10 Health Lessons Learned

By Karen Ansel, M.S., R.D., "What We’ve Learned," July/August 2012

Find out how nutrition science has evolved in the past decade. Here's what we know now—and didn’t then.

"Such a well sourced article Karen! It's very interesting to see how the common-knowledge assumptions change over time, thanks for the read! "

4. Food sensitivities aren’t all in our head
Twenty years ago, if you told your doctor that eating foods like bread made you feel sick, he or she would likely have told you it was all in your head. Today we know roughly 1 percent of us suffer from celiac disease, an autoimmune reaction triggered by gluten in grains like wheat, barley and rye. And experts estimate that approximately 20 million Americans (6 percent) suffer from gluten sensitivity.

“We’re in the same place now with gluten sensitivity that we were with celiac disease 20 years ago,” says Alessio Fasano, M.D., director of the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “Many of the symptoms of gluten sensitivity, such as abdominal bloating, difficulty concentrating and fatigue, are present in celiac disease. But by listening to patients, we’ve learned that many people who test negative for celiac disease still see their symptoms improve on a gluten-free diet. This led us to believe there was another condition, which we now call gluten sensitivity.”

Next: 5. We need more vitamin D than we thought »

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