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Idea that intestinal bacteria affect mental health gains ground (nature.com)
187 points by whyenot on Nov 13, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 84 comments



About 5 years ago I stopped eating gluten. For me it was mostly some intolerance and skin reaction. Needless to say how well I am doing now compared to before. Finding the link was the hard part and took decades.

A side effect I noticed was the disappearance of allergies. I had some level of pollen allergies and can't recall to have any reactions anymore, which is part of having a improved immune system function.

This is where it gets interesting to that article. I also noticed my general far better mood stability. I never had much of a problem, but like any human some ups and downs. Being more energetic I recognized also that I am far more upbeat. I do have no real explanation and it is only my case, but I can see the link between the digestion and depression.


I read somewhere (references below), that most "gluten sensitivity" cases in the US is actually sensitivity to certain pesticides that are used in wheat farming. That's why most people who suffer from gluten sensitivity in the US do just fine when they eat bread in Europe. Have you considered moving to non-GMO certified organic wheat products and seen any difference in your health?

http://sustainablepulse.com/2014/02/19/roundup-linked-global...

http://www.alternet.org/food/meet-controversial-mit-scientis...

http://www.gmwatch.org/index.php/news/archive/2013/14764-com...

Here are some that refute the above: http://www.examiner.com/article/bogus-paper-on-roundup-satur...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tamar-haspel/condemning-monsan...

http://ultimateglutenfree.com/2014/02/does-glyphosate-cause-...


The article claims that we now have evidence that the gut influences the brain (rather than just correlation), but the evidence isn't exactly compelling.

GABA doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier, so the fact that bacteria in the gut release GABA won't have any effect on the brain.

A caesarean will be a huge stressor, and cortisol in the mother is known to affect the brain of the child, so why do they think the bacteria was causal in making these changes when they didn't actually do any controlled tests for the bacteria?

Similarly for autism: we know the brain is different, so it seems more likely the brain changes are causing the changes in the gut bacteria rather than the other way around, as we know for certain that brain changes will affect the gut (stress), but there is no evidence that gut bacteria can make these kind of changes in the brain.


> GABA doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier, so the fact that bacteria in the gut release GABA won't have any effect on the brain.

Yet tons of people take it as a supplement regardless. Maybe it's just placebo?

I feel like we should hold out judgement on this. I wouldn't be surprised if GABA somehow affected us in other ways even if it doesn't get into the brain. But yes, as far as we currently know, it shouldn't affect our mental performance.


Any pill you take to improve your performance or health will have some sort of placebo effect. Whether it has any actual effect over and above placebo requires a double-blind RCT. As far as I'm aware, there is no evidence that it has any effect over placebo, and the science says it shouldn't.

People take all sorts of dubious supplements...


What pills should I take to get the most positive placebo effects?


There is more evidence than was mentioned in the article. Mice fed Lactobacillus regulate stress better. Populations with gluten free diets have incredibly low schizophrenia rates, until introduced to western diets. Schizophrenia patients making progress in therapy on gluten free diets experience more issues when reintroduced to gluten.


>GABA doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier

I have taken that stuff and while it may not have crossed the barrier it definitely made be feel really weird. So much so that my roommate and I both had to stop taking it after a week or so.


Also how about the autism incidence gap between men and women. I agree with you that the evidence is pointing to the reverse of what is claimed.


My daughter is 17 months and recently diagnosed with Autism. For the first few months everything was bout getting a diagnosis so that we could begin therapy asap.

Since then I have spent more time trying to see what some of the research suggests in terms of biological and genetics causes. There's a huge community out there experimenting with their children's diets and exposing them to a number of vitamin and drug therapies. I haven't been sufficiently convinced that the risks of many of these therapies outweigh the reward. We did start her on a gluten-free diet (she has digestion issues and gluten intolerance runs in my family) but only because it wasn't risky to try.

