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Published: Sat, March 11, 2017
Health | By Bessie Ortiz

Too Little Gluten May Raise Diabetes Risk

Too Little Gluten May Raise Diabetes Risk

Geng Zong from Harvard University's Department of Nutrition said the results suggested eating gluten could lower people's risk of type 2 diabetes. A new study has found that adopting a gluten-free or low-gluten diet can enhance your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Does a diet low in gluten increase the risk of type 2 diabetes?

Gluten-free diets are all the rage these days, but for most people, shunning gluten may offer no benefit to overall health, a new analysis suggests.

However, "people without celiac disease may reconsider limiting their gluten intake for chronic disease prevention, especially for diabetes", Zong said.

Those who ate less gluten also tended to eat less cereal fibre, a known protective factor for type 2 diabetes development. Since gluten-free products have boomed in recent years, the researchers wanted to know what affect a low gluten diet had on people without Celiac disease, that causes gluten intolerance.

The researchers estimated daily gluten intake for 199,794 participants in three long-term health studies - 69,276 from the Nurses' Health Study (NHS), 88,610 from the Nurses' Health Study II (NHSII) and 41,908 from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) - from food-frequency questionnaires completed by participants every two to four years. Market analyst Mintel claims that in 2015, 12 per cent of new food products launched in the United Kingdom carried a gluten-free claim, up from 7 per cent in 2011.

University of Canberra Associate Professor of nutritional science Duane Mellor said decreased diabetes risk may be linked to foods commonly found alongside gluten, rather than the protein itself.

TRENDY gluten-free diets loved by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham, Miley Cyrus and Russell Crowe may increase the risk of developing diabetes, experts have warned. So many people seem to believe that reducing or eliminating gluten from their diet is an inherently healthy act, but is there actually any science to back up that belief? "However, we've also seen the gluten-free fad overshadow the fact that it's the only current treatment for celiac disease ..."

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.

However, Barnes says you could be missing out on daily nutrients if you're on a gluten-free diet.

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

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