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Celiac Disease

Sorghum Confirmed OK for Gluten-Free Diet

New scientific evidence says that sorghum, a cereal grain which has been cultivated by humans for thousands of years, is officially gluten-free and a good choice for people with celiac disease following a gluten-free diet.

Researchers from Italy and the United States have analyzed the entire genome, or DNA structure, of the grain and have shown it to be free of gluten on a molecular level. This confirms earlier reports, studies and successful food challenges which all suggested the cereal contains no gluten and is considered safe for those with celiac disease.

Because the sorghum genome was only recently published, until now scientists had no way of proving on a molecular level that the grain was safe for people living with celiac disease. Allergic Living reminds, however to always check the label in case of potential cross-contamination.

In the West, sorghum has traditionally been used as feed for livestock, while in Africa and parts of Asia it has been used as a food for people for a long time. Farmers have developed ‘food-grade’ sorghum, which is meant for human consumption and is already used in a variety of products including some tortillas and flours. It can even be popped, like popcorn.

The researchers note in their report that in addition to being gluten-free, sorghum is nutritious, making it an ideal option for those with celiac disease. Previous studies of sorghum have suggested it may have a wide range of health benefits, including slowing the growth of tumors, reducing cholesterol levels and having higher levels of anti-oxidants than other grains and fruits. Other benefits as a gluten replacement include its low cost and neutral taste.

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Allergic Living acknowledges the assistance of the OMDC Magazine Fund, an initative of the Ontario Media Development Cooperation.