(HealthDay)—For patients with suspected nonceliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), overall symptom severity increases with intake of small amounts of gluten, according to a study published in the September issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Antonio Di Sabatino, M.D., from the University of Pavia in Italy, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial to determine the effects of administration of low doses of gluten to subjects with suspected NCGS. Sixty-one adults without celiac disease or a wheat allergy who believed ingestion of foods containing gluten were the cause of their intestinal and extraintestinal symptoms were enrolled. Participants were randomized to receive 4.375 g/day of gluten or control (rice starch) for one week. Participants crossed over to the other group after a one-week gluten-free diet. Fifty-nine patients completed the trial.
The researchers found that, compared with placebo, intake of gluten significantly increased overall symptoms (P = 0.034). When patients received gluten versus placebo they had significantly more severe intestinal symptoms of abdominal bloating and pain (P = 0.040 and 0.047, respectively) and extraintestinal symptoms of foggy mind, depression, and aphthous stomatitis (P = 0.019, 0.020, and 0.025, respectively).
"In a cross-over trial of subjects with suspected NCGS, the severity of overall symptoms increased significantly during one week of intake of small amounts of gluten, compared with placebo," the authors write.
Journal information: Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
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