Category: Science

Gluten Sensitivity – Challenged by a New Study?

The prevalence of gluten sensitivity has been the subject of lively debate over the past several years with some researchers indicating that as many as 30% of us have a bona fide reaction to gluten and even more recent science indicating that in fact, all humans have some degree of gluten sensitivity. But that was until a recent massive Australian study was published in the journal Gastoenterology.

This new research has captivated the press as it has been manipulated to send a message that in reality, gluten sensitivity doesn’t actually exist, and that the reactions people may have to consuming gluten containing products may well have to do with other components of the foods called FODMAPS – a group of poorly absorbed carbohydrates.

I recently had the opportunity to appear on a National Public Radio interview in which several “gluten experts” were also interviewed. Sure enough, this study, calling into question the whole notion of gluten sensitivity was debated. In fact, one of the authors of this highly comprehensive study was also a guest on the program.

He began by revealing to the radio audience that his earlier research had clearly recognized gluten exposure as a risk for illness in some humans. But he went on to say that now, his newer research showed contradictory results. “Unless a person has celiac disease, there is no reason to avoid consuming gluten. After all, it was wheat cultivation that allowed the development of our modern culture,” he explained.

Fortunately, prior to the program I had the opportunity to review his study. And what I found, was that this “gamechanging research” actually involved only 37 subjects! Moreover, it only looked at one complaint – gastrointestinal distress.

We recognize based upon research involving much larger groups of individuals and looking at issues well beyond the gut, that gluten sensitivity is certainly a real entity. For example, the work of British researcher Dr. Marios Hadjivassiliou has well demonstrated that gluten sensitivity issues may lead to neurological symptoms, for example, even without bowel complaints. And this has now been confirmed by other well-respected researchers. As Dr. Hadjivassiliou stated when discussing these neurological issues:

Whilst the debate continues, we owe it to our patients to screen them effectively for gluten sensitivity with the simple widely available antigliadin antibody test so that we do not in the meantime deprive them of a harmless but potentially effective treatment in the form of a gluten-free diet.

Even more compelling is the fact that the very researcher who denied the existence of gluten sensitivity has just recently published a report that begins by stating:

Human and animal studies strongly suggest that dietary gluten could play a causal role in the etiopathogenesis of type 1 diabetes (T1D). However, the mechanisms have not been elucidated. … Our novel study thus suggests that dietary gluten could modulate the incidence of T1D by changing the gut microbiome.

I found this puzzling and certainly contradictory. So I decided to inspect the new report even further. I just couldn’t understand why well-respected researchers who had published solid science demonstrating, for example, that gluten could be related to diabetes, would suddenly do an about face and write a report giving the impression that unless a person has celiac disease, they should go ahead and not worry about eating gluten containing foods.

It was then that I discovered that the funding for this research was provided by a company called George Weston Foods as you will see at the bottom of the report. I encourage you to look at their web site. There you will find that George Weston Foods is one of Australia’s and New Zealand’s largest purveyors of breads, pastas, cakes, and a host of other gluten containing foods.

One can only imagine the funding that went in to the PR campaign surrounding this report. Think of it. When was the last time a tiny obscure study involving a mere 37 participants received such attention?

For more information, order your copy of Brain Maker today and join Dr. Perlmutter’s email list.

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  • Luis Almas

    Frightening.

    It’s situations like these that make it difficult to believe in a healthy future for the human race. However, the truth will always prevail. And, we can be hopeful because the media has only relative power these days. With the advent of the internet, word of mouth is the new power, and hidden truths like the ones you are helping uncover will surface no matter how many paid reports are broadcasted.

    The health movement, which you helped foster David, is unstoppable now, we just need to keep passing the word through our families, and soon people will realize where the truth lies for themselves.

    The only question is, how much time will take, how much damage needs to be done, and how many people have to die from horrible diseases before we shift our economy to one of health,

    I’m hopeful it will not take too long.

    • David Perlmutter

      Hopefully we can continue to spread the word to build a healthier community.

      • rs711

        except for this obvious conflict of interest, have you come to identify specific methodological flaws, alternative interpretations or statistical aberrations in the study?
        Thanks

        • Say What???

          • Steph

            re711 is asking about the overall study and what it contained while acknowledging that it was biased.

