The number of people trying to avoid gluten has been growing for several years now and shows no sign of abating. Even though most people who avoid gluten have no real idea what it is, this doesn’t dismiss the fact that there may be people who react badly to it. So what is the real story behind gluten?
Well, gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, malt, brewer’s yeast and a few other obscure food ingredients. Gluten can be found in small amounts in hundreds of processed foods. Interestingly, many sports nutrition products add gluten in the form of glutamine peptides to protein powders and other foods used to build muscle! Classically, those who have to be very careful to avoid this protein are people who have been diagnosed with celiac disease. For them, gluten causes damage to the villi and other parts of the intestine and results pain, bloating and malabsorption and over the long term, can lead to a variety of other nasty diseases.
The thing is that only about one in 100 people have celiac, yet a heck of a lot more than one percent of people avoid gluten in their diet. So are these people just hypochondriacs who are blindly jumping on the anti-gluten bandwagon. The answer seems to be ‘no’ - at least not all of them. There is actually a condition known as ‘non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS)’. People with NCGS don’t have celiac disease but they can respond with a variety of unwanted symptoms from eating gluten and there is even evidence that this condition is associated with a large number of diseases. So the evidence does suggest that people without celiac can be sensitive to gluten intake.
However, on the other hand, research has shown that most people who think that they’re sensitive to gluten, actually aren’t and when they were given a diet without gluten, they had just as many complaints as a diet with the dreaded protein. So those who suffer from digestive issues or other conditions, may want to try omitting gluten and see if things improve. Of course, Tropicana Wholesale can help as we have a ‘Gluten Free’ category which you can click when shopping on the website!