What is Gluten?

Gluten is a complex protein consist of gliadin and glutenin which mainly found in grains. It is an excellent binding agent in food processing and commonly used as additives in most of the processed food. According to gluten property studies, it acts as a binder, holding food together and adding a “stretchy” quality.

However, gluten is resistant to digestive enzymes in the digestive tract. The undigested particles may cross the intestinal barrier and stimulates allergic responses. In addition, components like agglutinin and exorphins in gluten grains induce the damage of intestinal lining which leads to Leaky Gut Syndrome. The damage in the small intestine may cause gastrointestinal symptoms and malabsorption.

Gluten Intolerance and symptoms.

Gluten intolerance conditions include Celiac Disease (CD), and Wheat Allergy (WA). On the other hand, non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is also known as gluten intolerance reported in people with no Celiac Disease and Wheat Allergy. The typical symptoms of gluten intolerance are:

·        Nausea


·        Constipation


·        Bloating

Fibromyalgia-like joint or muscle pain

·        Abdominal pain

Leg or arm numbness

·        Diarrhoea

Foggy mind

·        Irregular bowel movements

Dermatitis or skin rash


The only known treatment for gluten intolerance is a lifelong, strict gluten-free diet.

Gluten food.

Grains are the world’s stable food due to their accessibility, affordability, and longer shelf life. Not all grains contain gluten, therefore a right choice of gluten-free diet is more beneficial for our health.

Main gluten grains are wheat, barley, rye, malt, spelt, triticale, and oats. According to gluten studies, similar protein of gliadins exist as avenins in oats are also referred to as “gluten.”

Examples of processed food that contains gluten are cereals, pasta, noodles, bread, cakes, pastries, biscuits, alcohol, dressings, processed meat, vegetarian meat, sauces, seasoning, marinades, soups, and confectionery.

Gluten-free food includes fresh food such as vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, and poultry. Gluten-free grains or starch includes corn, rice, potatoes, tapioca, quinoa, millet, amaranth, arrowroot, and buckwheat. However, it is suggested to eat these grains in their natural form instead of the processed form such as gluten-free flour, gluten-free pasta, gluten-free biscuits or cakes.

The Benefit of choosing a Gluten-free diet (GFD).

Other than improving gastrointestinal health and immune system, a gluten-free diet also helps in

ü  Weight Loss

A study was conducted on people who avoid gluten without any gluten-related diseases found was associated with a decrease in weight over 1 year, lower waist circumference, and higher-high density lipoprotein (HDL-good cholesterol) levels compared to the general population.

ü  Insulin Resistance

A gluten-free diet improves insulin sensitivity through the suppression of the inflammatory profile according to a gluten-free diet study.

ü  Endometriosis and Chronic Pelvic Pain

Studies claimed an improvement in pain scores after implementation of a gluten-free diet for 6 and 12 months, respectively.

ü  Fibromyalgia

Patients on the gluten-free diet and hypocaloric diet for 24 weeks resulted in symptom improvement for both gluten-sensitive and fibromyalgia symptoms. 

ü  Autism

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota reports that a gluten-free diet does seem to help with improvement in behavior, social skills, and learning in children with autism.

ü  Epilepsy

In a study conducted in 2016, 6 out of 7 patients with celiac disease had their seizures completely under control and were able to discontinue antiepileptic medications after 5 months on the gluten-free diet.

ü  Last not least, while on a gluten-free diet we tend to avoid the intake of processed food which has a positive impact on improving our overall health.  


By Nutritionist Moga
Anna Hoo Clinic



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