Is gluten bad? – Possible damage and effects on the body

The consumption of gluten-free foods has increased in the last 30 years. Avoiding products and foods with gluten is essential to prevent specific symptoms for people who react to gluten.

There is no doubt that eliminating gluten from the diet is beneficial for their health. For the rest of the people, the benefits are not so clear.

This article describes the scientific evidence that exists today to determine whether gluten is bad for your health or not.

What is gluten?

Gluten (or gluten) is a group of proteins part of cereals. Gluten is found in all wheat-based baked goods: pasta, cakes, cookies. As well as in sauces and semi-finished products.

Some health experts suggest that we should all follow a gluten-free diet, regardless of whether we are intolerant. (8)

This has led millions of people to give up gluten in hopes of losing weight, improving their mood, and being healthier. However, this is not true in all cases.

In short, gluten is:

  • A group of proteins present in wheat, barley, and rye
  • It is a molecule that gives the structure to masses and loaves.
  • Used as a thickener in the food industry
  • In smaller quantities, it can appear in cosmetics and medicines.

Is gluten bad for your health?

There is no doubt that many people, such as those with celiac disease, and autoimmune diseases, must avoid gluten to achieve complete well-being. For them, gluten is bad for their health.

However, it is not entirely clear whether everyone should change their habits and start a gluten-free diet regardless of health status.

Various theories have been developed as to why our bodies may not be able to handle gluten. Some research suggests that human digestive systems have not yet evolved to digest certain grains’ types or amounts of protein. (6)

Also, other studies have established that gluten can affect carbon dioxide in our bodies. During the fermentation of the dough, the yeasts consume O2 and impact the network that forms the gluten. (1) This effect could negatively affect health.

In addition, there is some scientific evidence to state that gluten can harm the health of some patients with gastrointestinal symptoms, such as those with irritable bowel syndrome. (9)

However, recent high-quality studies support the theory that avoiding gluten to improve the health of other diseases that are not caused by immune responses is not solid or convincing. (8)

Avoiding gluten can be associated with side effects in people without gluten-related illnesses. In addition to being more expensive, gluten-free diets in which packaged and industrial foods predominate are usually high in fats and sugars; this can trigger other health problems.

Although there is still more research to be done), everything indicates that avoiding gluten in the diet is only necessary when some degree of intolerance has been proven. There are autoimmune diseases or stomach problems detected with no apparent cause. For the rest of the people, a gluten-free diet can do more harm than good for their health.

Gluten-free diet possible harm

It is essential to distinguish whether gluten is bad for your health with weight gain or loss. People with undiagnosed or untreated celiac disease may experience unintended weight loss due to poor absorption of nutrients.

When a gluten-free diet is started and the intestine heals, the lost weight is sometimes regained and stabilized.

If you are celiac and want to maintain an ideal weight, you should avoid gluten-free processed foods that contain high amounts of fat, sugar, and calories.

This phenomenon doesn’t just apply to people with celiac disease. Regardless of the reason, a gluten-free diet that relies too much on these types of foods can lead to weight gain, damage, and chronic health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, some types of cancer, and arthritis.

Effects of gluten on the body | Are you fattening?

In a study with mice, the effects of diets with the same amount of calories, but one based on wheat gluten and the other not, were tested. In the experiment, the mice that ate gluten gained body weight. (2)

A different composition of adipose tissues was also observed: the brown fat type was solid in the two groups of animals. According to scientists, these changes are due to changes in the metabolic processes of oxygen.

Therefore, preliminary animal tests may suggest that excess gluten in the diet may increase visceral fat and body weight. However, more studies still need to be done to confirm these results in humans.

ABSTRACT

  • Gluten is a group of proteins present in some cereals. Avoiding it has health benefits for people who are intolerant, allergic to it, or have diseases related to the immune system.
  • As for the rest, removing gluten from the diet is not always recommended.
  • Eating a gluten-free diet where gluten-free products and industrial foods predominate can cause other damages such as diabetes, heart disease, some types of cancer, and arthritis.

 

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