Examine publishes rigorous, unbiased analysis of the latest and most important nutrition and supplementation studies each month, available to all Examine Members. Click here to learn more or log in.

In this article

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity: much ado about something?

Some argue it doesn't exist... this latest trial sheds light into the controversy.

Study under review: Small Amounts of Gluten in Subjects with Suspected Nonceliac Gluten Sensitivity: a Randomized, Double-Blind, PlaceboControlled, Cross-Over Trial

Introduction

Few topics in recent years have polarized the nutrition and health community as much as non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). Some people believe it is a distinct condition, while others simply do not believe it exists. NCGS has been observed[1] for more than 30 years and refers to a subset of people (often self-diagnosed) who report problems when consuming gluten but don’t have any detectable autoimmune or allergic response in their bodies.

NCGS is currently a diagnosis of exclusion. That means it is diagnosed when an individual has had both allergic and autoimmune mechanisms ruled out, and the problems they experienced when eating gluten-containing products go away on a gluten-free diet (GFD). This would ideally in a blinded fashion to avoid any placebo effect of the dietary intervention. One potential classification of the many possible gluten-related disorders and symptomatology is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Classifying gluten-related disorders

Source: Sapone et al., BMC Med. 2012.

Due to the lack of explicit diagnostic tools, much of the information on NCGS has been gathered from people who have self-reported to be gluten-sensitive. The purpose of this double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial from the University of Pavia in Italy was to study and classify symptoms in people suspected of having NCGS, when given small doses of gluten daily for one week.

Who and what was studied?

Become an Examine Member to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

What were the findings?

Become an Examine Member to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

What does the study really tell us?

Become an Examine Member to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

The big picture

Become an Examine Member to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

Frequently Asked Questions

Become an Examine Member to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

What I should know?

Become an Examine Member to unlock this article.

Free 2-week trial »

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

Other Articles in Issue #07 (May 2015)