Gluten Sensitivity Could Be Linked To ALS

April 14th, 2015

Surprising new research has uncovered another clue in the quest to better understand gluten intolerance and Celiac disease.

Israeli scientists have discovered a link between gluten sensitivity and ALS—although they were careful to note that this is just an association, not causation.

The study, published in the JAMA Neurology on Monday, tested for the presence of certain antibodies associated with ALS and Celiac disease. Researchers found that about 45 percent of patients with Celiac disease produced both the antibodies associated with gluten sensitivity and the antibodies associated with ALS, even though they showed no symptoms of the latter.

ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a degenerative neurological disease that causes loss of motor functions and eventually paralysis.

Researchers cautioned that the data is “preliminary and need[s] replication,” and especially warned against patients experimenting with their diet themselves.

“Patients should not be tempted to use a gluten-free diet without clear evidence for antibodies, because an unbalanced diet might harm,” senior researcher Dr. Vivian E. Drory told Reuters.

Photo credit: Chiot’s Run via Flickr

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Annalise MantzAnnalise is a foodie, Brussels sprouts lover, grammar nerd, and political pet aficionado.