The State of the Gluten Free Union
We all share the common goal of good health, prosperity, and spiritual peace for the new year. Over the past year, we have seen the popularity of the gluten free diet continue to grow. Hundreds of thousands of sick people have gravitated toward this way of eating and noted dramatic improvements in their health. In my office alone, I have treated thousands of patients with gluten intolerance and seen miraculous improvements in health. The gluten free diet is a true ally on a path to good health. But as we will see over the next year, the GF diet is not enough to restore or establish good health.
Last year, I predicted a dramatic growth in the gluten free market. I also predicted that the availability of “gluten free” junk food would be the crux of this growth, and that this junk food would hinder the healing process for countless gluten free-ers. I also predicted that research would continue to evolve and identify other aspects of grain beyond gluten that are detrimental.
This year brought a plethora of new research and information to the gluten free community. So before moving forward, I would like to thank all of the scientists and researchers who continue to unravel new information. I would also like to thank those of you who continue to follow me on Gluten Free Society. Your support and conversation continues to inspire me to provide you with the “oh so hard to hear” TRUTHS revolving around the gluten free diet.
Major Gluten Free Advancements & Discoveries in 2014
Let’s kick off this review with the passage of the new Affordable Health Care Act. This new law makes it more difficult for those with chronic gluten induced disease to get quality care. I summarized this problem here.
Of major importance to the celiac and gluten free community – Two new studies confirmed that OATS (even certified gluten free ones) cause inflammation and persistent issues. In the past, I have written on this topic in detail, and you can read the review here.
- This study published in March identified that oats altered the healthy bacteria in the GI tract and led to inflammation.
- Another study showed that oats caused Leaky Gut and GI inflammation.
This year was a big year for linking nutritional challenges faced by those with gluten sensitivity. I spent a lot of time discussing how nutritional deficiencies caused by gluten can lead to multiple types of health issues to include:
- Thyroid disease
- Diabetes along with hypoglycemia and other blood sugar problems
- Malabsorption of nutrients like vitamin B12 and vitaminB1
- One paper published discussed the need for lifelong nutritional monitoring of patients with celiac disease
- Fibromyalgia and chronic pain
- The link between gluten and mold toxicity
- Migraine headaches and depression
In August, the FDA approved an official gluten free labeling law, and thanks to research, we know the law is inadequate. For example, 1 study found that gluten being used in braces caused a child to flare up. On a similar note, cosmetics containing wheat were shown to cause allergic responses. Another study found major issues with cross contamination in products being labeled gluten free. While even more research identified that certain chemicals being added to gluten free foods can be a problem. Of particular note:
- The popular herbicide Roundup creates leaky gut
- Carrageenan gum (an additive used to thicken many gluten free products) causes inflammation.
The most important Discovery of 2014
In my humble opinion, the most important research discovery came from a group of scientists who identified 5 types of proteins in wheat. None of these proteins were glutens, but they all caused inflammation in patients with celiac disease. This discovery is important because it identifies that the problem around celiac disease and gluten sensitivity is much, much larger than gluten, and knowing this helps to validate why so many people who test negative for gluten reactions are able to improve their health when going gluten free.
Looking Into 2015 and Beyond
2015 will bring to Gluten Free Society a brand new look and easier to navigate website. I am in the process of a new book and am aiming for a finish date by the end of 2015. I am working on several new nutritional formulas designed to support the gluten free community.
Expect to see 2-3 new drugs going to the market in 2015 or early 2016. A number of trials are underway as we speak. I am not advocating their use, and will write extensively about them as more develops. Expect the gluten free junk food industry to continue to grow. Be wary of these highly processed foods as most of them contain too much sugar, come from GMO, contain non traditional forms of gluten, have heavy levels of cross contamination, and frankly don’t help to improve your health.
The popularity of the Paleo diet and FODMAPS will continue to gain more followers. More and more people will start firing their doctors and finding Functional Medicine doctors for help and guidance.
Staying on The Cutting Edge
If you are a Health Care Provider and want to get updated on the latest scientific research surrounding gluten sensitivity, make sure you get signed up for my 10 hour post graduate online class. This year I will be hosting some additional online webinars to help doctors, nutritionists, nurses, and health coaches navigate these issues.
If you are just looking to get healthy, make sure to tune in to my new podcasts. I will also be doing some online webinars to help you. If you haven’t already, check out the Glutenology Health Matrix for more than 20 hours of tutorials, expert interviews, gluten free help, and more.
May your 2015 be your best year ever!
Always looking out for you,
Dr. Osborne – The Gluten Free Warrior