Professor Peter Gibson at Monash University in Australia conducted a pioneering study in 2011 that gave credence to the idea of non-celiac gluten sensitivity, which is often-cited in the current gluten-free diet craze and food industry.
Gibson, however, was not convinced that his study had been conclusive and set out to create a new, more controlled study.
That new study has now concluded, and it counters the findings of his 2011 study. In this study, which included patients in a completely controlled nutritional setting with a high level of rigor, Gibson found that gluten sensitivity (non-celiac) is almost certainly either psychological in nature, as no physical or nutritional reason could be noted, or due to fermentable, poorly absorbed short-chain carbohydrates (FODMAPs). Patients reported the same level of discomfort and symptoms when given a placebo diet as they did a gluten-rich one, but did report general improvement when given a low-FODMAP diet.
The study was very complex and well-conceived. The study removed nearly all of the possible external triggers (non-gluten) for gastrointestinal distress and once it did so, a low-gluten diet did not necessarily mean lower levels of gastro-distress. This very conclusively shows that “gluten intolerance” without celiac disease does not exist and points to psychological or FODMAPs as the more likely culprit.