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Is Your Gluten-free Diet Killing You?

Is your gluten-free diet killing you? The short answer is: Maybe.


Photo: CC--TheMonnie

Celiac.com 04/20/2017 - More people than ever are following a gluten-free diet, but does the diet carry health risks that could cause harm in the long run? That's a very possible scenario, according to a report published in the journal Epidemiology.

The report presents strong data to suggest that numerous gluten-free food staples contain high levels of toxic metals, which means that many gluten-free eaters could face higher risks for cancer and other chronic illnesses.

Moreover, the US studies both reveal that people who follow a gluten-free diet have twice as much arsenic in their urine as those who eat a non-gluten-free diet. They also have 70 per cent more mercury in their blood, along with high levels of other toxic metals, such as lead and cadmium. Clearly the report invites further study to determine if these potentially negative effects are merely statistical, or if they are actually represented in corresponding numbers of gluten-free dieters.

So, look for more study to see if people eating gluten-free are actually having higher rates of cancer and other toxic metal-related disorders.

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Meantime, you may be able to mitigate negative effects of a gluten-free diet by choosing products with lower levels of toxic metals. California-grown rice, for example seems to have lower levels compared to Chinese rice.

If you follow a gluten-free diet for medical reasons, keep an eye out for symptoms related to toxic metal exposure, and consult a doctor if you think you are experiencing such symptoms.

Read more at: Celiac.com.

Read more at The Daily Mail.

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5 Responses:

 
Jeff
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said this on
24 Apr 2017 5:22:29 PM PDT
There is a major fact missing from this article. When I first looked through the article quickly, I concluded that it is impossible for a GF diet to be high in metal. Then, I read a bit more carefully, and realized that it is GF foods that are being discussed. That sounds to me like foods that normally contain gluten, but were formulated differently to avoid gluten. I don't eat much of that junk, partly due to the high cost and partly because I prefer more natural foods. If you take a normal diet, and then remove the glutenous items from it, it is absurd to think that you could be getting higher levels of metal. I suppose, it is possible that you get about the same amount of metal, but your body does not eliminate as much of it, but that is not what is being said here.

 
Jefferson Adams
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said this on
26 Apr 2017 10:04:53 AM PDT
It seems you have misread or misunderstood this article. The article is discussing elevated levels of heavy metals in the blood of people who eat gluten-free diet. One known culprit is rice, which can have high arsenic levels, depending on the source of the rice. Also, numerous other non-wheat grains can carry elevated levels of heavy metals. The data is clear about that. The actual cause may require a bit of digging, but your comment that "If you take a normal diet, and then remove the glutenous items from it, it is absurd to think that you could be getting higher levels of metal," is simply not accurate. Rice is part of a "normal" diet, as are numerous other grains that may contain elevated levels of toxic metals. The problem is likely not solely due to processed foods, but is likely due to their raw ingredients. Stay tuned for more research on this topic.

 
Mark
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said this on
25 Apr 2017 3:12:07 PM PDT
What the article is saying is that GF ´staple´ foods are often composed of rice and other grain substitutes to produce a flour, (btw, that doesn't make them junk food). The article states rice grown in China is higher in toxic metals - makes a lot of sense to me, it's a highly industrial nation. rnWhen crops are grown, any toxicity in the soil is absorbed into the crops. Rice, is different from other crops, because it´s grown under flooded conditions. This makes the arsenic locked in the soil more readily available, meaning that more can be absorbed into the rice grains. Consequently rice contains about 10-20 times more arsenic than other cereal crops.

 
Tiffany
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said this on
25 Apr 2017 4:45:53 AM PDT
I would like to see a list of which foods contain toxic metals. I know rice was listed, I don't eat it because it's too high in carbs.

 
Harold
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said this on
25 Apr 2017 3:14:10 PM PDT
They should be looking at how many of these people have also taken fluoroquinolone antibiotics (Cipro, Levaquin, etc.) since these drugs wipe out key bacteria that contribute to the body's ability to detoxify itself. If the mechanisms for detox are compromised then you have a build up of heavy metals.




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Wish I could give you a hug. Unfortunately I know how that feels with Neurologists, Internists, Endocrinologists, Rheumatologists, GIs..... I got so tired of crying my drive home after refusing yet another script for Prozac. I do hope your GI can give you some answers even if it is just to rule out other possible issues. Keep on the gluten and we are here for you.

It is too bad that so often a full panel isn't done. Glad your appointment got moved up and hopefully you will get a clearer answer from the GI. Do keep eating gluten until the celiac testing is done. Once the testing is done do give the diet a good strict try. Hang in there.

That makes sense...I cried with relief when I got my diagnosis just because there was finally an answer. Please know that you are not weak or crazy. Keep pushing for testing. It could still be celiac, it could be Crohns. Push your Dr's to figure this out. Best wishes.

Thank you all very much. I actually cried when I got the answer. I wanted an explanation that I could "fix." Now I'm back to thinking I'm just weak and possibly crazy. I know I'm not crazy, but you know.

From what I have read online there is about a 1-3% chance of getting a false positive for celiac disease from a blood test. Was it a blood test that you got done? It may be worth your while to get a biopsy or more testing just to confirm it. I know being gluten free is a pain but it is better than getting cancer or other auto immune disorders.