Could a Gluten-Free Diet Increase Brain Power?

By Rmjelley (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

In a recent study entitled “Going Gluten Free,” which was the largest of its kind, it was discovered that a gluten-free diet leads to reduced bloating and other bothersome side effects. For a long time, a gluten-free diet has been the staple of many celebrities in Hollywood, but according to this study going “gluten-free” can boost energy and improve physical and mental health.

Other Benefits of a Gluten-Free Diet

There are many benefits to going gluten free. If you don’t consume gluten it can lessen bloating, flatulence and fatigue because it leads a person to eat a healthier diet. According to the study done by Aberdeen University’s Rowlett Institute of Nutrition and Health, restructuring your diet to remove gluten can also lead you to eat more fiber and a reduced level of sodium which in turn reduces blood glucose levels and blood cholesterol.

The Study

Aberdeen University asked 95 adults, 64 females and 31 males, to adopt a gluten-free diet a period of three weeks, after that time, the participants could go back to eating their regular diet for the same amount of time.

People who participated in the study were an average age of 38 and had a body-mass index of 24.8 found stomach cramping and rumbles were dramatically reduced and levels of fatigue were lower during the gluten-free period.

It was also discovered that gluten intolerance not only exists for those who have celiac disease, but for other individuals as well. Celiac disease is a digestive condition in which a person has an adverse reaction to gluten, resulting in intestinal damage or scarring.

For individuals living with celiac disease, consuming foods that contain gluten can result in triggering a range of symptoms such as nausea, abdominal cramping and diarrhea.

It’s believed that one person in every one hundred in the United Kingdom suffers from celiac disease, usually with less severe cases being missed entirely or misdiagnosed.

The study was partially funded by the UK government’s Technology Strategy Board that supports the development of innovative technologies, products and services. It was also discovered during the study that people in the study had steady levels of vitamin B12 and folic acid, which suggests that they were not receiving fewer nutrients on a gluten-free diet.

What is Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity?

Non-Celiac gluten sensitivity is when a person’s body reacts to gluten but with minimal intestinal damage, it’s thought to affect a higher population than celiac disease.

However, while the clinical case for celiac disease is clear, studies into non-celiac gluten sensitivity are not conclusive.

Dr. Alexandra Johnstone, of the Rowlett Institute of Nutrition and Health said, “It was interesting to discover that a gluten-free diet improves feelings of fatigue, with participants reporting much higher energy levels during the gluten-free period of the study.”

She further states, “The fact that they were able to start tasks quicker, concentrate better and think clearer during this time, and felt the need to rest less, all points towards the idea that sensitivity to gluten does exist for some individuals who don’t have celiac disease.”

“The next step for us now is to uncover how all of this is reflected in the gut-the main organ affected by celiac disease.”


This study gives medical science the boost it needs to help provide a better understanding of the gluten-free diet and the impact it can have on one’s health.


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