A couple of weeks ago, there was a lengthy article on Forbes.com outlining a study conducted regarding gluten sensitivity in people with digestive troubles and whether gluten was actually the cause. The polarizing headline, Gluten Intolerance May Not Exist, certainly got a lot of attention.
The take-home message of the article is best summed up in these short paragraphs,
Coincidentally, some of the largest dietary sources of FODMAPs — specifically bread products — are removed when adopting a gluten-free diet, which could explain why the millions of people worldwide who swear by gluten-free diets feel better after going gluten-free.
Indeed, the rise in non-celiac gluten sensitivity seems predominantly driven by consumers and commercial interests, not quality scientific research.
“On current evidence the existence of the entity of NCGS [non-Celiac gluten sensitivity] remains unsubstantiated,” Biesiekierski noted in a review published in December to the journal Current Allergy and Asthma Reports.
Consider this: no underlying cause for gluten sensitivity has yet been discovered.
Because this research was conducted in Australia, my first thought in regards to this conclusion was, are they taking into account Monsanto and Roundup-ready grain?
Here’s why I ask that question. Personally, I don’t think most people have Celiac or even NCGS (gluten intolerance). I think most people have problems with wheat because of the genetic modifications and chemicals they put on the wheat.
This is also why many people in the NCGS category can eat wheat/gluten when they’re in Europe, but not in the US (because the European Union is much stricter on GMO and chemicals.)
Second, for me personally, I don’t notice wheat/gluten actually causing digestive symptoms. I know that for me wheat/gluten cause allergy-type symptoms like itchy skin and nasal congestion. FODMAPs, by comparison, do cause digestive discomfort for me.
To sum up, I leaning toward the idea that non-Celiac gluten sensitivity, if it does exists, can be largely mitigated or even eliminated by an individual, but that the bigger culprit we need to be aware of and avoid is genetically modified and/or Roundup-ready grain.
If you’d like a further discussion and exploration on this topic from one of my favorite bloggers and functional medicine practitioners, check out Chris Kresser’s article, Is Gluten Sensitivity Real?