Scientists appear to have found a way to specially process wheat flour so it can be safe for celiacs to eat, but more extensive trials are needed to confirm the findings.
Published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the study divided celiac patients into three groups and assigned them to a 60-day diet that included baked goods made with natural flour, extensively hydrolyzed wheat flour or fully hydrolyzed wheat flour. Patients then underwent serologic testing and biopsy to identify adverse effects.
Patients who consumed natural flour baked goods had increased tTG antibodies and small bowel deterioration, while those who consumed extensively hydrolyzed wheat flour had no complaints but showed signs of atrophy. Celiacs who consumed fully hydrolyzed wheat flour, in contrast, reported no ill effects, had stable antibody levels and showed no signs of intestinal damage.
Researchers concluded that fully hydrolyzed wheat flour, which tested at 8 ppm residual gluten in this study, may be safe for celiacs. However, large-scale and long-term trials are needed to further explore the safety of fully hydrolyzed wheat flour as a celiac-friendly ingredient.
To read the abstract, visit http://www.cghjournal.org/article/S1542-3565%2810%2900987-0/abstract