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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Meat Glue Ingredient Triggers Symptoms in Celiacs and Could Promote Disease

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      An enzyme used to glue together meat, fish and other foods is a potential danger for celiacs, says a new study.


    Caption: Image: CC--36th Chamber

    Celiac.com 01/10/2019 - Microbial transglutaminase is an enzyme that is commonly used by food manufacturers to improve product quality and increase shelf life. Transglutaminase is commonly used in the meat industry to add value to meat by allowing smaller pieces of meat, fish, or meat product to be glued together. The result is a large chunk of virtually intact piece of meat or fish that looks like a single chunk. Transglutaminase is rarely labeled and usually invisible to consumers. 

    According to the food website, Delishably, “"Meat glue" is industry standard, and chances are if you eat meat, or even tofu, you're consuming this binding agent on a monthly, if not weekly, basis.”

    Because it is functionally similar to the tTg, microbial transglutaminase acts like glue, binding gliadin peptides together to form neo-complexes that trigger an immune response, and may also trigger a pathogenic response in people with celiac disease. 

    Even when it lacks sequence identity, microbial transglutaminase functionally mimics endogenous tissue transglutaminase, which researchers understand to be an autoantigen of celiac disease and a key actor in genesis and progression of celiac disease. 

    A team of researchers recently set out to review the effects of microbial transglutaminase in children with celiac disease. Researchers Matthias Torsten and Lerner Aaron are affiliated with AESKU, KIPP Institute, Wendelsheim, Germany, and the Rappaport School of Medicine at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel.

    In their review, they report on the enzyme’s characteristics, exogenous intestinal sources, its ability to cross-link to gluten or gliadin, and to thus turn seemingly harmless proteins into disease triggering ones. 

    Their report relays several observations about the immunogenicity of microbial transglutaminase cross-linked complexes in celiac patients, as well as summarizing their pathogenicity, and highlighting possible risks for the gluten dependent conditions. Their stated hope is to promote additional research into the mechanics and disease-triggering channels underlying the gliadin cross linked enzyme and its promotion of celiac disease.

    The team anticipates that corroboration of their observations could reveal a new environmental trigger for the initiation of celiac disease. They are calling for further study, particularly of the physical mechanics of the process.

    The team’s research could lead to new understandings of the genesis of celiac disease in certain patients. Such a development would be very helpful to celiac disease research and understanding, in general, and could lead to new diagnosis and treatment options in the future.

    Sources:


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    Please tell me what meat would be safe? Also where do we get it? Seems like everyday something new comes out about this horrible disease that prevents even more of a normal life. We are so limited with what we can eat and yet so many think this is a fad that I am quiet about having Celiacs and so frustrated when I shop. If I ever win the lottery I will have a chef that knows everything about Celiacs and will do all my shopping/cooking for me! ;) At least I can still daydream!

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    I’m with you Jeannie.  I have Celiac disease as well as being lactose intolerance. It’s getting harder & harder to figure out what’s good for us or not. With all these  unneccasry additives & processes , eating is a real chore.   The chef sounds a great option.🍷🍷

     

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    Would this be in ground beef? If so, this would help explain why Celiac disease and gluten intolerance is so provelent today.

    My son has Celiac disease while his older sister is gluten intolerant.

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    I was just diagnosed in October of last year and am in the learning stages.  How do we know what meat is safe?  I do lean meats, when I do have meat.  The chef you dream about would be a great option and would take winning the lottery!  Thankful for the information on this, but makes celiac even a bit more scary!

     

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    This is so sad. The consumers so called needs for bigger products are causing us harm. I have been attempting to only eat organic. It is more expensive but I am tired of being sick and tired of the celiac rash. The question is do they glue the organic meats as well?

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    My husband has celiac and it’s hard to find actually labeled thing but Walmart has so many of there brand  are gluten free sour cream cheese tomato sauce diced tomatoes Jenni-o lean turkey patties are labeled also a lot of there seasoning are gluten-free labeled now skippy peanut butter is labeled Quaker Oats oatmeal have gluten-free one one protein bars are also gluten-free and silk almond milk gluten-free

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    I can't speak for meat. I do know I have had 3 scallops in my life ever and I react immediately gi wise to them. I was reacting to scallop long before my diagnosis. I have no seafood, mollusks, scallop allergy. Low and behold when the Dr. that diagnosed me went over my scallop issue, she explained that sometimes a scallop is made from smaller pieces and bound/glued together and it likely was my issue with them. I voluntarily gave up scallops 3 scallops bites before. She didn't name it by name, but likely this is what she was referring to in my case.

    Good luck all.

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    This is the time to talk to your butcher.  Yes, even in the big grocery stores, you can actually talk to the store butchers. For example, I shop for my meat at Costco or at an old-fashioned butcher shop.    My butchers there do not use meat glue.  They also do not “stuff” porkchops with gluten either.  However, they can not vouch for meat that is processed in a factory.  You would have to call the factory’s (companies) directly.  If you do not have confidence in your store butcher, take your business elsewhere.  

    Eating out is a different story.  Be wary and talk to the head chef.  

    I just ate a delicious cheese, avocado, lettuce wrapped, burger shaped by my hands from ground beef I purchased from Costco (and not in a factory “tube” — what is in that stuff?  Who ground it?).  I am a repeat biopsy-confirmed, HEALED celiac.  

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    quote from article on meat glue(I put link to article at bottom of page)

    "If you want to avoid consuming foods that contain transglutaminase, it’s best to choose whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible.

    Be sure to refrain from the following foods:

    • Manufactured chicken nuggets
    • Products containing “formed” or “reformed” meat
    • Foods that contain "TG enzyme," "enzyme" or "TGP enzyme"
    • Fast food
    • Manufactured poultry pieces, sausages, bacon crumbles and hot dogs
    • Imitation seafood

    According to the USDA website, transglutaminase must be listed in the product ingredients.

    To ensure that your diet is transglutaminase-free, choose high-quality ingredients, such as locally raised, grass-fed meat and poultry, and cook most of your meals at home to know exactly what you’re putting into your body."

    https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/transglutaminase#bottom-line

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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