Gluten. Is it really that bad?

Gluten – the infamous plant protein. Every year we spend more and more money on research about it effects.

Of course gluten, which comes from wheat, rye, and barley, is a sort of mortar in the walls of the modern food system, in so much of what we eat or otherwise ingest contains it. But we are barely, if at all, aware of it. However when a person who has coeliac disease eats gluten, the villi flatten out and the intestinal lining becomes damaged. This decreases the area that can absorb nutrients. It’s because your small intestine is lined with tiny, finger-shaped tissues called villi. The villi create a large surface that absorbs vitamins, sugars, and other nutrients as food passes through the small intestine. But as long as people with coeliac disease avoid gluten they are fine. So if you can eat whole grains, do it!

People who go gluten-free seem to actually be putting themselves at an increased risk of heart disease, insofar as it means eating fewer whole grains. This discovery is among those slowly painting a picture of a diverse array of harms that come with blindly avoiding gluten. The finding comes from a group of prominent nutrition and gastrointestinal researchers at Harvard and Columbia. In a recent study the British Medical Journal concluded that people without coeliac disease “should not be encouraged” to adopt gluten-free diets.