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HealthWatch: Rethinking Gluten

wheatVICTORIA, Australia — More people are choosing to live gluten-free. But, the same scientists who years ago warned of the downsides of gluten are trying  to walk these fears back. Recent research shows that unless you are one of the few who has Celiac disease or a wheat allergy, eating gluten is just fine.

For many Americans it may take some convincing.

Gluten  is a protein found naturally in many grains that has gotten a very bad rap. It’s been linked to digestive symptoms like bloating and pain. Some even worry that eating it can lead to fatigue and weight gain.

Researchers from the Dept. of Gastroenterology at Eastern Health Clinical School, Monash University, in Australia, found that  “in a placebo-controlled, cross-over rechallenge study, we found no evidence of specific or dose-dependent effects of gluten in patients with NCGS placed diets low in FODMAPs.” FODMAPs are fermentable, poorly absorbed, short-chain carbohydrates that are commonly found to lead to digestive discomfort in many people. They come from foods including wheat, rye, barley, onion, garlic, asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, chocolate, beans, fruit, mushrooms, artificial sweeteners, and dairy.

Researchers found that most people will find avoiding gluten may be much more trouble and money than it’s worth. Gluten-free foods are now a billion-dollar industry.

You can read more about this research here.