Australian Natural Bodz - - Nutrition Knowledge Centre -

Even if you don’t have a gluten al­lergy, but your fat mass is higher than you’d like, you may ben­e­fit from a diet con­tain­ing less – or no – grains. Re­searchers at the Univer­si­dade Fed­eral de Mi­nas Gerais in Brazil came to this con­clu­sion af­ter do­ing an ex­per­i­ment with mice. The Brazil­ians dis­cov­ered that it’s more dif­fi­cult to build up fat re­serves on a gluten-free diet. Ac­cord­ing to pa­leo diet pro­po­nents, the in­tro­duc­tion of agri­cul­ture was a colos­sal blun­der. As a re­sult we now eat many prod­ucts that our body is not re­ally suited to di­gest­ing, in­clud­ing grains. The pa­leo pro­po­nents avoid grain prod­ucts, not only be­cause they con­tain lots of car­bo­hy­drates, but also be­cause they con­tain gluten pro­teins. These are not only bad for peo­ple who are al­ler­gic to gluten, they say, but for ev­ery­one. The hu­man di­ges­tive sys­tem is not good at deal­ing with gluten and only half di­gests it. Af­ter a meal con­tain­ing grains, all sorts of pep­tides cir­cu­late around the body, which our im­mune sys­tem re­gards as alien in­trud­ers and tries to fight with in­flam­ma­tory re­ac­tions. One of the re­sults of these in­flam­ma­tory re­ac­tions is that the body’s in­sulin me­tab­o­lism works less well, in­creas­ing the risk of di­a­betes and mak­ing us put on weight more eas­ily. The Brazil­ians de­cided to test the con­tro­ver­sial pa­leo the­ory in lab an­i­mals. They put two groups of mice on a high-fat diet for eight weeks. One group was given food con­sist­ing of 4.5 per­cent gluten; the other group was given gluten-free food. At the end of the eight weeks, the gluten-free mice had put on less weight than the mice in the con­trol group. This was be­cause the fat re­serves of the gluten-free mice had grown less. The in­sulin sys­tem in the gluten-free mice had de­te­ri­o­rated less than in the mice in the con­trol group. Com­pared with the con­trol mice, the glu­cose level in the gluten-free mice was a lit­tle lower and their Homa-IR [a mea­sure­ment of in­sulin re­sis­tance] had in­creased by less. In the gluten-free mice the pro­duc­tion of the fat sen­sor PPAR-gamma in­creased by more than in the con­trol mice. The same hap­pened with the pro­duc­tion of GLUT4 [a pro­tein in cells that glu­cose ab­sorbs out of the blood­stream]. In the gluten-free mice the pro­duc­tion of in­flam­ma­tory pro­teins such as TNF-al­pha in­creased less. TNF-Al­pha in­hibits the ef­fec­tive­ness of in­sulin. The more in­sulin is ham­pered in its work, the fewer nu­tri­ents your mus­cle cells ab­sorb, the more eas­ily you put on weight and the more likely you are to de­velop di­a­betes-2. The Brazil­ians also dis­cov­ered why the gluten-free mice had fewer in­flam­ma­tory pro­teins cir­cu­lat­ing in their bod­ies. There were less in­flam­ma­tory re­ac­tions go­ing on in their fat cells.

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