Fermented Wheat Safe for Celiacs Sufferers?
People with celiacs disease must avoid wheat in all of its forms- from bulgur to semolina, even soy sauce and some sausages have gluten. But news that fermented wheat flour may be safe for celiacs is spreading fast.
According to a new study, the results of which are published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, patients showed no gluten toxicity after 60 days of eating 200 grams per day of baked goods containing the fermented wheat flour.
For the purposes of this study, the wheat was fermented with sourdough lactobacilli and fungal proteases–thus decreasing the gluten.
This fermented wheat becomes hydrolyzed wheat flour.
- Six of the patients were fed foods containing natural (unfermented) flour, which contains roughly 80,000 ppm gluten.
- Two were fed foods containing extensively hydrolyzed flour with a residual gluten content of about 2,500 ppm.
- Five were fed foods containing fully hydrolyzed flour containing only 8 ppm residual gluten.
Two of the patients from the first, natural flour, group stopped the study due to adverse reactions. The two who ate the extensively hydrolyzed die had no clinical complaints, but biopsy revealed intestinal damage. The last group, the fully hydrolyzed flour patients, had no clinical complaints and there was no intestinal damage.
“This is the first time that a wheat flour-derived product is shown to not be toxic after being given to celiac patients for 60 days,” said Dr Luigi Greco, of the University of Napes, Italy, lead author of the study.
Although this is very promising news for many people who have celiacs, more research must be done. Though 60 days has been the standard for evaluating gluten-toxicity for most patients, the study authors acknowledge that it is not long enough for all. Longer trials are in the works now.
Do you have celiacs? Are you rushing off to make sourdough or sticking with oat and sorghum loaf?
Photo by the author