    • And yet, public health continues to improve. It always has. People live longer and healthier, and cancer continues to decrease. The gluten issue is far from resolved. Confounding problem is that a gluten diet is a higher carb diet, which, as Dr Perlmutter states, itself causes problems. If people are healthier off of gluten containing foods, then it obviously makes sense to avoid them. But this doesn’t tell us why they are better. Celiac disease is real but not that common. I avoid carbs simply to stay more trim. EtherDoc

  • body food connection

    Thank You for bringing this up i had a similar dicussion with my gastrointerologist and head of research for Celiac Disease In which he is also beliver in this FODMAPS which for patients with gastro intestinal issues i think is relevant. However i have Celiac and do not have aissue with the foods on the FODMAPS and have alwys experienced nuerological issues when eating gluten or any grains except i can handel rice in small amounts.I Think they need to understand that grains can have a direct impact on other parts of the body including the brain. You would think with all the research and published papers on PUP MED they would consider this.

  • body food connection

    meant to say PUD MED….

  • Mel Kar

    The Devil is in the details. This study had huge publicity, and many don’t have the opportunity to look beyond the propaganda. Keep up the good work doctor.

    • StevetheHun

      sadly, the studies that are funded are the studies that are published. I have an idea why a study that is designed to produce a tautologically true result and thus tests nothing would be funded.

      • Donna S.

        Tautology, in all its forms, one of my favorite words.

  • Colby Kulyn

    Whether its actually the gluten peptides or the FODMAPS, in either case one is better off removing it. Very interesting to see the possible connection w/ T1D, and can only imagine the possible consequences associated with gut dysbiosis resulting from these FODMAPs and/or gluten proteins.

    I keep seeing these studies lately boasting that NCGS is a fluke. But once you dig a little deeper, you notice things like the number of participants (in this case only 37) and if there’s anything I learned from Biostatistics it’s that this study does not and cannot represent an entire population. With such a small sample size, statistics may favor one side of the spectrum (the spectrum being no GS to yes GS, with some middle ground). This begs the question of whether multiple studies may have been done to provide results on the side that gives the results you want. And by you, i mean the grain company who funded the research!

    A good quote I heard on one of Chris Kresser’s podcasts was “Lack of proof, is not proof against.” I take this to mean that the lack of proof against the negative consequences of gluten and it’s related foods, is not proof against the notion that gluten and it’s related foods have negative consequences.

    Love your work Doc! Thank you for for dedication

    • Roger Chappell

      Lack of proof can mean proof against, if it is extremely likely to find proof yet there is none. For example, if there are no elephant footprints in my back garden, I can take that to mean that there are no elephants, because if there was an elephant there, it would surely leave foot prints.

      • That is not science, Roger…

        • Roger Chappell

          Oh really? are you sure?

          Are you at home? If so, how do you know your house isn’t burning down right now? would it be lack of evidence?
          The lack of evidence where evidence would be expected if something existed is a valid scientific tool.

          • Definition of SCIENTIFIC METHOD
            : principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses…

          • Roger Chappell

            Thanks for that, I feel smarter already. Maybe I can keep my job as a scientist with this new knowledge.

          • Roger Chappell

            Remember. the lack of data is still data…. Think about that over a coffee.

          • Guest

            Tip: think of Schrödinger’s cat.

          • As for my dear friend Schrodinger, that is a whole different ballgame…

          • Roger Chappell

            To be honest, I would prefer hard evidence, and in fact personally need that to believe anything, I’m just saying that when there is none, we are reduced to looking at alternatives in order to theorise, including the lack of evidence where some might be expected. Not definitive, I know, but also I think not to be completely ignored.

          • I completely agree, where we disagree is in labeling an “expected” outcome that does NOT occur as “data”… INFORMATION, yes, hard data, no. Semantics ? I guess it is all how one defines things…

          • Roger Chappell

            Interesting. so for you, data must fall to the positive and never the negative?

            I agree that I was a bit liberal with my labelling it “proof” – I’ll take that back, but yes, it is still ‘information’ that can be used.

          • Absence of “data” is NOT still data… that would be like a blind and deaf person getting hit by a train because they did not see or hear it… think about that over some kombucha…

          • Roger Chappell

            Ah, now you have moved on to the inability to collect data, and calling that a lack of data. Not the same thing. In your scenario, the data of the approaching train was there, it existed, but was unable to be collected.

