mast cells), and our old friends the hydrogenated oils. Now, the latter does not play a huge role in veterinary epilepsy, but their consumption is a growing concern as the pets are fed our foods that do contain them. 90% of prepared foods have hydrogenated oils in them, including snacks, fried foods, candy, frozen dinners, cereals, cookies, and much, much more. "Fido" is getting way too many french fries and potato chips, I'm afraid. So, these trans fats are a growing concern to me.

The main issues in veterinary epilepsy would then be the other two: allergic responses and air pollution. The cells that produce our histamine are called mast cells. These cells and the histamine they produce make the BBB more permeable. I will not bore the reader with the physiology here. If you want details, then you can put the words "Mast cells, allergies, blood brain barrier" in your search engine and read all day about it. It is actually pretty cool stuff if you are into like I am. (Wait 'til you see what you find about how this applies to MS.) The second factor is air pollution. Once again, put "air pollution, blood brain barrier" in your search and read the bad news about what city living is really doing to our brains. I'm afraid that you may not sleep well afterwards, but the insomnia may be partly emotional and partly due to the pollution itself. Let me explain.

I have been writing about how the two excitatory amino acids, glutamate and aspartate, are the actual causes of the seizures themselves. They are neurotoxic in high enough quantity. (This is evident in Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS), in which the accepted pathophysiology is that the build up of glutamate at the synapse is what kills the adjacent neuron.) However, the blood brain barrier normally limits the amount of these amino acids that reaches the brain. Normally! However, is there anyone or his or her dog that is truly "normal" anymore? Perhaps there is someone who has never eaten wheat, dairy products, soy, or hydrogenated oils OR who has never breathed polluted air OR who has never had allergies of any kind but you won't find many in this country. (You might be able to find them on some island off the coast of Japan, though. Is it really the coral calcium that is making them healthy, I wonder?)

Once we understand that air pollution and allergic responses (and hydrogenated oils) "open up" the blood brain barrier and allow more and more of the excitotoxins into the brain, we can see how the levels of these amino acids can reach toxic levels, levels that can contribute to a myriad of problems ranging from migraines to pain syndromes (including "aspartame syndrome" and fibromyalgia) to seizures. We can also then relate many of the patterns of disease incidence that we experience with the diseases themselves rather than to "coincidence". For example, I have noted a rise in seizure incidence during certain times of the year but could not understand this phenomenon without knowing what is written here. Now I know that air pollution is often the key to these patterns, causing sudden changes in the permeability of the blood brain barrier. The fact that this happens can be seen in the astounding incidence of headaches in my clients (and myself) during this same time.

Now, the reader is ready for the phenomenal chain of events that leads to seizures in the susceptible individual. This is really cool, so pay attention. We start with the foods, the same "guys" that we have been picking on for three years now: cow milk products, wheat (and the other gluten grains: barley, rye, oats), and soy (errrrh). These are the three primary allergens. They do the damage to the duodenal villi that leads to the formation of antibodies to these foods (both IgE and IgG). They provide the coating ("glue") and induce the dysfunction or destruction of those villi which leads to the malabsorption of the nutrients absorbed by those villi. Once again, the nutrients that are malabsorbed are calcium, B6, Folate, Magnesium, Vitamin C, and many more. I list these particular nutrients like this because these are the ones that we KNOW are particularly vital to the health on the brain's neurons. When the brain is deficient in these nutrients, the neurons become MORE SENSITIVE to the effects of the excitotoxins. This is critical to understand, so make sure you grasp this right here and now. As the body becomes more deficient in these items, the brain becomes more sensitive to the excitotoxins. The same foods that are doing all of the damage to the gut are the ones providing the high levels of the glutamate and aspartate, remember?

So, do you see the "axis of evil" yet? This is really awesome! The wheat, dairy, and soy are the main sources of the "excitotoxins". (Again, they make MSG from wheat and soy... remember?) They also damage the gut, cause the malabsorption of the vital nutrients (which sensitizes the neurons), generate the allergic response, and open up the blood brain barrier, allowing their excitotoxins to rush in and do their thing. Is that perfectly "evil" or what. Thrown in an unhealthy dose of inhalant allergens and the associated histamine release and you have nothing short of a disaster. It is like a really bad symphony of some sort, isn't it?

Now and only now is when the genetics come into play. If genes "caused" this problem, then they would be epileptics right away, wouldn't they? Why do the seizures wait until some time between 6 months and 6 years (or older) to start? The answer, as the primary paper describes, is that this is a progressive condition. The damage to the gut is progressive. The malabsorption of the vital nutrients is progressive. The increasing sensitivity of the brain's neurons ("uploading") is progressive. The allergies are progressive, with less and less allergen being required to trigger an immune response. AND finally, the damage to the blood brain barrier is progressive. The "symphony" is a work in progress, isn't it?

As I have written in "The Answer", genetics are only the road map that determines where you are headed when you get off the main road of good health. Until then, they don't do much as far as the "causation" of disease. BUT, once you take that left turn off the main interstate of health, the road map pops out of your glove box and tells you where you are headed...diabetes, cancers, heart disease, and yes, epilepsy. Genetics do often play a role in the conditions to which we are prone, but only a secondary role, in my estimation. The life choices that we make (including diet) and the environment in which we live have much bigger parts in the development of degenerative diseases.

Now, is there any wonder why the breeds with the worst allergies are the main epileptics? But...BUT, do all epileptics have outward allergies? No. Do they have to in order to fit into this concept? Absolutely NOT! This is the bad news. Not all people with severe food intolerance (like celiac disease) have allergies... only the majority of them. Those with the allergies are the "lucky" ones, actually. They have an abundance of warning signs, don't they? Too bad we horribly misinterpret these warnings.


I highly recommend a book I just found last week at Book-A-Million. It is titled Treating Epilepsy Naturally, by Patricia A. Murphy. It can be found on by clicking here:

The foreword was written by Dr. Russell L. Blaylock, a recently retired neurosurgeon from the University of Mississippi Medical Center and author of Excitotoxins- The Taste That Kills. His book deals with the neurotoxic effects of aspartame and MSG, as well as many other food additives such as hydrolyzed soy protein. If you put his name in your search engine, you will find numerous articles dealing with these excitotoxins.

You see? There are plenty of well-respected doctors and researchers out there that know this stuff. It is only we and our family, our friends, our doctors, and our veterinarians that dont know this...yet!


Addendum #4- A letter to a client in the U.K.

