The Grim Origins of 'Gluten-Free'

It took an act of war for doctors to learn how to treat celiac disease.

RELATED TAGS: PERSONAL HEALTH, NUTRITION
hungerwinter

The term “gluten-free” seems to be everywhere these days: food labels, restaurant menus, cookbooks, even water bottles. While it’s become trendy to avoid gluten — a protein found in popular foodstuffs like bread and pasta — humans have safely and enthusiastically consumed it for thousands of years. Food containing gluten remains a staple of the human diet around the world, providing sustenance to billions.

So why this apparent backlash against gluten?

While the protein is a vital part of the human diet, for some people, it really is unsafe. The path to this seemingly simple discovery was long and tortuous, dating back to a particularly bleak period of World War II.

DSCCV0719web

The full text of this article is available to Discover Magazine subscribers only.

Subscribe and get 10 issues packed with:
  • The latest news, theories and developments in the world of science
  • Compelling stories and breakthroughs in health, medicine and the mind
  • Environmental issues and their relevance to daily life
  • Cutting-edge technology and its impact on our future
Already a subscriber? Register now!
Registration is FREE and takes only a few seconds to complete. If you are already registered on DiscoverMagazine.com, please log in.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
DSCCV0719web
+