Lower gluten wheat being researched

by | G+ Amy Leger

WheatResearch in the area of treatment for folks with gluten-related disorders (in particular celiac disease) is big right now.  From creating a vaccine, to creating a pill that could help better tolerate gluten are all on the table.

But a researcher in Italy is taking a different approach…finding ways to make a lower gluten wheat — making it tolerable for people with  celiac disease.

This week, a report by PRI explained that scientist Carmen Lamacchia has patented a method to reduce the gluten content in wheat by 10 times, she says, making it more tolerable for people with celiac disease.  

She claims the wheat comes out at about 80 ppm of gluten, which is higher than the less-than-20-ppm rule in the US to label a product gluten free.  She told PRI, “The part [of the wheat] which is toxic, it’s, like, hidden. The enzyme in the celiac patient’s intestine won’t recognize this protein, and won’t activate the inflammatory process typical of the celiac patient.”

Alessio Fasano, MD, founder of Mass General’s Center for Celiac Research and Treatment told PRI he doesn’t believe folks with celiac disease will go for this product at 80 ppm of gluten.

Lamacchia explained that it’s the quality of the gluten that has changed, which is why, she says,  even 80 parts per million won’t elicit an autoimmune  response. 

Could Wheat be a Gluten Free Option Someday?

The research in this area has to start somewhere right?  Could Lamacchia’s modified 80 ppm wheat be step one?  Maybe step two or three or four gets us to an acceptable gluten content a few years down the road.

Other research has been done about wheat and whether any of it can ever be tolerable for someone with celiac disease:  

If scientists can get wheat down to under 20 ppm of gluten, would you use it? Feel free to comment below.

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3 Responses to “Lower gluten wheat being researched”

  1. I’m just at a loss as to why people outside the celiac community insist on trying to modify wheat so celiacs can eat it.

  2. Yeh sure it’s ’80ppm, but it won’t affect you, come on try it’, as even Dr. Fasano shakes his head.

  3. We keep messing with the food supply. The wheat we eat today is not what our parents ate/made with slow-rise yeast — pounding down the bread and letting it rise overnight. I don’t believe there’s any going back and anything science tries…tends to have consequences down the road. So no, I won’t use something less than 20 ppm because I suspect “something else” will have changed along with it, something we’ll find out about … later.

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