          • A “lack of expected data” simply means your original theory is flawed, or your method of collecting data was flawed, not that it was correct but you don’t know why…

          • Yes, in this instance, you are correct, poor example on my part…

          • Yeah, I’m sure…

      • floridahank

        What if it rained during the night and washed away the footprints. What could you say about the evidence or lack of regarding the elephant? The supposition isn’t necessarily the fact — you have to dig deeper into other options. to find the truth.

  • Alex Gazzola

    The Biesiekerski study of 2011 finding that non-coeliac gluten intolerance may exist involved only 34 patients. Why isn’t that mentioned? Also, the terrific work of Dr Marios H is irrelevant in this context, as his work is on gluten ataxia, which is autoimmune, as coeliac is. The subject on the table is NCGS.

  • AldeneF

    I’ve heard of another study that suggested that gluten sensitivity might be a result of the use of Roundup on grain crops.

    • Linda L.

      I read it, too, and it is so discouraging and depressing!

  • am

    Does anyone else think dr. perlmutter may overexcaggerate gluten

    • Donna Naples

      no

    • Roger Chappell

      Yes.

    • Linda Law

      Absolutely not! His research is life changing. Going off gluten can cleanse one’s body of toxins and create changes in reactions to other foods like sugars and carbs. I just wanted to “eat gluten free normal foods” and spent 2 days hardly able to stand from pain worse than labor. Accepting this and knowing/living it keeps me living a healthier life, which I plan to do for a long time. My last outbreak started by eating “fresh” nonorganic local produce & imported zucchini & green pepper. My body is so clean, a very itchy red rash immediately appeared on my face. Eating a “crustless” pizza one day, a grain fed hamburger with loaded baked potato and chocolate covered cherries doubled me over in severe pain in 24 hours. Dr. Perlmutter is providing recipes for daily quality of life and a chance to stop diabetes and Alzheimer’s. My future is much more than craving unhealthy foods. I am extremely grateful to him and others who dig into these false highly publicized research reports and show the limit of scope and where funding comes from. I praise God he’s on our side.

      • Dr. Jarkko Kause, Finland

        Dr. Perlmutter is right. I have thousands of patients who have been tested negative for celiac disease, but who got cured by removing gluten from the diet. Also personal experince is 100% sure, my body does not tolerate gluten. These “researchers”, like the ones in question, who conduct a “research” of 37 persons, and claim what they claim, are nothing but dishonest egoists, who are being lead by the money paid for them by these bread companies. Ridiculously pathetic performance from them. We should never ever believe any headlines we read, before getting really deeply into the substance and background details of any study in question.

    • Julie Scheibe

      Let’s see. I have polycystic ovarian syndrome, migraines, fibromyalgia, autoimmune disease, arthritis, depression, bipolar, vertigo from Meniere’s disease, and was never able to carry a pregnancy to term. Or that is, until ONE WEEK AGO! No migraines; pain throughout body gone; no autoimmune issues; reduced vertigo; no depression or bipolar episodes; so..we’ll see. I’m not sure. HA! I’m a walking proof of his research and all this has been in ONE WEEK!!! I also have more energy than I have in 20 years. Over-exaggerating? I think not.

  • StevetheHun

    yes. I had this study used to challenge my avoidance of gluten. It seem a bit odd to test a group that has no celiac disease and than claim that gluten has no effects because it causes no symptoms of celiac disease.

  • Donna Naples

    Having read “Brain Allergies” back in 2000, looking thru the eyes of Ortho-molecular science, I recognized that my temper tantrums and ballistic responses usually came after consuming pizza and beer, and that finally going completely gluten & dairy free not only changed my brain, but my skin problems too. Look into Leaky Gut, and ask your parents what you were fed as a baby. I was put on whole milk and cream of wheat when I was 2 weeks old, and both of my parents comment on how I was just an unhappy baby, even though my breastfed older sister was a happy camper.

  • John

    This a site that hawks Gluten Free Food and Living; the irony of calling out a researcher because of financial bias? That’s the Pot calling the Kettle Black!
    The study consisted of people that reported having non-celiac gluten sensitivity and didn’t have distress like our understanding of NCGS predicted. He’s merely pointing out that it suggests our definition of NCGS may be incorrect; that certainly seems to be something to look at considering we clearly have a weak understanding of the topic as a whole.

