4

votes

Pure gluten as a test of wheat problems? (aka A Seitanic Pact)

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 27, 2013 at 2:08 PM

I've dropped all wheat and other gluten-containing grains from my diet. Once I've completed my supposed detox period, I'd like to do a rigorous test of whether wheat makes me sick / weak / allergic / addicted. I'm thinking about testing myself with pure gluten. I mean, if wheat really is like an opiate, then gluten should be like black tar heroin, right? Plus, it's an unassuming-looking powder, so it will be easy to do double-blind tests.

Note that I'm interested in specific negative reactions to wheat, not general issues like anti-nutrients and empty calories.

Here are my questions:

  1. I'll test with other forms of wheat eventually, but is starting with pure gluten a reasonable plan?

  2. Assuming I don't have celiac, is one month a long enough abstinence period that I should expect gluten to cause discernible problems when I try it again?

  3. How much gluten would I need to eat, and for how long, to be confident that it should be causing any problems that it's going to cause? I know that some people get sick at their first bite of bread but I'm asking about the other end of the scale

PS - Don't worry, I'm not looking for license to eat macaroni-and-wonder-bread sandwiches three meals a day. But I'd like to know my own body, rather than just assuming that trace amounts of wheat are poisonous.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on March 27, 2013
at 10:27 PM

The celiac test was pretty clear that I do have an IgA reaction to gluten. I think the issue was that I was already sick and had damage to my intestines, so the extra bit was a drop in the bucket.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 27, 2013
at 09:34 PM

Vegetable protein isolates such as soy and gluten are free of the other components of the grain (mainly fiber, fat and carbs). Maybe you're not allergic to the protein itself.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on March 27, 2013
at 07:13 PM

I've heard too many people claim that the tests have a very high false negative rate (except intestinal biopsy, which only tests for celiac anyway).

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on March 27, 2013
at 06:12 PM

I've heard too many people claim that the tests have a very high false positive rate (except intestinal biopsy, which only tests for celiac anyway).

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 27, 2013
at 06:11 PM

I used to do similar what-if trials on carby foods with my blood glucose meter. Like a personalized GI. Science is fun.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on March 27, 2013
at 04:02 PM

I am a big fan of overthinking, it's true. But the main motivation is that getting every trace of gluten out of my diet has been pretty difficult / annoying. I really don't want to get to the end of the experiment and then decide the results are inconclusive because I wasn't thorough or rigorous enough.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 27, 2013
at 03:29 PM

I mean, I'd just get tested or not worry about eating gluten in moderation.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on March 27, 2013
at 03:23 PM

+1 for "Seitanic Pact", lol!

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on March 27, 2013
at 03:04 PM

what's ridiculous about it? I'm skeptical about the anti-gluten doctrine but I want to make sure I give it a really fair test.

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3 Answers

3
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on March 27, 2013
at 03:22 PM

I suspect you are over-thinking this.

  1. If you are gluten-sensitive, bread or pasta will suffice for a test substance. But if it feels better for you to eliminate all variables, by all means use the seitan.

  2. Six weeks is generally recommended for clearing the residual effects of gluten from your system.

  3. Gluten sensitivity is on a continuum, so the amount you need to eat for testing may vary from someone else. For me, a pasta dinner with a side of bread was sufficient to convince me (after a year of gluten-free) that I was indeed gluten-intolerant.

The "addictive effects" also vary from person to person and if you are gluten-intolerant they will be less apparent than any digestive/skin reaction, IME.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on March 27, 2013
at 04:02 PM

I am a big fan of overthinking, it's true. But the main motivation is that getting every trace of gluten out of my diet has been pretty difficult / annoying. I really don't want to get to the end of the experiment and then decide the results are inconclusive because I wasn't thorough or rigorous enough.

2
7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on March 27, 2013
at 09:11 PM

Here are my results. Before I got diagnosed with celiac disease, I tried eating pure gluten powder (when I thought I might have a problem with gluten) and didn't get sick from it. But when I went gluten free for two weeks, and then ate some fish dredged in flour, I got sick from it.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 27, 2013
at 09:34 PM

Vegetable protein isolates such as soy and gluten are free of the other components of the grain (mainly fiber, fat and carbs). Maybe you're not allergic to the protein itself.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on March 27, 2013
at 10:27 PM

The celiac test was pretty clear that I do have an IgA reaction to gluten. I think the issue was that I was already sick and had damage to my intestines, so the extra bit was a drop in the bucket.

0
Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 27, 2013
at 02:20 PM

Lmao, this is ridiculous.

  1. Yes
  2. Yes
  3. I'd increase it till I noticed toxic effects then try never to exceed that once I'm done with the trial.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 27, 2013
at 03:29 PM

I mean, I'd just get tested or not worry about eating gluten in moderation.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on March 27, 2013
at 03:04 PM

what's ridiculous about it? I'm skeptical about the anti-gluten doctrine but I want to make sure I give it a really fair test.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on March 27, 2013
at 06:12 PM

I've heard too many people claim that the tests have a very high false positive rate (except intestinal biopsy, which only tests for celiac anyway).

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on March 27, 2013
at 07:13 PM

I've heard too many people claim that the tests have a very high false negative rate (except intestinal biopsy, which only tests for celiac anyway).

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