Saturday, 11 November 2017

How after 5000 years of humanity surviving off of bread do we have so many people within the last decade who are entirely allergic to gluten(wheat)?


We don't know. There are a number of theories about this. To clarify, while the increase may be exaggerated by people who falsely claim intolerance when they probably have other health issues (or are hypochondriacs), there is actually an increase in people with diagnosable gluten intolerance. And gluten intolerance is different than celiac. I'm taking here about gluten intolerance. Some possible causes include changes in the gut microbiome and changes in how we process and make bread.
Changes in the gut microbiome are a likely cause/contributor but the causes and effects of that are just stating to be understood, and barely. So I won't go into that too much, but if anyone has questions I may be able to answer.

On the processing side, one interesting theory is that the germ of wheat helps us process the gluten in some way. It has lots of nutrients, vitamins, fats, etc. Modern wheat flour (even most whole grain stuff) is made by separating the germ from the rest of the wheat first, then processing. This causes the flour to keep longer but removes all those nutrients. This is why flour/cereals need to be fortified. However, we only fortify with the vitamins and minerals for which we notice obvious deficiencies. So it's entirely feasible that we are neglecting to add something back into the flour that helps SOME people not develop gluten intolerance. This may be via some immune response or due to changes caused in the gut microbe (e.g. we are no longer giving some micronutrients to a specific bacteria in our gut so it dies out. That bacteria helped us process gluten or a byproduct and without its help we get sick). It's also possible that our body just needs some nutrient in the germ to process gluten efficiently. We really just don't know.

Source Reddit

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