A recent study published in the the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition identified a new protein in celiac patients that may help detect the disease earlier than some of the traditionally used lab tests.
Immune Response to Non Gluten Protein
The protein is called Glo-3A. It is a non gluten storage protein found in wheat.
Production of antibodies to Glo-3A is being studied as a marker to help in earlier diagnosis of gluten issues. In a study of children at high risk of developing the celiac disease, which attacks cells lining the small intestine, high levels of antibodies to Glo-3A were detectable in blood earlier than antibodies to tissue transglutaminase (TTG), a serologic marker frequently used to diagnose celiac disease.
“The present study shows that higher levels of Glo-3A antibodies are associated with celiac disease both at the time of clinical diagnosis and before that point,”
Glo-3A antibody production in the celiac group appeared, on average, about 2 years before TTG antibodies were detectable, at around age 3 versus age 5 for TTG antibodies.
The researchers in this study suspect that Glo-3A antibody production is a biomarker of impaired immune tolerance and increased gut permeability, i.e., celiac disease.
When diagnosing celiac disease, health care providers typically screen patients’ blood for the presence of TTG antibodies. TTG is an enzyme that alters the gliadin molecule by deamidating glutamine residues; these residues in turn bind to antigen presenting cells and activate T cells, leading to damage to the fingerlike cells called villi that line the small intestine. Over time, the cellular damage, known as villous atrophy, leads to malabsorption of food, gastrointestinal bloating, and diarrhea. But by the time TTG antibodies are detectable, villous atrophy has often already begun—prompting scientists to look for diagnostic tools that allow earlier diagnosis.
“These results may indicate that the immune pathology and subsequent damage that are characteristic of celiac disease start early in life”
The Gluten Free Warrior’s Comment:
The research surrounding gluten sensitivity continues to grow and unfold. This study illustrates another example of how non gluten based proteins in grain can contribute to the disease process.
This trend is becoming more and more common. Other non gluten components of grain have been identified and shown to cause or contribute to celiac disease and other gluten related diseases.
Don’t ignore this factor. It is one of the reasons so many people who go on a traditional gluten free diet don’t get better. It is one of the reasons why I developed the TRUE gluten free diet.
Consider the following about grain seeds:
- Scientists have identified multiple non gluten based mechanisms that contribute to the damage seen in celiac and non celiac gluten sensitive patients.
- Scientists recently uncovered 400 new gluten proteins. 40 of them were found to be more toxic than gliadin (the protein commonly blamed for celiac disease)
- Grains are seeds. Their job is to perpetuate their species. Mother nature designed them to be resistant to digestion… designed them to protect themselves from predators (i.e. YOU). Man has genetically manipulated them to protect themselves even better.
Bottom line: Gluten is not the only component to grain that contributes to disease. Don’t let your hunger for what tastes good get in the way of your health.
All the best,
Dr. O – The Gluten Free Warrior