The Gluten-Free Diet: Recognizing Fact, Fiction, and Fad

  • Norelle R. Reilly
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests: Norelle R. Reilly, MD, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Columbia University Medical Center, 630 W 168th Street, PH-17, New York, NY 10032.
    Affiliations
    Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY

    Celiac Disease Center, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY
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      The gluten-free diet (GFD) is a critical medical treatment for the millions of individuals worldwide with celiac disease (CD), an autoimmune condition for which no other therapy is currently available. The prevalence of CD is increasing,
      • Ludvigsson J.F.
      • Rubio-Tapia A.
      • van Dyke C.T.
      • Melton III, L.J.
      • Zinsmeister A.R.
      • Lahr B.D.
      • et al.
      Increasing incidence of celiac disease in a North American population.
      reflected by escalating awareness of CD in the scientific community. This increase in disease prevalence and awareness of CD, however, does not account for the disproportionate increase in growth of the gluten-free food industry ( Figure). According to market research, consumers without CD purchase the vast bulk of gluten-free products.

      Topper A. Non-celiacs Drive Gluten-Free Market Growth. Mintel Group Ltd. Web. http://www.mintel.com/blog/food-market-news/gluten-free-consumption-trends. Accessed January 3, 2016.

      Figure thumbnail gr1
      Figure Google Trends plot of search histories related using the terms “gluten free” and “celiac disease” (2004-2015). Source: Google Trends ( www.google.com/trends). Accessed December 23, 2015. *Y-axis values reflect total searches for a term relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time.

      Keywords

      Abbreviations:

      CD ( Celiac disease), GFD ( Gluten-free diet), NCGS ( Nonceliac gluten sensitivity)

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