16

votes

Does gluten yield any health benefit whatsoever?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 09, 2011 at 12:47 PM

If you're like me then you feel annoyed when somebody asks you to prove that gluten is harmful to the body. People will say things like, "I feel fine and I've been eating bread and pasta and cereal my whole life."

Anything short of a celiac diagnosis and people will defend gluten, literally to the death. Proponents of wheat-based products think that unless a physician examines their gastrointestinal track and records an acute autoimmune response to the gluten protein molecule, then they're safe to eat gluten until their heart's content...or at least until someone proves gluten causes ill effects in non-celiacs. They quickly dismiss your advice against gluten as silly, misguided or even offensive.

Paleo types tend to adopt a defensive stance in trying to prove that gluten can be harmful for all people regardless of celiac status. We scramble for links and studies that might expose gluten. Often these searches turn up nothing compelling enough to overturn hidden biases cleverly implanted by bread-makers, propagandists and spinsters who are allowed to make unjust claims on food packages that make people believe whole wheat bread reduces cholesterol, cancer or heart disease.

Consider this....

Most endocrinologists recommend whole wheat bread to their diabetic patients!

Well, is anybody out there getting sick of caving and scrambling for evidence that exposes gluten?

Would it be easier to reach people and more effective if we extract the bias and simply find out why they think bread or cereal is nutritious? Then deal head-on with each specific misconception about each purported benefit?

Let's say you own a self-proclaimed health store with jars and crates of gluten on the shelves.

Give me one reason to buy your product.

Bfa1c9eacfc94a1b62f3a39b574480c6

(3700)

on October 13, 2012
at 03:33 AM

It sure would make eating on the go "easier." Luckily my non-Paleo friends actually respect my choices and don't hit up sandwich joints. I figure its better anyway, since hipster steakhouses and tapas style joints outshine sandwich joints anyway. And I get no reactions from gluten.

54f75fb54778cfa947990bec1175307a

(665)

on October 02, 2012
at 02:26 AM

Very smartass and totally useless answer. No wonder it got such a high upvote here at paleohacks :)

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on October 01, 2012
at 03:33 PM

I don't cheat on my gf either.

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:51 PM

Nope, it's the opiate in gluten that stimulates hunger.

54f75fb54778cfa947990bec1175307a

(665)

on August 08, 2012
at 12:55 AM

+1 for giving concrete answer to concrete question

54f75fb54778cfa947990bec1175307a

(665)

on August 08, 2012
at 12:39 AM

I once saw dish called "Roasted Gluten" in Chinese cafe. Are they serious?!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:49 PM

One of the things the 10/12/2011 Daily Lipid review points out is how weak the opiate claim is. Davis relies on a reference involving binge-eating women, and ignores the fact that many other foods contain gliadin.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:48 PM

One of the things the Daily Lipid revie points out is how weak the opiate claim is. Davis relies on a reference involving binge-eating women, and ignores the fact that many foods contain gliadin.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:43 PM

You left out one thing: gluten is protein. It's the vegetable form of gelatin - aka bone broth. Why do paleos have this gluten-hate? Why do paleos need people like hubristic Dr Davis to think for them, who cherry picks the literature like there's no tomorrow. (For a view more balanced than mine, read the Daily Lipid review posted 10/12/11.)

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:33 PM

Seriously. If people disagree with this then I wish they would present some info. and not be so passive aggressive. +1 Clearly Simibee is not talking about those with Celiac Disease here people.

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

(1303)

on November 21, 2011
at 12:15 AM

*lol* I know what you mean- but it's the only article that I could find.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on November 13, 2011
at 09:37 PM

Oh livestrong. That article is right up there with the one about the amazing benefits of soy oil. Bleh.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 13, 2011
at 09:13 PM

Here's Mark's post: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/soaked-sprouted-fermented-grains/ He's not enthused, but he does say Italian scientists managed to create gluten free sourdough with a specific strain of bacteria and many days of fermentation.

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on August 28, 2011
at 08:07 PM

How on earth does eliminating gluten grains put you at risk for iron or B vitamin deficiencies? Both do exist in other foods.

Da8e709acde269e8b8bfbc09d1737841

(1906)

on August 04, 2011
at 02:35 PM

Sprouting and fermenting may make wheat _better_ for consumption, but these methods still don't entirely remove the lectins/phytates. That might be fine if there was a clearly _beneficial_ aspect to eating wheat, but other than for avoiding starvation, there's no such benefit.

Da8e709acde269e8b8bfbc09d1737841

(1906)

on August 04, 2011
at 02:32 PM

Didn't Mark Sisson just make a post showing how sourdough bread, while fermented, still contains a lot of gluten?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 04, 2011
at 12:22 PM

One reason gluten is good? It's food. I daresay that all the people here would eat wheat rather than starve. This might be demeaning - to have to eat something all the little SAD people in the world eat with pleasure everyday - but it would keep them alive. I feel sorry for the 1% of the population who are allergic. But I've about had it with the 1% of the population that are rich enough to read Taube's book, eat the most expensive protein and oils (and picky about it too), and talk down to the commoners.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on August 04, 2011
at 01:54 AM

I like the way you explained this question BAMBAM.

