Food and Behaviour Research

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A low-gluten diet induces changes in the intestinal microbiome of healthy Danish adults

Hansen LBS, Roager HM, Søndertoft NB, Gøbel RJ, Kristensen M, Vallès-Colomer M, Vieira-Silva S, Ibrügger S, Lind MV, Mærkedahl RB, Bahl MI, Madsen ML, Havelund J, Falony G, Tetens I, Nielsen T, Allin KH, Frandsen HL, Hartmann B, Holst JJ, Sparholt MH, Holck J, Blennow A, Moll JM, Meyer AS, Hoppe C, Poulsen JH, Carvalho V, Sagnelli D, Dalgaard MD, Christensen AF, Lydolph MC, Ross AB, Villas-Bôas S, Brix S, Sicheritz-Pontén T, Buschard K, Linneberg A, Rumessen JJ, Ekstrøm CT, Ritz C, Kristiansen K, Nielsen HB, Vestergaard H, Færgeman NJ, Raes J, Frøkiær H, Hansen T, Lauritzen L, Gupta (2018) Nat Commun.  2018 Nov;9(1): 4630. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07019-x. 

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Abstract:

Adherence to a low-gluten diet has become increasingly common in parts of the general population. However, the effects of reducing gluten-rich food items including wheat, barley and rye cereals in healthy adults are unclear.

Here, we undertook a randomised, controlled, cross-over trial involving 60 middle-aged Danish adults without known disorders with two 8-week interventions comparing a low-gluten diet (2 g gluten per day) and a high-gluten diet (18 g gluten per day), separated by a washout period of at least six weeks with habitual diet (12 g gluten per day). We find that, in comparison with a high-gluten diet, a low-gluten diet induces moderate changes in the intestinal microbiome, reduces fasting and postprandial hydrogen exhalation, and leads to improvements in self-reported bloating.

These observations suggest that most of the effects of a low-gluten diet in non-coeliac adults may be driven by qualitative changes in dietary fibres.

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