Gluten Sensitivity or Celiac? Don’t Drink Coffee!

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist April 11, 2012

gluten sensitivity and coffee

If you drink coffee and have gluten sensitivity or celiac, you might want to sit down for this one.

One of the most important pieces of information I learned at the recent PaleoFX12 Conference I attended in Austin last month concerned the surprising connection between gluten and coffee which holds ramifications for other autoimmune disorders as well.

The problem has nothing to do with caffeine, so decaf coffee would be included in this discussion.

In a nutshell, fairly recent lab research has revealed that 10% of coffee is a protein that cross reacts with gluten antibodies.

This means that if you are gluten sensitive or celiac and are avoiding gluten containing grains or perhaps have even gone completely grain free, if you still drink coffee there is a strong likelihood that the protein in the coffee is triggering the very same gluten related health problems you are trying to avoid.

In other words, even if you think you are doing fine with your current gluten free diet, it is very possible that skipping the coffee could take your health to the next level.

Symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity

Most people who are gluten sensitive don’t realize it because gastrointestinal problems like burping, gas, tummy upset, or toilet issues are the least common way for gluten issues to present themselves!

The most common symptoms of gluten sensitivity?

Migraines and other neurological issues – even MS!

Hormone and endocrine problems are another common way for gluten issues to manifest themselves.

How Coffee Triggers Gluten Sensitivity

So what exactly happens when a gluten sensitive person eats gluten?

Folks with gluten antibodies react to any gluten in the diet by mounting an immune response.  This means that gluten is perceived by the body as an invader and the gluten antibodies attack the gluten itself trying to destroy it.   This gluten attack is an inflammatory response and inflammation issues can occur anywhere in the body in any tissue or organ.

Here’s the real shocker I came across when researching the coffee/gluten connection:

According to Dr. David Clark DC, a functional neurologist and endocrinologist:

There’s not a disease or health condition you can think of that does not have an association – in the research literature – with gluten sensitivity.

That’s a very strong statement!

In essence then, if you are gluten sensitive in any way shape or form, and it seems that most people are whether they know it or not given the epidemic levels of autoimmune issues today, gluten antibodies have the potential to react to proteins in other foods as if they are gluten thereby triggering an immune and inflammatory response.

The protein in coffee is the most common cross-reactor to gluten.   Because it is the protein in the coffee that is the trigger, switching to decaf coffee does not solve the problem.

Is it possible to be gluten sensitive and not cross react to coffee?  Yes it’s possible but you’ll have to do some expensive lab testing with a knowledgeable doctor to find out.

UPDATE:  For the latest on the cross-reactivity of coffee and gluten, please refer to a more recent article based on research published in the Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences from January 2013.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

 

Sources and More Information

Why You Need to Change WHEN You Drink Coffee

The Truth About Your Morning Coffee Fix

Is Caffeine Causing Your Chronic Back Pain

Coffee and Gluten Sensitivity

Healthy Coffee Substitutes

Coffee and Gluten Sensitivity – Surprising News

Picture Credit

 

Comments (405)

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  5. Leslie Wetzel-Moldenauer via Facebook August 6, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    I just had the cross reactive test done on Monday. Two long weeks until I get the results. I hope coffee is not on my list.

    Reply
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    • Please update this! The whole cross-reactivity myth has been debunked! Yes, coffee (and alcohol and other foods) can make celiacs feel sick, but it has nothing to do with gluten!

      Reply
  7. Pingback: Is coffee gluten free? - Gluten Free Diet Tips for Celiac Disease Symptoms, Foods and Lifestyle

  8. Honest to God. You might as well just eat and drink anything you want and simply be miserable. The list of acceptable things you can put into your body and NOT be miserable is getting smaller and smaller.

    Reply
      • The problem is that if you go by all the articles like this you end up not eating any grains, any dairy, eggs, nightshades, soy, and the list goes on. All this information is controversial. Most that claim it to be true say only some parts will be true for some people. Other people say those who think they have problems with all these other foods are simply getting glutened without realizing it due to cross contamination. I don’t know the answer, but I have actually cut most of this out of my diet. While I still have plenty of issues, I have also noticed some amazing changes that eliminating gluten alone did not provide.

        Reply
  9. Blanche Moore via Facebook April 3, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Don’t laugh, but my husband came home from work with a new idea for coffee a co-worker told him about. Roasted okra! I said to him, I will ask Healthy Home Economist about it. So, what do you think?

