Fake Health News Is Running Rampant

Fake Health News Is Running Rampant


There has been much in the news recently regarding “Fake News”. Much of the conversation surrounding fake news seems to be political in nature. But in the health and wellness arena there is a similar problem. Many groups, companies, industries or researchers paid by various groups, publish information to forward their agenda. This agenda may or not be what is best to promote YOUR GOOD HEALTH.

Many of these reports are confusing, conflicting and difficult to know if the information is something you should believe or not. We see many patients that come to us after researching on the internet or reading a newspaper article or listening to what is reported on television in a state of confusion and not sure who to believe or what to do.
As many of you know Dr. Steph and I are authors of the book, “Lose the Gluten, Lose your Gut. Ditch the Grain, Save your Brain”. We wrote the book to answer many of the questions that patients were coming in with regarding gluten and gluten-free diets.

You may not know that we recently released our second book, “Defeat Diabetes”. We wrote this book as the first step to help millions of diabetics to get on the path to health.
So when I recently came across this piece of reporting I was intrigued and had to read the headline twice. The headline read, “Going Gluten Free May Raise Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes”. This new research was presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2017 Scientific Sessions. I initially read the report on foxnews.com and it was picked up by many of the media outlets.

Credible Source Reporting Fake Health News?
The published research analyzed the results of three studies, more than 200,000 people. The researchers surveyed the participants every two to four years and then estimated their gluten intake. The lead researcher concluded that the study showed that, “People without celiac disease may reconsider limiting their gluten intake for chronic disease prevention, especially for diabetes”. For the average person reading this, especially a type 2 diabetic on a gluten-free diet, it would definitely catch your attention and you may even reconsider your dietary habits.

A quick internet search will reveal similar warnings. The warnings include that being on a gluten-free diet is not more nutritious, you may consume more heavy metals, you may gain weight and you may unknowingly consume gluten anyway.

So what is the deal with these reports?
There are a couple of problems that I see with these reports. The first is that the American Heart Association research was a survey to the participants. Here is a question for you:
“Tell me what you had for lunch yesterday?”

Not everyone is going to be sure what they had. Therefore I question the validity and reliability of this type of survey study and then using that data to estimate gluten consumption.

The second and more important fact is that many people that are gluten-free consume as much or more gluten-free junk food as their gluten consuming friends. Many of the gluten-free foods on the market are junk food being disguised as “health food”. This food will absolutely cause an increase in your risk of chronic diseases, like type 2 diabetes. That is because this gluten-free junk food is full of sugar and other disease promoting ingredients that promote poor health. But it is not because gluten has a protective effect and prevents one from becoming diabetic.

We tell our patients time and time again, just because something is ‘gluten-free’ doesn’t mean it’s ‘sugar-free’ or ‘diabetes-friendly’. All grains, whether gluten-free or not contain high amounts of sugars, and ALL baked desserts, whether gluten-free or not contain high amounts of added sugars.

Gluten Does Not Have A Protective Effect Against Type 2 Diabetes
The insinuation of these published reports is that eating gluten may be the healthier option. The results that we see on our office also do not support this research. Many of the patients that come to us want help reversing their type 2 diabetes. The testing that we perform to diagnose the causes of their condition includes food sensitivity testing. A large percentage of the patients that we test are shown to be non-celiac gluten sensitive. As a result, we eliminate gluten from their diet, along with many other changes, and this produces a positive effect on their type 2 diabetes and overall health. If you do start a gluten-free diet, do not make the mistake of introducing gluten-free junk food which may be as bad as or possibly worse than the gluten containing alternatives.

The bottom line is that you need to read the research closely and carefully. Some ‘conclusions’ based on the study may be implying the wrong thing…or over-reaching with a final decision, without considering all real-world factors. The blanket statement that eating a gluten-free diet increases your risk of type 2 diabetes without clarifying, leads to unnecessary confusion and can steer a person in the wrong direction…worsening their diabetes instead of reversing it!

The research may have a specific conclusion but is that conclusion truly telling the whole story. It is also important to get your health information and advice individualized. You are unique and what may work for your sister or mother may not be right for you. Also, get your health information from a trusted source. The practitioners at Living Health Integrative Medicine are constantly attending conferences, reading research and consulting with colleagues to stay on top of the latest health research. We hope to be one of your trusted sources for health news and information.

If you have health questions or need clarification regarding health news, send us an email to info@mylivinghealth.com and we may include it in an upcoming blog.

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