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Gluten Lowers Cholesterol

Before you jump on the bandwagon of avoiding gluten, consider its benefits as well as potential problems. People who are gluten-intolerant should avoid wheat, barley, rye and probably oats (because of potential cross-contamination). Your doctor can do tests to see whether you are one of the small minority who need to avoid gluten. Otherwise, consider a study from the University of Toronto which showed that a high-gluten diet helps to lower oxidized LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and uric acid.

Many studies show that eating whole grains helps to prevent heart attacks, but doctors are not certain why. Before the bad LDL cholesterol can cause plaques to form in arteries, it must be converted to oxidized LDL. This study shows that gluten does not lower blood levels of the bad LDL cholesterol; it helps prevent LDL from being converted to oxidized LDL cholesterol. Gluten also lowers blood levels of triglyceride that increase heart attack risk.

Gluten is found in wheat, rye and barley. When grains are ground into flour, the miller removes the nutrient-rich germ, with its vitamins, phytochemicals and minerals. Flour is mostly the endosperm which is primarily starch and sugar. So the most healthful source of gluten is are whole grains, rather than bakery products made from flour.

See Gluten-Free Doesn't Make it Good For You
Problems with Gluten-Free Diets

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 74, No. 1, 57-63, July 2001 High-protein diets in hyperlipidemia: effect of wheat gluten on serum lipids, uric acid, and renal function. David JA Jenkins, Cyril WC Kendall, Edward Vidgen, Livia SA Augustin, Marjan van Erk, Anouk Geelen, Tina Parker, Dorothea Faulkner, Vladimir Vuksan, Robert G Josse, Lawrence A Leiter and Philip W Connelly .

Checked 7/2/17

May 21st, 2014
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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