Gluten has spent the last few years making headlines as the villain du jour, allegedly causing inflammation and contributing to a multitude of chronic conditions, but there may be a new nutrient to blame. New research presented at United European Gastroenterology’s Week meeting suggests that a family of wheat proteins, known as ATIs, not just gluten, may be the culprit.
ATIs, or amylase trypsin inhibitors, are a group of proteins that make up about 4% of the protein found in wheat. In a 2016 study, published in Digestive Diseases, researchers found that ATIs can encourage inflammation throughout the body, not just in the gut. They can also contribute to the aggravation of autoimmune conditions like lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, and multiple sclerosis. The scary part? These proteins appear to induce inflammation in people who have not had previous issues with gluten. This means that, even if you’ve been cleared of celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivities, you still might not be able to eat wheat without consequence.
While these results are preliminary and further research must be done, many individuals may still want to curb their wheat consumption. If you’re thinking of cutting wheat from your diet, make sure to replace traditional, wheat-containing products like bread and pasta carefully. Many gluten/grain-free alternatives are heavily processed and loaded with added sugar, which also contributes to long-term health problems.
Do you suffer from gluten sensitivity or celiac disease?