This is a great read.
If you’ve ever discussed the topic of “gluten” with your friends you know the reactions you get to it are likely aggressive.
Either someone is on board, or they’re challenging you to come up with the science that shows it’s bad for you.
Sayer Ji published a pretty interesting article that turns the tables on the topic slightly.
Instead of thinking about wheat as “good for us,” and some people’s reactions to it as “abnormal,” perhaps it’s the other way around.
Perhaps wheat isn’t good for us and any negative reactions to it are “normal.”
More interestingly, Sayer Ji proposes that it’s not someone’s genes that predispose them to being celiac, or having reactions to wheat.
It’s the wheat itself that is the problem.
Here’s an excerpt from, The Dark Side of Wheat – New Perspectives on Celiac Disease and Wheat Intolerance:
Celiac Disease Revisited
What all of this means for CD is that the genetic susceptibility locus, HLA-DQ, does not by itself determine the exact clinical outcome of the disease. Instead of being ‘the cause,’ the HLA genes may be activated as a consequence of the disease process. Thus, we may need to shift our epidemiological focus from viewing this as a classical “disease” involving a passive subject controlled by aberrant genes, to viewing it as an expression of a natural, protective response to the ingestion of something that the human body was not designed to consume.
If we view celiac disease not as an unhealthy response to a healthy food, but as a healthy response to an unhealthy food, classical CD symptoms like diarrhea may make more sense. Diarrhea can be the body’s way to reduce the duration of exposure to a toxin or pathogen, and villous atrophy can be the body’s way of preventing the absorption and hence, the systemic effects of chronic exposure to wheat.
I believe we would be better served by viewing the symptoms of CD as expressions of bodily intelligence rather than deviance. We must shift the focus back to the disease trigger, which is wheat itself.
This is definitely a different way of thinking about wheat.
We’re not doctors and don’t pretend to be but this topic seems worth addresses further.
Too bad there’s lobby group promoting more research into this.
Here’s another excerpt:
If wheat really is more like a drug than a food, anesthetizing us to its ill effects on our body, it will be difficult for us to understand its grasp upon us unless and until we eliminate it from our diet. I encourage everyone to see celiac disease not as a condition alien to our own. Rather, the celiac gives us a glimpse of how profoundly wheat may distort and disfigure our health if we continue to expose ourselves to its ill effects.
I still believe that your own experiments with food are the best way to determine what’s right for you and what it isn’t but in the meantime … some food for thought.