A new study may explain why people who do not have celiac disease or wheat allergy nevertheless experience a variety of gastrointestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms after ingesting wheat and related cereals.

The study conducted by researchers from Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), concludes that an explanation for non-celiac gluten or wheat sensitivity (NCWS), is that exposure to the offending grains somehow triggers acute systemic immune activation, rather than a strictly localized intestinal immune response.

There are no biomarkers for NCWS, so accurate figures for its prevalence are not available, but it is estimated to affect about 1 percent of the population, or 3 million Americans, roughly the same as for celiac disease.

The researchers of the study found that NCWS patients who followed a diet that excluded wheat and related cereals for six months were able to normalize their levels of immune activation and intestinal cell damage markers.

This is discussed in the documentary ‘What’s With Wheat?’ and Cyndi O’Meara, creator of the documentary and founder of Changing Habits commented on this during an Australian television interview on Today Extra.

You can watch the interview here or if you’re outside of Australia, you can watch the highlighted interview here.

“These results shift the paradigm in our recognition and understanding of non-celiac wheat sensitivity, and will likely have important implications for diagnosis and treatment,” said co-author Umberto Volta, MD, professor of internal medicine at the University of Bologna. “Considering the large number of people affected by the condition and its significant negative health impact on patients, this is an important area of research that deserves much more attention and funding.”

It’s exciting that this information is now getting worldwide attention.

Happy changing habits.

‘What’s With Wheat?’ Team

Source – “Intestinal cell damage and systemic immune activation in individuals reporting sensitivity to wheat in the absence of celiac disease” Columbia University Medical Centre