Medium avatar

(2169)

on July 11, 2011
at 06:08 PM

Boxing gloves anyone?

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 10, 2011
at 11:03 PM

White Wheat Flour is almost all soluble fiber. Far fewer carbs??? I'm talking about white flour which is almost all carbs...

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 10, 2011
at 06:57 PM

And oats have some (not nearly as much as fruits and veggies) soluble fiber but they only contain gluten because of cross-contamination. You keep wanting to tax your system to go through all this work when the returns are not worth the input. There is a net loss.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 10, 2011
at 06:54 PM

There is no soluble fiber in refined wheat. And again, you're putting a ton of work on your digestive system to access trace amounts of amino acids in gluten, no soluble fiber (for wheat products) and far fewer carbs than yielded by fruits and veggies. What are the health benefits of all that extra work. How is gluten essential to your diet? If it is not essential and does not optimize your health, why spend a penny on it?

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 10, 2011
at 02:13 PM

The burden of proof is on you to prove gluten messes people up. I never claimed gluten had a health benefit. Refined grain doesn't have zero soluble fiber.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 10, 2011
at 01:59 PM

Wole grain has ZERO soluble fiber. It is not chemically digested. What part of that do you not understand?

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 10, 2011
at 01:59 PM

Refined grain has ZERO soluble fiber.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 10, 2011
at 01:57 PM

Brainwashed is a harsh word. You have yet to prove that Gluten is a healthy substance, desired by the human body for some specific function/purpose/benefit. Are you guessing it's good for you because it doesn't kill you?

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 10, 2011
at 12:43 PM

@Aaron I think you're brainwashed by Robb Wolf and crew. I have the studies right there in my Chris Masterjohn quote. You seriously expect me to take your word against Chris Masterjohn, the guy who is an actual scientist, the guy who can actually understand the studies, the guy who has access beyond the abstract, the guy who tells both side of the story. You Aaron are the one who needs to show me the evidence. So far we have no evidence that wheat messes up normal healthy people, if we have so much undeniable evidence SHOW IT! The experts obviously don't agree with you.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on July 10, 2011
at 11:23 AM

If you think science hasn't *already* provided "undeniable evidence wheat messes you up," then I'd say you're setting the bar for "undeniable" so high it can never be reached.

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 10, 2011
at 01:09 AM

The breakdown of proteins to amino acids is simple look up proteolysis. I also eat sourdough which breaks down the gluten almost completely into amino acids and peptides, the process of making sourdough creates more lysine(the limiting amino acid in wheat). Like I said above I'm not looking to gluten for protein in my diet, I eat a lot of animal foods for protein. I eat refined grain which doesn't have much if any insoluble fiber. You probably eat more insoluble fiber than me, so you might want to look into that dehydrated colon scenario.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 10, 2011
at 12:45 AM

I mean, wouldn't you rather get your carbs from plant foods that yield a high amount of soluble fiber (which are metabolized by bacteria in the colon and converted into vitamins like K) instead of insoluble fiber?

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 10, 2011
at 12:42 AM

Also, do you think there is a health benefit to high intake of insoluble fiber? The body does not digest insoluble fiber molecules. They sit in the colon and soak up water. It's not the part of the GI tract that you want dehydrated. You don't want waste products hanging around before their grand exit.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 10, 2011
at 12:35 AM

I would like to see the research that shows how the body can access the amino acids in gluten and how it uses them. I would like to see what those building blocks look like after denaturation. Also, are its amino acids essential? If so, are they in trace amounts or are they comparable to those yielded by consuming meat proteins?

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on July 10, 2011
at 12:30 AM

right on. how else will people learn to shut they mouth??

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 09, 2011
at 11:25 PM

Gluten has no health benefit per se but comes along with foods that do have nutrients/health benefits like sourdough bread I mentioned in my answer. Gluten does have amino acids although not a great ratio, but I'm not looking to get gluten as my protein source. It breaks down into amino acids like every other protein you eat. It is a protein not a waste product.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 09, 2011
at 11:12 PM

My question is what is the health benefit of gluten? What is its functional role as a protein molecule in our biochemistry? What happens to it inside our body? Anything significant or is it identified as a foreign product and eliminated as waste?

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 09, 2011
at 08:19 PM

Grains are carb foods. Grains are the only food that contains gluten. So I eat wheat for carbs and happen to eat gluten. Most people aren't eating pure gluten.

5113df7e1c5a7e9c7555b6b59144de24

(920)

on July 09, 2011
at 05:56 PM

Dr. Fasano told me years ago, "No one digests gluten well."

