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Interesting New Research On Corn
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There is a really interesting new paper on corn and celiac.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/d6723t3n722317x5/

This paper carefully identifies fragments of corn gluten (zein) that could potentially bind to HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8 in a subset of people with celiac disease. They removed all the gluten IgA antibodies from sera of some celiac volunteers and found some antibodies to corn zein were still present. They carefully tracked down what the antibodies were binding to, using mass spectrometry, and found the antibodies were recognizing poorly digested peptides from corn zein. This is similar to gluten, where the most immunogenic peptides are the ones that are not fully digested. Some computer work supported that the peptides would bind best to DQ2.5, and that they are similar but not identical to wheat gluten fragments.

The reaction is NOT a cross-reaction to corn. Let me repeat that lest there is any confusion. THIS IS NOT A CROSS-REACTION TO CORN. It is a completely separate set of anti-zein antibodies in some teens and adults with celiac disease. Interestingly, two of the five corn-sensitive people were still sick gluten-free. They don't mention in the paper if they got well off corn.

First, if you're feeling OK, don't freak out about corn. Corn is still safe for most celiacs. Only 5 out of 24 people they tested had the antibodies. Also, the corn antibodies don't tend to show up in kids suggesting that corn is not inflammatory like wheat. There is no evidence for corn causing celiac in someone who grows up without wheat. The authors suggest that a person needs to be untreated celiac for a while for the corn antibodies to show up.

There have been flaws in little bit of other corn research that has been done (like the one with 80 ppm gluten in their cornmeal), but this seems to be really solid study. It does raise a lot of questions though. Did the people who were still sick recover off corn? Is corn processed by TTG, triggering autoimmunity? Do the corn epitopes the authors identified stimulate T-cells? Can corn cause TTG antibodies to stay elevated in people with anti-zein IgA? If so, can corn trigger villous atrophy in people who have the anti-zein IgA?

This is extremely important for those of you who are gluten-free and still not well, or potentially being diagnosed with refractory celiac disease. We always tell people to eliminate casein. It's looking like we should also be suggesting people try a period of time eliminating corn (which is unfortunately even harder than eliminating gluten or casein).

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Thanks for posting this Skylark. :) I have been gluten and casein free for a couple months now. I have had a huge relief of crippling symptoms that went far beyond GI troubles. However, I was still experiencing intermittent digestive upsets, and abdominal bloating with tenderness. Four days ago, I tossed corn to the curb. (It's scary how many ingredients have corn hidden in them.) I'm happy to report that the upsets, bloating, and tenderness are all gone. (I realize that I am fortunate to see results as quickly as I do. Everyone is different.) Since the end of January, I have been gaining strength and muscle back, and dropping weight from being ill for so long. Knowledge is power. Keep it coming. Thanks again. Cheers :)

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I started reacting to gluten-free corn based granola and fritos. I've dropped corn for now..but it seems like corn is in most medicines and supplements? I haven't stopped those. Isn't dextrose and caramel color made from corn too? :o

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I started reacting to corn a few months ago. Honestly I have no idea if it's a separate intolerance or if it has something to do with the GMO freakshow in corn. I just know, a year ago I could eat it just fine. Then over time if I ate "too much" popcorn I would get a slight stomach ache. Then a couple months ago if I even had a handful of popcorn or any corn-containing snack my upper stomach would erupt in pain so intense that it would wrap around to my back (behind my ribs). I don't usually get back pain from glutening. I've quit corn as best I can since then.

Skylark I read the abstract, it looks very interesting. I just wish I understood it :P I need to take a class to learn how to read that stuff!

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Thanks Skylark, very interesting stuff! Might explain a few mild reactions for me. Guess we are still learning every day. :)

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Well, that was why I was so confuzzled when I first started reacting to foods. It was after my introduction to Mexican cuisine, so I initially didn't know what to think, then I thought it was the beans, but no, so I thought, gee, I've only ever eaten corn on the cob before and that was okay, but corn became a question mark??? Then I ate corn on the cob in New Zealand and I was fine. Then I definitely reacted to corn in the U.S. I reacted to corn chips when we went out, or pretzels when we snacked when we were out, and every time I went to a Mexican restaurant, whether I had corn or flour tortillas (with or without beans). Hey, this was over 30 years ago when we didn't know much about food intolerances, okay? And I just thought I had a weird stomach and nervous system.

So this pattern continued for a long while, reacting (in retrospect) to both corn and gluten, and not figuring out where it was coming from :rolleyes: By the time I gave up gluten in hopes of curing my psoriatic arthritis I had already given up 99% of corn (including the non-GMO New Zealand corn) - I only ever ate popcorn. Then I had one of my infamous fainting/syncope spells at a party after eating popcorn so I had to quit that too (plus a lot of other things). I will not be at all surprised (if I live long enough to be surprised) if they do not found other zeins or similar proteins (like the lectins I am sure I react to) that are messing us up.