I don't really KNOW anymore than I did before my daughter's diagnosis... but the lack of substantial research in some of these areas is concerning as a parent. I can understand why a parents may seek to implement some of these drastic changes to help their kids... but I fear that we know so little that it may cause more damage.


I've read that there's a significantly higher risk of autism associated with advanced age of the parents, particularly the mother.

http://psychcentral.com/news/2014/04/23/risk-of-child-autism...

This might partly explain why autism is increasingly prevalent in wealthier societies where families are more likely to delay childbirth.


Have any doctors been recommending these kinds of dietary changes to you?


No.

Our pediatrician is not a developmental specialist but is of a similar mindset that there is just not enough evidence to support a lot of the mind/gut theories. Same goes for the metal toxicity and vaccination links. She's not dismissive of diet having a link, but does not feel the risk in the more extreme cases is worth it.

She also mentioned that many families experience a great deal of stress as a result. Autistic kids can be difficult when it comes to feeding (textures and sensations can be an issue)... so introducing more restrictions causes the family to have to spend more time on diet and potentially more effort in getting their child to eat... Everyone gets more stressed.

That would all be worth it... if it was clear it was effective. Unfortunately often times it turns a difficult situation into a more stressful environment.

We deal with many other specialists but they are mostly physical and speech specialists... they are by no means trained in dietary issues.

I find a lot of the information out there overwhelming. There's no shortage of claims (both from doctors and parents). It's tempting to latch on to cutting edge studies... but sadly very few have very comprehensive studies.


Making your own ginger beer using a starter that you maintain (google "ginger bug") is an easy way to get into DIY probiotics.

And, the book "The Art of Fermentation", which promotes fermenting beverages, vegetables, etc using wild yeasts and generally yielding foods with various Lactobacillus, is a fantastic read.


It seems there are people who are DIY fecal transplants in the hopes of addressing various maladies and illnesses.

https://www.google.com/search?q=diy+fecal+transplants


I did this for IBS. It helped me out tremendously - it didn't cure me, but it allowed me to go on vacation at a time when I was hitting up the bathroom 10 times a day.

Funny side note - my poop has no smell. For quite a while after the transplant, mine smelled like the donor's. It proved that it took hold, for a month or two at least. Now I take Cholestyramine every day, and that has helped even more.


There are some links/searches on the internet I don't want to click. This is one of them.

I have no problem with others looking at this, I think it's probably great, but for me this is where I nope out.


While you have been down voted for expressing your "nope" opinion. I think a proper way to handle this would be to add some sort of warning/tag before posting links to content which may shock/offend etc.


It's a google search. Warning people that searching for 'fecal' on google might return discussions of feces is unnecessary in my opinion.


More importantly, article also mentions that Caesarean births, due to non-exposure to maternal vaginal microbes, might result in lifelong mental health changes.


> "when a lab makes a mouse by in vitro fertilization, the animal will pick up microbes from its surrogate mother, which might differ greatly from those of its genetic mother"

Can the microbes be transplanted?


We'd first have to ensure that the vaginal flora doesn't undergo radical changes during labor.

If not, it should be easy to do. The hardest and most expensive part (for mice) would be a sterile C-section to prevent the mice from picking up the wrong bacteria.

If it does, the mother's bacteria may have to be complemented according to the expected changes.


It's not the first time I read about this.

Both my sister and I were born through a cesarean birth and we both suffer from depression. Nothing really bad in our lives to justify these depressions.

Here is my sample of 2.


me and my brother do not suffer. n=4


Anybody here has done first hand experiments on themselves care to comment?


I'm the CEO of GeneralBiotics.com, we sell a probiotic created using Human Microbiome Project datasets (our CTO did his postdoctoral work there).

The product is not a DIY FMT, but serves a similar function (restore missing aggregate metabolic pathways).

Personally, from generation 1 of our product onwards I've felt considerably less stressed, more upbeat/happy, and haven't had diarrhea (I have IBS-D, so that's a huge one for me personally). Our pilot study has offered us preliminary confirmation of this, so we're paying for a 200 person placebo-controlled follow up study.

