Gluten: Immunity On The Rise: New Wheat Notes

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If you have any interest in why so much news about gluten sensitivity and immune dysregulation. you will love this news – the details down to the epitope [the part of the antigen that is recognized by the immune system]! You heard it first here! 😉

Take a quick look at the details of how and why immunity issues continue to proliferate in this interesting article over at by Jefferson  Adams: Are New Wheat Breeds Driving Up Celiac Disease Rates?

Here are the details:

According to a new study by a team of plant researchers from The Netherlands, it's possible that modern wheat breeding habits have promoted an increase in celiac disease epitopes, and thus a proliferation of celiac disease.

Generally, the modern wheat varieties showed higher levels of Glia-alpha9 epitope, and lower levels of Glia-alpha20 epitope compared to the older varieties. This indicates that modern wheat breeding methods may have promoted an increase in celiac disease epitopes, and thus a proliferation of celiac disease.


The research team set out to compare the presence of celiac disease epitopes in modern and old hexaploid wheat varieties. The team included H. C. van den Broeck, H. C. de Jong, E. M. Salentijn, L. Dekking, D. Bosch, R. J. Hamer, L. J. Gilissen, I. M. van der Meer, and M. J. Smulders, all affiliated with Plant Research International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

It's well-known that gluten proteins from wheat can induce celiac disease in genetically susceptible individuals. This happens when antigen presenting cells expose gluten-sensitive T-cell lymphocytes to specific gluten peptides.

To analyze whether wheat breeding contributed to the increase of the prevalence of celiac disease, the team compared genetic diversity of gluten proteins for the presence of two celiac disease epitopes (Glia-alpha9 and Glia-alpha20).

They examined samples of 36 modern European wheat varieties and 50 older varieties grown up to the beginning of the 20th century. Glia-alpha9 is a major (immunodominant) epitope that triggers sensitivity in most celiac disease patients. The minor Glia-alpha20 is included as a technical reference.

Here is the ref for your review:
From Theoretical and Applied Genetics:  Theor Appl Genet. 2010 Jul 28. PMID: 20664999


– And just remember this list of:  Celiac and Gluten Associated Medical Disorders

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  1. […] From a psychiatric diagnosis and treatment perspective, from a psychological treatment and therapy perspective, if you don’t know your condition, you simply can’t treat it. Seems I’ve pointed that out before… […]

  2. Jenny says:

    My 8 year old son just started Intuniv (1 mg) a few days ago and is tired but sleeping well and behaving great – not perfect, just normal which is exactly what we had hoped for! My concern is that he is an athlete that trains for 3 hours a day after school and besides the tiredness (which I hope will go away) I have been reading that it is dangerous for kids on Intuniv to overheat. What do you think? Thanks!

    • Jenny
      Hydration is important – *dangerous* is a word I haven’t hear at any of the meetings with those docs and researchers who are involved with Intuniv. If there are side effects with Intuniv there are significantly effective options – such as the other stim meds.

  3. Jan Steel says:

    my 3 year old greatgrandson exhibits increased tantrums since being taken off milk 5 days ago.
    No other changes have occurred in his life..He is asthmatic and we thought that mild was exacerbating the
    asthma and decided on a 7 day trial of NO MILK. The major meltdowns over minor things since milk withdrawal, has stunned the entire family.
    Your article was very helpful, what else do we need to do to help him have a normal life without milk?
    Many thanks Jan

    • Jan,
      Milk is likely an issue and withdrawal is created, we suspect, by the downstream effect of the opiate withdrawal effecting the neurotransmitter effectiveness. My regular recommendation with all of these withdrawal problems – from SSRIs to wheat and casein – get the neurotransmitters measured and corrected as deficiencies abound with long term gut allergies, and the correction makes them less sensitive to change.

