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New Scientist: it may be the carbs not the gluten making you ill

Countrygirl

Senior Member
Messages
5,367
Location
UK
I am posting this here because many/most of us find that foods contain wheat creates various gut problems, and this article in the New Scientists explains that it may not be the gluten that is causing the problem but the fructans.

https://www.newscientist.com/articl...cial&utm_source=Facebook#link_time=1510316681



New Scientist

SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITIES

DAILY NEWS


10 November 2017

Gluten-sensitive? It may actually be a carb making you ill


gettyimages-685005189.jpg

Have we had the wrong culprit all along?
Jesper Mattias/Getty

By Alice Klein

Gluten might not be the bad guy after all. Evidence suggests it may be the fructan molecules in wheat that cause stomach problems in people with an intolerance.

About 1 per cent of people have coeliac disease, an autoimmune disorder that makes them react badly to gluten proteins in wheat. But a further 12 per cent feel ill after eating wheat-based foods like bread and pasta, despite not having coeliac disorder.

Now it looks like it may not actually be gluten that causes problems for these people with “gluten sensitivity”.





Five years ago, a study of non-coeliacs who ate gluten-free to relieve gut issues found no difference in symptoms when these people ate identical meals that either lacked gluten, or were full of it. This suggested gluten has no effect, prompting Jane Muir and Peter Gibson at Monash University in Australia and their team to wonder if there might be an alternative culprit.

Separating the wheat from the chaff
They suspected fructans, which are a type of sugar chain found in wheat, barley and rye, as well as onions, garlic, chickpeas, cabbage, and artichokes.

To test this, they recruited 59 non-coeliac adults currently following gluten-free diets for gut sensitivities. They gave these volunteers three types of cereal bars containing gluten, fructans, or neither, and the participants ate one of these every day for seven days, with week-long spaces in-between each type of bar. The bars all looked and tasted the same, and the participants did not know which ones they were eating.

The fructan bar triggered 15 per cent more bloating and a 13 per cent increase in overall gastrointestinal symptoms, compared to the control bar. The gluten bar, however, had no effect.

This may explain why people with irritable bowels often improve on gluten-free diets but don’t make a full recovery, says Muir. By cutting out wheat, they eliminate a large portion of fructans from their diets, but they can still run into trouble eating other high-fructan foods like onions and garlic. Some gluten-free products like chickpea crisps also contain fructans.

It may also explain why few placebo-controlled studies have managed to find that gluten has any effect, and why it has been so difficult to find out how gluten may cause problems for non-coeliacs, says Gibson.“Gluten was originally assumed to be the culprit because of coeliac disease, and the fact that people felt better when they stopped eating wheat,” he says. “Now it seems like that initial assumption was wrong.”

It’s possible that a small minority of non-coeliacs do react to gluten and studies so far haven’t been big enough to readily detect them, Gibson says. “But certainly the evidence points to fructans being more of a problem.”

Difficult to digest
The team’s findings fit with six recent trials that suggest about 70 per cent of people with irritable bowel syndrome feel better when they cut out fructans and other nutrients from a food group known as FODMAPs.

Katie Ellard, a gastroenterologist at Mater Hospital in Sydney, Australia, says many clinicians are now prescribing low-FODMAP diets to people with stomach troubles. “Once coeliac disease has been ruled out, I still recommend knocking off wheat to see if that helps, but I explain that it’s to eliminate fructans not gluten from their diet,” she says.

If fructans do turn out to be the real problem, it will open up a range of foods that were previously off-limits, says Ellard. Soy sauce, for example, contains gluten but is low in fructans, while the fermentation process used to make sourdough bread strips away wheat’s fructans.

Journal reference: Gastroenterology, DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2017.10.040
 
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Murph

:)
Messages
1,790
I have a big problem with fructans (fodmaps) exactly as this study suggests. I set a new record on the fructose breath test!

I can eat gluten and I **really** enjoy eating spelt sourdough bread, which is made with bacteria and I find has very positive effects on my digestion.
 

Londinium

Senior Member
Messages
178
I am posting this here because many/most of us find that foods contain wheat creates various gut problems, and this article in the New Scientists explains that it may not be the gluten that is causing the problem but the fructans.

Interesting article. Genuine question though: is there any evidence that ME patients are more likely to be sensitive to gluten and/or wheat? ie beyond the 12% cited for the general population?
 

Hip

Senior Member
Messages
17,771
I had lifelong gluten sensitivity, where eating any gluten would rapidly trigger a depressed state lasting for 6 to 8 hours (a common response in gluten sensitive people). But onions and garlic I can eat without problem.

So I would think that although there may be fructan-sensitive people who may mistakenly believe they are gluten intolerant, there are also those who are genuinely gluten intolerant.


Interestingly enough, I lost my gluten sensitivity after developing ME/CFS. That's consistent with the CCC which says that ME/CFS may involve "new sensitivities and allergies and change in status of pre-existing ones".
 
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boombachi

Senior Member
Messages
392
Location
Hampshire, UK
Interesting article. Genuine question though: is there any evidence that ME patients are more likely to be sensitive to gluten and/or wheat? ie beyond the 12% cited for the general population?

IBS like symptoms are included in most criteria for diagnosing me/cfs (I believe). I don't know if this has been equated with glutn sensitivity. In my case milk was the biggest problem and most of my problems disappeared after giving up milk and only eating cheese and yogurt very occasionally.
 

Londinium

Senior Member
Messages
178
IBS like symptoms are included in most criteria for diagnosing me/cfs (I believe). I don't know if this has been equated with glutn sensitivity. In my case milk was the biggest problem and most of my problems disappeared after giving up milk and only eating cheese and yogurt very occasionally.

Ah yes OK, I was aware that gastrointestinal symptoms were in some criteria, just not that they were specifically linked to wheat/gluten.
 

boombachi

Senior Member
Messages
392
Location
Hampshire, UK
Ah yes OK, I was aware that gastrointestinal symptoms were in some criteria, just not that they were specifically linked to wheat/gluten.

I think this could be an interesting area to research. It is such a common symptom it could give us valuable clues about what is going on. I know there are researchers looking at gut bacteria but I dont know of any looking specifically at food intolerance.
 

ebethc

Senior Member
Messages
1,901
It is not in the CDC Fukuda definition of ME/CFS, but is in the CCC definition.

I'm starting to wonder if I even have CFS... I have IBS-C, muscle/joint pain, fatigue, trouble concentrating (which appears linked to sinus problems), low immunity... but no lymph node problems/sore throat, and no auto-antibodies and no Ehlers-Danlos.. Addressing the MTHFR stuff was a bust (ie, no significant changes).. Maybe the whole MTHFR was a big marketing campaign by 23andme to get our DNA (just kidding... but a tiny part of me is that cynical... but I digress..)

maybe no one can figure out CFS because it's really this big bucket that contains a variety of immune dysfunction illnesses..

in my lifetime, AI disease has increased 400-500% .. doesn't it stand to reason that there are many illnesses that are poorly understand that get thrown in the CFS bucket? it's really happened so fast.. it's like this tsunami of b.s. that's hit the human race in a couple of generations.. most ppl don't understand how big a threat immune illness it, b/c the long tail is so long... most illness have less than a million cases (or maybe a little over), but if you add them all up, and look at how quickly the number of cases skyrocketed, I think it's really staggering..

Screen Shot 2020-05-17 at 4.39.58 PM.png
 

junkcrap50

Senior Member
Messages
1,319
Is it just me or is FODMAPS a confusing diet? I probably would benefit from it, but seems like it would be so difficult to follow. How they hell do you keep track of what is or is not okay to eat?