    Reply
  10. Andrew Thornquist via Facebook April 3, 2014 at 10:04 am

    I just read the study that forms the basis of caution for coffee, and Ms. Gedgaudas’ comments are spot on. For those with gluten sensitivities or CD, here is the summary (as quoted and slightly paraphrased from the study):

    Instant coffee is contaminated with traces of gluten. Don’t drink it. However, drinking pure coffee may be safe for individuals with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease as long as these individuals do not have classical allergy to coffee. [My advice then: buy organic coffee in whole bean form, then grind right before brewing--and this for both health and enjoyment reasons.]

    If you’re on a gluten-free diet and do not show improvement in you’re GI or other symptoms, attention should be given to dairy and other cross-reactive foods, such as yeast, corn, oats, millet and rice.


    Rebekah Thornquist Tamara Thornquist Cora Nicole Thornquist Benjamin Johansen

    Reply
  11. Elisa Jennette via Facebook April 3, 2014 at 7:45 am

    very interesting. I had eliminated coffee for over 2 months and recently began just having one cup a day before my tea..and my sensitivity symptoms have returned. I was attributing it to the limited wheat in my diet..back to tea only today to see what happens.

    Reply
  12. Well I am a very sensitive Celiac and coffee doesn’t bother me at all or cause any evidence of damage. My Dermatitis Herpetiformis would pop up with a vengeance if it did, every time I get glutened it shows up a few days after the “spewing from all orifices” stage is over. I am pretty sure that the coffee crossreactivity idea has been debunked quite a few times by reputable scientists as well. I know several other Celiac coffee drinkers who are also fine, so I’m no unicorn.

    Reply
  13. Barbara Heimlich via Facebook April 3, 2014 at 6:37 am

    Very interesting article. Something to look into further. I really detest tea and my body doesn’t like it either….guess it’s water to the rescue!!!! I have also found that teas aren’t so innocent either for our health. Reactions I’ve had to teas has kept me away from them for years.

    Reply
  14. Indigo Taylor via Facebook April 3, 2014 at 1:47 am

    :( noooooooo its like the one thing I can still enjoy. Oh well. Better stick to tea I guess, or my own freshly ground coffee beans. No cross-contamination. Hmmhp. >:(

    Reply
  15. Janet Michael Roten via Facebook April 3, 2014 at 1:40 am

    In Mexico, we lived behind a coffee shop. The freshly roasted beans were shiny. We saw it happen!!

    Reply
  16. Addy Tindell Seymour via Facebook April 2, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    Lindsey, I’ve wondered about that so many times, but can’t ever seem to find any info! My husband roasts at home, and never roasts more than 4-5 days worth at a time. He does it because of the flavor, but I’ve often wondered if some of the “side effects” of coffee are simply due to old beans! There is a huge difference. We never buy coffee drinks at chain shops anymore, if we can help it!

    Reply
  17. Lindsey Leite via Facebook April 2, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    I do see what they are saying but would offer that issues may also be more of a problem because people drink coffee that is old! It is a little known fact that coffee should be drunk within 14 days of roasting!!! After this if begins to decay and effectively becomes rancid, shown by becoming very oily and shiny! My husband and I often have people comment that when drinking coffee from well known big brand coffee houses they experience reflux and other bad symptoms… However when they drink coffee at our independent coffee shop, they do not… It is often a shock to hear that we serve within a strict 14 day limit… If you do buy coffee gf/ celiac or not, consider finding a local independent store and purchasing fresh roasted beans to consume in a 14 day limit. Anyone buying coffee should always be able to see a clearly visible ” roasted on” label… Yes these beans are more expensive than Costco… Now you know why…you also won’t get a belly ache…

    Reply
  18. Joann Varnell via Facebook April 2, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Kessa Englert Connan, the article has a bit saying there may be a link with gluten sensitivity and ms.

    Reply
  19. Jennifer Fugo Gresh via Facebook April 2, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    It’s actually been changed from coffee to instant coffee on Cyrex labs sometime last year from my understanding :)

    Reply
  20. Pingback: Healthy Mama: Why I Quit Coffee After All These Years

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  23. Goodness, I am surprised at all the negativity here. Thank you Sarah, for talking about something that really IS occuring and I find information about this ALL the time as a nutritional therapist. I consider Dr. Tom O’Bryan a very credible resource…so good job! My question is regarding coffee cross reaction and coffee enemas. any thoughts? Seems like they would still be fine but I can’t find any info on this. Thanks for all your hard work, I end up on your page frequently for various topics :)

    Reply
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  25. Very very interesting! I don’t tolerate either gluten or coffee and nor do the majority of my clients who are women. I’m going to have to dig deeper on this one and look forward to reading up on the science behind this.

