More Gluten In New Wheat Probably Not Responsible For Increase In Celiac Disease
Donald D. Kasarda cites evidence that the incidence of celiac disease increased during the second half of the 20th century. Some estimates indicate that the disease is 4 times more common today. Also known as gluten intolerance, celiac disease occurs when gluten, a protein in wheat, barley and rye, damages the lining of the small intestine, causing a variety of symptoms. Nobody knows why the disease is increasing. One leading explanation suggests that it results from wheat breeding that led to production of wheat varieties containing higher levels of gluten.
Kasarda's Perspective article examined the scientific evidence for that hypothesis and found that gluten levels in various varieties have changed little on average since the 1920s. Overall gluten consumption, however, has increased due to other factors. One involves increased consumption of a food additive termed "vital gluten," which has tripled since 1977. Vital gluten is a food additive made from wheat flour, and it is added to various food products to improve their characteristics, such as texture. Overall consumption of wheat flour also has increased, so that people in 2000 consumed 2.9 pounds more gluten annually than in 1970, nearly a 25 percent increase.
Source: EurekAlert!, the online, global news service operated by AAAS, the science society
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
American Chemical Society. "More Gluten In New Wheat Probably Not Responsible For Increase In Celiac Disease." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 9 Feb. 2013. Web.
31 Aug. 2016. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/256016.php>
American Chemical Society. (2013, February 9). "More Gluten In New Wheat Probably Not Responsible For Increase In Celiac Disease." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
Contact our news editors
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please see our contact page.
Copyright Medical News Today: Excluding email/sharing services explicitly offered on this website, material published on Medical News Today may not be reproduced, or distributed without the prior written permission of Medilexicon International Ltd. Please contact us for further details.