Roughly one percent of Americans suffer from celiac disease — an autoimmune disorder that triggers inflammation and intestinal issues. The solution for these individuals is to follow a gluten-free diet that avoids consumption of the protein found in whole grains.
But over the past few years, those without celiac disease have opted to go gluten-free for an array of reasons, from weight loss to general health benefits. In the United States, 0.52 percent of the population without celiac disease maintained a gluten-free diet from 2009 to 2010, according to a study. But that rate tripled by 2013 to 2014, when 1.69 percent of the celiac-free population adopted a gluten-free lifestyle.
Now, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School have found a troubling association between those who go gluten-free without celiac disease and their heart health.