Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Fermented wheat flour okay for celiacs? Don't buy it.

Baked goods made from wheat flour fermented with certain micro-organisms may be tolerated by celiac disease patients, according to a study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. The new study evaluated the safety of a daily administration to celiac disease patients (for 60 days) of goods made of wheat flour hydrolyzed during food processing by a mixture of selected sourdough lactobacilli and fungal proteases. The researchers evaluated the effects on 16 otherwise healthy patients with celiac disease, who had been on a gluten-free diet for at least five years. Patients were randomly assigned to consumption of 200 grams per day of natural flour baked goods (NFBG) (containing 80127 ppm of gluten), extensively hydrolyzed flour baked goods (containing 2480 ppm residual gluten, or fully hydrolyzed baked goods (8 ppm residual gluten). The authors reported that two of the six patients on the natural flour diet discontinued the study because of symptoms such as malaise, abdominal pain and diarrhoea. All of the patients consuming natural flour were found to have increased levels of anti–tissue transglutaminase (tTG) antibodies and small bowel deterioration. Patients who ate extensively hydrolyzed flour reported no clinical complaints, but were found to have developed subtotal atrophy – complete absence of the fingerlike protrusions in the gut that necessary for absorption. The five patients that ate the fully hydrolyzed baked goods reported no clinical complaints, and were found to have no changes in the levels of anti-tTG antibodies. Non toxic The authors concluded that a 60-day diet of baked goods made from hydrolyzed wheat flour, manufactured.

The researchers strongly emphasized that prolonged trials have to be planned to state the safety of the baked goods manufactured by applying this rediscovered and adapted biotechnology.

Bonnie - here is the bottom line: testing hydrolyzed flour sixty days is a very short period of time to test overall safety. As many celiacs know, it can take years, even decades, for celiac to be diagnosed. So sixty days is a minute amount of time to test in patients who had been gluten-free for 5 years.

I want to emphasize that this study is VERY preliminary and in know way, shape, or form do I advocate celiacs to consume this type of flour.

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