04/16/2014 03:17 pm ET Updated Jun 16, 2014

Eating Wheat Again, Part 2

I thought I was finished writing about gluten sensitivities, but just when I was ready to move on to untrodden fields of waving grains, the plot thickened. The story so far is more people are reacting to gluten-containing foods. Some grumpy types still hold the opinion that the newly-emerging gluten intolerant are either overly-sensitive complainers or feeble-minded hysterics jumping on the latest health bandwagon.

In the last few years, the medical community weighed in and declared there is a medical condition called Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS).

NCGS has most of the symptoms of celiac disease without being celiac disease. Unfortunately, the pundits admit we lack a medical test to prove gluten is the culprit. The only "test" is to eliminate gluten from the diet and see if the symptoms resolve. Nobody in the medical community finds this test to be satisfactory and the search for a marker molecule or problem protein linked to the symptoms continues.

Enter the plot thickener in the form of an MIT scientist named Stephanie Seneff. Dr. Seneff claims to have found the cause of the gluten intolerance epidemic and co-authored two papers on the subject. (1) (2) Her research suggests gluten becomes much more allergenic because of the relatively new practice of spraying glyphosate herbicide on wheat plants just days before they are picked. Glyphosate kills the plants and makes the harvest easier but binds to the gluten and alters its structure. The new gluten molecule is much more allergenic and glyphosate ingestion can cause symptoms attributed to gluten sensitivity including abdominal cramps, drowsiness, headaches, diarrhea, anxiety, weakness and mouth irritation.

If Seneff's theory is correct, it would explain why brilliant scientists have been unable to come up with a blood test to accurately diagnose gluten sensitivity. They have been looking for a protein or immune marker unique to gluten not a toxin. It would also explain why some people with NCGS can eat heirloom or organically produced wheat. Disturbing food for thought.