Guest Post By: Dietetic Student Deborah Shteierman
Gluten free is all the rage right now, but it’s not the only wheat protein that’s getting a lot of press these days. Amylase-trypsin inhibitors (ATIs), also known as ATIs, make up 4% of wheat proteins. The latest research has shown that ATIs have been found to have an inflammatory effect, not only on body tissues that lie inside the gut, but outside of it as well. Researchers say that in those that suffer from chronic health conditions such as, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or IBS, consuming ATIs may increase symptoms.
Furthermore, the medical diagnosis of “non-celiac gluten sensitivity,” may need to be redefined. According to the research, ATIs, which are present in wheat, may actually be behind the gut inflammation that is observed both in those who have celiac disease and in those who do not, but suffer from a negative response to wheat nonetheless. What is interesting is that ATIs are the primary resistance molecules to ward off pests and parasites, and the breeding of high yielding and pest-resistant wheat in past years has drastically increased ATI content.
So what does this mean for you? Always listen to your body. If you suspect a gluten sensitivity, but you test negative for celiac, it’s not necessarily just “all in your head.” Avoiding ATIs may be the answer and help alleviate your symptoms. In actuality, avoiding ATIs is best accomplished by avoiding wheat anyway. Of course, always make sure to consult with an accredited health professional, such as a registered dietitian, before making drastic changes to your diet so that you will not cut out important nutrients if not necessary.