----- Original Message -----
From: Joni
Sent: Friday, December 19, 2003 8:43 AM
Subject: epileptic retriever

I live in the UK. I have a 3.5 year old golden retriever. She has 3-4 day cluster fits every 4 - 6 weeks (its in the family), the last session was very bad she lost her vision for a day and a half. She saw a neurosurgeon about a year ago and he says to minimise the protein content of her diet as this will help. He had hoped, even though it is in her genes, to work towards her being fit free. After a few visits and medication adjustments his verdict was, at best, a six week reprieve.
He was very good and her Vet is very good too. Now it seems I think, after much research that I must look to her diet. I found your web site and read you dissertation. Its brilliant, though I'm no scientist. I've told my Vet to have a look too. 
I would like to ask for your help. I am keen to explore anything that will help my dog. She weighs about 30kg and is taking 150mg PB twice a day + KBr x 1000gm once a day + 1 teaspoon of cod liver oil twice a day. I feed her Bakers complete and half a can of Winalot or Pedigree tinned twice a day. Although after reading your site I am going to change this to a hypoallergenic brand call James Wellbeloved, as its gluten, soy and dairy free.
Any help or advice you can give me would be appreciated - I'm worried time is against us!
Best regards
Joni G.
My Response:
Hi Joni,
You are now on the right track. I have lost count of the number of dogs that have been helped with this dietary management. You will be hearing more about it through our profession, as the momentum is building rapidly.
The "theory" in the paper is logical and medically sound. That is why it works. The only question that remains is whether or not there is an inherent inefficiency in the cells of the brain to regulate the glutamate at the synapse or whether there is an organism of some kind that is affecting that function....or both.
The synapse in the brain where all of this is going on is actually easy to understand. Imagine two cells separated by a small space. The electronic transmission from one cell jumps to the next across the synapse through the use of the amino acid glutamate. However, if too much glutamate occurs at the synapse, it is neurotoxic, even neuro-lethal. In peripheral nerves, when the toxic levels occur, the nerve that would be receiving the electronic impulse is KILLED by the toxic levels of glutamate. This is what happens in Lou Gehrig's disease ( ALS). 
But, why does this happen? Why do the toxic levels of glutamate develop? The paper goes into how unusually high levels of this non-essential amino acid makes its way into our brain from what we eat. But why the level builds up to the level of killing the cell is a another matter.
There is another cell next to the previously mentioned cells called the glial cell. It is what regulates the amount of glutamate at the synapse. It removes the excess glutamate and converts it to an inactive compound. In this way, it is a "nurse cell" of sorts, isn't it? Well, this is where some of the problems are, in people and dogs. In fact, they have now identified a mycoplasm (a weird microorganism, sort of like a bacteria) in that glial cell in some people with Lou Gehrig's and they hope that this is the guy who is keeping it from doing its job. Perhaps treating these people with drugs to kill the mycoplasm will help their progressive disease.
Could this be what is going on in the dog with epilepsy? Could there be a microorganism (a virus, mycoplasm, bacteria, or others) in the glial cell of the dog's brain that could be keeping that cell from regulating the glutamate levels? You bet. The consequence would be a build up of glutamate and this would result in a toxic reaction. The COOL thing is that the brain has a method to deal with this build up...its called a seizure. Yes, I believe that seizures are therapeutic. I believe that they occur to protect the brain from the neurolethal effects of glutamate. I would rather have a seizure than have a dead brain, wouldn't you? So, the seizure occurs to "burn up" the glutamate and thereby prevent the lethal effects of that compound on the brain. Wow! Now, we also see why dogs on long term anticonvulsants often have problems, either with resistance to the drugs developing (the brain WILL find a way to save itself from our mistakes) or in the form of behavior problems in the dog....viciousness, lethargy, or ADHD-like manias. I am now convinced that the latter problems occur as a result of the gradual death of brain cells from the neurolethal levels of the glutamate that the anti-seizure medication has allowed to occur. Our Band-Aid worked for a while but ended up doing as much harm as good. This is what happens when we abuse symptomatic medication that simply covers up what the body is trying to do to heal itself (like those aspirin for fevers caused by viruses. We MUST stop doing this!).
So, the question is whether there is an organism in all dog's brains with epilepsy or only some. I vote for the latter now, as I have had too many dogs now stop having seizures and never have them again. It does not appear to be a progressive disorder in most of those I have treated with diet. However, I must say that the diet makes the dog so much healthier that it may be allowing the dog to get these "infections" under control. So, there is a valid argument either way.
BUT, the point is somewhat moot in that the treatment is THE SAME....stop feeding the bad foods...the ones that cause all of the problems including allergies, pain, stomach upsets, ear infections, etc, etc...and watch them get better. They get healthier in general and their seizures stop. In some cases, however, the seizures appear to disappear more slowly than others, suggesting the possibility of the secondary invader situation.
WE are seeing the same sort of thing in many other areas of medicine. We have discovered the bacteria that worsens stomach ulcers (Helicobacter pylori), the mycoplasm in the joints of some people with rheumatoid arthritis, the mixed bag of organisms in the colon of people with Crohn's, and on and on.
The "opportunists" (viruses, bacteria, fungi/yeast, mycoplasms, Rickettsia, and others) are just sitting there waiting for their chance to invade. Once your immune system crashes, up they come into the clinical picture and manifest in the syndromes we see. This is basic medical fact and we MUST come to grips with this. We must face the fact that viruses, for example, are "public enemy number one" and the latent ones (such as Epstein-Barr and other herpes viruses) that we acquire  over time are vitally involved in immune-mediated disorders and (most, if not all) CANCER. (Yes, the latter is a very bold statement, but watch the news or do a little research. It is becoming very clear that this is the Truth. Watch my site for the next paper "Medicine Made Simple" or Viruses...the Real Terrorists.)
So, there may be opportunists in epilepsy. There probably are. I think I have been dealing with them in those cases that did not immediately stop have seizures. BUT, the main reason I have seen continued seizures is non-compliance with the dietary principles outlined in the paper. "Cheating" (or lack of understanding what all has the glutamate in it) is the main cause of continued seizures. However, I have had a few (very few) cases that did not get as well as expected or as fast as expected once on the right diet. THESE guys are the ones to look for the secondary invaders. On the other hand, I have not had ONE DOG that did not show some sort of response to this diet...not one, including some that have had BRAIN TUMORS. Yes, even they have shown some response to the diet.
Reduce the levels of those non-essential amino acids, glutamate and aspartate... those things that the dog would never get in their diet in the form of grains, dairy, or soy...those foods that are known to be the main food allergens and causes of gastrointestinal distress...and they get better. Now, how hard is that to believe or understand? Not very, is it?  It does make sense and it does work.
I hope this helps. I will be looking forward to hearing from you.
Dogtor J.  ( Read:  The Answer-  to "Why is the Plane of Our Nation's Health in a Death Spiral?" )                            

*My current view of epilepsy in a nutshell- (New as of 4-05 and EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!!)

