by Paul Ratner
gluten protein may not be the real
reason for why many people experience bloating after eating
modern wheat-containing food.
Instead, a new study
proposes fructan as the potential culprit for the sensitivity some
As much as 13% of the population have bloating after eating
gluten-containing foods and seek out alternatives. But perhaps, they
should be looking for fructan-free products instead, say
Oslo in Norway - Gry I. Skodje, Vikas K. Sarna, Ingunn H.
Minelle, Kjersti L. Rolfsen, Marit B. Veier°d, Christine
Henriksen, Knut E.A. Lundin
in Australia - Jane G. Muir, Peter R. Gibson
It's a kind of
carbohydrate found in wheat but also in onions, garlic and some
other vegetables. Fructan was already found to be behind symptoms of
irritable bowel syndrome, which is what caused the scientists to
give it another look.
The study involved 59 people who were self-diagnosed with gluten
intolerance. They were given muesli bars to eat for several weeks,
with some having gluten, while others had fructan or neither of the
The scientists found that the participants only developed bloating
symptoms after eating fructan-containing bars. Other bars, including
those with gluten, did not cause the distress.
This led the researchers
to conclude that fructan, not gluten, may be behind the bowel
One big reason it's important to figure this out:
people who are on a
gluten-free diet were found to have an increased risk of
developing type 2 diabetes by other recent research.
It should be noted that
what the scientists have looked at here is gluten sensitivity that's
not related to celiac disease. Patients with that illness do need to
stay clear of gluten, which causes damage in the small intestine.
Read the new study "Fructan
Rather than Gluten induces Symptoms in Patients with Self-reported
Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity".