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    Do Reduced Polysaccharides in Gluten-free Diet Promote Bad Gut Bacteria?


    Jefferson Adams
    Image Caption: New BJN study on gluten-free diet and bad gut bacteria

    Celiac,com 10/08/2010 - Many people are familiar with probiotics, such as acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus case, which promote beneficial gut bacteria, and are commonly found in yogurt, kefir and other fermented milk products.


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    But how many of us have heard of polysaccharides, which are a particular kind of carbohydrate made up of of a number of monosaccharides joined together by something called glycosidic bonds.

    On a simpler note, polysaccharides are also known as pre-biotics, because they serve as fuel for probiotic bacteria, and help to promote healthy ratios of beneficial bacteria to non-beneficial bacteria in the gut.

    It is well-known among scientists that diet has a major influence on the health and diversity of gut microbiota. People with celiac disease must follow a gluten-free diet in order to avoid associated damage and health disorders.

    When people with celiac disease follow a gluten-free diet, their celiac symptoms disappear and their gut begins to heal itself from the damage. The health effects of the diet for people with celiac disease are overwhelmingly positive.

    However, there is some evidence that by eliminating gluten, people with celiac disease are making themselves susceptible to a plunge in beneficial gut bacteria, and an elevated ratio of bad-to-good gut bacteria. This may have immune-system implications for those people.

    To test this hypothesis, a team of scientists recently conducted a preliminary study to determine if a gluten-free diet alone could change the make-up and immune properties of gut microbiota. The team included G. De Palma, I. Nadal, M. C. Collado, and Y. Sanz. Their full results appear in theSeptember, 2009 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition.

    To briefly summarize their study, the team enrolled ten healthy individuals without celiac disease, averaging just over 30 years of age. They put these people on a gluten-free diet for a month. Subsequent analysis of fecal microbiota and dietary intake showed a decrease in healthy gut bacteria, coupled with an increase of unhealthy bacteria that corresponded with reduced intake of polysaccharides after following the gluten-free diet. Another healthy control group that ate a diet that contained gluten, and thus provided polysaccharides. 

    In addition representing an adversely change in gut microbiota, the samples taken while the individuals followed a gluten-free diet also exerted reduced immune stimulatory effects on peripheral blood mononuclear cells than those of subjects on a regular gluten-containing, polysaccharide-rich diet.

    Should these findings be confirmed by subsequent studies, the results could call attention to a more comprehensive approach to proper dietary intake in people with celiac disease, including dietary counseling, and possible supplementation of the diet with polysaccharides.

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    I am not sure that a test of non-celiacs going gluten free has any relation to celiac. Obviously for starters, our guts work differently.

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    There are many sources of polysaccharides besides gluten-containing grains. Fruit pectin is a big one, and legumes like peas and beans. Also non-gluten grains like corn and rice. And mushrooms. And goji berries. And tubers like potatos. In fact, most plants store their energy as polysaccharides, so the moral of the story is that your mother was right: eat your fruit and vegetables.

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    Guest Jennifer

    Posted

    I really believe this is true. I got off of gluten about 2-3 years ago after my stomach problems since childhood were getting so much worse--gas, diarrhea, and eventually constipation. I had been by my husband--a family doctor to try getting off dairy for 2 weeks, then try wheat for 2 weeks. It took getting really sick to be willing to try it. One day off wheat and I knew immediately that was the problem. No fun. Boy did I love pasta!

     

    But after getting off wheat, another problem developed--I started getting this terrible underarm odor. I tried giving up soy, dairy. I made improvements but couldn't get rid of the problem altogether. The first thing that made me think it was a gut flora problem was that when I tried a product called whey-low, the problem got better. I am getting some Align to try next and trying to be reasonable with my diet to ensure better gut health. I haven't started the Align yet, but one thing that has helped tremendously is eating lower fat, drinking lots of water, and limiting caffeine. I just can't eat like I did when I was a teenager! I have great hopes that the probiotics will allow me to eat a few more foods that I want. But this problem all started after getting off wheat! Obviously, I can't go back to wheat. Literally, if I even get a crumb I end up with terrible, foul gas and painful diarrhea. Fortunately it is over pretty quickly for me...unlike some people I've heard.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. He has covered Health News for Examiner.com, and provided health and medical content for Sharecare.com. His work has appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate, among others.

