It's hard to walk up and down the aisles of your supermarket without coming in contact with a few dozen products advertised as being gluten-free.
This trend in gluten-free eating has come about over the course of the last decade or so as the number of cases of Celiacs disease have continued to rise. Celiacs disease occurs when someone cannot tolerate gluten in their diet, which can cause major stomach discomfort and bloating, as well as intestinal damage.
But not everyone with gluten sensitivity has Celiac disease. While most of the symptoms of gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease are the same, it can be hard to tell the difference between the two, but in basic gluten sensitivity, the symptoms are not as violent and intestinal damage does not occur. According to a new study, however, non-Celiac gluten sensitivity might not be caused by gluten at all.
Researchers from the University of Oslo in Norway and Monash University in Australia have published their findings that those who believe they are gluten sensitive might not really be all that sensitive to gluten itself.
The study, published in Gastroenterology, reaffirms prior research that suggests a sugar chain called fructan could be the cause of discomfort in most non-Celiac gluten sensitivity cases.
Like gluten, fructan can be found in gluten-heavy items such as wheat, barley, and rye.
As part of their research, 59 people with non-Celiac gluten sensitivity who had adopted a gluten-free diet were split into three groups, each of which were given a special cereal bar to eat once a day for one week.
One group was given bars containing gluten, while another was given cereal bars containing fructans. The third group was given a control bar with neither gluten or fructan present.
Following the initial tasting, each group was given a week off before moving on to another week's worth of another bar type. This continued until all three groups had spent a week eating each of the bar types.
The results revealed that the cereal bars containing fructans triggered bloating 15 percent more than the control bar. The same bars also caused gastrointestinal symptoms 13 percent more often than the control bar. The gluten bars showed no difference from the control bars.
This new information could be major for diabetics on a gluten-free diet, for example. The discovery could open up diabetic patients and their dietary plans to include foods with low levels of fructans even if there is gluten present.
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