Scientist who proved existence of gluten intolerance challenges himself



Very interesting work though It seems he only tracked gastrointestinal sypmtoms? A large percentage of celiac diagnoses occur today with little or no GI symptoms. One would expect NCGS to present similarly, no?

Given what we know about the gluten component gliadin and its affect on zonulin and the tight-junctions of the intestines, a “leaky gut” is likely to occur from gluten consumption. When things that are normally blocked get past the gut barrier and into the blood-stream, symptoms can pop up throughout the body.


This study specifically targeted non-celiacs: “self-reported gluten sensitivity who were confirmed to not have celiac’s disease”. The affect of gliadin on celiacs is already fairly well understood. Whereas the mechanism of NCGS is not well understood, and there may be a confounding variable between NCGS and gluten, thus the study.


I was thinking the same thing. I’m considered by my doctors to be non-celiac gluten intolerant, and I presented with no gastrointestinal symptoms before I was diagnosed. What I did have was a migraine every day that eventually left me bedridden for 45 days.

When I stopped eating gluten, my migraines also went away.

When you stopped eating gluten and stuff that is commonly found along with gluten in the food your restricted diet, your migraines went away.


Okay, when I stopped eating anything and everything that contained gluten, my migraines went away, yes. But I can - and do - eat many things that contain the same ingredients also found in the organic breads that I ate before without difficulty (I wasn’t a junk-food junkie prior to my diagnosis, but I’d also never heard of gluten intolerance).

And my restricted what? (Sorry, couldn’t help it).

Holy god, are we sure he’s not studying human behavioral-firestorms?


If you read through the linked article, you will see that the researcher’s currently favored (though not dogmatically pushed) hypothesis is that it’s not gluten that causes the intolerance, but FODMAP, and that often gluten-containing foods also contain many notable actors in the FODMAP bestiary. Wheat, for example, is not gluten; it contains gluten, but it also contains other stuff. The researcher is wondering if it is in fact some of this other stuff, and not the gluten, that causing the problems.


So-so Headline:

Scientist who proved existence of gluten intolerance challenges himself

Awesome Headline:

Scientist who proved existence of gluten intolerance challenges himself to eat world’s biggest bagel


Yes, I read the linked article, and I understand the FODMAPS point (I was familiar with FODMAPS before reading the article)

My point was that many people (myself included) who are diagnosed with non-celiac gluten intolerance don’t have gastrointestinal issues, so testing simply for gastrointestinal issues doesn’t cover the whole gamut of potential reactions.

The people I know who have self-reported non-celiac gluten intolerance often have symptoms presenting in other ways, linked more to autoimmune issues: skin disorders, headaches, etc.

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Wheat, barley, and rye all contain gluten. An interesting test (if you’ve got nothing against 45 day migraines, I guess) would be to go back on rye and barley-containing foods, but not wheat.

My wife seems to be allergic to wheat but not other grains containing gluten - so beer is fine with the exception of wheat beers, and serious German no-we-really-mean-it rye bread is also alright. Barley flour also is very nice for cakes and whatnot - the only thing I can’t easily make at home that I used to is kneaded breads.

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Barley and rye are also out, for me, unfortunately: I tested that hypothesis. However, Omission beer (made with barley, then treated with an enzyme to remove the gluten) is A-OK.

At this point in my life, I’m a human self-testing guinea pig. I have not gone so far, though, as to eat pure gluten (yup, you can buy it). Not willing to put myself through that rigorous of a test, particularly since it might mean I miss a week of work.

Cider is naturally gluten-free, and quite tasty!


Wow, that’s dedication to knowledge! I suspect I might accept some uncertainty and drop all three grains, possibly unnecessarily.

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I saw that recently at an Asian grocery store in Minneapolis and just felt this terrible urge to buy it and stage some sort of performance art that involves throwing it at people. I mean, I know folks with celiac disease, and I fully realize that “gluten free” is more than just a big trendy food-purity scam. And yet, I can imagine myself flinging wads of gluten at a crowd like a monkey flinging poo and it is glorious.


Seitan is nearly pure wheat gluten, often used as a meat substitute. You can also ‘make’ it yourself with a bag of flour and running water. When done right it is delightful.

If a person stops eating wheat and feels better, I van get behind that. Gluten, carbs, sugars, pesticides? At an individual level it almost doesn’t matter. But the bigger picture that this particular scientist is working on is orders of magnitude better. $15 billion a year in research would be tremendously more beneficial than maybe/sorta/nocebo/placebo foods.

What if it isn’t a gluten intolerance, but a wheat varietal intolerance? We won’t know till Super Science discovers the answer.


What wheat gluten (cooked) may look like.

I ain’t flinging that, I’m om-noming that :smiley:

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Oh wow do you get to be Maggies hero just by living up to what I thought was the minimum standard for being called a scientist? I honestly thought it was the whole point of science that you tried to disprove yourself?

Is it really sensational that a scientist changes position or challenges their old stuff? Genuinely baffled.


This is important stuff to find out more about. There is a number of interesting studies going on suggesting a causal link between gliadin, one of the protein types gluten is made of, and intestinal permeability or ‘leaky gut’. That, in turn, is looking to be an important component in the treatment of many, many diseases including most autoimmune ones with little relief from traditional treatments.

However, that general direction of study is favored by some associated with the dread ‘paleo’, so I’ll stop talking before being shouted down by cries of ‘woo’ and ‘pseudoscience’.

As someone whose skin and stomach feel a lot better when I avoid wheat and oats, I’d love to figure this out. Right now, the best practical recipes and nutrition guides I can find feel very pseudosciency. It’d be nice to find something a little more trustworthy.