    I have never been a fan of coffee – I consider it a drug that we self-medicate with – but this puts it into a whole new category of never ever ever!

    Reply
    • I did some further reading and per Kerry’s comment above this is the document to read
      Food and Nutrition Sciences, 2013 http://www.scirp.org/journal/fns
      Cross-Reaction between Gliadin and Different Food and Tissue Antigens by Aristo Vojdani1, Igal Tarash

      It does state that the instant coffee samples were contaminated with gluten, and that “drinking pure coffee, but not instant coffee, may be safe for individuals with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease as long as they do not have classical allergy to coffee.”

      I work with anxious women and most cannot tolerate coffee/caffeine. This in itself is a reason to quit.

      So I do stand my earlier comment about coffee being a drug that we self-medicate with — you just have to read some of the distressed comments on this blog to see this . By getting enough sleep, supporting the adrenals, addressing low catecholamines, anemia and thyroid problems, many of my clients are able to quit. But I have to say it’s tough for most of them. But once they have quit they can’t believe they made such an issue about it and are pleased about it.

      Reply
  26. Pingback: A Spot of Tea | Oh Sweet Mercy

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  29. Gosh, I drink coffee several times per week, eat bread once or twice per week, pasta, once or twice per month, and I have never had an issue, symptom, reaction allergic or otherwise to gluten. Are you sure this isn’t another one of those hysterias?

    I know a lot of people here in California who are “gluten sensitive” and a sip of coffee would never get within one mile of them. But, I cannot help but noticing, a very pronounced correlation with this claim and mental illness, highly dysfunctional, have never held a job, believes “the universe will provide” and all sorts of delusional belief systems. Strange. Just a strong positive correlation. Jus’ sayin’.

    Reply
    • Marti,

      A discussion on gluten in [artificial] coffee probably not appropriate place for a discussion on ‘is Celiac disease real because I don’t have it’. But let me say ..

      Indeed I eat shell fish without problem, though my friend J has cardiac arrest if he does so. Do you think maybe he fakes those? Many people have symptoms that are very real and sometimes very serious. Yes it is real, and it is a very big deal. You can find a lot of information about symptoms and stories on the internet in other forums on those topics.

      Reply
    • I can assure you that gluten intolerance is a very real illness and far removed from mental illnesses, though feeling sick for more than a year without understanding why, caused mild depression with me…Im a normal human being again after I got diagnosed and exclude all gluten from my diet…back again at exercising etc…I am a trauma therapist and therefore work with mental and emotional patients for over a decade…There’s definitely no correlation like you are pondering about. Just be thankful for your health!

      Reply
  30. Thanks for the clarification Tyffanie.

    .. much instant coffee is a wheat product, as is much coffee, I fail to understand the focus on real coffee in the posts here when the liquid that is being consumed by most people as ‘coffee’ is a wheat product. Isn’t this missing the point? .. or do you all work for the food industry and your concern is getting the protein that trigger celiac out of these products?

    Reply
  31. There is no published research on this topic yet. However, Dr. Vojdani who is with Cyrex Labs never said all coffee is cross-reactive to gluten. He said only instant coffee was cross reactive in his research. I believe his research is yet to be published on this topic for peer review. Coffee does have some health benefits but can also put a drain on the adrenals and cause other health problems. But ditching ALL coffee because one is gluten sensitive was not the intention nor suggestion of Dr. Vojdani.

    Reply
  32. I am getting very confused. I believe Dr. Clark did publish a correction to his original statements and clarified it is “instant coffee” that cross-reacts with the antibodies. Regular coffee has no association with gluten intolerance. After reading that wine is also linked with this problem, the prospects of living on water and vegetables for the rest of my natural life appears bleak indeed.

    Reply
  33. And also, I wrote Starbucks and asked them to deny that their coffee was a wheat product. They replied very quickly trying to change the subject, but when that failed they said they would get back to me. They never did. They never denied it.

    Reply
  34. Interesting. Do you know the exact name of the published research article that uncovered this association? I’d like to review it further. Thanks.

    Reply
  35. Are you sure that you are looking at coffee. I would wager that most, if not all, coffee on the market today is artificial in full or in part. Artificial coffee beans and artificial coffee is readily available for wholesale purchase and costs much less than real coffee. It is made from pressed carbohydrates that are flavored and then roasted like other coffee. It lacks the rich flavor of coffee but surprisingly few people notice, so it is typically sold at high prices and thus high profit margin.

