Baking Quality Wheat Ancestors May be Safe for Those with Celiac Disease
In 1994 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which led me to create Celiac.com in 1995. I created this site for a single purpose: To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives. Celiac.com was the first site on the Internet dedicated solely to celiac disease, and since then it has become an invaluable resource to people worldwide who seek information about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.
In 1998 I created The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore! which was also another Internet first—it was the first gluten-free food site to offer a shopping cart-style interface, and the ability for people to order gluten-free products manufactured by many different companies at a single Web site.
I am also co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.
Gastroenterology. 2005 Feb;128(2):393-401.
Celiac.com 02/09/2005 – Norwegian scientists have been mapping gluten T-cell epitopes in various wheat ancestors and have found several varieties that may be suitable for those with celiac disease. The trigger for celiac disease has been identified as the epitopes that cluster within a stable 33mer fragment of wheat chromosome 6D. The scientists extracted and screened gluten from a variety of modern wheat ancestors to look for any T-cell stimulatory gluten peptides. They found that the 33mer fragment is encoded by alpha-gliadin genes on wheat chromosome 6D, which does not exist in the gluten of diploid einkorn or in certain types of tetraploid pasta wheat.
These findings indicate that there may be grains that have long since been considered unsafe for those with celiac disease, but which may actually be safe and not contain any harmful gluten proteins. The most encouraging thing about this research is that baking and pasta-quality wheat ancestors could one day be added to our Safe List, which would greatly increase the quality of gluten-free products.
Note: We strongly advise against celiacs including these grains in their diet until more testing and research is done to verify their safety.
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