Monday, August 23, 2021

What is gluten?

Gluten intolerance is an umbrella term integrating three major types of gluten-related disorders: autoimmune celiac disease (CD), allergy to wheat and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). Common symptoms of gluten intolerance include: diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue, forgetfulness and irritability.

Gluten is a protein that is common in the diets of U.S. consumers. It is found in wheat, barley, rye, and their grain relatives. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale grains. Gluten is also found in things made from these grains, like bran, bulgur, couscous, einkorn, durum, faro, farina, graham flour, matzo flour, kamut, semolina, and spelt. These grains are found in a variety of foods, including cakes, breads, pasta, and cereals.

They are restricted in distribution to the starchy endosperm cells of the grain, and have not been detected in any other tissues of the grain or plant.

The gluten matrix and its resulting functions are essential to determining the dough quality of bread and other baked products such as pasta, cakes, pastries, and biscuits. Gluten is heat stable and has the capacity to act as a binding and extending agent and is commonly used as an additive in processed foods for improved texture, flavor, and moisture retention.

Apart from their role in dough quality, gluten proteins can affect health in genetically susceptible individuals. Many gluten proteins contain T-cell stimulatory epitopes that can cause celiac disease (CD; gluten intolerance).

When someone with celiac disease eats or drinks anything with gluten in it, the person’s immune system reacts by damaging the lining of the small intestine. Then the body can’t absorb nutrients properly, and the person may have diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain, and skin rashes, and be irritable or depressed.

Among the different gluten subunits, the α-gliadins are considered the most immunogenic, while γ-gliadins and glutenins are much less responsible for gluten intolerance. About 1% of the general population suffers from CD and numbers are increasing not only because of better diagnosis but also because of increased intake and usage of wheat constituents as food additives.
What is gluten?

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