Hey, jess_gf, I was just this morning looking at the topic you started that has been runing all this time, and wondered what had happened to you. Good to see ya!

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Skylark I read the abstract, it looks very interesting. I just wish I understood it :P I need to take a class to learn how to read that stuff!

It took me more than one class. :lol: I do science for a living.

I started reacting to gluten-free corn based granola and fritos. I've dropped corn for now..but it seems like corn is in most medicines and supplements? I haven't stopped those. Isn't dextrose and caramel color made from corn too? :o

Yes, that's why I was saying it would be hard to totally eliminate corn. It's in everything in the US. :unsure:

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Thanks for posting that. I have heard about people with severe reactions to corn, so that would explain it.

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Hey, jess_gf, I was just this morning looking at the topic you started that has been runing all this time, and wondered what had happened to you. Good to see ya!

Oh I've been around, mostly lurking. Thanks!

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I am one of those corn reactive people. Corn is as bad for me as gluten. Makes so much sense. Thanks for posting this. ;)

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Thanks for taking the time to decipher it all for us, Skylark! I always appreciate your research. :)

I am also glad you made it clear this is not about "cross-reactivity".

I was worried about corn at the beginning of my gluten-free life because nothing seemed to agree with me for many months. I had removed dairy and soy and I still felt lousy. I thought, oh crappers, corn too? :rolleyes: geesh, but it just took me a looooong time to heal my gut. I still have off days, but corn is not the problem.

Corn is one of my favorite summer pleasures and luckily, corn and I seem to be at peace with each other. :)

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I had GI and DH flares on corn. I only realised the link, though, when I started getting the nerve shocks in my feet (which had stopped very soon after going gluten free). I knew I hadn't been glutened. I never eat out and rarely eat any processed foods (even gluten-free). GMO sucks. Excuse my language - I rarely swear. There is too much crap on the market and I'm sick of cooking/washing up .. being hungry ..unable to eat enough calories to keep my weight stable/healthy (I was overweight my entire life!!) etc etc <_<

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some people react ok to wheat starch and is considered gluten free because it obviously contains less gluten, would the same apply to corn? has anybody had experience with reacting to corn but not the starch?

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some people react ok to wheat starch and is considered gluten free because it obviously contains less gluten, would the same apply to corn? has anybody had experience with reacting to corn but not the starch?

I react to corn which has been dried and processed..like Fritios..but ate corn on the cob last week with no reaction. :blink:

There's also corn starch in my medications and supplements, which I don't seen to react to?

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I react to corn which has been dried and processed..like Fritios..but ate corn on the cob last week with no reaction. :blink:

There's also corn starch in my medications and supplements, which I don't seen to react to?

Same here. I can eat plain corn and use corn starch in baking, but sometimes feel "off" after eating a processed product like corn chips. For me, it may be some of the oils.

...which leads me to wonder if the Fritos have something else in them that makes them bothersome for you? maybe? just thinking out loud with you :)

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Aren't corn chips usually made with lime-treated corn? Lime treatment may change the corn enough that your body sees it differently.

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Yes, the more highly refined the corn is the more likely that I can eat it. So the starches in pills don't bother me and I can have some starch in baked goods now. It is any corn product that has any of the outer skin covering, like corn chips, masa harina, etc. that get me. Sometimes I don't know where to draw the line. As in sometimes some corn in pasta will get me and other times it won't. I guess I should judge it by its color :huh:

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Same here. I can eat plain corn and use corn starch in baking, but sometimes feel "off" after eating a processed product like corn chips. For me, it may be some of the oils.

...which leads me to wonder if the Fritos have something else in them that makes them bothersome for you? maybe? just thinking out loud with you :)

Ingredients in Fritos..Whole corn, corn oil, and salt.

No preservatives.

Makes me wonder about the drying process? :huh:

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Ingredients in Fritos..Whole corn, corn oil, and salt.

No preservatives.

Makes me wonder about the drying process? :huh:

hmm....maybe.

Skylark is better informed that I am about this...Sky? :)

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I don't even know what the phrase "drying process" means. If you have questions about Fritos you might write Frito-Lay.

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Interesting as I was checking here to see if anyone else has had a reaction to corn flour... I had bought Zatarain's seasoned fish-fri while vacationing in Florida.. I used it on lean pork chops baking them in the oven, plus we had freezer corn and fried potatoes... I knew I was in trouble instantly starting with stomach cramps and diarrhea... This really irked me... We had company and here I am sitting on the toilet... I was in misery as it was because, I had made a homemade apple pie and chocolate chip cookies

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