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 09, 2011
at 05:37 PM

If my body recognizes it as waste, I don't want it in my body in the first place. I can eat cardboard as well. It's edible. But it has no business in my body to begin with so why spend money on it when I can just buy real food that my body needs and uses? Why spend on something I don't need or use?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 09, 2011
at 05:27 PM

Well in that case bambam eat it like a good Frenchman and let your body kick it out. Maybe that's why they live a gazillion years. It makes them tough. If you ever go there don't miss Lascaux cave. Pictures in books don't do it justice.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 09, 2011
at 05:04 PM

+1 for your answer. You know what's funny? There is no scientific data whatsoever that indicates the body 1)uses gluten in a positive/functional way. 2)uses gluten AT ALL. Yet this elusive protein is found in the wheat and other grains that make up 75% of our diet and our grocery bill. There is no return on our investment! We are buying a waste product as far at the body is concerned!

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 09, 2011
at 04:22 PM

What is the purpose of a gluten protein molecule in human biochemistry. I want to know the pathway. As a protein is it a building block for any special hormone, enzyme, antibody or neurotransmitter? What's it doing there in the body? Why does it need to be there. If the body can't make use of gluten, it will simply identify it as a foreign invader and eliminate it like a bacteria, virus or toxin. The body has a tremendous capacity to kick out pathogens.

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on July 09, 2011
at 04:03 PM

Anyone care to explain their anonymous downvotes?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 09, 2011
at 03:56 PM

Akd ...you are as bad as me. Public shame is my hobby. And assholes are the target. I do the same but I ask them if they care to here about my post gluten toilet stories.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 09, 2011
at 03:13 PM

What kind of charbohydrate is gluten? Gluten is a protein molecule.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 09, 2011
at 03:05 PM

edit: I'm more likely to spend money on it and trust the presence of it in my body. As of now, I don't see how it's any more beneficial than foreign invaders in the form of viruses, bacteria, or pesticide residues. Those don't always kill you either yet they are foreign to human biochemistry and eliminated once recognized as not having a purpose for humans.

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 09, 2011
at 03:00 PM

No I'm talking about a need for carbohydrates and sourdough bread being the most convenient/easiest carb for me to eat. I tried to eat pounds of potatoes but it doesn't work for me. I need refined starch(like most hunters) and I don't think gluten/wheat is inherently is bad. I'm not going to force myself to eat potatoes or not eat potatoes both of which lead to a crappy life for me. I'm not going to force myself to eat rice because some guy says it's healthier than wheat. If science can produce undeniable evidence wheat messes you up than I'll give it up.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 09, 2011
at 02:59 PM

I'd like to know if there is any specific method by which a molecule of gluten can be put to good use in the human body. I'd like to seen some scientific research that can convince me gluten has a function in human biochemistry. I want to know the pathway. Is it a building block for any special hormone, enzyme, antibody or neurotransmitter? What's it doing there in the body? Why does it need to be there. If I know why it should be there...if you can point out its purpose, I'm more likely to spend money on it and trust the presence of it in my body no more than pesticide residues.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 09, 2011
at 02:48 PM

Isn't chronically denying yourself food the same thing as starvation? Because I'm strict 100% Paleo and I'm pretty sure I'm not chronically denying myself food or starving to death.

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 09, 2011
at 01:43 PM

I have not eaten for gluten years too and still no problems when I added it back in.

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 09, 2011
at 01:38 PM

What is your first sentence based on? I assume not science.

C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on July 09, 2011
at 01:28 PM

Spinsters implanting biases.... Why aren't bachelors doing the same thing?

B539a8c692e40f6b85cd11d87ec908d4

(160)

on July 09, 2011
at 01:22 PM

akd - I've said stuff like that too... "this makes me feel like shit when I eat it, so I choose not to..." shuts 'em up every time. :)

B539a8c692e40f6b85cd11d87ec908d4

(160)

on July 09, 2011
at 01:21 PM

In my experience, the people that take a defensive stance, only do that because they can't imagine changing... change is scary, it sucks. People can't imagine giving up pasta and bread and cereal and dessert... they've become so dependent on them and can't imagine trying to think outside that box - even if it means they'll feel a million times better... some folks are just entrenched in that damn comfort zone...

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21 Answers

best answer

9
5113df7e1c5a7e9c7555b6b59144de24

(920)

on July 09, 2011
at 04:58 PM

Celiac disease is estimated at 1% of the population. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity estimates range from 10-30%. One can have immunological reactions to gluten and not have symptoms. Gluten affects all organs and systems not just the gut. Most of my symptoms from gluten were neurological. Funny thing is my dog had problems similar to mine that cleared up with a gluten free diet.

Here is a nutrition data sheet on gluten http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/7738/1 Of course I don't know how available these nutrients are when ingested. Gluten is a large and difficult molecule to break apart. There are enzymes undergoing clinical trials that may help with this but will not take the place of the GF diet. There are papers that describe the pathway of the immunological reaction to gluten, but I don't think I have ever seen anything about the body using it in a positive way.

