If you’re someone who gets sick from eating wheat, you likely point your finger at gluten as the culprit. Gluten sensitivity ranges from minor discomfort experienced after eating foods containing wheat to celiac disease, where reactions to eating wheat are severe and debilitating.
Even if wheat doesn’t bother you, you can’t have helped but notice the gluten-free craze that seems to have overtaken the nation in recent years. This is in part due to increased demand as a result of people self-diagnosing gluten intolerance and choosing to follow the same gluten-free diet as those diagnosed with celiac disease. Despite the fact that only 1% of the population has celiac disease, there are a lot more people who report experiencing negative effects after eating the grain. So why the discrepancy? What’s causing the discomfort they experience if not allergy?
Recent research presented at the 2016 United European Gastroenterology conference has finally offered an explanation as to why some people feel sick after eating wheat even though they aren’t allergic to gluten, and it has to do with a group of non-gluten proteins that can trigger symptoms of asthma, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain and more. Researchers tested a group of people without celiac disease and found that the symptoms they reported after consuming wheat weren’t just in their heads: The researchers found that their intestinal lining was damaged and that they had higher levels of inflammation.
The reason for this? A group of proteins called amylase-trypsin inhibitors (ATIs), a small group of wheat proteins that can cause negative reactions in the body similar to those triggered by gluten. The researchers found that consuming pure ATIs can trigger inflammation and worsen autoimmune conditions.
So if you’re someone who suffers from stomach aches and allergy-like symptoms after eating wheat products, you might finally know why.
Photo by lorenkerns