11

votes

Dangerous to quit gluten?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 09, 2012 at 7:12 AM

I've just read an article (photo here) that says you shouldn't stop eating gluten, because "You can actually make it harder for your body to digest gluten if you cut most of it from your diet without good reason???".

Is there any science behind this whatsoever? I don't understand how a magazine can publish such a statement without some science behind it.

Everything I've read up on about gluten lead me to believe even a small amount is really bad - and I didn't think the issue was in the process of digestion itself?

Interested to hear if you've seen any studies that might have lead to this statement.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on February 09, 2012
at 07:48 PM

Interesting. I don't know if the enzymes that we're thinking of would affect the taste. I think that's more along the lines of personal preference or "tastes" changing with age. This would be more of the intestinal rumblings/diarrhea stuff.

A45af235ed4dd0b4f548c59e91b75763

(1936)

on February 09, 2012
at 05:36 PM

styrofoam might work..

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on February 09, 2012
at 05:05 PM

I question how many enzymes I had in the first place, for whatever reason. I was obese at birth and until age 3, which to me indicates disturbed metabolism from the get-go. Milk tasted horrible to me by age 5 and I wouldn't drink it. Sour cream and cottage cheese tasted like spoiled food and I couldn't understand how people ate it. So, I wasn't surprised when I showed gradually increasing intolerance for dairy as I aged. I WAS surprised when drinking probiotics allowed me to eat yogurt and ice cream again. Should've been given probiotics as a child, I think.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 09, 2012
at 04:56 PM

Most folks can't detect any negative effects from gluten. Only after cutting gluten are many able to detect when 'glutened'. I used to think I could tell when I was 'glutened', but now I'm not sure that was real. Robb Wolf can't handle gluten, but he's hardly the picture of normal human health.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on February 09, 2012
at 03:13 PM

FWIW, Enterolab claims that you will still have the antibodies loooooong after you stop eating gluten. This is because they are produced because of genetics (hence the allergy), and will likely last in the body for years. http://www.enterolab.com/StaticPages/Faq.aspx#eating

A15af22bd729ec030e8f47d1189b6eaf

(774)

on February 09, 2012
at 02:12 PM

Well if cutting gluten decreases your body's tolerance for it, it is probably not a good idea eating it in the first place ... no study needed, just common sense me thinks ...

F4d04667059bc682540fdfd8b40f13a7

on February 09, 2012
at 10:27 AM

That will probably be in next months magazines!

F4d04667059bc682540fdfd8b40f13a7

on February 09, 2012
at 10:26 AM

Well exactly! I don't understand how they can even make statements like that without referencing some sort of study?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 09, 2012
at 08:19 AM

That's like saying "you shouldn't stop drinking cuz you won't tolerate that much alcohol anymore"

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9 Answers

18
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on February 09, 2012
at 11:54 AM

The real issue, is that if you stop eating gluten than the major food processors have to come up with a new cheap processed ingredient for their texture and bulk.

A45af235ed4dd0b4f548c59e91b75763

(1936)

on February 09, 2012
at 05:36 PM

styrofoam might work..

11
Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

on February 09, 2012
at 12:42 PM

This is just one of those cases where there's a bit of truth but it's used in the wrong way. If gluten is unavoidable in the diet, then you need to learn to live with it. You will experience (or at least perceive) more problems eating gluten after a long period without it than if you've been eating it regularly. But you need to weigh that against the risks of eating gluten regularly - which is why they slip the 'without good reason' clause in. Most people here have a pretty clear idea that there are many many good reasons even if you're not celiac so they're being disingenuous.

It's like saying you can see cars better from the middle of the road so you shouldn't walk on the sidewalk without good reason

9
F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on February 09, 2012
at 04:50 PM

It's really a matter of acute versus chronic inflammation. If you are constantly being exposed to gluten, your body is in a state of chronic inflammation. Therefore, you do not notice the same dose/response acute inflammatory response that you would when your body is not chronically inflamed.

So if you think it's better to be in a state of chronic inflammation all the time to aviod the occasional feeling of acute inflammation, then keep consuming gluten. I frankly do not think that is in my (or anyone's) best interest.

