Ah Gluten, just the name itself seems to be associated with buzzwords like 'twerking' or 'selfie'.
Gluten free is something you see everywhere. Is it something you need to make a part of your life? What is gluten anyway?
Gluten is simply a sticky protein found in the seeds of grass, we call these seeds grains and they make up a huge part of our diet. The World Health Orginization says that wheat alone makes up 20% of the average diet. Wheat has been a staple of mankind since we became mankind.
Gluten is found in many things, wheat, barley, rye even rice and corn. The gluten concentration in grains is of main concern and especially wheat. Wheat is the most available and readily consumed form of gluten.
Why is it causing all these problems now? Well the wheat of the bible or even a few hundred years ago is vastly different than the modern, hybridized and genetically altered wheat we are consuming. It is an entirely different plant and might explain why the rates of celiac disease have risen 4 fold in the last 50-60 years and have doubled in the last 20.
Recently some new studies came out that said sensitivity to gluten might not be a real thing as subjects who were administered gluten through double-blind trials did not suffer the effects of their Irritable Bowel Syndrome like they had expected.
This was enough for people who were not buying into the gluten free hype to claim victory over people just jumping on a gluten free bandwagon.
There were however some troubles with these studies. First off to see the real damage of gluten you have to look deep into the gut to see the interior breakdown of the small intestine walls. This can take decades to show up. The studies were based around people reporting how they feel.
This can clearly offer feedback but does not reveal what is happening internally. Gluten exposure can lead to inflammation in the body which will not always present itself in the form of symptoms like cramps or digestion problems. Inflammation is like a ticking time bomb that can lead to autoimmunity and a host of diseases.
Probably most concerning is how the test subjects were administered gluten. It was given to them as a purified wheat gluten supplement of 16 grams.
The big problem is that we do not eat gluten, we eat wheat. We eat rye. We eat barley. We do not eat an isolated extracted compound, we eat food.
In failing to administer wheat the study failed to aknowledge the way people consume it on a regular basis and the trouble that can come from it.
Studies published like this seem to be at times more about creating online traffic by presenting a conclusion that sparks debate. Either side will probably not be convinved no matter the findings but what is most important is to continue to do research for yourself and expose yourself to as many ideas and insights as you can.