The opioid effects of gluten exorphins: asymptomatic celiac diseaseReport as inadecuate

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Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition

, 33:24

First Online: 24 November 2015Received: 07 June 2015Accepted: 08 November 2015DOI: 10.1186-s41043-015-0032-y

Cite this article as: Pruimboom, L. & de Punder, K. J Health Popul Nutr 2015 33: 24. doi:10.1186-s41043-015-0032-y


Gluten-containing cereals are a main food staple present in the daily human diet, including wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten intake is associated with the development of celiac disease CD and related disorders such as diabetes mellitus type I, depression, and schizophrenia. However, until now, there is no consent about the possible deleterious effects of gluten intake because of often failing symptoms even in persons with proven CD. Asymptomatic CD ACD is present in the majority of affected patients and is characterized by the absence of classical gluten-intolerance signs, such as diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain. Nevertheless, these individuals very often develop diseases that can be related with gluten intake. Gluten can be degraded into several morphine-like substances, named gluten exorphins. These compounds have proven opioid effects and could mask the deleterious effects of gluten protein on gastrointestinal lining and function. Here we describe a putative mechanism, explaining how gluten could -mask- its own toxicity by exorphins that are produced through gluten protein digestion.

KeywordsAsymptomatic celiac disease Celiac disease Gliadin Gluten Exorphins  Download fulltext PDF

Author: Leo Pruimboom - Karin de Punder


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