Does a gluten-reduced or gluten-free diet help to prevent cardiovascular disease?

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Can a gluten-reduced or gluten-free diet prevent cardiovascular diseases? A recently published Cochrane Review by a team at the University Hospital of Freiburg/Germany addresses this question. It comes to the conclusion that no clear effect on cardiovascular health can be deduced from the current state of studies.

Here is a summary of the most important results:

  • Mortality due to a cardiovascular event: No difference detectable between high and low gluten consumption
  • All-cause mortality: No difference detectable 
  • Heart attack: No difference detectable 
  • Type 2 diabetes: Slightly increased risk (14%) with low gluten diet
  • Short-term effects (blood pressure, LD lipoprotein, body weight): no clear differences after 6 months
  • Certainty of evidence: overall low to very low

Detailed information can be found under these links:

  • the plain language summary with a link to the full text of the Cochrane Review
  • a news article from Cochrane Germany with a list of the most important study results (in German) 
  • a blog post from 'Medizin Transparent’ (in German)