Italian Study Finds Two-Thirds of People With Gluten Sensitivity Had No Negative Effects From Digesting Gluten

290px-Gluten_SourcesThere has continued to be a great debate over the rising number of people claiming to be gluten sensitive with some experts claiming the trend is based on social rather than scientific sources. Now a study in Italy has found that two-thirds of people claiming gluten sensitivity experiences no adverse side effects when they digested gluten.

The study did find that one-third did experience negative consequences. However, the study raises new questions about the massive industry that is marketing to people who believe that they are sensitive to gluten — some 30 percent of households seeking to eat less gluten. The market expansion is remarkable with 11 percent of household purchasing such products in 2014 — up from 5 percent in 2010.

The testing of the subjects is described in the article below. The study appeared in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.

Source: Science Alert

31 thoughts on “Italian Study Finds Two-Thirds of People With Gluten Sensitivity Had No Negative Effects From Digesting Gluten”

  1. I just pretty much ignore the studies that tell you what food is good and bad for you. In my lifetime the studies have been contradictory, refuted, rescinded, found faulty and just plain garbage. Eggs bad…oh wait….eggs good. NO salt…oops you NEED salt. Fat. Sugar. Carbohydrates. blah blah blah

    I agree all things in moderation. Eat what you like. Try to eat a little bit of each daily, meat/protein vegetables starches fats. Don’t go overboard on anything.

    If others feel that eating wheat is harmful to them….fine. Don’t eat wheat. But please just shut up about it and leave the rest of us alone. Stop making it a big deal I don’t care what you do or eat, so just stop trying to make your obsession affect my life.

    There are food allergies and they can be quite difficult It is your responsibility as the allergic person to deal with them. My daughter is deathly allergic to shellfish. She lets people know before attending an invited dinner party as a comment and NOT as a demand. If she is at a function for work or something, she enquirers about the contents to be sure not to die. If there happens to be shellfish, then she just quietly eats something else or doesn’t eat at all. Not making a big deal out of it. She won’t starve to death if she goes without food because there is shellfish contamination. Eat when you get home.

    1. DBQ – I have two choices about eating. Do not eat or eat what my wife cooks. 😉

  2. I have seen many incidences of people suffering from IBS and other health issues who have tested negative for gluten sensitivity. But when they gave up gluten, their health issues… Voila! Gone.

    Haven’t examined the study, but I have been personal witness to the benefits of going gluten-free in the face of medical doctors saying that gluten isn’t the problem.

  3. Paul,

    Yes, I know of the high failure rate attempting to duplicate findings of a single study. There have been several good articles about this problem recently. That’s why I said “Beware Single Studies.” There are various reasons for this, including competition for research money and competition for jobs. Peer review is not, in itself, the solution. The far better solution is to wait until research/experiment results have been independently verified, and not just once — the more times the better — before we start adapting behavior in response to findings.

  4. FYI- the link to this post generally does not work. Check it out.

    Also: “A recent analysis of research suggests that Bt-toxin, glyphosate, and other components of GMOs, are linked to five conditions that may either initiate or exacerbate gluten-related disorders: Intestinal permeability…..”

  5. Everything is moderation works for almost everyone. We have become a manic culture in the US. If you want to learn how to eat correctly, go to Italy.

  6. One way to make bread more digestible for folks who have issues, real or imagined, eat sourdough bread. Better yet make your own from low gluten flours such as some of the ancient grains, einkorn, spelt, kamut, etc.. Even modern high gluten flour is more digestible fermented ( sourdough).

  7. STUDY:“We studied 35 non-CD[celiac disease] subjects (31 females) that were on a gluten-free diet…

    ARTICLE: “…for many people, gluten intolerance is all in their head.

    Alert the Microagression police. They are GUILTY of Badthink, telling women their symptoms are “all in their head.”

    Wait a minute…
    “The gluten-free flour used in the study contained FODMAPs, mainly because it included lactose and maize starch. Maize starch has been described as a ‘red flag’ for FODMAPs, which are well-recognised triggers of symptoms in IBS.

