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Study Shows Quinoa Safe for Celiac Patients

Celiac.com 02/26/2014 - Quinoa is a highly nutritious plant from the South America that is often recommended by doctors as part of a gluten-free diet. However, some laboratory data suggests that quinoa prolamins can trigger innate and adaptive immune responses in celiac patients, and thus might not be safe for celiacs to eat.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons--Michael HermannTo better examine this issue, a team of researchers set out to evaluate the real-life effects of quinoa consumption in adult patients with celiac disease. The research team included Alberto Caminero, Alexandra R. Herrán, Esther Nistal, Jenifer Pérez-Andrés, Luis Vaquero, Santiago Vivas, José María G. Ruiz de Morales, Silvia M. Albillos, and Javier Casqueiro.

They are variously affiliated with the Instituto de Biología Molecular, Genómica y Proteómica (INBIOMIC), and the Instituto de Biomedicina (IBIOMED) Campus de Vegazana at the Universidad de León, the Área de Microbiología, Facultad de Biología y Ciencias Ambientales at the Universidad de León, the Departamento de Inmunología y Gastroenterología of the Hospital de León, and the Instituto de Biotecnología (INBIOTEC) de León, all in León, Spain.

The researchers looked at 19 treated celiac patients who ate 50 g of quinoa every day for 6 weeks as part of their regular gluten-free diet. The team evaluated diet, serology, and gastrointestinal parameters, and made histological assessments of 10 patients, bot before and after they consumed quinoa.

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The team found normal gastrointestinal parameters. They also noticed that the ratio of villus height to crypt depth improved from slightly below normal values (2.8:1) to normal levels (3:1), surface-enterocyte cell height improved from 28.76 to 29.77 μm and the number of intra-epithelial lymphocytes per 100 enterocytes decreased from 30.3 to 29.7.

Results for all the blood tests remained within normal ranges, although total cholesterol (n=19) decreased from 4.6 to 4.3 mmol/l, low-density lipoprotein decreased from 2.46 to 2.45 mmol/l, high-density lipoprotein decreased from 1.8 to 1.68 mmol/l and triglycerides decreased from 0.80 to 0.79 mmol/l.

The results show that quinoa is well tolerated by celiac patients and does not worsen the condition. In fact, patients saw a general improvement histological and serological results, along with a mild reduction in blood pressure.

Overall, this is the first clinical data to indicate that celiac patients can safely tolerate up to 50 g of quinoa daily for 6 weeks. However, the team points out the need for further studies to determine the long-term effects of quinoa consumption.

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2 Responses:

 
Linda
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said this on
03 Mar 2014 4:35:50 PM PDT
An interesting study. Would like to know which type of quinoa they studied. As a Celiac, I am able to eat the white quinoa but the red quinoa gives me a severe gluten reaction. So I eat the white occasionally and the red-never

 
jennifer
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said this on
06 Mar 2014 8:26:15 AM PDT
Interesting, I just tested for quinoa with an allergy test and it came back clear, but I get the same result with my stomach bloating and pain after I eat it, as I do for gluten. That was white quinoa, I will try red.




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you're lucky you dont catch colds. im the opposite i catch everything very easily and get alot sicker than whoever i caught it from and take much longer to get better.

Even one positive can be diagnostic. This is one: Gliadin deamidated peptide IgG 33.9. If unsure, a biopsy of the small intestine will provide definite confirmation. There is a control test to validate the other ones, but I don't see it there. What is does is validate the others by checking on the overall antibody levels. But it is to detect possible false negatives. A positive is a positive. I think your daughter has joined our club.

My daughter, almost 7 years old, recently had a lot of blood work done, her Dr is out of the office, but another Dr in the practice said everything looked normal. I'm waiting for her Dr to come back and see what she thinks. I'm concerned because there is one abnormal result and I can't find info to tell me if just that one test being abnormal means anything. The reason for the blood work is mainly because of her poor growth, though she does have some other symptoms. IgA 133 mg/dl Reference range 33-200 CRP <2.9 same as reference range Gliadin Deamidated Peptide IgA .4 Reference range <=14.9 Gliadin deamidated peptide IgG 33.9 Reference range <=14.9 TTG IgA .5 Reference range <=14.9 TTG IgG <.8 Reference range <=14.9

Just watch out. I just went to the expo in Schaumburg, IL, and ended up getting glutened. I realized afterward that I ate all these samples thinking they were gluten free, and they weren't. One company was advertising some sugar, and had made some cake, but then I realized.... How do I know if this contains any other ingredients that might have gluten? Did they make it with a blender or utensils that had gluten contamination? Makes me realize the only safe things would be packaged giveaways with gluten free labeling. My fault for not thinking things through. It was just too exciting thinking i could try it all and enjoy without worry.

No fasting required for a celiac blood test unless they were checking your blood glucose levels during the same blood draw.