Gluten sensitivity is on the rise

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spaghetti-breadGluten-induced food inflammation is becoming increasingly frequent and documented by scientific research.

While many producers are (understandably) attempting to scale down the phenomenon in order to avoid negative effects on their sales, scientific studies estimate an ever-growing percentage of this type of disturbance in the average population.

The first studies in 2010 referred to a hypothetical 6-10% of healthy people, followed by later works that estimated a percentage close to 20% and finally the data reported in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in an important article from last November spoke of a prevalence of 1/3 in the apparently healthy population (Aziz I et al, BMJ. 2012 Nov 30;345:e7907. doi: 10.1136/bmj.e7907).

The work of researchers from the department of Gastroenterology and Neurology of the Hallamshire Hospital of Sheffield (UK) was published in the “Practice” section of the BMJ. This area of the journal proposes practical clinical instruments that represent the first path towards a guideline for general medical behavior (the BMJ is one of the most authoritative medical publications in the world). The article states that people who have intestinal and extra-intestinal disturbances linked to the ingestion of gluten and who are neither celiac sufferers nor allergic (IgE) to wheat should be placed on a diet based on glutenic derivatives with a diagnosis of “Non-celiac gluten sensitivity”.

They should also be made aware of the fact that it is a recently discovered clinical entity that is not yet fully understood. One of the works to which BMJ makes reference is an Italian study published last month in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. This work reveals the constant growth in the values of anti-gliadin antibodies (IgA and IgG types) in the population of people who complain of “irritable colon” and most of all identify a response to the introduction of gluten (randomized double blind crossover trial) in over one third of the cases tested (29.5%).

Considering the fact that some estimate that 50% of the population suffers from Irritable Colon, we’re looking at a considerable number of cases that require consideration, not just commercial, but also medical and methodological (why were the people who have been dealing with this problem up to now treated as fools?) (Carroccio A et al, Am J Gastroenterol. 2012 Dec;107(12):1898-906. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2012.236. Epub 2012 Jul 24).

Based on the growing number of people who are feeling better thanks to a gluten-controlled diet, there is evidence that indicates that the true reactivity is not towards gluten, but towards fructans which are present in wheat. From a practical standpoint, however, it doesn’t change anything: in the end it’s always the wheat and cereals containing gluten that must be controlled in the diet (Sanders DS et al, Am J Gastroenterol. 2012 Dec;107(12):1908-12. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2012.344).

The most commonly used company announcement that is being used today is along the lines of “Okay, the disturbance hasn’t yet been well-defined, let’s not take it seriously…”. This announcement is bound to go up against market choices that don’t depend on company policies, but instead upon the search for well-being, something that people have come to consider as their right, regardless of advertizing or company marketing choices.

Fortunately there’s a simple cure for a condition like this. Learn to vary your foods, continue to eat gluten by using the principle behind infant weaning and by reeducating your body to become tolerant again like every newborn baby .