    Because of the prevalence of artificial coffee, I woudl also wager that many labs of have tested it rather than having tested the real thing.

    Reply
  36. “10% of coffee is a protein…” That would be coffee BEANS, yes? But brewed coffee? It seems counter-intuitive.

    Not a scientist here, but am thinking that when we make broth, we benefit from the vitamins, minerals, trace elements…but not protein.

    So I guess my question is, does this caution truly reflect the effect of coffee in the from of a drink brewed from coffee grounds? Or is it based on the nutritional analysis of the whole coffee bean itself, which the body would encounters as quite from a brew?

    Reply
  37. I hope you’re going to post a proper retraction of statements you made. It seems you completely misunderstood what was being said.

    The study indicates that the “instant coffee” samples were contaminated with gluten, and that “drinking pure coffee, but not instant coffee, may be safe for individuals with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease as long as they do not have classical allergy to coffee.” (page 27 of the periodical)

    Youstated: “lab research has revealed that 10% of coffee is a protein that cross reacts with gluten antibodies.” Dr. Vojdani actually stated in his research paper that coffee beans contain 10-14% protein total. He does not state what types of proteins are included — just the total by dry weight, and that it is possible to be allergic to coffee. Here’s the quote:
    “Despite the fact that a considerable amount of protein, ranging from 10% – 14% of the dry weight, is found in green and roasted coffee seeds [30-32], there is not enough awareness of the fact that both an immune reaction and an allergy to coffee beans is possible.”

    Food and Nutrition Sciences, 2013, 4, 20-32doi:10.4236/fns.2013.41005 Published Online January 2013 (http://www.scirp.org/journal/fns)
    Cross-Reaction between Gliadin and Different Food and Tissue Antigens
    Aristo Vojdani1,2*, Igal Tarash

    I’m pointing this out because I think you’re both discreditting yourself and the researcher you misunderstood and you likely have a wider fan base than he does :-)

    BTW I only drink coffee about once a week as a treat because I know it’s hard on my stomach/gallbladder. I try to save my real consumption of it for medicinal use – it helps with both my asthma and once a month migraine headache. I’m not posting this as a diehard can’t give up my morning coffee type of person.

    Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
      Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist September 15, 2013 at 8:57 am

      Thanks for this .. will look into it. This article was published long before this paper was published in Food and Nutrition Sciences so perhaps there has been additional delving into the problem since that time shedding further light onto the situation. I definitely did not misunderstand at PaleoFX .. the information came from Nora Gedgaudas author of Primal Body Primal Mind. I will email her about it :)

      Reply
      • While I found the 2013 publication mentioned in my comment above, I haven’t found an earlier publication on this topic. It may be because I am only searching in databases for peer reviewed journals. What criteria do Clark & Gedgaudas (& this blog for that matter) use when evaluating “cutting edge research”?

        Reply
  38. She indicates she got the info at the PaleoFX12 conference, and it appears she completely misunderstood Dr. Vojdani’s conclusion on coffee & gluten. I don’t know if Dr. Vojdani was misquoted by a speaker, or if she misunderstood him directly.

    Luckily, she did give Dr. Vojdani as her source, & the name of the lab, Cyrex, where his research was conducted. This paper is available in its entirety via google scholar (I searched “aristo vojdani gluten”, it was 3rd from the bottom. I included the reference info below).

    The study indicates that the “instant coffee” samples were contaminated with gluten, and that “drinking pure coffee, but not instant coffee, may be safe for individuals with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease as long as they do not have classical allergy to coffee.” (page 27 of the periodical)

    She stated: “lab research has revealed that 10% of coffee is a protein that cross reacts with gluten antibodies.” Dr. Vojdani actually stated in his research paper that coffee beans contain 10-14% protein total. He does not state what types of proteins are included — just the total by dry weight, and that it is possible to be allergic to coffee. Here’s the quote:

    “Despite the fact that a considerable amount of protein, ranging from 10% – 14% of the dry weight, is found in green and roasted coffee seeds [30-32], there is not enough awareness of the fact that both an immune reaction and an allergy to coffee beans is possible.”

