‘Gluten-free’ foods have recently become trendy. In 2010, the market for gluten-free foods was worth $2.5 billion dollars; this figure is expected to top $5 billion by 2017. But just how needed are gluten-free foods. A new study explored the hype surrounding the gluten-free phenomenon, with interesting results.
The recent research, titled “Nonceliac Gluten Sensitivity: Sense or Sensibility?” was published in theAnnals of Internal Medicine.It found that there are nearly 4500 web mentions of gluten sensitivity per one science journal article about the condition. The study’s authors conclude “Considerable debate about nonceliac gluten sensitivity has recently surfaced on the internet, with a sharp increase in forums, patients or patient groups, manufacturers, and physicians advocating a gluten-free diet… Claims seem to increase daily, with no adequate scientific support to back them up.”
According toStuff.co.nz,the researchers argue that gluten may not be the cause in conditions believed to be nonceliac gluten sensitivity. The researchers hypothesize that other ingredients in wheat flour or foods containing wheat may actually be causing the symptoms attributed to gluten sensitivity. Other studies, however, contradict this point of view, showing that there is a significant difference in the symptoms experienced when gluten is taken out of baked goods. Clearly, the issue still needs research.