I have to be 100% GF and I never cheat because I never want to get that ill again.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 09, 2011
at 05:04 PM

+1 for your answer. You know what's funny? There is no scientific data whatsoever that indicates the body 1)uses gluten in a positive/functional way. 2)uses gluten AT ALL. Yet this elusive protein is found in the wheat and other grains that make up 75% of our diet and our grocery bill. There is no return on our investment! We are buying a waste product as far at the body is concerned!

5113df7e1c5a7e9c7555b6b59144de24

(920)

on July 09, 2011
at 05:56 PM

Dr. Fasano told me years ago, "No one digests gluten well."

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on October 01, 2012
at 03:33 PM

I don't cheat on my gf either.

24
Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on July 09, 2011
at 12:59 PM

The only benefit of regularly consuming gluten is that it allows you to continue regularly consuming gluten without apparent ill effect. Talk about a circular argument.

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on July 09, 2011
at 04:03 PM

Anyone care to explain their anonymous downvotes?

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:33 PM

Seriously. If people disagree with this then I wish they would present some info. and not be so passive aggressive. +1 Clearly Simibee is not talking about those with Celiac Disease here people.

54f75fb54778cfa947990bec1175307a

(665)

on October 02, 2012
at 02:26 AM

Very smartass and totally useless answer. No wonder it got such a high upvote here at paleohacks :)

15
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on July 09, 2011
at 01:09 PM

i tend to shrug and say, "gluten makes me feel like shit, and i feel great when i avoid it." thats usually enough to not only make people stop trying to convince me how impossible it is to live without bread. i mean, from that point on they just look like an asshole if they keep pressing the issue.

but, some people are assholes and they press the issue (like this guy im on a board with and when we met at a chinese restaurant and all i had was water who made every horrible caveman joke as he scarfed down his egg rolls) and that, my friend, is when i play my MS card. when i tell them that avoiding gluten has helped to keep my multiple sclerosis in remission, they tend to shut up with a quickness. its nice to have that one to lay down for them. im a big fan of publicly shaming someone who is overstepping their boundaries. plus, it makes an impression that sticks with them, perhaps plants a seed to look at their own dietary behavior.

as far as health benefits of gluten.......i cant imagine there would be one. its just some little protein molecule, right?

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on July 10, 2011
at 12:30 AM

right on. how else will people learn to shut they mouth??

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 09, 2011
at 03:56 PM

Akd ...you are as bad as me. Public shame is my hobby. And assholes are the target. I do the same but I ask them if they care to here about my post gluten toilet stories.

B539a8c692e40f6b85cd11d87ec908d4

(160)

on July 09, 2011
at 01:22 PM

akd - I've said stuff like that too... "this makes me feel like shit when I eat it, so I choose not to..." shuts 'em up every time. :)

5
36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

on July 09, 2011
at 01:26 PM

Chris Masterjohn on How to Properly Interpret Ex Vivo Studies -- Gluten and Leaky Gut As an Example:

Consequently, neither Dr. Fasano's most recent study showing that non-celiac gluten-sensitive patients do not have leaky gut nor the double-blind controlled trial showing that gluten does not cause leaky gut in non-celiac gluten-sensitive patients rule out the possibility that there is some subset of non-celiac subjects, somewhere on the face of the earth, perhaps autistics, perhaps not, who actually do respond to gluten by developing leaky guts. But to my knowledge there is no solid evidence of this and if anyone knows of some, again, please post it in the comments.

The health benefit of gluten is you can eat foods with gluten. This might not seem like a health benefit to a lot of paleo hackers but chronically denying yourself food can have many negative health effects.

I personally eat sourdough wheat bread and have no problem with gluten(though sourdough does have low to no gluten depending on the fermentation process). My quality of life is a lot better not fearing gluten.

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 09, 2011
at 01:43 PM

I have not eaten for gluten years too and still no problems when I added it back in.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 10, 2011
at 12:42 AM

Also, do you think there is a health benefit to high intake of insoluble fiber? The body does not digest insoluble fiber molecules. They sit in the colon and soak up water. It's not the part of the GI tract that you want dehydrated. You don't want waste products hanging around before their grand exit.

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 09, 2011
at 03:00 PM

No I'm talking about a need for carbohydrates and sourdough bread being the most convenient/easiest carb for me to eat. I tried to eat pounds of potatoes but it doesn't work for me. I need refined starch(like most hunters) and I don't think gluten/wheat is inherently is bad. I'm not going to force myself to eat potatoes or not eat potatoes both of which lead to a crappy life for me. I'm not going to force myself to eat rice because some guy says it's healthier than wheat. If science can produce undeniable evidence wheat messes you up than I'll give it up.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on July 10, 2011
at 11:23 AM

If you think science hasn't *already* provided "undeniable evidence wheat messes you up," then I'd say you're setting the bar for "undeniable" so high it can never be reached.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 09, 2011
at 11:12 PM

My question is what is the health benefit of gluten? What is its functional role as a protein molecule in our biochemistry? What happens to it inside our body? Anything significant or is it identified as a foreign product and eliminated as waste?

