You probably know at least one person touting the benefits of going gluten-free. Indeed many health specialists say it can be beneficial for some select body processes, including digestion.
But while many believe the diet trend to be the holy grail for brain function, a new study conducted in the US has found that it has no effect on 'brain fog' whatsoever.
Harvard researchers studied nearly 13,500 women in a long-term health study, examining their brain performance eating certain foods.
Among the group of mostly middle-aged women, the researchers found no differences in test scores between those who consumed high amounts of gluten in wheat, barley and rye products regularly over 25 years and those who consumed lower amounts of gluten.
According to the study authors, the only people who benefit mentally from avoiding gluten are those with celiac disease, who can't digest it.
"Those without a history of a true gluten sensitivity from celiac disease should not pursue a gluten-free diet under the assumption that they will improve their brain health," said lead author Dr Andrew Chan, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
"This is in contrast to some anecdotes and popular press that gluten was harmful and could contribute to cognitive decline or so-called 'brain fog'," he said.
According to their findings, the gluten-free food industry grew 136 percent between 2013 and 2015, with almost $12 billion in sales during 2015, and most people who buy the products don't have celiac disease.