Low gluten diet may be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes

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Gluten-free diets have grown in popularity in recent years, but evidence is lacking regarding gluten intake and long-term health.

A new study which set out to determine if gluten consumption will affect health in people with no apparent medical reasons to avoid gluten has found that doing so may increase a patient’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D).

After examining data for 199,794 participants in three long-term health studies, researchers found that most participants had gluten intake below 12 grams/day, and within this range, those who ate the most gluten had lower T2D risk during thirty years of follow-up.
Study participants who ate less gluten also tended to eat less cereal fibre, a known protective factor for T2D development. After adjusting for cereal fibre, individuals in the highest 20 per cent of gluten consumption had a 13 per cent lower risk of developing T2D in comparison to those with the lowest daily gluten consumption (approximately fewer than 4 grams).
Commenting on the findings, Geng Zong, research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the USA said: “People without coeliac disease may reconsider limiting their gluten intake for chronic disease prevention, especially for diabetes.”
The research was presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention / Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2017 Scientific Sessions

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