grain free

Many gluten free products use corn as an assumed safe grain substitute.  Are you buying into this myth?

A Study published in the journal Gut identified that corn gluten caused an inflammatory reaction in patients with celiac disease.

“The observation that corn gluten challenge induced an abnormal NO reaction in some of our patients with CD is intriguing as maize is considered safe and is recommended as the substitute cereal in a gluten free diet.”


Gut. 2005; 54:769-774.

Gluten Free Society’s Stance

Does corn have gluten? Corn is a grain. Corn has gluten. Many believe that corn gluten does not induce damage the same way that wheat, barley, and rye do. The fact of the matter is, gluten has not been studied adequately. Most of what we know about celiac disease and gluten have to do with gliadin (the gluten found in wheat only). As a nutritionist with over 10 years of experience guiding those with gluten sensitivity, I have seen corn be a severe problem for the majority of gluten intolerant patients. Many claim that they don’t react to corn and feel fine after eating it. The same can be said of those with silent celiac disease. Remember that a lack of symptoms does not mean that internal damage is not occurring. All of that being said, we should not make assumptions. Common sense and intelligent thought should be used as a basis for our dietary decisions. Gluten aside, consider the following about corn:

  1. It is the second most commonly genetically modified food on the planet (soy is #1)
  2. Genetic modification of foods continues to kill animals in scientific studies.
  3. It is an incomplete protein.
  4. It is difficult for humans to digest (ever see corn in your stool?)
  5. It is high in calories and low in nutrient value
  6. It is a new food to the human genome.
  7. It is being used as a staple food for our cattle, fish, chicken, and cars.
  8. Cows and fish are not designed to eat grain.  (Have you ever seen a fish jump out of a lake into a corn field for supper?)
  9. When animals eat corn as a staple they have shorter life spans.
  10. Corn fed beef is linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.  Grass fed beef is not.
  11. Fructose derived from corn is toxic to the liver and contributes to severe health issues.
  12. Corn syrup has mercury in it.
  13. The list can go on and on and on…

Many consumers bow to the alter of “Gluten Free” packaged foods as if the label is a safety net. “Gluten Free” on the package does not mean that the food is healthy. Do not deny yourself the God given right to be healthy.

Corn Gluten and Grain Free

Remember, corn has gluten. The gluten in corn has not been adequately studied.  Many studies to date have shown that corn induces inflammatory damage in those with gluten sensitivity. Almost half of all celiac patients don’t get better on a wheat, rye, and barley free diet. Is their a link between corn and refractory celiac disease? At this point in time we do not know for sure, but 10 years of clinical experience with gluten intolerant patients reacting to corn is enough data for me.

If we really want to live the gluten free way, then it is best to be grain free even if it is corn gluten. While everyone has to do their own research please consider all the facts mentioned above about corn gluten.

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29 thoughts on “Corn Gluten Damages Celiac Patients

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  4. Vivian Westfall says:

    Corn has been a very serious problem in our family. According to our pediatrician, corn and dairy rank as the top two for behavioral problems, then gluten. As you mention, there are many, many things wrong with corn, the least of which is its poor nutritional value. What we and society should be teaching our children is to focus on nourishing their bodies and their minds. If you focus on nourishing foods, you wouldn’t eat corn and wheat anyway. My 3 year old has been GF since 5 weeks old when I cut oatmeal out of my diet. She loves foods like quinoa, teff, and amaranth. She is small and in an evaluation a pediatrician suspected her size was related to her “restriction diet”. What garbage that is. Obviously she knew nothing about the nutritional value of alternative foods. Really, focusing on nutrition provides all the answers. I look forward to the day when the rest of society gets it. How many kids with autism will there be before the rest of the world “gets it”?

    • Wendy says:

      There is nothing wrong with having autism. We won’t be erased. We have a right to live too, and not be seen as bad or something to avoid at all costs.

      There is zero evidence that corn causes autism, or that wheat causes autism. There is a correlation between celiac and autism to some degree but they probably share some genetics. Autism is considered to be 90% heritable which means it’s genetic.

      Eating corn doesn’t change your genetics. Taking vaccines doesn’t change your genetics.

      At some point you need to accept and learn to live with us because we are not going away, We’re not inferior to you, we’re different but not inferior. You only feel superior because most of the world is neurotypical and it’s built around your needs. You might feel just as disabled in a society tailored for autistic people.

      • says:

        Now that’s one big corn chip on your shoulder. No one has send that you are inferior. Please don’t project your anger and emotions at GFS. They do not help move the conversation forward. Wendy, your statements are inaccurate at best. If autism is 90% genetic, then why is it a relatively new condition? Why has it increased by more than dramatically in the last 20 years (don’t say that it is better tracking, because that has been disproven)?
        Eating corn and vaccines don’t change the genes that you are born with, but they can activate genes that increase inflammation among other things.
        All the best,
        Dr. O

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  9. g says:

    This is totally biased in complete contradiction to truly informed medical knowledge. Columbia University Center says it is safe for celiac patients.