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    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/02/2009 - A recent study finds rates of celiac disease in Polish children are four times higher than estimated, and are only slightly lower than those of other northern European populations—at about 1 in 124 persons. Moreover, they found that symptoms in those diagnosed were typically absent, minimal or vague.
    To date, the only epidemiological studies of celiac disease undertaken in Poland had been carried out within limited areas and involved mainly symptomatic patients or high-risk groups. Until now, celiac was thought to affect about 1 in 400 children in the country. A team of researchers based in Poland recently set out to determine actual rates of celiac disease among Polish children.
    The research team was made up of Anna B. Szaflarska-Poplawska, Monika Parzecka, Lucyna Muller, Waldemar Placek. The team enrolled 3235 local children aged 12 to 15 years from the city of Bydgoszcz, and conducted screens for antiendomysial antibodies IgA endomysium (EmA) and IgG EmA. Patients with positive  IgA EmA and/or IgG EmA results were offered a small-bowel biopsy.
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    Original national estimates put the incidence of celiac disease among children in Poland at1 in 404, while the team’s serologic sampling shows that to be nearly four times higher at 1 in 124.
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    Of particular interest is the rise of asymptomatic, or vaguely symptomatic instances of the disease, in which damage is occurring, but no outward signs are present.
    Medical Science Monitor 2009.


    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 03/11/2010 - As part of an effort to investigate the possibility of multiple common variants for celiac disease influencing immune gene expression, a team of more than sixty scientists recently worked together to conduct a second-generation genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 4,533 individuals with clinically proven celiac disease, along with 10,750 control subjects.
    They genotyped a total of 113 selected SNPs with PGWAS < 10−4 and 18 SNPs from 14 known loci in another 4,918 confirmed celiac disease patients and 5,684 control subjects. The research team included dozens of scientists associated with a variety of major research institutions, hospitals and clinics.
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    Source:

    Nature Genetics (28 February 2010) | doi:10.1038/ng.543

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 02/24/2012 - Currently, testing for anti tissue-transglutaminase antibodies is the standard of celiac disease blood testing. The test has a high sensitivity in patients who are eating a diet that contains gluten, but poor sensitivity for people on a gluten-free diet. So, it's not much use for measuring gluten-free diet success in people with celiac disease.
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    The team's initial dietary review indicated that 128 of the celiac patients had followed a gluten free diet for more than six months. They found 19 to have poor compliance to a gluten-free diet.
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    The team concluded that, compared to conventional testing, open conformation tissue-transglutaminase may offer greater sensitivity in the poor gluten-free diet adherence group and higher specificity in the control population.
    The team suggests studies on larger populations to determine whether open conformation tissue-transglutaminase assay may be superior to the conventional assay in measuring compliance with a gluten-free diet.
    Source:

    Dig Liver Dis. 2012 Jan 17.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 12/03/2012 - Gluten sensitivity has recently been added to the spectrum of gluten-related disorders, but precise diagnostic markers do not yet exist. A research team recently set out to understand the blood test pattern of gluten sensitivity, and to compare it with the blood test pattern seen in celiac disease.
    The researchers included U. Volta, F. Tovoli, R. Cicola, C. Parisi, A. Fabbri, M. Piscaglia, E. Fiorini, G. Caio, of the Department of Clinical Medicine at University of Bologna's St. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital in Bologna, Italy.
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    J Clin Gastroenterol. 2012 Sep;46(8):680-5.

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    Celiac.com 06/19/2018 - Could baking soda help reduce the inflammation and damage caused by autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease? Scientists at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University say that a daily dose of baking soda may in fact help reduce inflammation and damage caused by autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease.
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    The research team included P Singh, A Arora, TA Strand, DA Leffler, C Catassi, PH Green, CP Kelly, V Ahuja, and GK Makharia. They are variously affiliated with the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts; Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India; Innlandet Hospital Trust, Lillehammer, Norway; Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway; Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts; Gastroenterology Research and Development, Takeda Pharmaceuticals Inc, Cambridge, MA; Department of Pediatrics, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy; Department of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York; USA Celiac Disease Center, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York; and the Department of Gastroenterology and Human Nutrition, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
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    This review demonstrates a need for more comprehensive population-based studies of celiac disease in numerous countries.  The 1.4% rate indicates that there are 91.2 million people worldwide with celiac disease, and 3.9 million are in the U.S.A.
    Source:
    Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018 Jun;16(6):823-836.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2017.06.037.