Gluten-free food choices might reduce fatigue

New study shows that a “gluten-free” lifestyle provides higher energy, mental and overall physical wellbeing and positively impacts overall health

New study results reveal that people choosing a gluten-free diet experience lower fatigue levels, increased cognitive abilities, reduced bloating, flatulence and overall better health levels, due to a healthier nutritional intake. Low levels of salt and higher levels of fiber also while on a gluten-free diet can also reduce glucose and “bad” cholesterol body levels.

The Aberdeen University’s Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health “Going Gluten-Free” study was the largest of its kind conducted in the United Kingdom and funded by the UK Technology Strategy Board. 31 men and 64 women of average age 38 and 24.8 BMI were assessed while on a gluten-free diet for three weeks and then on their regular nutritional habits for another three weeks.

It has been found that, while on the gluten-free diet, abdominal cramps and discomforts as well as general fatigue levels had decreased. Evidence also showed that the gluten-free diet is highly beneficial even for people not suffering from Celiac Disease, as previously thought. All of the study participants felt better, even if they didn’t suffer from the Celiac Disease, had significantly higher energy levels, were able to think clearer and had increased task performance.

Non-Cecliac Gluten Sensitivity or NCGS is a new discovered gluten intolerance that involves all of the body negatively reacting to gluten intake, except for the intestinal symptoms. Despite yet inconclusive studies, it is currently considered that this new condition actually affects more people than Celiac Disease, which has a rate of 1 in 100 in UK only.

Dr. Alexandra Johnstone from the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, who was actively involved in performing this innovative study, underlined the importance of a gluten-free diet choice for the study participants’ general health: ”It was interesting to discover that a gluten-free diet improves feelings of fatigue, with participants reporting much higher energy levels during the gluten-free period of the study.

“The fact that they were able to start tasks quicker, concentrate better and think clearer during this time, and felt the need to rest less, all point towards the idea that sensitivity to gluten does exist for some individuals who don’t have Celiac Disease.

“It was equally interesting to see that none of the participants gained any weight while going gluten-free, in fact our participant’s diets improved through increased fiber and vegetable consumption, and reduced salt intake.

“The next step for us now is to uncover how all of this is reflected in the gut – the main organ affected by Celiac Disease.”