3

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What's the cause of the apparent increase in celiac?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 24, 2011 at 12:05 PM

I know I have problems with gluten grains beyond any normal damage. I haven't had a gut biopsy or ELISA, but there is these days a 100% correlation for me of eat gluten -> GI distress. I know at least one family member for whom this is also the case. I don't know if it's celiac, allergy, whatever, and I don't particularly care, because it's enough for me to know that avoiding gluten avoids significant problems.

However, I have in the past couple years seen an absolute explosion in people talking about celiac, most often self-diagnosed; and in gluten-free foods. I know that perhaps as early as three years ago, I almost never saw glutenous-food substitutes (e.g., gluten-free cookies, pasta, bread) at any non-specialty grocery store. Labeling of foods as gluten-free has also certainly gone up.

I know I'm not the only one who's notice this; see Rubio-Tapia et al., Gastroenterology July 2009.

Some is probably attributable to increased awareness, but the above study suggests that the prevalence itself seems to be increasing.

My family member who reacts to gluten suggests it may be due to the increase in GM foods. I doubt this since, unless my information is out of date, transgenic wheat is not in the food supply at this time. While selectively-bred varieties are widely-used, they have been for more than a century, so it seems unlikely that would only suddenly become a problem.

So, I'm wondering what the cause is. I'm sure we can't do much more than speculate, but if anybody has any ideas I'd be interested to hear them.

Increased consumption of n-6 oils and fructose leading to inflammation which increases susceptibility to gluten damage causing permanent immune response?

Higher gluten-grain consumption than previous generations?

A combination of a fad leading to higher public self-diagnosis, and more sensitive tests leading to higher real diagnosis?

72d63b3161a4c1dfed9df3fd9a80339d

(0)

on August 25, 2011
at 04:35 AM

In sweden we have a version of Gruel Also that is milk and wheat which was a bigger culprit of the celiacs i think. Very interesting stuff though. The general guidelines in sweden is no GLuten before 4 months and then introduce it slowly While breastfeeding to keep the babys immune system good to prevent celiac.

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on August 25, 2011
at 12:58 AM

I've heard interviews where he bashes both white wheat and soft wheat as being frankensteins. He says red hard is better. Most the wheat today is what he calls "dwarf mutant wheat."

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on August 25, 2011
at 12:18 AM

I was just about to suggest increased formula use in the past 100 years but you beat me to it!

F4aff43df6a8a49a1c3879c1233ee560

(459)

on August 24, 2011
at 10:33 PM

It will be interesting to see what Dr Davis has to say. I'm wondering if there are issues with the increased use of white wheat (allows manufatureers to add "whole grain" while keeping the product white). I know a farmer who switched from triticale to white wheat and gave his pigs fatty liver disease in a mere 2 week time span.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on August 24, 2011
at 09:34 PM

Confession time- I haven't read it yet. Its due to come tomorrow though!

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on August 24, 2011
at 06:20 PM

W00T, W00T for team highbrow and Deep Nutrition.

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on August 24, 2011
at 06:19 PM

The neat thing about celiacs (and by neat I mean terrible) is that you can live past reproductive age with it (at least in modern times).

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on August 24, 2011
at 06:17 PM

Plus one Carbsane. I forgot about our good friends the bacteria killers.

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9 Answers

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3
D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on August 24, 2011
at 03:28 PM

  • Nutritional degeneration effects snowball over generations. Epigenetic expression gets worse over times if nutrition status isn't in check (we aren't talking one aberrant generation we're talking four or five).
  • Higher public awareness.
  • Non-traditional preparations of wheat. We don't soak, ferment, etc.
  • Wheat is consumed too damn often. It's a breakfast, lunch and dinner type gig. Many of us don't have a time when we aren't exposed unless we go out of the way to do so.
  • Overall toxic load from environment and food additives likely promotes the body to break down where it is vulnerable. The digestion of gluten seems to be on of those loose bolts that a toxin environment can remove.
  • Wheat itself has changed. Dr. William Davis' book due out the 30 of August will explain this in detail. (Perhaps, it isn't the NAD we thought it was but was really a Industrialization created disease.)
  • General malnutrition - People don't give their bodies the construction material it needs to repair itself. Everyone is undernourished, almost, which is mostly their own fault but also the fault of poor farming practices (can I get some magnesium up in here!)
  • Chronic infection - a la Jaminet who thinks that bacterial infections are moving towards less overt symptomatology that won't get them pwned by anti-biotics.

