Monday, January 28, 2013

‘Altered’ Wheat Flour Tolerated by Celiacs

The dream of being able to eat wheat with impunity (no harm occurring), is one everyone with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity shares. Will it ever become a reality? Personally, I’m not sure, but it is exciting to hear about developing research in the area.

Recently the journal of Clinical & Developmental Immunology published an article entitled, “Reintroduction of Gluten Following Flour Transamidation in Adult Celiac Patients: A Randomized, Controlled Clinical Study”. Let’s define that word ‘transamidation’ – it simply means the process of transferring an amide group from one molecule to another. An amide group contains carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen and it’s found in gluten.

In the study, a total of 47 celiacs who were following a gluten-free diet and doing well, were put into two groups. The control group consisted of 12 individuals who were fed traditional gluten-containing wheat flour. The other 35 celiacs made up the experimental group who were fed the transamidated wheat flour.

The results were as follows:

Fifteen days after the start of the study, a full 75% of the control group (eating gluten) had a clinical relapse. They had symptoms return and their blood work showed inflammation consistent with damage caused by gluten. The experimental group however, showed a 37% relapse, less than half of that seen in the control.

Ninety days into the study, 100% of the control group had relapsed. Certainly not a surprising result considering a known celiac is receiving gluten on a daily basis. Perhaps the only surprise is that it took that long for everyone to react. However, the experimental group fared much better. At the end of 90 days only 60% of them had relapsed.

Obviously this is a far from perfect outcome and I would never recommend to anyone that they consume such a flour, even if it was commercially available, which it is not. But having a full 40% of known celiacs consume this flour for 90 days with no perceptible reaction IS a nice step towards our dream of a less restricted diet.

The problem, of course, is being able to know in advance, who would tolerate this flour well. Further, what would happen if the test had continued for up to 6 months? Would more reactions be seen?

What about autoimmune reactions that can be silent for many years? Would this deamidated flour cause changes at that level, silently moving people towards autoimmune disease?

I would certainly want to know the answers to all these questions should the day come when such a flour became available for general consumption.

We are not yet at that point, but it’s interesting to contemplate should the day arise.
In the interim, we can enjoy our healthy, gluten-free diets and know that we are not playing Russian roulette with our health.

Please let me know if you have any questions. If your health is less than ideal, consider calling us for a free health analysis. Our destination clinic treats patients from across the country and internationally. You don’t need to live locally to receive help.
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I look forward to hearing from you.

To your good health,
Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN, CFMP

IFM Certified Practitioner

Founder of Root Cause Medical Clinic
Co-author of “The Gluten Effect”

Author of the eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You!”

“Reintroduction of Gluten Following Flour Transamidation in Adult Celiac Patients: A Randomized, Controlled Clinical Study”.
Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 329150, 10 pages
Mazzarella et al.


Lisa Roper said...

What about the clinical trials going on for the immunology drug that if taken twice/three times a day allows you to eat anything a person without celiac can eat? I've heard of studies going on in several states. Would love to know of the drugs are working and if it may be made available to those outside of the studies.

The HealthNOW Doctors said...

@ Lisa Roper -
It's a common misconception that the celiac drug trials would allow a celiac or gluten sensitive person to eat gluten as much as an unaffected individual. That is not the case. These drugs are being developed to help prevent the dangerous, life-shortening immune response from occurring when some minor cross-contamination occurs in the diet.
These drugs are only trying to lessen the response to minor contamination - not outright cheating.

At least that's the current state of things.