If you know for a fact that you don’t have celiac disease, but still think that it’s the gluten in your diet that’s causing you trouble, scientists finally seem to have found an answer.
The first thing to know is that gluten sensitivity might not actually be a real thing. Nevertheless, there are many people who suffer stomach upsets whenever they eat bread. The results of a new study that has just been published contend that it’s not actually gluten that’s responsible for causing the problems, but the wheat component of bread.
Celiac disease manifests as an immune response to gluten, which is a family of proteins found in wheat, rye, barley, oats and similar foods. The incidence of celiac disease in a given population is usually about 1.3%.
The odd thing is that people tend to report adverse symptoms much more frequently when eating wheat. Some say that its incidence can be 10 times higher than celiac disease – as much as 13%. Although these gut problems were initially being attributed to gluten, a growing body of research is now aiming to establish exactly what’s going on.
A team of researchers at Australia’s Monash University performed extensive research into the matter and discovered that short-chain carbohydrates are likely responsible for the symptoms that are normally attributed to gluten.
These carbohydrates ferment in the gut, resulting in bloating and other unpleasant symptoms. Another study carried out on them back in 2014 determined that irritable bowel disease symptoms were reduced in those who followed a diet low in short-chain carbohydrates.
Furthermore, the Monash University team has managed to single out one of these short-chain carbohydrates as the main culprit behind adverse gastrointestinal symptoms. Fructan was found to trigger 15% more bloating and a 13% increase in gastrointestinal symptoms in one of the studies that the team conducted. On the other hand, it was found that gluten couldn’t be attributed to increasing bloating or gastrointestinal symptoms at all.
The results garnered in the aforementioned study give a clear indication as to why those who adopt a gluten-free diet in order to ease their symptoms often can’t make a full recovery. Fructans are found in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley, but are also present in others foods such as asparagus, garlic, and onion.
Although gluten was assumed to be the culprit of celiac disease, the fact is that people who have this problem feel better when they cut out wheat from their diet. As a result, all indications point to the assumptions being made about gluten being wrong.
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