The perfect gluten-free diet does not exist

Even when you follow a strict gluten-free diet, you eat between 150 milligrams and 400 milligrams of gluten every day: that’s the conclusion of a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Gluten intolerance (also known as “celiac disease”) is a digestive disease that causes destruction of villi in the small intestine, disrupting the absorption of nutrients including iron and calcium. There is only one treatment currently known: the establishment of a strict gluten-free diet for life.

Celiac disease affects 1% of the world’s population, especially in the United States and Europe, where 1 in 100 people may develop the disease in their lifetime.

But there is bad news for people suffering from the disease: according to a recent study by American and Spanish researchers, the “perfect” gluten-free diet… does not exist.

By analyzing urine and stool samples from people suffering from celiac disease and being forced into a strictly gluten-free diet, scientists have discovered that they still consume between 150 milligrams and 400 milligrams of gluten per day without their knowledge.

Where does this gluten come from? The researchers — who published their work in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition — do not have the answer to this question. However, this unintentional ingestion probably reinforces the symptoms of celiac disease.

Emy Torres

Emy holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan and currently freelances part-time for The Talking Democrat.