    Food and Nutrition Sciences, 2013, 4, 20-32
doi:10.4236/fns.2013.41005 Published Online January 2013 (http://www.scirp.org/journal/fns)
    Cross-Reaction between Gliadin and Different Food and Tissue Antigens
    Aristo Vojdani1,2*, Igal Tarash

    Reply
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  40. This saved my life! I wasn’t getting my period for two years. I stopped my daily coffee and two weeks later I got my period. I am celiac and I happened to see this sight and wow am I thankful!!!

    Reply
  41. Historically coffee has often been made from grain. Companies such as Starbucks and General Foods have patents on using “carbohydrates” in coffee. I wrote Starbucks and asked them if they deny that their coffee is a wheat product. They did not deny it, but rather went on a rant on their natural coffee process. General foods has a patent on natural coffee flavor made from fermenting grain, so we know what they mean by natural. There are even inventions on pressing carbohydrates to imitation coffee beans. Coffee is expensive, would a multinational be capable of leaving it alone?

    Reply
  42. maryanne parker May 20, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Thank you for this post because I am coeliac and I have been feeling ill off coffee for ages, Drinking loads of decaf I seem to be addicted to it. I know I have to stop now thanks again.

    Reply
  43. Pingback: Coffee and coeliac disease – my week of ‘getting clean’ | Gluten Free Blogger

  44. My husband has been diagnosed celiac (after colonoscopy) and has the dermatitus herpeformis rash but was told by his doctor that he DOESN’T have the gluten antibodies in his blood.
    Thought maybe it was an allergic reaction to something…but now I’m begining to wonder.
    He is a BIG coffee drinker.

    Reply
  45. Pingback: Bad News, Guys: Coffee Can Look Like Gluten to Your Body | Paleo Plan

  46. Pingback: Gluten Issues or Celiac: Don’t Drink Coffee | susanne287

  47. Jamie, 3-4 servings of caffeine a day is plenty enough to cause diarrhea, cramping, etc. all by itself in a person with no other health problems. Perhaps the obvious explanation is more likely than that you also have a rare allergy to coffee. It is unlikely the coffee is doing you any permanent harm, but if the symptoms are bothersome to you, I would try drinking less coffee before I would get some expensive lab test of unproven clinical significance.

    Reply
  48. I have been on a Glueten Free diet now for three weeks and I am still having the same issues. I drink 3 to 4 cups of black coffee a day. This really stinks… I love my coffee. I wonder if it was just the coffee the entire time.???

    Reply
  49. Pingback: Kicking the Coffee Habit | Autoimmune Paleo

  50. If this is true, thanks for the ‘heads up’.
    This also may be of (added) interest.
    I have read a few times, that one should avoid freeze dried coffee, as that has gluten in it.
    Rob down Under
    PS Perhaps the freeze drying process makes the protein discussed in your article more availalble (aka worse for us who are gluten intolerant)

    Reply
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  53. Pingback: The Gluten/Coffee Connection: My Personal Observations

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  55. Cyrex has a PDF explaining how to prepare for the test. On that PDF they list the foods that are tested because of gluten cross reactivity and because of gluten cross contamination. BIG difference and coffee is tested because of possible cross contamination with wheat during the manufacturing process. Make sure your coffee is manufactured in a gluten free facility and you should be ok.

    Here’s a link to that PDF. I also called them to confirm although it’s pretty black and white.
    https://docs.google.com/open?id=0BzCWF8K_8l3Od28xeVBtaENRTWM

    Reply
  56. I’m 35 and I’m just discovering in the last few months that the long list of health problems I’ve had most of my life have been related to candida and celiac. After doing a cleanse to rid myself of the candida a lot of my issues persisted and they all point to celiac. I’ve been weeding out all foods containing gluten and still have been having symptoms (gastro and neurological- dizzyness and more) So just now I googled coffee and celiac as I have had a rapid increase in symptoms today after drinking coffee and this is all making a lot of sense!!
    Any time I’ve had a migraine in my life it was after having coffee. I don’t have a migraine today, but my stomach is rumbling away, my throat feels closed and I am quite dizzy/faint feeling, which are all symptoms that I have experienced with gluten in the last few months.
    Keep sharing your experiences people… we can help each other sooo much!

    Reply
    • Be careful about the “throat feels closed” you may have an allergy. The throat tightening can be a precursor to Anaphylaxis.

      Reply
  57. Pingback: BEST Maple Pumpkin Pie … Gluten Free – Lindsay Jones :: FoodFlirt.com

  58. Pingback: Coffee and gluten/grains? | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page

  59. Hi,

    I was wondering if you know whether cocoa butter and cocoa butter present the same problem. I see chocolate listed as possible cross reactivity but then read it’s the dairy in the chocolate, not the cocoa.

