Enter any of your local supermarkets today and you’ll probably notice something new — the ‘GF’ symbol on some labeled foods. If you still don’t know what it means, you might want to go on reading. The ‘GF' sign actually stands for gluten-free, or as some people refer it to - gut-friendly.

But what is gluten? As a matter of fact, it is a particular group of proteins present in wheat and, as a result, in products containing wheat flour. Some people are allergic to gluten, but even those who are not, may have some health problems in the long run, latest studies suggest.

gf-labelsGluten-free products are not really new, and celiac disease has been around forever. It’s a condition in which the human body manifests a negative reaction to even small amounts of gluten consumed. Read any celiac disease forum and you’ll quickly understand that it's not a pleasant condition to have. In fact, some patients with celiac disease experience debilitating pain that sometimes even sends them to the emergency room. So, this should lead us to wonder why some people react to gluten this way and some don’t.

As latest research claims, the reality is that everyone does react to gluten, but some just have a better tolerance and manifest such a mild reaction that it usually unnoticeable at all. However, researchers believe that gluten consumption can cause long term health problems that might go unnoticed until the damage has been done. For example, gluten can cause inflammation of the gut lining which is the main issue for those with celiac disease. This is especially dangerous because not only can it be painful, but it can also cause you to have so-called leaky gut syndrome. This means that your gut might allow a foreign substance to pass into your blood stream, which in turn leads to a whole new range of issues.

Aside from the extreme issues that might not arise, you can definitely link gluten consumption to damage of the gut flora. People who suffer from gut issues often experience uncomfortable symptoms such as heartburn, bloating, and gas. Your gut flora determines how your body digests nutrients and also the way it sends signals to your brain. Many studies show that the condition of the gut is very closely linked to one’s psychological health. For example, celiac disease has a high indication of brain fog and anxiety.

Without a doubt, more studies are needed to find out for sure whether gluten is harmful for health or not. However, even the possibility of its harmfulness makes many people anxious. This is why there are more and more people opting for gluten-free products irrespective of whether or not they are allergic to gluten. 

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