Just the facts. From the experts.

Celiac? Gliadin? Gluten? These terms can get confusing, especially for those with gluten intolerance or Celiac disease. Best Food Facts reached out to Pam Cureton, RD, LDN, a Dietitian with the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, about the term gliadin. 

Pam Cureton, RD, LDN  

What is gliadin?

Cureton: The general term for stored protein (prolamins) found in wheat, rye and barley is 'gluten.' Gluten is composed of gliadins and glutenins. The name of the prolamin in wheat is gliadin, in rye it's called secalin and in barley it's called hordin. For those with Celiac disease, the gliadin part of gluten has been recognized as being responsible for initiating intolerance.

So, should people with gluten intolerance or Celiac disease avoid gliadin?

Cureton: Yes, gliadin must be avoided by those who have Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

What are sources of gliadin?

Cureton: Gliadin is found in wheat products such as bread, pasta, cakes and other pastries, as well as in processed foods such as soups, sauces and candy.

Does gliadin offer any health benefits?

Cureton: Gliadin may contribute to blood pressure control and immune function.  

Can we eat too much gliadin?

Cureton: The vast majority of people can tolerate the amount of gliadin we consume in our foods without any problems.

It’s not rare for gluten-free foods to have higher calories than foods with gluten. Is the same true for those with gliadin?

Cureton: Gluten and gliadin are used interchangeably so gluten/gliadin-free foods can be higher in fat, sugar and calories than their wheat counterparts.


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