A gluten-free diet is a specific dietary regime that omits gluten, a protein composite traditionally found in wheat, barley, rye, and related grains. This diet is essential for individuals diagnosed with celiac disease (CD), a condition where gluten ingestion triggers an adverse immune response damaging the small intestine. It is also recommended for some cases of wheat allergy, where gluten consumption can cause allergic reactions.
The concept of non-celiac gluten sensitivity, where symptoms similar to celiac disease are experienced without the associated intestinal damage, is a subject of ongoing research and debate. For those diagnosed with celiac disease, a strict adherence to a gluten-free diet is currently the only known effective treatment.
Whilst some believe that a gluten-free diet can offer health benefits to the general population, no conclusive experimental evidence supporting such broader health claims has been published to date. Despite this, the popularity of gluten-free diets has grown, catering to individuals seeking different nutritional lifestyles or those with specific dietary restrictions.