6

votes

Supposedly NO studies backing the benefits of a gluten-free diet?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 13, 2012 at 1:28 AM

Glenn Gaesser is a professor at Arizona State University who asserts there are no benefits to going gluten-free, and he also says there are benefits to eating gluten... but having spent lots of time reading posts here, most Paleo Hackers agree there are no benefits to eating gluten, right? (With the exception of the witty observation someone had that eating grains gives you the "ability" to eat grains, in the sense that the body gets used to feeling terrible... or something to that effect.)

Gaesser is funded by the Grain Foods Federation, which makes him clearly suspect, but he also asserts there is no "published literature on the health benefits of gluten-free diets for people without celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or autoimmune disorders."

Here is the article I am referring to: https://asunews.asu.edu/201201008_glutenfreeresearch

Surely, this is incorrect, right? Not to mention all the first hand accounts (the n=1?) of benefits to folks who have gone gluten-free.

Does anyone know of these studies that he claims cannot be found? And if so, how is he missing finding them?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 14, 2014
at 12:14 PM

I'm tiny agra in a place where no one cares about farming anymore. Separation from big agra means growing and gathering locally. I've got the health and well being of a few blueberry bushes, hazelnut trees and mollusks to worry about.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 14, 2014
at 12:07 PM

The paranoia doesn't fix us raydawg. It's a voluntary stress factor. I prefer to opt out on this witch hunt. The $$$ Monsanto misses on GMO gluten grains they pick up on GMO gluten free soy.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on January 14, 2014
at 11:45 AM

Interesting. So, big agra has subsidies, yet, they are huge, so much pork that there's even farmers being paid for planting nothing; many of the big companies are involved in synnergistic GMO generation along with their pesticides/herbicides, and yet the laws are skewed such that if a GMO propagates to a non-GMO field, the farmer is liable for patent infringement vs the company for trespassing, and this is paranoia?

Medium avatar

on January 13, 2014
at 04:03 PM

Hahaha, there is nothing wrong with game brain... it keeps your mind active and promotes hand eye coordination! :)

GAME AWAY!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 03:48 PM

Now if you could just link Grain Brain to Game Brain you might have a therapy for Candy Crush Saga!

Medium avatar

on January 13, 2014
at 03:39 PM

This book talks about gluten and why gluten AND carbs are bad for you body.

Sorry I was not clearer in my previous post.

'Grain Brain', discussion with Dr. David Perlmutter.-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgu7wiDRaLU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBN1nWr3-mU

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 03:32 PM

The subject is gluten protein not carbs. I agree that excessive starch carbs are the core problem though.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 02:38 PM

If you had read or done a literature survey....well start with this

http://www.andjrnl.org/article/S2212-2672(12)00743-5/fulltext

I'm tired of all this paranoia about big agra. Get this: Gaesser is critiquing a 2 billion dollar high margin market for gluten-free products, which is looking to grow out of its celiac niche. Do you believe for one second that big agra isn't producing those high priced gluten free processed foods?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 02:06 PM

My 88 year old father eats his white bread sandwich every day as he always has. I guess Wolf's biochemistry dogma doesn't apply in his case. For non-celiacs dogma doesn't trump actual results.

8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e

(70)

on January 13, 2014
at 02:03 PM

Two true. When I went paleo,my nutrients went from abysmal, to over recommendation in some cases. HUGE difference. I don't know how anybody things eating lots of low nutrient food can make sense.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 02:03 PM

Why replace anything? Eat oysters and carry on.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 02:01 PM

I think more of Gaesser's analysis than Dr. Davis'.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 01:58 PM

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 01:55 PM

Read the study. Jeez. Several studies of celiac population have been done to show that gluten-free dieting CAUSES weight gain and loss of gut bacteria. Do your own study and prove this is wrong.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 01:47 PM

Oh come on Christopher. The study was easy to find. Lazybones.

http://www.andjrnl.org/article/S2212-2672(12)00743-5/fulltext

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 26, 2012
at 08:26 AM

In fact its probable given just how strongly the positive strain of e. coli is accepted as a genuinely beneficial probiotic, that they are actually witnessing a positive shift in the balance of bacteria. Regardless, none of this is nessasarily applicable to paleo. Paleo people dont eat any appreciable amount of gluten free bread (if any).

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 26, 2012
at 08:24 AM

Yet that study claims that "increases were detected in numbers of E. coli and total Enterobacteriaceae, which may include opportunistic pathogens". Key word being _may_. There are beneficial and negative strains in both those species. The beneficial strains of E.coli, have been far more proven in benefit than the others. Its more likely what they are seeing, is the well established shift in species cause by a change in carbs, fats or proteins (ie diet), and that their conclusions are pure speculation IMO.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 26, 2012
at 08:23 AM

Inulin and resistant starch are both pre-biotics and are pretty common. Again of course this comes down to replacing your bread with real food instead of some kind of bread substitute. I beleive beta-glucans are richest in asian mushrooms. I wonder too, what effect an excess of pre-biotics and acellular carbs would have on "bad" bacteria. Actually from what I read of that article I question their objectivity. Certain strains of E. coli are the only probiotics with any significant evidence of benefit.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 26, 2012
at 08:21 AM