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 09, 2011
at 03:13 PM

What kind of charbohydrate is gluten? Gluten is a protein molecule.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 10, 2011
at 12:45 AM

I mean, wouldn't you rather get your carbs from plant foods that yield a high amount of soluble fiber (which are metabolized by bacteria in the colon and converted into vitamins like K) instead of insoluble fiber?

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 10, 2011
at 01:59 PM

Wole grain has ZERO soluble fiber. It is not chemically digested. What part of that do you not understand?

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 10, 2011
at 06:57 PM

And oats have some (not nearly as much as fruits and veggies) soluble fiber but they only contain gluten because of cross-contamination. You keep wanting to tax your system to go through all this work when the returns are not worth the input. There is a net loss.

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 10, 2011
at 01:09 AM

The breakdown of proteins to amino acids is simple look up proteolysis. I also eat sourdough which breaks down the gluten almost completely into amino acids and peptides, the process of making sourdough creates more lysine(the limiting amino acid in wheat). Like I said above I'm not looking to gluten for protein in my diet, I eat a lot of animal foods for protein. I eat refined grain which doesn't have much if any insoluble fiber. You probably eat more insoluble fiber than me, so you might want to look into that dehydrated colon scenario.

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 10, 2011
at 12:43 PM

@Aaron I think you're brainwashed by Robb Wolf and crew. I have the studies right there in my Chris Masterjohn quote. You seriously expect me to take your word against Chris Masterjohn, the guy who is an actual scientist, the guy who can actually understand the studies, the guy who has access beyond the abstract, the guy who tells both side of the story. You Aaron are the one who needs to show me the evidence. So far we have no evidence that wheat messes up normal healthy people, if we have so much undeniable evidence SHOW IT! The experts obviously don't agree with you.

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 09, 2011
at 08:19 PM

Grains are carb foods. Grains are the only food that contains gluten. So I eat wheat for carbs and happen to eat gluten. Most people aren't eating pure gluten.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 09, 2011
at 02:48 PM

Isn't chronically denying yourself food the same thing as starvation? Because I'm strict 100% Paleo and I'm pretty sure I'm not chronically denying myself food or starving to death.

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 09, 2011
at 11:25 PM

Gluten has no health benefit per se but comes along with foods that do have nutrients/health benefits like sourdough bread I mentioned in my answer. Gluten does have amino acids although not a great ratio, but I'm not looking to get gluten as my protein source. It breaks down into amino acids like every other protein you eat. It is a protein not a waste product.

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 10, 2011
at 11:03 PM

White Wheat Flour is almost all soluble fiber. Far fewer carbs??? I'm talking about white flour which is almost all carbs...

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 10, 2011
at 12:35 AM

I would like to see the research that shows how the body can access the amino acids in gluten and how it uses them. I would like to see what those building blocks look like after denaturation. Also, are its amino acids essential? If so, are they in trace amounts or are they comparable to those yielded by consuming meat proteins?

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 10, 2011
at 01:59 PM

Refined grain has ZERO soluble fiber.

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 10, 2011
at 02:13 PM

The burden of proof is on you to prove gluten messes people up. I never claimed gluten had a health benefit. Refined grain doesn't have zero soluble fiber.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 10, 2011
at 06:54 PM

There is no soluble fiber in refined wheat. And again, you're putting a ton of work on your digestive system to access trace amounts of amino acids in gluten, no soluble fiber (for wheat products) and far fewer carbs than yielded by fruits and veggies. What are the health benefits of all that extra work. How is gluten essential to your diet? If it is not essential and does not optimize your health, why spend a penny on it?

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 10, 2011
at 01:57 PM

Brainwashed is a harsh word. You have yet to prove that Gluten is a healthy substance, desired by the human body for some specific function/purpose/benefit. Are you guessing it's good for you because it doesn't kill you?

Medium avatar

(2169)

on July 11, 2011
at 06:08 PM

Boxing gloves anyone?

Da8e709acde269e8b8bfbc09d1737841

(1906)

on August 04, 2011
at 02:32 PM

Didn't Mark Sisson just make a post showing how sourdough bread, while fermented, still contains a lot of gluten?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 13, 2011
at 09:13 PM

Here's Mark's post: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/soaked-sprouted-fermented-grains/ He's not enthused, but he does say Italian scientists managed to create gluten free sourdough with a specific strain of bacteria and many days of fermentation.

5
D2e6eb2ab91f5e11589cf34b44b8e4cd

on July 09, 2011
at 01:24 PM

I honestly don't have a gluten allergy or even an issue with dairy. My husband does! BUT I believe their are no nutritional benefits to consuming ANY grains. I can tell you since going Paleo my body has never looked better. I was a lot more bloated (especially in my face) and now I look healthy and lean. My husband suffers from psoriasis and used to suffer from IBS. Since going Paleo, IBS is gone and his psoriasis is clearing up! If he went to a dermatologist they would try and argue that it has nothing to do with nutrition, when in fact he is proving it does! Dr.'s want to put you on medication for your issues because it makes THEM lots of money. As long as people are sick, healthcare prevails! If everyone starting turning to nutritional healing, they would really start to panic!

