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    Do Gluten-Removed Beers Have More Gluten Than Allowed?


    Jefferson Adams


    • Beers Crafted To Remove Gluten May Have Elevated Gluten Levels


    Image Caption: Photo: CC--Quinn Dombrowski

    Celiac.com 11/14/2017 - One reason conventional beers remain unsafe for people with celiac disease is that they contain gluten fragments that push the finished product over the 20ppm standard for gluten-free products. Such gluten fragments in conventional beers render them unsuitable for people with celiac disease.


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    There's been some confusion about the best ways to measure gluten levels in fermented foods and beverages. That confusion has prompted more confusion over the methods used to remove gluten from beers brewed with traditional barley. Are such beers gluten-free and safe for people with celiac disease?

    Many barley-based beers crafted to remove gluten use proprietary precipitation and/or enzymes, such as prolyl endopeptidases (PEP), that break down the gluten molecules. When these beers are tested for gluten using using competitive ELISA, the industry standard, they often test under 20 mg/kg, which is deemed safe for people with celiac disease. But are those tests accurate? Do the products the 20 ppm standard for gluten-free?

    A team of researchers recently set out to assess such results using liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis. The research team included Michelle L. Colgrave, Keren Byrne, and Crispin A. Howitt. They are affiliated with CSIRO Agriculture and Food in Australia.

    The team's analyses showed gluten peptides derived from hydrolyzed fragments, many >30 kDa in size. This may render gluten levels above 20 ppm in the final product. As expected, the team found various types of barley gluten in all conventional beers they analyzed. However, they also found gluten fragments in some gluten-removed beers.

    This indicates that gluten breakdown was incomplete in some commercial gluten-removed beers. Furthermore, the research team was able to spot the peptides that made up the unbroken gluten fragments. They suggest that these results may warrant further optimization of PEP gluten reduction methods in commercial settings. Since most manufacturers place a heavy premium on product quality, I would look for brewers to use this kind of information to improve their gluten-reduction processes going forward.

    We clearly need to learn more about the scope of the potential issue. These analyses were made using liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. Because they make precise measurements of small amounts of things, they are not practical for analyzing commercial products. 

    So, we definitely need a better way to measure gluten levels in fermented products, since current methods can provide inaccurate results.

    What does this all mean for people with celiac disease?

    Obviously traditional beers beers with gluten levels over 20 ppm are best avoided. Gluten-free beers are likely fine. For celiacs who tolerate gluten-removed beers, there's little reason to change. If you have a favorite brand that works for you, that's likely okay.

    However, based on these findings, there is reason to be vigilant when trying a new gluten-removed beer.

    We advise people to follow their gut when consuming any product labeled gluten-free or gluten-reduced. As always, choose your products carefully. Even trusted products can change, or have something wrong with them from time to time. It's good practice to avoid any product seems to upset your stomach or trigger symptoms.

    Also, if you think a food labeled gluten-free is contaminated, by all means, report it to the FDA, and consider reporting it to the manufacturer.

    Lastly, it seems that manufacturers may want to take a closer look at their brewing process and their final product to be sure that gluten levels are under 20ppm.

    In the meantime, stay tuned for more developments on this and related stories.

    Source:

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    My own experience with stuttering is limited. I stuttered as a child when I became nervous, upset, or self-conscious. Although I have been gluten free for many years, I haven’t noticed any impact on my inclination to stutter when upset. I don’t know if they are related, but I have also had challenges with speaking when distressed and I have noticed a substantial improvement in this area since removing gluten from my diet. Nonetheless, I have long wondered if there is a connection between gluten consumption and stuttering. Having done the research for this article, I would now encourage stutterers to try a gluten free diet for six months to see if it will reduce or eliminate their stutter. Meanwhile, I hope that some investigator out there will research this matter, publish her findings, and start the ball rolling toward getting some definitive answers to this question.
    Sources:
    1. Toft M, Dietrichs E. Aggravated stuttering following subthalamic deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease--two cases. BMC Neurol. 2011 Apr 8;11:44.
    2. Tani T, Sakai Y. Stuttering after right cerebellar infarction: a case study. J Fluency Disord. 2010 Jun;35(2):141-5. Epub 2010 Mar 15.
    3. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    4. Jäncke L, Hänggi J, Steinmetz H. Morphological brain differences between adult stutterers and non-stutterers. BMC Neurol. 2004 Dec 10;4(1):23.
    5. Kell CA, Neumann K, von Kriegstein K, Posenenske C, von Gudenberg AW, Euler H, Giraud AL. How the brain repairs stuttering. Brain. 2009 Oct;132(Pt 10):2747-60. Epub 2009 Aug 26.
    6. Galantucci S, Tartaglia MC, Wilson SM, Henry ML, Filippi M, Agosta F, Dronkers NF, Henry RG, Ogar JM, Miller BL, Gorno-Tempini ML. White matter damage in primary progressive aphasias: a diffusion tensor tractography study. Brain. 2011 Jun 11.
    7. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    8. [No authors listed] Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Weekly clinicopathological exercises. Case 43-1988. A 52-year-old man with persistent watery diarrhea and aphasia. N Engl J Med. 1988 Oct 27;319(17):1139-48
    9. Molteni N, Bardella MT, Baldassarri AR, Bianchi PA. Celiac disease associated with epilepsy and intracranial calcifications: report of two patients. Am J Gastroenterol. 1988 Sep;83(9):992-4.
    10. http://ezinearticles.com/?Food-Allergy-and-Stuttering-Link&id=1235725 
    11. http://www.craig.copperleife.com/health/stuttering_allergies.htm 
    12. https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/73362-any-help-is-appreciated/
    13. Ford RP. The gluten syndrome: a neurological disease. Med Hypotheses. 2009 Sep;73(3):438-40. Epub 2009 Apr 29.
    14. Hadjivassiliou M, Gibson A, Davies-Jones GA, Lobo AJ, Stephenson TJ, Milford-Ward A. Does cryptic gluten sensitivity play a part in neurological illness? Lancet. 1996 Feb 10;347(8998):369-71.

    Jefferson Adams
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    Source:
    Journal of Clinical Pathologyhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jclinpath-2018-205023