Regular consumption of amylase-trypsin inhibitors (ATIs) found in wheat can lead to systemic  inflammation and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, according to research presented at United European Gastroenterology Week 2016.

Detlef Schuppan, MD, PhD, professor of molecular and transitional medicine at the Institute of Translational Immunology at the University Medical Center at Johannes Gutenberg University Mains in Germany, presented his research on ATIs, noting that this family of proteins—accounting for no more than 4% of wheat proteins—can worsen symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), multiple sclerosis, asthma, systemic lupus erythematosus, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and inflammatory bowel disease.

“We believe that ATIs can promote inflammation of other immune-related chronic conditions outside the bowel,” said Dr Schuppan in a press release. He went on to note that the gut inflammation seen in non-celiac gluten sensitivity, which differs from inflammation caused by celiac disease, is likely caused by ATIs found in wheat rather than gluten proteins.

“ATIs from wheat…activate specific types of immune cells in the gut and other tissues, thereby potentially worsening the symptoms of preexisting inflammatory illness,” he said.

Clinical studies are underway to further explore the role that ATIs have on chronic health conditions. “We are hoping that this research can lead us towards being able to recommend an ATI-free diet to help treat a variety of potentially serious immunological disorders,” Dr Schuppan concluded.

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Reference

UEG Week: New study links protein in wheat to the inflammation of chronic health conditions [news release]. Vienna, Austria: United European Gastroenterology. Published October 17, 2016. Accessed October 21, 2016. 

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