University of Maryland Study: Genetics Differ in Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac Disease

The majority of doctors on the planet believe that you must express the HLA-DQ2 and/or DQ8 genes to have celiac disease (CD). Over 90% of people diagnosed with CD express one or both of these genes. These two genes are present in about 35% to 40% of the general population.

But in gluten sensitivity, the study by Dr. Alessio Fasano and his colleagues reports that only 57% of people identified as being gluten sensitive expressed one or the other of these genes indicating that these genes are less involved in the gluten sensitivity than in CD.

In terms of blood tests, 48% of gluten-sensitive patients had positive anti-gliadin IgA or IgG antibody tests showing that they produced antibodies against gluten absorbed in their diet. Of this group, only slightly more than half possessed the CD genes demonstrating that these genes (DQ2/DQ8) are not necessary for the production of anti-gliadin antibodies.

None of the gluten-sensitive patients had anti-endomysium (EMA-IgA) or anti-transglutaminase (tTG-IgA) antibodies in their blood, which are normally an indication that the body is attacking its own tissues in a self-defeating reaction. immune. These antibodies are considered to be very specific to CD.

One last thing about this gluten sensitivity study: Dr. Fasano and the other researchers noted that even if a person doesn’t have CD, gluten can still cause harm to that person.

“By itself, the absence of antibodies (which are found in CD but not in gluten sensitivity) and the absence of intestinal lesions should not rule out the intrinsic toxicity of gluten, which ingested, even in of non-celiacs, was associated with damage to other tissues, organs and systems outside of the gut,” the study concludes.

It’s great to hear from an expert and leader in the field of celiac disease confirming to us what many of us have realized: that gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance can ruin your health even if you you are not officially celiac.