Is The Gluten Free Diet A Fad? PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 22 December 2011 19:30
Not long ago, the phrase “gluten free” was one relegated to health food stores and medical clinics, the sole concern of an unlucky few diagnosed with a gluten-intolerant condition known as Celiac disease and forced to scavenge the grocery isles for the few mass-marketed products made without the seemingly ubiquitous wheat protein. But today, as noted in a recent piece for the New York Times magazine, gluten-free has gone the way of big business – infiltrating major companies like General Mills and, according to some figures, constituting a nearly $6.3 billion industry.

In addition to Celiacs, whose numbers throughout the U.S. and Europe continue to rise, athletes and even perfectly healthy individuals are latching on to the gluten-free lifestyle – claiming greater energy and vitality as a result of eliminating the tough-to-digest wheat protein that shows up in everything from bread to beer to breakfast cereal. Over the past few years, high-profile advocates like tennis superstar Novak Djokovic have turned gluten-free living into a full-blown fad. And while many doctors flatly deny any advantage to going gluten-free for those without a gluten allergy, others maintain that, given the widespread and growing prevalence of at least some form of gluten intolerance, individuals suffering from unexplained poor health or autoimmune deficiencies can consider cutting out gluten as a possible route to greater vitality and overall wellness.

With a rising number of gluten-free products lining the shelves at supermarkets across the country and proponents of the diet infiltrating everything from daytime television to professional sports, it can be difficult for consumers to determine whether or not the lifestyle is a genuine key to greater health, or simply the latest in a never-ending string of wellness trends. Opinions differ across medical specialties; but as specialists in the treatment of autoimmune disorders, the Institute for Specialized Medicine believe that since no human can completely digest gluten, many people do benefit from going gluten-free – especially those with an undiagnosed allergy or intolerance, or those who are living with other autoimmune disease besides Celiac.

Often times, eliminating gluten from one’s diet helps lessen the adverse effects of these diseases: and while the gluten-free diet is by no means a “miracle cure” for universal health, it is recommend that if you are feeling unwell, it is worth cutting out gluten to see if your condition improves.

Source: Shikhman, A. (2011), "The gluten-free diet: a passing trend – or a trick for universal health and heightened vitality?", La Jolla Light

 
More articles :

» Crowdsourcing A Cure For Scleroderma

is widely known for medical innovation — from the research laboratory to the patient’s bedside — but in partnership with dedicated donors, the institution is also innovating the way it raises money to accelerate groundbreaking research.With...

» What Are The Odds Of Having A Rare Disease?

There are over 7,000 known rare disorders or diseases, a statistic which is continually growing as medical science advances. The European Union's definition of a rare disorder or disease is a condition which affects 5 or less people in every 10,000....

» Genetic Accelerator Linked To Most Severe Cases of Lupus

A "genetic accelerator" is responsible for the most severe cases of Lupus (), an autoimmune disease: the accelerator, called enhancer HS1.2, speeds up the activity of some critical genes of the immune system involved in the disease.A team of Italian...

» Promedior Announces Publication of New Research Demonstrating Pentraxin-2/SAP is a Potent Inhibitor of Pulmonary Fibrosis

Promedior, Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology company developing novel therapies to treat fibrotic and inflammatory diseases, announced today the publication of collaborative research in the International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology...

» Herbs

Herbs are generally a safe way to strengthen and tone the body's systems. As with any therapy, you should work with your health care provider to get your problem diagnosed before starting any treatment. You may use herbs as dried extracts (capsules,...

» Caribbean Autoimmune Disease Summit 2011

The Caribbean Autoimmune Disease Summit 2011, is scheduled to be held this Sunday 2nd October, 2011 at the , Port of Spain, Trinidad. Hosted by the Caribbean Investor Network, the Summit aims to raise awareness of Autoimmune Diseases, their...