Too little gluten in our diet may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes
People with celiac disease or who are gluten intolerant may benefit from a low-gluten diet. A considerable number of people who do not have these diseases still adopt a gluten-free diet in the hope that it benefits their health. New research, however, suggests that a low-gluten diet may even have some adverse health effects, by raising the risk of diabetes.
Gluten is a protein mainly found in wheat, barley, and rye, as well as baked goods and other foods that contain these cereals. People with celiac disease - an autoimmune disorder affecting at least 3 million people in the United States - avoid gluten because their immune system responds to it by attacking the small intestine.
However, more and more people are adopting a gluten-free diet, despite its health benefits being unclear.
In fact, some nutritionists advise against avoiding gluten. Instead, they recommend a well-balanced diet that includes fruit and vegetables, as well as whole-grain wheat and other foods containing gluten.
New research - presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle 2017 Scientific Sessions - suggests that a low-gluten diet may have adverse health effects by raising the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Studying the link between gluten consumption and type 2 diabetes
Geng Zong, Ph.D. - one of the study's authors and a research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, MA - explains the motivation behind the study:
We wanted to determine if gluten consumption will affect health in people with no apparent Continue reading