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Top 5 Reasons Why The Gluten-Free Diet is Not a Fad

Posted Nov 19 2009 10:04pm

I just opened up our new Reader's Digest, the December 2009 issue, and on page 82 is a little one paragraph bit titled "Fad Diet Danger" by J.G., which basically states that a gluten-free diet may do more harm than good if you don't have celiac disease. Whew- take a deep breath! This is statistically and factually not the case. Read on...I released two PRWeb news releases on this very subject this summer. If you missed those, here they are:

By the way as a means of full self-disclosure, I am the author of The Super Allergy Girl™ Allergy & Celiac Cookbook", a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free and peanut free cookbook. Here is a summary of why we need to stop referring to the Gluten-Free Diet as a fad diet.

Top 5 Reasons Why The Gluten Free Diet is Not A Fad

1.             3 million Americans have celiac disease and are required to be on a gluten-free diet.

2.             According to recent research – there are another 8 million Americans with celiac disease that have no GI symptoms. (“The Immunology of Gluten Sensitivity Beyond the Intestinal Tract” published 2008 by A. Vojdani, et. al.) “Although it is believed that the prevalence of celiac disease is one in one hundred, for every symptomatic patient with celiac disease there are eight patients with celiac disease with no GI symptoms.”

3.             Special diets used for health symptoms (outside of celiac) including ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, depression, anxiety, aches and pains, fatigue, etc. provide that many more millions more could find a gluten-free diet helpful to their health issue.

4.             Wheat is one of the top 8 allergens and the number of people with a wheat allergy is expected to increase proportionately with the increase in the number of people allergic to wheat (IgE mediated food allergy).

5.             Gluten intolerance is yet another condition which calls for a gluten-free diet. It is unclear the total number of individuals who fall into the classification of gluten intolerance, however Dr. Scot Michael Lewey, a gastroenterologist, estimates non-celiac gluten sensitivity or gluten-related disease to affect between 10% and 30% of the population.


The newest medical research is calling for a re-examination of the celiac diagnostic criteria because physicians are finding patients that do not meet the strict clinical criteria, yet gain significant improvements on a gluten-free diet. There are 275 papers on Atypical celiac disease, 239 papers on silent celiac disease and 179 papers on latent celiac disease – a sum total of 693 medical papers according to PubMed, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.


New scientific research (A. Vojdani, et al) has indicated that gluten sensitivity can impact other organs like the joints, the heart, thyroid, brain cerebellum and the neuronal synapsins (synapsin is a neuronal phosphoprotein involved in the regulation of neurotransmitter release). Gluten sensitivity has been associated with the following neurological disorders: cerebellar ataxia, epilepsy, myoclonic ataxia, chronic neuropathies and dementia. Ataxia is defective muscular coordination especially that are manifested when voluntary muscular movements are attempted.


Any way you slice the above statistics and scientific research, it seems to me that we have at least 20% of the population who could benefit medically from a gluten-free diet – and that is being fairly conservative in my humble opinion. That means approximately 60 million Americans with potentially life-saving or life-changing benefits from a gluten-free diet. I don’t believe we call something that saves a life or dramatically improves it a fad. I welcome your comments and thoughts on this topic.

Lisa Lundy



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