    Thank you,
    Kristina

    Reply
    • People,everyone is different I’m celiac I drink espresso Americano every morning I feel great I’m also pretty Damn good in the kitchen give me a call 619-274-5352 my name is Don

      Reply
  60. I had tests showing gluten & dairy allergies. Therefore my coffee is black.
    However I always feel terrible after drinking it. Dehydrated, sore joints, dizzy, confused, insomnia, unhappy gut….and basically feeling stressed/jittery. The good feeling at the time of drinking it lasts 10 minutes before the nasty symptoms kick in.
    Probably the strangest symptom is fluid retention, especially under my eyes (kidney/adrenal zone, go figure!).
    I’m grateful for this blog post. It makes a lt of sense to me. I think research in future will confirm all of this.
    By the way – my relative is Celiac, he gets the runs after coffee. Now we know why.
    Finally, I just wanted to say that education doesn’t install fear. Knowledge is empowerment. Yes, more research on this is needed. However Chinese herbs worked & weren’t researched for hundreds of years. Many still haven’t been! Peer reviewed lit is not the be all & end all.

    Reply
  61. I worked at a seminar by Apex Energetics this weekend on Neurotransmitters and Brain. Part of the discussion focused on gluten and its affect on the brain for those that are gluten sensitive. The speaker at this event works closely with Dr. Vojdani from Cyrex Labs. He explained that the coffee tested for in the cross reactive panel is INSTANT COFFEE like Folgers. The speaker explained that Dr. Vojdani also tested gourmet coffees like Starbucks and there were NO cross reactivity issues with these coffees. You may want to update this article given this information.

    Reply
  62. Great website!
    But for the link between coffee and gluten, I am a bit annoyed with the science behind this study.
    Dr.Clark and Dr. Vodjani mention recent medical studies (I presume in April 2012) but unfortunately there is no medical study published in any scientific journal (at least in October 2012) on a direct link between gluten and coffee. You can easily check in PubMed with the keywords ‘Gluten’ and ‘Coffee’ at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed
    There is an article in 1983 indicating that coffee contains peptides that can bind to opioid receptors. Gluten peptides can also bind to opioid receptors. This common point does not suggest that the peptides in the coffee can trigger the same reaction that those in gluten. Many different opioid receptors exist and thus the peptides in coffee and gluten could be very different.
    Besides, revealing results from medical studies before publication is usually a bad idea. Once the data is reviewed by other experts in the field, it can be discovered that it was not reliable. It can be very suspicious to talk about data that have never been scientifically checked.

    That being said I am gluten sensitive and I feel that some coffees are not acting very well on my intestines. Since I observe similar effects with other drinks with high content with caffeine such as energy drinks, I suppose that it could be due to caffeine. But I do not exclude the possibility that these doctors may be right. They just have to seriously prove it.
    My advice is to try to stop coffee for a few weeks and see if there is any improvement on the intestinal health. Another advice if you decide to stop coffee: stop progressively or you may experience bad withdrawal effects such as headaches. Black tea first and then green tea seems to me a good way to go through the transition more smoothly.

    Reply
  63. I would really appreciate it if you could cite the scientific research studies supporting “10% of coffee is a protein that cross reacts with gluten antibodies.”
    Chiropractor David C. Clark is not enough.
    Thank you.
    S

    Reply
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  65. Tsenka Alexander via Facebook October 7, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Blah,blah,blah!!!!!Gluten is actually a splendid complex vegetable protein,which could be transformed to become easily digestible,nutritiuos and delicious via ancient culinary practices which stimulate the innate enzyme activity,as well as neutralize naturally occurring,unwanted anti-nutrients.FERMENTATION,GUYS, THE SLOOOOOOOW KITCHEN!!! K U D O S, S A N D O R E L L I X K A T Z!

    Reply
  66. Oh my God how do I get off the response to this coffee thing and gluten. This is a HOT topic and I would like to know how to STOP receiving comments on it. Any Help?! Or I am gonna grab a cup of JOE!
    thank you

    Reply
  67. Dara Jones via Facebook October 6, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    I too felt great at first on Paleo – stabilized my wicked blood sugar problems – then got so tired I couldn’t function. On more carbs now and feel much better. Am being very careful with which ones because my gut still isn’t healed all the way. For example, after adding back gluten free oatmeal, some bad neurological issues came back after being completely gone while grain free. So am looking for the optimal mix of grain-free (for blood sugar, gut healing, and neurological stuff) and the right level of carbs (for energy and my thyroid). And, if this is really true about coffee (hey – maybe it isn’t!), it’s either drink coffee or get my life back. Hmmm…..wonder which I’ll choose.

