Please Pass the Bread

Wheat flour powerized by hydrolyzed gluten becomes edible for celiac patients

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Caution! Mad scientists make their way into the kitchen and concoct edible wheat-aller baked goods for celiac patients. A group of Italian researchers have been able to modify wheat flour in a way that makes it safely edible for celiac patients.

Dr. Luigi Greco, MD, PhD, of the University of Naples, Italy, and lead author of the study reports this is the first time a wheat flour-derived product has not been toxic to celiac patients after eating it for 60 days. This innovative process reduces the toxicity of gluten.

"Celiac patients can enjoy baked goods prepared with hydrolyzed wheat flour."

Greco also encourages further research to explore therapies which could reduce the toxicity of gluten for celiac patients. In the future, perhaps there will be an effective therapy so celiac patients can enjoy a diet other than the standard gluten-free diet recommended today.

In Dr. Greco's study, his team observed if baked goods made with hydrolyzed wheat flour could be safely eaten by celiac patients. The doctors fermented the wheat flour with the sourdough lactobacilli and fungal proteases, a process which decreased the concentration of gluten. 

The study lasted sixty days and divided patients into 3 groups. The patients eating fully hydrolyzed baked goods had no clinical complaints.

In Depth

  • The 16 patients aged 12 to 23 with celiac disease participated in the study were in good health and on a gluten-free diet for at least five years
  • Three groups were established: One group ate natural flour baked goods. The second group ate extensively hydrolyzed flour baked goods. The third group ate fully hydrolyzed baked goods
  • Two of the 16 patients who ate natural flour baked goods had to discontinue the study because of symptoms such as malaise, abdominal pain and diarrhea
  • Two patients who ate extensively hydrolyzed flour baked goods had no clinical complaints, but developed subtotal atrophy which is a complete absence of villi. Villi are necessary for absorption
  • Five patients that ate the fully hydrolyzed baked goods had no clinical complaints.
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Review Date: 
April 20, 2011
Last Updated:
April 22, 2011