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  • Scott Adams
    Scott Adams

    Do Adults with High Gliadin Antibody Concentrations have Subclinical Gluten Intolerance?

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Please note that this study has no biopsy confirmation, so it can only be called gluten intolerance statistics. Its findings indicate that gluten intolerance may be relatively common in the general population.


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    AU - Arnason JA ; Gudjonsson H ; Freysdottir J ; Jonsdottir I ; Valdimarsson H
    TI - Do Adults with High Gliadin Antibody Concentrations have Subclinical Gluten Intolerance?
    LA - Eng
    AD - Department of Immunology, National University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland.
    SO - Gut 1992 Feb;33(2):194-7 AB - Gliadin antibodies of the IgG and IgA isotopes and IgG subclasses were measured in 200 adults who were randomly selected from the Icelandic National Register.

    Those with the highest gliadin antibody concentrations were invited with negative controls to participate in a clinical evaluation. Neither the study subjects nor the physicians who recorded and evaluated the clinical findings were aware of the antibody levels. Significantly higher proportion of the gliadin antibody positive individuals reported unexplained attacks of diarrhea (p = 0.03), and IgA gliadin antibodies were associated with increased prevalence of chronic fatigue (p = 0.0037). The gliadin antibody positive group also showed significantly decreased transferrin saturation, mean corpuscular volume and mean corpuscular hemoglobin compared with the gliadin antibody negative controls. Serum folic acid concentrations were significantly lower in the IgA gliadin antibody positive individuals. On blind global assessment, 15 of the 48 participants were thought to have clinical and laboratory features that are compatible with gluten sensitive enteropathy, and 14 of these were in the gliadin antibody positive group (p = 0.013). Complaints that have not been associated with gluten intolerance had similar prevalence in both groups with the exception of persistent or recurrent headaches that were more common in the gliadin antibody positive group. These findings raise the possibility that a sub-clinical form of gluten intolerance may be relatively common.

    The following chart summarizes the study:

    No. Randomly Selected for Study No. Selected w/ High Gliadin No. w/ Gluten Sensitive Enteropathy No. w/ GSE & High Gliadin
    200 ( = 100%) 48 ( = 24%) 15 ( = 7.5%) 14 ( = 7%)

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    This is a great explanation. There are several great research organizations out there researching this as well to gain even better understanding. You can actually participate in the research and get paid for your time if you are diagnosed with diseases like Celiac, and many others. The research helps to develop diagnostic tests and cures, and you are paid anywhere from $200 to $1000 every time you participate.

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    Celiac.com's Founder and CEO, Scott was diagnosed with celiac disease  in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. Scott launched the site that later became Celiac.com in 1995 "To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives."  In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.

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