Friday, January 17, 2014

2 Popular Foods May Turn Immune System Against Brain


A new study published in the open access journal Nutrients titled, "The Prevalence of Antibodies against Wheat and Milk Proteins in Blood Donors and Their Contribution to Neuroimmune Reactivities," implicates two of the Western world's most popular foods in various forms of immune-mediated brain damage and dysfunction, including gluten ataxia and multiple sclerosis.

A group of U.S. researchers set out to ascertain the presence of IgG, IgM, and IgA antibodies against wheat and milk, in 400 blood samples, from 181 males and 219 female donors of mixed ancestry. Because wheat and milk antibodies have been found in elevated concentrations in various neuroimmune disorders, the researchers measured the co-occurrence of their antibodies against the following brain proteins:

1. GAD-65 (Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase)
2. Cerebellar peptides
3. MBP (myelin basic protein)
4. MOG (myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein)

Their results revealed significant clustering when certain wheat and milk protein antibodies were cross-referenced with neural antibodies.

While not a direct causal link, these associations do signal a very real possibility that the increase in antibody titers against food antigens can cause cross-reactivity to brain proteins through a process known as molecular mimicry, presumably resulting in neurological damage.

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