ANOTHER INTOLERANCE CAUSED BY GLUTEN
It is not a mild form of the celiac disease. But a disease in itself, different from the molecular point of view and the immune response, even if the cause is the same. Gluten sensitivity: this is the name of the disease that affects about 3 million Italians and at least 20 million Americans.
Gluten sensitivity is increasingly being reported to doctors, especially in patients diagnosed with intestinal disorders, which were previously classified as patients with irritable bowel syndrome.
It is estimated that in Italy people suffering from gluten sensitivity are 6% of the population, while celiac disease affects 1% of population. "At last we were able to give a name to this new condition, which is something different from celiac disease. It was thought that gluten sensitivity did not exist and that the supposed benefits derived from a gluten free diet were only a placebo effect. It’s not like that" said Fasano, one of the experts who carried out studies on this disorder.
"This is a study that changes completely the classification of these disorders. We have found out that there is a distinct clinical entity, different from celiac disease for pathogenesis and genes involved. A form called gluten sensitivity that affects healthy people. The intestinal mucosa in these patients appear normal and do not show the damage typical of celiac disease, even if the bowel is inflamed."
What is the difference between the two diseases? "Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease. It depends on defects of innate immunity, which is that we are born with, and adaptive immunity, that is what allows the body to produce antibodies to eliminate harmful molecules. This mechanism is activated in two or three weeks. "
What are the symptoms of gluten-sensitivity? “Symtoms are similar to those of people with irritable bowel syndrome. Abdominal pain, bloating, headache, blurred memory, depression. The threshold of tolerance to gluten is individual. In other words, a person can have problems eating half a sandwich or just eating a bite of pasta. While others can consume foods rich in gluten without apparent consequences. The sensitivity may be increased during the life course or disappear without leaving any damage, unlike celiac disease which is characterized by a cumulative effect."
Is this new disease the result of foods containing toxic gluten? "Surely these abnormal reactions depend on products where the percentage of gluten has been artificially increased. Our body has not evolved enough to be able to handle these artificial substances."
GLUTEN SENSITIVITY AND GMO…
The exponential growth over the past decades of celiac disease, or total intolerance to gluten, makes us wonder what part might have in this regard the genetic changes made on wheat. For some time this link has emerged, categorically denied by the proponents of biotechnology and GM foods. This hypothesis is not new, but it’s always been categorically denied by the supporters of biotechnology and GM foods.
Professor Luciano Pecchiai, founder of Eubiotica in Italy, offers a very interesting explanation:
"It is well known that in the past wheat was a tall-stalk plant –Pecchiai explains- which tended to bend toward the ground due to wind and rain. In order to avoid this, in recent decades, wheat was then "dwarfed" by means of genetic modification."
This change may have caused the genetic modification of a protein called gliadin, which is responsible for the malabsorption typical of celiac disease. No one has yet found an explanation to the fact that celiac disease has increased so dramatically in recent years and shows no signs of stopping.
"While a few decades ago the incidence of disease was 1 case per thousand or two thousand people, the disease now affects 1 in 100 or 150 people," says Adriano Pucci, president of the Italian Celiacs Association. "Only in Italy people with celiac disease are about 400.000, but only 55.000 have received a diagnosis and follow a diet that can save their lives."