This letter to a client basically sums it all up. I will be writing an entirely new paper in the near future that will contain all of this information- and more. I think the following letter will serve this purpose for the time being. It has most of the elements of the "syndrome" we call epilepsy.

Sharon writes:

I have just been to your site and read Epilepsy and Diet. I found it
very interesting.
Is it the food (or ingredients thereof) or vaccines that cause the
first sensititvy?
Is it both that then cause sensitivity to other things in the
environment that trigger siezures?
Do you do long distance consults?

My Response:

Hi Sharon,

It's good to hear from you. Great questions. I now think the answer lies in your last question-that BOTH work together causing sensitivity/over-reaction to other things in the environment, triggering seizures.

My only question now is how often are viruses involved. I could believe that they ARE involved in ALL cases, just as some medical researchers (including myself) believe that all cancer in viral. The virus COULD be the initial culprit in all cases, damaging the glial cells and allowing the glutamate to build up at the synapse. The viral infections could be remitting/relapsing types of infections (like Herpes are prone to do), which causes the epileptic to have periods of severe affliction followed by more quiescent periods. In the meantime, their efficiency is reduced with each viral episode.

This is where the diet (The GARD) comes in... and comes in STRONG. It not only is a great Band-Aid, dramatically cutting the amount of glutamate that this "inefficient" brain has to handle, but it also allows the gut to heal, reversing the malabsorption syndrome that caused the malnutrition that in turn allowed the viral infection to rise up in the first place. See that? The virus was there for a long time, sometimes even being there before birth (vertical transmission) or acquired DURING the birth, as Herpes can be acquired. It sits dormant until the immune system crashes. This happens because of the big four in the diet, which damage the duodenal villi blocking the absorption of the essential nutrients I list all of the time. The same damaging foods are LOADED with glutamate which brings on a myriad of signs, from insomnia to pain to ADHD to seizures in the worst of the worst.

THEN, as the brain becomes more and more unhealthy, the environmental issues come more into play...the mercury, benzene, and other air and food/water pollutants. It becomes more and more of a "syndrome" at that point, with all of these factors working together. Estrogens play a HUGE role in this process in women by being both neurostimulating, irritating, and immune suppressive, a deadly combination when it comes to anything viral (like breast cancer).

So, back to the original question I have. Are viruses involved in all cases. I think that is distinctly possible. I was fooled at first by the dramatic recovery I was seeing in dogs (and people) put on the diet. I wondered how in the world an individual with severe epilepsy could possibly stop having seizures OVERNIGHT and NEVER have another one just by changing the diet IF it was a viral thing. Now I know: In those, you are catching them at a time that the viral infection is in remission but during which time the previous infections have left the brain inefficient to the handling of glutamate. In other words, the previous damage has reduced the number of glial cells in the brain and the glutamate handling capacity of that brain has been compromised. If you put that individual on a glutamate/aspartate restricted diet, they will do very well. If they stay on the diet and are strict, they may become well enough (as their gut heals) to never have another, as their immune system gets back to normal health, as does their brain, and liver and kidneys (the enzyme systems of which control blood glutamate levels). They spiral in the RIGHT direction instead of their previous spiraling out of control. The diet is also low in estrogens and is hypoallergenic. The importance of the former we just covered. The latter is important, as the action of histamine "opens" the blood brain barrier and allows more blood glutamate into the brain (to counteract the depressing effects of the histamine. An "antidote" if you will. This is how cool our body is. SMILE) The GARD for people is also naturally low in hydrogenated oils/trans fats, another horrible substance that opens the BBB, carrying with it God-knows-what.

Others individuals will be caught in the throws of an active viral
infection. These will have a reduction in seizures (I haven't had one that hasn't gotten better to some degree) but may have a number of seizures over the near future as they start healing and get the infection back under control. That process would explain those that I have had seizures that tapered off and THEN stopped altogether.

This makes the most sense to me now, especially when you consider the nature of the virus and the types of viruses that we KNOW inhabit the brain (Herpes, paramyxovirus). This IS their "M.O." And, once again, epilepsy is the body's way of dealing with these guys, limiting their activity while warning us of their existence. If we don't understand these things, then we "get" to have brain tumors, the ultimate act of these little terrorists.

Hope this helps clear things up,




An "Epilephany"- Viruses, Serotonin, and Light  Boxes to Help Treat Epilepsy
The following is a letter that I wrote to my friend and colleague Dr. Jean Dodds today (1-12-06). It started out...innocently a question that I was posing to her brilliant mind asking whether she thought that light therapy could help epileptics as it does people with seasonal affected disorder (SAD). Once we understand the vital serotonin connection, which this letter goes into more deeply, then we can see how light therapy...the right kind of light therapy... may benefit those with epilepsy by boosting their serotonin levels. BUT, as I am prone to do, I got a little off topic and unloaded some other loaded questions and thoughts on her. It turned out to be a pretty good summary of everything I know and believe about how diseases...yes all diseases...occur. Hope you get something good from it.
Hey Jean,
Happy New year! I hope 2006 is the best ever for you and your family.
As I am sure is true with you, my mind never seems to stop going now that I have passed through this doorway. (Sometimes I wish I could throw up this red pill, take the blue one instead, and go back into my comfy place in The Matrix. Have you seen Morpheus recently? LOL ) Actually, I have never been more excited about being involved in medicine. I just get tired of thinking sometimes. (Thank God for golf. Smile) is not one of those days. LOL   So, grab a cup of coffee (or three) and tell me what you think. I'll try to be brief. hahahahahaha.
My recent area of research has been serotonin (as well as viruses in their role in "genetics"). WOW!!! There are sooo many things about serotonin that I did not know and yet fit so perfectly into this whole puzzle. I have been flabbergasted for years by the devastation we see in human and veterinary health in the fall and winter months, knowing that the cold and flu season has good reason to occur but having never seen the full serotonin connection. I have known about seasonal affected disorder (SAD) for years, experiencing it myself to pathological levels in my 40's. I have also known about serotonin and platelet function for years. I picked up on the pattern of aural hematomas (and my own gum bleeding until I went gluten and casein free) starting in fall and peaking in April years ago but did not really know why they occurred. I had thought for years that all dogs with hematomas had a bleeding disorder that distinguished them from the other pets that beat the stew out of their ears and never developed one. Little did we know that the bleeding problem was one that we were not measuring...serotonin depletion. No wonder I was depressed and had bleeding gums for years before going GFCF.
BUT, I recently (FINALLY) saw the third connection...the role of serotonin in the immune response. WOW!!! Between less sunlight causing less vitamin D conversion (and IT'S profound effect on immunity) and the dropping serotonin, no wonder the immune system struggles so when the days get short, eh? I thought the cold and flu season was simply because of dropping ambient temperatures and that the subsequent drop in nasal passage temps allowed opportunistic viruses (that really hate 98.6 in people and 100-102 in dogs/cats) to take hold. And, that is partly the case. BUT, I now think it is more likely that the other two factors above determine the breadth and depth of this seasonal phenomenon.
So, I did a search for "serotonin, immune system" and man did I get an eyeful. You may know all of this but I didn't. It WAS an epiphany of sorts to see the vital importance of this aspect of our seasonal "bio-rhythms". Of course, this fits perfectly into the design of nature. Winter always has been and always will be the "survival of the fittest" in nature. The strongest survive and go onto to breed in spring, thereby insuring the survival of the species. Why certain species hibernate and other flourish in winter all become understandable, as well. (But that is too lengthy to get into. I did think it was cool, tho, to realize that of the most well-known sources of tryptophan, the precursor of serotonin...become available in fall and winter and also became one of our dietary staples RIGHT when we needed them most.)  So, it is natural for the immunity to wane in winter to facilitate this "thinning of the herd". It was done by design.
BUT, what man has done to himself, his diet, his environment, and the animals (and produce) themselves has amplified this situation phenomenally...almost unbelievably once this REALLY sinks in, Jean.

