Not eating wheat is all the rage, and some sceptics regard it as a fashionable fad-but scientists have discovered that gluten sensitivity is a very real problem, and they've also figured out the biological mechanism behind it.
Eating wheat products such as bread or pasta releases molecules that can pass through the gut lining. The molecules include exorphins, which have been found in the spinal fluid of people with schizophrenia and autism. They could also have an opioid-drug effect, which would explain the light-headedness that seems to affect some sufferers.
Researchers from Milan University have discovered that eating gluten releases these proteins and molecules, but say that more research is needed to find out what biological effect they may be having.
Although the mechanism around celiac disease and gluten intolerance is known, that of gluten sensitivity has not, until now, been established-partly because doctors and scientists just haven't believed the problem exists.
The researchers made the discovery after they observed the biological processes that occurred after eating two kinds of sliced bread and four types of spaghetti.
(Source: Food Research International, 2015; 72: 208)