Top 5 things that happened in health and in the gluten-free world in 2016

We had a great year! More people are talking about coeliac disease, gluten sensitivity, and disorders related to gluten. The gluten-free market is also growing as expected, but the most important thing is that real food and naturally gluten-free options are also attracting more people. According to studies from the Bord Bia Irish Food Board, health for many people is now more about a natural and balanced food intake rather than “diets” and calorie control. Let’s check out the News Highlights in 2016.

Scientists Discovered that Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity is real

A study from the Columbia University managed to prove that Gluten/Wheat Sensitivity is a real disorder and gluten trigger intestinal cells of those who have Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity/Non-Coeliac Wheat Sensitivity (NCGS/NCWS).

“Our study shows that the symptoms reported by individuals with this condition are not imagined, as some people have suggested,” said study co-author Peter H. Green, MD, the Phyllis and Ivan Seidenberg Professor of Medicine at CUMC and director of the Celiac Disease Center. “It demonstrates that there is a biological basis for these symptoms in a significant number of these patients.”

It differs from coeliac disease, but the symptoms are similar to those coeliacs usually face. This new found may justify the symptoms that people have even though there are no biological markers for it.

Gluten is not the only one causing inflammation

Besides gluten, a different family of proteins found in wheat, called amylase-trypsin inhibitors (ATIs) triggers the inflammation of chronic health conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. This discovery was presented by a scientist at UEG Week 2016. They believe that ATIs also contribute towards the development of Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS).

The other side of the Sugar x Fat battle

Documents have shown that the sugar industry may have downplayed the link between sugar and heart disease and promoted saturated fats as the culprit instead. This was reported by the New York Times in September. The Sugar Association may have paid three Harvard scientist to publish a review on sugar, fat and heart disease, but the studies were handpicked by the sugar group to blame saturated fat and minimize the risks of high sugar intake.

New regulation for labelling allergens

In Europe, the new Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers became an obligation to provide nutrition information from 13 December 2016. Any of the 14 allergens (e.g. soy, nuts, gluten, lactose) that are on the regulatory list are to be emphasised on the label of a pre-packaged food if they are used as ingredients. For people with food allergies or autoimmune diseases such as coeliac disease, even small amounts of the trigger ingredient or a quick contact of that with the product can cause serious consequences. Some people may end up in a hospital.

High blood pressure has become more common in children

Sedentary lifestyle and bad food choices are involved in high blood pressure in children – this was shown by a recent study in the United States. Parents and doctors are missing diagnoses because they do not have enough information about it and they do not know how to deal with it at such an early age. Consequences of untreated hypertension in children include atherosclerosis, the arterial disorder that leads to heart disease and stroke later in life. It is important to focus on a diet rich in vegetables, fresh fruits, fiber. Reduce dietary salt and keeping regular physical exercise is highly recommended.

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