Wheat proteins connected to celiac disease: Gluten not the only culprit

Lana Bandoim's picture
Wheat protein

A new study reveals that gluten is not the only protein connected to celiac disease, and other non-gluten wheat proteins may cause the disorder. Researchers hope their results will help develop better treatments while improving the public’s understanding of the disease.

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Scientists discovered that people with celiac disease are reacting to five different types of wheat proteins that cannot be classified as gluten. This greatly expands the known triggers for the disease, but follow-up studies will have to be conducted. Gluten is no longer the only threat for people with celiac disease because the research points to non-gluten wheat proteins being dangerous.

The patients in the study reacted to the non-gluten wheat proteins in a similar manner to the way they reacted to gluten. There have been numerous patient complaints over the years about wheat triggering celiac disease, and the new research supports the idea. The immune reaction they had to the proteins resembled the typical celiac disease symptoms.

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Although researchers are still investigating the non-gluten wheat proteins, the usual advice of avoiding gluten can still help people with celiac disease. Products that are labeled as gluten-free should not contain wheat, so you can avoid the other proteins by checking ingredients. It is recommended that patients continue to remove wheat from their diets. In the future, researchers hope to offer better treatment options for celiac disease.

Researchers in this study did not address questions about changes in wheat over the years and how they are related to celiac disease. It has been suggested that modern wheat differs greatly from the versions available 50 years ago, and this may be linked to the disorder. However, opinions on this subject vary significantly, and some medical experts dismiss the connection.

Read more about celiac disease:
Gluten-free Halloween candy safe for celiac disease
Celiac disease apps help create gluten-free meal plans

Image: Public Domain/Pixabay

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