    • Julie Scheibe

      what you just said makes no sense

  • Denise

    For those of us who have seen amazing changes in our lives because we removed gluten these studies just make me angry.
    Celiac disease is like a heart attack, it’s the end result….and if I can make a difference and save someone from migraines, cysts, ADHD, brain fog, skin conditions, heart burn that seems like a heart attack it is worth talking until someone hears.
    Thank you for putting into a book what I learned the hard way. I am stronger in what I believe because of it and will fight to protect our kids and grandkids. All your posts just confirm how important it is to trust what we know, we will make a difference…it just may be frustrating and slow…..

  • Marilynne L. Mellander

    I believe the chemicals added to “enriched” wheat flour are a problem in themselves…I tolerate organic wheat much better, but still try to avoid all wheat
    Does anyone have a migraine headache approximately 24 hours after eating wheat?

    • Julie Scheibe

      absolutely…with all kinds of other issues. Never eating wheat again.

  • Bonniefranklin

    Personal results will always outway popular opinion regardless what gets published. As someone who has suffered over thirty years with fibromyalgia, I have benefited greatly following the gluten free program the good doctor has created in “Grain Brain”. My personal testimony and obvious weight loss and a complete reprieve from the crippling fybromialgia has encouraged many friends and strangers as well. So many who need to be gluten “freed” are not people who read studies. I feel it’s my personal mission to be “that gluten free lady” someone met in the grocery line.

  • Go get ’em Doc ! What would we do without you ? You are one of my heroes…

    • David Perlmutter

      That’s humbling, thank you.

      • It’s ok, Doc… I was once a child prodigy too… stood by helplessly and watched my mother die of cancer… four long years… a part of me died with her… I have no problem with death, but I have a serious issue with suffering. I need people like you to tell me what I don’t know or explain what I don’t understand, so that I can eliminate suffering…

  • Kristofer Young, DC

    Thank you Dr. Perlmutter!!! Working together we can spot the non-science of profit driven corporations!

  • JAVDW

    Everyone’s biochemistry is different – and different yet every day. For the past 15 years I have had sensitivity to commercial wheat; I got a migraine three days later if I ate it more than once a week. Strangely, I could eat every day a certain wheat that my local Baker used (grown in northern regions like MO,ND and Canada). In August 2014, I developed terrible mucus in areas of sinus, throat, upper chest every moment of every day, along with resulting anxiety. The research was done on IBS patients; My symptoms included a ‘bowel trigger’ every time I ate a meal high in FODMAP foods, which was every day! I kept a food diary since July.
    Almost went to the emergency room on Nov 11th – the very same day I watched Dr Oz show on this subject of NCGS and how FODMAPdiet could help. I started learning about FODMAP immediately and it has definately helped – ALOT! It takes a few days/week to figure it out and I did see a Nutritionist for help. I’m a Holistic Nutritionist and yet definitely recommend working with a FODMAP knowledgeable Nutritionist. I am in the elimination phase of with a challenge phase to follow. The KEY is to make note of which classification of foods (F-O-D-M-A-P) you are reacting to. Generally people are reactive to some, not all.
    I think what the AustraIian researchers were trying to say is, perhaps people like me who have had a non celiac gluten sensitivity MAY just have a biochemistry gut problem with these particular fodmap foods.
    I won’t know unless I test wheat & gluten foods as part of the Fodmap challenge phase.
    So bottom line?
    There are definitly people with NCGS (nonceliacglutensensitivity).
    There are probably NCGS people who may be mis-diagnosed.
    Keep a Food Diary
    If you’re really suffering it’s worth trial the Fodmap diet with a Nutritionist

    Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
    Thank you! Knowledge is Power. Judgement is not.

  • leegarton

    I have followed this. Dr. Perimutter is strait on the right path. Dr. Schweitz. Ph,D,

  • andre

    After reading the discussion part of the paper, I feel like the authors are even confused as to what the results mean. The small sample size, the methods to increase power, the highly selected sample etc. in this highly selected group they had a lot of noise apparently and they cannot say where it came from. They really need to remove the Nocebo part of the sample for example, thats a lot of noise.

    What you can take from the study is unfortunately not much, just what they write at the end: “at least in this highly selected cohort, gluten might be not be a specific trigger of functional gut symptoms once dietary FODMAPs are reduced.”

    So in other words, if you a person of the following group, Gluten or not seems not to matter – meaning during 3 or 7 days it does not worsen symptoms and the labs measured when taking in up to 16g of Gluten daily.

