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Reaction to a Gluten Challenge

The following post if from Karoly Horvath, M.D., khorvath@POL.NET, who is one of the two directors of the celiac center at University of Maryland in Baltimore.

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Q: Does that mean I could be getting damage without knowing it because I have no obvious reaction?

A: Based on our studies a typical (biopsy proven flat mucosa, proved immune reactions to gluten) gluten intolerant patient does not react immediately with clinical symptoms for a gluten challenge (J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1989, 9:176-180). However, ingestion of GRAMS OF GLUTEN causes several changes in the intestine.

  • There is an accumulation of inflammatory cells
  • One cell type -so called mast cells- releases factors which factors in long-term damage the villi and they also release a factor which;
  • Increases the permeability -leakiness- of the intestine, which is a temporarily change after a single ingestion but may be permanent after repeat dietary mistakes.

Karoly Horvath, M.D., Ph.D., Baltimore

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