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    The First Direct Test of the Safety of Sorghum for People with Celiac Disease


    Kathleen La Point

    Celiac.com 12/03/2007 - Along with the increasing rate of celiac disease diagnosis comes a corresponding increase in the need for safe, inexpensive, and appetizing gluten-free foods. Sorghum is inexpensive to grow, has a neutral flavor, and has been assumed to be gluten-free due to its close relationship with maize. Sorghum has been consumed in many parts of the world in foods and beverages such as flat breads, porridge, and beer. However, in the United States, the country that grows most of the world's sorghum, it is used primarily as animal feed.


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    Researchers tested the safety of sorghum in duodenal biopsies (tissue samples from the small intestine) from 8 celiac patients and 4 patients with other gastrointestinal disorders (i.e., not celiac disease). Biopsies treated with sorghum protein digests showed no increase in proteins involved in the immune response to gluten. By comparison, biopsies of celiac patients treated with gliadin or wheat protein digests showed an increase in these proteins, as expected. The immune response was not induced in biopsies of non-celiac patients, regardless of treatment.

    In the second part of the study, the safety and palatability of sorghum foods were tested in 2 female celiac patients, known to be compliant with a gluten-free diet. The patients ate sorghum in bread, cookies, and cake for 5 days. Antibodies for transglutaminase, known to be elevated after gluten consumption in celiac patients, did not increase in the patients during or after the sorghum challenge. The celiac patients rated the palatability of the foods as good or excellent and reported no increase in gastrointestinal (GI) or non-GI symptoms.

    Researchers from Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States carried out this preliminary study. The data indicates that sorghum is highly likely to be safe for consumption by those who are gluten-intolerant. Additional studies are required to determine the long-term safety of sorghum in the diet of celiac patients.

    References:
    Ciacci, C. et al. (2007) Celiac disease: In vitro and in vivo safety and palatability of wheat-free sorghum food products. Clin. Nutr. 26, 799-805.
    U.S. Grains Council Web Site. Sorghum.  Accessed Dec 1, 2007.

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    Guest RAYMOND G KARASEVICZ

    Posted

    GOOD ARTICLE AND IT CONFIRMS MY BELIEF THAT IT IS SAFE TO CONSUME SORGHUM BASED BEER THAT HAS RECENTLY COME ON THE MARKET.

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    Guest C Lawson

    Posted

    Because I am ultra sensitive to gluten, my family and friends consider me a barometer for the testing of how gluten-free a food or personal care item is. I have been using sorghum flour for 3 years and have not had any problems with it and have recommended it to many folks. As in all 'gluten free' foods, be careful of your source and check that there isn't the possibility of cross contamination.

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    Guest guadalupe

    Posted

    It gives excellent information but it doesn't warn about possibilities of cross contamination as often happens with grains.

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  • About Me

    Kathleen LaPoint is a biomedical writer with a B.S. in Molecular Biology and an M.S. in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

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    Sources for info on quinoa:
    Quinoa Corporation
    Eden Organics
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    International Journal of Food Science and Technology - doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2621.2010.02375.x

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    Source:
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    The research team included P Singh, A Arora, TA Strand, DA Leffler, C Catassi, PH Green, CP Kelly, V Ahuja, and GK Makharia. They are variously affiliated with the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts; Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India; Innlandet Hospital Trust, Lillehammer, Norway; Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway; Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts; Gastroenterology Research and Development, Takeda Pharmaceuticals Inc, Cambridge, MA; Department of Pediatrics, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy; Department of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York; USA Celiac Disease Center, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York; and the Department of Gastroenterology and Human Nutrition, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
    For their review, the team searched Medline, PubMed, and EMBASE for the keywords ‘celiac disease,’ ‘celiac,’ ‘tissue transglutaminase antibody,’ ‘anti-endomysium antibody,’ ‘endomysial antibody,’ and ‘prevalence’ for studies published from January 1991 through March 2016. 
    The team cross-referenced each article with the words ‘Asia,’ ‘Europe,’ ‘Africa,’ ‘South America,’ ‘North America,’ and ‘Australia.’ They defined celiac diagnosis based on European Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition guidelines. The team used 96 articles of 3,843 articles in their final analysis.
    Overall global prevalence of celiac disease was 1.4% in 275,818 individuals, based on positive blood tests for anti-tissue transglutaminase and/or anti-endomysial antibodies. The pooled global prevalence of biopsy-confirmed celiac disease was 0.7% in 138,792 individuals. That means that numerous people with celiac disease potentially remain undiagnosed.
    Rates of celiac disease were 0.4% in South America, 0.5% in Africa and North America, 0.6% in Asia, and 0.8% in Europe and Oceania; the prevalence was 0.6% in female vs 0.4% males. Celiac disease was significantly more common in children than adults.
    This systematic review and meta-analysis showed celiac disease to be reported worldwide. Blood test data shows celiac disease rate of 1.4%, while biopsy data shows 0.7%. The prevalence of celiac disease varies with sex, age, and location. 
    This review demonstrates a need for more comprehensive population-based studies of celiac disease in numerous countries.  The 1.4% rate indicates that there are 91.2 million people worldwide with celiac disease, and 3.9 million are in the U.S.A.
    Source:
    Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018 Jun;16(6):823-836.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2017.06.037.