Avoiding Gluten Increases Risk of Heart Disease

Another interesting study was just published 2 days ago following 6400 patients for 26 years that showed that eliminating gluten from your diet for non-medical reasons actually increases your risk for heart disease. The Study was published in the British Medical Journal. You can read it Here.

There appears to be something protective about the gluten protein that confers some amount of cardioprotective effects.

The Gluten protein is found in whole grains and whole grains are a part of the Mediterranean diet. We know that the Mediterranean diet reduces cardiovascular mortality. plenty of articles and research has been done on that. See Here and Here and plenty of other publications.

The study was a prospective cohort study that evaluated patients for over 26 years, that’s 2,273,931 person years of data!

During 26 years of follow-up encompassing 2 273 931 person years, 2431 women and 4098 men developed coronary heart disease. Compared with participants in the lowest fifth of gluten intake, who had a coronary heart disease incidence rate of 352 per 100 000 person years, those in the highest fifth had a rate of 277 events per 100 000 person years, leading to an unadjusted rate difference of 75 (95% confidence interval 51 to 98) fewer cases of coronary heart disease per 100 000 person years. After adjustment for known risk factors, participants in the highest fifth of estimated gluten intake had a multivariable hazard ratio for coronary heart disease of 0.95 (95% confidence interval 0.88 to 1.02; P for trend=0.29). After additional adjustment for intake of whole grains (leaving the remaining variance of gluten corresponding to refined grains), the multivariate hazard ratio was 1.00 (0.92 to 1.09; P for trend=0.77). In contrast, after additional adjustment for intake of refined grains (leaving the variance of gluten intake correlating with whole grain intake), estimated gluten consumption was associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease (multivariate hazard ratio 0.85, 0.77 to 0.93; P for trend=0.002).

Next time you see whole grains in front of you, don’t pass them up.