Jump to content
  • Sign Up
  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams 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, and science. He previously served as Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and provided 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 Dangerous Grains by James Braly, MD and Ron Hoggan, MA.

  • Related Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Gluten-free Athletes: Green Bay Packer Running Back James Starks
    Celiac.com 09/16/2011 - Add Green Bay Packer running back James Starks to the list of professional athletes who are reaping the benefits of going gluten-free, after experiencing health issues.
    Though Starks has not released an official diagnosis, his new diet may indicate celiac disease. If so, changing his diet and avoiding gluten will likely improve his immune system, energy level, and overall health.
    Starks told reporters recently that, before his change, he had "…been feasting off of carbs thinking it was good, but my body didn't react to it the right way. That played a big part in the healing process."
    Since going on a gluten-free diet, Starks says he has put more weight on his 6'2" frame, and is now up to 225 pounds, right where his coaches want him. He also says he feels stronger.
    Starks is one of many pro athletes who have recently gone gluten-free. Others include: Kyle Korver of the Chicago Bulls, who credits a gluten-free diet for an improved post-game recovery; US swimmer Dana Vollmer, who went gluten-free before winning her first gold medal at the 2011 World Swimming Championships, and after years of battling severe stomach aches and fatigue; and UFC fighter Dennis Hallman, who celiac disease, who has openly discussed his condition and following adjustments to his training regimen.
    Like everyone who has made the switch away from gluten, Starks has had to make his own personal sacrifices, avoiding favorites like fried chicken and pepperoni pizza. However, those sacrifices are paying off with a renewed energy and vitality leaving Starks hungry for another Superbowl run.


    Gryphon Myers
    Gluten-Free Olympic Athlete Takes Gold, Sets World Record
    Celiac.com 07/31/2012 - Dana Vollmer could be walking (or swimming) proof of the benefits a gluten-free diet can afford athletes. In the second day of London's 2012 Olympics, Vollmer, who suffers from gluten sensitivity and an egg allergy, took the gold medal in the Women's 100-meter butterfly final, breaking her own personal record, as well as the world record.
    What is interesting about Vollmer and her success is that she seems to have reached her athletic peak while on a gluten-free diet. In the days before her diagnosis, she did what many Olympic athletes do before competitions: load up on carbohydrates. With pasta and eggs out of the equation, that becomes harder to accomplish, so some might think that she would be at a disadvantage.
    Evidently, she is not missing the pasta or the eggs though. On Sunday, she managed to break the 6-minute mark, clocking in at 55.98 seconds to break the world record and set a milestone for athletes and celiacs everywhere.
    So what does Vollmer fuel her gold-winning machinery with? According to her Twitter feed, the hard-earned gold was won on rice, almonds, sunflower seeds, crushed peanuts, peanut butter, milk and bananas. In an interview with KidsHealth, she said she also eats a great deal of quinoa, lean meat, vegetables and brown rice.
    It may not be the carb-heavy diet that Olympic athletes have been trained on, but clearly Vollmer is getting the nutrition and protein she needs to take home medals. With this precedent set, perhaps more Olympic athletes will start adopting the gluten-free diet.
    Sources:
    http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/health/Gluten-Free-Dana-Vollmer-164310186.html http://twitter.com/danavollmer http://kidshealth.org/kid/health_problems/allergiesimmune/vollmer.html

