Study Discovers Real Cause of Gluten Sensitivity
Hint: It's not the gluten, findings suggest
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jul 1, 2013 10:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – If you're one of the millions cutting gluten out of your diet on the theory that it causes bloating, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal unpleasantness—even though you don't have the relatively rare celiac disease—you might be interested in a new study indicating that the gluten isn't the problem. Researchers at the University of Guttenberg studied the immune responses to various types of wheat, and discovered that so-called "gluten sensitivity" was actually linked to a specific protein that naturally repels insects and is found in greater amounts in "high-output" wheat, the Local reports.

Industrial farms have increasingly been growing Adenosine Triphosphate Amylase-rich crops to bump up their output, a trend that could explain the growth in gluten sensitivity. But the study's lead author cautioned that his study wasn't definitive. "The whole thing is very new," he says. "We need more data from clinical trials to deduce the consequences for patients."

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Study Discovers Real Cause of Gluten Sensitivity is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 41 comments
Jul 3, 2013 11:24 AM CDT
Kevin — The author seems to be a bit confused. The actual protein is called "amylase trypsin inhibitor", and while it is plausible that this might play a role in gluten sensitivity, this has not been demonstrated. A more detailed discussion can be found at: Peter Olins, PhD
Jul 2, 2013 7:51 AM CDT
Guess maybe this is why my homemade bread with organic flour doesn't cause the problems, for me, that store bought bread does.
Jul 2, 2013 3:27 AM CDT
I don't get this.The energy cycle in human mitochondria is ATP to ADP and back. The amylase is a calcium dependent enzyme which hydrolyzes complex carbohydrates at alpha 1,4-linkages to form maltose and glucose. It's in pretty much every cell we have - it's THE fuel cycle. The body breaks this loose all the time; we use it a lot. So how come the simple addition of this enzyme to the most common fuel source for our cells is causing problems? Doesn't make a lot of sense.Also, something that people don't realize is that the wheat we're using ISN'T WHEAT. There was a chemist in, I believe the early 1900s who did something that altered the DAN of the plant so that farmers got ten times the cop per acreage, not realizing that it was no longer wheat. It had 1/5 the protein that it used to have, and I think it had a different form of gluten. It's now a wheat-like WEED, and people do have a lot of stomach and intestinal reactions to it. Of course it's contaminated ALL wheat now, and that's that. Another triumph - perhaps the first - for GMOs. Ian