Even Non-Gluten Wheat Triggers Celiac Disease Symptoms

Krystle Vermes

New research suggests that patients with celiac disease adversely react to not only gluten, but also non-gluten proteins.

New research published in the Journal of Proteome Research suggests that patients with celiac disease adversely react to not only gluten, but also non-gluten proteins.

While examining how the consumption of wheat, rye, and barley containing gluten triggers abdominal pain, diarrhea, and other celiac disease symptoms, a team of researchers discovered that a substantial number of patients with the digestive disorder also experience an immune reaction to 5 groups of non-gluten wheat proteins known as serpins, purinins, alpha-amylase/protease inhibitors, globulins, and farinins.

Given that the only recommended treatment for celiac disease is to avoid gluten-containing foods, the study authors concluded that current and future research into celiac disease treatments should take non-gluten proteins into account.

“While the antigenic specificity and pathogenic relevance of immunologic reactivity to gluten in celiac disease have been extensively researched, the immune response to nongluten proteins of wheat has not been characterized,” the investigators wrote. “(These) results demonstrate that, in addition to the well-recognized immune reaction to gluten, celiac disease is associated with a robust humoral response directed at a specific subset of the non-gluten proteins of wheat.”