A gluten-free diet can clear 'brain fog' experienced by
celiac disease patients, claims a new study.
Brain fog is a state of being mentally confused, lacking
thought clarity, concentration and focus. Brain fog also causes decreased short-term memory, reduced attention
span and forgetfulness.
The study carried out by Australian scientists found that
eliminating gluten from diet brought about a reduction in problems related to
attention, memory and other brain functions over a year's time.
Gluten is a protein that is present in cereal grains, such
as wheat, barley and rye and causes inflammation of the intestines in celiac
disease patients. Intestinal
inflammation precipitates problems in thinking, otherwise known as 'brain fog.'
Study author Dr. Greg Yelland said, "Maintaining a
gluten-free diet is essential not only for [celiac patients'] physical
well-being, but for mental well-being also."
Scientists led by Dr. Yelland carried out a series of tests
on 11 newly diagnosed celiac patients over a period of 12 months aimed at
assessing their memory, visual-spatial ability, attention, information
processing and motor function.
The tests included blood tests and medical procedures to
gauge the injuries caused to the small intestine by celiac disease.
All study subjects strictly adhered to a gluten-free diet.
At the end of the study, there was a progress in gluten
antibody levels and intestinal problems of all study participants.
Researchers also observed a significant
improvement in tests on verbal fluency, attention and motor function.
Statistics show that celiac disease, an autoimmune
inherited disorder, affects nearly 1 in 133 Americans and goes undiagnosed or
misdiagnosed with some other problem in nearly 83% of people affected with the
According to Dr. Peter Green, director of the Celiac
Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, research
on gluten is still "nascent," with scientists only recently beginning
to discover the effects of gluten in people with and without celiac disease.
The study was published in the journal Alimentary
Pharmacology and Therapeutics