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Thread: Grains, celiac, non-celiac gluten intolerance

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    Thorr vigi Thorbjorn's Avatar
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    Grains, celiac, non-celiac gluten intolerance

    I know, here we go again with gluten intolerance. Seriously, I've seen people get their tongues ripped out and stomped on at other sites, with no serious answers, for asking about the "malady-du-jour" as someone called it. But I did a search... really I did, but didn't find anything about its distribution. Though I found this thread HLA-DQ2 : distribution map, subtypes, SNPs, and associated medical conditions. I checked my Promethease report for the SNPs listed in the post, but I don't find any of them. Yet I am convinced I have non-celiac gluten intolerance. I get all the symptoms. I've always joked that's it pathetic that an Italian can't eat pizza and pasta.

    What I'm wondering is how prevalent gluten intolerance (celiac or non-celiac) is among Mediterraneans. My yDNA is T, my mtDNA is HV4. I have some Northern European (North Atlantic and Baltic) by the Eurogenes K13 and K15. I am surprised, having a T yDNA which originated in the Near East, where agriculture started, and being half Sicilian (afaik Sicily is an agricultural hot spot), that I cannot handle grains. Or is it a legacy from the bit of Northern European DNA I carry?

    Thoughts, comments, knowledge? This is really just a curiosity on my part.

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    Advisor LeBrok's Avatar
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    It is hard to blame Hunter Gatherer heritage for gluten intolerance, because they could digest it for a long time, perhaps ever. Genetically speaking they sometimes carried more copies for digestive enzymes of gluten than we do today, and from archaeology we know that they ate grains.

    Here in the West we have pandemic of celiacs. Some are true celiac, but most became ones through form of fashion, or perhaps it is some sort of psychosis.

    Recently someone mentioned that gluten allergy and not gluten intolerance should be blamed for this. I'm not a celiac myself neither anyone from my close family, so I didn't care to investigate this notion further.
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    Thorr vigi Thorbjorn's Avatar
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    Thanks. I know it's something hard to pinpoint.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    It is hard to blame Hunter Gatherer heritage for gluten intolerance, because they could digest it for a long time, perhaps ever. Genetically speaking they sometimes carried more copies for digestive enzymes of gluten than we do today, and from archaeology we know that they ate grains.
    Exactly, which is why I thought it odd that being (probably) descended from hunter-gatherers who began eating grains maybe 10,000 years ago or more, I have a problem with them.

    Here in the West we have pandemic of celiacs. Some are true celiac, but most became ones through form of fashion, or perhaps it is some sort of psychosis.
    Agreed that it's often the "malady-du-jour" as I called it, and fashionable. I had the celiac antibodies test which came out negative, so maybe for me it's just the (ill-)luck of the draw, and that's the answer. I'm also lactose intolerant, but only with milk and not with cheese or yogurt.

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    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thorbjorn View Post
    I know, here we go again with gluten intolerance. Seriously, I've seen people get their tongues ripped out and stomped on at other sites, with no serious answers, for asking about the "malady-du-jour" as someone called it. But I did a search... really I did, but didn't find anything about its distribution. Though I found this thread HLA-DQ2 : distribution map, subtypes, SNPs, and associated medical conditions. I checked my Promethease report for the SNPs listed in the post, but I don't find any of them. Yet I am convinced I have non-celiac gluten intolerance. I get all the symptoms. I've always joked that's it pathetic that an Italian can't eat pizza and pasta.

    What I'm wondering is how prevalent gluten intolerance (celiac or non-celiac) is among Mediterraneans. My yDNA is T, my mtDNA is HV4. I have some Northern European (North Atlantic and Baltic) by the Eurogenes K13 and K15. I am surprised, having a T yDNA which originated in the Near East, where agriculture started, and being half Sicilian (afaik Sicily is an agricultural hot spot), that I cannot handle grains. Or is it a legacy from the bit of Northern European DNA I carry?

    Thoughts, comments, knowledge? This is really just a curiosity on my part.
    I feel your pain; I also have adverse reactions to certain foods! :) Yet, I have no markers indicating there should be a problem. The biggest offender is dairy. I have both alleles conferring European specific lactase persistence, and yet in mid-life found that not only could I not tolerate milk (which I never drank anyway) or butter, but I also could no longer eat cheese, not even the cheeses which are very low in lactose, and this was after years and years of eating tons of them. I then investigated whether I am allergic to milk proteins, but it seems not. So, I'm at a loss.

    I've never noticed any reaction to gluten products, but perhaps that's in the future because I wonder if the development of these issues is somehow age related...less production of certain chemicals or hormones within our own bodies.

    I also seem to have developed an intolerance for nuts (just mild symptoms, nothing drastic), and certain fruits like pineapple and cantaloupe. Too much raw garlic or onions, and raw peppers also bother me and have done for a long time.

