Advocates of a gluten-free diet claim that it is enough to put away gluten-containing products to get rid of overweight, headache, insomnia or digestive problems.How is it really with gluten intolerance?Is this a scientific fact, or is it collective hysteria?
It all began in 2011 after the publication of the research results of prof.Peter Gibson, gastroenterologist at Australian Monash University.It turned out that gluten can cause gastrointestinal disturbances.The professor claimed that the problem may affect even every third person in the world.Admittedly, Gibson withdrew his views from time to time, but the reputation of gluten was deeply remembered.What is the truth about gluten?Is it really harmful to us, or maybe its avoidance is more dangerous?About the gluten-free diet we talk with Dr. Agnieszka Jarosz, head of the Center for the Promotion of Healthy Nutrition and Physical Activity at the Institute of Food and Nutrition.
You should read it: IS GLUTEN REALLY THAT EVIL?
Let’s start with what is gluten and in which products it is found?
Gluten is a protein present in food produced from wheat, rye, oats and barley.Its trace amounts may also be present in other products if they were produced on the same production line on which wheat or rye products were made.That is why manufacturers on the packaging of their products put information – especially important for allergy sufferers – on the content of trace amounts of potential allergens, e.g. wheat, mustard and nuts.
Who hurts gluten and why?
There are two groups of people that should avoid gluten.In the first there are patients with celiac disease, i.e. with celiac disease.This is a genetically conditioned inappropriate reaction of the body to gluten, which leads to the disappearance of intestinal villi.The consequence is a disturbance in the absorption of nutrients.In the second group there are people who, although they do not have celiac disease, are allergic to the protein contained in wheat, rye, oats and barley.Something else is hypersensitivity to gluten.This is the case of gluten intolerance, when, after performing appropriate diagnostic tests, celiac disease and allergy were excluded and there was no evidence of atrophy of the intestinal villi.In these people, gluten intake causes undesirable symptoms of abdominal pain, general fatigue, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, feeling of being in the intestines, etc. According to American scientists, this problem may have about 6% of the population.But, what I want to emphasize, intolerance should be confirmed by research, because it does not have to apply to gluten itself, but to another protein present in eg soy, cow’s milk.
Why, then, are we willingly giving in to fashion for a gluten-free diet?
Book of prof.Gibson’s diet without wheat, from which fashion began to avoid gluten, fell on fertile ground.We live in a predatory world that does not spare us stresses.Many people suffer from gastrointestinal complaints because of this, not because of gluten allergy.More and more often we recognize the irritable bowel syndrome and someone may consider symptoms of this disease as a manifestation of gluten allergy.
Celiac disease, also called celiac disease, is a life-long immune disease characterized by gluten intolerance.About 1% of the population suffers from it.For the ill people, gluten is very harmful, because it is affected by the villi of the small intestine, i.e. tiny protrusions, which are responsible for the absorption of nutrients.The only method of treatment is strict adherence to the gluten-free diet.It does not grow from celiac disease.
Gluten allergy is not a celiac disease (intestinal villi do not disappear), but the symptoms may suggest it.Gluten is one of the most common (after milk) proteins that cause allergies.It is believed that 10-25% of people with food allergies are allergic to this protein.The reaction of the body to the allergen is to trigger inflammation.When allergic to gluten it may appear immediately (a few minutes after eating) or with a delay, i.e. after a few hours or even days of a meal.In adults, this allergy is most often manifested by urticaria, angioneurotic edema, diarrhea or even anaphylactic shock.
Some scientists say that gluten can promote vascular disease, depression and even cancer …
Such opinions appear.It has been found, for example, that people with celiac disease, but not allergy sufferers and people with confirmed gluten intolerance, are more likely to have lymphatic system malignancies, lymphomas, and gastrointestinal cancers.It is presumed that gluten-fed people have other, perhaps genetic, predispositions for the development of cancer.If the cause of the lymphomas were actually gluten, this disease would occur in people who are fastened to this protein.I would not accuse gluten of hypertension or problems with joints.These diseases are related to other biological mechanisms.People with untreated celiac disease may develop osteomalacia and osteoporosis, which is associated with a deficiency of vitamin D and calcium.And depression can get anyone, regardless of the diet.It sometimes happens that we feel bad, but in reality we do not want to find the source, the cause of the ailment.It is much easier to set oneself or another diagnosis and to solve the problem than to examine it properly.
A gluten-free diet is an elimination diet.Can such a diet be beneficial to a healthy person?
Any elimination diet may be detrimental to our body, because it will not provide all the vitamins and minerals that are needed.Being on a gluten-free diet is not about choosing gluten-free or gluten-free foods in the store.A person who has a problem with gluten should not eat more than 10 mg of gluten per day.In a correct gluten-free diet, these products must be replaced with others.Instead of wheat, barley or rye, you need to introduce rice, maize, and various species of groats which are not made of gluten-containing cereals.In people who use gluten-free diet on their own, iron deficiencies, B group vitamins (because they are also found in bread), or minerals that occur in cereals are often found.Therefore, such a diet should not be used because of fashion.If someone has indications for a gluten-free diet, when he is diagnosed with celiac disease, allergies or hypersensitivity, he should be under the care of an experienced dietitian who will arrange the right diet.A diet that primarily treats illness and at the same time prevents nutritional deficiencies.
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