Could a Gluten-Free Diet Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes?
As the prevalence of diabetes continues to rise, prevention becomes increasingly important. In recent years, several studies have assessed the effects of gluten on diabetes risk. Read on to learn what the researchers found and if a gluten-free diet could help you prevent diabetes.
The prevalence of diabetes has skyrocketed in recent decades. Consider the following:
An estimated 9.4 percent of the U.S. population has diabetes, and 33.9 percent has prediabetes. Together, this adds up to 100 million affected Americans (1).
Five million people in the United States are expected to have type 1 diabetes by 2050, including roughly 600,000 children and adolescents (2).
Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions and is a familiar topic on my blog. You may have seen my 2015 article on reversing type 2 diabetes and more recently, how a fasting mimicking diet might soon be a viable treatment option for type 1 diabetes.
But what if we could prevent diabetes in the first place? Wouldn’t that be the best solution? In this article, I’ll review how gluten consumption or avoidance might affect your risk for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. We’ll start with type 1 diabetes.
The gluten–leaky gut–diabetes connection
The immune system has the important job of distinguishing foreign invaders from the body’s own tissues. When this process is disrupted, the body can start to attack some of its own cells, a condition called autoimmunity. In type 1 diabetes (T1D), the immune system attacks the beta cells of the pancreas. These beta cells are responsible for the secretion of the hormone insulin, Continue reading