A diet free of gluten is one of very few diets that are actually prescribed by doctors - what are the myths and facts?
Director Peter Green of the Celiac Disease Center, based in Columbia University, decided to come forward to confront the various myths surrounding following a gluten-free (GF) diet.
Green, as well as staff at the CDC, are unsure as to why a GF-diet has suddenly become the diet of choice among thousands of Americans, going on to say that diets like paleo, vegan, organic-exclusive, low carbohydrate and others do not actually have medical legitimacy as the GF-diet does.
A diet cutting out gluten is prescribed by doctors to treat celiac disease, a disease where the body cannot tolerate gluten.
Green goes on to confront the popular myth that gluten consumption is the ultimate obstacle to good health and weight loss, citing books, articles, and studies of dubious origins that claim high consumption of gluten is what results in obesity, brain issues, as well as inability to lose weight.
Green and colleagues baffled as to why so many follow a GF-diet without diagnosis
However, Green clarifies that there is little existing scientific evidence that supports the benefits of a diet free of gluten for any individual except those that suffer from celiac disease.
Celiac disease occurs in a very small number of the population - approximately 1% - and is determined by genetics. It results in individuals developing a negative immune-system response to gluten, which is found in foods like rye, barely, and what.
It is estimated that roughly 20% of celiac disease sufferers are actually diagnosed in the United States, the remainder go undiagnosed.
Green goes on to say that nearly 3% of Americans are actively choosing to pursue a GF-diet without having received a diagnosis of celiac disease, and Green and his colleagues “have no idea” why.