What is gluten?

Gluten is an extremely common protein composite that is found in grains, including wheat, rye and barley. It is generally found in the grain Due to its ability to add chewiness and elasticity to baked foods, gluten is commonly used to enhance flavors and as a protein supplement. The four proteins in gluten; albumins, globulins, glutelins, and prolamins, have the ability to hold starches together, so they may be used for food thickening purposes.

Allergic reactions to gluten occur when the sufferer consumes even a trace of any gluten containing food. The immune system reacts almost instantly to gluten consumption, initiating an attack in the gut, which more often than not results in problems with one’s digestive system. If one continues to consume gluten despite being allergic, their gut might lose its function.

Gluten allergies may also result in inflammation, which can prove to cause damage well beyond the gut. One may begin to experience systems in their nervous system, possibly causing long term damage to the brain. Celiac disease can result from gluten allergies. Those who have this disease may experience inflammation and severe pain on intake of any gluten containing products.

Even though gluten is used widely in all spheres of the culinary world, sensitivity to this protein composite are quite common. According to the National Institutes of Health, University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, 5-10% of people may suffer from problems by consuming gluten in one of its many forms.

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