(WJLA) - The gluten-free industry is a $16 billion business. For many, it is built on hopes of a healthier lifestyle with fewer digestive issues. For others, it even leads to less fatigue and weight loss.
But is it all built on a lie?
Andrew Cooke's wife has been on a gluten-free diet to help with stomach issues:
"Over years, just five to six years or so...I guess I never noticed any difference, frankly. I think it's a myth."
Recent studies also seem to indicate that gluten intolerance may very well be a thing of our imagination.
Doctors in Australia conducted a three-year study into whether a gluten-free diet really does help with digestive issues, and they offered participants placebo meals with and without gluten.
Their conclusion was that gluten-free meals had little to no impact.
Scientists say that unless you are one of the small number of Americans who suffer from celiac disease or wheat allergies, gluten is just fine,
But with the industry experiencing a meteoric rise over the last few years, scientists say it will be hard to convince people to give up the gluten-free lifestyle.
"When I started gluten-free, it stopped all of the digestive problems I was having, [and] it also stopped my stuffed nose and a lot of allergy issues I was having," said Alexis Mundis.