In recent years, there has been a growing number of people who have decided to switch to a gluten free diet. It has been commonly accepted that gluten is a mostly harmful protein and that going gluten free can improve one’s health and reduce the risk of heart disease. But a new study has just debunked all these beliefs. It turns out that people who are not specifically instructed by their health professionals to stay away from gluten, in other words, people not suffering from coeliac disease and wheat allergy, should not have a gluten free diet as the risks of such a diet clearly outweigh the benefits.
In fact, a researcher at the Columbia University Medical Center participating in the study, confirmed that limiting gluten intake has no benefits in terms of heart health as far as healthy non coeliac people are concerned. For those who do have the condition, gluten is responsible for an irritation that stops the consumption of nutrients from small intestines, which over time can cause heart disease, anaemia and osteoporosis. These risks do not apply to non coeliacs and have no advantages for their hearts.
The research studied over 100 thousand subjects, dividing them in 5 groups according to their gluten intake over a period stretching from 1986 to 2010. They found that the risk of heart attacks didn’t differ significantly between groups that consumed the most gluten and those who did the least. Moreover, they suggest that heart disease becomes even more probable with gluten free diets. This is not due to the lack of gluten but rather to the fact that such a diet greatly decreases the number of ingested whole grains which are known to be a big booster of heart health.
If you are still considering a gluten free diet even though you do not suffer from coeliac disease. It is advised to closely monitor your whole grain intake so as not to cause an imbalance and expose yourself to the risks that come with such a deficiency.