Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Gluten-Free Damnation

"The promotion of gluten-free diets among people without celiac disease should not be encouraged."
"Despite the rising trend in gluten restriction, no long term, prospective studies have assessed the relation of dietary gluten with the risk of chronic conditions."
"[Gluten can] act as a prebiotic, feeding the 'good' bacteria in our bodies."
"Changes in their amount or activity have been associated with gastrointestinal diseases including inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer, and irritable bowel syndrome."
Harvard Medical School study

"Studies are needed to determine the long term effects of accumulation of these elements [toxic heavy metals resulting from consuming gluten-free foods] in persons on a GFD [gluten-free diet]."
"Persons on a GFD had significantly higher urine levels of total arsenic and blood levels of mercury, lead, and cadmium than persons not avoiding gluten."
The Mayo Clinic
Getty Images

Wheat is a complex grain grown all over the world and used for thousands of years by primitive as well as modern societies as a food staple, high in protein. Modern science has determined that wheat has six sets of chromosomes and 95,000 genes. It is a crop known for its adaptability to all kinds of environments, accounting for its ubiquity. There have been 35,000 developed varieties throughout the course of history. Five thousands of those varieties are currently agricultural staples.

Most people who have been convinced to avoid gluten believe that in so doing they will be healthier and in the process also become slender, shedding unwanted weight. Gluten-free foods, however, have higher caloric counts than their counterparts with gluten. Researchers warn they could promote obesity in fact, while gluten-rich whole grains are by their very complexity healthy == containing fibre and nutrients like B vitamins, magnesium and iron to increase life-spans.

With the removal of gluten from the diet these nutrients are absent and must be replaced to remain healthy. And isn't that the point of the exercise to begin with?

About one percent of the population has been diagnosed with celiac disease, a condition that can cause extreme fatigue, severe disorders such as intestinal damage and for these people, the avoidance of gluten is prescribed. Another one percent or slightly greater are not celiacs but sensitive to gluten; they too might be advised to minimize their gluten intake. And then there is the 98 percent of the population for whom avoiding gluten becomes a health risk they are unaware of.

High-gluten diets are known to make the risk of Type 2 diabetes less likely as far as the American Heart Association is concerned, based on their study of 200,000 subjects. Those who consume bread, pizzas and other gluten-rich foods had a 13 percent lower risk of acquiring Type 2 diabetes than those whose diets had the least amount of gluten. According to a 26-year-long Harvard Medical School study of 110,000 Americans, a 15 percent lower incidence was discovered among those eating the most gluten.

And then there is the not-inconsequential issue of the consequences of gluten-free diets, since this fad is so recent and has grown so enormously that long-term effects are unknown other than that its adherents have, without their knowledge, become subjects in a potentially dangerous experiment. In a study of 11,000 people published earlier in this year, the Mayo Clinic raised alarms respecting the trend in gluten-free diets, focusing over the concentrated levels of toxic heavy metals linked to those diets.

Now that is food for thought.

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