T Nation

Poliquin on Gluten



Is this complete bullcrap?


If this were a wikipedia article it would have at least 8 requests for citations.


Umm, nothing earth shattering here. In fact, numerous people are essentially cmoing to the same conclusions.

Wheat Belly
Chris Kresser

notice Poliquin did say "if sensitive" and not that these problems are for everyone.

LOL @ Poliquin in the comments section in regards to sources "As far as the references are concerned, just go on Pub Med, to list them all would take up an entire website, I am a strength coach not your personal librarian, doing your own research will make it worth even more. Regarding testing for gluten, I will post an answer to that on the site tomorrow in the women's section. "


you can probably add Mark Sisson and Robb Wolf to that as well


I happen to like this article and it takes a somewhat middle ground on things.



Haha but really brain damage from gluten lmao


oh and autism! :o


I believe it's being more noted improvements in autistic behaviors in the elimination. Not that gluten causes autism.


I know a few parents with autistic children that have had improvements in their child's symptoms when put on a gluten free diet.


'EVERY single client who came in for a consult to help their autistic child'

Who's coming to Charles Poliquin for treatment of their autistic child?


It's not hard to believe a top SC would have good word of mouth referrals.... If I've trained an autistic person, I'm sure Poliquin has trained at least a few


am i the only one who thinks a little bit of gluten isnt a big deal if one is not sensitive to it? and that this whole gluten thing is being blown out of proportion.

i mean a couple slices of rye bread or a bowl of pasta...or a hamburger and...the bun too, aint gonna kill you. am i right?


I don't care what Poliquin says is his responsibility or not. It is one thing to tell a personal client to avoid gluten. If he's going to make audacious claims to a wide audience and expect to be taken seriously, he should back them up - especially when a "PubMed search" yields studies that could contradict his 6 'facts' about gluten.


Lately this forum is reminding me of my mindset in college about low-carb diets being evil, not good for weight loss, would cause muscle loss, and high-fat was clearly bad for health... at first new ideas/research will be met with skepticism and ridicule, but often what happens it becomes accepted.

hell, around '04-'05 when low-carb studies were showing their efficacy and benefits to blood lipds, I remember thinking, that can't be right, there must be something wrong with the studies, "we know fat and sat fat is bad".

I think that's where we are right now with gluten on this forum, just my .02


No, this is more reminiscent of the low fat diet fad of the 90s, where large amounts of companies misread the studies, misread the recommendations and encouraged millions of Americans down a dangerous dietary path.

There is a large number of individuals with no proper training in empirical science research misreading studies and then using their poor meta-analysis of the research as 'proof' of their theories.

For instance, the notion that exorphins in wheat might cause increases in food consumption/desire was theorized in the late 70s - yet multiple studies in the 1980s (the most comprehensive being Morley in 83: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6840480) found that not to be the case. This isn't new science by any means. There has been over four decades of research into these wheat-bound exorphins and no critical link establishing these two phenomena has been recorded.

Yet proponents of the no gluten diet STILL claim it as 'fact'.


Yeah, I'm sure Poliquin doesn't know how to read studies :wink:

either way, just giving my observation


That's not what I was insinuating but his views certainly might be informed by people who don't.

For example, another Morley study (in 92) is used to support the exorphin link but rarely do authors link to the reviews (such as Woods et al in 98) that found multiple concerns with the experimental and theoretical models used. Studies require a skeptical and nuanced reading that most pop science authors either accidentally or willfully fail to employ.


Just try it yourself...I've been avoiding gluten for 1 1/2 years and would never go back.

Why do you eat bread/pasta anyway? Yeah they're tasty, but not especially nutritious...much better choices out there.


I have tried it.

However, lets consider the following hypothetical:

  1. A person attempts a gluten free diet.
  2. A person feels better on this diet.
  3. A person believes this effect to be a result of gluten elimination. (Ignoring any possible placebo effect.)
  4. Because of effect in part 3, this person now believes that the rationale for gluten elimination, such as that posited by Mr. Poliquin, must be true.
  5. This person is predisposed to believe every strong form anti-gluten argument, [un?]consciously filtering out any legitimate counterargument to the 'proof' put forward by the proponents.

Starting with step 3, this hypothetical individual has already influenced their own self-experimentation model. To extrapolate from this poorly constructed empirical study any sort of validity of the contentions described in part 4 is poor form.

In short, why be skeptical of gluten but not the anti-gluten zealots? Indeed, the former is a non-sentient protein while the latter tend to be individuals with myriad incentives to convince you that their belief structure is superior.


Cr: There is one other thing I would have to add back in to your list that would make this a complete experiment.

  • Person removes gluten.
  • gets "better"
  • eventually adds gluten back in
  • feels like complete shit and relapses on all symptoms previously experienced before removing gluten.
  • Person removes gluten - cycle continues.

Are you saying all issues are just in our head?