Early versions did have hiccups, but IMO gas is FAR preferable to diarrhea.

I don't personally think DIY is worth the risk, as there are a lot of things you'd absolutely need to screen for if you're considering that route (see http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/776501_4 for a minimal list). I think you should also screen for mental disorders, stress disorders, mood disorders, etc. Basically anything known to be correlated with the microbiome at minimum.

Assuming you've screened for those things (which is to say basically a pro-level FMT), I think it's basically safe -- there are a lot of FMT procedures performed every year with minimal side effects.

#include disclaimer: obviously not medical advice, etc, etc


This product looks really interesting.

I've been following the FMT related news recently, and since starting specific probiotics my NSAID related GI issues have been vastly reduced to almost zero pain.

Once you start shipping to Scotland I'll give your product a try!


Very Interesting. I'd be willing to give a go, but I don't think you ship to my country.


Alas. Shipping microbes across borders is a tricky business.

It takes about 30 days to get a decision one way or another, we are prioritizing lawyer time using the wait list: http://eepurl.com/5qS9z


I signed up and curious how high Canada is on the list... I see a lot of pro/pre biotic products in the store so it is certainly not banned.

Another question... what is your take on the fecal transplant process and do you ever think it could end up in a "pill format"? Are you aware of any such pills in the North American market?


You should add a mailing list to your page. I don't want to order yet, but would be interested in hearing the results of your 200 person study, and potentially ordering in the future.


Thank you for pointing this out. Send an email to support@generalbiotics.com and we'll add you prior to the next design rev.


wow that's super interesting! Align is the only other probiotic I've tried because they actually did some clinical trials with it. I'm ordering some of your product now, gotta support companies that are willing do to actual science, thanks for posting!


Do you have a ballpark figure on how much a 200 person study will cost?


Depends on which third party you're using. For product studies, having a University do it runs in the low 100s of thousands, having a CRO do it is mid 10s of thousands to low 100s.

If you're running one that involves disease, doctors, regulators, etc those numbers grow exponentially. FDA trials (which are often less than 200 people) are in the 100s of millions.

Email me (david@generalbiotics.com) if you'd like some help setting one up.


Reducing my intake of short carbohydrates in combination with changing to a gluten-free diet has vastly improved my mental health and emotional stability.

ED: Can't reply because of rate-limiting. So;

It breaks down a bit differently. Foods which are gluten-free are quite different in several ways. There are a lot of unhealthy things I avoid while also avoiding gluten.

I think that short carbs influence the dopaminergic system which intestinal health influences the serotonergic system. Both are feel-good hormones. I suffer from chronic depression which seems to mean permanently reduced levels of one or both of these. I'm an 80s kid, meaning my formative years happened during a time which was crazy on many levels. I don't have diabetes, fortunately. Aside from chronic depression I'm in very good health.

Take this as you will.


Are you coeliac or you just think that gluten is bad for you?


I know it's popular to make fun of people who don't eat gluten and don't have celiac disease and I'm the first one to correct people who says gluten is "bad for you", however this is not the full story.

There are people who are "gluten sensitive" and my wife is one of them. More specifically, she is only sensitive to gluten in American products. She cannot eat anything with gluten here in the US without immediately having very painful stomach cramps and bloating. We spend about one month per year in Spain, where she is from, and she eats all the bread and gluten that she wants with absolutely no problems.

So, all I'm trying to say is that you shouldn't be quick to judge people who don't eat gluten and don't have celiac, unless they're just doing it because they heard it was bad.


"only sensitive to gluten in American products" I have a hard time believing that the nationality of the gluten has anything to do with her reactions. Perhaps you are confusing correlation with causation? I think the more likely cause of her reactions is something else in the products in the US that are causing her reactions. An interesting study for you to take a look at as well: http://www.businessinsider.com/gluten-sensitivity-and-study-...