    Reply
  68. Becky Sher via Facebook October 6, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    I heard a lot about gluten intolerance but I had never heard of Gluten Ataxia, an autoimmune disease that attacks your brain. It’s pretty rare. Worst of all, it’s likely that most of the doctors are clueless about it, even though simply go gluten free will stop the attack and lead a normal life.
    http://www.livingwithout.com/issues/1_11/untreated_gluten_sensitivity-1800-1.html?ET=livingwithout%3Ap76216%3A223054a%3A&st=pmail&s=P_TuesdayTip100212&t=B_TL_P

    Reply
  69. @Laura yes I think Paleos are so into coffee because many are thyroid depressed from not eating any grains and being so low carb. I was off grains for 6 months and felt great (healed up my gut) and then was getting sooo tired I i knew it was time to go back on grains.

    Reply
  70. Mimi Munson Pooley via Facebook October 6, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    I’m truly depressed now, I love my morning cup of freshly brewed Panamanian! Guess I should now say that in the past tense. :(

    Reply
  71. …Chris did mention it on his podcast of 13th June 2012 but rather he was not at that time convinced of its clinical relevance. Is the cross reactivity due to underlying intestinal permeability problems associated with gluten sensitivity or is it a true cross reactivity due to similar protein structures? Is it likely people who are gluten sensitive then cross react to many other proteins too? The significance of what Cyrex labs concludes is not really clear. He also recommends removing coffee if you are gluten sensitive and seeing if any symptoms subside or you just generally feel better. No more evidence is really required other than direct personal experience of an individual I guess! Interesting topic!

    Reply
  72. Rochelle Ferguson via Facebook October 6, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    This is very true! I was tested for gluten sensitivities, which I have. Coffee was the highest reaction I had, my body thinks coffee is gluten.

    Reply
  73. Rochelle Ferguson via Facebook October 6, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    This is very true! I was tested for gluten sensitivities, which I have. Coffee was the highest reaction I had, my body thinks coffee is gluten.

    Reply
  74. I heard of this potential connection a few months back but I then soon after heard some evidence contradicting it by a well-reputed source whom I can not just now remember precisely (may have been Chris Kresser but will try to find it and confirm). I must do some digging further on this issue. I’m not sure what to make of it but caution and monitoring how one feels is probably a wise idea.

    Reply
  75. There are so many things like this that cause issues for people with celiac or gluten sensitivity that a lot of people don’t think about. I was working with one of my GAPS clients the other day and she said she had completely gone off grains but was still having problems. She doesn’t want to give up coffee, although I encouraged her to do so or at least cut back to a great extent. We ran through all the possibilities of other foods she might be eating that are causing problems and she mentioned balsamic vinegar and I said, “bingo!” Then she said, “wow, I eat it probably several times a day because I love it so much! No wonder I am still having problems.” She didn’t know this usually contains gluten.

    Reply
  76. Lauren Simons via Facebook October 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    I think its a load of crap. Coffee & gluten aren’t related unless someone puts some sort of wheat ( or other gluteneous grain) in their coffee blend.

    Reply
  77. Faith Harron Boudreau via Facebook October 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    I was coffee free for 2 weeks earlier this year – while detoxing a bit. I felt pretty good once I was past the withdrawal of caffeine. I thought by drinking decaf I was safe. Maybe not. I have been drinking less – so maybe now is the time to give it up completely. Or when I run out of the 3 bags in my pantry.

    Reply
  78. Kati Stiles Carter via Facebook October 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I love coffee but haven’t had it for over a year because of how it makes me feel. I thought it was the caffeine, but tea doesn’t affect me like coffee at all.

    Reply
  79. It isn’t just coffee but rice, corn, millet, all the things we think are “gluten free” needs to be looked into. glutenfreesociety.org that is the best site ever. After giving up all of those things my celiac disease cleared up. I was eating “gluten free” but was still sick. I gave up coffee long ago thinking it was the caffeine but this makes sense now!

    Reply
  80. It appears the writer and researcher are lumping gluten sensitivity and Celiac all in one big sentence. Gluten Sensitive people do NOT produce the antibodies. Celiacs produce the antibodies. Someone needs to understand the difference as it’s pretty huge.

