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Gluten intolerance - recent trial provides new insight

June 5th 2011

Gluten intolerance is a syndrome in which people who do not have coeliac disease develop symptoms when they eat gluten.

People with gluten intolerance commonly complain of gastrointestinal symptoms similar to those experienced by people with IBS. However, they may also have other symptoms such as tiredness or difficulty concentrating. Gluten intolerance is poorly understood, not least because showing that gluten is to blame has proved difficult.

However, a recently published research study has shed new light on this area. Whilst working in Australia, Dr Peter Irving was involved in a study in which gluten was shown to be responsible for symptoms in patients with gluten intolerance. The trial was of high scientific quality being a double blind placebo controlled study and is the first such study to be performed in this area. Its publication has provided the most convincing evidence to date that non-coeliac gluten intolerance is a real condition - something that has been doubted by a significant proportion of people for many years. As such, it represents a breakthrough for people with gluten intolerance.

Gluten causes gastrointestinal symptoms in subjects without celiac disease: a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial. Biersierkierski et al. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2011 Mar;106(3):508-14