True, it could be something other than the gluten, however it must be closely related because she does not have problems with gluten-free products. Unlike the participants of the study, I don't believe that her problem is mental. It happens at least once a month that she feels terrible, as if she has eaten gluten, but claims that she hasn't. It's only after careful consideration of what she has eaten that she realizes there actually was gluten in some ingredient like a sauce that probably had flour added to it to thicken it.

In regard to the study, I didn't read all the info, but I'm not sure that 37 people is a convincing sample size. I've also heard other Europeans complain about exactly the same thing.


Which do you think had the bigger impact?


I've been doing a strict ketogenic diet for almost six months. Very low carb from veggies mostly, 25% of my diet is protein, and about %70 healthy fats.

My allergies were terrible before, now they are barely there and manageable taking the occasional zyrtec. My gastrointestinal issues are mostly gone, although I've read that could be from a reduction in inflammation in the gut lining, but might be related to changes in my gut microbes too. Hard to tell.

My energy levels are more sustained and even (no more crashes), and my moods are generally better. Who knows if my changing gut flora is the reason, it might be. I know not feeding those little buggers tons of sugar really changes things up! :)

Or it's all placebo and I'm just healthier in general. Either way I'm feeling better. I'm sure science will eventually figure out if the link is causal or not, but in the meantime don't let my anecdotal story sway you too much.

edit: oops I forgot to mention I also take a probiotic every now and then. Align is the name, I like it but I don't take probiotics regularly.


Why would a single experiment on one individual have any interest?


Because it gives you ideas for new things to try. Especially useful when all known solutions have failed.


Because self-experimentation is an excellent source of data. Obviously we'd prefer a series of double-blind, controlled experiments whose results have been rigorously replicated, but that doesn't mean that less rigorous experiments have no value.


> Because self-experimentation is an excellent source of data.

No it isn't. People quote Barry Marshall[1] all the time but most people don't perform their self-experimentation with any kind of rigour. How many people have access to endoscopy to take before / after tests?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Marshall


> No it isn't.

Self experimentation could be an excellent source of data. Quite a few "interesting" things cannot effectively be rigorously tested, either because we have no effective placebo, or because they are inhumane (e.g., the vast majority of so-called "rigorous" diet studies are actually based on self-reporting and willful compliance, because you can't keep people in controlled a lab for more than a few weeks). Also, as Ionnadis pointed out, quite a bit of (supposedly rigourous) published research is simply wrong.

So for a lot of things, we have to do with "amateur hour" experiments, whether conducted in a university lab and published in Nature, or conducted at home and published in a blog.

Self-experimentation can easily disprove a "general truth" but cannot really support one due to lack of controls ( and do recall the scientific method is statement about disproving things, not about proving them) However, if you do stumble on a local version of a "general truth", you can then look for the n->inf version more rigorously.

You can look at e.g. the late Seth Roberts for examples; the ideas are interesting, some of his successes have been replicated by enough people; Among these - correlation between Vitamin D intake time and sleep quality (see gwern for a rigorous test of that experiment, that confirms it for n=|{gwern}|=1, and many other less rigorous; Rigorous correlation among flax seed (supposedly omega 3) intake, butter, bacon and response time for n=|{seth}|=1, which I have not published but have verified rigorously for n=|me|=1 about flax seed. And there are a few others. I think some of his ideas are crazy but almost all are interesting.

(Self-reported) success on his Shangri-La diet is ~80%, which is very high for a diet, but obviously not a general truth since it is not 100%. It worked for me once, but not the 2nd time a couple of years later despite following exactly the same protocol. I'd say self-experimentation is much less rigorous, but way more time-and-captial efficient way of arriving at results.


I think most of our progress in life is self-experimentation in one sort or another. We try things and do what works and stop doing what doesn't.

By the way, did anyone find out what happened to Seth?


According to http://blog.sethroberts.net/2014/05/10/cause-of-death/ , his family should be getting the report around now, and they mentioned the intend to share the details.


