What is gluten?

Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Medicine. Anything human!

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jinx25
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What is gluten?

Post by jinx25 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:40 pm

What is 'gluten' exactly? Is it a single protein or a class of proteins? Do people lack an enzyme to hydrolyze it? Thanks.

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biohazard
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Post by biohazard » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:42 am

Gluten is a molecule formed by gliadin and glutelin. Normally people can process gluten without problems and it is a normal component of human nutrition.

In some people with certain human leukocyte antigens (HLA) and predisposing genetics gluten may bind on the HLA molecules and initiate an autoimmune-like response that is the source of the celiac disease.

In others, gluten may act as an allergen, causing immunoglobulin E production by B cells that binds to the surface of mast cells and is cross-linked by subsequent exposure to gluten, leading to allergic symptoms similar to other food allergies.

And finally, some people suffer from gluten-insensitivity, which is a less well-defined group of symptoms presumably caused by the gluten in food.

However, the vast majority of people have no problems with gluten in their diet.

jinx25
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Post by jinx25 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:27 am

Thanks!

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