I prefer to get all of my protein from animals. No beans, quinoa, ect. for me. I feed myself the best (remember people in 3rd world countries live on rice and beans!) and as a result I feel the best, I thrive!

4
E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

on July 10, 2011
at 04:27 AM

I found an article on Livestrong that's promoting seitan, and the best the author could come up with was that gluten is high in protein, and is a source of calcium (a whole 4% RDA per 1/4 cup serving, wow), and iron (9% per 1/4 cup serving).

So, if I were a health store that had jars and crates of gluten on the shelves (as per your question), I would be touting it as an excellent replacement for meat (23 grams of protein per 1/4 cup) and totally ignore that all protein is not equal.

Granted, I didn't look hard, but I suspect that if there were any real health benefits to gluten that Livestrong would certainly be a place to find out about them.

Really though, when people are defending gluten, it's generally because they know that you're cutting out the bulk of available grains- not because you're cutting out gluten itself. If they sold a gluten free wheat, rye, and barley, most people wouldn't care if you cut out gluten. Most understand that there are non-gluten containing grains, but don't seem to actually know anything about them. Those who aren't nutrition geeks seem to think of any non-wheat/rye/barley/oat grain much as they do white rice. Harmless but not nutritious.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on November 13, 2011
at 09:37 PM

Oh livestrong. That article is right up there with the one about the amazing benefits of soy oil. Bleh.

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

(1303)

on November 21, 2011
at 12:15 AM

*lol* I know what you mean- but it's the only article that I could find.

54f75fb54778cfa947990bec1175307a

(665)

on August 08, 2012
at 12:55 AM

+1 for giving concrete answer to concrete question

4
16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

on July 09, 2011
at 01:37 PM

I follow this board and don't really consume much gluten (because I'm VLC/pretty darn paleo) but I don't actively go out of my way to avoid it. I don't believe I have any noticeable negative reactions to it, so I honestly need to be convinced that it's harmful to those of us without celiac disease or other issues that are blatantly affected by gluten consumption. I have tried to follow the anti-gluten arguments but there doesn't seem to be any solid proof that those of us who eat the way I do and occasionally consume gluten are really negatively affected by it.

Oh and while we're at it, what's the story with someone who eats low carb paleo and consumes items like seitan (vital wheat gluten) once in a while? I feel great when I eat this way, I really need to be convinced that I'm somehow destroying my body by ingesting gluten.

Not all of us who are not jumping on the anti-gluten bandwagon are SAD followers/uneducated lowfat dieters/Western medicine zombies, we just need some real convincing evidence.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 09, 2011
at 03:05 PM

edit: I'm more likely to spend money on it and trust the presence of it in my body. As of now, I don't see how it's any more beneficial than foreign invaders in the form of viruses, bacteria, or pesticide residues. Those don't always kill you either yet they are foreign to human biochemistry and eliminated once recognized as not having a purpose for humans.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 09, 2011
at 02:59 PM

I'd like to know if there is any specific method by which a molecule of gluten can be put to good use in the human body. I'd like to seen some scientific research that can convince me gluten has a function in human biochemistry. I want to know the pathway. Is it a building block for any special hormone, enzyme, antibody or neurotransmitter? What's it doing there in the body? Why does it need to be there. If I know why it should be there...if you can point out its purpose, I'm more likely to spend money on it and trust the presence of it in my body no more than pesticide residues.

2
306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on August 04, 2011
at 04:05 AM

When I was pregnant, gluten-containing foods were the only thing that helped my appetite during the first trimester. If I ate bread, I could manage to choke down some other food along with it. If I didn't, I couldn't eat.

Given that I lost 15lbs during the first trimester even with that, it was kind of important.

It wasn't just the carbs - I tried other grains without the same effect.

I can't say for certain that it wasn't a placebo effect, but I've seen others who are otherwise totally onboard with being gluten-free report similar in situations involving severe nausea.

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:51 PM

Nope, it's the opiate in gluten that stimulates hunger.

2
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 09, 2011
at 03:00 PM

Some people believe it doesnt seem to bother them taking in gluten products, others have issues but just choose to blame other things for those issues.

Frankly I've tired of trying to defend myself and my decision, I now just tell people it was the right decision for me and my GI issues and that usually shuts them up.

People who don't want to get rid of their grains or buy into SAD are very defensive and won't change unless they choose to.

2
E053d06554a2909238b339765218844a

on July 09, 2011
at 01:28 PM

Gluten could be described as a general irritant to anyone. But most foods contain some irritants or toxins. So I don't see the point of trying to prove that gluten is healthy/unhealthy. You could make the same argument about most vegetables that don't like being eaten. Some people are better equipped to handle it than others because of genes/gut flora/preparation methods. Grains and gluten get this evil reputation in paleo circles the same way FAT does in SAD circles. My stance is, if your prepare it correctly (sprouting, fermenting) and you don't have acute reactions or chronic health issues then you get to enjoy grain based foods.

