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Very few people actually suffer from gluten intolerance
Some people believe that they suffer from so-called gluten intolerance. However, only a small proportion of these people actually show symptoms of such a gluten intolerance, and refraining from eating gluten can lead to health risks, experts warn.
Scientists at the University of Newcastle emphasize that many people who are convinced that they have gluten intolerance are not actually affected by gluten intolerance. This was shown by a current study, the results of which the doctors also published a press release.
A gluten-free diet harms health
In their investigation, the researchers found that only a small proportion of the Australians examined, who claim to have gluten intolerance, actually have such symptoms. The experts say that a gluten-free diet is associated with poorer health. People should therefore not change their diet without the formal diagnosis of gluten intolerance.
Only about one in 100 people really suffer from celiac disease
Many people think they suffer from the negative effects of gluten intolerance. In reality, few people experience adverse symptoms from eating gluten or wheat. So far, very little is known about the incidence of this disorder, the authors explain. It is believed that only one in 100 people in Australia really have celiac disease. In this disease, the immune system responds abnormally to the consumption of gluten.
Most people experience no side effects from consuming gluten
Another seven percent of Australians report undesirable gastrointestinal and extraintestinal symptoms, such as bloating and cramps after eating wheat products that contain gluten. Symptoms occurred in only 16 percent of people with gluten sensitivity when examined in a placebo study. Most of the subjects consumed gluten without being aware of it or suffering from any side effects, the experts explain.
Disadvantages of a gluten-free diet
A gluten-free diet is often expensive and not easy to implement. Several studies have already shown that a gluten-free diet does not provide sufficient amounts of trace elements and vitamins such as calcium and vitamin D. A gluten-free diet can negatively affect cardiovascular risk factors such as total cholesterol, weight gain, obesity, glucose intolerance and blood pressure, the authors explain. An independent study also found an association between a gluten-free diet and an increased risk of heart disease in 110,000 men and women.
Many sufferers suffer from non-celiac non-wheat allergy wheat sensitivity
There are probably many people who experience unfavorable physiological symptoms from taking wheat and therefore unnecessarily undergo a gluten-free diet, the experts suspect. Gluten is usually not responsible for this condition. A correct name for the complaints could be, for example, “non-celiac disease, non-wheat allergy and wheat sensitivity” (NCG / WS). Promoting a gluten-free diet among people without celiac disease should not be further supported, the researchers add. Future tests should be able to detect this so-called non-celiac gluten / wheat sensitivity (NCG / WS) and this could reliably differentiate between celiac disease and NCG / WS, the researchers add . (as)