A friend posted this link to my Facebook wall:
The title reads: "Science Proves Gluten Sensitivity Isn't Real, People Are Just Whiners"
I smell bullshit...SO LETS INVESTIGATE!!!
Buzzworthy.com is owned by "Evan Leftwich" Address of domain registrant is 95 Wall St., NYC
NYTimes.com admin: Ellen Herb NYTimes.com address registrant is 620 8th Avenue, NYC
The companies are physically located within 7 miles of each other (6.7 miles):
No date is given on the article.
Feb 17, 2014: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/18/business/food-industry-wagers-big-on-gluten-free.html?_r=5 This article is cited 3 times
Aug, 2013: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23648697
Dec, 2013: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24026574
At the bottom of the article are the following disclaimers:
- This article was updated on September 23 2014 in response to the complaint(s) that we did not provide enough detail within the original. ** The opinions expressed are those of the author. Buzzworthy is more than happy to post a counter opinion if reliable sources and a strong case are provided.
Ok, so, here is the important part of the original article:
"It is especially relevant in a country where 17 million people may unnecessarily believe that they are gluten-sensitive. (Source: A Mayo Clinic survey in 2012, cited in a NY Times article.)"
In the linked article on the NYTimes website, the following statement is made:
"Never mind that a Mayo Clinic survey in 2012 concluded that only 1.8 million Americans have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack the small intestine when gluten is ingested and can lead to other debilitating medical problems if not diagnosed.
An additional 18 million people, or about 6 percent of the population, is believed to have gluten sensitivity, a less severe problem with the protein in wheat, barley and rye and their relatives that gives elasticity to dough and stability to the shape of baked goods."
The Mayo Clinic survey is not linked anywhere at all in the article.
Googling around for 20 minutes does not bring me to this supposed survey.
However, I did find other information:
July 30, 2012: http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/most-with-celiac-disease-unaware-of-it-study-reveals/
- Approx. 1.8 million people estimated to have Celiac's disease
- Approx. 1.4 million people unaware that they have Celiac's disease
- "Roughly 80 percent of the people on a gluten-free diet do so without a diagnosis of celiac disease."
May 20, 2013: http://www.everydayhealth.com/crohns-disease/is-it-crohns-disease-or-celiacs-disease.aspx
- "Because Crohn’s and celiac disease (also called celiac sprue) are similar in some ways, the two diseases may be hard to distinguish from each other at first. For one thing, Crohn’s and celiac share common symptoms, including diarrhea and abdominal pain."
- "Plus, in both Crohn’s and celiac disease, the immune system is reacting to some sort of environmental stimulus. “In celiac disease, we know that stimulus is gluten, but we don’t yet understand what the environmental stimulus in Crohn’s is,” says Karlee Ausk, MD, a gastroenterologist with Swedish Gastroenterology, part of Swedish Medical Center in Seattle.
- "Also, experts aren’t sure exactly why, but research shows that people with celiac disease do seem to be at an increased risk for inflammatory bowel disorders — specifically Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis — compared with people who don't have celiac disease."
- "“One study shows the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease is up to 10 times higher in a person with celiac disease compared to someone without celiac,” says Dr. Ausk."
So, both Celiac's and Crohn's are things that a gluten-free diet will help alleviate, but the original article is supposed to be about the prevalence of self-diagnosed non-celiac gluten-sensitivity (NCGS), of which there is zero information cited in that article or the NYTimes article that they cite.
It is a misnomer to suggest that it is only people with Celiac's that will benefit from a gluten-free diet by calling it NCGS in the first place.
Lets dig a bit deeper: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-celiac_gluten_sensitivity
- "There are many open question on gluten sensitivity and, as stated in a review article, "there is general agreement in the scientific community that additional studies are needed to shed light on NCGS". In another review, it is emphasized that "it is still to be clarified whether this disorder is permanent or transient and whether it is linked to autoimmunity". It has not yet been established whether innate or adaptive immune responses are involved in NCGS, nor whether the condition relates specifically to gluten or rather relates to other components of the grain. The need for developing biomarkers for NCGS is frequently emphasized; for example, the authors of a recent review article indicate: "There is a desperate need for reliable biomarkers and/or an algorithm that include clinical, biochemical and histopathological findings which support the diagnosis of NCGS.""
- The study cited: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24369326
- "A 2014 study found that the results of preliminary randomized, placebo-controlled research "suggest that short-term exposure to gluten can induce depressive symptoms in people with nonceliac gluten sensitivity"."
- The article cited: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4131231/
So, for one, the Buzzworthy article's title is 100% bullshit.
Secondly, Buzzworthy's disclaimer at the bottom admits that the article is purely an opinion piece.
Thirdly, the site's name is "Buzzworthy". The article title is clickbait. My adblocker shows that there are at least 9 different ads on the site, so unless you are using an adblocker in your web browser, Buzzworthy gets paid every time anyone visits the page. What better way to make a buck than by getting ignorant sheeple to suck advertisement dick?
Here's my problem with it: Science isn't about opinions. It is about facts, facts that the article was unable to cite. Facts that are endlessly refuted in other places that are easily googleable in a short amount of time.
I will say this much: There is still a lot of science left to be done, but cutting out gluten cannot hurt anyone. You aren't losing anything and in fact might be gaining a lot by doing so.
Now, in the comments section of my friend's post, he makes the following statement:
"Business wise it's smart. Obviously though, some people feel they are superior to others because they eat this or act snobby with it. It's all bullshit technically. Lol Jokes on them."
- First off, I've never met anyone in real life who thinks they are "superior" to other people because they are attempting to lead a gluten-free diet. By definition, going "gluten-free" means you are inferior to others, especially if you actually have Celiac's or Crohn's disease, because that does not represent the normal genetic structure of a human being. Having either of those diseases represents a mutation in the human genome. People who cannot process the same foods as the rest of mankind, by definition, are weak links in the chain that require special attention. This is why the gluten-free movement is so profitable.
- Secondly, gluten is primarily found in wheat and grains, i.e. bread, pasta, etc. There are a lot of foods that, by definition, should not have had gluten in them in the first place, but are now being advertised as being gluten-free, such as the cranberry juice pictured in the NYTimes article. This is the result of the spread of awareness of gluten-sensitivity, including Celiac's and Crohn's.
- It isn't "all bullshit technically", nor is the joke on them or anyone else, nor is it obvious that "some people feel they are superior to others because they eat this", but if anyone does "act snobby with it" I invite you to punch them in the face :D
That said, I'll take your comments with a grain of salt, and consider that you have only really heard about this gluten-free thing through ignorant friends and the media, either people for or against the whole thing, when it shouldn't be about being pro-gluten or anti-gluten in the first place.
When you consider that, prior to the advent of agriculture, farming, and the dawn of non-nomadic, domestic civilization, mankind did not have the means to create bread, it is easy to say that bread is not-at-all necessary to the human diet. That is a fact, which is what the center of this discussion should be: facts.
Neither Buzzworthy nor the Jew York Times have presented any facts on the issue. Case closed.