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Does gluten cause gastrointestinal symptoms in people without coeliac disease?

By: Lisa Costa Bir

Gluten sensitivity and intolerance is huge at the moment. We know that gluten is a definite no no for people suffering from coeliac disease but what effect does gluten ingestion have on gastrointestinal symptoms & intestinal permeability in non-coeliac, gluten intolerant individuals?

The study:
Participants were randomly assigned to receive either 16 g/day of carbohydrate-free gluten or a placebo for six weeks. Participants were enrolled if they had gastrointestinal symptoms that had improved on a gluten free diet and had been on a gluten free diet for at least 6 weeks prior to enrollment. 19 received gluten and 15 received placebo.

Change between baseline and final weeks were greater for
patients receiving gluten in overall symptom severity compared with those receiving placebo and were worse
with gluten within one week for pain, bloating, satisfaction with stool consistency, and tiredness. From these results, the authors determined that non-coeliac gluten intolerance does exist & that future studies need to identify issues of the dose of gluten needed and mechanisms of action.

J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2011 Apr;26 Suppl 3:132-4
Newnham ED.


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