The Gluten Gene


Why the confusion over gluten?

Because the side effects of gluten sensitivity and celiac

disease aren’t the same for everyone, both often go

undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years. On the other end of

the spectrum, some people self-diagnose themselves incorrectly.

Some doctors and scientists believe there’s been an increase in gluten sensitivity due to environmental and food changes, with theories


*New wheat varieties have a higher gluten content

*Farmers are using wheat with higher gluten varieties because of

their natural insecticide qualities

*People are consuming more wheat-based products than in

previous decades

Beyond these agricultural-related theories, some research has led scientists to believe that, because many people of European descent carry the genes for celiac

disease, there’s an increased susceptibility to health issues from consuming gluten.

Does gluten gene exist?

Celiac disease is hereditary and can be passed down through

the generations. A parent, child, or sibling has a one in twenty

chance of being diagnosed with celiac disease if a family

member has also been diagnosed.

While only around 1% of the population has celiac disease,

between 35 and 40% of the overall population has celiac disease

genes, HLA DQ2 or HLA DQ8. Some doctors also believe those

with HLA DQ1 and HLA DQ3 are also predisposed to having

gluten sensitivity.

Every person gets one copy of an HLA DQ gene from their

mother and a second copy from their father. There are four

general types of HLA DQ genes, and the HLA DQ1

and HLA DQ3 genes are further broken down, resulting in many

different possible gene combinations. The celiac disease genes

are subsets of the HLA DQ3 gene.

Depending on the two copies of HLA DQ genes you get, you

could develop celiac disease or experience no sensitivities to



While more research is needed for the greater medical community to accept this theory, it can still provide insight into how your genes and family history can impact your

gluten sensitivity. Genetic testing may also be an appropriate option if you’re interested in learning if you have a genetic predisposition for celiac disease.

Just remember, even if you have the gene doesn’t mean you have or will develop celiac disease.

Does the Gluten gene really exist ?

Want to learn more?




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