But now alarming evidence suggests that many adherents are risking cancer and other chronic illnesses due to the high levels of toxic metals found in gluten-free foods. Two major studies from the US reveal that those choosing gluten-free foods have twice as much arsenic in their urine as those who eat gluten.
They also have 70 per cent more mercury in their blood and worryingly high levels of other metals such as lead and cadmium. All four have been linked to life-threatening illnesses and scientists are increasingly concerned at the long-term risks from consuming them.
In a report in the journal Epidemiology, scientists warned: ‘Gluten-free diets have become immensely popular and these findings may have important health implications. ‘The effects of low-level arsenic and mercury exposure from food sources are uncertain but may increase the risk for cancer and other chronic diseases.’
Contamination comes mainly from rice flour, which is used as a substitute in products such as bread, spaghetti and cereals. Rice is already known to contain relatively high levels of arsenic and the Food Standards Agency has warned parents against giving toddlers rice milk as a substitute for cows’ milk because of the dangers.
Long-term exposure is also linked with skin lesions, weight loss, high blood pressure, muscle wasting and diabetes.
© Daily Mail