(MEDICALXPRESS) — Coeliac disease, an allergy to gluten that causes damage to the intestine, affects 1% of Australians. But more than ten times this number, or around 11% of the population, follows a gluten-free diet by choice, and up to 30% of people in the United States try to reduce their gluten intake.

Gluten-free foods are frequently perceived as a healthier alternative, because of a alignment with a “wellness lifestyle”. But is there scientific evidence to support this?

Are gluten-free diets healthier?

Recent large studies have not found health benefits for a gluten-free diet, and in fact the opposite may be true.

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