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 :

» Women and Autoimmunity

50:1, 9:1, 2:1 these are just some ratios of autoimmune disease disparities between women and men. The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) hosted the Capitol Hill briefing, The War Within: Women and Autoimmunity, on Tuesday, October 11 to...

» Gene Profiling of Scleroderma Skin Reveals Robust Signatures of Disease...

Humphrey Gardner, Jeffrey R. Shearstone, Raj Bandaru, Tom Crowell, Matthew Lynes, Maria Trojanowska, Jaspreet Pannu, Edwin Smith, Stefania Jablonska, Maria Blaszczyk, Filemon K. Tan, and Maureen D. MayesARTHRITIS & RHEUMATISMVol. 54, No. 6, June...

» The Imperative for Exercise

Whether you’re the caregiver for a loved one who has a mobility issue due to a stroke, SCI (spinal chord injury), arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, or something else, or if you yourself have a mobility issue, the fact is, you still need to keep your...

» Treatment Tips for Lupus

Good self-care is essential to managing lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE). Learn to recognize your body's warning signs of a flare. Warning signs may include increased fatigue, joint pain, rash, or fever. When you notice any of these...

» Comprehensive Report on the Global State of Autoimmune Diseases Released

A groundbreaking new report from the (AARDA), examining the current state of autoimmune disease (AD) and its economic and social impact globally and in the U.S., was released today at the National Autoimmune Diseases Summit:  The Global State...

» Studies Show That Natural Probiotic Supplements Can Help Reduce and Treat Autoimmune Disease Symptoms

Most consumers are familiar with the dangers of disease-causing bacteria; but over the last several decades, medical professionals and lay consumers alike have discovered a host of proven and potential benefits to be had from the consumption of...