    Specifically as to gluten, I don't know if you've read this:
    http://www.gastrojournal.org/article...ated_disorders

    The culprit seems to be what they call FODMAPS

    This is the Stanford diet for gastrointestinal "disorders". They basically tell people to limit the FODMAP foods.
    https://stanfordhealthcare.org/conte...fodmapdiet.pdf

    As you can see, both dairy and gluten are in the high FODMAP column. Interestingly, so are artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup, although apparently corn flour products are ok. If you think about the American diet, which is high in both dairy and wheat, whether through cheese, milk, ice cream, bread or desserts, not just pasta and pizza, the artificial sweeteners that are consumed, the high fructose corn syrup that is in all the prepared foods that are consumed, and consider the sugar eaten, (virtually everything has sugar added to it, even catsup) and then add in all the beer and grain based alcohol that is drunk, and I think you may have a case where the digestive system is just overloaded. There's also the fact that the more you eat, the more problems you'll have, and Americans I think consume the most calories of anyone in the world.

    From the Stanford University Diet: "FODMAPS are osmotic (means they pull water into the intestinal tract), may not be digested or absorbed well and could be fermented upon by bacteria in the intestinal tract when eaten in excess."

    I think this explains why people say they feel better and have fewer symptoms if they cut out dairy, or gluten, or dairy and gluten, or become vegetarians. I just think they're lessening their over all "load" of these substances.

    I don't want to totally cut anything out, and not just because I like all those foods, but because I think you need a balance for good nutrition. So, what I've done is pick and choose my battles, so to speak. :) Both dairy and the meats I particularly like are high in fats, so I don't drink milk (not that I ever did), severely limit cheese intake, particularly soft cheese, and get my fats from meat and olive oil. I continue, as I was raised, to rotate my starches...one day pasta, one day potatoes, one day risotto, one day polenta from corn meal, and only eat a slice or two of traditional Italian bread (no sugar or dairy in it) a day. I already knew to go light on garlic and onions, and certain of the "avoidance" fruits I knew gave me a problem, like watermelon, and even apples. Beer and whiskies are not a problem as I never drank them, and I don't eat sweets or desserts except once in a blue moon, as they say.

    I find that sticking to this helps me maintain my weight and feeling good. Everyone has to find their own balance based on their food preferences, I think. Moderation is very important, in overall calorie intake and in types of foods, I think.


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    Advisor LeBrok's Avatar
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    We need to add bacterial gut flora into equation. It might turn out that without proper bacterial colonies we are not able to digest most foods, even if we don't have known genetic afflictions. There yet to be studies linking exact food to the right bacteria, and consequences of lacking the latter. All we know so far is that there are thousands of types of bacteria in our guts, and lack of most of them (killed by strong antibiotics) will create chronic indigestion and diarrhea and can lead to slow death. Maybe a moderate deficit of bacteria can lead to food allergies and intolerance.

    Modern Western lifestyle is not helping to have a healthy gut bacteria either. Foods are full of MSGs and overuse of antibiotics is rampant. Probably the superior hygiene of modern times, being usually a good thing, might actually hamper a transfer of gut bacterial flora from one individual to the other, from mother to a child, from healthy to sick.

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    I haven't been here in a couple of weeks but I want to thank you all for the information and the links. I wasn't ignoring anyone.

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    I agree with Angela. Avoiding FODMAP foods very often helps with GI problems. Prolonged periods of stress or tiredness combined with a high sugar/carbohydrate diet can also lead to intestinal yeast overgrowth, as yeast feasts on carbs. In fact, Candida yeast overgrowth is often responsible for starting gluten intolerance because some gluten proteins are similar to a protein within the cell wall of Candida albicans (Hyphal Wall Protein-1, aka Hwp-1) and become targeted by the immune system through the formation of autoreactive antibodies against tissue transglutaminase and endomysium.

    If you tested with 23andMe, make sure to check your Celiac disease risk. If it is high, then it may be gluten allergy rather than intolerance, which is more serious as even traces amount of gluten can trigger an inflammation. In contrast, the symptoms of intolerances (to any food) tend to be proportional to the amount ingested.

    Food intolerances cause inflammation, which in turn damage the lining of the intestinal wall. The longer you've had undiagnosed intolerances, the more damaged your intestines will be. In extreme cases it can lead to Leaky Gut syndrome, a condition in which the intestine has become too permeable and lets undigested food and toxins entering the blood stream. Leaky gut is often caused by prolonged undiagnosed gluten intolerance and/or yeast overgrowth (they tend to go hand in hand anyway). It is usually recommended to take L-glutamine and probiotics to heal a damaged gut. Ideally a good probiotics should have at least 8 strains of good bacteria and over 5 billion bacteria per capsule (check ratings on Amazon). Consider also taking a good multivitamins (like Solgar or Now Foods).
    Last edited by Maciamo; 06-06-15 at 09:50.
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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Here is an interesting book on the health hazard of wheat overconsumption: Wheat Belly, by cardiologist Dr. William Davis.

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    If you have Eurasian ancestry, you'd assume that your ancestors survived famines and starvation by eating coarsely ground whole grain bread littered with sand and gravel that screwed up their teeth, gave them tooth decay, and upset their stomachs with the gluten.

    I would assume those gluten resistant genes would thrive under those conditions. Mediterraneans loved their breads, porridge, beers, etc.

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