"Yet that study claims that "increases were detected in numbers of E. coli and total Enterobacteriaceae, which may include opportunistic pathogens". Key word being may. The beneficial strains of E.coli, have been far more proven in benefit than Bifidobacterium, B. longum and Lactobacillus. Its more likely what they are seeing, is the well established shift in species cause by a change in carbs, fats or proteins (ie diet), and that their conclusions are pure speculation IMO. At least it wasnt funded by wheat manufacturers though.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on October 26, 2012
at 08:18 AM

Good points here. There a number of good sources discussing possible negative effects of non-celiac gluten intake, including Andrew Badenoch's collection of studies: http://evolvify.com/the-case-against-gluten-medical-journal-references/

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 26, 2012
at 08:17 AM

Inulin and resistant starch are both pre-biotics and are pretty common. Again of course this comes down to replacing your bread with real food instead of some kind of bread substitute. I beleive beta-glucans are richest in asian mushrooms. I wonder too, what effect an excess of pre-biotics would have on "bad" bacteria. It seems probable that the acellular carbs of refined wheat. Actually from what I read of that article I question their objectivity. Certain strains of E. coli are the only probiotics with any significant evidence of benefit.

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on October 26, 2012
at 12:18 AM

Spam, spam, spam, spam . . .

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 13, 2012
at 09:33 PM

Really if you put people on the same sort of diet but replaced the morning toast with gluten-free, the bread on the sandwich at lunch with gluten free and the hamburger bun with gluten free - You end up with more fiber, equal nutrients (more or less) and fewer calories. If you replaced it with yam you get more nutrient, equal calorie, more fibre and a less irritated gut. Not bad.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on October 13, 2012
at 05:46 PM

Wildwabbit, do you have a source for that? In people who don't have bacterial overgrowth, I thought beta-glucans were beneficial. Here is a 2010 study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3023594/) of the effects of a gluten-free diet on gut flora that discusses some of this. They found that non-celiacs showed a decrease in beneficial gut flora after a month of eating gluten-free. Grains have prebiotics in the form of beta-glucans, but you can also find beta-glucans in mushrooms. Additionally, they found reduced inflammation after a month of eating a gluten-free diet.

3b0b95dfc6dc5c18e535945f4aab0866

(2392)

on October 13, 2012
at 05:07 PM

The "prebiotics" in grains tend to help the "wrong" flora thrive in the gut.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on October 13, 2012
at 04:15 PM

Thanks, JayJay. Totally agreed on "relentless questions" and ignoring any answers he is given in favor of more questions. Also, as to "showing no symptoms," the average person may not realize that they are having symptoms that can indicate gluten intolerance, such as skin issues, chronic fatigue, upset digestion, mood imbalances. They're more likely to just go to the doctor and get a pill.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 04:03 PM

I'm sure you've probably seen this, but just in case your interested (as you seem very well informed) http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/9/23

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 04:01 PM

+1 nice answer. There is also the gluten sensitive individuals that actually have neither of the celiac genes. Recent research showed that 44% of patients with gluten sensitivity were actually HLA negative.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:34 PM

Yeah, even my "dont cut the bread out if you don't need to" profs tell us that biopsy is so invasive, it's better to do an elimination diet, and that gluten sensitivity can only be diagnosed by elimination diet. If client is compliant, can be done on those with asthma, eczema, other allergies, fatigue, acne, etc.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:21 PM

@Harry: Seriously, you need a lot more work in this area. You can't effectively question if you haven't even studied where the current evidence is pointing. Seems to be your MO....relentless questions without putting in the leg work to discover the answers.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:18 PM

@Harry: Can you? I'd suggest you study more before coming into this debate. Seems your a couple years behind on research in gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy. That quote was only given as it was a conclusion based on the research in which he was involved. Clinical algorithms are already being presented that recognize the lack/inaccuracies of lab diagnostics for GS.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:16 PM

Therefore gluten has been shown to have no effect one way or the other in some people. Very few people.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:10 PM

@Harry: Do you? I'd suggest you study more before coming into this debate. Seems your a couple years behind on research in gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy. That quote was only given as it was a conclusion based on the research in which he was involved. Clinical algorithms are already being presented that recognize the lack/inaccuracies of lab diagnostics for GS.

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on October 13, 2012
at 11:35 AM

Yep. If you replace gluten with processed gluten substitutes, you're still eating food of low nutrient density, high energy density, and low satiation. If you replace gluten grains with real food, however, you've improved your diet significantly.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on October 13, 2012
at 10:31 AM

There are also n=1 accounts of people like me who see no ill effects from going gluten-free - or going back on gluten after months off it. Good question.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 13, 2012
at 10:08 AM

If someone provides a "nailed on study" (if there is ever such a thing) that demostrates "there is no benefit to a gluten free diet", do you start eating grains?

