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Dietary gluten and heart problems - study clears up the link

by , 28 June 2017
Dietary gluten and heart problems - study clears up the link
You've read that consuming foods that contain gluten can increase your risk of heart problems. But is it true?

According to a new study, dietary gluten is associated with increased risk of heart problems - but only in people with celiac disease. Read on for the full story...

Researchers determine that dietary gluten only increases risk of heart problems in people with celiac disease

The study, titled “Long-term Gluten Consumption in Adults without Celiac Disease and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: Prospective Cohort Study” and published online in the BMJ, was carried out by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.
 
To assess the link between consuming dietary gluten and increased risk of heart problems, the researchers analysed diet and coronary heart disease data on 65,000 women who were enrolled in the Nurses Health Study, plus 45,000 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. None of these subjects had been diagnosed with celiac disease.
 
The team found that dietary gluten only increased the risk of heart problems in subjects who had underlying celiac disease.

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Celiac disease is an immune reaction that can lead to more serious issues like heart problems...

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease characterised by an immune reaction in response to ingesting gluten. This reaction triggers inflammation in the small intestine and prevents the absorption of essential nutrients. Over time, celiac disease can lead to other health issues, such as anaemia, osteoporosis and heart disease. Furthermore, celiac disease can be easily treated by following a gluten-free diet.
 

This study highlights how harmful gluten is for the heart health of people with celiac disease

“Gluten is clearly harmful for people with celiac disease,” Benjamin Lebwohl, lead author of the study, said. “But popular diet books have pushed the notion that a low-gluten diet is healthy for everyone. Our findings show that gluten restriction has no benefit. In fact, it may cause some harm if they follow a low-gluten diet that is particularly low in whole grains, because those grains appear to have a protective effect against heart disease.”
 
If you suffer from gluten sensitivity or intolerance, it’s a good idea to eliminate gluten-containing foods from your diet – it may just cut your risk of heart problems!



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