In this Fox interview from last February, Dr. Peter Osborne gives a great and simple explanation of why so many people have “gone gluten-free” and the issues surrounding a GF diet.
The skeptic in me tries to always keep in mind that many people do not suffer at all from eating gluten and simply do not have sensitive stomachs. But for the many who truly suffer from gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, an autoimmune disease in which the intestines become inflamed, eliminating gluten doesn’t mean that just any product labelled as “gluten-free” will be okay for them – a gluten-free diet simply isn’t enough. Dr. Osborne argues in favor of a grain-free diet.
Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat and barley – therefore , starchy products labelled as gluten-free will simply replace the wheat with another similar grain (think corn and rice). Dr. Osborne explains that these alternative grains may not have the gluten protein, but the proteins found in them are similar enough that they still irritate the stomachs of many celiac patients.
He talks about a recent study in which celiac patients were put on a “traditional” gluten-free diet, and 92% of the patients’ gut inflammation did not heal. Perhaps we will see new a new definition of celiac disease pop up soon as more studies like this continue to be done – could it be that the immune system attacks the body in celiac patients when any grain is consumed? And as the reporter asks, why is it, exactly, that food allergies have become so common in the last few decades? Is it because everyone wants to hop on the bandwagon of this new “trend”? Probably for some, but as Dr. Osborne explains, the rise in food allergies has been directly proportionate to the rise in GMOs and chemicals in our foods. On top of that, he says that grains were built with protective casings for a reason – humans are not meant to digest them.
Does this mean everyone should avoid grains because Mother Nature never intended for us to eat them? Or only the people who actually show symptoms? There are so many advocates out there for the various sides of this argument – what do you believe?