Gluten-free Diet Can Carry Diabetes Risk

For those without celiac, a gluten-free diet could mean higher risk of diabetes, says a new, long-term study. A Harvard study found that people whose gluten intake was higher were at a 13 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than were those who consumed the lowest amounts of gluten.

Although some of the participants in the study were low-gluten or gluten-free before it was popularized, thus skewing some of the dietary data from the earliest portion of the study, the Harvard researchers believe that if confirmation from another study is found, the results will be clear.

“If you don’t have a medical reason to avoid gluten, you don’t really have to avoid gluten,”

said Geng Zong, PhD, a research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in Boston, who led the study. A recent JAMA study found that about 0.6 percent (1.76 million) Americans have celiac disease, requiring them to avoid gluten intake. Almost double that number (2.7 million Americans), however, are living a gluten-free or low-gluten diet without the condition.

Researchers have pointed out that there is little evidence that a gluten-free diet has long-term benefits for those adhering to it. The study's author reiterates that in the study's introduction. The Harvard study was based on a portion of the Nurse's Health Study, the Nurse's Health Study II, and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. These studies included 200,000 participants from 1984 to 2013.

The study cites other studies showing that some avoidance of gluten can increase changes of diabetes and other diseases because of the beneficial foods that are often avoided as part of the diet.

Source: Gastoendonews.com

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