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 13, 2012
at 10:04 AM

Actually, (much as I despise them), I kinda know how the creationsits feel, when if I'm trading science on an issue like this.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 13, 2012
at 06:26 AM

@JayJay: An opinion =/= diagnostic procedure (you can tell the difference..?)

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on October 13, 2012
at 06:12 AM

If science supporting Darwinism is refuted by creationists, what then? Does it somehow make the evidence less correct? I'm not interested in converting people, I'm interested in the truth.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on October 13, 2012
at 06:09 AM

If that is your view, enjoy the simplicity it allows you. It may well be sufficient to make you correct most of the time, but for me things like the health properties of dairy make the issue not so black and white. If there is an absence or deficiency of data, it is a good model. But it can be flawed compared to a model that follows the scientific method.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 04:40 AM

From Dr. Fasano Q: Is there a test for gluten sensitivity? A: No. So far, the only way to determine gluten sensitivity is an exclusion diagnosis. You have a problem with gluten. The problem goes away when you go on a gluten-free diet and comes back when you add gluten back into your diet.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 04:30 AM

And more to the point that is why I said you have to go to biochemistry and physiological study and extrapolate from there. Because in a clinical study sense they do have to have a variable to manipulate....normally this involves a "disease" because of marketability. Well that is a bit cynical. But, not entirely untrue.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 04:28 AM

^ I actually agree with the last two sentences. I believe thats even what my answer states. As to the first...I can and have defined health for me and the people I interact with. As you state thought there is not a "strict" definition ....well the World Health Organization states it as "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." So that would have to be your "strict" authoritative answer, but you could easily write a dissertation expanding on what that means.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 13, 2012
at 04:12 AM

@ JayJay: Why don't you just answer the question? Because you can't - there's no strict definition for health other than the absence of disease. This is why there is no study where the outcome variable is an increase in health. It's always about the disease.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 04:10 AM

@Mscott... I actually think this is its place. The studies are a bit behind pace right now. Much is yet to be discovered in the realm of gluten and GMO wheat products. Till things are further teased out through experimentation the "safe" money is to stick with evoloutionary theory (and the bits of data we actually do have).

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 04:03 AM

Hmmm....my understanding is that the HLA DQ is not all that reliable when relating to gluten sensitivity.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 13, 2012
at 03:53 AM

The modern production of grains most certainly is, but who is to say that there wasn't some consumption of grains from time to time in paleo times. Also there is a great variability in what people can tolerate, including gluten and lactose, suggesting that they have evolved to eating those..*Simples*

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 13, 2012
at 03:51 AM

Whatever anyone shows with science, the grain boys will refute, so what's the point? You'll never convert these people, and you'll probably never win the scientific argument.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 13, 2012
at 03:47 AM

I don't dispute that their is a need for science, and I love Paul Jaminet, but I don't think that rice is Paleo, and I don't eat it. Nutritional science is so difficult to do, and so conflicted, that no-one ever really proves anything, which is why sometimes it's simpler to take a principals based approach, which is the beauty of Paleo: it's a very simple prescription.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 13, 2012
at 03:36 AM

@ JayJay - HLA DQ testing has high sensitivity and specificity. The gold standard is a biopsy.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on October 13, 2012
at 03:33 AM

This question is about gluten. If all you're concerned with is what is or isn't paleo, then wheat and rice would both be not paleo, supposedly not healthy, with no differentiation between the two. Yet people like Paul Jaminet contend that white rice can be fine in a nutreint rich diet, while wheat should be avoided. But why? They're both equally non-paleo, so what gives? Evolutionary theorizing has its place, but rarely does it eliminate the need for scientific studies.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on October 13, 2012
at 03:32 AM

This question is about gluten. If all you're concerned with is what is or isn't paleo, then wheat and rice would both be not paleo, supposedly not healthy, with no differentiation between the two. Yet people like Paul Jaminet contend that white rice can be fine in a nutreint rich diet, while wheat should be avoided. But why? They're both equally non-paleo, so what gives? Evolutionary theorizing has its place, but rarely does not eliminate the need for scientific studies.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 13, 2012
at 03:13 AM

@ PinkPika: good point.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 13, 2012
at 03:11 AM

His conclusion would be based on what he thinks would replace gluten-based food.

Cebbca9a78d5612bf3468b273c2010d5

(452)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:25 AM

I agree - and yet the professor asserts that going gluten-free will make you gain weight.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:24 AM

@ Harry any correlation between wheat and ill health in epidemiological studies? Any biochemical mechanisms purposed by which gluten is potentially harmful? Anthropological data? And finally any evidence it is a necessary ingredient for health?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:21 AM

@ Harry what is the current diagnostics of gluten sensitivity? What is its sensitivity and specificity? Are there other measures or ways that gluten could harm you without being detected by the current regularly used procedures?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:19 AM

@ Harry what is the current diagnostics of gluten sensitivity? What is its sensitivity and precision rates? Are there other measures or ways that gluten could harm you without being detected by the current regularly used procedures?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:11 AM

Respond to the biochemistry if you like...bring some of your own insight to the table.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:10 AM