    – You dont have Celiac disease
    – two genetic risk factors you cannot have (HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8) you cannot have (~20% of pop)
    – you have IBS symptoms, but are on a Gluten Free diet currently, which has improved your problems

    – and you were indicated by a dietician, clinic or reacted to the newsletter a newsletter

    Make your own decision as to how revolutionary or game changing this is.

  • Dalia

    Aren’t there always some interests involved? You, Dr. Perlmutter, are selling your own line of products to prevend people to suffer of this glutenintolerance and all of the problems it seems to initiate.

  • Casper

    Great article. Science doesn’t get much more sloppy than this. People should know how to differentiate between real and sloppy science http://www.fitonfood.com/health-advice-follow-science-caveman/

  • Hugo Rosado

    These studies are a scam, obviously. GWF being part of it is the proof.

    Taking in consideration the number of people who had improvements in their life’s by removing gluten from diet, Dr, you can think in start writing a book with all the cases of people who decided to remove the glue/poison protein. You can count with me and my wife testimonials.

    My common-sense approach, which is aligned with Dr. perspective, is the following:
    All that is unnatural will do something bad to your body. All processed foods, all genetically modified stuff and mainly this grain and sugar addiction of our society (which is not natural) will do you harm in some way during your life. There are some bodies that are stronger to get rid of the ‘poison’ and carbs stress, there are others with no such capacity. The difference is the time frame of the consequences. Sooner or later, problems will happen if your body keeps struggling with ‘poison’ because it will get tired anyway. If not, congratulations, you are one of the 10-20% of earth population.

    To all, my sincere message is the following: try to get rid of sugars during your day-to-day life (and your children). Remove gluten completely from your diet. That is not so hard. Just replace bread and pasta’s and pizzas with some (not much) nice maize bread and healthy fat’s which are even more tasty.

    Since this is my fist post in the Dr. Perlmutter page, me and my wife would like to thanks Dr. for giving us the possibility to get out of the ‘mouse wheel’ diet type that all modern societies are into.

    • kathy

      Count me in too… i am a true testimonial of having gluten sensitivity but not celiac disease. here were my symptoms that went away when i went gluten free: severe stomach pain (IBS), acid reflux, hip pain (from leaky gut), face rash (rosecea), and most importantly my dizzy spells due to inflammation of the inner ear (vesticular neuronitis (sp?). So it was my gut but also other things. Also i have more energy, less bloating and clearer thinking. So i am so happy to see all of these other testimonials!

  • Kay

    I’m somewhat new to this research and am concerned with so many turning to alternative grains such as rice flour and almond flour, that they too will begin to cause some sensitivity and high production not be regulated. Perhaps you address this in your book and I will be purchasing it soon. Thank you so much.

  • Ed Michelson

    Good feedback. I am trying my best to cut way back on gluten, but it’s not easy, especailly when “scientific” studies like thing are widely promoted. My wife thinks I’m nuts, well “misguided” maybe, and if she reads this, I’ll get even more discouragement from her. 37 subjects really? You could come to almost any conclusion regarding health with so few subjects; but certainly not PROOF!

  • gadrogeek

    I don’t really like the expression “follow the money”, but once again it certainly applies here. Recently, Oct. 24, 2014, the much revered CBC docushow, MarketPlace, did a segment on the “scam” of “eating” gluten free. It was appalling and very misleading. They even had a celiac on to somehow show that only celiacs should be worried about this! Truly pathetic!

    http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/episodes/2014-2015/is-gluten-free-healthier-the-truth-behind-the-trend

    Now we have a report that the cost of obesity has risen to over $1 trillion!
    Obviously education has a big role to play here, but equally as obvious is the
    large segment of our society, including the Marketplace producers apparently,
    in complete denial of the need to be more careful with their diet.

    Thank you Dr. Perlmutter for continuing to follow this debate. I wish the show had either contacted you or Dr. William Davis for an accurate picture of why we need to “be gluten free, not eat gluten-free”.

  • Maureen O’Donoghue

    Thank you Dr. Perlmutter for analyzing the study and getting to the core of the issue! You’re wonderful!

    Removing gluten from my diet in 2006 made a profound difference on my health and the health of my children! I believe wheat is toxic and should be removed from all diets especially that of expecting mothers! I suspect there is a correlation between wheat consumption and the rise in children born with developmental delays.

