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The G.A.R.D. (Summary)

Dogtorj.comHomePage1Through ten years of medical and nutritional research, I developed The G.A.R.D.– an elimination diet for the treatment of most conditions afflicting man and his four-legged companions. The original meaning of the acronym was the glutamate & aspartate restricted diet, being derived from the fact that The G.A.R.D. placed a premium on the elimination of two non-essential amino acids, glutamic and aspartic acid, the parent proteins in MSG and aspartame (NutraSweet), respectively. These two neurostimulating amino acids play a major role in epilepsy, migraines, insomnia, ADHD, autism, fibromyalgia and numerous other neurodegenerative diseases. It was not hard to see that the food sources of these amino acids- grains, dairy, soy/legumes, and nuts/seeds- were also playing a major role in the manifestation of these common medical conditions.

The worst offenders- gluten (from wheat, barley, rye), casein (from dairy), and soy- were also the leading causes of damage to the intestinal lining in sensitized individuals, resulting in villous atrophy of the small intestine, which is the diagnostic lesion of celiac disease. What I came to see was “the big 4” were the only foods that caused our intestinal villi to shrink away, often leading to severe nutrient malabsorption. No wonder gluten intolerants suffered from major deficiencies in calcium, iron, iodine, B complex, C, trace minerals (e.g. zinc, selenium, magnesium), and even severe weight loss. The banishment of these “four horsemen” led to a steady stream of incredible testimonials, as the intestinal tract of these afflicted individuals healed and their myriad of symptoms resolved. The second meaning of The G.A.R.D. was born- the gut absorption recovery diet.

There is no tissue nor any bodily function that cannot be negatively affected by the malabsorption syndrome and direct cellular harm caused by the proteins (lectins) of the “big 4”. As I remind my clients, our bodies do not run on oxygen and water. Although these are critical to our survival, our heart, lungs, brain, liver, kidneys and other organs need nutrients to operate properly. These include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals, all of which are absorbed by the small intestine and any of which can be rendered deficient by the intestinal damage caused by the “big 4”. Warning signs abound as this process worsens, including heartburn, IBS, allergies, pain, fatigue and memory loss. In reality, there is no long-term symptom or chronic illness that cannot be related to this process, including cancer. This Website attempts to clearly illustrate that point while the testimonials from those who have applied The G.A.R.D. to their myriad of illnesses serve to prove it.

In cases of epilepsy and other “excitotoxin”-related disorders to which the G.A.R.D. can be applied (e.g. pain syndromes, ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, insomnia, and neurodegenerative disorders such as MS, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s), the diet is not only a quick Band Aid for the existing symptoms but also a major component of the long-term solution for these conditions, as the more in-depth papers of The GARD section will explain.

The easiest way to understand the rationale behind the diet is to see that most neurological conditions involve diseased neurons and glial cells, the latter being cells that support the neuron and control the level of glutamate at the synapse (e.g. the astrocyte). We know that these dysfunctional cells can’t handle MSG and NutraSweet so it would follow that they would have difficulty dealing with the other dietary sources of these non-essential amino acids. I have proven this to be the case in dogs (which get no MSG or aspartame) and have also shown the interval between consumption of the “big 4” and seizures to be 4-6 hours as opposed to the 30 minute interval seen in MSG or aspartame sensitive people.

If the neurological condition is severe, as many of the sources of glutamate and aspartate as possible should be eliminated at once. In these serious cases, it is clear that the diseased neurons cannot handle the dietary load of glutamate. But, as the individual gets healthier though the elimination of the “big 4” (gluten, casein, soy and corn) and the function of their neurons, immune system, thyroids, pituitary and adrenal glands all improve, they will ultimately be able to handle the secondary sources of glutamate. Once recovery is achieved, these can be reintroduced slowly while monitoring the response.


Here is The GARD in a nutshell:

1) Eliminate all of the “big 4”- gluten (wheat, barley, rye), dairy products, soy and corn.

2) Eliminate all sources of MSG and aspartame (NutraSweet)

3) Restrict the intake of nuts, seeds and beans/legumes until recovery is achieved. (Legumes may be a long-term problem.) Some will also need to eliminate nightshades (white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers) as these are also high lectin foods that can cause inflammation, particularly in the intestinal tract and joints.

4) Limit the consumption of gluten-free grains (quinoa, millet, flax, sorghum, amaranth and even rice) until neurological symptoms have improved as these are all very rich in glutamic acid.

5) Limit caffeine intake

6) Limit intake of refined sugar

7) Eliminate all trans fats/hydrogenated oils. (Read labels and research the hidden sources.)

8) Try to eat as organically as possible (to eliminate toxins/pollutants)

9) Drink filtered water

10) Take appropriate supplements (D3, omega threes, B complex, C, magnesium, selenium, magnesium, iodine, zinc, etc.)


What TO eat initially:

1) Vegetables

2) Fruits and berries

3) Lean meats* and fish (*in reasonable quantities, preferably the “cattle” – lamb, beef, venison, bison)

4) Eggs (nature’s true perfect food)

5) Sweet potatoes, yams

6) Limited quantities of rice (preferably unbleached wild rice)

7) Nuts and seeds are OK if the individual is not suffering from an “excitotoxin”-related disorder, such as epilepsy, fibromyalgia, insomnia, ADHD, etc.


