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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    More Celebrities Go Gluten-free: Guess Who?

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    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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    I don't see any harm in this type of article. I think it can even be comforting to some to see other people (even the famous) with the disease or intolerance. It makes us feel less alone and mutant.

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    Guest Kimberly McClain

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    If it wasn't for an article I read about Jennifer Esposito and her celiac symptoms I would never have known that I to had some of the same ailments leading me to be tested positive for celiac. I was always under the impression I had exzema. I believe any info is beneficial. And the more people who chose to be gluten-free means numbers sway in our direction and that is never a bad thing.

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    It actually made me smile to discover that I have something in common with (in my opinion) the most beautiful and talented woman in the world, Zooey Deschanel. Also, as Drew Brees is the national spokesperson for Advocare, it is EXTREMELY helpful to know that he is gluten intolerant/sensitive!

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    The more that know about it the better! The more that know the more healthy options I have.as long as I'm still vigilent I don't see how it's more dangerous. My server in my restaurant knows what gluten is, and that's a great start to getting a healthy meal!

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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 science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. 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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