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.
AdvertisementThe 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 disease.
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