Going Gluten-Free Does Not Lower Heart Disease Risk, Study Says

Whole grains are known to reduce the risk of heart disease

"The diet may actually in some cases be less healthy".

Not only did they find that going gluten-free wasn't beneficial for those without actual gluten tolerance issues, the study researchers also found avoiding gluten can actually be harmful to your heart health if you don't have the condition.

Researchers say that gluten-free diets among people without celiac disease should not be encouraged. If anyone googles 'Is gluten bad?' after a long explanation which involves the term 'coeliac disease, ' you'll find the answer is no. Gluten is only unsafe for those who have an allergy to gluten or suffer of the already mentioned coeliac disease; a genetically linked autoimmune illness in which the small bowel becomes inflamed and leaky by gluten, resulting in anaemia, weight loss, diarrhoea and osteoporosis.

Dieters who go gluten-free could be at greater risk of having a heart attack, experts have warned.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects more than 3 million people in the United States.

Symptoms of coeliac disease can be mild or severe and can include intestinal damage, hair loss and anaemia. They've concluded that those who don't suffer from celiac disease or a wheat sensitivity shouldn't avoid gluten.

Other nutritionists agreed with the assessment that you shouldn't adopt a gluten free diet if you don't have to. But does it benefit the public?

They analysed data from 64,714 female and 45,303 male USA health professionals with no history of coronary heart disease and found that, over a 26-year follow-up, consuming foods containing gluten had no significant association with the risk of heart disease. They filled in a food frequency questionnaire in 1986 and continued to do so at 4-year intervals until 2010. Researchers then divided them into five levels of estimated gluten consumption.

"We made a decision to look at heart disease because it's a leading killer, and because it's generally understood that heart health can be affected by diet", said Dr. Lebwohl.

"In fact, in those individuals that actually had low intakes of gluten, they also tended to have diets that were also low in whole grains and so subsequently because of that also had a somewhat higher risk of developing heart disease".

'As a result, diets that limit gluten intake have gained popularity, ' they wrote. "There is a lot of hype about how gluten produces inflammation and can lead to giving you diabetes, heart disease, dementia, a lot of things".

The study is titled, "Long-term Gluten Consumption in Adults without Celiac Disease and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: Prospective Cohort Study".

The study was funded by grants the National Institutes of Health (K24 DK098311, UM1 CA186107, UM1 CA167552, R01 HL035464, R01 HL060712, R01 HL034594) and by an American Gastroenterological Association Foundation Research Scholar Award.



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