Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Another Settled Science Self-Refutes

Scientists who found gluten sensitivity evidence have now shown it doesn't exist
The scientific method in action.
19 AUG 2015
In one of the best examples of science working, a researcher who provided key evidence of (non-celiac disease) gluten sensitivity recently published follow-up papers that show the opposite.

The paper came out last year in the journal Gastroenterology. Here’s the backstory that makes us cheer: The study was a follow up on a 2011 experiment in the lab of Peter Gibson at Monash University in Australia. The scientifically sound - but small - study found that gluten-containing diets can cause gastrointestinal distress in people without celiac disease, a well-known autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten. They called this non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Gluten is a protein composite found in wheat, barley, and other grains. It gives bread its chewiness and is often used as a meat substitute: If you’ve ever had 'wheat meat', seitan, or mock duck at a Thai restaurant, that’s gluten.

Gluten is a big industry: 30 percent of people want to eat less gluten. Sales of gluten-free products are estimated to hit $US15 billion by 2016.

Although experts estimate that only 1 percent of Americans - about 3 million people - actually suffer from celiac disease, 18 percent of adults now buy gluten-free foods.

Since gluten is a protein found in any normal diet, Gibson was unsatisfied with his finding. He wanted to find out why the gluten seemed to be causing this reaction and if there could be something else going on. He therefore went to a scientifically rigorous extreme for his next experiment, a level not usually expected in nutrition studies.

For a follow-up paper, 37 self-identified gluten-sensitive patients were tested. According to Real Clear Science’s Newton Blog, here’s how the experiment went:
Subjects would be provided with every single meal for the duration of the trial. Any and all potential dietary triggers for gastrointestinal symptoms would be removed, including lactose (from milk products), certain preservatives like benzoates, propionate, sulfites, and nitrites, and fermentable, poorly absorbed short-chain carbohydrates, also known as FODMAPs. And last, but not least, nine days worth of urine and faecal matter would be collected. With this new study, Gibson wasn’t messing around.
The subjects cycled through high-gluten, low-gluten, and no-gluten (placebo) diets, without knowing which diet plan they were on at any given time. In the end, all of the treatment diets - even the placebo diet - caused pain, bloating, nausea, and gas to a similar degree. It didn’t matter if the diet contained gluten. (Read more about the study.)

"In contrast to our first study… we could find absolutely no specific response to gluten," Gibson wrote in the paper. A third, larger study published this month has confirmed the findings.

It seems to be a 'nocebo' effect - the self-diagnosed gluten sensitive patients expected to feel worse on the study diets, so they did. They were also likely more attentive to their intestinal distress, since they had to monitor it for the study.

On top of that, these other potential dietary triggers - specifically the FODMAPS - could be causing what people have wrongly interpreted as gluten sensitivity. FODMAPS are frequently found in the same foods as gluten. That still doesn’t explain why people in the study negatively reacted to diets that were free of all dietary triggers.

You can go ahead and smell your bread and eat it too. Science. It works.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.


@joesw0rld said...

Great stuff. Now imagine if faith had such a self correction mechanism.

Stan said...

By faith, you apparently mean evolution, right? Or maybe AGW? Or string theory? Or multiverse theory? Or Inflation theory? Possibly you mean psychology? or sociology? Or economics? Or quantum mechanics? First Life? Cambrian Explosion? Emergence ex nihilo of information with meaning? Godel and infinite regression? Philosophical Materialism? Life without essence? Feedback regulation of organics by accident of mutation? Meiosis from Mitosis in an instant?

Sure, let's talk faith. You start.

Rick said...

Oh look at that, Stan gets all agitated because someone mentions faith. Truth hurts.

Stan said...

Really? That's your answer? Are you in the second grade? Support your own faith, or admit that you cannot. And since you cannot, then you might support the idea that your assault on faith is flawed.

But judging by your lack of ability to provide rational argumentation, none is expected.

@joesw0rld said...

Well that's the problem with the word faith, it's equivocal and theists have a habit of using this to their advantage (often rendering it meaningless).

By faith I mean the work of belief, the effort of maintaining this belief. Imagine if theists weren't told that faith (belief) was important, but rather that truth was. If they were told that it is important their beliefs line up with reality, or that they should test their beliefs to make sure this is so. Then they could correct their faith, as ex-believers have. This could only be a good thing, but only to those who value truth over faith.

Stan said...

Interesting, Joe.
Apparently you don't have faith. Like in evolution being True, despite the lack of any empirical data. Same for AGW. Same for Philosophical Materialism, which you seem to espouse indirectly as "truth". But you can't prove that Philosophical Materialism is true, can you? So you have Faith that it is the case. You can't prove anything about evolution, but I bet you have "Faith" that you came from primordial slime or some-such. I bet you have unprovable "Faith" that there is no creating deity for the universe, because you can't prove that either. And I bet you have "Faith" that your life has value, despite your competing "Faith" in evolution, which says that it does not.

Faith is a funny thing, when the competing faithful beliefs are contradictory and non-coherent, right?

So how is it that you value truth over your faith?