Gluten-free diets may be tied to an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes
Gluten-free diets are all the rage, but shunning gluten may offer no benefit to overall health for most people, a new analysis suggests.
In fact, the people in the study who ate more gluten were 13 percent less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes over the 30-year study than those who ate less gluten, the researchers found.
For some individuals, there are health reasons to avoid gluten, a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye and barley. Certain people, for example, have an intolerance to gluten, which can lead to abdominal pain, bloating or fatigue. Others have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that affects mostly the small intestine; when people with this disease eat gluten, their immune system responds by attacking the intestine’s lining.
However, even some people who do not have celiac disease or an intolerance to gluten believe that gluten-free diets are healthier than those that include gluten products, and the researchers wanted to see whether this belief might have any scientific merit, said lead study author Geng Zong, a nutrition research fellow at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.
In the study, the researchers looked at surveys conducted every two to four years in which nearly 200,000 people reported what they ate. 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. Type 2 — the most common form of diabetes — occurs when the body has lost the ability to use insulin efficiently. Th Continue reading