Going gluten-free could be damaging for many in long term: Study

Going gluten-free could be damaging for many in long term: Study

Many individuals opting to go gluten-free could actually be doing themselves more harm than good, a new study has warned. Highlighting a Spanish study that found merely 16 per cent of people who self-reported gluten sensitivity really showed the symptoms in a proper trial; the new study warned that opting to go gluten-free might bring unnecessary risks if the person does not have celiac disease.

The sample examined by a team of researchers from the University of Newcastle didn’t include those diagnosed as having celiac disease or a wheat allergy. It’s estimated merely 1 in 100 individuals have a confirmed case of celiac disease.

Dr. Michael Potter, who led the study, said nearly 7 per cent of people in Australia were avoiding gluten, including those who had gastro intestinal symptoms and blamed gluten for the issues.

Sharing their findings, Potter said, “Five out of six wheat avoiders are probably not truly gluten sensitive. The symptoms are usually there for a reason, it's just that gluten is not necessarily the answer.”

The researchers stressed that non-coeliac gluten sensitivity was a real condition that came to light in the past five years or so.

The researchers reported their findings in the most recent edition of the Australian Medical Journal (AMJ).