Monday, 29 December 2014

Bootin' Gluten!

               I haven't read  the latest dietary fad book yet, Dr. David Perlmutter's 'Grain Brain', but I have read a couple of reviews of it by informed reviewers.   Of interest to me is the  fact that in fifty-five years of  medical practice I may have seen a dozen or so cases of coeliac disease and a few possible gluten sensitivities but the astronomical numbers claimed today are absurd.  It never ceases to amaze me that in this and other fad books, an article of faith  seems to be that if only we could get back to our 'natural' hunter - gatherer diet we would prevent a litany of degenerative diseases.  These 'experts' seem quite able to ignore that life expectancy on the regimens that they are recommending was thirty to forty years and that not many lived beyond fifty.   Diseases and malnutrition were rife and most people didn't live long enough to get the degenerative diseases that they claim the diets protect against including Alzheimer's Disease and other neurological , psychological and physical diseases.  Dr. Perlmutter's suggestion that a diet consisting of 75% fats is healthy  and that carbohydrates are poison is closer to nonsense that commonsense.  What amazes me is how many people have bought and taken for gospel this book, recommended by Dr. Oz.  That alone should make  people wary.  In most instances the research is tenuous. It is ironic that the other great dietary boon to humanity quinoa, of the amaranth family appears to be one of the offending grains!
In fact, gluten intolerance may not even exist outside of  coeliac disease.  In 2011, Peter Gibson, a professor of gastroenterology at Monash University and director of the GI Unit at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, published a study that found gluten, a protein found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley, to cause gastrointestinal distress in patients without celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder unequivocally triggered by gluten. Double-blinded, randomized, and placebo-controlled, the experiment was one of the strongest pieces of evidence to date that non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), more commonly known as gluten intolerance, is a genuine condition.  When Gibson repeated his study under much more rigorous conditions he found that there was no relationship between gluten and the patients symptoms.
     ( Sales of gluten-free products are estimated to hit $15 billion by 2016 — that’s a 50% jump over 2013′s number.)
         Another problem with Perlmutters recommendations is the potential to do harm.  There is a vast amount of evidence to support the  general concepts of the heart healthy diet, not least of which  is the decrease of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity.   

Source: Biesiekierski JR, Peters SL, Newnham ED, Rosella O, Muir JG, Gibson PR. “No effects of gluten in patients with self-reported non-celiac gluten sensitivity after dietary reduction of fermentable, poorly absorbed, short-chain carbohydrates.” Gastroenterology. 2013 Aug;145(2):320-8.e1-3. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2013.04.051. Epub 2013 May 4.

1 comment:

  1. As I pointed out in a different forum, I am trying to maintain my glutten-free diet!