Cause of Gluten Sensitivity Still Unknown

Gluten Sensitivity

Gluten Sensitivity

Wheat consumption leads to complaints in 6% of adults without celiac disease. The only question is whether gluten is the cause of these symptoms or whether the symptoms are caused by other proteins or carbohydrates. That is the conclusion of physician-researcher Petula Nijeboer, who obtained his PhD at VU University Amsterdam on 21 June for research into various gluten-related diseases.

Diet with gluten sensitivity

Gluten sensitivity without evidence of celiac disease diagnosis is also called non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). Nijeboer interviewed 785 adults in the market, for example, and 6.2% of them reported symptoms after consuming gluten-containing products. The main symptoms are bloating (74%), abdominal pain (49%) and flatulence (47%). Fatigue (35%) and headache (17%) also occur. 4% of people with complaints due to gluten-containing products follow a completely gluten-free diet and 43% follow a gluten-restricted diet.

Gluten, other proteins or FODMAPs?

The first case was described in 1978, but gluten sensitivity has only received scientific attention in recent years through a number of well-conducted studies. It is not yet clear what exactly the culprit is. Indeed, in some studies, wheat, and not pure gluten, has been used as a symptoms-provoking substance. This means that other proteins from wheat can also be the cause, such as lectins or anti-pesticides such as alpha-amylase / trypsin inhibitor (ATIs). In addition, some other studies show that certain fermentable short-chain carbohydrates (the so-called FODMAPs), which are common in cereals, are responsible for the symptoms. According to Nijeboer, more research is therefore needed into the cause and diagnosis of this relatively new disorder.

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