    Oops. So they did not actually prove the symptoms were “all in their head,” but instead related to EITHER gluten OR containing FODMAPs.

    Indeed, they admit:
    “A limitation of our study, and indeed all studies of NCGS, is that it is not possible to exclude the possibility that some of those diagnosed with NCGS, may be in an early ‘latent’ stage of CD. Half of our participants were HLA DQ2/8 positive. Most had low levels of t-TG antibodies, suggesting that some of them may have had a low intake of gluten, favouring latency of CD.



  9. If someone believes they are better off without gluten, then they should make that choice, whether or not it has any real effect, just like all the other things we think we need, that we really don’t need — vacations, new cars, new iphones, etc. Having control over our lives is empowering whether or not doing the opposite would be just as good.

    1. Doglover is right about choice. But this issue is about whether there is a real or perceived sensitivity to gluten or not.
      And if there is insufficient evidence.
      Does this matter? From the medocal point of view – Probably Yes.

  10. Beware single studies.

    Eggs are bad for you, except when they aren’t.

    Coffee is bad for you, except when it isn’t.

    Red wine is good for you.
    Err . . . well, maybe, if you drink a barrel a day.
    And then again, maybe it is bad for you.

    Fat is bad for you, eat more carbohydrates less meat.
    Oops! Carbs with all their sugars are the real culprit.
    Fat, not so bad.

    I’ve never seen such a muddle as all these scientific studies about food.

    Try this: All things in moderation.

    Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day? Especially when the biggest meal of the day in the U.S. is supper, which many eat too much of too late into the night, and then go to bed two hours later? Should your really be filling your stomach first thing in the morning, when you still haven’t digested what you ate last night?

    1. Trope-a-Dope – You will be happy to know that 63% of all scientific studies cannot be duplicated.

  11. Gluten (glutathione protein) Sensitivity is a vague term and does not appear to be based on anything other than abdominal pain on this study. As such there may or may not be a real sensitivity.

    It is likely that a range of reactions exists from no overt findings through to the full blown autoimmune condition subtotal villus atrophy of coeliac disease and also the itchy skin variant condition dermatitis herpetiformis.

    What is significant is that just because a patient claims sensitivity doesn’t make it so.

  12. Karen,
    I just read your post and it brought to mind a family scene a few yrs ago. My wife, our daughter and I were sitting at the dinner table. Both had significant illnesses…..bad cold, intestinal flu kind of stuff.

    After one had a real coughing spell and the other spoke of nausea, I realized something about the scene.

    I sat back, looked at both of them and smirked (yes…I suppose they could claim justifiable homicide) when I observed that I, doing quite well, have always been the “just a meat and potatoes man” and here are the two vegetable lovers croaking at the table.

    “An ode to a great President”

    The first George Bush
    That’s my man
    If he ditched
    Any man can.

    Thank you Harrison Ford in “Air Force One” —–“Get off my plane!”

  13. I am so glad I did not go on that gluten free diet my wife has been b**ching about.

  14. My mother-in-law (truly an exceptional lady…..a mother-in-law to be loved) suffered horribly from the intolerance and would decline invitations rather than have to be “picky” as some others would put it. Toward the end of her days, society started to understand.

    The sad part for me is the probable rise of those “suspicions” …..does (the person) REALLY have that or ……..?

  15. You just need to get an IgG test to determine if you have any kind of food sensitivity. I would have sincerely sworn that I had no food sensitivities at all, and yet a blood test had all sorts of food sensitivity hits. I still didn’t believe it, really, until I adjusted my diet and had to grudgingly admit that my asthma improved.

    But, yes, a lot of people jump on the marketing bandwagon, convinced they have all sorts of problems when they don’t. One year, potatoes are good for you, and the next year they’re toxic. People can go overboard in the pursuit of health.

    One more thing to note that people can think they are being healthy by avoiding gluten, while over indulging in carbs and not getting enough whole vegetables and protein. It reminds me of the lady I saw once in line at the grocery store, who consumed an entire box of fat free cookies. It looked like she might have been trying to slim down, but adding those calories up, that was not a healthy snack.

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