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 09, 2011
at 01:38 PM

What is your first sentence based on? I assume not science.

Da8e709acde269e8b8bfbc09d1737841

(1906)

on August 04, 2011
at 02:35 PM

Sprouting and fermenting may make wheat _better_ for consumption, but these methods still don't entirely remove the lectins/phytates. That might be fine if there was a clearly _beneficial_ aspect to eating wheat, but other than for avoiding starvation, there's no such benefit.

2
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 09, 2011
at 12:52 PM

Imo let people do what they wanna do. Feel free to give people the info you have against gluten but don't force it on them and remember it's their life they can make there own decisions.

For all we know gluten isn't that bad if you don't have gut problems, doesn't mean we have to do it but if others want to that's their choice.

1
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 13, 2011
at 09:21 PM

I felt awful on wheat and I feel terrific on primal. But, if I could make slow-rise sourdough at home and find it didn't make me feel crummy I'm sure I'd occasionally have toast with my eggs and not think twice about it. That would be once every week or two, so I'd have to freeze the loaf and use it up over a period of weeks.

Will I ever return to wheat being half my diet? I don't think so. But it would be nice if proper preparation allowed me to have an occasional sandwich. Just sayin'.

Bfa1c9eacfc94a1b62f3a39b574480c6

(3700)

on October 13, 2012
at 03:33 AM

It sure would make eating on the go "easier." Luckily my non-Paleo friends actually respect my choices and don't hit up sandwich joints. I figure its better anyway, since hipster steakhouses and tapas style joints outshine sandwich joints anyway. And I get no reactions from gluten.

1
921f1edb5da3f8bce278ce159466e684

(18)

on August 04, 2011
at 01:45 AM

Dr. Peter Green, director of The Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, says there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that gluten has ill-effects in people without celiacs disease.

Uneducated people who remove gluten from their diet are more likely to become ill due to iron and vitamin-B deficiencies.

stop drinking the gluten-free kool-aid!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 04, 2011
at 12:22 PM

One reason gluten is good? It's food. I daresay that all the people here would eat wheat rather than starve. This might be demeaning - to have to eat something all the little SAD people in the world eat with pleasure everyday - but it would keep them alive. I feel sorry for the 1% of the population who are allergic. But I've about had it with the 1% of the population that are rich enough to read Taube's book, eat the most expensive protein and oils (and picky about it too), and talk down to the commoners.

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on August 28, 2011
at 08:07 PM

How on earth does eliminating gluten grains put you at risk for iron or B vitamin deficiencies? Both do exist in other foods.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 09, 2011
at 10:25 PM

"benefits of gluten"? - well, in absence of any other food, it can keep you alive, i reckon: perhaps, you won't feel and function that great, but you can live on grains for long periods of time, or even your whole life

the thing is that overwhelming majority of people are not in the situation when they face an inclement choice of either death from starvation or wheat

for me, wheat has two issues: it induces overeating, and it is digested very slowly, filling the gut with rotting sludge (that most people carry in them all the time - and which, i guess, is not an unsubstantial cause of most gut-related cancers)

1
Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 09, 2011
at 04:04 PM

What gluten has going for it is that is nearly pure protein. If you're a vegan and not allergic, gluten powder is a non-soy tool to get more protein into the diet.

It's also the reason baguettes are stretchy. An integral part of the SFD.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 09, 2011
at 05:27 PM

Well in that case bambam eat it like a good Frenchman and let your body kick it out. Maybe that's why they live a gazillion years. It makes them tough. If you ever go there don't miss Lascaux cave. Pictures in books don't do it justice.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 09, 2011
at 05:37 PM

If my body recognizes it as waste, I don't want it in my body in the first place. I can eat cardboard as well. It's edible. But it has no business in my body to begin with so why spend money on it when I can just buy real food that my body needs and uses? Why spend on something I don't need or use?

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 09, 2011
at 04:22 PM

What is the purpose of a gluten protein molecule in human biochemistry. I want to know the pathway. As a protein is it a building block for any special hormone, enzyme, antibody or neurotransmitter? What's it doing there in the body? Why does it need to be there. If the body can't make use of gluten, it will simply identify it as a foreign invader and eliminate it like a bacteria, virus or toxin. The body has a tremendous capacity to kick out pathogens.

0
7561ebc1c0759996f84a08b591990f14

on October 29, 2012
at 08:09 PM

Gluten is a good source of protein, it's "biological pathway" is for building various parts of the body, including muscles, organelles, and other essential components.

Why I'm not palleo, is because of several reasons, including that most meat leads a tortured existence and the hormones make me feel bad, I used to get horrible pains from a mostly meat diet, which stopped only after I quit meat and dairy. Another reason is that most meat is fed GMO corn, and other things I'd never eat. In fact it was found that 95% of fetuses have GMO pesticides, that's about the same percentage as there are meat eaters. Meat, chicken, and all that tend to concentrate these poisonous toxins. Also as a combination of the tortured hormones and poisons, is why meat eaters tend to be very angry emotive people, as so clearly demonstrated by some comments here.

