Going gluten-free ‘could boost brain power’
New research has discovered that a gluten-free diet – favoured by celebrities for years - could boost your brain power.
Stars including Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, singer Miley Cyrus and tennis champion Novak Djokovic have all reportedly claimed to have benefited from ditching gluten and now scientists believe cutting it from your diet can reduce fatigue and boost energy levels.
The Going Gluten Free study, which is the largest of its kind in the UK, was carried out by Aberdeen University's Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health and found that bloating, flatulence and fatigue were reduced because it leads to a healthier nutritional intake.
The scientists asked 95 adults, made up of 64 women and 31 men with the average age of 38, to adopt a gluten-free diet for three weeks before resuming their normal diet for the same length of time.
Many of the participants found stomach cramps and rumbles were reduced and their fatigue levels were lower during the gluten-free spell.
Dr Alexandra Johnstone, of the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, said: “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 coeliac disease.”
Coeliac disease is a digestive condition where a person has an adverse reaction to gluten, which can cause intestinal damage. For suffers, eating foods that contain gluten – such as pasta, bread and cakes – can trigger a range of symptoms such as diarrhoea, abdominal pain and nausea.
Gluten can be found in wheat, rye, barley and any foods made with these grains, and coeliac disease is thought to affect one in every 100 people in the UK, with less severe cases often being missed or misdiagnosed.
Going gluten-free can also be beneficial to people wishing to lose weight. Dr Johnstone added: “It was equally interesting to see that none of participants gained any weight while going gluten-free, in fact our participant's diets improved through increased fibre and vegetable consumption, and reduced salt intake.”