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476393521We’ve all heard it… a friend or acquaintance needs to have gluten free food because they have a gluten intolerance.  Well, according to an academic study, if that friend has not been diagnosed with having celiac disease, that can probably eat gluten.

According to Real Clear Science, Peter Gibson, a gastroenterology professor at Monash University in Australia, wasn’t satisfied with his 2011 study that helped kick off the gluten-free craze. So he and a group of researchers carried out a new one, giving 37 people with a declared gluten sensitivity (NCGS) and irritable bowel syndrome four separate diets.

The results?

After analyzing the data, Gibson found that each diet, whether it included gluten or not, prompted the patient to report a worsening of gastrointestinal symptoms, like pain, bloating, nausea, and gas.  Even patients who ate a gluten free diet said they had worsening symptoms.

Meaning the participants reported gastrointestinal distress without any apparent physical abuse.  Thus, Gluten wasn’t the culprit; the cause was likely psychological.

People expected the diets to make them sick, and so they did. The finding led Gibson to the opposite conclusion of his 2011 research.

From the study:

“These data suggest that NCGS, as currently defined, might not be a discrete entity or that this entity might be confounded by FODMAP restriction, and that, at least in this highly selected cohort, gluten might be not be a specific trigger of functional gut symptoms once dietary FODMAPs are reduced.”

A low-FODMAP diet is a common prescription for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.

The results from the study were published in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association, last year.