Do You Know These 9 Facts About Gluten?

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Gluten sensitivities and gluten intolerance are on the rise, making gluten a very popular topic. Because it’s a subject with many facets, here are 9 facts for you to consider to make a sound, rational decision as to whether you should monitor, or possibly eliminate gluten from your diet.

Fact #1: Gluten is…

…a naturally occurring protein composite found primarily in wheat, rye and barley, as well as some types of oats. Gluten consists of gliadin and glutenin. Gliadin is one of the proteins that forms gluten. Doctors will test for anti-gliadin antibodies if celiac disease or gluten hypersensitivity is suspected.[1] In celiac patients, the gliadin triggers immune response. Glutenin is the other protein comprising gluten. From a dietary view, gluten has only recently entered the human diet; it gives bread elasticity and strength. [2]

Fact #2: Not All Grains Contain Gluten

Corn, rice and certain types of oats do not contain gluten. These grains do not typically provoke a response in individuals with celiac disease or with gluten sensitivity.

Fact #3: Humans Cannot Naturally Digest Gluten…

…is a false statement. Researchers have determined that in many cases the human mouth contains symbiotic bacteria colonies that help break down gluten.[3] Whether these bacteria have developed in the mouth, or have become prevalent because gluten has become part of the modern western diet still remains a point of conversation.

Fact #4: Gluten Allergies and Gluten Sensitivities are Different

Those with a gluten allergy (celiac disease) and those with gluten sensitivity suffer similar symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and abdominal pain. However, individuals with celiac disease suffer further complications from gluten consumption. Persons with gluten sensitivity can avoid complications by following a gluten free diet. [4]

Fact #5: Celiac Disease is an Allergy

Celiac disease is an allergy to gluten. Individuals suffering from celiac disease produce an intestinal immune response when gluten has been consumed. This response includes intestinal redness. The inability to absorb nutrients can occur, as well as weakening of the intestinal wall.

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