Gluten: Is It Dangerous? Gluten-free Diet, Intolerance, Side Effect

Aulia Hafisa
Illustration of bread containing gluten (Freepik)
Illustration of bread containing gluten (Freepik) - Not a few people believe that consuming gluten can harm the health of the body. However, is this opinion true or just a myth? Before we dig deeper into gluten, do you know what gluten is?

According to the Harvard School of Public Health website, gluten is a protein found naturally in grains such as wheat and barley. Even though these grains have been processed, gluten content can still be found in various processed products such as wheat flour, bread, and even pizza.

Gluten has a flexible nature that makes the dough easier to form. Therefore, even though many consider gluten to be harmful to the body, in reality, the role of gluten is still very much needed.

So, is gluten still in the safe category for consumption? To answer this question, let's look at the 4 facts about gluten for health that have been summarized by from the website

1. Gluten does not cause diabetes or heart disease

Many stereotypes think that gluten can be bad for health, especially for those who are on a diet program. This assumption is not absolutely true because there are many studies that prove the benefits of gluten.

A study conducted in 2017 stated that there was no correlation between a gluten-free diet and heart disease risk. Gluten is not the main factor when someone suffers from heart disease.

Other findings suggest that people who avoid gluten are potentially at greater risk of developing heart disease because they intentionally reduce their intake of whole grains.

The fact is that grains such as wheat also contain high nutritional values that are needed to improve the body's health.

2. Gluten is a prebiotic

Gluten is also known as a prebiotic because it acts as a food source for good bacteria in the human body. One of the prebiotics named Arabinoxylan oligosaccaharide comes from wheat bran. This prebiotic plays a role in stimulating good bacteria in the gut.

3. Gluten consumption causes side effects

Gluten is not harmful to the body, but this substance can cause side effects if consumed by those who have a history of celiac disease or a gluten allergy. 

Side effects from consuming gluten are usually felt by people who have sensitive bodies. Some people's bodies think that gluten is poison, so their bodies respond differently to gluten.

If the person insists on consuming gluten, the body will react and side effects will occur such as weakness, bloating, and digestive disorders such as diarrhea.

4. Gluten does not cause brain fog

Brain fog is a health problem that makes it difficult for people to concentrate and easily forget things. Well, many people believe that consuming gluten can increase the risk of contracting the disease.

However, this opinion is not correct, because reducing the ability of the brain is not affected by gluten consumption. To be clear, a study has proven that there is no relationship between gluten consumption and a person's mental abilities.

5. Gluten-free diet

Gluten-free illustration (Pexels/Henri Mathieu-Saint-Laurent)
Gluten-free illustration (Pexels/Henri Mathieu-Saint-Laurent)

One diet program that is popular and widely known by the world community is the gluten-free diet. The rules of this diet program are to avoid all kinds of food and processed ingredients that contain gluten.

Grains such as wheat and barley which are known to have high gluten content are replaced with other grains such as corn, brown rice, to sorghum. The gluten-free diet is very popular, especially in the 2013-2015 period.

Apart from various public views about gluten, you should know that gluten can only have bad effects on certain people, for example, people who have been diagnosed with celiac disease.

However, for normal people, consumption of gluten will not cause side effects even if you consume it for a long time. The most important thing is to always control it.

Tag # gluten # gluten-free # gluten-free diet # what is gluten # is gluten harmful # is gluten dangerous # health

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