This blog is a way of sharing the information and resources that have helped me to recover my son Roo from an Autism Spectrum Disorder. What I have learned is to view our symptoms as the results of underlying biological cause, which can be identified and healed. I say "our symptoms" because I also have a neuro-immune disorder called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

And, of course, I am not a doctor (although I have been known to impersonate one while doing imaginative play with my son)- this is just our story and information that has been helpful or interesting to us. I hope it is helpful and interesting to you!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Corn and Celiac Disease

The following are studies showing that corn can cause reactions in people with celiac disease, in addition to the gluten found in wheat that is usually associated with celiac.

Maize Prolamins Could Induce a Gluten-Like Cellular Immune Response in Some Celiac Disease Patients
"Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune-mediated enteropathy triggered by dietary gluten in genetically prone individuals. The current treatment for CD is a strict lifelong gluten-free diet. However, in some CD patients following a strict gluten-free diet, the symptoms do not remit. These cases may be refractory CD or due to gluten contamination; however, the lack of response could be related to other dietary ingredients, such as maize, which is one of the most common alternatives to wheat used in the gluten-free diet. In some CD patients, as a rare event, peptides from maize prolamins could induce a celiac-like immune response by similar or alternative pathogenic mechanisms to those used by wheat gluten peptides. This is supported by several shared features between wheat and maize prolamins and by some experimental results."
Reducing cell membrane n-6 fatty acids attenuate mucosal damage in food-sensitive enteropathy in mice
It was found in this study that corn oil can cause the changes in the gut mucosa that are the hallmark of celiac disease, including villous atrophy and crypt hyperplasia.

Transglutaminase Treatment of Wheat and Maize Prolamines of Bread Increases the Serum IgA Reactivity of Celiac Disease Patients
This study found that microbial transglutaminase, used to treat grains, is homologous to tissue transglutaminase and corn that has been treated this way can trigger celiac disease.

Antibodies to maize in patients with Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and Coeliac Disease
In this study it was found that 44% of patients with celiac disease had antibodies to corn.  It is theorized that this is secondary to the gut permeability caused by celiac disease. 

Gut mucosal granulocyte activation precedes nitric oxide production: studies in coeliac patients challenged with gluten and corn
 In this study, about half of the celiac patients tested also showed reactivity to corn gluten in addition to wheat gluten.  This reactivity was preceded by markers of activation of mucosal granulocytes (neutrophils and eosinophils), including histamine and an eosinophilic product. 

Dietary exposure to fumonisins and evaluation of nutrient intake in a group of adult celiac patients on a gluten-free diet
Fumonisins are toxins produced by a kind of mold that commonly grows on grain, especially corn.  These toxins are known to be carcinogenic, to cause serious and fatal diseases in livestock, and are also known to affect humans.  This study found that people following a gluten-free diet had significantly higher intake of fumonisins from the diet.  You can read more about fumonisins here.

Gluten contamination of grains, seeds, and flours in the United States: a pilot study
In this study, it was found that many grains, seeds, and their flours that do not naturally contain gluten (such as millet) can contain significant amounts of gluten from cross contamination.  7 of the 22 products tested contained more than 20 ppm of gluten (the highest value was 2,925 ppm) and therefore do not meet the requirements to be gluten-free. 

And this is a study that shows damage from soy protein:
Morphometric and immunohistochemical study of jejunal biopsies from children with intestinal soy allergy
In this study, crypt hyperplasia and villous atrophy were seen in biopsy samples that were the result of reactivity to soy.