What's The Big Deal With Gluten?
I watched with interest the BBC Horizon programme last week Clean Eating - The Dirty Truth expecting some quality TV journalism and insightful debate with some of the media darlings on food - Deliciously Ella and Hemsley Hemsley. I could not have been more disappointed.
The opening lines of "Imagine if the food you choose... could make you feel well... Imagine if you could become healthy or healthier by eating fresh, natural ingredients..." were offered like these ideas were some kind of insane, radical statements - seriously, give me a break...
Unfortunately the rest of the programme left me wanting to pull off my ears (a bit harsh I know, but it really did drive me crazy...) I constantly hear from patients who have seen on TV some poorly conceived "research" on foods or supplements which leave them jumping to conclusions which are wholly incorrect. There is already too much confusion for people over what they eat to not approach these subjects with due diligence.
I was most concerned about how they appeared to show Dr Fasano's work - probably the leading research scientist on gluten and it's effect on the body. The programme suggested he found gluten was only an issue for those with genetic susceptibility. Having trawled through many of Dr Fasano's actual research papers this is far from what he is finding.
Being gluten free is not a fad. Being gluten free is the difference between health and disease for many more people than is currently known or accepted. There is a great article here by The Alliance For Natural Health going in to some of the issues more eloquently than I probably could manage.
Okay, rant over... and I promise to lay off the TV for a while :-)