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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Is Gluten Bad For Everyone?
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28 posts in this topic

I've done some reading on gluten and casein before removing it from my diet, and it seems to me that they would be bad for everybody even if you have a leaky gut or not? I read one site describing gluten, casein and soy protein as glue that covers the small intestine and blocks absorption of nutrients, and that all other allergies are secondary. If that's the case then people with celiac disease would've gotten more damage to the villi than the "normal person" for reasons like genetic predisposition, bad diet and lifestyle, but everybody who consume these regularly will eventually get enough damage to the small intestine to cause the symptoms of malabsorption? Sorry if this sounds stupid but I'm a bit confused.

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Hi and welcome to the board.

No, gluten is not bad for everyone. There are a lot of pseudo-scientific websites written around the Internet that may sound convincing but they are not accurate. It's a fad right now to think of wheat as bad and people are making money on websites and books that attack the latest dietary villain. These same people probably hopped on the low-fat bandwagon 20 years ago. :rolleyes: Humans have been eating wheat and milk perfectly well for millennia. Soy is a slightly different matter; most traditional soy foods are fermented for various reasons.

The increase in celiac disease is not well understood, but it is probably not due to some inherently "bad" property of wheat or milk. The increase in celiac and gluten intolerance is faster in high-tech societies, and slower in poor countries like Russia. There is a "hygiene hypothesis" that somehow living in conditions that are too clean, eating processed foods, or perhaps overexposure to antibiotics and chemicals messes up our immune systems and we are more prone to autoimmunity like type 1 diabetes and celiac.

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Thanks. Yeah, but he said that wheat was cross-bred by some germanics or whatever about 500 AD which increased the gluten-content, which has been increased even further by the grain industry, so that maybe wheat was like 1% gluten back around year 0 but now it's like 50% gluten.

And concerning milk that there was a genetic mutation which led to the A1-milk with the release of BCM7 in digestion. Goat's milk being presumably safe because it contains little milk protein, while cows milk being very high in casein, and especially the A1-casein.

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He's still lying. Ancient domesticated wheats like Kamut and Spelt have 15%-20% protein, which is more than modern wheat at 7%-14%. BCM7 is hardly the only problematic casomorphin peptide in milk. It just happens to be the best-studied.

Look, you can believe whatever you like but I'd really suggest you do some research on websites with better science.

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Okey, you don't need to sound so condescending. Do you have any suggestions of good websites?

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Sorry. You didn't take my meaning the first time around and I didn't know what to say in order get you to understand that you were on a nonsense website.

I generally read the peer-reviewed literature. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/

There are some good books around, depending on what you are trying to learn. You might want to read Dr. Peter Green's book. Places like Mayo Clinic, MedScape, WebMD, and the NIH websites are reliable too. The Chicago Celiac Center has some good articles about celiac testing. Also there is an expert named Dr. Alessio Fasano around and if you find him interviewed or quoted it will be good stuff.

Be immediately suspicious of sites that are trying to sell supplements, books, or videos because they will twist the science to sound good and make a sale. Any idiot with a Google account and a soapbox can make a blog so don't trust those either. Videos are usually the least accurate of all. It seems like the idiots with the soapboxes like videos even more than blogs. :lol:

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Okay thanks for the tips. I'm still wondering though, didn't they increase the gluten content to make bread hold together and more glue like?

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Okay thanks for the tips. I'm still wondering though, didn't they increase the gluten content to make bread hold together and more glue like?

There's a bunch of research on ancient wheat cultivation and strains that were grown. You might find Wikipedia a useful jumping-off point if you are curious about ancient wheat. As I mentioned, some of the ancient grains were higher in protein than modern wheat. (Wikipedia itself can be iffy but it usually references some good articles.)

Protein in general is considered nourishing in a grain. If you can push durum wheat up from 10% protein to 14% protein, which is the extent we're talking about since 500 AD, someone eating a pasta dinner gets a little more protein in their meal. That's valuable, especially for subsistence cultures that rely heavily on grains for food.

Bread wheats like hard winter wheat and pasta wheat like durum get bred for more protein in general. In the bread wheat it's specifically gluten. Soft wheat used for cake flour and starch wouldn't be bred for protein though. Remember there is also a lot of breeding for yield, disease resistance, and hardiness in particular climates.

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Interesting, are there different types of proteins in these grains though? So if for example a sample of wheat contains 14% protein is it all gluten or just a part of it?

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Interesting, are there different types of proteins in these grains though? So if for example a sample of wheat contains 14% protein is it all gluten or just a part of it?

