Verifying that sorghum is a new safe grain for people with celiac disease

Apr 03, 2013
Verifying that sorghum is a new safe grain for people with celiac disease
There is strong new biochemical evidence that the cereal grain sorghum is a safe food for people with celiac disease, who must avoid wheat and certain other grains. Credit: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Strong new biochemical evidence exists showing that the cereal grain sorghum is a safe food for people with celiac disease, who must avoid wheat and certain other grains, scientists are reporting. Their study, which includes molecular evidence that sorghum lacks the proteins toxic to people with celiac disease, appears in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Paola Pontieri and colleagues explain that those gluten proteins, present in wheat and barley, trigger an in people with celiac disease that can cause abdominal pain and discomfort, constipation, diarrhea and other symptoms. The only treatment is lifelong avoidance of gluten. Sorghum, they note, has emerged as an alternative grain for people with celiac disease. In Western countries, sorghum traditionally has been an animal feed. But in Africa and India, it long has been a food for people. Recently, U.S. farmers have begun producing sorghum hybrids that are a white grain, known as "food-grade" sorghum. The researchers set out to make a detailed molecular determination of whether sorghum contains those toxic gluten proteins.

Verifying that sorghum is a new safe grain for people with celiac disease

They describe evidence from an analysis of the recently published sorghum genome, the complete set of genes in the plant, and other sources, that verify the absence of gluten proteins. The authors also report that sorghum has high nutritional value. "Food-grade sorghums should be considered as an important option for all people, especially ," the report concluded.

Explore further: Structure of sodium channels different than previously believed

More information: Sorghum, a Healthy and Gluten-free Food for Celiac Patients As Demonstrated by Genome, Biochemical, and Immunochemical Analyses, J. Agric. Food Chem., 2013, 61 (10), pp 2565–2571 DOI: 10.1021/jf304882k

Abstract
Wheat (Triticum spp. L.), rye (Secale cereal L.), and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) seeds contain peptides toxic to celiac patients. Maize (Zea mays L.) and rice (Oryza sativa L.) are distant relatives of wheat as well as sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) and are known to be safe for celiacs. Both immunochemical studies and in vitro and in vivo challenge of wheat-free sorghum food products support this conclusion, although molecular evidence is missing. The goal of the present study was to provide biochemical and genetic evidence that sorghum is safe for celiac patients. In silico analysis of the recently published sorghum genome predicts that sorghum does not contain peptides that are toxic for celiac patients. Aqueous/alcohol-soluble prolamins (kafirins) from different sorghum varieties, including pure lines and hybrids, were evaluated by SDS-PAGE and HPLC analyses as well as an established enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based on the R5 antibody. These analyses provide molecular evidence for the absence of toxic gliadin-like peptides in sorghum, confirming that sorghum can be definitively considered safe for consumption by people with celiac disease.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Gene breakthrough boosts hopes for sorghum

Feb 12, 2013

Agricultural researchers on Tuesday said they had found a gene that boosts the digestibility of sorghum, transforming a humble grain into a potential famine-beater.

Some 'low-gluten' beer contains high levels of gluten

Dec 21, 2011

Beer tested in a new study, including some brands labeled "low-gluten," contains levels of hordein, the form of gluten present in barley, that could cause symptoms in patients with celiac disease (CD), the ...

Going gluten-free: Is the diet a good fit for everyone?

Jun 28, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- One of the latest trends in the food market and among celebrities is going gluten-free. Snack giant Frito-Lay has announced it will introduce new gluten-free labels and products, and Miley Cyrus has credited ...

Recommended for you

Breakthrough points to new drugs from nature

Apr 16, 2014

Researchers at Griffith University's Eskitis Institute have developed a new technique for discovering natural compounds which could form the basis of novel therapeutic drugs.

World's first successful visualisation of key coenzyme

Apr 16, 2014

Japanese researchers have successfully developed the world's first imaging method for visualising the behaviour of nicotine-adenine dinucleotide derivative (NAD(P)H), a key coenzyme, inside cells. This feat ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

LADEE mission ends with planned lunar impact

(Phys.org) —Ground controllers at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., have confirmed that NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft impacted the surface ...

A full-spectrum Mars simulation in a box

There are many reasons why Mars excels at destroying expensive equipment. For one thing, its entire surface is made of partially-magnetized dust. For another, Mars possesses just enough atmosphere so that ...