    Despite taking prenatal vitamins with iron and additional iron supplements, I was anemic during my first pregnancy. Iron is essential for the developing fetus! I didn’t understand why I wasn’t able to correct my anemia with supplements. After talking to Dr. Eugene Weinberg from the Iron Disorders Institute who was referrenced in a book Protecting Your Baby to Be by Margie Profet and reading Celiac Disease – A Hidden Epidemic by Dr. Peter Green in 2006, I finally made the connection that gluten can damage the area of the intestines where iron is absorbed. Once I removed gluten, I was no longer anemic and my health was restored. Thank you Dr. Perlmutter for being a pioneer in your field and taking a leading role in educating the public on the root cause of disease!!!

    • David Perlmutter

      Wonderful to hear about how you have taken back control of your health.

  • alicesaga

    OMG!!!!

  • Larry B.

    If, according to the Australian study, FODMAPs are the problem then why does this website say to avoid gluten-containing grains?

    http://www.ibsdiets.org/fodmap-diet/fodmap-food-list/

  • maria

    after reading your book my husband and I have gone to healthier foods, only casually consuming gluten-containing foods, but not eliminating them altogether. But I found the science you quoted in your book to be cogent and thought provoking. My husband heard the radio program you mentioned and told me about it. I told him we don’t have anything to gain (except pounds and possibly disease) by going back to a gluten-heavy diet. IMO it is unethical for a professional to be wooed by big money but it happens all the time. We all are consumers and owe it to ourselves and our families to read read read all the time, get our facts from many sources and make informed decisions.

    • David Perlmutter

      I’m glad to know you not only read Grain Brain, but investigated it. I would advise truly eliminating gluten from the diet however, as that’s the only way to truly have a powerful health impact.

  • WatchTheSouthParkGlutenEpisode

    After reading it a couple of times, these are my ideas of the results:
    – a third/outside factor could mask any (subtler) effects that Gluten would have by worsening all VAS results, paradoxically most for the Placebo group, you mention the stress involved with the study as possible culprit…
    – conveniently you chose Whey as Placebo so you can speculate about its own potential to worsen VAS, but you fail to reproduce this
    – by the way, you fail to reproduce anything

    Is this bad science, unethical? It may be, we dont know, but the methods and results are questionable, although some intentions seem reasonable. The most unethical part is how its launched in media, because that study is not a permission to consume Gluten. Its just an insurance, telling you that after 3 or 7 days of consumption you will not feel a lot worse or have some worse labs.

    If you exclude the worst reacting people from the study, effects on 3 or 7 days with the 2 and 16g dosage of Gluten are indeed mild.
    So you proved what we already knew. That for most people with no celiac disease small amounts of Gluten are tolerated, in the sense, that they do not produce acute problems.

    Most things we are concerned about are chronic effects and not acute effects, at least I would think so. This study can tell you 0 / nothing about that.

    It will tell you that you will probably not notice it during 3 or 7 days. As you would not notice slightly radioactive food (present in mushrooms in the eastern EU for example) in your diet, or some aluminium (present in a lot of processed foods) or some mercury (present in fish) in your diet over a few days. All these do have chronic expose risks.

  • Ann

    I now that when my granddaughter eats even a small quantity of gluten food see can have seizure like activity. She has never had GI symptoms. These seizure like activities can occur within 1 to 2 hours after consuming gluten. I strongly believe in the effects of gluten on the nervous system.

    • David Perlmutter

      I hope, with this information, she is able to lead a seizure-free lifestyle.

  • Deborah O’Brien

    I look forward to a day when people begin to self-asses the signals that their bodies are giving them to determine what foods are good and bad for them. A little self-imposed bio-experiment of giving up wheat 100% for a period of 4 weeks would be the most accurate way for a person to know if their unique bio-system is reactive to gluten in a negative way. Since the symptoms vary from person to person it’s a difficult thing to diagnose. When you notice that your digestions improved, that you have more energy and clarity of mind, your headaches disappear and your joints don’t ache and you’ve lost the extra weight, well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that you’ve got gluten sensitivity.

  • Caro

    I read an article recently that said researchers were beginning to discover that gluten wasn’t so much the problem for some people as the fact that wheat fields are sprayed with insecticides right before the wheat is harvested. Somehow the insecticide helps dry the wheat which helps increase the amount gathered. I know I’m not wording this well, but wonder if you’ve ever heard of this.

