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Gluten-free diets ‘not recommended’ for people who don’t have celiac disease, researchers say

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Boston – People who do not have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder brought on by consuming the grain protein gluten, should not be encouraged to follow a gluten-free diet, according to a recent study from Harvard Medical School.

Researchers examined responses to a food frequency questionnaire that was given every four years (starting in 1986 through 2010) to about 110,000 men and women through the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. At the start of the study period, participants had no history of coronary heart disease.

Researchers monitored participants’ consumption of gluten and any development of coronary heart disease, and found no link. Noting that gluten-free diets have become popular in recent years, they stress that avoiding gluten may result in eating fewer whole grains, which have been associated with cardiovascular benefits.

The study was published online May 2 in the British Medical Journal.

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