An article at the service of your health!
#1 What is gluten?
Gluten is what gives flour its elastic properties and allows the dough to rise during fermentation. Gluten is a mixture of two families of proteins: prolamins and glutamines. Some proteins of the prolamin family are found in many cereals: wheat (protein called gliadin), spelled (gliadin), kamut (gliadin), barley (hordein) and rye (secalin). Around 80% of the proteins contained in wheat are gluten. These proteins are considered toxic for people with celiac disease.
#2 But is gluten good or not?
Today, governments, nutritionists and the agri-food industry all agree to encourage you to eat even more cereals. Unfortunately, our organism is not yet adapted to ingest as many cereal products. Indeed, several studies make us think that our ancestors were "hunter gatherers" and that they consumed many vegetables and meats. As agriculture did not yet exist at that time, our ancestors did not know the great fields of wheat as far as the eye could see.
Then Man learned to sow, harvest and consume cereals. To diversify his plants, he then learned to cross various sorts in order to be able to harvest according to the seasons. By the 1950s, new plants had been modified in the laboratory by humans. This is particularly true of wheat that has been genetically engineered to increase productivity and improve disease resistance. Its genetic code has thus passed from 14 chromosomes for old wheat to 42 chromosomes for modern wheat!
These changes have been very helpful to the food industry but today this is at the heart of our problem as we consume mutant varieties in industrial quantities. These varieties containing enormous amount of gluten become unassimilable by our intestines and are therefore dangerous for our health in general.
#3 Who has a problem with gluten?
Some people are intolerant to gluten, namely those suffering from celiac disease. Ingestion of gluten-containing foods causes inflammatory bowel reactions in these individuals, and the mere fact of eating them can lead to significant nutritional deficiencies, serious illness autoimmune diseases. It is a serious disease in which the immune system attacks the small intestine.
Celiac disease occurs in genetically predisposed individuals. Today, simple blood tests or intestinal biopsy can be used to diagnose gluten intolerance. Once diagnosed, the only up-to-date treatment to cope with the disease is a gluten-free diet for life.
For some of you, you say to yourself: "All is well, I am not intolerant to gluten, I am not concerned!"
FALSE! Unfortunately, another form of more sneaky gluten intolerance exists and affects a very large number of people. To be more specific, over 2.1 million people would be affected in Canada according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
#4 Am I sensitive to gluten?
Here's a new approach that risks undermining all your ideas about gluten. Today, we perceive gluten as a "fashionable" diet or as something strictly forbidden for people intolerant to gluten. So, we say that we can eat bread and pasta without it having any impact on our health. We will explain that there is another form of gluten intolerance that your doctor can not detect.
This form of intolerance is called gluten sensitivity. People suffering from this disease have several symptoms when they consume foods containing gluten:
This disease causes symptoms similar to celiac disease but does not lead to the emergence of autoimmune diseases. Therefore, in the absence of these complications (autoimmune diseases, etc.), doctors direct their diagnosis in most cases to "spasmophilia" or "fibromyalgia," or will tell you to take rest because you are too stressed.
Currently, the best way to diagnose gluten sensitivity is to avoid gluten-free cereals for 2 to 3 weeks. Thus, if the symptoms disappear or improve, and the celiac disease screening tests are negative, you may be sensitive to gluten.
#5 A life without wheat!
Whatever the symptoms you have, or even if you do not, try a gluten-free diet over several weeks. All cereals and flours containing gluten are to be avoided: wheat, rye, barley, spelled, kamut and quinoa, rice, buckwheat and millet are preferred.
With this little change you will be amazed at the improvement, in just a few weeks, of your general state, your energy and your sleep!
Even if you do not feel any benefit after several months, continue this dietary habit, because the less you eat gluten, the more you rest your bowel and limit the risk of long term illness.
Find out more!
If you want to know more on the subject, we suggest you to discover this book by Julien Venesson. With more than 400 scientific studies, your vision of modern wheat will no longer be the same.
Purchase this book at the best price by clicking on the link below:
Julien venesson, Gluten comment le blé moderne nous intoxique, Thierry Souccar Editions, 2013
Christophe Carrio, CTS Nutrition, CTS Edition, 2013
Anonymous, Rostami K, Hogg-Kollars S, Non-coelic gluten sensitivity, BMJ 2012
Biesiekierski JR, Newnham ED, Irving PM, Barret JS Haines M & Al. , Gluten causes gastrointestinal symptoms in subjects without celiac diseas: a double blind randomized placebo-controlled trial, Am J Gastroenterol, 2011