^Please stay on the point Harry....open a new thread if you wanna discuss that.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:06 AM

How do you measure what "healthy" is?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:03 AM

"The point is that there are a whole lot more people who are sensitive to gluten than realized or that test positive for celiac". How do you know? Why should people have something else to concern themselves about when they display no diagnostic criteria for gluten sensitivity?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 01:59 AM

Eww... and no antibodies DOES NOT guarantee no damage... "Gluten stresses your gut cells. They scream on the molecular level. NK cells cells get in there and put them out of their misery. This is (auto) immunity. It does NOT REQUIRE antibody production. http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/search/label/Gluten%20and%20NK%20cells%20%28forget%20the%20antibodies%29

Cebbca9a78d5612bf3468b273c2010d5

(452)

on October 13, 2012
at 01:42 AM

Which would indicate that indeed folks who are "without celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or autoimmune disorders" are in those studies, who in reality ARE gluten-sensitive (just undiagnosed because they did not fail/pass the celiac test), and would skew results in favor of changing to a GF diet, right?

Cebbca9a78d5612bf3468b273c2010d5

(452)

on October 13, 2012
at 01:36 AM

But that is also kind of what I mean - if almost a third of us (am I getting that number correct?) are gluten sensitive, and not "diagnosed", per se, then in those studies they are categorized in the "without celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or autoimmune disorders" group, and would actually show improvement on a gluten-free diet.

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17 Answers

10
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 13, 2012
at 01:57 AM

Not really accurate. The act of going grain free automatically increases nutrient density.

Replacing grains with even potatoes and tubers increases miner and vitamin intake.

Cebbca9a78d5612bf3468b273c2010d5

(452)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:25 AM

I agree - and yet the professor asserts that going gluten-free will make you gain weight.

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on October 13, 2012
at 11:35 AM

Yep. If you replace gluten with processed gluten substitutes, you're still eating food of low nutrient density, high energy density, and low satiation. If you replace gluten grains with real food, however, you've improved your diet significantly.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 13, 2012
at 09:33 PM

Really if you put people on the same sort of diet but replaced the morning toast with gluten-free, the bread on the sandwich at lunch with gluten free and the hamburger bun with gluten free - You end up with more fiber, equal nutrients (more or less) and fewer calories. If you replaced it with yam you get more nutrient, equal calorie, more fibre and a less irritated gut. Not bad.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 13, 2012
at 03:11 AM

His conclusion would be based on what he thinks would replace gluten-based food.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 02:03 PM

Why replace anything? Eat oysters and carry on.

8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e

(70)

on January 13, 2014
at 02:03 PM

Two true. When I went paleo,my nutrients went from abysmal, to over recommendation in some cases. HUGE difference. I don't know how anybody things eating lots of low nutrient food can make sense.

6
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 01:47 AM

The other portion to the problem is they don't do studies on relatively healthy people to determine if something makes them healthier. They wouldn't even know where to start. They need a symptom to even begin with. Doing something to cultivate health is different than doing it to alleviate a physiological adaptive state. The evidence against gluten for relatively healthy people is biochemical and physiological rather than full on clinical trials http://robbwolf.com/2011/01/12/hey-robb-this-person-said-gluten-free-diets-are-bogus/

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:10 AM

^Please stay on the point Harry....open a new thread if you wanna discuss that.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:06 AM

How do you measure what "healthy" is?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 01:59 AM

Eww... and no antibodies DOES NOT guarantee no damage... "Gluten stresses your gut cells. They scream on the molecular level. NK cells cells get in there and put them out of their misery. This is (auto) immunity. It does NOT REQUIRE antibody production. http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/search/label/Gluten%20and%20NK%20cells%20%28forget%20the%20antibodies%29

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 13, 2012
at 04:12 AM

@ JayJay: Why don't you just answer the question? Because you can't - there's no strict definition for health other than the absence of disease. This is why there is no study where the outcome variable is an increase in health. It's always about the disease.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:11 AM

Respond to the biochemistry if you like...bring some of your own insight to the table.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 04:28 AM

^ I actually agree with the last two sentences. I believe thats even what my answer states. As to the first...I can and have defined health for me and the people I interact with. As you state thought there is not a "strict" definition ....well the World Health Organization states it as "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." So that would have to be your "strict" authoritative answer, but you could easily write a dissertation expanding on what that means.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 04:30 AM

And more to the point that is why I said you have to go to biochemistry and physiological study and extrapolate from there. Because in a clinical study sense they do have to have a variable to manipulate....normally this involves a "disease" because of marketability. Well that is a bit cynical. But, not entirely untrue.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 02:06 PM

My 88 year old father eats his white bread sandwich every day as he always has. I guess Wolf's biochemistry dogma doesn't apply in his case. For non-celiacs dogma doesn't trump actual results.

5
7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on October 13, 2012
at 03:36 PM

In the past year (since being diagnosed with celiac disease) I've been searching for why cutting wheat/gluten-grains may not be healthy. Nutritionists' and dietitians' articles don't usually mention specifics, and most seem to just rail against gluten-free diets as a "fad", rather than addressing what may actually be unhealthy about them.

