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


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.

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.

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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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4 Responses:

 
E.
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
12 Oct 2010 7:59:52 AM PDT
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.

 
Mary
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
12 Oct 2010 5:00:44 PM PDT
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.

 
HELENA
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said this on
12 Oct 2010 5:18:46 PM PDT
VERY INTERESTING

 
Jennifer
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
04 Feb 2011 6:46:51 AM PDT
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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If you're going to continue to push for a diagnosis stay on gluten! A break could lead to a false negative. It's a lot harder to go off it and then go back on...

I still prefer steaming, but I wash my white rice throughly. I purchase California rice which has a lower level of arsenic. Moderation is key to most everything! ?

I eat pretty much grain free just fine, I eat fats instead. But on a side note I posted some specialty and grain free options as of late in the food alternative page where I list companies and food product alternatives. I honestly just welcomed bread back into my life, I found a company that makes grain free bread out of nut flours. Given you have to toast the dang bread to use it well but seems to work decently. Pasta there are carb free versions out there, and there are ones made with quinoa, buckwheat, or other grains, I even know one company that makes nut flour based ones. You can get these gluten-free options and avoid the rice. As to levels of arsenic they do test foods for these, and all should be safe, the trace amounts and the sheer amount you would have to eat to get effected is staggering, a bit of rice will not hurt you regardless if your concerned I know gluten-free watchdog does arsenic testing on products you could check and find the "safest ones" for your concerns.

I've forgotten them, just remember the good stuff. Weekends in Baja or Vegas or up Pacific highway to see the Redwoods and Frisco. Watching the sunrise at Mount Soledad and watching it drop into the Pacific in the evening. Carne Asada Burritos on Garnet* Solana beach ale* Gorgeous women entranced by my exotic accent, humboldt county weed, raves at the romper room, *1.99 are you out of your mind Denny Breakfasts, Christmas on the beach, *Beers in the gaslamp quarter. I need one of these * which by the power of my imagination have magically become gluten free AANNNYWAAY... Arsenic in rice. Yeah.

Oh, it definitely struck me as very odd! It also says "no significant increase in intraepithelial lymphocytes". That's their favorite word I guess! My blood work pre-biopsy also showed increase lymphocytes and my primary doctor said it usually means increased inflammation. Doing all the things I can now---filing a complaint, I've emailed my doctors to tell them I'm upset and don't think I received proper care, I'm in the process of trying to see a naturopath that diagnosed a friend of a friend w celiac. I'm going to see if i can get the other blood work done with them---and I've been gluten free for a week and a half!