Could microbial transglutaminase, an ingredient added to food for the purpose of enhancement (improves food texture, shelf life, etc.), be an environmental enhancer for Celiac Disease (CD) and one explanation for the rise in CD incidences? Researchers Aaron Lerner, with the Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Unit, Carmel Medical Center, B. Rappaport School of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel and Torsten Matthias of the Aesku.Kipp Institute, Wendelsheim, Germany, studied this and their findings were recently published in Oxford University Press’ Journal, Nutrition Reviews (http://nutritionreviews.oxfordjournals.org/)
“The incidence of celiac disease is increasing worldwide, and human tissue transglutaminase has long been considered the autoantigen of celiac disease. Concomitantly, the food industry has introduced ingredients such as microbial transglutaminase, which acts as a food glue, thereby revolutionizing food qualities. Several observations have led to the hypothesis that microbial transglutaminase is a new environmental enhancer of celiac disease. First, microbial transglutaminase deamidates/transamidates glutens such as the endogenous human tissue transglutaminase. It is capable of crosslinking proteins and other macromolecules, thereby changing their antigenicity and resulting in an increased antigenic load presented to the immune system.“
CONCLUSION: “It is hypothesized that industrial processing of food using the enzyme microbial transglutaminase to improve food product qualities has negative effects on the gluten-sensitive population.”
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