So in my searching, I've found two reasons why not eating wheat could potentially make someone less healthy. One is that it contains prebiotics that help bacteria in our guts thrive. This is easy to find in other foods, though. If you don't have a bacterial overgrowth problem, and you go gluten free, you could get these prebiotics from onions, mushrooms, apples, and/or oranges (or some other source of prebiotics: these are just the most common). The second is that wheat is one of the main sources of betaine, which we need for one of two pathways to convert homocysteine back to methionine in the methylation cycle. The other main sources are spinach and quinoa (though it may not be digestible from quinoa). So if you cut out wheat, it's probably a good idea to get some spinach in your diet.

So those are the only benefits I could find for eating wheat, and they're easy to get around.

As for the benefits of NOT eating gluten/wheat: I suspect that the 30-some-odd percent of people with the celiac genes (HLA DQ2.5, DQ2.2) have some sort of immune response to gluten when they eat it, though for most people it's subclinical. Some of the research suggests that gluten causes a zonulin response in everyone, but most people have something that closes the tight junctions before it causes diarrhea. So that suggests that gluten isn't good for anyone. I haven't come across any definitive research, though.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 04:01 PM

+1 nice answer. There is also the gluten sensitive individuals that actually have neither of the celiac genes. Recent research showed that 44% of patients with gluten sensitivity were actually HLA negative.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on October 13, 2012
at 05:46 PM

Wildwabbit, do you have a source for that? In people who don't have bacterial overgrowth, I thought beta-glucans were beneficial. Here is a 2010 study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3023594/) of the effects of a gluten-free diet on gut flora that discusses some of this. They found that non-celiacs showed a decrease in beneficial gut flora after a month of eating gluten-free. Grains have prebiotics in the form of beta-glucans, but you can also find beta-glucans in mushrooms. Additionally, they found reduced inflammation after a month of eating a gluten-free diet.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 04:03 PM

I'm sure you've probably seen this, but just in case your interested (as you seem very well informed) http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/9/23

3b0b95dfc6dc5c18e535945f4aab0866

(2392)

on October 13, 2012
at 05:07 PM

The "prebiotics" in grains tend to help the "wrong" flora thrive in the gut.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 26, 2012
at 08:17 AM

Inulin and resistant starch are both pre-biotics and are pretty common. Again of course this comes down to replacing your bread with real food instead of some kind of bread substitute. I beleive beta-glucans are richest in asian mushrooms. I wonder too, what effect an excess of pre-biotics would have on "bad" bacteria. It seems probable that the acellular carbs of refined wheat. Actually from what I read of that article I question their objectivity. Certain strains of E. coli are the only probiotics with any significant evidence of benefit.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 26, 2012
at 08:21 AM

"Yet that study claims that "increases were detected in numbers of E. coli and total Enterobacteriaceae, which may include opportunistic pathogens". Key word being may. The beneficial strains of E.coli, have been far more proven in benefit than Bifidobacterium, B. longum and Lactobacillus. Its more likely what they are seeing, is the well established shift in species cause by a change in carbs, fats or proteins (ie diet), and that their conclusions are pure speculation IMO. At least it wasnt funded by wheat manufacturers though.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 26, 2012
at 08:23 AM

Inulin and resistant starch are both pre-biotics and are pretty common. Again of course this comes down to replacing your bread with real food instead of some kind of bread substitute. I beleive beta-glucans are richest in asian mushrooms. I wonder too, what effect an excess of pre-biotics and acellular carbs would have on "bad" bacteria. Actually from what I read of that article I question their objectivity. Certain strains of E. coli are the only probiotics with any significant evidence of benefit.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 26, 2012
at 08:24 AM

Yet that study claims that "increases were detected in numbers of E. coli and total Enterobacteriaceae, which may include opportunistic pathogens". Key word being _may_. There are beneficial and negative strains in both those species. The beneficial strains of E.coli, have been far more proven in benefit than the others. Its more likely what they are seeing, is the well established shift in species cause by a change in carbs, fats or proteins (ie diet), and that their conclusions are pure speculation IMO.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 26, 2012
at 08:26 AM

In fact its probable given just how strongly the positive strain of e. coli is accepted as a genuinely beneficial probiotic, that they are actually witnessing a positive shift in the balance of bacteria. Regardless, none of this is nessasarily applicable to paleo. Paleo people dont eat any appreciable amount of gluten free bread (if any).

3
A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on October 25, 2012
at 12:08 PM

The absence of a study proves nothing. One could make this claim about anything unstudied. However, we should take care in drawing conclusions about or critiquing research based on a press release about research without actually reading the research, which the linked article seems not to provide. Does he address those cultures that have had an historically, naturally gluten-free diet, versus substituting new gluten-free analogs for conventional wheat-based ones?