8
76c885d7d27e6c83542ea493ca866dcd

(2178)

on February 09, 2012
at 12:36 PM

I know I've heard Robb Wolf say, in response to questions as to whether people should allow their young kids to have small amounts of gluten, that there simply is no such thing as building a resistance to it.

The same thing follows here -- gluten is bad is bad is bad. Period.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 09, 2012
at 04:56 PM

Most folks can't detect any negative effects from gluten. Only after cutting gluten are many able to detect when 'glutened'. I used to think I could tell when I was 'glutened', but now I'm not sure that was real. Robb Wolf can't handle gluten, but he's hardly the picture of normal human health.

6
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on February 09, 2012
at 04:27 PM

Given the amazing number of chronic symptoms that disappeared in my first 30 days off gluten, it's clear I was never "handling" gluten in the first place. As a young child, I had a constant runny nose and vague joint symptoms already so if we'd only known what that meant my life could have been much different.

What they SHOULD be saying is that parents should introduce foods carefully and be suspicious of any mild symptoms, particularly from grains.

4
F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

on February 09, 2012
at 08:59 AM

That is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. The only reason to stay on gluten is if you think you might have celiac, you can't be (accurately) tested once you've been gluten free for more than a few weeks.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on February 09, 2012
at 03:13 PM

FWIW, Enterolab claims that you will still have the antibodies loooooong after you stop eating gluten. This is because they are produced because of genetics (hence the allergy), and will likely last in the body for years. http://www.enterolab.com/StaticPages/Faq.aspx#eating

F4d04667059bc682540fdfd8b40f13a7

on February 09, 2012
at 10:26 AM

Well exactly! I don't understand how they can even make statements like that without referencing some sort of study?

3
912ec069b5bd84af1b6ef7545b950908

on February 09, 2012
at 04:21 PM

I travel a lot to places where food insecurity is a big problem. I'm fortunate in that it's in sub-Saharan Africa, and the staple foods are usually cornmeal, rice, or cassava. (Wheat is not good for me. Point made by my body in the first two weeks of paleo.) If you are going places where you will have to eat gluten for some reason, it might be a good idea to make sure your stomach can continue to handle them. In some ways, the notion that we can choose to avoid foods is a very Western one and an affluent Western one at that. In some places, people have to eat whatever is there. (srsly I am delighted that my hosts rely on these massive plates of cornmeal to keep them going...it's not the best thing for you but geez it's better for me than wheat globs.)

2
F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on February 09, 2012
at 04:36 PM

I think you build up a tolerance to it. Like those stories about taking a small amount of poison for a long time -to build up a tolerance to avoid being big-time poisoned. (Yes I am comparing Gluten to Poison).

In any case, before my doctor told me to go gluten free, I was eating toast every single morning (my whole life) and I never had digestive troubles -ever. Now I can't even eat a dusting of gluten without serious GI issues. Makes sense when you think of the poison tolerance scenario.

Dangerous: Yes. Long term -underlying GI damage can lead to a host of issues. Short Term -ruins my evening out when I get poisoned and must spend the rest of the night at home in the restroom.

0
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on February 09, 2012
at 04:57 PM

I don't know if there's been any actual studies on it for gluten, so it's just a theory. Plus it's probably fairly specific to individuals.

A possible example of something similar that they may be going off of for their theory is adult lactose-intolerance/lactase persistence . People digest milk ok in youth, they stop as an adult for a while. The enzymes for digesting down-regulate, and they have issues digesting milk as an adult. If they don't stop drinking milk, the enzymes are still around, and they don't have issues digesting it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactose_intolerance

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on February 09, 2012
at 05:05 PM

I question how many enzymes I had in the first place, for whatever reason. I was obese at birth and until age 3, which to me indicates disturbed metabolism from the get-go. Milk tasted horrible to me by age 5 and I wouldn't drink it. Sour cream and cottage cheese tasted like spoiled food and I couldn't understand how people ate it. So, I wasn't surprised when I showed gradually increasing intolerance for dairy as I aged. I WAS surprised when drinking probiotics allowed me to eat yogurt and ice cream again. Should've been given probiotics as a child, I think.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on February 09, 2012
at 07:48 PM

Interesting. I don't know if the enzymes that we're thinking of would affect the taste. I think that's more along the lines of personal preference or "tastes" changing with age. This would be more of the intestinal rumblings/diarrhea stuff.

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