The war on gluten

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Science  25 May 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6391, pp. 848-851
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6391.848

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In the last decade, gastroenterologists have struggled to explain a puzzling group of patients. They're convinced that gluten makes them sick, but they don't have celiac disease, an autoimmune reaction to that often-villainized tangle of proteins in wheat, barley, and rye. As the "gluten-free" food fad blossomed, a small community of researchers began searching for a link between wheat components and patients' symptoms. Some now believe that many of those patients have an immune reaction to gluten or another substance in wheat—a nebulous illness sometimes called nonceliac gluten sensitivity. Other researchers believe most patients are actually reacting to an excess of poorly absorbed carbohydrates present in wheat and many other foods. In this young field, conclusive results are hard to come by.