Also, the linked article suggests he claims the gluten-free product industry is based an a false premise, whereas I view its basis as a well-established valid premise: that industry will provide what consumers demand. Upon what valid premise does the food industry base production of donuts and soda?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 01:47 PM

Oh come on Christopher. The study was easy to find. Lazybones.

http://www.andjrnl.org/article/S2212-2672(12)00743-5/fulltext

3
61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on October 13, 2012
at 01:32 AM

"published literature on the health benefits of gluten-free diets for people without celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or autoimmune disorders."

The key is in that quote right there. Of course there's not going to be any benefits to going gluten-free for someone who has no sensitivity to gluten. The point is that there are a whole lot more people who are sensitive to gluten than realized or that test positive for celiac.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:19 AM

@ Harry what is the current diagnostics of gluten sensitivity? What is its sensitivity and precision rates? Are there other measures or ways that gluten could harm you without being detected by the current regularly used procedures?

Cebbca9a78d5612bf3468b273c2010d5

(452)

on October 13, 2012
at 01:42 AM

Which would indicate that indeed folks who are "without celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or autoimmune disorders" are in those studies, who in reality ARE gluten-sensitive (just undiagnosed because they did not fail/pass the celiac test), and would skew results in favor of changing to a GF diet, right?

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on October 13, 2012
at 04:15 PM

Thanks, JayJay. Totally agreed on "relentless questions" and ignoring any answers he is given in favor of more questions. Also, as to "showing no symptoms," the average person may not realize that they are having symptoms that can indicate gluten intolerance, such as skin issues, chronic fatigue, upset digestion, mood imbalances. They're more likely to just go to the doctor and get a pill.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 13, 2012
at 03:13 AM

@ PinkPika: good point.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:21 PM

@Harry: Seriously, you need a lot more work in this area. You can't effectively question if you haven't even studied where the current evidence is pointing. Seems to be your MO....relentless questions without putting in the leg work to discover the answers.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 04:40 AM

From Dr. Fasano Q: Is there a test for gluten sensitivity? A: No. So far, the only way to determine gluten sensitivity is an exclusion diagnosis. You have a problem with gluten. The problem goes away when you go on a gluten-free diet and comes back when you add gluten back into your diet.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 13, 2012
at 03:36 AM

@ JayJay - HLA DQ testing has high sensitivity and specificity. The gold standard is a biopsy.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 04:03 AM

Hmmm....my understanding is that the HLA DQ is not all that reliable when relating to gluten sensitivity.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:24 AM

@ Harry any correlation between wheat and ill health in epidemiological studies? Any biochemical mechanisms purposed by which gluten is potentially harmful? Anthropological data? And finally any evidence it is a necessary ingredient for health?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:21 AM

@ Harry what is the current diagnostics of gluten sensitivity? What is its sensitivity and specificity? Are there other measures or ways that gluten could harm you without being detected by the current regularly used procedures?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:10 PM

@Harry: Do you? I'd suggest you study more before coming into this debate. Seems your a couple years behind on research in gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy. That quote was only given as it was a conclusion based on the research in which he was involved. Clinical algorithms are already being presented that recognize the lack/inaccuracies of lab diagnostics for GS.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:18 PM

@Harry: Can you? I'd suggest you study more before coming into this debate. Seems your a couple years behind on research in gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy. That quote was only given as it was a conclusion based on the research in which he was involved. Clinical algorithms are already being presented that recognize the lack/inaccuracies of lab diagnostics for GS.

Cebbca9a78d5612bf3468b273c2010d5

(452)

on October 13, 2012
at 01:36 AM

But that is also kind of what I mean - if almost a third of us (am I getting that number correct?) are gluten sensitive, and not "diagnosed", per se, then in those studies they are categorized in the "without celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or autoimmune disorders" group, and would actually show improvement on a gluten-free diet.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:03 AM

"The point is that there are a whole lot more people who are sensitive to gluten than realized or that test positive for celiac". How do you know? Why should people have something else to concern themselves about when they display no diagnostic criteria for gluten sensitivity?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 13, 2012
at 06:26 AM

@JayJay: An opinion =/= diagnostic procedure (you can tell the difference..?)

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on October 13, 2012
at 02:34 PM

Yeah, even my "dont cut the bread out if you don't need to" profs tell us that biopsy is so invasive, it's better to do an elimination diet, and that gluten sensitivity can only be diagnosed by elimination diet. If client is compliant, can be done on those with asthma, eczema, other allergies, fatigue, acne, etc.

2
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on October 13, 2012
at 01:09 PM

I have a study that refutes it. Me. Struggled to break 200 lbs while eating SAD halthy And running 50 miles a week. 165 after cutting out wheat. I was already low sugar, the baddest change was gluten and PUFA oils.

1
Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 26, 2012
at 07:37 AM

" no "published literature on the health benefits of gluten-free diets for people without celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or autoimmune disorders.""

This is just an illogical argument. A lack of evidence, in the absence of proper unbiased hypothesis testing, means absolutely nothing. Hed have to actually mention studies that showed there was no effect, in order for the claim to be in any way persuasive.

