Recently, I Fucking Love Science had a post on their Facebook page that looked at an extremely flawed study as evidence that non-celiac gluten sensitivity may not exist.
Why was this study flawed? First of all, they only had 37 subjects participants. They rotated a low-FODMAP diet, high gluten diet, and a placebo diet. The study found that on each diet, subjects complained of increased bloating, pain and fatigue. Subjects only cycled through diets for one week at a time. Practicioners that put their patients on gluten free diets tell their patients to wait weeks or months to see if they notice any difference. Celiac patients are often told to wait 6 months or longer.
Why would there be complaints of increase pain, fatigue, and bloating on any diet? Is it really the nocebo effect?
The journal of Nature reported that diet rapidly and reproducibly alters the human gut microbiome. It is logical that these rapid changes in the microbiome could induce bloating, pain and fatigue. After all, the microbiome is hugely connected with the function of the gut, immune system, and the brain.
So, based on these facts, I think the nocebo effect may not be the only or best hypothesis for why subjects had increase in symptoms when transitioning back to the baseline diet.
It’s also worth noting, that the study author (Peter Gibson) is not trying to disprove non-celiac gluten sensitivity. He believes in it. In fact, in his recent journal (newer than the one cited by I Fucking Love Science), he found that short term of exposure to gluten in non-celiac gluten sensitivity induces depression.
CONCLUSIONS: Short-term exposure to gluten specifically induced current feelings of depression with no effect on other indices or on emotional disposition. Gluten-specific induction of gastrointestinal symptoms was not identified. Such findings might explain why patients with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity feel better on a gluten-free diet despite the continuation of gastrointestinal symptoms.
And what was Peter Gibson’s conlusion from a 2013 Lecture? You can watch the lecture for yourself, but I included a screenshot of his conclusion.
NCGS may indeed exist!
If anyone has an agenda of trying to disprove non-celiac gluten sensitivity, it would be I Love Fucking Science and their anti-science opinions.