Bacterial transglutaminase enzyme an initiator of celiac disease?


Glyphosate and the enzyme used in the food industry, what do they have to do with the unwanted reactions to gluten?

In the face of the ubiquitous gluten free fashion, one wonders if it is a temporary food trend that we follow without reflection or

a real problem that we have faced in the 21st century. The fact that wheat grains are genetically modified to increase the

amount of gluten certainly does not help. There is an obvious technological justification for this. Namely, using less flour, we are

able to bake more bread. We have known for a long time that celiac disease, the most violent reaction to gluten,is genetically

determined. However, from year to year we see a steady increase in people diagnosed with celiac disease, not to mention other

unwanted gluten reactions. It turns out that, in addition to genetic predisposition, environmental factors play an important role

and they are the ones that shed a new view on the gluten problem. We are talking about two commonly used compounds:

an enzyme used in the food industry - microbial mTg transglutaminase

herbicide, commonly used for agrotechnical treatments - glyphosate.

What are the advantages of using microbial transglutaminase in the food industry?

This enzyme is widely used in the food industry (baking, dairy and meat). Its wide application is associated with specific technological properties.

In the baking it guarantee a better structure of the bread dough, it increases the elasticity and also makes the flesh lighter and less porous. In addition, it allows

to extend the freshness of bread while maintaining the desired organoleptic properties by the consumer.

In the dairy industry - it is responsible for obtaining a creamier consistency of yogurt, but also the possibility of eliminating the following additives: carrageenans, gelatin

and starch, in the case of cottage cheese, obtaining a better grain structure and reducing production costs.

In the meat industry - mainly used as a binder to join larger pieces of meat in the production of ham, sausages, hot dogs.

How can microbial transglutaminase initiate celiac disease?

Gluten is a protein that is relatively difficult to break down completely. It is a useful technological feature for baking bread, but extremely problematic for people

struggling with intolerance to this compound.

Gluten protein is broken down into smaller peptides that are more susceptible to the action of microbial transglutaminase (mTg). Meeting this enzyme with partially

degraded gluten contributes to its modification, creating new peptides resistant to further degradation. This in turn increases the potential gluten allergenicity as it binds

to HLADQ2 and HLA DQ8 molecules and causes an immune response, but only in genetically predisposed individuals.

Additional harmfulness resulting from the presence of bacterial transglutaminase is related to the increased permeability of the intestinal barrier. It contributes to the

modification of proteins responsible for maintaining its integrity, which in turn leads to various gastroenterological problems.

The biggest problem with microbial transglutaminase is the lack of requirements for its labeling on the product label, therefore the consumer is not able to obtain

information whether a given bread has been baked using this enzyme.

Unfortunately, the baking of gluten-free bread also takes place using mTg, which may explain why some people with celiac disease experienced gastroenterological

ailments after consuming 100% gluten-free bread, but industrially baked. In this situation, it remains to bake the bread yourself.

Glyphosate and its role in the development of celiac disease?

Scientists examined the levels of toxic chemicals in the blood of children and young adults. The team found that people who had increased levels of pesticides and other

chemicals had a double risk of developing celiac disease. Additionally, it was noticed that women are more predisposed with regard to the influence of environmental

exposure on the development of celiac disease

In women, the increased content of pesticides in the body was associated with an 8 times greater risk of developing celiac disease, while in men the risk was only 2

times higher.

However, studies that assess the impact of gluten consumption on the development of celiac disease are so far limited to observational studies in animals or looking for

possible links between the causative factor - glyphosate and the disease - celiac disease.

Fish exposed to glyphosate have digestive problems that resemble celiac disease. Celiac disease is associated with a disturbance of the microbial balance, and

presumably in this mechanism, glyphosate may contribute to the development of celiac disease or other adverse reactions to gluten.

Celiac patients have an increased risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which is also linked to glyphosate exposure. According to some studies, the dangers of glyphosate

may also explain several aspects reproductive problems related to celiac disease such as infertility, miscarriage and birth defects.

It adversely affects the tight junction between cells in the gut, leading to leaky gut, which also occurs in people with celiac disease.

Despite the limited scientific evidence that would clearly and clearly confirm the cause-and-effect relationships between the

excessive chemicalization of agriculture or the use of additives used in the food industry, it is worth paying attention to them.

This is especially true for the group of people struggling with gastroenterological problems, for whom the proposed nutritional

solutions do not bring the desired results. What should be emphasized is the fact that in many studies the authors declared a

conflict of interest with the companies that were involved in the production of the discussed compounds. This raises some

doubts,even if the authors emphasize that "collaboration" has no impact on the results of the study. Undoubtedly, such a rapid

increase in the incidence of celiac disease undermines the theory of the influence of only the genetic component on the

development of an adverse reaction to gluten, which in the future will force a deeper analysis of environmental factors, which

are probably the biggest culprits of the broadly understood gluten intolerance.

Literature references:

Aleksanda Sadowska, Anna Diowksz, Properties of transglutaminase and its role in baking. Science. Technology. Quality, 2016, 5 (108), 9 - 17
Abigail Gaylord, Leonardo Trasande, Kurunthachalam Kannan, Kristen M. Thomas, Sunmi Lee, Mengling Liu, Jeremiah Levine. Persistent organic pollutant exposure and celiac disease: A pilot study. Environmental Research, 2020
Matthias Torsten Lerner Aaron ,,, Microbial Transglutaminase Is Immunogenic and Potentially Pathogenic in Pediatric Celiac Disease, Front Pediatr. 2018 Dec 11
Anthony Samsel, and Stephanie Seneff, Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance, Interdiscip Toxicol. 2013 Dec; 6 (4): 159–184.

Can bacterial transglutaminase enzyme be an initiator of celiac disease?

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