Worse, he talks about "for weight loss". I have never heard anyone claim avoiding gluten is good for weight loss. People avoid it for leaky gut, immune issues, inflammation, digestive issues etc, but not weight loss.

I have no idea where they are, but I have seen someone post research linking non-celiac intake of gluten to negative effects. Hopefully whoever it was can pipe, I cant be bothered scouring google scholar.

"Gaesser disclosed that he is the scientific advisory board chairman of the Grain Foods Foundation. As a longtime critic of anti-carbohydrate dieting, he was asked by the foundation to review the scientific literature associated with gluten-free dieting."

Open confession of total bias confounding any of his conclusions. No study this man does, on any of the mentioned topics, or any of the words coming out of his mouth likewise, should go without examination, replication, double blinding, personal critique, peer review, etc.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on October 26, 2012
at 08:18 AM

Good points here. There a number of good sources discussing possible negative effects of non-celiac gluten intake, including Andrew Badenoch's collection of studies: http://evolvify.com/the-case-against-gluten-medical-journal-references/

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 01:55 PM

Read the study. Jeez. Several studies of celiac population have been done to show that gluten-free dieting CAUSES weight gain and loss of gut bacteria. Do your own study and prove this is wrong.

1
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on October 26, 2012
at 12:17 AM

I haven't done any literature review, but keep in mind that studies have to be funded by someone.

Who would stand to gain if the hypothesis that there are benefits to going gluten free even if you are not celiac and don't have diagnosed gluten sensitivities? Only us, who time after time prove to ourselves that going gluten-free makes a huge difference in our lives. The trouble is, WE don't have a lot of money to fund studies.

Organizations like the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association do, but they get their funding from big pharma and big agra businesses who have a vested interest in NOT proving that there are benefits in going gluten free. The companies themselves are certainly NOT going to fund such studies.

And so, the lack of studies. All the anecdotal evidence in the world doesn't add up to a supposedly evidence-based, peer-reviewed study, at least as far as the big interests are concerned. And so, he may be technically correct in that no studies show that there is a benefit to going gluten-free, but we can see that there's a huge piece missing out of that puzzle.

As for the benefits of eating gluten containing products, it's certainly beneficial to Monsanto, Con Agra, drug manufacturers, etc.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 02:38 PM

If you had read or done a literature survey....well start with this

http://www.andjrnl.org/article/S2212-2672(12)00743-5/fulltext

I'm tired of all this paranoia about big agra. Get this: Gaesser is critiquing a 2 billion dollar high margin market for gluten-free products, which is looking to grow out of its celiac niche. Do you believe for one second that big agra isn't producing those high priced gluten free processed foods?

1
63f2e1f026317464d8553801ea5fe495

(314)

on October 25, 2012
at 02:30 PM

Whether or not there is scientific evidence, there is a ton of anecdotal evidence. I know that eating more than a few bites of a gluten-heavy food, I have a lot of symptoms. With no/low gluten, the symptoms are gone. That's enough evidence for me.

1
7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on October 25, 2012
at 02:20 PM

So I know my judgement is skewed because I am celiac (& obviously gluten free!).

However, I know very FEW people without joint pain, acne, ADHD, skin issues, diarrhea, an autoimmune disease, diabetes, pre-diabetes, obesity, or another ailment.

There was an interesting quote about how most people don't know how good their body is designed to feel.

I can handle eating the other grains (like rice). However, when I eat them, I feel the sugar crash later in the day. Even if grains do not cause any autoimmune or other ailment directly from gluten, the negative effects on blood sugar are enough to deter me from eating them.

One holistic vet described her theory to me. She said that you should eat a diet rich in nutrients (meat, vegetables, healthy fats) and low sugar as a basis. Then, add in (Nutrient rich!) fruit and other unprocessed carbohydrate sources (potatoes, etc) to maintain your weight.

It makes sense to me, even if I weren't celiac.

Honestly, I do think Dr. Davis who wrote "Wheat Belly" gave some damn good information on this topic!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 02:01 PM

I think more of Gaesser's analysis than Dr. Davis'.

1
B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 13, 2012
at 03:20 AM

Why do you need studies? Grains are neolithic, not part of our evolutionary diet, and therefore potential candidates for being agents of disease.

Paleo = eating the food that you evolved eating. Simples.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 13, 2012
at 03:51 AM

Whatever anyone shows with science, the grain boys will refute, so what's the point? You'll never convert these people, and you'll probably never win the scientific argument.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on October 13, 2012
at 06:12 AM

If science supporting Darwinism is refuted by creationists, what then? Does it somehow make the evidence less correct? I'm not interested in converting people, I'm interested in the truth.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 13, 2012
at 03:53 AM

The modern production of grains most certainly is, but who is to say that there wasn't some consumption of grains from time to time in paleo times. Also there is a great variability in what people can tolerate, including gluten and lactose, suggesting that they have evolved to eating those..*Simples*

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 13, 2012
at 10:08 AM

If someone provides a "nailed on study" (if there is ever such a thing) that demostrates "there is no benefit to a gluten free diet", do you start eating grains?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2012
at 04:10 AM

@Mscott... I actually think this is its place. The studies are a bit behind pace right now. Much is yet to be discovered in the realm of gluten and GMO wheat products. Till things are further teased out through experimentation the "safe" money is to stick with evoloutionary theory (and the bits of data we actually do have).