Where is most of the serotonin produced? By the enterochromaffin cells of the INTESTINE. It is then distributed by platelets and white cells to the needed sites. Hmmm... Why are celiacs almost universally depressed? Because we are leaking serotonin into our damaged gut, resulting directly from the action of the lectins in gluten (and casein, soy, and corn) damaging the villi AND those cells that produce serotonin. We often suffer from serious depression/SAD. We are also bleeders, bruising easily and suffering from bleeding gums with routine tooth brushing (me, me , me in the past!). We have crummy immune systems (for lots of reasons, but add to that the effect of low serotonin on T cells and the immune response). AND, we are some of the worst epileptics!!! BUT, we also get better...and quickly.... with elimination of the offending foods.
Here is the main reason I wrote today. How do we treat SAD (seasonal affected disorder)? Well, the main way in the literature (other than pharmakeia. LOL) is light therapy. And it works...well in many cases. ( Of course, the main way to treat SAD would be to do what I have done to cure myself...stop the leak and increase production. This is done by eliminating the offenders of the big 4 (gluten casein, soy, corn) that are doing it. SAD would vaporize in those who did this WITHOUT light therapy, just as it has in my case. BUT, for those who won't/"can't" do the diet, then light therapy is a decent and effective back-up. That along with getting plenty of tryptophan (eat those turkeys) and maybe a melatonin supplement at night. BUT, that is like taking an aspirin for a headache caused by a brain tumor, right? Headache gone...still got the tumor.
BUT what else would light therapy help??? Ahhhh...that again is the main reason for this Email. Could light therapy help an epileptic  if done properly. Certainly, we know that certain frequencies of light even trigger seizures. But those light sources that have been incriminated are usually flickering sources, like fluorescent lights, TVs, computers/graphics. I had an epi person the other day have a seizure while riding in the car, looking out the window, and observing the sunlight coming through a stand of tall trees. It was like a strobe-light effect and resulted in a seizure. Would this have happened in summer when the days were long and her serotonin was higher? Could have.
Would light boxes used for SAD therapy trigger seizures like this? Not likely,as long as incandescent, non-flickering light was used.
I have had a number of seizure logs sent to me that show an increase in seizures during the short days, some very dramatically. I got one recently from a person with a Lab that had ALL of its 26 seizures from November to April...NONE in the longer days from April to November. This now makes sense. Have you been seeing an increase since, say, September? I'm sure you have. My Email box is full of them, from pets and people.
We know that serotonin has an inhibitory effect on seizures, moderating the effect of glutamate in the synapse. Low serotonin levels must have a great impact on the development and severity of seizures. And restoring these levels is a major contributing factor in the recovery I believe, once again helping to explain why the elimination diet works so well. So, if light therapy helps restore these levels for the depressed person, they should help the epileptic, right?
And how many dogs (and people) get the right amount of full spectrum light every day? The lights in our homes and offices do not come close to the amount of light in direct sunlight, do they? (200-500 lux verus the 50,000-100,000 lux that we get from direct sunlight.) How many indoor, couch-potato epi dogs get enough light, even during the summer months (especially those drugged to the hilt)?  Add to that the immunosuppressive effects of inadequate light (both vitamin D and serotonin deficiency) and we have a better idea of why these epi dogs CRASH so badly this time of year.
Why? Because "idiopathic" epilepsy IS viral, isn't it, Jean? It has to be. The main underlying cause of idiopathic epilepsy HAS to be a viral (or mycoplasmal) infection (e.g of the glial cells, a known target for viruses and mycoplasma). There are NUMEROUS viruses that have been proven to cause seizures, including a number of Herpes and parmyxoviruses. Even the ubiquitous Epstein Barr, Herpes simplex, and Coxsackie virus have been known to be causes/triggers of seizures. This "idiopathic" condition has virus written all over it (just like cancer and immune-mediated diseases do), from the age of onset to the varying severity to the clinical course to the remitting/relapsing symptoms. And if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck.....  Once we see that, then we can easily see how the cascade of events takes place that "unleashes" these guys...these opportunists that lay in wait for innocent blood. But do they really? Are they really "bad guys"?...all evil???
That is the coolest part of what I have come to see over the past year. Viruses were meant for good...yes, good...created to allow/facilitate adaptation and variation in nature. Once again, here is that link that started this whole thought process for me ( You don't have to be "religious" to see the Truth in what he writes. And yes, they were created for organism that was meant to live in a symbiotic relationship with us while FORCING adaptation of the host to insure its survival. (In that way, it has an almost "selfish"/parasitic side to it, doesn't it?). It is these very viruses in our DNA that allow/force us to adapt to the bad things that we do to ourselves. How do dogs adapt to a wheat-based diet in just 3-4 days? (How long does it take for a healthy individual to get over a viral infection. Hmmm...) Makes you think about what "genes" and our DNA really are, doesn't it? How DO genes "mutate"? Are genes alive? If genes cause disease states, why do they wait years and years to do so? Oh man, this is getting good....isn't it?
BUT, the bad news is that these viruses WILL all costs! Yes, they will survive even if it means the end result being detrimental to their host. After all, they are not "alive"...and thinking, right? (Well, if they are NOT alive, how is it that they do what they do? Man, we really do understand so little, don't we? We LOVE to categorize things, don't we?).
So, now we can see them "morph" from their friendly, helpful self...causing variation and facilitating adaptation in all realms of nature...into their self-centered, survive-at-all-costs alter ego in the face of the threats that WE throw at them. Yes, caused them to turn on us. As we pollute our bodies and environments, we are threatening them. And they start by making us stronger, to adapt. That is phase one. But ,as we throw more and more at them and our bodies start to fail...the tissues becoming unhealthy and the immune system starting to fail....we enter phase two- rescue mode. The viruses step up their operation and try to overcome the greater threat. Our immune system, which has been over-seeing this whole operation from the start...our guardian...recognizes the uprising and goes into action. This is one of the causes of "autoimmune disease", isn't it? The immune system starts to attack the tissue housing the "rebels" to suppress the uprising. Of course, the presence of lectins...those inflammatory glycoproteins from food that often unleash these guys to begin with...attract an even stronger and more violent response once we become sensitized to their presence.
Here is what I now believe to be the connection between lectins and viruses. When you read about lectins, you will find it written that once a lectin attaches to the glycoprotein receptors of a complex cell wall, a number of things can happen to that cell. In fact, one articles on lectins stated up to 12 different reactions can take place in that cell, ranging from cell death to tumor formation. Wow! A non-living, antibody-sized glycoprotein can do all of that??? Uhhh, I don't think so. BUT, I know who could. Yep....the virus living INSIDE that cell, hidden in its very genome (which we KNOW occurs). Hey, that's what viruses do, right...inject their genetic information into our cells and then, in a tiny flash of light (as seen on the Discovery channel), that info disappears into our double-stranded helices. Then? waits...and they don't wear watches. :)
Things become pretty simple, don't they? The virus is there in situ and along comes the stimulus to send it into action. One of those stimuli is the lectin. The virus goes into action to cause adaptation to insure its survival. And, this works...for a while... UNTIL the challenge becomes overwhelming OR until the immune system fails to keep this guy under its thumb. Yes, the virus is capable of good and bad and like us in so many ways, in that without restraint, it reverts to being bad. He wasn't "meant" to be this was any more than we were. It is just in their (and our) nature to be so IF and once we eliminate the necessary restraints. So once again, our medical lives are in perfect parallel with our spiritual ones. I have now some to have a better understanding of why this is so. There are things "seen" to help us understand the things "unseen".  (e.g.  We discovered the unseen virus after we discovered the more visible bacteria which we found when we discovered the microscope, but only after we understood the grossly visible mold/fungus. Similarly, the relatively harmless roundworm and tapeworm help us understand the threat of the more serious "unseen" hookworm and whipworm.)  How cool is that?? LOL Now, if you are of the mind to, apply that to your understanding of spiritual matters. (This concludes the sermon portion of this lecture. LOL)
Then we come to phase three...after the adaptation (one) and following the battle of the uprising (phase two-the battle for "middle" earth)... which is immune failure. Yes, because of what we have done to ourselves, the immune system finally fails. The malabsorption caused by the big 4 food intolerances coupled with our overall poor diets, polluted environments, stressful lifestyles, shortening days/dropping serotonin, caffeine/sugar/food/tobacco/drug addictions, etc all add up to unhealthy tissues (brain, liver, kidneys, lungs, et all) and incompetent immune systems. It's amazing that we live as long as we do when I really think about it. Unfortunately, some lives are cut extremely short. Are we really surprised?  "Darn those genes". Yeah, right.
And what is immune failure? In a word, cancer....IF we survive phase two (the immune-mediated diseases). It's a foot race, isn't it? Who will win THIS year- lung, breast, colon, prostate, or lower esophageal cancer or heart disease (immune-mediated atherosclerosis)?  What about the millions suffering from lupus, MS, Parkinson's, ALS, and rheumatoid and epilepsy. Are we really surprised that the asthma rates are skyrocketing as our lungs are desperately trying to limit the garbage coming into us through THAT port-of-entry. The GI tract is not our only Achilles' heel, is it? And what is the biggest "organ" and most exposed part in the body? The skin, right? Hmmm...wonder what is REALLY going on in allergic dermatitis, eczemas, and psoriasis? Makes ya' think, huh?
So, what do you think? Will light boxes help in the treatment of epilepsy???
Your friend and admirer,
Dogtor J.



