The gluten-free diet is more popular among consumers now, than ever before, despite a scarcity of scientific evidence to suggest a benefit of excluding gluten in people without coeliac disease. Monash researchers have responded to this trend by measuring the effect of a gluten-free diet in people with IBS and so called, ‘non-coeliac gluten sensitivity’ (NCGS). Participants consumed a gluten-free, low FODMAP diet for two weeks and were then randomly assigned to one of three diets (high gluten, low gluten or zero gluten). While all participants experienced an improvement in gastrointestinal symptoms on the initial low FODMAP diet, the study found that there were no independent, gluten-specific effects observed. The study calls the clinical diagnosis of NCGS into question and suggests that FODMAPs, not gluten, are the trigger of gastrointestinal symptoms in people with so-called, NCGS.
Reference: Biesiekierski, J. R., et al. (2013). "No effects of gluten in patients with self-reported non-celiac gluten sensitivity afterdietary reduction of fermentable, poorly absorbed, short-chain carbohydrates." Gastroenterology 145(2): 320-328 e321-323.
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