People who avoid foods containing gluten by choice, therefore not for reasons related to allergies or particular sensitivities, do not receive any benefit from this dietary restriction according to a new study published in Gastroenterology and carried out by researchers from the University of Reading, that of Sheffield and the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The researchers made use of experiments carried out on healthy volunteers who had no history of celiac disease or particular sensitivity to gluten. The participants were divided into two groups: the first received organic gluten, the second a missing gluten mixture in the form of flour sachets to add to their dishes twice a day. Patients in the group taking gluten had no adverse effects compared to the group of patients who did not take it.
According to Paola Tosi, a researcher at the University of Reading and one of the authors of the study, nowadays gluten is increasingly referred to as a negative element of our diet but cereals that contain it, especially when taken as a whole, are instead a very source important of essential nutrients such as proteins, fibers and micronutrients.
David Sanders, a professor of gastroenterology in Sheffield and another author of the study, believes that carrying on gluten-free diets, in the belief that gluten itself is intrinsically “bad” in particular for the intestine, does not lead to particular health benefits. Gluten does not cause particular stomach problems in those subjects who do not have a particular sensitivity towards it.
As a result of these incorrect beliefs, more and more people, in fact, are carrying out restrictive gluten-free diets or buying food, taking them from supermarket shelves, making sure that there is no gluten inside.