The truth about of gluten

By on December 23, 2017
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The truth about of gluten

Celiac disease can be managed and controlled through informed choices and care

Among the many controversies plaguing the science of nutrition is the role of gluten and health. Gluten is a type of protein found in cereal grains such as wheat, rye, spelt, oats and barley. It is made up of two components glutenin and gliadin and derives its name from the glue–like property of wet dough. When flour is mixed with water, its proteins form a sticky network that makes dough elastic, provides a chewy texture and causes bread to rise when baked.
Most people can tolerate gluten. However, it can cause problems for some individuals. These include people suffering from celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, wheat allergy and irritable bowel syndrome.  
Celiac disease is the most severe form of gluten intolerance affecting about 0.7–1 per cent of the population and is an autoimmune disorder in which gluten damages the intestinal lining. In individuals with a healthy digestive system, food after digestion in the stomach and duodenum passes through the small intestines where the finger–like-folds called villi absorb the essential nutrients. In people with celiac disease, when foods containing gluten are eaten, the intestine responds to food as if it were a foreign body by producing an immune response leading to inflammatory damage to the villi resulting in shortening or flattening of the villi impairing their ability to absorb nutrients particularly iron, folate, calcium and vitamin D.
The symptoms of celiac disease vary depending on age, severity of bowel damage and the degree to which nutrient absorption has been compromised. The most common symptoms include diarrhoea, gastrointestinal disturbances such as bloating, flatulence, abdominal pain, constipation, nausea, vomiting; tissue damage in the small intestines, headache, tiredness, skin rashes, depression, weight loss and foul-smelling stools.

Read the full article in 'Viva Goa' magazine copy.
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