    Jefferson Adams
    Does Science Back Powerful Claims by Gluten-free Athletes?
    Celiac.com 11/25/2013 - More and more professional athletes are claiming to reap benefits from adopting a gluten-free diet. What’s the science behind these claims?
    Writing for the Washington Post, Anna Medaris Miller has a very solid article in which she investigates the science behind the claims by many professional athletes that they has reaped tremendous physical benefits by adopting a gluten-free diet.
    Miller cites the growing popularity of gluten-free foods in general, as well as the move away from carbs by many professional athletes. She notes that New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, the Garmin cycling team and top tennis players Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic have all been vocal about the benefits of gluten-free diets.
    Still, a gluten-free diet won’t turn you into an Olympic athlete, Fasano says. “But when you go to the high-level performing athletes in which a fraction of a second can mean the difference between winning and losing an event, or be[ing] able to complete a marathon or not within a certain time frame, that can be the small edge that helps you.”
    Some researchers theorize that eliminating gluten allows the body to better carry oxygen to the muscles, which may boost athletic performance.
    There are other theories as to why some athletes report improved athletic performance after eliminating gluten.
    So far, performance claims attributed to a gluten-free diet are purely anecdotal.
    In fact, Miller offers her own experience:
    My digestion is gentler, my sleep is sounder, my energy level is more even. These benefits also seem to have led to improved athletic performance. Since going off gluten, I placed in a race for the first time in my adult life, won a small community biathlon and achieved a personal best in a 5K run. Most important, I felt good while doing it.
    However, there is just no research that documents clear before-and-after changes among athletes who have adopted a gluten-free diet.
    Felicia Stoler, a nutritionist and exercise physiologist, who is president of the Greater New York chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine, says she has yet to see evidence heralding a gluten-free diet for endurance athletes. Until such evidence emerges, says Stoler, many people wise to remain skeptical.
    “If you have nothing wrong with you as far as absorptive disorders, then there’s no benefit by cutting out gluten,” she says. “You have to look at your overall caloric intake needs as an athlete.”
    Source:
    Article from The Washington Post by Anna Medaris Miller, an associate editor of Monitor on Psychology magazine and a health columnist at TheDailyMuse.com.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/26/2015 - The vast majority of people who follow a gluten-free diet do not have celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Many people who follow a gluten-free diet do so because of perceived health benefits. This includes a number of athletes who feel that the diet improves their energy levels, performance and recovery time.
    In fact, the adoption of gluten-free diets by non-celiac athletes has risen sharply in recent years due to perceived ergogenic and health benefits. New research however, casts doubt on those ideas.
    The research was conducted by a team that set out to evaluate the effects of a gluten-free diet (GFD) on exercise performance, gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, perceived well-being, intestinal damage, and inflammatory responses in non-celiac athletes. The research team included Dana Lis, Trent Stellingwerff, Cecilia M. Kitic, Kiran D.K., and James Fell.
    For their study, they looked at thirteen competitive endurance cyclists, 8 male, 5 female, with no positive clinical screening for celiac disease or history of irritable bowel syndrome.
    These cyclists followed a seven day gluten-containing diet (GCD) or GFD separated by a 10-day washout in a controlled randomized double-blind, cross-over study. Cyclists ate a GFD alongside either gluten-containing or gluten-free food bars, while the team controlled habitual training and nutrition behaviors. Total gluten intake was 16g wheat gluten per day.
    During each diet, cyclists completed the Daily Analysis of Life Demand for Athletes (DALDA) and GI questionnaires, both before and after exercise and daily.
    On day seven cyclists completed a sub-maximal steady-state (SS) 45 minute ride at 70% peak power followed by a 15 minute time-trial (TT).
    The researchers took blood samples before exercise, post SS and post TT to determine intestinal fatty acid binding protein (IFABP) and inflammatory markers (cytokine responses: IL-1[beta], IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-15, TNF-[alpha]). They employed mixed effect logistic regression to analyze data.
    The results showed that TT performance was basically the same (p=0.37) between the GCD (245.4+/-53.4kJ) and GFD (245.0+/-54.6kJ).
    GI symptoms during exercise, daily, and DALDA responses were also similar for each diet (p>0.11). There were no significant differences in IFABP (p=0.69) or cytokine (P>0.13) responses.
    These results show that a short-term GFD has no impact on performance, GI symptoms, well-being, or upon a select indicator of intestinal injury or inflammatory markers in non-celiac endurance athletes.
    So, basically, if you're an athlete who does not have celiac disease, then a gluten-free diet is not going to provide any performance or recovery benefits to you.
    Source:
    Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: Post Acceptance: May 12, 2015. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000699

  • Popular Contributors

×