My wife was a psychology major at Marymount University like 15 years ago and I joined her for a talk by a researcher who was promoting the idea that vitamin deficiencies affected mental illness. It has been a long time so I don't remember the details. I just recall specifically that throughout the whole talk everything sounded straight forward, evidence was intriguing, etc and then at the end someone asked how many other psychologists look at vitamin deficiencies, who else is doing research, etc and he said he was the only one he was aware of that did so. Was very surprised. I wonder how much that has changed over the years.


Any studies being done on sinus related problems? Nasal cavities are hard to reach to deliver medication or to just flush the debris out. Nasal bacteria that fight/feed on mold/fungi?


Silent GERD can be related to sinus problems. Acid irritates the sinus and sometimes the ears. Some think the use of antibiotics brought on their problems so it makes sense to think tending to your gut biome might help.


In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance the author stated that his son suffered from stomach aches and was told it was a sign of possible mental illness. This was back in the 70s, but could there be a connection?


The stomach is well-known to suffer from problems when stress levels are high (nervous gastritis etc), something that mental health problems usually produce as side-effects.

Here they are claiming microbes living in intestines (which is a different thing) actually cause mental illness. It's a very different thing.


My mental health is much much better than my gut bacteria's (based on the horrible stuff that i feed them). Just my n=1.


The intestinal lining contains a large portion of the bio-available serotonergic compounds. That gluten & related grains cause inflammation of the intestinal lining is gaining notoriety.

There may be hope that a drop in wheat production leads to a drop in mental health issues.


Do you think there are more mental health issue now, or 500 years ago? (I don't mean active untreated cases, I mean cases that occur.)

You might be interested to know that it wasn't that long ago that humans typically got up to 80% of their calories from wheat in the form of bread.

Today it's about 30-40% (in the US anyway).

So there ALREADY has been a huge drop in wheat production. If anything it might be time to reverse that, not extend it.

PS. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seitan is quite yummy, it's almost pure gluten and is a wonderful source of vegetarian protein.


Note that we're not eating the same wheat as our ancestors though:

http://authoritynutrition.com/modern-wheat-health-nightmare/


The differences are tiny, and they ate white flour back then too. I don't agree that most wheat was sprouted - before refrigeration this would just cause the flour to spoil.

That article did not exactly strike me as very credible. It basically took every single possible thing it could find and included them, no matter how credible or not credible the source.

People will look for any excuse to justify their behavior. But really gluten is perfectly fine for 99% of people and saying "the wheat changed" does not change it.

Yes, the wheat did change, but the differences can hardly be enough to say "that's the cause of mental health issues".


That's a good thing. We can't grow our ancestor's wheat anymore, because it's vulnerable to crop-destroying pathogens.


I think that ergot poisoning during the same era makes this issue uniquely difficult to debate among strangers.


Except that ergot affects rye, not wheat.


That is plainly false.


The prevalence of gluten sensitivity is actually very low (~1%). It is AFAIK on the rise in the younger generation, for unknown reasons, but still, there are no reasons to expect a drastic change in mental health if we were to stop eating wheat altogether.

That is, unless there are infra-clinical effects.


I am a bit sick of this Gluten thing. I understand that some ( maybe this 1% ) actually have a disease or some deep sensitivity.

But from my personal circles and work ones I am seeing lots of people that have always been sensitive and prone to say they have some weird diseases are adopting this, switching to Gluten-free and using it like a brand.

I've been away from home for some time, I meet something like 10 people from a total of 100 maybe... that claimed to have some variation of Celiac disease, a few even told me that all their tests were negative, but tests don't matter they still had it. Most of those people didn't know each other.

Now I am back home and guess what? I am finding that the same kind of people around here are claiming the same thing.

Most of those people I meet at IT related things, sport activities and random day to day life

I fell people want to be special and sometimes they do it by having a special condition or something like that.

Besides the real ones we keep creating diseases that are really loose specified and releasing it to the public. People catch those things and blame all their problems on some super special condition.

