Is gluten bad ? πŸ˜‡

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What is Gluten? Wheat is a grain that contains carbohydrate, protein and lots of nutrients. The protein found in wheat is called gluten. Gluten is also found in rye and barley. Gluten is not only used in bread, cakes, pizzas, pasta but also ketchup, sauces, spreads and even in some cosmetic products like lipsticks.

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It is used widely in various products because it provides the structure and is an excellent stabilizing agent. Structurally, gluten contains a protein network of Glutenin and Gliadin. It also contains starch (carbohydrate) molecules and gas bubbles.

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How the body reacts to gluten?
Generally, having a carbohydrate-rich diet spike up blood sugar, leading to various weight issues and insulin resistance. Whenever gluten enters the body, the body’s immune system mistaken them for foreign bacteria, and start reacting against the intruders (gluten particles). This immune response provokes inflammations. Typically, inflammation is temporary and is supposed to stop when the bacteria or foreign body is expelled. But when the process of inflammation becomes chronic, every organ system is affected, and various diseases may occur over time.

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There is another effect of gluten concerning the body. Zonulin is a protein which is naturally present in our body which modulates the Intestinal barrier functions. It maintains the permeability of the tight junctions in the intestinal lining, preventing any particles from the gut to leak into the bloodstream. Gluten is found to interfere in the function of Zonulin. This phenomenon was first discovered by a great researcher Alessio Fasano. He has also found that the modern variety of wheat, which are hybrid types, affecting human health is on the rise. Therefore, the human body is not equipped to eat a massive amount of gluten every day. So, having more and more gluten is taking a toll on the health of many people.

Coeliac disease or celiac disease

Celiac disease: In Celiac disease, the body’s immune system reacts strongly to the gluten particles causing a damaging effect on the small intestine. The leaky gut syndrome is quite common in these cases. The symptoms are mainly chronic diarrhoea, abdominal distention and pain, brain fog, joint pain and weight loss. The incidence of Celiac disease is increasing day by day. Many of the cases remain undiagnosed, which may end up in other types of Autoimmune diseases, inflammatory diseases or even cancers. The condition can be screened by a blood test and small intestinal biopsy. Such people are strictly recommended for a gluten-free diet.

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Gluten sensitivity: Another condition emerging is Gluten sensitivity. Such condition is also called Non-Celiac disease gluten sensitivity because these people are negative of Celiac disease. When gluten is removed from their diet, most of the symptoms get resolved. Researches are still going on to confirm the actual cause of immune response in these people. If not gluten, maybe other triggers like fructans (starch) molecules called FODMAPs can be the reason. These cases are challenging to diagnose.

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Gluten-free diet: When we walk down the aisle of a Supermarket, we get to see plenty of products with gluten-free tags. Not all gluten-free products are healthy. Since gluten is removed, they use other binding agents or synthetic compounds to compensate for the structure and palatability of the product. Moreover, a gluten-free diet is found to have low micronutrients like folate and iron. So, a gluten-free diet should be adopted only if clinically advised.

Gluten-free for whom?
Celiac disease; People diagnosed with Celiac disease should ultimately adopt a gluten-free diet.
Gluten sensitivity: May benefit from a gluten-free diet but should make arrangements to compensate for nutritional deficiencies.

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People like rest of us who have no regular symptoms or never had prominent abdominal issues can have gluten in a fair amount in the form of whole-grain food as long as we have a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits.

Thanks for reading.

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31 thoughts on “Is gluten bad ? πŸ˜‡

      1. Thank you for the reminder about Gluten – very well thought out and powerful. I do not know if you know about a supplement we have been taking for 15 years -and has helped me in not eating gluten – and I feel has improved my health. If you like I can put in a link for you to see and read the research – some 36 articles in medical journals. It is sold worldwide in 21 countries. Just thought you might want to read about it. Thank you again for this article – it needs to be read by so many. best regards Tom

  1. Thank you for such a informative post! People need to know through this post that only those who show symptoms of celiac disease or similar diagnosis should only consume a gluten-free diet.

  2. Very good information! I’m not sure if I have a gluten sensitivity or just a wheat sensitivity, but I keep my intake of wheat limited and use other grains like corn and rice more often.

  3. I learned about gluten’s the hard way. My daughter was diagnosed with Celiac so I hit the books, no computer at the time, and found ways to feed her so that she wouldn’t feel left out but sill maintain her health. As for myself, I am vegan and have chosen to eliminate glutens as well. Many do not realize that some “gluten-free” foods are contaiminated in the processing by foods that contain gluten so one must be alert when shopping.
    Thank you for spreading the word.

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