Some quinoa varieties may be unsuitable for strict gluten-free diets

For those on a gluten-free diet, quinoa is recommended as a highly nutritive plant alternative to wheat, barley and rye. However there are very few studies to support quinoa’s recommendation as a gluten-free grain. A study from the **** looked at quinoa from different regions across the Andes, and whether their epitopes activate an immune response in patients with coeliac disease.

Using mice, the researchers measured the concentration of coeliac-toxic epitopes in 15 quinoa cultivars. Of the fifteen, four had quantifiable concentrations of coeliac-toxic epitopes, but they were still below the maximum permitted level for gluten-free food. However two cultivars had coeliac-toxic epitopes that could activate an immune response in patients with coeliac disease, meaning that further research into quinoa is essential as it continues to be recommended to people with coeliac disease as an alternative and nutritious grain.

Source: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

July 2012.


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