"Gluten Sensitivity" May Not Be Caused by Gluten

Gluten may not be the culprit when it comes to "gluten sensitivity"

A recent study published in Gastroenterology claims that people who are gluten-sensitive may not actually be "sensitive" to gluten at all, but rather to a sugar chain called fructans, IFLScience.com reported. 



"Gluten was originally assumed to be the culprit because of coeliac disease, and the fact that people felt better when they stopped eating wheat," Peter Gibson from Monash University told New Scientist. "Now it seems like that initial assumption was wrong."



To test this theory, 59 non-celiacs who normally ate a gluten-free diet were asked to eat three different cereal bars; one bar contained gluten, one bar contains fructans, and a third (the control bar) contained neither. Participants were split into three groups and asked to eat one bar each day for a week. They were then given a week off before being asked to eat a different type of bar every day for a week. The participants were not informed which type of bar was which. 



The results showed that the fructans bar triggered bloating 15% more and gastrointestinal symptoms 13% more than the control bar. The gluten bar was not different from the control bar. This suggests that everything we thought we knew about "gluten sensitivity" could be completely false and that fructans, which are also found in wheat, barley and rye, could be to blame.