I can't seat still, I really can't. And I talk a lot too... I've lived like that, learned to control it and to focus when needed. I am no Jedi, life thought me that this behavior would make my life miserable. Now a days children like me are sick! Wonderful, problem solved.


>>Now I am back home and guess what? I am finding that the same kind of people around here are claiming the same thing.

Maybe they really feel better on gluten-free diet ?

>>I fell people want to be special and sometimes they do it by having a special condition or something like that.

You are the worse kind of skeptic. People are telling you that they are feeling better/some conditions go away on gluten free diet and you not only don't believe them but you project some silly justification on them like "want to feel special".

>>I can't seat still, I really can't. And I talk a lot too... I've lived like that, learned to control it and to focus when needed.

It's easier to learn for some and more difficult for others. That you were able to learn on your own doesn't mean others can without pharmacological help. Also maybe some people other than you feel better on gluten free diet.


> Maybe they really feel better on gluten-free diet ?

If a person feels better on a gluten-free diet, it does not necessarily mean they have a gluten sensitivity. For example, see this study of people who self-reported as having gluten sensitivity. The participants unanimously reported feeling better on the low-FODMAP run-in diet, but during the trials were found to have no specific reactions to gluten. This suggests that gluten was not actually responsible for their symptoms. One possible explanation is that a gluten-free diet may lead a person to also avoid (unintentionally) the actual cause of the symptoms (e.g. other FODMAPs that happen to be found alongside gluten in foods).

http://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(13)00702-6/f...


I didn't state that it's necessarily because of gluten sensitivity only that's is very possible. Also it's very possible that gluten acts in some ways we don't understand (and thus can't test for) yet. My point is just you can't dismiss the feedback from people as "wanting to feel special" just because you don't believe their assessed the situation correctly.


Self assessment is notoriously useless.

Being a skeptic practically requires that you ignore anything based on it.

(but, for instance, hives during an allergic reaction can be assessed by a third party, so they aren't the same as "I feel better.")


This is ridiculous. Self-assessment is the most important tool for finding what works. It's not easy to do it right but still. Sometimes it's very easy. When something very specific goes away when you change your diet (like bloating or some specific pain you had for long time) then you have very strong evidence that it worked.


>then you have very strong evidence that it worked.

No. You really don't. Vague symptoms like bloating or specific pain come and go all the time. You might have some indication that it worked from your single experiment, but calling it "strong evidence" is just...

Imagine if I used your logic to come up with a cure for the common cold? I'd be shouting eureka after 6 days


You are again assuming incompetency with gathering data. Your counter example is about non-chronic condition (common cold) so it doesn't really relate as the evidence is stronger with chronic conditions. With gluten and gluten-free you can also go back and forth and see how things change. Also bloating isn't a vague symptom. You can put measuring tape to your belly and see the numbers.


Yes, of course individuals have to use some sort of self assessment. The point is that aggregating them and treating that as evidence is mostly futile.


Sorry if I offended you. But you made some very wrong assumptions.

I never argue with someone about it, or try to talk them out of it.I think that if they are happy like that. Fine for them. I am just stating facts and creating my opinion based on those experiences.

I think it's completely wrong to tell a child they have a disease for life and will have to take drugs because they run a lot or can't listen to 6 hours of class. Pharmaceutical companies must love those new diseases...


It's identity politics. People want something to make them feel special. With the decline of actual strife (sectarian, racial, gender) in society, people need to feel like they are oppressed by something. Gluten and the food industry conveniently fit the bill for many.


I think it's far more likely that they feel that something is wrong with them and they're desperately trying to find what it is, and just keep latching on to the next fad.

Whether or not it's all in the mind is kinda moot, as it still makes them feel bad. By doing something, anything, they feel a bit better.


What a closed-minded attitude! Fad, identity, feel special... what about: they experiment with things and many of them have found that gluten-free makes them feel better. Why are you dismissing the most natural explanation of all while patronizing them in the process ?