Epilepsy Testimonials- (NEW!!!) Here are some of your letters that state how the diet has helped your epileptic pet...or you. Yes, people are responding as well. Let's start with the "worst of the worst".
Testimonial #1  "The worst of the worst":
Here is a series of Emails from a veterinarian that received my epilepsy paper just days before his "worst of the worst" case was to be put to sleep. This doctor is now an outspoken "disciple" of this concept, having contacted the IVD dog food people before I even had a chance to. Wow! 

1) Dr. John : Thank you so much for the information regarding the role diet plays in epilepsy. Although I have been in practice since 1964 this is the first information regarding this approach. I have another case that is having multiple seizures even on phenobarb, KBr, and Valium. The client is considering euthanasia so I am going to put this dog on Duck/Potato and see how that helps. My question is how long before a change in diet should procure results so I can properly advise this client? Again thank you for your information.  Dr. S.

2) DogtorJ: Thank you for the article. Subsequent to your information I placed a dog that has been having cluster seizures every 12 hours even though being treated by the College of Veterinary Medicine here at the University of Florida in Gainesville with phenobarb, dilantin, KBr, and valium on the duck/potato diet you recommended. I talked with the owner today and the dog has not had any further seizures since starting the diet which has now been four (4) days.. Understand the client is still giving all the other meds but since he was considering euthanasia he is thrilled that there has been a cessation of the seizures. This is a really good test case since this dog has been seizing for the past several years and has gotten progressively worse. I am very excited about what you have documented as I have certainly had my share of seizing dogs over the years and although most have infrequent episodes there are those like this dog that just get worse regardless of treatment. I will keep you advised as I plan to incorporate this protocol in my seizure patients.  Dr. S.

3) Dr. J: Please do not be discouraged by the academic community's response to new ideas. They do have to be careful in what they endorse as ideas because of the academic societal standards they must adhere to in order to be considered viable. So far Mr. H's dog "Luther" has not had another seizure as far as I know. He promised to let me know immediately if Luther seizured again. I am very impressed with your information and have shared it with other practitioners in this area. They are waiting to see what happens with the H's dog. It turns out that Mrs. H. was involved with someone that had celiac disease that was controlled with diet so she had a good background for the information you provided. I just simply encourage you to continue what you are doing and not be too concerned with acceptance from the academic community. I do believe, however, that Dr. C. may become a valuable ally. Will keep you advised on the Henry case. Dr.S.

5) Dr. J: A quick update. The dog belonging to Jason N. was fed pizza Saturday and begin having cluster seizures Sunday night. Then Mr. H. called today and advised that "Luther" had his first seizure since December 18th. Mr. H. reported that the seizure was fairly mild and keep in mind that he is still giving phenobarb and KBr. He did tell me that he has to use deli beef to get "Luther" to take his medication. This amounts to about one thin slice daily. What is your opinion regarding this having a negative effect? So far these are the only two cases I have on duck/potato.  Dr.S.

