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Can Some Celiac Patients Drink Regular Beer?


Non-gluten-free beer. Photo: CC--Phil Denton

Celiac.com 06/17/2016 - What role does individual sensitivity play in celiac disease severity and reactions to gluten?

Researchers in Italy reported on an interesting case of a of a man with a clear diagnosis of celiac disease who nevertheless drank gluten-containing beer, with no physical symptoms, and no clinical issues.

The research team included Fabiana Zingone, Ilaria Russo, Angelo Massari, and Carolina Ciacci. They are variously affiliated with the Department of Medicine and Surgery, and the Department of Clinical Pathology and Transfusion Medicine at AOU San Giovanni di Dio e Ruggi D'Aragona in Salerno, Italy.

The team found that a 4-week period of drinking gluten-containing beer did not provoke significant changes in the intestinal mucosa of this patient with celiac disease nor did it elicit any relevant symptoms. Blood antibody levels rose, but did not reach a pathological threshold.

It is of course possible that a longer gluten challenge might lead to symptoms and to clinically relevant changes in IgA antitransglutaminase levels. In this case, though, the patient seemed fine and showed no signs of an adverse celiac disease reaction, even though he drank standard non-gluten-free beer.

Celiac cases like this may be uncommon, but they do show that individual gluten sensitivity can impact symptoms, immunological response and intestinal mucosa health differently, depending on the patient. They also teach us how much more we have to learn about celiac disease.

Source: BMJ Case Reports 2016; doi:10.1136/bcr-2016-214686

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16 Responses:

 
Ed Arnold
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
17 Jun 2016 11:18:04 AM PST
Is this article a snarky plant from the brewing industry??

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
17 Jun 2016 4:33:13 PM PST
I doubt it.

 
Mr Ducks
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
21 Jun 2016 4:56:15 AM PST
I can drink up to 32 oz. of beer, if I go over that I get sick.

 
kate
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said this on
20 Jun 2016 11:49:23 AM PST
All I can say is that many gluten free people have beers of some sort and the topic is definitely hot. When I was diagnosed in UK in the 1970s we were told that gluten is too heavy to pass thru the distillation process. I do drink light beers and have specifically asked for a test a year ago for evidence for contamination in my diet and there were no signs in the blood of gluten antibodies. I have long wanted someone to assess barley gluten and see if there is some way it is seen in the body as different from wheat and rye (which give me reaction by just inhaling the dust from putting an open packet down on the counter!). They did find that oats are gluten free which they were not considered GF for many years.

 
Roxanne Mason
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
20 Jun 2016 12:34:30 PM PST
What would be considered a pathological threshold for the antibodies?

 
Ronald E Lahr
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said this on
20 Jun 2016 5:33:30 PM PST
I have had celiac disease for years and switched from beer to rum and coke for a while. I have a niece who went to commissary school in Vancouver and they spent a week on gluten free cooking. She said that beer has gluten in it but there are also"chemicals" in beer that counter act the gluten. I tried a couple of beers without any problems. I stay away from beers listed as wheat beers and have had no problems since. It is nice to be able to drink beer that doesn't cost over $9 a six pack.

 
Jared M
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said this on
20 Jun 2016 6:32:30 PM PST
I seem to have no issue with non-wheat beers. I stay away from German and Belgian beers. Lagers, pale ales, red ales, IPAs, stouts - I don't exhibit symptoms from drinking them.

 
Lisa Purcell
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said this on
21 Jun 2016 4:19:13 AM PST
I read somewhere that gluten was "theoretically" removed from beer during the distillation process. It would be interesting to have this beer drinking man with celiac disease be monitored as he ate or drank other items that have gluten.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
21 Jun 2016 1:53:50 PM PST
Beer is brewed and fermented, rather than distilled, but this process does remove most gluten.

 
Bill R
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said this on
21 Jun 2016 5:01:57 PM PST
I was diagnosed with celiac several years ago and was quite shocked, as I consumed beer, bread, and all the other wonderful things like pizza at a rate probably exceeding the average and never had any noticeable symptoms. I protested but the doctor said it was a triple confirmed diagnosis (visual scallops, biopsy, and blood work, in that order). I gave up real beer and haven't found any really good GF beers but occasionally "cheat" with pizza or cake, and do not notice any change. If it wasn't for the increased risk of colon cancer and lymphoma I'd probably go back to eating a normal diet. Does anybody else not really have any symptoms despite a firm diagnosis of celiac?

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
23 Jun 2016 11:28:56 AM PST
Many celiacs don't have symptoms, but must still adhere to a strict gluten-free diet to avoid the higher risk of cancer and other additional autoimmune diseases.

 
Linda
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingempty Unrated
said this on
21 Jun 2016 5:18:07 PM PST
I find this article interesting. I am celiac but would love to enjoy a beer once in a while. I would love to see more research on this topic. For now I'm afraid to try any beers as I'm very sensitive to gluten.

 
Roger
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said this on
21 Jun 2016 5:19:33 PM PST
I am diagnosed celiac. I cannot eat gluten containing food, without severe pain, cramping, and diarrhea.One or two cookies or crackers, or one slice of bread, is all it takes.Yet I can handle beer fine. I only started a few months ago, I was afraid to try beer, but I was so tempted by all the flavored craft beers out there. My theory is that drinking beer may not be the same as ingesting food, because beer is drunk, rather than eaten, it might bypass the gut.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
23 Jun 2016 11:25:57 AM PST
For the record beer does not bypass the gut, but the fermentation process does break down the gluten significantly.

 
Ryan
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said this on
22 Jun 2016 10:47:52 AM PST
I'm sure it helps if the wheat/grains used in the making of the beer isn't from a GMO crop or sprayed with RoundUp.

 
frank
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said this on
08 Aug 2016 2:04:25 PM PST
I drink the Redbridge...decent! Someone told me that Heineken lite could be imbibed without fear of gluten sensitivity (I was diagnosed but no symptoms). Any thoughts on this? I noted above people talk about drinking lite beers with no problem.




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