For anyone whose ever rolled their eyes at a friend's insistence they can't stomach wheat, new research may explain their apparent sensitivity to the grain.
Though the gluten-free movement has become one of the biggest trends in food, only about one percent of people actually have celiac disease, the autoimmune disorder that damages the small intestine when digesting gluten via wheat, barley, or rye. So what about everyone else shunning wheat in favor of sans-gluten eats? Researchers at the Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) set out to determine whether non-celiac wheat sensitivity occurs in the body or merely the mind.
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The results, published in the journal Gut, claim that there is a biological reason those without celiac or a wheat allergy can still suffer from gastrointestinal symptoms after consuming the grain. According to Science Daily, a weakened intestinal barrier could be to blame for those wheat-induced belly aches. Individuals with a weaker barrier can in fact experience "a body-wide inflammatory immune response" to products containing gluten.