We’ve all heard of the negative health impact wheat gliadin (the protein found in wheat and other grains) can have on those individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, but could it be that wheat may have a deleterious effect on all of us across the board? As far back as 2007, a study was published in the GUT journal that arrived at that very conclusion. All participants in the study, regardless of whether or not they had celiac disease, experienced immunoreactive effects after consuming wheat. The study goes on to state that perhaps all humans have an intolerance to wheat gliadin, therefore making wheat an intrinsically unhealthy food or “metabolically incompatible food”. This, of course, flies in the face of conventional wisdom, which has always touted the health benefits of wheat consumption.
We also must remember that the inflammatory damage that can occur as a result wheat gliadin consumption reaches far beyond the more obvious intestinal issues. It may also manifest as joint pain, migraines, anemia or psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and dementia. Gluten may even trigger autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. It gives us something to think about before we grab that piece of wheat toast in the morning or sub sandwich at lunch time.
1 Mustalahti, K., P. Holopainen, K. Karell, M. Maki, J. Partanen, “Genetic Dissection
Between Silent and Clinically Diagnosed Symptomatic Forms of Coeliac Disease in
Multiplex Families”, Digestive and Liver Disease, Amsterdam: Elsevier BV, 2002,