  10. Patricia says:

    In June 2009 I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease after 2 hospital stays and a blood transfusion. My doctor was lucky, after multiple biopsies, to finally give me a diagnosis. I was given a list of what not to eat – mainly wheat, barley and rye. I began to feel better almost immediately. However, after 6 months of corn pasta and corn tortillas, I got sick again. Really sick. I could barely get out of bed. I started researching gluten on the internet and found Dr Osborne’s web site. Thankfully his office is only 30 minutes from my home! I made an appointment and have been learning ever since. He helped me to eliminate all corn and corn products, rice, soy, grain-fed beef, and other “gluten free” items from my diet. I loved my previous doctor, but he just wasn’t informed on this stuff. My life was in his hands and I almost lost it. I feel alive again and have Dr Osborne to thank for it.

  11. Christine Brown says:

    Take a look at the research done by “DogtorJ”… will see how damaging corn, soy (except non-GMO fermented), dairy, and gluten are. I have Celiac and continue to struggle with symptoms. Seems we Celiacs eat lots of corn and soy and dairy as alternatives to this very restricted diet.

  12. Mari salisz says:

    I ate corn on cob had to take pain meds my right hip had brutal pain did anyone have this happen. I’m a celiac mari

  13. Judith says:

    Thank you for these comments! So many symptoms and anxieties, plus anguish and pain, have now made coherent sense. Keep ourselves grain free… This fact I discovered and I am now back on track. What a difference!

  14. Kim Ward says:

    I have been gluten free for over a year and now thinking I need to move away from corn as well. I know we get too much grains in our diet, including the grains fed to animals on factory farms, and that in itself is a problem, but wonder if we cut down on grains and soak an sprout any grains we do eat, as well as not eat animal foods from grain fed animals if that would help eliminate the problem.

  15. Bonny says:

    I believe that corn has definitely triggered a decline in my health, after being fairly grain free for months. Unfortunately the Christmas season has seen me eating ‘gluten free’ goodies and now my head is fuzzy, my joints are sore, I am bloated and have numb fingers. But no wheat in my diet. My naturopath did a food sensitivity test at the beginning of the year, and it showed that I was sensitive to corn, rice and wheat. So I would definitely say that corn is to be avoided.

  16. Linda says:

    I feel theres not much left to eat,(avoid wheat,corn rice? diary. I have rheumatoid arthritis & indigestion & think gluten may be the prob, But I’m on very low income & no way can afford gluten free products in stores the prices are very depressing as is organic I do get organic milk & few produce when on sale only. also very hard for disabled ppl to cook healthy (all the washing & cutting etc.) Would appreciate some ideas or ways to make or find cheaper gluten free products.

  17. Renata says:

    I have organic food boxes delivered for less than u would purchase at the grocery store. I pay $20 per week w/delivery and they reuse the boxes too. I have some choice over the selection but since it’s mostly seasonal and local I am eating a variety of veggies I would not normally choose but hate to waste. I live in Chicago and use the Newleaf Grocery for delivery. Hope this helps.

  18. Caryn says:

    Thank you so much for posting this very informative article. I have a blog that is gluten and corn free. I have always thought that there was a connection even though doctors have yet to find it. If corn is safe for 50% of celiacs then there MUST be a type of sprue caused by corn gluten intolerance too. I met someone with sprue from soy but that person still eats wheat. As for me and my house, we are going on a low carb gluten free diet this year and plan to greatly reduce all grains. Your website is going to be very crucial to our process. Much appreciation for all that Dr. Osborne does. I find I am linking to his work time and time again.

  19. Catri van der Merwe says:

    I am of European stock and live in South Africa. The staple food of most South Africans is corn meal from which pap (porridge)is made. Is celiac’s then a European disease?

  20. Ashley says:

    Celiac disease damages other parts of the body. The longer you take damage from eating gluten as a celiac, the more foods you lose the ability to handle. Corn does not have gluten in it. While some will label the protein in corn as ‘corn gluten’ it is not the accurate description of it. The reason about 50% of celiacs can’t handle corn is a correlation, and not directly related to the protein itself. This is also true for milk and some other grains, such as rice. Each person with celiac will have different ‘intolerances’ develop over time. Mine is oats, and if I hadn’t gone gluten free when I did I might have gained more.
    While there is a good point to be made about the different food issues, it is misleading to say “corn has gluten” and works against educating people to make better decisions.

  21. K says:

    Medical Medium Anthony Williams says corn and gluten (and dairy and eggs) feed a virus which is what the symptoms are about. His material makes sense to me and seems to explain a lot.

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