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Commercial hype versus reality: our current scientific understanding of gluten and athletic performance


Lis, DM and Fell, JW and Ahuja, KDK and Kitic, CM and Stellingwerff, T, Commercial hype versus reality: our current scientific understanding of gluten and athletic performance, Current Sports Medicine Reports, 15, (4) pp. 262-268. ISSN 1537-890X (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 by the American College of Sports Medicine

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DOI: doi:10.1249/JSR.0000000000000282


Recent explosion in the prevalence of gluten-free athletes, exacerbated by unsubstantiated commercial health claims, has led to some professional athletes touting gluten-free diet as the secret to their success. Forty-one percent of athletes report adhering to a gluten-free diet (GFD), which is four-fold higher than the population-based clinical requirements. Many nonceliac athletes believe that gluten avoidance improves gastrointestinal well-being, reduces inflammation, and provides an ergogenic edge, despite the fact that limited data yet exist to support any of these benefits. There are several plausible associations between endurance-based exercise and gastrointestinal permeability whereby a GFD may be beneficial. However, the implications of confounding factors, including the risks of unnecessary dietary restriction, financial burden, food availability, psychosocial implications, alterations in short-chain carbohydrates (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols), and other wheat constituents emphasize the need for further evaluation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:gluten, athletic performance
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Sports science and exercise
Research Field:Exercise physiology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Nutrition
UTAS Author:Lis, DM (Mrs Dana Lis)
UTAS Author:Fell, JW (Associate Professor James Fell)
UTAS Author:Ahuja, KDK (Dr Kiran Ahuja)
UTAS Author:Kitic, CM (Dr Cecilia Kitic)
UTAS Author:Stellingwerff, T (Dr Trent Stellingwerff)
ID Code:110597
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2016-08-04
Last Modified:2022-08-24

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