Interest in a gluten-free diet has grown tremendously over the past decade. However, new research raises questions about whether gluten is a culprit of intestinal distress. In this study, researchers at the University of Oslo tested reactions to fructan (a compound found naturally in wheat and vegetables like onions, asparagus, and garlic) and gluten (a protein found naturally in wheat, barley, and rye). In a highly-controlled study of 59 people following a self-reported gluten-free diet, researchers tested patients’ symptoms after exposure to gluten, fructan, and a placebo. Interestingly, 13 participants had signiﬁcant symptoms after eating gluten, 24 had symptoms after eating fructan, and 22 had symptoms after eating a placebo, a food without gluten or fructan. There was no diﬀerence in GI symptoms after the gluten or placebo and more patients had reactions to the fructan as opposed to the gluten. The authors conclude that their ﬁndings weaken the use of the term “Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity,” and raise “doubts about the need for a gluten-free diet in such patients.
Gastroenterology. 2017 Nov 1. pii: S0016-5085(17)36302-3. (Skodje GI et al.)