Tuesday, May 31, 2016

'Gluten Exposed' is a comprehensive look at gluten and celiac

Dr. Peter Green, director of Columbia University's Celiac Disease Center, and medical writer Rory Jones have written a book caled "Gluten Exposed" that takes a serious and comprehensive look at gluten and associated effects of eating gluten such as celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Which means the people who need to read it probably won't.

This isn't an exciting book. It's not going to be a best-seller like "Wheat Belly" and the like that erroneously convinced thousands, if not millions, of people that everybody needs to drop gluten from their diet.

It's a completely trustworthy and thorough description of medical issues by a recognized expert on celiac. It's full of information, not hype.

Among the important points in the book are:

1) if you think you may have issues with digesting gluten, get yourself tested by a medical professional before going on a gluten-free diet. You might just try out a gluten-free diet and think you feel better, so it must be gluten, but your diet could be masking some other serious conditions that need to be addressed.

2) If you don't have celiac or a non-celiac gluten sensitivity, there's nothing healthy about a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free diets can be low in certain vitamins and minerals while high in sugar and fat.

3) Be careful about what you read on the Internet. Unless you can verify that the information is coming from an informed source, don't accept it as gospel. Green debunks a lot of Internet myths about gluten in his book.

In my case, of course, Green is preaching to the choir, and I'm sure most of you feel the same way. As I've been saying for years, if you don't have a medical need for a gluten-free diet, don't do it and you're making things difficult for the rest of us by treating gluten-free as a fad diet.

One interesting point in the book is that while there are a number of non-dietary treatments under development for celiac disease, there are currently no drugs that would allow you to eat gluten and any claims about certain drugs that can minimize the impact of eating gluten are not proven. You may actually be doing harm to your body by taking them.

Food for thought.

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