TED-Ed, with the help of gastroenterologist Dr. William D. Chey, has put together a wonderfully concise 5-minute explainer about gluten — and why it has only recently been perceived as a health problem.
In 2011, gastroenterologist Peter Gibson published the results of a study that provided some of the strongest evidence to date that gluten can cause stomach problems in people without celiac disease. But Gibson has since called the results of his first study into question, with a rigorous followup investigation.
Analysis of the skeletal remains of an affluent young woman who lived in Tuscany some 2,000 years ago shows that celiac disease has existed since ancient times — as has the practice of avoiding certain foods.
Now that many of us are trying to avoid gluten like the plague, a slew of gluten-free products have started appearing in our stores. Unfortunately, many of these foods are advertised or understood as healthy alternatives, which is often far from the truth.
Take a trip to your local supermarket and you're bound to see an entire section devoted to gluten-free products. Once the exclusive domain of people with celiac disease, the trend towards gluten-free wheat has quickly become all the rage. So, what's to account for all this?