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Gluten (Gliadin) Found in Breast Milk

Human Dairy Contains Gluten!

In this research study, high concentrations of gluten proteins were found in the milk of breast feeding women. The study demonstrated that even after being on a gluten restricted diet for 3 days, gluten proteins were still present in the breast milk. It was found that the gluten/gliadin proteins were not degraded but still intact. Additionally, immune complexes were found at high levels in the milk as well as the colostrum.


Scand J Gastroenterol. 1998 Nov;33(11):1186-92.

Gluten Free Society’s Stance:

This study brings to light a major concern in the gluten intolerant community. Dairy is promoted as a gluten free food. However; commercial farms feed cows primarily grains. If gluten proteins can pass through into human milk, should we be concerned about the same in animal milk? Is this one of the reasons that so many do well on a gluten free/casein free diet? Is this why so many people tolerate European dairy products vs. American dairy products? (Europeans typically produce their dairy from pasture raised animals). Is this why refractory celiac disease is present in such a large percentage of the diagnosed celiac population? Consider the maelstrom of detrimental reactions to gluten loaded dairy products in those with gluten sensitivity. All of these “gluten free” foods would be potentially harmful:
  1. Milk
  2. Cheese
  3. Yogurt
  4. Butter
  5. Things baked with dairy based products
  6. Marinades
  7. Sauces
  8. Packaged foods with dairy protein additives
  9. Dairy based protein drinks
  10. Supplemental formula for infants
  11. Ice cream… the list can go on and on and on…
What about all the bakeries that produce “gluten free” breads, pastries, cookies, etc using dairy? Now consider the fact that commercially farmed fish and beef are fed grain as staple food. This problem won’t go away if we ignore it. The Gluten Free Society advocates the use of grass pastured dairy products as well as grass fed beef, and wild caught fish. Remember, when it comes to animals, you are not what you eat, you are what you eat eats… More to come very soon on this very alarming and touchy subject…

7 Responses

  1. Pingback: Anonymous
  2. Pingback: Anonymous
  3. You mean there was still gluten left in breastmilk after giving it up for THREE WHOLE DAYS?

    Pleases It takes a lot longer than that for gluten or any other allergen to be completely cleared from our systems. Many, many mothers with gluten-intolerant babies have successfully eliminated gluten from their diets and thus resolved their babies’ digestive and other issues.

    Your concerns about lingering gluten/gliadin in commercial cow’s milk dairy is certainly legitimate and worth exploring, but I fear the possible implications from those who seek to undermine breastfeeding.

    Get back to us when there’s a study on breastmilk after gluten has been eliminated for three WEEKS, at the very least. Three months would be better. In the meantime, let’s be clear that the answer to this is NOT formula (for many of the same reasons you’re concerned about gluten in cow’s milk products, among many other risks associated with formula), as some will likely conclude in a panic.

    1. Anne and Cara,
      You take this article the wrong way. It is not to discourage breast feeding. It is to encourage breast feeding mom’s to take a closer look at what they are eating as it can affect their breast feeding baby. There is no doubt that breast feeding is far superior to formula.
      All the best,
      Dr. O

  4. What you don’t say here is that although casein is found in breast milk, in low amounts which passes through the digestive system quickly, the casein in formula is considerably higher and lingers in the digestive system much much longer. Breastfeeding get’s enough bad publicity, despite the huge positives to breast milk, cancer protection, higher immunity for the infants undeveloped immune system, less infections, protection for digestive system…..the list is massive for both mother and child. If you post something about breast milk then you should list all the positive facts and the negative effects of formula milk so people can make informed decisions based on comprehensive information.

  5. Should an autoimmune mother with gluten and food intolerances breastfeed a child who is autoimmune and intolerant as well? My naturopath advised me to stop breastfeeding, so I’ve begun weaning, yet my daughter is not taking it well. Is there really any harm to the baby if now I’m on a true gluten free diet? Or am i passing toxins through the breastmilk from detoxification from haven eliminated all gluten? My daughter had severely itchy skin and exzema that gets agrevated when i consume gluten and some other foods. Am i doing the right thing by weaning?

    1. Nothing is better for your child than breast milk. If you are taking care of your own diet, the milk you produce will be the best source of nourishment for your baby.

      All the best,
      Dr. O

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