6) Dr. J: Good report. The H's dog has been seizure- free for the last three months since he started giving the medications in the duck/potato can food (instead of the deli meat). The other dog, the Husky, that was brought in by the boy that is somehow related to you continued to have seizures and I believe he returned the dog to the breeder or original owner. (We believe that continued treats by the roommate was the problem here.) I have two other epileptic dogs on the duck/potato along with phenobarb that are doing well. Dr. S.


Yes, this dog was sensitive enough to have be having seizures on the deli meat that the pills were being given in. The meats are very high in glutamate and aspartate as the charts on this site show. This pet's seizures  resolved completely when canned duck and potato was used as the pill vehicle. The other dog had seizures from a single piece of pizza. But, this is what you expect from those that were headed for euthanasia, isn't it? Now, he's 5 months seizure-free. How cool is that?

Testimonial #2  "The post-menopausal disaster"
Here is L.'s first Email in Feb. 2003
For some reason when I started into menopause, I started having one nocturnal seizure per month.  It always happened between 12:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m.  They were gran mals.  Tests at Mayo Clinic showed my heart would stop during the episode and thus they placed a pacemaker as a precaution.  That was in the fall of 1999.  I still continued to have problems with seizures and with allergies to the medications for seizures.  It was strange  several times I had noticed these would happen after I had eaten ice cream prior to bedtime.  Everyone just laughed about it.  My mother told me that as an infant I had been allergic to milk.  I said what did you do about that?  She said gave you milk anyway because we did not know what else to do.

So--after reading your information..........I stopped eating dairy, all grains, corn, and soy.  So far so good.  I have not had a seizure since December 20.  I also have lost 8 pounds......yeah!!! 

Also I feel much more energy and am not nearly so depressed.  People say I look younger and am becoming my usual fun person. 

Thanks........................  ~L.
Here is L.'s second Email in April of 2003:
On February 18, 2003, I reported on my situation with nocturnal seizures.  This all seemingly showed up at the time of menopause.  Yet I wonder if it had been hiding in the corner most of my life!

As a baby my mother fed me cow's milk and said I was a mess with colic.  I asked her what they did to try to help.  Just fed you more milk and you would cry, and I would cry she said.  Then as a six year old or so, I recall going to my grandmother's house for those Sunday dinners we all loved.  She always had mashed potatoes, I am from (the US) so have to add that e on potato)--and I would stuff myself with noodles.  On the way home in the late afternoon, the sun would be so bright in my eyes and I would get those "half headaches."  I presume they were migraine.

As a teen, I loved those milkshakes and breaded tenderloins.  More headaches and let's stop along the cornfield and vomit episodes I recall all too well.

As a young adult, I remember waking in my sleep, sitting straight up, and saying-Hey, hey, hey!  My husband and three sons recall that deal to this day.  Also during that time I continued to have horrible migraines.  I wonder if this could have been a seizure disorder even then, or should I say a food allergy disorder.  I only wish I would have known then what I am learning now.

Then five years ago came the gran mals in the middle of the night.  Of course there were scans, meds, and -- the dreaded depression of dealing with the whole affair.   The seizures continued.  They were on a monthly cycle, between 12:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. and many times after I had eaten ice cream.

Enters--Dogtor J.  On January 12 of 2003, I changed my diet some would say weirdly.  For breakfast I ate a banana, apple, and raw cashews...
For lunch I ate Romaine lettuce, sliced pickled beets, kidney beans, onion and a poppy seed dressing.  Sometimes I add some boiled egg slices.
In the evening I ate a small amount of fish, etc., potato, and a veggie.
If I was still hungry and wanted a snack--I would eat raw cashews, fresh fruit, or raw veggie.

Guess what??????????????????   I have not had a gran mal since I took your suggestion and am following the above diet.  I have lost 10 pounds also.  No headaches, no depression, and you will notice no dairy or grain products.

We raise German Shepherds and I tell everyone I guess I am a "real dog."  Your diet works for me it seems at this point just like for puppies.  The last episode I had was December 20, 2002! 

I still take a low dosage of Keppra and take my Melaleuca vitamins each day.

This morning you would have been so proud!  At the Easter breakfast at church, everyone is snarfing down all the sweet rolls, muffins, and milk!  There I am munching on my raw cashews and bottled water.  At noon I ate some beef, fresh asparagus, and ate salad that I had prepared in my way as usual.  I really am not even tempted by the junk food now and it makes me so upset to see where our society is headed with their junk mania.  

What more can I say but-----THANKS!!!!            ~L.
Here is L.'s third Emails in May 2003
So far this lady is bulletproof!  I have not had even one episode since I started eating like someone called DogtorJ suggested.  Bow -Wow...  What more can I say?  I think some think I have gone on a radical diet.  I sat down and had a chat with myself and it went like this.

What would God say is weird to eat?  Would he say fresh apples, pears, vegetables, romaine lettuce, and all the other fresh food he created?  Or would he say Coke, chips, cookies, pie, cake, and candy are weird?  After pondering for a moment, I think maybe the world has really lost focus on their grocery shopping list of healthy diets.

Thus I have come to the conclusion that we have to search and research on our own.  Too many companies today are more interested in the bottom line than the health of our fellow man it might seem.

My last gran mal was on December 20, 2002, Christmas cookies, candy, and all.  Thank you so much for your help.  Please keep in touch.  We live near (the US).  Let us know if you ever are in this area.  You have saved my life!

Keep in touch!       ~L.


Your letters, my answers:

