The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
Vol. 33, No. 2, 2015, pp. 1-8
Bioline Code: hn15034
Full paper language: English
Document type: Review Article
Document available free of charge
The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, Vol. 33, No. 2, 2015, pp. 1-8
© Copyright 2015 - The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
The opioid effects of gluten exorphins: asymptomatic celiac disease|
Pruimboom, Leo & de Punder, Karin
Gluten-containing cereals are a main food staple present in the daily human diet, including wheat, barley, and rye.
Gluten intake is associated with the development of celiac disease (CD) and related disorders such as diabetes mellitus
type I, depression, and schizophrenia. However, until now, there is no consent about the possible deleterious effects of
gluten intake because of often failing symptoms even in persons with proven CD. Asymptomatic CD (ACD) is present
in the majority of affected patients and is characterized by the absence of classical gluten-intolerance signs, such as
diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain. Nevertheless, these individuals very often develop diseases that can
be related with gluten intake. Gluten can be degraded into several morphine-like substances, named gluten exorphins.
These compounds have proven opioid effects and could mask the deleterious effects of gluten protein on
gastrointestinal lining and function. Here we describe a putative mechanism, explaining how gluten could “mask” its
own toxicity by exorphins that are produced through gluten protein digestion.
Asymptomatic celiac disease; Celiac disease; Gliadin; Gluten; Exorphins
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