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  • Scott Adams

    Is Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein Gluten-Free and Safe for Celiacs?

    Scott Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Hydrolyzed protein is gluten-free and safe for celiac diets.

    Image: CC PDM 1.0--watts_photos
    Caption: Image: CC PDM 1.0--watts_photos

    Celiac.com 07/24/2020 - In the U.S., hydrolyzed plant protein is gluten-free, safe for people with celiac disease, and appears on Celiac.com's list of Safe Gluten-Free Ingredients. All hydrolyzed plant protein is gluten-free, including soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, autolyzed plant protein, hydrolyzed oat flour and textured protein. 

    Hydrolyzed Protein is Gluten-Free. Other names and abbreviations for hydrolyzed vegetable protein include:

    • HPP 
    • HVP 
    • Hydrolyzed Plant Protein 
    • Hydrolyzed Protein 
    • Hydrolyzed Soy Protein
    • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein

    Hydrolyzed Protein is MSG

    For some people, the problem is that any form of hydrolyzed vegetable protein, animal protein or plant protein, contains MSG. This includes any ingredient listed as hydrolyzed, protein-fortified, ultra-pasteurized, fermented or enzyme-modified, which either contain MSG, or produce free glutamic acid in manufacturing. 

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    Even though it's gluten-free and safe for celiac diets, MSG can cause adverse reactions in some people, with symptoms including, facial numbness or pressure, rapid heart beat, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, headache, sweating, shortness of breath, or burning sensations in various parts of the body. For this reason, many people prefer to avoid MSG. 

    Edited by Scott Adams

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    On 7/26/2020 at 11:36 AM, trents said:

    Whey is a dairy product, not from plants I think.

    Thanks for pointing that out. I was going to say the same thing. It also should be noted that whey is EXTREMELY unhealthy. Dairy is among the worst things that anyone can eat, and things like whey and casein are MUCH worse than milk as they are unnatural concentrations. There is a huge overlap between gluten and dairy sensitivities/allergies, so it would be nice if Celiac.com would start promoting dairy-free eating.

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    Whey and and casein are naturally found in dairy products. But yes, they are isolated and concentrated in some products such as protein powders and health shakes.

    It is not uncommon for Celiacs to be intolerant to dairy or have other reactions to it but that doesn't mean these things are bad for everyone. Dairy is packed with nutrition and is a good choice for most people. It's like meat in that sense. You can find all kinds of contrary opinions on the internet but they don't necessary reflect mainstream science or medicine.

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    13 hours ago, Rakdan said:

    There is a huge overlap between gluten and dairy sensitivities/allergies, so it would be nice if Celiac.com would start promoting dairy-free eating.

    Actually, that might make things confusing for folks who are strictly looking for Celiac info. 


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    So my question is this:  You say that HVP (and all other variations of the abbreviation) are gluten-free in the the States.  But what about when I shop in an Asian grocery?  

    Are those HVP+ items also gluten-free?  Are those products that contain gluten-containing HVP+ not permitted to be imported to the US... Or does shopping in an Asian grocery throw all of the rules out the window? 

    I've been working in a Asian restaurants for nearly 20 yrs... Celiac for over 10 yrs. (Don't get me started on trying to explain non-deadly allergies to the staff!)  I take my dinner to work--in a restaurant!!!--almost every day because I never know what I can or cannot eat.  Where I live, my closest grocery/bodega is a small, family-owned Asian market just a few blocks away. It would be super nice to know what I should and should not purchase when I'm there. It's currently about 25% of my grocery shopping, and I would love it to be more, if that's possible, because they're really great people!

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    20 hours ago, trents said:

    Twenty years ago, it would be hard to find a doctor that did not promote dairy. Today, many doctors, perhaps the majority, agree that dairy is bad for everyone. It increases the risk for many diseases. The calcium in dairy is not retained in the body. Some say that eating dairy actually lowers calcium. There are no benefits from milk that cannot be derived from safer food.


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    9 hours ago, sc'Que? said:


    I am just saying that dairy should not be promoted. For instance, many of the recipes given should be dairy free. You also have to keep in mind that anyone suffering from intestinal issues (e.g., chronic diarrhea) is generally told to avoid gluten and dairy, even if test for these foods come back negative, if the cause of the problem is not known. People that have gluten issues should not eat dairy unless they are sure that they have no intolerance or allergy, and people with dairy issues should not eat gluten unless they are sure that they have no issues. By being sure, I mean that they avoid one of the two, and their symptoms go away completely. You can never be 100% sure.

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    Rakdan, I don't disagree with your notions of what to avoid. But I also think that Celiac<dot>com should make sure that the primary focus is GLUTEN science, so that things do not get further diluted. 

    By your very logic... Folks who are initially trying to pinpoint whether it's a gluten issue will often experience reactions to yeast--including fresh fruit, wine (which is certainly gluten-free) and other items because the body can develop an inflammatory response yeast itself (which includes molds like you'd find in cheese... as well as in gluten-free baked goods because  sometimes the body wants to conflate all yeasty microbes as "bad".  Fresh fruit for the same reasons. Sugar because yeast feeds on sugar, and sometimes a gut imbalance can tip the scales to create a positive environment for non-beneficial microbial growth--of which there are so many potential CANDIDAtes! 

    While you are correct that Celiac<dot>com should VERY MUCH help educate folks on the possible/likelihoods of secondary, "piggyback" infections/reactions... I think it's incredibly important that Celiac<dot>com does not compromise it's primary mission.



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    Eric, I agree with everything that you said. Especially since dairy issues are more correlated with gluten issues than any other allergen is, I would simply have liked to have seen a statement that hydrolyzed whey protein is gluten free, so it is safe for anyone who can tolerate dairy. i would not expect a similar statement if the allergen was peanuts, for instance, since I am not aware of any correlation between peanuts and gluten. After all, the article does mention MSG, and that is not gluten, though I assume that there is a high correlation between MSG and gluten as well.

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    This article was updated on 08/03/2020 to remove "whey protein, whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate," since they are not HVP.

    Also, Celiac.com is not a dairy-free site, and focuses on celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. A vast majority, including myself, have temporary casein intolerance until their villi are healed, and can tolerate diary fine afterwards. For those who don't fall into this category there are many sites out there dedicated to casein and dairy-free eating.

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  • About Me

    Scott Adams 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. In 1995 he launched the site that later became Celiac.com to help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives.  He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of the (formerly paper) newsletter Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. Celiac.com does not sell any products, and is 100% advertiser supported.

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