The reason food experts cannot agree on gluten

Why scientists argue over the merits of gluten-free diets

Food experts still split on gluten

Gluten – the protein found in some grains – is about as divisive a topic as you can get right now. The sceptics reckon they’ve eaten bread and other foods containing gluten all their lives and they are just fine. They are calling out the so-called BS on arguments that gluten-free diets are better for you.

However, for some people, abstaining from gluten is not a fad but a necessity. Coeliac disease sufferers are so allergic to the protein that they can ruin their gut lining and be susceptible to a range of debilitating conditions, including malnutrition, if they ingest gluten. Estimates put the number of people with coeliac disease at one per cent of the population.

An increasing number of seemingly healthy people are also finding relief from bloating, belly aches and diarrhoea if they avoid eating foods containing gluten. Yet many studies indicate that evidence of gluten contributing to irritable bowel syndrome symptoms is inconclusive.

Other researchers say the proof is palpable that gluten causes inflammation and is addictive to boot. One such expert, Dr William Davis, pulls no punches, declaring on his website: “The food you eat is making you sick and the agencies that are providing you with guidelines on what to eat are giving dangerous advice with devastating health consequences.”

The cardiologist explains the opiate-type effect of wheat is exerted by gliadin, “the protein in wheat that was inadvertently altered by geneticists in the 1970s during efforts to increase yield”.

“Just a few shifts in amino acids and gliadin in modern high-yield, semi-dwarf wheat became a potent appetite stimulant. Ignorance of the gliadin effect of wheat is responsible for the idiocy that emits from the mouths of gastroenterologists” who claim a gluten-free diet is unhealthy, the food expert argues.

“In the simple-minded thinking of the gastroenterology and coeliac world, if you don’t have coeliac disease, you should eat all the wheat you want . . . and never mind about the appetite-stimulating effects of gliadin, not to mention the intestinal disruption and leakiness generated by wheat lectins, or the high blood sugars and insulin of the amylopectin A of wheat, or the new allergies being generated by the new alpha amylases of modern wheat,” Dr Davis says.

Critics of the common herbicide used on wheat crops, Roundup, also claim that it is the toxic chemicals in the weed killer that are responsible for an increase in coeliac disease.

Not surprisingly, organisations that promote consumption of grains are pushing back, saying that avoiding gluten is leading to people missing out on vital nutrients that may help them fight diabetes and heart disease.

Whichever way you feel about gluten, discuss with your doctor any major changes to your diet first.

Do you become bloated after eating food made from wheat? Do you know anyone who has coeliac disease, and if so, how difficult is it for them to avoid gluten? Do you think a gluten-free diet is just a fad?



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    Ted Wards
    13th Mar 2018
    Id love if you could do some research on how wheat came to be a staple of western diets. The Wheat Board of America paid for the food pyramid to show that the staple should be wheat when in fact the opposite is true. We are now reaping the results of this. Wheat is cheap to grow and the profits are outstanding. That is why wheat is still a staple of the western diet. Everything you put into your mouth determines your health.
    13th Mar 2018
    "Discuss it with your doctor" why would I do that, they do not study nutrition. All they will do is send me for testing. You have to be eating a lot of gluten for it to show up and is not going to solve anything. Better test yourself by giving it up for awhile and see if you feel better. The quality of wheat is not like it used to be, and yes with all the chemical enhancing makes it a worry. Try ancient grains like spelt which still has gluten but you may be able to tolerate it better. Also wholegrains over white grains, with the fibre missing your body has a hard time digestion it.
    13th Mar 2018
    I follow a gluten free diet because when reaching approx. 60 years old I broke out with cold sores and I followed this with my doctor and he could not help I went to a naturopath and did a detox but it still happened when I ate wheat I will get a cold sore or several at a time a gluten free diet is for me and if course it is more expensive but I guess it is my life to be healthy. dawn
    13th Mar 2018
    Good grief. Another doctor doing crap research outside his field so he can sell a book, get on The Dr Oz Show and clean up big time.

    Don't listen to these wankers who are just milking the latest fad for their own gain.

    If you don't have Coeliacs you are fine eating gluten. If you think gluten is affecting you then you should be doing some double blind experiments to prove it, otherwise you are almost certainly making your life miserable for no reason.

    "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool." -- Richard Feynman
    13th Mar 2018
    ianjs, Sorry to say I have faith in my Dr. and have proven to myself that wheat is the bug bear but it is OK because I love healthy food and I am not fat!
    14th Mar 2018
    Sorry to hear you have faith in your doctor if that is the naturopath; they are not doctors of medicine and are notorious for outright quackery.

    Personally, I'd want to have more that "faith" before making such a drastic lifestyle change. To quote an old Russian proverb "trust, but verify".

    Feynman's point is that, if you set out to prove something you already suspect to be true it is VERY difficult to be objective if you don't have rigid controls in place. Even the most experienced and best intentioned scientists have been tripped up by this.
    13th Mar 2018
    I'm sick to death of the "medical" profession stating that "this is good for you", "this is bad for you" and then change their minds or attitude or come up with "new" research. You body knows what is good for you and what is bad. If you stay within those parameters you should be OK.
    13th Mar 2018
    A lot of research is really basic too or even flawed to suit the pharmaceutical industry. Yes I agree listen to your own body, everyone is different too but doctors will put you in a basket that matches your symptoms.
    13th Mar 2018
    What makes me laugh (as someone who does have a genuine medically diagnosed issue with gluten) are those people who say they abstain from gluten but then stuff themselves with the gluten free products saying these products are 'healthy'. Well next time you are in the supermarket, just compare say a loaf of bread - even a fluffy white sliced bread - with a gluten free bread. The gluten free bread is absolute rubbish, no protein, no fibre its a shocker nutritionally. And as for the taste, frankly the wrapper is better. And let's not forget that gluten free crap is still crap!
    13th Mar 2018
    Yes I agree, there are many manufacturers cashing in big time, by adding so many fillers. If you want gluten free bread you need to make your own.

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