  4. Lisa Greer says:

    Dear Dr. Parker:
    We have a 12 year old boy diagnosed with Kabuki Make-up Syndrome, PDD-NOS, and has a verrrrry complex and profound history of visceral hyper-algesia, secondary to congenital anatomical and centrally-based dysregulation of the GI tract. He happens to be very high functioning. The primary issue for him on a day-to-day basis is control of excrutiating and debilitating GI pain, retching and vomiting. The only agent that was has been effective in at least partially controlling these symptoms has been Clonadine, and since the age of 16 months, he has been treated with 0.3 mg per day delivered in 4 divided doses, with up to an additional 0.1 prn in 4 divided doses. We felt that the Clonadine was sedating and dulling, and were excited to commence an experimental course of Guanfacine (Tenex) to replace the Clonadine. Unfortunately, we cannot use the extended release formulation because he is tube fed, and we cannot crush and suspend the extended release formulation in water. So far, the guanfacine seems approximately as effective as Clonadine in controlling the GI pain/retching symptoms, when delivered in a dose of 2-3 mg per day, in two to three divided doses. He still requires Clonadine prn (approximately 0.025 Q-6) for breakthrough symptoms, but this was the case on regularly dosed Clonadine as well. However, he is complaining of what he calls “penis seziures”–some kind of low grade genital pain that he never complained of while on the Clonadine. In fact, when we first started titrating the Guanfacine upwards and titrating the Clonadine downwards, at the point where we hit 0.5 Guafacine Q-6 in tandem with 0.025 Clonadine Q-6, he experienced three or four attacks of genital pain that were agonizing, and which resolved when we stopped the Guanfacine and resumed Clonadine. So this is a second trial with the Guanfacine that is currently underway, implementing the new, aforementioned dosing schedule. Any thoughts as to what may be going on here? Coinicidental with the onset of puberty or something having to do with the different centrally-acting properties of Guanfacine versus Clonadine? Also, he is prescribed 5 mg Abilify at night, which was done to assist with irritability and mood. Do you see any issues with that psychotropic cocktail? Any insight would be most welcome.

    • Lisa,
      Considering this presentation:
      “The primary issue for him on a day-to-day basis is control of excruciating and debilitating GI pain, retching and vomiting….”

      – knowing nothing about Kabuki, it makes absolute medical sense to check out his IgG right away – several tests are available… and you want the qualitative [which specific foods], not the quantitative [the total IgG number] readings, that will very likely show you an additional serious path not yet taken.

      Switching the Clonidine and Tenex is shooting at vapors: spend the few bucks on NT testing and get closer to the actual neurotransmitter challenges – likely very high histamine cranking glutamate toxicity as well as PEA. Specific actions with this information will put the facts on the table.

  5. Neal says:

    Dr. Parker,
    Another good reason to avoid products baked with “enriched white flour” is aluminum toxicity. Aluminum compounds are added to white flour and also table salt to keep them from clumping. “When it rains it pours.” Often, baked goods are cooked and delivered in aluminum cans. Aluminum is well known to cause cognitive impairment. My dog had allergies the vets could not control. I got him a hair test and he was toxic on aluminum. Then I did a web search for “aluminum toxicity in dogs” and found out that most commercial dog food is contaminated with the metal, even the expensive “hypo-allergenic” brands the vet sells. Now he eats what I eat and we both stay healthy.

  6. ChanelB says:

    Dr. P,
    Thanks so much for this info! I’ve been on a (per N.D.) gluten-free/dairy-free ‘elimination’ diet for 6+ months, & recognized positive differences, but only during the first week or so – clearer head, more energy. After that, didn’t notice the same benefits – not sure why. Perhaps I’ve been ingesting small amount of both gluten & dairy without knowing it, causing reactions. Originally, the plan was to reintroduce these foods – each one 3 days apart – after the first month of being on it, but I’ve stayed on it for the following reasons: My N.D.’s comment that it’s anti-inflammatory/good for my thyroid; also, I continue to feel like crap, & because of this, wonder how I’ll know if I do have reactions when reintroducing (something to ask N.D. about). I don’t want to feel potentially worse right now!

    Now, thanks in part to information from your new book, page 160: “Individuals who don’t respond to stimulant medications, & then resist neurotransmitter precursors or amino acid supplementation often are suffering from inflammatory cytokines (inflammatory communicators) and leaky gut problems.”, I’m connecting some dots, & suspect that I have undiagnosed leaky gut syndrome (maybe bulletproof liver, too?) I really don’t know about/understand inflammatory cytokines, but probably something to explore. Also helpful – info. from Dr. Datis Kharrazian – both from his new book “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal”, & a recent blog posting: “Good thyroid Health Depends on good gut health”: . Your quote above sounds like me – only minimal benefit from stimulant meds., & the same with amino acids (SSRIs & SNRIS, too). I’m mentioning the leaky gut & bulletproof liver possibilities (will quote both you & Dr. K) during next week’s appt. with my N.D. Thankfully, she has his book. I’m highly recommending yours as well! 🙂
    Thanks again!

  7. […] Gluten Immunity On Th&#1077 Rise: N&#1077w Wheat Notes […]

  8. Mary Hirzel says:

    Hi Dr. Parker,

    A typo? I don’t think you meant “immunity” in title. (?)

    Best wishes,

    • Mary,
      Perhaps too telegraphic, but did mean it… the immune reactions to gluten are apparently on the rise, using a slight poetic hint about rising bread. But you are right – it’s not ‘immunity’ on the rise, but sensitivity, immune reactions – So how should I reframe that?

  9. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dr Charles Parker, Lebby. Lebby said: RT @drcharlesparker Gluten Immunity On The Rise: New .. #Antigens #Coeliac #disease #Conditions #and […]

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