Letter #1:
Dear (Dogtor J.),
     Your article was just recently referred to me.  It is superb and certainly in line with what I have discovered with my "pack" of Irish Setters.  I am attaching a brief (3 pages) article I wrote for our state Irish Setter Club.  I believe that your theories, nay actual results, are well supported in what has occurred in specifically two of my dogs.  The one was near death after fighting IBD, Colonities and PeriAnal Fistulas for over 3 years.  He is now a picture of health at 9 1/2.  The epilseptic dog has been seizure free since switching to raw diet last March, immediately after his first seizure cluster.  Thank you for your efforts. 
Dear (Terry):
Thank you for your letter. The Irish setter club was going to be my next "target" today. I have been systematically sending out that Email to all of the breed clubs, starting with what I lovingly refer to as the "worst of the worst". Of course, the poor Irish Setter, the only breed definitively diagnosed with celiac disease, was absolutely pounded when the pet food industry shifted gears to wheat from corn. That beautiful breed was already in trouble with the corn, I believe. The wheat was a gun to their poor, helpless head. I'm getting angry just writing about it!!!
But, I saw it happen with blinders on, I'm afraid. In retrospect, it all makes sooooooo much sense. When I graduated, almost all foods were corn-based. We had our group of dogs in trouble...the Irish setter, the Westie, the Dalmation, the Poodle, the German Shepherd...but the majority of dogs, especially the mutts, were pretty healthy. Then, when political reasons pushed us into a wheat glut in this country, the pet food industry turned to its new profit child, wheat, and everything came apart at the seems.
My 25 year old dermatology book stated it clearly. Wheat and dairy products were the leading food allergens...back then!!! We knew it. Did we not know what we were about to do? Is the fact that it took 9-11 for us to put locks on the cockpit doors really an indicator of how short-sighted we are? Or is it much more? I promise that I won't bore you with a philosophical dissertation here (unless you want to hear it. hahaha), but could it be the "root of all evil" at work here...the love of the "almighty" dollar? Sounds logical, doesn't it? I'm afraid it's even more than that, though.
But what about the future of pet foods, Terry? What do you think will happen here? The first two Emails I received today were about raw diets. I know that they could cure just about anything that ails the pets (and us) except in the most advanced of cases, as long as we understand the concept of secondary food allergens. Is that going to be practical? How can we make it so?
My first Email was from someone who agreed with me completely BUT was rather upset that I then turned around and recommended certain foods that have the "bad stuff" in them. I will include my response to her for you to check out.
I will make you the same offer. How would you like to help me set up that part of my site. I purchased 5 more pages for my little homemade site (pretty cheesy, huh? There's a reason for that and it's a little deeper than most would think.) and I would love to dedicate one whole page (which can be very lengthy) to the idea of raw diets. Breeders and interested parties can contribute to that area. It would be great.
Keep in mind. I own and run a full-time, one doctor veterinary hospital. Until I get the million dollar advance on my book (Hahahahahahaha) that I may actually get around to writing , I still have to actually work for a living. And, for the past two years, I have been "trying" to cure myself out of practice. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. BUT, the Truth is the Truth, and it has to come out and it has to be done, doesn't it?
Thanks for your interest. If the counter on my website is any indicator, things are about to heat up. I will try to get back to you as quickly as possible when you write. This is my passion and my purpose, it appears.
Want to join me?
Dogtor J.  
(Read:  The Answer-  to "Why is the Plane of Our Nation's Health in a Death Spiral?")


Letter #2:

(Dogtor J.):

Thanks for your quick response.  To answer the questions:

We have no kids

We have one other dog (3 yo neutered male lab/husky mix healthy as a horse)

She is an inside only dog and we have a fenced back yard.

She gets only the potatoes (taken out of bag washed and baked in oven then mashed) pinto beans and bananas (we use these as treats and to put her Pb in).  We feed the dogs separate and we mix the foods separately.  The Epi is fed in her exercise pen and the husky is fed in his crate.

We have run all the blood work and it came back normal.  Ran the 6 panel thyroid Dr. Dodds recommends again normal. Only thing we have not done is gone to Texas A&M for the MRI which none of the vets felt was warranted at this time.

I have heard of the raw diet and the Dermatologist as suggested that that is the way we are headed.  She started this food trial with just the 3 food types.  One Carb, one protein and one fruit.  She added the fruit when I asked for something I could put the Pb in.  Saturday will be the end of week 6 of our trial.


Dear Heidi,
I think I have the answer for you. I am very excited about this because this will teach us all something.
You have read the Epilepsy paper, right? I believe down to my socks that glutamate and aspartate are the culprits. Well, I have a site that has all of the amino acids of the different foods in it that I studied while formulating the working theory. It has proven to be VERY helpful and may hold the key to your problem. This is the site, but don't go to it quite yet. Read what's below first. (
I looked up "pinto beans" but they were not on the chart. So, I looked up black beans instead. WOW!!!! Look at the levels of glutamate and aspartate in these beans (toward the bottom). They exceed corn, rice, and even wheat in totals. But, look at soy. Then look at potatoes.
Wheat flour:                                                                
Aspartic acid
Glutamic acid
Black Beans:
Aspartic acid
Glutamic acid
Aspartic acid
Glutamic acid
Potatoes, raw:
Aspartic acid
Glutamic acid
So, do you see? The pinto beans are BOUND to be the culprit here. BOUND TO BE!!! AND this makes sense, as the soybeans are bound to be in the same family, just like the grasses (wheat, barley, rye, corn, rice, and oats) are all in the same family.
Here are chick peas (garbanzo beans):
Aspartic acid
Glutamic acid
And Lima Beans:
Aspartic acid
Glutamic acid
See a pattern forming here? Incredible. The pinto beans are the culprit here, I would bet my career on it. What a great case.
So, I would HIGHLY recommend that you put her on the IVD Duck and has been a "cure in a bag" for me, with epilepsy and allergies, etc. and will provide her with added minerals and vitamins that may help in her recover as well.
This is a very interesting case and will be a great testimony to the validity of this "theory". It DOES work.
Once again, I am waiting for the epileptic who can't even handle potatoes, but it hasn't come along yet. From the charts above, you can see why that is unlikely. Remember: Epilepsy is NOT an immune response. It is NOT caused by the allergies. The allergies are just the warning sign that things like epilepsy will follow if they are not addressed. Just a reminder.(smile)
Keep in touch,
Dogtor J.  (Read:  The Answer-  to "Why is the plane of our nation's health in a death spiral?" )


