Celiac.com 09/10/2007 - Sorghum is a cereal grain with poised for development as a major crop for human nutrition. The flour made from white sorghum hybrids is lightly colored, and offers a bland, neutral taste that leaves no trace of unusual colors or flavors when added to food products.

These features make sorghum favorable for use in wheat-free food products. While sorghum is considered as a safe food for celiac patients, primarily due to its relationship to maize, no direct studies have been made regarding its safety for individuals with celiac disease and gluten intolerance.

Thus, further study was warranted to clearly demonstrate the safety and tolerability of sorghum for celiac patients. A team of researchers set out to determine the safety and tolerability of sorghum flour products in adult celiac patients

The team consisted of Carolina Ciacci, Luigi Maiuri, Nicola Caporaso, Cristina Bucci, Luigi Del Giudice, Domenica Rita Massardo, Paola Pontieri, Natale Di Fonzo, Scott R. Bean, Brian Ioerger and Marco Londei.

Study participants who consumed sorghum-derived food product for 5 days straight experienced no gastrointestinal or other symptoms and the level of anti-transglutaminase antibodies was unchanged at the end of the 5-day medical challenge.

Sorghum protein digests produced no morphometric or immunomediated alteration of duodenal explants from celiac patients.

In both in vitro and in vivo challenge, sorghum-derived products show no toxicity for celiac patients. Sorghum can thus be regarded safe for people with celiac disease.

Clinical Nutrition, 24 August 2007

health writer who lives in San Francisco and is a frequent author of articles for Celiac.com.

As always, Celiac.com welcomes your comments (see below).