According to the latest studies, the habitual consumption of wheat would worsen the symptoms of autoimmune and chronic diseases. And the fault is not the gluten, but the ATIs (amylase and trypsin inhibitors).
An autoimmune disease is one that occurs when our immune system tends to attack the actually healthy cells of our body, by mistake. It is also known by the name of autoimmune disease, and it is as we see a disease caused directly by the immune system.
That is, it is the immune system (and not some virus or bacteria) that becomes the “aggressor”, attacking and destroying both the person’s own organs and healthy body tissues, instead of protecting them. As a consequence of this reaction, an exaggerated immune response is produced against certain substances and tissues that are normally present in the body.
Currently there are more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases, which can be classified in two ways: systemic autoimmune diseases in which antibodies attack -non-specific- antigens in more than one specific organ, and local syndromes, which involve a tissue in particular or to specific organs.
So far, a wide variety of scientific research had suggested that a certain family of proteins found in wheat, such as amylase and trypsin inhibitors (ATIs), tended to be behind gluten sensitivity. Non-celiac, a disease associated by its symptoms with typical celiac disease, and which, among other aspects, causes gastrointestinal and extra-digestive symptoms.
With all this, a study, have shown that amylase and trypsin inhibitors are actually responsible for the appearance of inflammation in a wide variety of chronic diseases, as for example in the case of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis.
Scholars not only believe that ATIs effectively contribute to the development of inflammatory bowel-related diseases. They also believe that they can cause inflammation in other chronic diseases, this time outside the digestive tract, such as the kidneys, spleen, brain and even the lymph nodes.
Although ATIs actually only constitute 4% of the total proteins found in wheat, prior to this study other research already suggested that regular consumption of ATIs could lead to the development of inflammation in different tissues of the intestine.
The consequences are even worse in the case of autoimmune disease
In the event that a person suffers from an autoimmune disease, it has been proven that the inflammation caused by amylase inhibitors and trypsin tend to cause a worsening of the symptoms of the pathology, especially in the case of asthma, lupus, multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
In fact, researchers also warn that ATIs could be related to nonalcoholic fatty liver, also medically known as hepatic steatosis, which consists of the excessive accumulation of fat in the liver.
The reason is that these ATIs tend to activate some typical specific immune cells, not only in the intestine but also in other tissues of the body. As a result, symptoms associated with existing inflammatory diseases tend to potentially worsen.
Not to be confused with gluten
Although traditionally from a medical point of view when the affected person does not suffer from celiac disease or wheat allergy, but does show typical symptoms of gluten intolerance (such as bloating and abdominal pain, diarrhea, joint pain, fatigue, eczema and migraine), diagnosed non-celiac gluten sensitivity , it seems that it is a wrong name.
Therefore, the researchers are clear in this regard: they believe that non-celiac gluten sensitivity is not caused by gluten, but more specifically by ATIs, thus differing from that caused by celiac disease.