Anyways while much of vegan protein can be derived from beans, lentils, peas and such. Gluten is also a "fun food" in terms that you can make fluffy rising breads, pasta's and such.

Of course yet another reason against meat, and for gluten/grain products is a lower ecological footprint, and thus you owe less to Gaia, and are more likely to work off your karmic debt and be in surplus.

0
Df1808102babe1029016a1c9f475a7e8

(20)

on October 05, 2012
at 08:29 PM

"Any health benefit whatsoever?"

Cereals have allowed human population and civilizations to thrive for a few thousand of years already.

It has just been a few decades since obesity, diabetes, metabolic disorders, have become an epidemic issue. Before that, and still for many communities, that consumption of cereals is seemingly unharmful. It seems that the introduction of processed foods, food marketing, and higher stress levels might well play a more significant role than gluten itself.

Under this broader view, it seems that cereals have done a formidable job for us as an ant-like organized species. Gluten intolerances might be regarded as a drawback for some of us to suffer, as a few individuals, but worth the progress of a whole society so far. It might also be far cheaper and more sustainable than a generalized alternative paleo-diet I guess.

If gluten is certainly found out to blame for a wider spectrum of disorders and sickening a big chunk of the population, then society will adjust, obvious; but the way cereals might be poisoning us is not that easily inferred, and we are just beginning to make out those ways.

0
C0c839648b31512515daaffe8e4e9ad1

on October 01, 2012
at 07:26 PM

I have the same question. I wonder if there are any other compounds that are in wheat that are good for us, that we are neglecting to add back to our diets? See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trimethylglycine Is this a healthy compound? Does it offer benefits? Thoughts?

Edit: It says it is in wheat, spinach, and sugar beets. If you don't eat spinach or sugar beets and are used to eating wheat, this ingredient is no longer in your diet. Appears to be a cause for concern according to the article.

0
7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:56 PM

My main problem with gluten is all of the crap they add to it... Like wonderbread, or any processed food.

If you have no problem with it and you eat it now and again, I have no idea if it's impacting you. I have celiac disease, and have had chronic issues since birth, but just discovered this disease last year.

I think more and more people are jumping on the gluten free bandwagon, and I'm happy about it. It's one step away from processed foods, regardless of your personal tolerance for it. I hope that when I have my own family, I teach my kids to recognize that diet tonic is not for hydration, and sugary snacks are not "food"- it's junk. Whole foods (meats, fruits, veggies) are what nature intended us to eat.

0
D9f55c8b798bbd2a4b66de91e7d1c284

on August 07, 2012
at 11:28 PM

Is Gluten the problem or is it a symptom of a larger problem. After looking at some simple conclusive studies I have to wonder.

The increase of process foods in the last 50 years. Increase of sugar and preservatives added to food. The lack of time preparing and eating whole food and eating on the run. The lack of regular exercise Increase of air pollution that can shorten a person’s life span by 4-5 years and lower their IQ. The increase of Meat in the last 50 years - That has also been linked to cancer. The decrease of sun the person should be exposed to on a daily basis (20) min. to absorb D3. The wide spread use of antibiotics and immune suppression. And the last obvious study lack of sleep. Our ancestors 100 years ago got 8-10 hours every night. We tend to ignore this one the most.

Also I was wondering how many of you gluten free people stopped drinking beer. Gluten is also used as a clarifying agent in wine making though it's unclear whether gluten remains at the end of the clarification process.

0
C343efffdb3564d01af406ab111f4a09

on July 31, 2012
at 04:44 PM

Eating gluten-containing foods makes you want to eat more gluten-containing foods. According to Dr. William Davis, author of the book "Wheat Belly," wheat contains gliadin, which is a protein that becomes converted to a morphine-like compound that can bind to the brain's morphine receptors, which makes you want more. According to celiac.com and some other websites I found, gliadin is one of the two main groups of proteins found in gluten.

So the post from jess6 makes sense. She had trouble getting herself to eat during her pregnancy, but was able to overcome this by eating gluten-containing foods. Apparently the answer to the question, "Does gluten yield any health benefit whatsoever?" is "Yes, it acts as an appetite stimulant."

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:49 PM

One of the things the 10/12/2011 Daily Lipid review points out is how weak the opiate claim is. Davis relies on a reference involving binge-eating women, and ignores the fact that many other foods contain gliadin.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:48 PM

One of the things the Daily Lipid revie points out is how weak the opiate claim is. Davis relies on a reference involving binge-eating women, and ignores the fact that many foods contain gliadin.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:43 PM

You left out one thing: gluten is protein. It's the vegetable form of gelatin - aka bone broth. Why do paleos have this gluten-hate? Why do paleos need people like hubristic Dr Davis to think for them, who cherry picks the literature like there's no tomorrow. (For a view more balanced than mine, read the Daily Lipid review posted 10/12/11.)

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