  • What is your understanding of the use of Roundup to process wheat (at least in the U.S.) as a big part of the “gluten problem.” When my husband (who is gluten sensitive) travels to Europe or any other country in the world from the U.S. he never has any trouble eating wheat products. Is it the processing or maybe the use of “Roundup” to mature wheat at harvest? I’d love to see some clarification on that.

  • stephanor

    Dr. Perlmutter — do you have a link to the NPR show that you mention? Or title/date if not? Thanks!

  • Peggy Fast

    I believe chemicals on the grain crops are the main reason so many of us are gluten sensitive ! Pretty much all of our food is sprayed with some kind of chemical. As the toxins build up in our body, we become sensitive to more things.

  • rose

    I was wondering if you have looked at the information on the use of roundup on wheat for harvesting…being what may be causing the problems with it…and what you think of it?

  • Summer G

    Dr. Perlmutter, what are your thoughts on Gluten-Free versions of breads (Rudi’s breads, GF english muffins, GF baked goods, GF bagels, waffles, etc…)? Because although they don’t contain gluten, they are still decently high in carbohydrates. Does eating these go against your low carb diet?

    I try my best to stick to your diet – I’m completely gluten-free and very paleo friendly (I let myself have dairy, coffee…) and I maintain a very low carb diet of 90-120 grams per day. I exercise every morning as well.

    Sometimes I miss a good cookie or bagel or piece of toast, how do you feel about their carb content?

    • David Perlmutter

      I say stay away! If there has to be a gluten-free version of it, it’s probably best to avoid.

  • Diane

    Dr Perlmutter
    Is quinoa a grain?

    • David Perlmutter

      Quinoa is a gluten-free grain that could be consumed in strict moderation.

      • Diane

        Thank you

  • Food Eater

    Thanks for the informative article!!! It seems that more and more the food companies are running things. Pretty soon we will have to do our “Pledge of Allegiance” to General Mills and Kraft Foods. Glad to see people like you exposing these what is really happening behind the publicity.

  • Rhonda M.

    Thank you for this information. Even as a student who is reading peer-reviewed research publications for her studies, I still find it difficult to ascertain the true scope and impact of what I am reading. I appreciate your evaluation of this study and look forward to learning more about your current and future research.

    • Rhonda M.

      Sooo, still dwelling on this article. Started thinking about the press agencies that irresponsibly published this research study without reporting the insignificant scope.
      Thought about writing a letter of complaint but then realized that it would be a logical conclusion that if GWF funded this study, there was a good chance that GWF “funded” the media agencies to publicize their research.
      This of course led me to consider the impact such companies have on our politicians via lobbying. Ugh…

      Thinking about now minoring in law now, specifically studying laws regarding transparency of gifting, lobbying, etc!

      Thank you again Dr. P!

  • Greg

    Dr. Perlmutter
    Greetings from Muskoka. A tangential question about gluten. Do you see patients with post concussive syndrome? As I struggle watching two friends, not patients of mine, struggle with chronic sx I have to wonder about the overlap with brain inflammation, TBI causing microbiome changes, raised IL and TNK factors… I am wondering if you have had any success treating this with nutritional therapy, withdrawing gluten… The clinical picture seems to scream that there is overlap. Thanks for any help. Cheers.

  • Stefanie Burnham

    Someone mentioned the following:
    “The flaw that I see in a lot of the articles that Perlmutter cites is that they are review studies rather than new double-blind studies. Essentially they start with the assumption that it is gluten that is the issue, whereas [new studies] include the FODMAP data.

  • It’s great work to examine the funding of research – we often find that it has more to do with marketing than health.

  • Rochelle

    Once again the greed… Thank you!

  • Paleojay

    It’s not science… it’s marketing!

  • Me Ted

    Interesting doctor. Who should be funding research in general then?

  • Julie H

    When I first heard both of these articles over NPR and the media, I doubted it right from the start. I immediately said, “Hmmm…I wonder who funded this so-called-research?” And then, “Encouraging people to eat something that they know is bad for them to prevent another disorder (diabetes) is not something that even dr’s would do.” which tells me it was led by marketing and money. I thought of Dr. Perlmutter and knew I needed to check out his site to find the facts. Thank you Dr. Perlmutter for staying on top of the news and for getting the truth out to the public. I love it that you happened to be in the same interview with this guy! Now I have the right information when I am approached with the same argument by my non-believing friends and family who think I’m merely high maintenance with my gluten-free ways.

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