What Is Gluten Free?
A Gluten-Free Diet must admonish any grain that has gluten in it. Gluten is the elastic protein that makes grain particles stick together to make breads, pastas, cakes and cookies. Gluten is not a chemical added to grain or flour--it is a natural part of many grains. Gluten (from Latin gluten, "glue") is a mixture of proteins found in wheat and related grains, including barley, rye, oat, and all their species and hybrids (such as spelt, kamut, and triticale).
Gluten-Related Disorders is the umbrella term for all diseases triggered by gluten, which include celiac disease (CD), non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), wheat allergy, gluten ataxia, and dermatitis herpetiformis (DH). Currently, their incidence is increasing in most geographic areas of the world. It can be explained possibly by the growing westernization of diet, increasing use of wheat-based foods included in the Mediterranean diet, the progressive replacement of rice by wheat in many countries in Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa, the development in recent years of new types of wheat with a higher amount of cytotoxic gluten peptides, and the higher content of gluten in bread and bakery products, due to the reduction of dough fermentation time.
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is described as a condition of multiple symptoms that improves when switching to a gluten-free diet, after celiac disease and wheat allergy are excluded. Recognized since 2010, it is included among gluten-related disorders, but its pathogenesis is not yet well understood. NCGS is the most common syndrome of gluten intolerance, with a prevalence estimated to be 6–10 times higher than that of celiac disease.
Patients with NCGS may develop gastrointestinal symptoms, which resemble those of irritable bowel syndrome or wheat allergy, and/or a wide variety of non-gastrointestinal symptoms, such asheadache, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, atopic diseases, allergies, neurological diseases, or psychiatric disorders, among others.
Besides gluten, additional components present in wheat, rye, barley, and their derivatives, including other proteins and short-chain carbohydrates called FODMAPs, may cause NCGS symptoms. The effects of FODMAPs are only limited to gastrointestinal discomfort.
In the United States, gluten is not listed on labels unless added as a stand-alone ingredient. Wheat or other allergens are listed after the ingredient line. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has historically classified gluten as "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS). In August 2013, FDA issued a final rule, effective August 2014, that defined the term "gluten-free" for voluntary use in the labeling of foods as meaning that the amount of gluten contained in the food is below 20 parts per million.
The following video by Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat Belly and Wheat Belly Total Health, discusses how genetic modifications to the modern wheat plant have made it unsuitable for human consumption.