Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Gluten-free for kids?

Gluten is a protein found in many grains--and thus in bread, to name one staple. The prevalence or at least the diagnosis of celiac disease--an autoimmune reaction to gluten--is increasing.

But the growth of the gluten-free food industry is growing way faster. It's up 136% since 2013.

The J of Pediatrics had a recent commentary on some misconceptions about gluten.

First, little is known about why individuals adopt a gluten-free lifestyle. A 2015 study of 1,500 Americans asked why why they chose gluten-free and "no reason" was the most common box checked.

Yet, some parents sometimes place children on a gluten-free regimen, believing that it offers some protection against celiac disease.  Not true. Testing for CD should come first if a parent is concerned with a child's digestive issues.

Another misconception is that this is a healthy lifestyle with no negatives. If you don't have CD, though, there are no proven health benefits--and it could increase intake of fat and calories. Or contribute to nutritional deficiencies.

Gluten is not toxic--that is another misconception.

Gluten-free is also not necessary for close relatives of individuals with CD. Or is it desirable for infants at risk of developing CD.

There is no scientific evidence that gluten-free is of benefit for kids with no CD diagnosis.  It could pose more risk than benefit.

Sooo...got all that?

Personally I think this gluten-free thing became a trendy way to tell people why you weren't eating bread or the dreaded carbs...It actually had little to do with gluten itself. Then it led to this "wheat belly" trend and we were off!

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