It’s Not Just Gluten! Study Shows Other Wheat Proteins Worsen Inflammation and Disease

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By Heather Callaghan, Editor

Meet the new “gluten.” Revolutionary new study shows that other proteins in wheat cause inflammation in tissues beyond the gut, exacerbating chronic health issues…

Vienna scientists in a recent study have added credibility to the growing problem of Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS). Non-Celiac people who have removed wheat from their diet have reported improvements of health issues like eczema, headaches, joint pain and digestive issues. If you mention this to people, they are often quick to parrot the corporate-run news reports that only a certain number of of people have any issues with American wheat products. This is simply untrue and yet another study shows that it’s not just the gluten or pesticides like Roundup that are causing the Western world inflammatory health issues.

Recently, I summarized 10 issues plaguing American wheat causing it to be an obviously toxic food, whereas it used to adequately feed a nation. A few of them include breeding mainly quick-growing varieties like dwarf wheat, dousing pre-harvest wheat with toxic glyphosate to dry crops, radiating and chemically treating wheat seeds to cause mutagenesis, modern commercial baking methods which leave way more gluten and fumigants that are used to “gas” wheat stores in order to rid them of pests and mold. Those are just a few!

While researches were previously fixated on gluten and digestive issues, the following researchers turned their spotlight to a different group of wheat proteins and presented their new findings at United European Gastroenterology Week 2016.

The new finding showed that consuming the amylase-trypsin inhibitors (ATIs) in wheat can lead to the development of inflammation in tissues beyond the gut, including the lymph nodes, kidneys, spleen and brain. Evidence suggests that ATIs can worsen the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, asthma, lupus and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, as well as inflammatory bowel disease. ATIs make up no more than 4% of wheat proteins, but can trigger powerful immune reactions in the gut that can spread to other tissues in the body.

Lead researcher, Professor Detlef Schuppan from the Johannes Gutenberg University, Germany, explained:

As well as contributing to the development of bowel-related inflammatory conditions, we believe that ATIs can promote inflammation of other immune-related chronic conditions outside of the bowel. The type of gut inflammation seen in non-celiac gluten sensitivity differs from that caused by celiac disease, and we do not believe that this is triggered by gluten proteins. Instead, we demonstrated that ATIs from wheat, that are also contaminating commercial gluten, activate specific types of immune cells in the gut and other tissues, thereby potentially worsening the symptoms of pre-existing inflammatory illnesses.

ATIs and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

“We are hoping that this research can lead us towards being able to recommend an ATI-free diet to help treat a variety of potentially serious immunological disorders” adds Professor Schuppan.

Aside from inflaming chronic health conditions outside of the bowel, ATIs may contribute to the development of NCGS. This condition is now an accepted medical diagnosis for people who do not have celiac disease but benefit from a gluten free diet.

Professor Schuppan hopes that the research will also help to redefine non-celiac gluten sensitivity to a more appropriate term. He said,

Rather than non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, which implies that gluten solitarily causes the inflammation, a more precise name for the disease should be considered.

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Are there any forms of wheat that don’t have these issues?

I have no way of knowing if more traditional forms of wheat – like Einkorn – have these issues. But, Einkorn and sourdough bread tend to give gluten and wheat-sensitive people fewer issues especially if they are hand prepared and the grains were soaked. Traditionally prepared sourdough bread is said to have very little gluten but ATIs are only recently studied.

Further References:

1. Zevallos V, Weinmann-Menke J, Meineck M et al. Alpha-amylase/trypsin inhibitors (ATIs) accelerate murine systemic lupus erythematosus. Poster presentation at the 16th International Coeliac Disease Symposium, 21-24 June 2015, Prague, Czech Republic. Poster P168.

2. Zevallos V, Yogev N, Nikolaev A et al. Consumption of wheat alpha-amylase/trypsin inhibitors (ATIs) enhances experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in mice. Oral presentation at the 16th International Coeliac Disease Symposium, 21-24 June 2015, Prague, Czech Republic.

3. Junker Y, Zeissig S, Kim S-J et al. Wheat amylase trypsin inhibitors drive intestinal inflammation via activation of toll-like receptor 4. J Exp Med 2012;209(13):2395-408.

4. Fasano A, Sapone A, Zevallos V et al. Nonceliac gluten and wheat sensitivity. Gastroenterology 2015;148(6):1195-204.

5.Schuppan D, Pickert G, Ashfaq-Khan M et al. Non-celiac wheat sensitivity: Differential diagnosis, triggers and implications. Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol 2015;29(3):469-76.

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 Heather Callaghan is an independent researcher, writer, speaker and food freedom activist. She is the Editor and co-founder of NaturalBlaze. Get a nifty FREE eBook – Like at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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