Celiac.com 03/21/2012 - What do Zooey Deschanel, Keith Olbermann and Billy Bob Thornton have in common with tennis stars Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray? They are all eating gluten-free.

Photo: CC-breezy421Cases of celiac disease have quadrupled in the past 60 years, according to recent research. As the number of people diagnosed with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity continues to rise, so, too, does the of celebrities who avoid gluten due to celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity.

It's not just major athletes, like tennis stars Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, for whom sporting success requires peak conditioning and efficient nutritional uptake.

The number Hollywood A-listers and other celebrities who have hoisted the gluten-free flag is rising, as well, and many are singing the praises of their gluten-free diet. Novak Djokovic, for example, credits his switch to a gluten-free diet to his rise to the top of his game, and near dominance in pro tennis events over the last year.

A partial list of some noteworthy celebrities and athletes who reportedly follow a gluten-free diet due to celiac disease, gluten-intolerance, or other reasons include:
pro quarterback Drew Brees, news anchor Heidi Collins, Katherine, Dutchess of Kent, news host Keith Olbermann, actor and writer Billie Bob Thornton, author Sarah Vowell, and actresses Zooey Deschanel, Susie Essman, Jennifer Esposito, Goldie Hahn, Gwyneth Paltrow, Emily Rossum, and Rachel Weisz.

Let's not forget that first-daughter emeritus Chelsea Clinton's gluten-free wedding cake made quite a splash.

So, with the growing awareness of celiac disease, and a rising interest in all things gluten-free, count on seeing more gluten-free celebrities and athletes in the news.

And, before you roll your eyes, remember that increased awareness of celiac disease and the gluten-free diet are both upsides of high-profile athletes and celebrities touting a gluten-free diet.

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