The tragic thing is that I know someone with health problems that falls for every “alternative medicine” scam/fad/misconception out there (and a lot of others, too). She’s managed to cut every major protein source out of her diet (refusing to plan and make sure that she gets needed nutrition), to the point that it seems obvious that it’s exacerbating her health problems, and she started talking about going gluten-free and sent me a PDF of a pseudo-science “white-paper” as a source.
She asked what I thought, and when I told her it ended with her getting mad and telling me to stop reading the internet (read: looking up studies on Google scholar) and start talking to real people (2 people told her that they feel better since going gluten-free). On one hand I screwed up my approach, but on the other hand she didn’t really want my opinion; we haven’t really talked since.
Ironically I was listening to a podcast about this just last week< probably in a Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe episode, and they pretty conclusively showed not only why this latest fear-mongering fad is so ridiculous, but also how gluten is an excellent way to get a needed protein in your diet.
Not Skeptic’s Guide, but I found one on Skeptoid from last month (January); would that be it? That one was good, but doesn’t give a lot of ammo for talking to these people (although the fact that gluten has been a very important part of the human diet for a very long time is poignant). Not that I’ll get another chance with the aforementioned person.