The Case Against Gluten For Everyone

A CNN article from yesterday points out the prevalence of gluten sensitivity even among non-celiacs:

Quoting Carina Storrs:

Cooper tested negative for celiac disease, but the doctor advised her to try a gluten-free diet anyway.

"Within a week of eliminating [gluten], I started to feel markedly better," says Cooper, now 36, from Melbourne, Australia. [...]

"Gluten is fairly indigestable in all people," Leffler says. "There’s probably some kind of gluten intolerance in all of us."

Experts now think of gluten intolerance as a spectrum of conditions, with celiac disease on one end and, on the other, what’s been called a "no man’s land" of gluten-related gastrointestinal problems that may or may not overlap.

Leffler estimates, for instance, that half of the approximately 60 million people in the U.S. who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are probably sensitive to gluten.

The following evolvify article from 2010 presents an overview and a list of medical journal articles on the topic:

Quoting Andrew Badenoch:

In the general population (those not having celiac disease or wheat allergies), gluten either causes, or is strongly correlated to a range of autoimmune and neurological disorders. Further, gluten intolerance can present with any one, or group, of symptoms or disorders with varying degrees of severity. Lastly, it is generally agreed that celiac disease and non-celiac gluten intolerance are underreported and under-diagnosed, though the numbers remain speculative.

For me, on a practical level, the correlations between autoimmune and neurological problems in the scientific literature, my personal experiences with gluten, anecdotal reports from others, and the logical framework of evolutionary biology/paleo diet is convincing enough for me to abstain from gluten.

As for me, I’ve already cut about 95% of the grains out of my diet, simply because I don’t want to eat all that sugar.  I’m not 100% wheat/gluten-free, but I do try to avoid it, especially in packaged products where there’s just no need for it in the first place.  At this point my primary wheat exposure is from croutons on salad once or twice per week, and from pizza once or twice per month.

Posted by Anthony on reply

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