Wheat Protein May Cause or Aggravate IBD, Other Chronic Health Conditions, Study Finds

Wheat Protein May Cause or Aggravate IBD, Other Chronic Health Conditions, Study Finds
Researchers have found that a wheat protein called amylase-trypsin inhibitors (ATIs) could be linked to the development of  inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other chronic health conditions, as well as non-celiac gluten sensitivity. These findings were recently presented at the United European Gastroenterology Week 2016 in Vienna. Many chronic health conditions are caused by dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors. Examples include IBD, an inflammatory condition of the colon and small intestine. Previous studies have shown a link between gluten, a mixture of proteins found in wheat and grains, and the recurrence of IBD symptoms. In this study, researchers found that ATIs -- which make up 4 percent or less of wheat proteins but can trigger powerful immune reactions in the gut -- could also be responsible for triggering inflammation and causing other chronic conditions outside the digestive system, such as the lymph nodes, kidneys, spleen, and brain. This protein can further aggravate symptoms of other inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, asthma, lupus, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. "As well as contributing to the development of bowel-related inflammatory conditions, we believe that ATIs can promote inflammation of other immune-related chronic conditions outside of the bowel," lead researcher and Prof. Detlef Schuppan from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany said in a press release. "The type of gut inflammation seen in non-celiac gluten sensitivity differs from that caused by celiac disease, and we do not believe that this is triggered by gluten proteins," Schuppan said.
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