F4aff43df6a8a49a1c3879c1233ee560

(459)

on August 24, 2011
at 10:33 PM

It will be interesting to see what Dr Davis has to say. I'm wondering if there are issues with the increased use of white wheat (allows manufatureers to add "whole grain" while keeping the product white). I know a farmer who switched from triticale to white wheat and gave his pigs fatty liver disease in a mere 2 week time span.

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on August 25, 2011
at 12:58 AM

I've heard interviews where he bashes both white wheat and soft wheat as being frankensteins. He says red hard is better. Most the wheat today is what he calls "dwarf mutant wheat."

6
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 24, 2011
at 01:11 PM

In Sweden they had an alarming increase until they changed infant feeding guidelines (one of them was to discourage formula use) and then it decreased. So genetics plays a role, but so does lifestyle

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10709885?dopt=Abstract

72d63b3161a4c1dfed9df3fd9a80339d

(0)

on August 25, 2011
at 04:35 AM

In sweden we have a version of Gruel Also that is milk and wheat which was a bigger culprit of the celiacs i think. Very interesting stuff though. The general guidelines in sweden is no GLuten before 4 months and then introduce it slowly While breastfeeding to keep the babys immune system good to prevent celiac.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on August 25, 2011
at 12:18 AM

I was just about to suggest increased formula use in the past 100 years but you beat me to it!

3
Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on August 24, 2011
at 12:38 PM

Wheat has been selectively bred to have higher levels of gluten. It's also possible that our modern foods have created a state where we are more predisposed to autoimmune conditions. I think epigenetic influences are playing a role here too.

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on August 24, 2011
at 06:20 PM

W00T, W00T for team highbrow and Deep Nutrition.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on August 24, 2011
at 09:34 PM

Confession time- I haven't read it yet. Its due to come tomorrow though!

2
24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on August 24, 2011
at 06:00 PM

Well, since nobody's mentioned these two possible contributors, I will offer these:

  1. Antibiotics & antibiotic abuse interfering any number of ways with function of gut endothelium and gut health in general.

-- Melissa's mention of guidance against formula feeding is consistent as gut flora are different in breast fed v. formula fed babies.

  1. NSAIDS: Any search on NSAIDS and leaky gut will be overwhelming.
    ^ odd, that's a 2 that I typed there, keeps coming up a 1?

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on August 24, 2011
at 06:17 PM

Plus one Carbsane. I forgot about our good friends the bacteria killers.

2
Medium avatar

(3029)

on August 24, 2011
at 02:15 PM

I think it is a combination of the following:

  1. Wheat has changed over many years.
  2. They way wheat is prepared has changed greatly over the last 50 or so years.
  3. People are being advised to eat whole grains, so they do.
  4. Wheat is probably stored for longer and longer times before it is used, so it's allowed to go rancid, but that's just a guess.

Personally, I think #2 is the main culprit. Years ago people bought bakery bread, often sourdough, not made with chemicals. Now most people buy bread that doesn't rise for days - it rises just a few hours. The gluten and anti-nutrient remain in the bread. The additives are the icing on the cake.

I'm not personally sensitive to gluten, but my friend is. She gets an immediate reaction. She ate some sourdough rye that I buy from a French bakery and had the most minor of reactions. She can tell immediately that it doesn't hurt her like a regular slice of bread does. Partly because rye isn't as damaging in the first place and because true traditional sourdough really does make a difference.

I blogged about this with a video clip made by one of the researchers that worked on the study you mentioned, ra25093.

0
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on August 24, 2011
at 02:52 PM

I don't think it is higher, I just think people are more aware. For many, overt symptoms don't show up until certain foods are removed and then reintroduced. Removing foods has become faddish. Years ago, nobody even tried to tinker with their diets in this way unless they had severe problems.

0
9b0a4701e373d4dd13831cfb9b13f42d

(1677)

on August 24, 2011
at 02:37 PM

I think people are just becoming more aware now, in the past if you ate grains and it gave you stomach issues, (I personally) blamed it on other things Id eat with the food. It couldnt be these healthy grains.

0
Dbe5290b790e6e2d2bd59d581d9cf164

on August 24, 2011
at 12:51 PM

More along the lines of darwinism, celiac is more boon than bane. Genetics weeding out those who eat terrible by making more and more allergic to Gluten.

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on August 24, 2011
at 06:19 PM

The neat thing about celiacs (and by neat I mean terrible) is that you can live past reproductive age with it (at least in modern times).

0
1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on August 24, 2011
at 12:24 PM

You should probably read this thread: http://paleohacks.com/questions/10455/how-has-wheat-changed-in-the-usa-in-the-last-60-years#axzz1VlWxsXov

The ideas you present have been discussed there in the most part.

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