Gluten-Free Diets Gain Converts

Celiac disease, autism forced some to change; others just feel better without it
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2008 5:29 PM CST
Application technologist Jennifer Gaul examines a sample of wheat gluten in a test kitchen at MGP Ingredients Inc. in Atchison, Kan. Monday, April 30, 2007. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The tide is turning against gluten as more people ditch the protein—found in bread and just about anything made with wheat, barley, or rye—from their diets, the Chicago Tribune reports. Adherents—and not just those suffering from celiac disease, who cannot tolerate the stuff—blame gluten for a host of ailments, from autism to fatigue to migraines. Health experts aren't convinced, but acknowledge the trend.

"If you feel better, I can't argue with that, even if I don't have scientific proof as to why it seems to help," said a specialist at the Mayo Clinic. Others worry about a wave of inaccurate self-diagnoses about celiac as awareness of it spreads, leading people to adopt diets that are difficult—not to mention expensive—to maintain.