Up until this study, most practitioners were skeptical about patients avoiding gluten and suggesting that a gluten-free diet had reduced signs of inflammation, decreased their arthritic-like symptoms, lessened their GI difficulties or increased their energy. Many practitioners believed Gluten-free diets to be fad-diets and the reports of symptom-relief were merely due to the placebo effect. However, this study took 30+ men off Gluten. They then provided half of the group with gluten-free breads and/or muffins every day while the other half got regular bread and/or muffins every day (meaning with Gluten). The men in the Gluten-free group had less pain, bloating, tiredness and had normal stools. This is without any signs of inflammation or Celiac disease.
There are many theories about the rise in Celiac disease in our population and this newly recognized syndrome of Gluten Sensitivity. What is interesting about this study is it puts to rest one of those theories. It was thought that Gluten-free diets, typically lower in sugar and higher in produce, were alleviating symptoms not by eliminating Gluten but by lowering the sugar in their diet and increasing the produce. In this study, the diets were all Gluten-free except for some bread products that only differed in gluten content. Therefore, the men that had reduced symptoms of inflammation and less tiredness because of a decrease in Gluten and not because another food item was eliminated.
Is Gluten-free eating the way to go for everyone? There are lot of aspects to a Gluten-free diet that can make it healthier than our standard diet. This could be especially true in a family that has a history of Gluten-sensitivity, irritable bowel issues or inflammatory illnesses. However, it is only healthy if Gluten-rich foods are replaced with fruits, vegetables and whole grain gluten-free grains. There are a lot of Gluten-free products on the market that sabotage all that makes Gluten-free diets good for us.
For a more detailed answer to this question read my post: Is Gluten-Free the optimum diet for the US, what about kids?