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S4E54 Demystifying Gluten

S4E54: with Colin Bannon - Demystifying Gluten


Dr. Colin Bannon is a retired medical doctor (GP-General Practitioner) who was diagnosed with MS at the age of 58. He was born in London and after early years working in farming and factories, studied medicine in Sheffield, qualifying in 1985. He was a GP in Devon for over 20 years. 

Colin realized that smoking, the western diet, and stress were the main reasons for the development of the chronic diseases filling appointment lists and hospital wards. As a result, he developed an interest in preventative medicine, focusing on the impact that a diet high in sugar and fat has on the health of his patients. 

Since his own diagnosis he has followed the OMS Recovery Program and remains in good health, relapse-free and with scans unchanged since diagnosis. He leads a local OMS discussion group and is working with the local MS team to help promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to people recently diagnosed with MS. Colin was also one of the presenters at the AMEX 2017: 7 Steps to Overcoming MS Event. 

Colin’s hobbies are politics, growing food, writing, and contemplating the future while having fun with his grandson. 

Click here to view the episode transcript


  • Welcome to the program, Colin, and thanks so much for joining us on Living Well with MS.  

  • Before we dig into the sticky and spongy topic of gluten and MS, can you please share a little about your personal and professional backgrounds, namely your medical experience and history with MS and Overcoming MS? 

  • Before we dig into some more specific questions, since the topic of this episode is demystifying gluten, can you help us demystify it and tell us what gluten is? 

  • Now that we have established some of your medical and MS credentials, how did your interest in gluten and its connection to MS come about? 

  • I know this is a bit of a reductive question, but let’s cut to the heart of the matter – is gluten bad for people with MS?  

  • How do you handle gluten in your own diet? 

  • What are some of the interactions gluten has with the body that may not be great if you have MS? 

  • Is there a growing body of scientific research into gluten and MS that you can tell us more about? 

  • How does someone with MS determine if they should avoid gluten? 

  • Many gluten-free foods are full of other bad ingredients, like loads of sugar. Since someone following a diet like OMS recommends is already cutting many things out in the interest of improving their health, how do you find gluten-free substitutes to replace some of your favourite glutinous foods but which don’t raise other dietary red flags?  

  • Is there a need to re-evaluate dietary recommendations like the ones OMS offers and give more due consideration to the question of gluten? 

  • Before we sign off, any final thoughts or recommendations on the topic of gluten and MS? 

  • Thanks so much for being our guest on Living Well with MS, Colin. Your insights on gluten and MS have been incredibly useful and enlightening. And I encourage everyone to learn more about this important topic, and Dr. Colin Bannon, by checking out the information and links in our show notes for this episode. Thanks again, Colin, and we hope you tune in next time for another all new episode of Living Well with MS, and our sister podcasts, Ask Jack and Living Well with MS Coffee Break. 

Coming up next: 

On the next (and 34th) edition of our Coffee Break series, meet Leah Tsirigotis, contributor to the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Handbook chapter on Prevention and wife of OMSer Alex Tsirigotis. Premieres July 25.  

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