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Show 964: Should You Go Gluten Free?

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Should You Go Gluten Free?

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Gluten has become a household name in the last few years, with many crackers, cereals and other food products advertised as gluten free.

What Is Gluten, and Should You Be Avoiding It?

In the past, the only people who paid much attention to gluten were those with celiac disease. This condition was thought to be common in Europe, but rare in the United States. Careful research published ten years ago revealed that celiac disease is just as common in the US as in Europe, but that it is too often neglected.

People with celiac disease suffer terribly if they consume foods made from wheat, barley and rye since those contain the compound referred to as gluten. Their immune systems attack and destroy the lining of the intestine when gluten is present. This can lead to a wide range of nutritional deficiencies and a number of not-so-obvious symptoms.

Now, scientists are finding that some people who do not have celiac disease are also sensitive to gluten and react badly to this protein. Could you be among them?

This Week’s Guest

Alessio Fasano, MD, is Director of the Center for Celiac Research and division chief of the Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children. He is also a visiting professor at Harvard Medical School. He is the author of Gluten Freedom, a research-based book that separates fact from fiction about how gluten affects health. His websites are www.celiaccenter.organd www.cdgemm.org and http://amzn.to/1dEtM1x

Listen to the Show

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free.

Get the MP3 of the interview


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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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