“It seems every week I see a new gluten-free food at the grocery store and that another friend has gone gluten-free. Why?”

A gluten-free diet has been attacked as a trendy food fad, and it’s easy to understand why. Gluten-free food is the fastest growing segment of the natural foods market.

Going gluten-free improves health

But it’s a fad because it works. A gluten-free diet alleviates or remedies chronic joint pain, skin problems, depression, anxiety, memory loss, gut pain, digestive issues, childhood behavioral issues, autism spectrum disorders, and more. Genetics determine how gluten affects a person.

Gluten intolerance more common

New research has also shown the prevalence of gluten intolerance has increased, and that the risk of mortality increases fourfold for those with a gluten intolerance who eat gluten.

Gluten increases leaky gut and leaky brain

Researchers have found that gluten can cause “leaky gut” and “leaky brain” in those who aren’t gluten intolerant. It does this by increases the production of zonulin, a substance in the body that regulates how tight or porous the lining of the gut and brain are. This allows harmful substances into the bloodstream and the brain, leading to chronic inflammation and tissue damage.

Gluten, gut inflammation, and mortality

A 2009 Swedish study found even mild gut inflammation from gluten sensitivity increases mortality risk significantly. A 2010 article in Lancet Neurology demonstrated that gluten is a major factor in many neurological disorders, including cerebellar disorders, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, dementia, and peripheral neuropathy.

Important to follow the diet strictly

It’s easier than ever these days to adapt a gluten-free diet, but is important to follow it strictly. Just one exposure to gluten can cause an immune reaction for up to six months.