If the web is considered a reliable indicator, gluten sensitivity is a condition that is plaguing America.
Users who claim gluten sensitivity on their part or on the parts of their children constantly bemoan a lack of gluten-free foods, seek recipes for those with gluten sensitivity and speak of the frustration of being exposed to gluten unwittingly. (A simple search on Pinterest reveals a large saturation of content for those with a gluten sensitivity on the budding social pinboard.) Gluten sensitivity has been blamed for everything from stomachaches to schizophrenia and autism, but Italian researchers are questioning the true prevalence of the condition in the February 21st issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.
While some marketers claim that as many as 18 million Americans suffer non-celiac gluten sensitivity, researchers indicate that “little clinical evidence” exists to prove that the condition even exists at all, and that researchers common sense must prevail to “prevent a gluten preoccupation from evolving into the conviction that gluten is toxic for most of the population.”
Indeed, “most of the population” could actually be impacted negatively- Stefano Guandalini, MD, who is president of the North American Society for the Study of Celiac Disease, said people eating as if they have a gluten sensitivity run the risk of missing out on fiber while consuming too much fat. He explains:
“Someone who needs to be on a gluten-free diet and is closely monitored can benefit tremendously from it. But for everyone else, embracing this diet makes no sense.”
Do you have gluten sensitivity, or do you think the condition is a bit hyped up?