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“Tolerable Amount of Gluten for People with Celiac Disease”???

Posted by nepeht on November 2, 2008

  There is some reported research about the proposition that some people with Celiac Disease can possible handle Gluten exposure in certain amounts:

For people with celiac disease, the relationship between amount of gluten eaten and symptom development is unclear. How much gluten from “gluten-free” foods can they tolerate without harmful effects?

  Research on Gluten tolerance for persons with Celiac Disease is relatively new.

The threshold amount of gluten in ‘gluten-free’ products that can be tolerated by people with coeliac disease is unclear. 

  In an article: Systematic Review: Tolerable Amount of Gluten for People With Coeliac Disease by Akobeng AK, Thomas AG, published in Aliment Pharmacol Ther.2008;27:1044-1052. Epub 2008 February 29, it was written:

It is difficult to draw precise conclusions from the current review. However, it suggests that the current standard of 200 PPM or less of gluten in foods labeled as gluten-free will not be protective for all patients with celiac disease. Instead, the current review suggests that a new standard set at a maximum of 20 PPM of gluten will equate to an approximate daily gluten consumption of 6 mg. The current body of research suggests that this level of gluten intake would not promote mucosal abnormalities among the majority of patients with celiac disease.

  From this research, it seems that a possible proposition is that even foods that are labelled , “Gluten-Free” are not really safe for persons with Celiac Disease.  He is recommending that the standards for use of the “Gluten-Free” label be changed.

  As the latter article suggests:

The review also clarifies the need for further research into the threshold of gluten consumption in the setting of celiac disease.

  In their article, “Systematic Review: Tolerable Amount of Gluten for People With Coeliac Disease”, published in Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2008;27(11):1044-1052. ©2008 Blackwell Publishing
Posted 08/28/2008researchers, researchers A. K. Akobeng and A. G. Thomas concluded:

It is obvious from the results of this study that the amount of tolerable gluten varies among people with CD. The reason for this remains unclear. Future studies should investigate potential reasons (e.g. genetic variability) that may explain the variable response to gluten. Future studies should also assess the exact amount of gluten that can be tolerated by people with CD and over what period of time and the exact concentration of gluten in wheat-starch ‘gluten-free’ products and all other foods that can be tolerated.

  I have known personally at least one person with diagnosed Celiac Disease who adamantly claims that she can tolerate a small amount of gluten-contaminated foods almost daily without any symptoms.  On the other hand, there are many of us walking around with Gluten-related and Celiac Disease related symptoms who do not recognize them as such.  And even if one recognizes gluten-contamination symptoms, it is sometimes next to impossible to avoid either unknowingly / accidentally ingesting something containing gluten, or simply giving into temptation and knowingly eating something containing gluten.

  Thus, from this information no recommendation can be made by this blogger.

  Just try to be careful about what you eat.  If nothing else, try to know you are eating gluten if in fact you are.  This way you can possibly avoid it next time, if you so choose.

  And above all, enjoy life and prosper.


One Response to ““Tolerable Amount of Gluten for People with Celiac Disease”???”

  1. KENNETH kOPPEL said

    My wife & I were both diagnosed with Celiac – very unusual!! But I “cheat” with soy sauce (Chinese food) …. it is almost impossible to be “perfect” regarding gluten intake. I was diagnosed at age 74 & my wife at 63. My symptoms were weight loss, etc. but certainly not life threatening. I think it is ridiculous to think that every celiac person, whatever degree of infection, must adhere religiously to the gluten free diet…

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