Sensitive to gluten? Maybe not. The Australian doctor who published a widely read paper three years ago describing the condition he termed Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity has just reported findings that may reverse his earlier claims. Unlike in his first round of trials, where thirty-seven patients reported gastrointestinal improvement on a gluten-free diet, in a subsequent round of trials, Dr. Peter Gibson found no specific response to gluten among trial subjects.
According to co-researcher Jessica Biesiekierski, the culprit for all that belly badness could in fact be what are known as FODMAPs (or fermentable oligo-di-monosaccharides and polyols, if you prefer)--a class of carbohydrate found not only in wheat, but in some fruits, dairy products and legumes. The news means that people looking for a fix for their troubled tummies should consider diets that don't focus solely on eliminating gluten. So is the burgeoning gluten-free market likely to take a hit from this news? Doubtful. After all, the jury is still out on the matter, scientifically-speaking, and if a gluten-free diet is helping many Americans feel better, it's a pretty safe bet they won't change their ways just because of a little inconvenient science.
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