AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Could non-gluten proteins play a role in celiac disease?

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Gluten refers to the proteins found in wheat endosperm. Wheat endosperm is a type of tissue produced in seeds that’s ground to make flour.  It is composed of two different proteins: gliadin (a prolamin protein) and glutenin (a glutelin protein). Today, there are many questions being asked about whether we should be consuming gluten.

In today’s society, one of the new healthy trends is to be gluten free. However, for those with celiac disease, it is necessary to be gluten free. Celiac disease is a condition that damages the lining of the small intestine. It prevents the intestine from absorbing parts of food that are important for staying healthy. In this article, questions are raised regarding research that claims that people with celiac disease also have reactions to non-gluten proteins.

From research, scientists have discovered that when someone with celiac disease eats gluten (group of proteins), it causes an immune reaction. Such symptoms are diarrhea, abdominal pain, anemia, and nutritional deficiencies. The current treatments are to avoid all gluten-containing foods. Armin Alaedini, Susan B. Altenbach, and their colleagues wanted to further investigate this.  They found that people with celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis (a rash associated with the disease) had an immune reaction to five groups of non-gluten proteins. From this, Scientists concluded that further studies regarding celiac disease and gluten should test and include non-gluten proteins.

In addition, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the way to test for celiac disease is through a blood test and then a follow up biopsy on the small intestine. When people have celiac disease and it goes untreated, their body is not receiving the necessary nutrients in order for the body to grow.

I chose this article because I try to be extremely conscious of making healthy eating choices. I have found that a lot of foods don’t agree with me but bread/ gluten has never been a concern. I know people who have celiac disease and are gluten-free. However, I also know people who do not have celiac disease and eat a gluten-free diet anyway. In some cases, people who have done this have found that it damages their stomach and ruins their ability to eat gluten. I researched this topic because I wanted to learn the truth behind a gluten-free diet and when that diet is truly necessary and appropriate.

Are you gluten-free? Do you have celiac disease? Have you ever tried gluten-free products?

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  1. blevans1

    This is a really interesting topic. The gluten- free trend is so popular right now, but a lot of people don’t understand that some people really can’t eat gluten for purely medical reasons. So its really cool to finally understand the science behind celiac’s disease. I can eat gluten, but I do sometimes eat gluten free alternatives such as pretzels just because I like them better. I think that people who have gluten free diets without celiacs disease are just putting unnecessary restrictions on their diet that ultimately will not help them with weight loss. Here is another article on this topic:

  2. Lord of the blood cells

    Great topic mitokhandria! I also am very alert towards what is in the food I eat, since that food basically make up you. It’s funny how you say foods “don’t agree” with you. I definitely have foods that “don’t agree” with me either even though I don’t have Celiac’s disease. This shows how there are tons of areas for research on food you digest, despite having Celiac disease or not. Anyways, in terms of Celiac, these people are required to not eat gluten. If your body is easily able to digest gluten foods, then I think you shouldn’t alter your diet. Also, for the tons of people changing to a gluten-free diet (without having Celiac’s), it is important to not use gluten-free as a means for weight loss. Here’s on article on the issue:

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