A recent study suggests that supposedly gluten-sensitive people may actually be dealing with a sensitivity to something other than gluten.
Led by researchers from the University of Oslo in Norway and Monash University in Australia, the study was published in the journal Gastroenterology.
While about 13 percent of people believe themselves to be gluten-sensitive due to symptoms like feeling bloated after eating foods like bread and pasta, reports suggest that only one percent of people actually have celiac disease, which can cause a severe autoimmune reaction to gluten that includes symptoms such as diarrhea and indigestion.
The new study suggests a sugar chain called fructans, not gluten, is what many people are sensitive to. Both fructans and gluten are found in wheat, barley, rye, and more.
“Gluten was originally assumed to be the culprit because of celiac disease, and the fact that people felt better when they stopped eating wheat,” Monash University’s Peter Gibson told New Scientist. “Now it seems like that initial assumption was wrong.”
Gluten sensitivity is a controversial subject, with some research suggesting non-celiacs show no difference in symptoms between food that does or doesn’t contain gluten. Nonetheless, it has since spawned a number of food lines that are gluten free.
In the new research, 59 non-celiacs who ate a gluten-free diet were asked to eat special cereal bars. One bar contained gluten, another fructans, and the third had neither. The study participants were split into three groups, with each person eating one bar a day for a week, before having a week’s break and then eating the next bar. They didn’t know which bar was which.
The results showed that the fructans bar triggered bloating 15 percent more than the control bar, and also triggered gastrointestinal symptoms 13 percent more. However, the gluten bar was found to be no different from the control bar.
The study results suggest that gluten sensitivity may not be misdiagnosed in many cases, while fructans may instead be the cause. This could increase the popularity of foods that are low in fructans but high in gluten, like soy sauce, while also lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes for people that were on a gluten-free diet.
Another possible culprit in the gluten controversy is the herbicide called Roundup. Roundup and other herbicides contain a deadly active ingredient to wheat and barley known as glyphosate. Glyphosate causes inflammation over months and years of exposure, leading to consequences such as gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, to name a few.
Many Americans may have gluten intolerance and not know about it. Here are 10 Warning Signs of Gluten Intolerance Everyone Ignores!
For those with celiac disease, most celiac disease treatment starts with changing what you’re eating. Celiac disease causes more than 200 symptoms, but with a proper celiac disease diet, many symptoms are avoidable.