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Gluten Not a ‘Brain Fog’ Trigger in Women Without Celiac Disease


By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Could 21, 2021 (HealthDay Information) — Going gluten-free is a development that touts advantages for the thoughts and physique, however a brand new research finds no proof that gluten is unhealthy for your brain.

Amongst practically 13,500 middle-aged girls, researchers discovered no connection between consuming wheat, barley or rye (the sources of gluten) and psychological capability.

In response to the research authors, the one people who profit mentally from avoiding gluten are these with celiac disease, who cannot digest it.

“These with no historical past of a real gluten sensitivity from celiac disease shouldn’t pursue a gluten-free food plan beneath the idea that they may enhance their mind well being,” stated lead creator Dr. Andrew Chan, a professor of medication at Harvard Medical College and vice chair of gastroenterology at Massachusetts Common Hospital, each in Boston.

“That is in distinction to some anecdotes and in style press that gluten was dangerous and will contribute to cognitive decline or so-called ‘mind fog,’ ” he stated.


Individuals within the research had all taken half within the Nurses’ Well being Research II, an investigation of danger elements for continual ailments in girls. As a part of that research, each dietary information and psychological operate had been assessed. Exams of psychological capability coated pace, consideration and reminiscence. Not one of the girls had celiac illness.

Based mostly on these information, Chan and his crew discovered no impact from gluten on psychological capability. They assume they’d discover the identical outcome amongst males, he stated.

“We discovered that amongst people with no historical past of celiac illness, a low-gluten food plan was not related to any enchancment in cognitive operate,” Chan stated. “The proof is solely not there to help modifying one’s food plan for this objective.”

In response to Harvard College, the gluten-free meals business grew 136% between 2013 and 2015, with virtually $12 billion in gross sales throughout 2015, and most of the people who purchase the merchandise do not have celiac illness. Folks with out celiac illness who undertake a gluten-free food plan might have an elevated danger for obesity and metabolic syndrome, a cluster of situations that improve the danger of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.


Samantha Heller, a senior medical nutritionist at NYU Langone Well being in New York Metropolis, appeared over the findings and agreed that gluten will not rot the mind.

“Ignore the fear-mongering and misinformation about gluten being a mind poison,” she stated. “Individuals who should not have a medical motive to keep away from gluten, reminiscent of celiac illness, a wheat allergy or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, might eat meals containing gluten with out worry of those meals inflicting cognitive impairment or mind inflammation.”

What does have an effect on mind well being are different largely preventable ailments, reminiscent of sort 2 diabetes, coronary heart illness and weight problems, Heller stated.

Kind 2 diabetes is related to a roughly doubled danger of dementia, and research have discovered that sufferers with coronary heart illness have a forty five% improve within the danger of impaired considering abilities. People who find themselves overweight or overweight are at better danger of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, she stated.

“Let’s concentrate on what we will do to assist stop these all-too-common ailments,” Heller stated. “The method is analogous for all of them, and helps enhance mind well being too.”


Her recommendation:

  • Embody bodily exercise in your every day routine. Run, stroll, swim, bike, do yoga, dance — no matter you get pleasure from.
  • Add extra greens, like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, asparagus, carrots and zucchini, to your meals — all veggies are good for you.
  • Munch on recent fruits, in season.
  • Get pleasure from extra entire grain merchandise, reminiscent of 100% entire wheat bread, multigrain cereals and crackers, oats, buckwheat and bulgur.
  • Swap from fat reminiscent of butter to plant oils like additional virgin olive oil, avocado oil or canola oil.
  • Swap out animal protein (burgers, cheese, steak, deli meats, pork) for beans, nuts, nut butter, edamame, tofu, seitan and veggie burgers.
  • Keep effectively hydrated by consuming water, seltzer or tea (natural or conventional).

The research was printed on-line Could 21 within the journal JAMA Community Open.

Extra info

To be taught extra about gluten, go to Harvard University.

SOURCES: Andrew Chan, MD, MPH, professor, drugs, Harvard Medical College, and vice chair, gastroenterology, Massachusetts Common Hospital, Boston; Samantha Heller, MS, RDN, senior medical nutritionist, NYU Langone Well being, New York Metropolis; JAMA Community Open, Could 21, 2021, on-line

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