It seems that every week there’s a new study that supposedly disproves something that I (and probably you) believe wholeheartedly.
This week the study is about gluten, and the media is now posing this question:
Is Gluten Sensitivity Real?
Here are a few of the latest media headlines:
- “Being Gluten Free is Dumb – And Gluten Intolerance May Not Even Exist”
- “Being Gluten Free More Psychological Than Physical”
- “Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity May Not Exist“
On a purely guttural level, I will admit that these headlines offend me. I don’t have celiac, but when I eat foods with gluten in them, I feel terrible. I have a feeling (since you’re on a Paleo site) that you may feel the same.
These media claims are being made due to this study entitled, “No effects of gluten in patients with self-reported non-celiac gluten sensitivity after dietary reduction of fermentable, poorly absorbed, short-chain carbohydrates.”
In the study, they looked at a group of non-celiac IBS sufferers who said they felt better on a gluten-free diet. Then they gave them gluten capsules and found that they did not respond negatively to them. They did respond negatively to actual wheat, though (rather than just the isolated gluten), and the researchers’ conclusion was that it might be the FODMAPs (certain fibers and other carbohydrates in wheat and other foods) causing the negative reactions for some IBS sufferers.
So it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re dumb if you eat gluten-free, and it’s not a conclusive study. Some people may, indeed, be reacting to the gluten itself, some people may be reacting to the FODMAPs in wheat and other grains, and others may be reacting to something entirely different in the gluten-containing grains.
In fact, they concluded in the study that a LOT more research is needed in order to get a full handle on what’s going on, since obviously a lot of people do feel better on a gluten free diet (like me).
Luckily, 3 of the best minds in Paleo/Primal analyzed the study and explained the issues they had with the study, and the conclusions they’re drawing from it. I suggest you read the articles below if you have any concerns about the latest headlines or what (if anything) you need to do about it.
- Robb Wolf wrote an article called “Does Gluten Intolerance Exist?”
- Mark Sisson wrote an article called “Does Gluten Have Any Effects on Non-Celiacs?”
- Chris Kresser wrote an article called “Is Gluten Sensitivity Real?”
Basically, it’s a combination of conclusions being made where they maybe shouldn’t be and an interesting new twist on whether or not gluten is the true culprit (it may be something else).
Obviously, millions of people aren’t just making up the fact that they feel better when they don’t eat gluten grains…
So please read those articles and, regardless of what anyone says, I encourage you to come to your own conclusions about your own health via experimentation and an open mind.