Letter #4

Hello Doctor,

I was really excited when someone  from my Epi group directed me to your site, I went directly to your Epilepsy and diet connection, and thats when someone let the air out of my ballon, because I have Lucilu Grain less and all natural and she still has seizures.
Lucilu's story is as follows ( I wil try and be breif), she had her first seizure at 11 mths, R/O tumor with brain scan and spinal tap full labs all was negitive ( Dr. James Cook), from their the story, I am sure is a familar one, started her on Pb after a few months added Kbr and from there all meds were increases, and increased, and I was going crazy she was still having Clusters every 7-10 days. From there I contacted Dr. Goldtein he did a BNA analiyse put her supplements and flower essence, all was a liitle better for a short time, thats when I joined a Cushings autoimmune group, they advised me to toss the Innova and go grain less, I started cooking for my baby using sweet potatoes as her base, green veggies, ground chicken, beef, or veal, and fruits as well, we went 29 days without a seizure I was estactic! I blessed eveyone in my group daily ( still due), than the 30th day on her new found cusine she had a very mild seizure, nothing was different no cheating and the only thing that the group had me due was to look back in her dailry and see if there was a connection between Luci's seizures and Lunar Phases, and to my dismay the was a connection, ok we could live with a 30 second seizure with no awful post effects, two weeks later she had her first cluster in almost two months, I was devasted, I felt we were back to step 1, we lost all our victories to the epi monster. I have recoved I have not and willnot increase her meds, actully I have lowered her Pb by 60 mg and her Kbr by 750 mg, she is in the low range on her Pb and her kbr is within range of being theriputic.
Dr. I am asking you for some advise, the only thing I have not removed from her diet is dairy, I have been giving her vanilla puding, cottage cheese since she's a pup, and I give her creamed cheese to disguise her meds.
I realize that what I am asking may be very difficult to conclude from this email, however if you can suggest anything maybe Lucilu can become your next poster baby, she's our 117 lb Dogo Argentino Gentel Giant.
Lucilu's current meds are as follows: 120 mg Pb bid, 750 mg Kbr tid, 08 mg Soloxine for her Pb induced Hypothyroidisium.
Suppliments: PS, Alpha lipoic Acid, Same E ( Milk thistle caused her to have seizures), Vit. E, B complex and are planing to start her on magnesium and taurinate.
Dear (Laurie),
It is soooooooooo phenomenally interesting that you would write me at this very moment. I'm a bit blown away actually and I will explain why.
I was JUST about to add something to my epilepsy paper, something that is in The Answer, but not in the formal paper on epilepsy. What was I going to add. I was going to explain more completely why wheat and DAIRY were the worst two ingredients and why Scott at wrote to me not long ago (after I sent him the paper) and told me that he knows of "many" people with epilepsy who were "cured" on wheat (gluten)-free, dairy(casein)-free diets. Why? Why just those two being required and why are they the worst of the worst??
The answer lies in the casomorphins and gliadorphins that I write about in The Answer. Put these terms in your search engine and start reading about them. You will be surprised (or should be) that you have never heard of them before. They are morphin-like compounds that we (and dogs) form when we try (unsuccessfully) to break down casein and gliadin, the principle proteins in cow milk and wheat, respectively. Like morphine, they have a narcotic effect on the brain, sometimes profound (as in autism). These are the "guys" that make you sleepy after meals. They were making me so sleepy that I would pass out during my favorite 9:)) pm show, like NYPD Blue. Sound familiar. Many guys, in particular, are like this. These substances are one of the main reasons we are all caffeine addicted. I am now off caffeine (or could be. I still drink a little but I don't need it) for the first time in my adult life.
It takes a full year of being casein and gluten free to rid your brain of these substances. But, on day four of being wheat and dairy free, I woke up feeling like I didn't need coffee for the first time in my adult life.
What's the application, here? (Try to follow this. If you don't, Email me back.) Under the depressing influence of the casomorphins and gliadorphins, the neurons of the brain try to compensate by "up loading"...they become more sensitive. This is a normal compensatory mechanism of the brain to overcome depressants. Our brains neurons have a range of sensitivity that they operate within...they are flexible in this regard. So, with chronic suppression from the casomorphins and gliadorphins, these neurons upload, making them more sensitive to some things, including stimulants like some drugs that we take (like pseudoephedrine and PROZAC!!!!!!!!!!!!!). Hmmmmm.......
How do I know this? I was diagnosed with "depression" in my thirty's (all celiacs have some degree of depression. We're all down in serotonin) and was put on Prozac. I had a horrible reaction, including suicidal ideations. Now, I NEVER ONCE had these thoughts before the Prozac, but after three weeks, if I didn't have the Faith I do, I may have acted on the impulse to do myself in. They were THAT serious. BUT, there have been volumes written on the evils of Prozac. MANY have either killed themselves or others while taking this drug. Why?
I KNOW that it is because a high percentage of people who get that drug prescribed for them are like me...strung out on casomorphins and gliadorphins from the food and walking around with depressed but UPLOADED neurons and when that incredible stimulant Prozac hits those neurons, they become waaaaaaaay over stimulated and the manic signs, including the suicidal ideations occur. Predictable as rain. Sound familiar, by any chance. I hope not.
Why the dissertation? Here's the tie-in. The wheat and the dairy are loaded with these substances, of course, (the casomorphins and gliadorphins)  but they are also loaded with the "antidote"...the glutamate and aspartate. Once again, the perfection of nature comes through, eh? Those foods that are depressants also have the antidote to that depression. (This explains the  up and down cycle of the ADHD kid and the insomniac's sleep pattern, as well. See that?) But, in the case of milk and the epileptic, the casomorphin has the neurons all uploaded and when the glutamate hits 4-6 hours later....BINGO, a seizure can occur. Same with wheat: the gliadorphins have the brain cells uploaded and the glutamate...the "antidote"..hits 4-6 hours later and the seizure occurs.
It is that simple, I believe. Therefore, the wheat and the dairy are the two main culprits, especially in people who consume them in every meal and which make up 60-70% of their diet. So, now you tell me why we have 25 million kids and rising on Ritalin for ADHD. Yep, and Ritalin is what? A mild stimulant. Now you know why you would treat a hyper active kid with a mild stimulant.
Thos also explained COMPLETELY my reaction to coffee before I went wheat and dairy free. I would drink a cup and get very nervous, overly stimulated for about 30 minutes...even jittery some times. Then, I would feel GREAT, for about an hour. Then I would plunge into a depression. It was a real roller coaster. I learned to drink small amounts at a time, titrating the amount of coffee I drank over a longer period of time, like a slow IV drip.
But, now that I'm clear of the casomorphins and gliadorphins, coffee has very little effect on me. I don't get wired and I don't get the let down. It doesn't even keep me awake. Now you know why. This also explains why some people can't take Benadryl or pseudofed (made me crazy) or other cold drugs. I can tell EXACTLY what's going on in someone's brain by seeing how they react to certain drugs like these. Do you see why now? It is consistent.
It's amazing what you can see when your eyes are open, isn't it?
So, STOP ALL DAIRY PRODUCTS. I know I didn't need to do that, but hey, the emphasis may leave a mark on your brain (just like the casomorphins do. haha After all. Look at cows...the autistic of the animals world. You don't even have to out a fence around 'em, do you? And we chose their milk to drink. Give me a break. But, look at sheep and goats. Muuuuuch more active. Yep, they were meant to be our source of milk when we needed it. AND, no casein in their milk. Surprise, surprise.
It all fits. That's the beauty of it. Hope this helps. It should. IT WILL.
Dogtor J. (Read:  The Answer-  to "Why is the Plane of Our Nation's Health in a Death Spiral?")

I hope you enjoyed your time here and got something important from your stay. It is my goal to help all of mankind navigate through the jungle of medical information now available on the Internet and find the truth about the origins of what we call "disease" as well as discover the natural solutions for these conditions.
We do have our health's destiny in our own hands more than we've ever imagined, certainly more than most have ever been told. Think naturally and the answer will come.
Dogtor J
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