Food and Behaviour Research

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Nonceliac Gluten Sensitivity

Krigel A, Lebwohl B (2016) Adv Nutr.  2016 Nov 15;7(6): 1105-1110. doi: 10.3945/an.116.012849. Print 2016 Nov. 

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Nonceliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) refers to a clinical phenotype in which patients experience intestinal and extraintestinal symptoms related to ingesting a gluten-containing diet after a diagnosis of celiac disease (CD) or wheat allergy has been excluded. CD, an autoimmune disease characterized by villous atrophy triggered by the ingestion of gluten, has increased in prevalence in recent decades, although the majority of patients remain undiagnosed.

There is now an increasing public awareness of NCGS and growing interest in the health effects of gluten among health professionals and the lay public. Several randomized controlled trials have explored NCGS but have left many questions unanswered surrounding the pathophysiology, biomarkers, and established diagnostic approach to patients with this condition.

Future studies are necessary to establish biomarkers and to elucidate the pathophysiology of this condition because at present, NCGS likely comprises a heterogeneous patient population. In this review, we outline the clinical trials of NCGS as well as the approach to patients with possible NCGS as recommended by an international expert panel. Because maintaining a gluten-free diet has important health, social, and economic consequences, it is necessary for medical professionals to provide practical and evidence-based advice to patients with this condition.