Gluten is a baking term for the mass of sticky, insoluble protein in wheat. It's a mix of gliadin and glutelin. Cereal chemists use more precise language. We react to what cereal chemists call gliadin. Looks like 33%-45% of the protein is gliadin, called prolamin in this article. http://www.fao.org/docrep/x2184e/x2184e04.htm

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I know this post hasn't been active for a week but I have to say, I have been quite swayed by reading "Wheat Belly" (can't recall the author - a physician - but it is a current NY Times best seller so it shouldn't be hard to find). He discusses the changes in wheat through selective breeding etc and how in the last 50 years wheat has changed *dramatically*, and illnesses that appear to be linked to wheat consumption have also risen dramatically during that time. We are NOT eating the same wheat our grandparents were.

The author had a gluten intolerance, and discusses a test he did on himself; he got ahold of some "original" wheat, apparently very hard to find but he found a source, and ate some bread made with that, and had no reaction. Then he had bread made with identical ingredients except for regular current-day wheat, and he got totally ill. Anecdotal, yes, but I will assume he wasn't lying for the purposes of dramatic effect.

I highly recommend the book, it has changed my perceptions of how we are handling our food supplies in this country... I can't remember the sub-title to the book, but it really makes it sound like a diet/weight loss book - I guess he did that to sell more copies - but it is an excellent read and should not be mistaken for diet fad fluff.

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I wish gluten were bad for everyone. Then it wouldn't be shoved in my face on such a regular basis.

However, celiac disease has been discovered in ancient Rome. And there's been plenty of "wasting" sicknesses over the centuries which were unexplained, and could easily have been celiac or lupus or any number of modern autoimmune diseases.

Personally I see gluten as a poison and it should be regulated as such. But only 1% of the population would benefit from such.

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Oh, I suspect a lot more than 1% would be helped (based on what I read in Wheat Belly). But these grains are so entrenched in our culture that I don't think much is going to change. I bet in the end everyone would just take Glutenease rather than give it up!

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I know this post hasn't been active for a week but I have to say, I have been quite swayed by reading "Wheat Belly" (can't recall the author - a physician - but it is a current NY Times best seller so it shouldn't be hard to find). He discusses the changes in wheat through selective breeding etc and how in the last 50 years wheat has changed *dramatically*, and illnesses that appear to be linked to wheat consumption have also risen dramatically during that time. We are NOT eating the same wheat our grandparents were.

The author had a gluten intolerance, and discusses a test he did on himself; he got ahold of some "original" wheat, apparently very hard to find but he found a source, and ate some bread made with that, and had no reaction. Then he had bread made with identical ingredients except for regular current-day wheat, and he got totally ill. Anecdotal, yes, but I will assume he wasn't lying for the purposes of dramatic effect.

I highly recommend the book, it has changed my perceptions of how we are handling our food supplies in this country... I can't remember the sub-title to the book, but it really makes it sound like a diet/weight loss book - I guess he did that to sell more copies - but it is an excellent read and should not be mistaken for diet fad fluff.

I got that book from the library after someone recommended it. The modified wheat is scary! I wish my hubby would read it, because it's obvious to me that he has a problem with wheat. :o

They have been tinkering with soybeans and corn too. I wonder how long it will be until we see other Celiac-like diseases because of the genetic engineering on those? :blink:

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The author had a gluten intolerance, and discusses a test he did on himself; he got ahold of some "original" wheat, apparently very hard to find but he found a source, and ate some bread made with that, and had no reaction. Then he had bread made with identical ingredients except for regular current-day wheat, and he got totally ill. Anecdotal, yes, but I will assume he wasn't lying for the purposes of dramatic effect.

People with celiac disease absolutely react to kamut, spelt, and other ancient grains, and they have plenty of gluten. What he did is interesting but it's obviously not generalizable. :) I have a friend who is a gluten-intolerant botanist and she even reacts to wild triticae grains she's collected. I haven't read the book to comment further.

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People with celiac disease absolutely react to kamut, spelt, and other ancient grains, and they have plenty of gluten. What he did is interesting but it's obviously not generalizable. :) I have a friend who is a gluten-intolerant botanist and she even reacts to wild triticae grains she's collected. I haven't read the book to comment further.

The author (which I see is William Davis MD) says "triticum species of today are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of genes apart from the original einkorn wheat that bred naturally." The wheat he used for his "test" was the einkorn wheat grain. He got it from a woman who's the founder of the Heritage Wheat Conservancy (www.growseed.org). I should go look that up, I wonder if anyone can order it or if she just provided it for his personal research. Anyway it apparently is totally different species of wheat and modern wheat comes from a different species. Supposedly you can't even create our modern-day baking feats (think croissants, cakes, bread as we know it) with the stuff, those qualities have been bred into various types of grains.

