The Motley Monk doesn’t suffer from non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), so he’s not qualified to address how much pain gluten from a host causes those who suffer from NCGS. But, no one over the past 40 years has ever reported to The Motley Monk having suffered the effects of NCGS from receiving Holy Communion.
With that as background, The Motley Monk did a little homework and happened upon a 2011 study conducted by Peter Gibson, Professor of Gastroenterology at Monash University and Director of the GI Unit at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne (Australia). Gibson’s data indicated that gluten—a protein found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley—causes gastrointestinal distress in patients without celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder unequivocally triggered by gluten. The experiment—double-blinded, randomized, and placebo-controlled—provided some of the strongest evidence to date that NCGS (“gluten intolerance”) is a genuine condition.
The Food Police and its propaganda wing loved the finding. As part of her healthy eating effort, the nation’s Chief of the Food Police, Michelle Obama, even came up with a graphic telling people how to avoid gluten:
Gibson’s conclusion: “In contrast to our first study… we could find absolutely no specific response to gluten.”
The culprit? Dietary sources of what are called “FODMAPs”—fermentable, poorly absorbed, short-chain carbohydrates—and bread products, in particular. Removing FODMAPs from the diet by adopting a gluten-free diet, participants in the Gibson’s study uniformly reported reduced gastrointestinal symptoms and fatigue.
Jessica Biesiekierski, a gastroenterologist formerly at Monash University and now appointed to the Translational Research Center for Gastrointestinal Disorders at the University of Leuven in Belgium and lead author of the study alongside Gibson, wrote in a review published in December to the journal Current Allergy and Asthma Reports: “On current evidence the existence of the entity of NCGS remains unsubstantiated.”
Seems to The Motley Monk that hosts with gluten would not cause NCGS. And, yes, The Motley Monk has wondered at times if NCGS is being asserted because au courrant parishioners need/want/demand to receive a “boutique” form of Holy Communion. What’s next? Vegan Holy Communion…hosts crafted from chickpea flour?
Let the discussion begin…
To read the study and analysis, click on the following link:
To read the New York Times article, click on the following link: