We all know someone with gluten sensitivity (or have it ourselves) but it wasn’t that long ago that this condition was rare or at least not well recognized. Why the sudden increase? Aicacia Young, a registered dietitian writing for the MindBodyGreen e-newsletter asks if gluten is really the culprit and proposes two possible alternatives.
It is known that people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) improve on a gluten free diet. A double-blind crossover study in 2013 tested 37 adults with NCGS to determine if gluten was in fact the culprit. The participants were placed on three different diets: low gluten, high gluten, or whey (as a control). The diets didn’t make a significant difference in their digestive symptoms and fatigue – they were about the same with all three. Interestingly though, when they were put on a special diet in preparation for the study, all 37 improved significantly. This special diet is low in fermentable, oligo-, di-, monosaccharides and polyols called FODMAPS. A low FODMAPS diet eliminates: dairy, wheat, apples, pears, watermelon, garlic, onions, legumes, avocados, honey and sugar alcohols. Young suggests that while gluten-free diets, which eliminate wheat, will reduce some of the symptoms of NCGS, temporarily going on a low FODMAPS diet could do even more.
The other possible cause of symptoms attributed to gluten is the herbicide glyphosate. I have previously discussed [#265 April 28, 2014] how glyphosate accumulates in our food crops and appears in human tissue in North America where it wreaks havoc with our gut flora. The resulting dysbiosis leads to intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut) which is linked to inflammation and food allergies. Even though “Roundup-ready” wheat has not been approved for production, glyphosate is used on some wheat fields as a desiccant so wheat can still have traces. Other crops sprayed with glyphosate would be canola, soybeans, corn and sugar beets. Shopping organic for these foods or avoiding them altogether (and replenishing your gut biome with probiotics) should reduce symptoms caused by glyphosate.
For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.