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Gluten-free Wheat? Can New Wheat Hybrids Help Celiac Sufferers?

Celiac.com 07/31/2013 - People with celiac disease react to specific proteins in wheat, and a team of scientists from Washington State University are attempting to develop new varieties of wheat that suppress those proteins and are safe for those with celiac disease.

Photo: CC--mrpbpsCurrently, they can silence nearly 90 percent of the protein that causes a gluten reaction. They hope their research efforts will lead them to a strain that suppress 100% of the proteins that trigger gluten reactions.

Since people with celiac disease react to specific proteins in wheat, the simple solution is to eliminate those proteins to develop an allergy-free wheat.

According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, wheat is made up of three groups of proteins : gliadins, low molecular weight glutenin subunits and high molecular weight glutenin subunits.

The majority of people with celiac disease can tolerate the high molecular weight glutenin proteins, so the Washington State scientists attempted to silence the genetic expression of the other proteins in wheat.

The high molecular weight glutenins are necessary for baking, so the wheat should produce flour suitable for a variety of breads and dough.

The researchers are using a genetic technique called RNA interference, that has enabled them to silence the expression of more than 80 percent of the wheat genes associated with autoimmune reactions.

“With our molecular genetic technologies we have wheat plants that silence 85.6 percent of the immunogenic genes,” said Diter von Wettstein, a plant science professor at Washington State. “The chances of getting plants with more than 90 percent silencing is good.”

Such wheat hybrids might not work for all people with celiac disease, but could they provide benefits for the majority of people with celiac disease?

What do you think? Would you try it? Share your thoughts below.

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22 Responses:

 
giulia
Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
02 Aug 2013 10:36:15 AM PST
only nature decides what, and if we can, eat wheat. no man, not even if it is called scientist can create a grain suitable for human beings.

 
DJ
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said this on
05 Aug 2013 6:18:31 AM PST
I get severe stomach pains and other serious symptoms after eating GM-containing food products, so I don't think I would want to try the wheat if it's been genetically modified. I wouldn't even know if I was reacting to the wheat or the GMO adulteration. Since I don't know why I can't tolerate GM foods, I wouldn't want to take the risk. If the wheat is not GM, I might consider trying it, if it is truly gluten-free.

 
Wilford Diabeeeetus Brimley
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said this on
14 Jul 2014 3:04:59 PM PST
Obviously, you're not diabetic and forced to use GM products on a daily basis.

 
Patricia Hartner
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said this on
05 Aug 2013 6:56:03 AM PST
Yes, I would try this.

 
Jackie
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
05 Aug 2013 10:00:12 AM PST
I think they should just forget about it. We don't need wheat.

 
Justin Perkins
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said this on
05 Aug 2013 10:42:54 AM PST
I would give it a try. I would even beg my folks to grow a bunch of it.

 
linda
Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
05 Aug 2013 10:46:57 AM PST
Quit messing with our food. That's what put us in the muddle of nasty GMO'd foods to start with. We don't need wheat.

 
Christy
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said this on
05 Aug 2013 12:35:52 PM PST
Yes, I would definitely eat it. I've tried every kind of gluten-free bread/pastry/pizza crust out there, even homemade, and nothing compares to the gluten version, unfortunatley. If they can pull it off, my taste buds salute you!!

 
Nancy
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said this on
05 Aug 2013 1:50:50 PM PST
Yes, I would try it and make some sourdough bread, which I have greatly missed.

 
Ruth Grubbs
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said this on
05 Aug 2013 2:41:42 PM PST
I would be willing to try this wheat.

 
Charlotte Martin
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said this on
05 Aug 2013 3:47:55 PM PST
I am whole food plant strong in my diet and I love it. The only thing that frustrates me is I cannot eat wheat, barley or rye. The gluten-free breads are so unhealthy that I have just decided to forego eating bread. I would love to try this wheat. The person who said only nature can produce food doesn't realize that man has been manipulating plants for thousands of years... most often for the bad. Our fruits and vegetables have been manipulated to be sweeter, larger, more attractive and non-perishable. How does he think all the California vegetables and fruits end up in our supermarkets? Yes, bring on the gluten-free wheat!

 
Patti D
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said this on
06 Aug 2013 6:33:38 AM PST
I would be scared to try it. My reaction to gluten is so severe that the sheer pain would keep me from taking the chance. It's not worth it. I don't miss wheat that much and I'm doing fine without it.

 
Sharon Kees
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said this on
06 Aug 2013 8:54:56 AM PST
I would likely try it, but I would try to be smart about it. I think I would know pretty quickly if it was a problem with me because first my fatigue and joint pain would return, then I would probably have an outbreak of dermatitis herpetiformis. But even without those symptoms, I would want some follow up bloodwork to check my nutrients and my anemia. But would I want to taste really good wheat bread again? YES! So I would try it.

 
Sharon
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said this on
06 Aug 2013 9:04:33 AM PST
I would absolutely try gluten-free wheat. Since I have silent celiac disease, I couldn't believe I even had celiac disease when I was first diagnosed. Gluten-free food is the pits, especially in the breads and pastas.

 
Sue
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said this on
18 Aug 2013 3:48:06 PM PST
I definitely would not try it! I really miss all my favorite foods made with wheat, but knowing how sick it makes me and having to take a month or more to recover, no way would I try it or anything else I cannot read all the ingredients and where it was manufactured and the cooking surfaces etc. I would love a resolution to this horrible disease, it is so frustrating almost on a daily basis at work or going out to be able to find something I like to eat that is safe from cross contamination and things that trigger my celiac disease.

 
Carol
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said this on
19 Aug 2013 8:32:04 AM PST
This is suspect to me. "Such wheat hybrids might not work for all people with celiac disease, but could they provide benefits for the majority of people with celiac disease?"

But I wouldn't knowingly touch a GMO product with a 10-foot pole.

 
Azar
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said this on
06 Oct 2013 8:20:51 AM PST
Waiting for it, I would definitely eat it...

 
Dolores
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said this on
06 Mar 2014 7:12:43 AM PST
Yes I would try gluten free wheat. I would try it but I have auto immune diseases so I don't know if it would be okay.

 
Gramma
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said this on
05 Aug 2014 7:43:01 AM PST
If a person has serious, 'full-blown' celiac they should not try this when alone, and they should have their 'epi' pen nearby. I would try it, but I do not (yet) have true celiac.

I have 'gluten intolerance', and my only symptom so far is EXTREME coughing for several days after eating gluten. I and my doc wonder if my symptoms could progress into full-blown celiac.

I did not start the gluten-induced coughing until I was over 60 and I would appreciate any info from anyone who developed celiac as an adult. Ever heard of gluten-induced extreme coughing as a precursor to celiac? (By extreme coughing, I mean for 2 years I could not even carry on a conversation, till I went off gluten for another reason and like magic, my coughing stopped in about a week!)

 
LiAp
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said this on
05 Oct 2015 12:29:55 PM PST
Hi - There is no epi pen for celiac - it is not an allergy but an autoimmune disease.

 
Louise
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said this on
26 Oct 2014 12:58:01 PM PST
I would definitely try this, hurry up!

 
M. Taj
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said this on
04 Nov 2014 12:51:11 AM PST
I would surely try this wheat. Thanks to the scientists who are putting their effort for the benefit of mankind. I would even like to grow this wheat in my land in Pakistan but I would need about 10 Kg of the seeds. I am a believer of evolution.




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