 Once recovery is well underway, you can add:

1) Gluten-free grain substitutes (millet, flax, sorghum, tapioca, amaranth, quinoa)

2) Nuts and seeds (with tree nuts being ideal)

3) Legumes/beans (if necessary and if desired. Some individuals are completely legume intolerant. I would always avoid soy, however.

4) Nightshades, IF one just can’t live without them. (White potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers). But…be watching for recurrence of symptoms, particularly arthritis.


Go slowly at first with these safe (non-damaging but glutamate-rich foods), making sure that symptoms do not recur. They shouldn’t as long as the leaky gut (created by one or more of the “big 4”) has resolved and the neurons have become healthier. But this process takes longer for some than others, especially in highly polluted environments. My worst and most resistant epileptics, for example, always live in the most polluted cities, especially those of the northeast, where vitamin D3 levels will typically the lowest among individuals living above the 33rd parallel.

For more information on vitamin supplements, antioxidants and diagnostic testing to insure your recovery, please see my paper How to Start Treating Just About Anything.

Dogtor J


More articles on The GARD…

Just Desserts

These are little tidbits of knowledge I’ve discovered or insights I’ve gained over the years while doing my in-depth studies.For example, did you know researchers have found that nearly 40% of the genetic information in our DNA is viral information? This explains what we call “genetic diseases” including familial and breed tendencies toward food intolerance (e.g. celiac disease), neurological disorders (e.g. epilepsy), and numerous cancers.

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Blogtor J

Welcome to the blog of the new New research into the origin of our medical woes has revealed something startling: As it turns out, we are our own worst enemy. Yes, the Pogo quote of yesteryear found in the title of this article is quite accurate when applied to our medical lives. We love to discuss those things that we call “causes” of diseases even though we often have little clue as to how these things really cause illness. Even medical professionals can have difficulty grasping the true cause-and-effect. But that is understandable once some insight is gained into the true nature of medical training.

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News Flash!

In this section, I will be placing links to the latest breaking news in the food world, including updates on the use of elimination diets to control disease, articles on pet food, the truth about GMO foods and more. I will do my best to balance the bad with the good, but try to remember: Much of this will seem like bad news but at least we know about it now…and can change it!


With some of these stories, I will include a link to a blog entry so that you can comment on the article. This idea came to me after reading the first entry, which is a news flash that made my blood boil.

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Need more information?

I would like to hear from you!

Shoot me an Email by clicking on the icon at the top of each page. Video testimonials are also welcome.

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Today’s Specials
The Simple Truth about Dog Food and Heart Disease The Epilepsy Diet Made Simple The Origin of Disease Lectins – The Missing Links Viruses – Friend or Foe? Pain, Pain Go Away
Need a Consultation?

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Something to Chew On

What is the “Leaky Gut”?
The “leaky gut syndrome” is the root of many medical evils once the “big 4” induce it. Read how Italians have survived being a pasta-based society.

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Hip Dysplasia – “Genetics” vs. Diet

As misconceptions go, this is a high-priority item. Hip dysplasia is not what we were taught.

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Epilepsy and Diet

I have been studying “idiopathic epilepsy” extensively since April of 2000. Guess what? It’s not idiopathic anymore. A diet change can cure it!

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The Truth About Pet Food

Dogs and cats are carnivores yet most pet foods are grain-based. Knowing how to read a label is also very important. Does your pet food really have vegetables in it? Really???

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How to Control Epilepsy Naturally

I have been successfully treating pets with epilepsy using diet changes alone for nearly 10 years. The results have been astounding. This paper helps to summarize my findings and recommendations.

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We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us

This is the first blog placed on (6-24-07) and pretty much covers the gamut of topics – from heartburn to cancer – that are discussed on this Website. The bottom line? Viruses and bacteria are not the enemy. We are! The good news: We do have our health destinies in our own hands.

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Gluten Intolerance and Your Pet

This paper is an article I wrote for the newsletter of when asked about the prevalence of celiac disease (gluten intolerance) in the dog and cat. This condition has been definitively diagnosed in the Irish Setter but not many other breeds of dogs. I will not be at all surprised when we find that it does exist in numerous other breeds… and even the lovable mutt…but as this article explains, that may very well be a moot point. Gluten is only the beginning.

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The Answer

This 40-plus page paper is my first major paper, written in 2001 and hurriedly placed on this site on that fateful and tragic day of 9-11. It represents the culmination of nearly two years of research on the subject of food-related disorders and contains an amazing amount of facts that have been hidden from public view concerning this subject. It covers how the “big 4” trouble foods- gluten, dairy, soy and corn- came into being, catapulted into common usage, and became directly involved in most of our serious medical conditions, including epilepsy, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, ADHD, pain syndromes, depression, and allergies. Severe immune-mediated diseases such as diabetes, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis are also covered.


Yes, it is quite long, but it appeared on my computer screen and was placed onto the Web just as it came out of my head. And it is wordy in places. But, as I tell my clients, “There is no law that you have to read it all in one sitting. Think of it as a free, short book rather than a long research paper. It’s all how you look at it, right?”


The one thing I can say is that this information WILL change your life…guaranteed!!!

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