Just to clarify, the author's point isn't that high levels of gluten are causing issues, but that current-day wheat has been genetically altered to produce pest resilience, fast crop growth etc etc., to the point of causing problems with human consumption. In his opinion, small changes in wheat protein structure spell the difference between "a devastating immune response" vs no response at all. I should have made that clearer given the context of the ongoing discussion here.

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Considering there was celiac or something like it in Ancient Rome, there's gotta be something else going on at the same time.

Altho I would imagine that massively altering food is not the best thing to do.

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Interesting stuff, Aly. I notice Wikipedia mentions that einkorn may not be as toxic to folks with celiac and gives a reference to this super-interesting study. They took a biopsy from people with celiac disease and exposed it to modern wheat or einkorn. There was only a reaction to modern wheat. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17060124

Spelt is old too, and supposedly kamut is, but both are toxic to celiacs. That gives me trouble with the whole "modern wheat is bad, old wheat is good" idea. Same with my friend's wild Triticum grains. That was not cultivated stuff or even wheat, it's natural grasses where she collected grain to eat for fun. (Turned out to be not so fun.) I wonder if einkorn is just different enough to be safe, like oats.

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Interesting stuff, Aly. I notice Wikipedia mentions that einkorn may not be as toxic to folks with celiac and gives a reference to this super-interesting study. They took a biopsy from people with celiac disease and exposed it to modern wheat or einkorn. There was only a reaction to modern wheat. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17060124

Spelt is old too, and supposedly kamut is, but both are toxic to celiacs. That gives me trouble with the whole "modern wheat is bad, old wheat is good" idea. Same with my friend's wild Triticum grains. That was not cultivated stuff or even wheat, it's natural grasses where she collected grain to eat for fun. (Turned out to be not so fun.) I wonder if einkorn is just different enough to be safe, like oats.

Very interesting...I haven't returned the book to the library, and now I am curious as to what he says about spelt and kamut...I think he might have said something but I would probably have glossed over it. If he says anything interesting I'll post it :).

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I don't believe gluten is bad for everyone , lots of athletes eat pasta before playing sports surely if gluten was bad for everyone the athletes would struggle eating pasta before playing sports . I think the gluten free diet is over rated , I have more health problems on the gluten-free diet than before I was diagnosed :S I have read lately gluten damages everyone's villi it's complete BS otherwise everyone would be diagnosed with celiac disease . I don't know where the gluten damages non Celiac's villi information comes from , these days the gluten-free diet is seen as a miracle diet I have known healthy people go 50 % gluten free for the hell of it and say they are now Celiac :o I find it very annoying people seem so desperate to have celiac disease I don't get it.

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Very interesting...I haven't returned the book to the library, and now I am curious as to what he says about spelt and kamut...I think he might have said something but I would probably have glossed over it. If he says anything interesting I'll post it :).

That would be great. I'm really curious now. :)

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I notice Wikipedia mentions that einkorn may not be as toxic to folks with celiac and gives a reference to this super-interesting study. They took a biopsy from people with celiac disease and exposed it to modern wheat or einkorn. There was only a reaction to modern wheat. http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/17060124

That was a really interesting study, Skylark. Thanks for posting.

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Interesting stuff, Aly. I notice Wikipedia mentions that einkorn may not be as toxic to folks with celiac and gives a reference to this super-interesting study. They took a biopsy from people with celiac disease and exposed it to modern wheat or einkorn. There was only a reaction to modern wheat. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17060124

Spelt is old too, and supposedly kamut is, but both are toxic to celiacs. That gives me trouble with the whole "modern wheat is bad, old wheat is good" idea. Same with my friend's wild Triticum grains. That was not cultivated stuff or even wheat, it's natural grasses where she collected grain to eat for fun. (Turned out to be not so fun.) I wonder if einkorn is just different enough to be safe, like oats.

Okay so it took me a while to find his reference to other grains because his book is about wheat :) so it was a buried in there. Here's what he says as to why he doesn't address other grains:

"Of all the grains in the human diet, why only pick on wheat? Because wheat, by a considerable margin, is the dominant source of gluten protein in the human diet."..."most people don't each much rye, barley, spelt, triticale, bulgar, kamut, or less common gluten sources; wheat consumption overshadows consumption of other gluten-containing grains more than a hundred to one."

I don't know if I really agree that things like rye aren't consumed a lot, but I guess I agree that wheat would still "win" by a fair margin given how so many processed foods use wheat as an additive. So it would seem that he based his research on this only - and he delves pretty deep with it; if he had investigated the background of all those grains it would have been quite the fat book! :).

I hope you read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts on what he says!

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In other words, he ignored ancient grains that didn't fit his idea. He wants to cast modern wheat as a villian. It's good marketing. :rolleyes:

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Hmmm, maybe!

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