I'm actually all the way through close-minded and out the other side. As cfontes above pointed out, in 6 months time they'll have given up the gluten diet and be doing the next fad. Lactose intolerence. Paleo. Multivitamins. Organic. It goes on and on. The perpetual fadders.

The same person will go through all these things. And then change their mind without any comment.

But going through the motions still makes them feel better, so I'm saying, even though it's not pharmacologically effective, psychologically it is a kind of cure and you shouldn't just dismiss it. It helps them, so why criticize it? Unless it's dangerous of course.

You can believe in the actual science, but believe in the cure at the same time. It's the best of both worlds.

And I'm actually saying this from experience, I'm going through it at the moment. In reality I'm simply suffering from anxiety. But my brain keeps irrationally latching on to things, it wants something to point at and be scared of. I have had to stop googling any sensations I feel as my brain will just latch on to anything I read.

At the beginning it was actually very scary and disorientating.

Now I'm getting over the anxiety and understand it, I can laugh at it and it's becoming less frequent. But it still happens. Someone mentioned vitamin D deficiency here a few days ago. And now of course I have that. But my scientific brain can understand that it's the anxiety again, and I don't. But I do. In a week or two, rationality will win, simply by waiting for that anxiety to disappear.

Being actually able to do something, like cut gluten out, is in itself actually quite calming.


Them do it!

I am not against it. Just citing some facts I observed. Medical tests will tell you if you have Celiac disease or not. If you don't and want to keep doing it, fine!

I will not talk with you about it and will run from that topic in order to not offend you, but my opinion still is that this is some mind game people are playing with themselves (unconsiously)

Anyway, I am happy you are happy.


It's quite possible that many people do better on glute-free diet despite all the test coming negative. That might be because:

-tests doesn't cater for everything; maybe there is some mechanism in which gluten harms those people which isn't detected by tests

-maybe removing food with gluten from the diet removes something else which was harmful (one hypothesis is that maybe it's this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FODMAP)

Your attitude is amazingly closed minded. There is nothing wrong with being skeptical but suggesting all those people just want to feel special (or similar psychoanalytical mumbo-jumbo) is just made-up nonsense. There is 0 evidence that they do it to want to feel special or what not but there is a lot of evidence that they in fact feel better (their feedback).


It might also be because many people are bad observers of their own situation, subject to confirmation bias, and do nothing to rule out placebo effects.

Given what we know about people, this hypothesis is a priori far more plausible than gluten acting in some mysterious way that can't be identified, and somewhat more plausible than gluten being associated with other things that people are sensitive to.

The suggestion that gluten is bad in ways that can't be detected is made less plausible by generic blind testing. Put people self-identified gluten-sensitive people on blinded diets with and without gluten and see if there is a difference. This has been done, and the test is negative. This is a black-box test that is completely independent of the mechanism of action.

Look: http://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2014/05/gluten_sensitiv...

As that same study shows, the suggestion that gluten is associated with something else bad is not totally implausible, but anyone aware of the difficulty of teasing out confounding factors in nutritional research will tend to strongly discount any form of anecdotal self-report as unreliable, because self-report about a subject where people are known to very easily fool themselves simply does not increase the posterior plausibility of the hypothesis very much. The potential for confirmation and reporting bias is far too high.

This is not close-mindedness, but rather a realistic assessment of the situation based on the long history of dietary fads, all of which were strongly supported by self-report, and later turned out to be ineffective, sometimes dangerous, nonsense.


Again. You are making up words.

I never said all of the people.

I also said, that I felt that. The same way people feel better and we have no proof of it yet.

And I actually agree with you about some unknown side effects, but several of those people I've known have been shifting or adding the lasted new diseases/allergy and currently it looks like it's Celiac disease that is the trend.


Why does the truth of your judgement matter as long as it is life-promoting? My opinion is that this whole idea of wanting to find what's 'actually true' and putting it on a pedestal like this is some mind game people are playing with themselves (unconsciously).


First world boredom, you 've got to feed it with some drama.




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