Gluten isn’t the only bad-boy in your brioche. To the intrigue of those with non-celiac wheat sensitivities, researchers have discovered another, more powerful inflammatory protein on the scene.
According to recent research, the proteins known as amylase-trypsin inhibitors (ATIs) are likely to cause some of the gastrointestinal inflammation some experience when consuming wheat. In fact, ATIs may prove to be more inflammatory than gluten. While only 4 percent of the proteins found in wheat are ATIs, they have the potential to be highly damaging. It seems that ATIs from wheat trigger a powerful immune reaction in the body. In research, consuming pure ATIs caused inflammation not only in the gut, but also the lymph nodes, kidneys, spleen and brain. While no sane person would ever consume pure ATIs, the strong results do beg for dietary awareness.
The findings of the research, presented at the 2016 United European Gastroenterology conference, suggest that the influence of ATIs may even contribute to the development of non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Additionally, ATIs may worsen diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, lupus, multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease. According to Medical Daily, “…all research is pointing to one conclusion – chronic diseases are worsened by ingestion of wheat ATIs.”
So, what does this mean for your diet? If you have a wheat sensitivity, it may be comforting to know that science is beginning to accept that your condition is not all psychosomatic. There are forces in wheat beyond gluten that may impact our individual health. On the other hand, if you already have a chronic inflammatory disease, it may be time to take a second look at your wheat consumption. Perhaps toy with removing wheat products from your diet for 2 to 4 weeks, and take note of how your symptoms react. Yes, giving up wheat is hard, but it’s worth it if you’ll experience vastly improved health.
If you avoid wheat because it makes you feel horrible, you’re not alone. However, only a small percentage of people who avoid wheat actually suffer from a diagnosed allergy like celiac. The rest of us—those with real but undiagnosable wheat sensitivities—fumble through life, feeling like gluten-free frauds, constantly criticized for our seemingly arbitrary lifestyle choice. The good news is that scientists are proving that it is not all just in your head. Finally.