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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Gluten-free Diet Promotes Weight Loss, Inflammation Reduction and Prevents Insulin Resistance

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Caption: Image of International Diabetes Symbol: Wikimedia Commons--Fred the Oyster

    Celiac.com 08/18/2014 - A team of researchers recently set out to better understand the effects of gluten-free diets on obesity.

    Image of International Diabetes Symbol: Wikimedia Commons--Fred the OysterThe research team included F.L. Soares, R. Matoso de Oliveira, L.G. Teixeira, Z. Menezes, S.S. Pereira, A.C. Alves, N.V. Batista, A.M. de Faria, D.C. Cara, A.V. Ferreira, and J.I. Alvarez-Leite. They are affiliated with the Departamento de Alimentos, Faculdade de Farmácia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

    Specifically, the team wanted to determine whether a gluten-free diet can prevent the expansion of adipose tissue, and its consequences.

    For their study, the team fed C57BL/6 mice a high-fat diet containing either 4.5% gluten (Control) or no gluten (gluten-free). They noted body weight and adiposity gains, leukocyte rolling and adhesion, macrophage infiltration and cytokine production in adipose tissue.

    The team measured blood lipid profiles, glycaemia, insulin resistance and adipokines. They also assessed the expression of the PPAR-α and γ, lipoprotein lipase (LPL), hormone sensitive lipase (HSL), carnitine palmitoyl acyltransferase-1 (CPT-1), insulin receptor, GLUT-4 and adipokines in epidydimal fat.

    Gluten-free animals showed less body weight and adipose gain, with no changes in food intake or lipid excretion. These results were associated with up-regulation of PPAR-α, LPL, HSL and CPT-1, which are related to lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation.

    The team also saw improved glucose regulation, and pro-inflammatory profile-related over-expression of PPAR-γ. Intravital microscopy revealed a lower number of adhered cells in the adipose tissue microvasculature. The over-expression of PPAR-γ is related to the increase of adiponectin and GLUT-4.

    The results of this study suggest that gluten-free diets can be helpful in reducing fat gain, inflammation and insulin resistance. They suggest that a gluten-free diet should be tested as a way of preventing the development of obesity and metabolic disorders.

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    Guest Roberta Steiner

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    I found this article most interesting since in the year before I was diagnosed with celiac disease and went gluten-free I lost 15 pounds with out trying. When I went gluten-free, I was able to regain 10 of those pounds and have happily kept the weight on. My bone mass also increased.

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    I was pre-diabetic before going gluten-free. My glucose tolerance test profile became normal over the years on the diet and I always wondered if it was because I'm consuming fewer carbs on the gluten-free diet, or if it was simply because of being gluten-free. This study might give a clue. The article doesn't indicate whether the amount of carbs in the diets was the same. I would hope so but will have to check the article to make sure.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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