Medicine

Study Indicates Gluten Free Diet Increases Diabetes Risk

Study Indicates Gluten Free Diet Increases Diabetes Risk

Scientists say those who have low levels of gluten in their diet - less than four grams - had a 13 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those with higher levels of gluten.

It is the protein that gives baked goods that chewy texture and elasticity in the baking process.

This suggests that consuming gluten could lower the risk of developing diabetes, lead author Geng Zong from Harvard University's Department of Nutrition said. The researchers estimated the participants' gluten intake based on this information, and then looked at which participants went on to develop type 2 diabetes over the 30-year study period.

The study suggests that ingesting only small amounts of Gluten, or avoiding it altogether, increases the risk of diabetes by as much as 13 per cent.

The increase in people opting for free-from diets has been partly down to the rise of celebrity food bloggers. For example, some people have an intolerance to gluten, and others have Celiac disease, the researchers said.

Of those who participated in the study, individuals who ate less gluten also tended to eat less cereal fiber, which is considered a protective factor against the development of type 2 diabetes.

The Harvard University study findings were presented at the at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2017 Scientific Sessions in Portland, Oregon.

In the observational study commencing in 1984, researchers estimated the daily gluten intake for nearly 200,000 participants through food questionnaires completed every two to four years.


"It's not ideal to cut out certain complete food groups, there's nothing potentially an issue with gluten in a healthy gut".

Participants were followed for 30 years, during which time 15,947 cases of type-2 diabetes were confirmed.

One in six British households now avoids gluten, according to...

Aside from weight loss, one of the purported health benefits of a gluten-free diet is the reduced risk of diabetes, which is considered one of the leading causes of death in the United States. A well-balanced diet that includes gluten may be the healthiest option for most people.

Smith says the findings of the research may prompt those who abstain from gluten for reasons other than celiac disease and sensitivities to think carefully about doing so.

"What is the real reason you're excluding gluten?"

Only foods and beverages with a gluten content less than 20 parts per million are allowed.

Contrary to the popular notion, going on a gluten-free diet is not recommended for everyone.