A new study presented at the American Heart Association Meeting stated that people who eat a low gluten diet might be at a higher risk of getting type II diabetes. The study looked at data from almost 200,000 people, one of the largest study sizes to date and examined their health. The data that was gathered came from three studies, the Nurses’ Health Study, the Nurses’ Health Study II, and the Health Professional Follow-Up Study.
A gluten-free diet is a type of diet that excludes everything containing gluten, which is a family of proteins can be found in wheat and related grains. In people with celiac or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten diets can cause health problems. For some, a gluten-free diet may improve irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, or multiple sclerosis. Many people claim they are on a gluten-free or low gluten diet but do not understand it completely to be effective, if at all.
Type II diabetes or diabetes mellitus type II is a long-term metabolic disorder where the person has high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and little or a lack of insulin. Common symptoms of the disease include increased thirst, frequent urination, and unexplained weight loss. Other symptoms include increased hunger, tiredness, and slow healing sores. Diet, medication, and exercise can help to control type II diabetes.
Popular Science reported that there was “no real evidence” that gluten-free or low gluten diets lead to health benefits. In the study from the American Heart Association, people who engage in a low gluten diet may be susceptible to getting type II diabetes. Because the three studies were so long-lasting, the researchers had to estimate how much gluten the participants ate. The researchers compared data from those who had a high versus low gluten consumption and only found that by eating less gluten the chances of developing type II diabetes were “unlikely to decrease.”
For those engaging in a low or gluten-free diet, the chances of developing type II diabetes actually increased. Science Daily wrote that participants who ate less gluten were getting less fiber in their diet and fiber had been found to decrease a person’s risk of stroke, heart disease, obesity, and type II diabetes. Popular Science went on to say that individuals who did eat a low or gluten-free diet could do so, as long as they were thoughtful and researched what changes they needed to make for the diet. Because the data was “observational,” more research must be done to confirm the study from the American Heart Association, Science Daily reported.
By Cheryl Werber