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on October 13, 2012
at 03:33 AM

This question is about gluten. If all you're concerned with is what is or isn't paleo, then wheat and rice would both be not paleo, supposedly not healthy, with no differentiation between the two. Yet people like Paul Jaminet contend that white rice can be fine in a nutreint rich diet, while wheat should be avoided. But why? They're both equally non-paleo, so what gives? Evolutionary theorizing has its place, but rarely does it eliminate the need for scientific studies.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on October 13, 2012
at 03:32 AM

This question is about gluten. If all you're concerned with is what is or isn't paleo, then wheat and rice would both be not paleo, supposedly not healthy, with no differentiation between the two. Yet people like Paul Jaminet contend that white rice can be fine in a nutreint rich diet, while wheat should be avoided. But why? They're both equally non-paleo, so what gives? Evolutionary theorizing has its place, but rarely does not eliminate the need for scientific studies.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on October 13, 2012
at 06:09 AM

If that is your view, enjoy the simplicity it allows you. It may well be sufficient to make you correct most of the time, but for me things like the health properties of dairy make the issue not so black and white. If there is an absence or deficiency of data, it is a good model. But it can be flawed compared to a model that follows the scientific method.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 13, 2012
at 10:04 AM

Actually, (much as I despise them), I kinda know how the creationsits feel, when if I'm trading science on an issue like this.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 13, 2012
at 03:47 AM

I don't dispute that their is a need for science, and I love Paul Jaminet, but I don't think that rice is Paleo, and I don't eat it. Nutritional science is so difficult to do, and so conflicted, that no-one ever really proves anything, which is why sometimes it's simpler to take a principals based approach, which is the beauty of Paleo: it's a very simple prescription.

0
Medium avatar

on January 13, 2014
at 02:55 PM

No studies backing the benefits? Seriously?

There was a book just released this past year (2013) by a [neuroscientist] names Dr. David Perlmutter called “Grain Brain” and the entire book is referenced from scientific journals on nutrition in the human body. The book covers all the issues that carbs cause in the body from weight gain and hormone problems to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and even dementia. It explains how and why these things happen, the entire science behind it and then examples are given from patients that Dr. Perlmutter has treated and cured of everything from ADHA, Cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and I can’t even remember the rest of the long list that goes on.

The book also goes on to state that people will agree with the mainstream media or ideas to keep people buying into big pharmaceutical companies and such. I think Mr. Glenn Gaesser should be stripped of his job and title if he can't stay current in his "profession." Sadly these are the type of people that hold back humanity as a whole. At least if you don’t know the information yourself, please don’t teach other people the wrong information!

Medium avatar

on January 13, 2014
at 03:39 PM

This book talks about gluten and why gluten AND carbs are bad for you body.

Sorry I was not clearer in my previous post.

'Grain Brain', discussion with Dr. David Perlmutter.-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgu7wiDRaLU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBN1nWr3-mU

Medium avatar

on January 13, 2014
at 04:03 PM

Hahaha, there is nothing wrong with game brain... it keeps your mind active and promotes hand eye coordination! :)

GAME AWAY!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 03:48 PM

Now if you could just link Grain Brain to Game Brain you might have a therapy for Candy Crush Saga!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 13, 2014
at 03:32 PM

The subject is gluten protein not carbs. I agree that excessive starch carbs are the core problem though.

0
8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e

(70)

on January 13, 2014
at 01:34 PM

Of course not, who would fund a large scale, long term study into that? I don't think the dairy industry has as much cash as agri-giants like monsanto. The best you might get would be paleo versus other diet comparisons.

0
1e732e5ac9820eeb35a70276cf6c05f7

on January 13, 2014
at 10:24 AM

Here are some evidences that wheat could cause coronary heart disease.

0
5bac45c78a2be60bc17fc2084a0f5d43

(259)

on October 25, 2012
at 11:39 PM

This article states that going gluten free won't help to lose weight. It is the first time I hear that somebody excludes gluten for weight loss purposes.

I exclude gluten to avoid abdominal cramping, bloating and diarrhea. as this article puts it. Plus to avoid autoimmune conditions - topic that this article omits.

0
E6c14efded576a0bea38a2fe2beced6a

on October 25, 2012
at 01:22 PM

I once read a study that said there was no evidence to support any benefit to working out.

Of course the "benefit" they were measuring was a persons ability to pat their head and rub their belly at the same time. I have to agree with the study that I didn't see any benefit to working out either. No matter how strong I got I still struggled with patting my head and rubbing my belly at the same time.

The devil is in the details, but it still will never trump N=1.

-4
55fd50666dbd96becaa955a0224f57cb

on October 25, 2012
at 07:18 AM

I am a spammer, please ban me forever from this site.

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on October 26, 2012
at 12:18 AM

Spam, spam, spam, spam . . .

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