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Yes, it’s as dreary as it looks.

Readers of this blog know that wheat has long been one of my favorite whipping boys right alongside omega 6 polyunsaturated fats and alcohol binging. And the reason for this is because of the effects these foods and practices have on intestinal wall integrity, immune activation, motility and the diversity of the gut microbiome. They clearly are not the only foods to be concerned about, (here’s looking at you fructose and artificial sweeteners), but they’re certainly at the top of my shit hit list.

Today I’m reprinting an open access review article about non-celiac gluten sensitivity that was published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology on April 14th of this year. It does a very good job summing up the latest peer reviewed literature on the subject. Just keep in mind that the native language of these authors is Italian, which no doubt accounts for the grammatical errors.

What is clear from reading this article is how much we still don’t know about this condition. There’s a lot more research left to do and I’m hoping more funding will become available to do just that.

There is, however, one paragraph in this article I want to bring to your attention:

“This last observation may suggest that NCGS [non-cliac gluten sensitivity] patients could experience an alteration in macro- and micronuitrients [sic] intake due to dietary self-restrictions. Indeed Zingone et al evaluated diet habits of 29 NCGS subjects and discovered that they ingested lower mean amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, fiber, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Patients with NCGS reported avoiding fruit, vegetables, milk, and dairy products as well as snacks and mixed spices when compared to a control population.”

I have no reason to doubt this observation. Most people experiencing dysbiosis end up on overly restrictive diets hoping against hope for some blessed relief from their ongoing agony. For those people suffering from small intestinal fungal and bacterial overgrowth (SIFBO), any ingested fiber or milk sugar will be fermented twice: in the small intestine and colon. That’s an awful lot of gas, bloating and misery so I certainly understand the motivation.

However, as I’ve written before and will no doubt write again, while dietary changes are important for long-term gut health, you need to correct any dysbiosis you currently suffer from before you can reap any of the rewards. In the case of SIFBO, that means eradication of the overgrowth via antibiotics and anti-fungals (pharmaceutical or natural) and normalization of the colonic microbiome. A number of those treatments were covered here. Otherwise, you risk restricting your diet so severely that any benefit gained by fewer gastrointestinal symptoms will be offset by nutrient deficiencies.

Ok, with that as prologue, here’s the article. Be aware that you can download a copy to your device or view it in full screen mode by clicking on the appropriate button in the footer toolbar that pops up when your cursor hovers over the bottom.


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