    Definitions from the Center of Celiac Research (celiaccenter.org):

    What is gluten sensitivity?
    As the word “sensitive” suggests, gluten sensitivity is a reaction to ingesting gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. Symptoms can arise throughout the body and range from fatigue and “foggy mind” to diarrhea, depression and joint pain.

    How does gluten sensitivity differ from celiac disease?

    Although symptoms (particularly gastrointestinal) are often similar to those of celiac disease, the overall clinical picture is less severe. Recent research at the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research shows that gluten sensitivity is a different clinical entity that does not result in the intestinal inflammation that leads to a flattening of the villi of the small intestine that characterizes celiac disease. The development of tissue transglutaminase (tTG) autoantibodies, used to diagnose celiac disease, is not present in gluten sensitivity

    Reply
  81. Pingback: Hmm…. Do I (want to) believe this? | I Believe in Music the Way Some People Believe in Fairy Tales…

  82. I find this very interesting. Last year I was told to get off gluten immediately. Months later my doctor ran a blood test that said I should also avoid coffee. It sounded odd, but I took has advice….glad I did.

    Reply
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  86. I’ve never heard of Coffee being an issue for those with Celiac, at least I never had an issue. Recently I’ve switched to energy “shot” products. I take about one a day (Eternal energy shot, can get at walmart), and I feel great and haven’t had any negative side effects. I guess each to his own, but just thought I would comment and share my two cents.

    -Anna

    Reply
  87. Pingback: Coffee and gluten….oh, no!! | Glutenfreewithglee

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  89. This article sounds like fear mongering. I am celiac & been tested for about 90 other allergens as well. Coffee did not show up a problem and it doesn’t make me feel sick like so many foods/drinks. I wouldn’t worry. Flavored coffee on the other hand does have gluten so I avoid it.

    Reply
  90. I have been diagnosed with Celiac disease for 5 years now, & drink mug after mug of coffee every day. I drink specifically labeled coffee with specifically labeled cream & sugar. I’ve never had a problem with it. EVER. I’d go so far as to say that coffee makes me feel better when I’ve been contaminated.

    Because Celiac disease has such an incredible array of symptoms, doctors & researchers are able to link it to any old thing. For those of you who have reactions to coffee, look into an allergy to the coffee beans themselves. If there is a link, I’ll believe it when I see the research!

    Reply
  91. We actually agree about engineered food and solid food introduction, I think we’re just defining things differently. By breastfeeding I mean exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, no supplementation of formula (which IS an “engineered” food and DOES damage the guts of babies). I doubt most of the people you mentioned were breastfed exclusively for 6 months and continued to have breastmilk as their staple food for the next year to year and a half. Very few people nowadays are fed that way, but it is how the human mammal is supposed to be fed. And I believe the future will tell us that many of our food related problems trace back to mammals not eating the way mammals bodies were meant to eat, whether that be at the infant stage or later.

    Reply
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  94. I wonder how much of the gluten intolerance issue could be resolved if our culture got back to breastfeeding the way mammals are intended to. All this gut damage has to start somewhere, and I’m pretty positive it doesn’t start with a custom-made diet of breastmilk!

    Reply
    • While I agree that some of that canned and powdered stuff is a bit scary when you read the ingredient list, I’d say you’d be hard pressed to find direct evidence that lack of breastfeeding is a key in the rise of gluten intolerance. Particularly because nearly everyone I know who ascribes to a gluten free diet due to intolerance or even celiac disease, myself included, were all breast fed.
      They’ve done research on the age-appropriate introduction of foods for years now, and I think that has more to do with it than breastfeeding. There’s a lack of understanding amongst the general population that children have not developed the ability to eat certain foods until a certain age, so they give a 4 month old pieces of bread made with all kinds of “fortified” and extra (read: superfluous) ingredients or hand a 10 month old some peanut butter covered bread and then wonder why they aren’t feeling well… We live in an age of engineered foods. Sad but true. And infant bodies are not meant to ingest engineered foods so early. Plain and simple.

      Reply
  95. “If you never stopped drinking coffee when you went gluten free then you would never have stopped making gluten antibodies if you were cross reactive. Not everyone is cross reactive but it seems that the great majority are.”
    Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist\’s last post: Gluten Issues or Celiac? Don’t Drink Coffee!

    Why does it seem that the great majority are? What is the scientific basis for that statement- and this whole post, for that matter?

    Reply
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  97. So I had IgG testing done and while gluten came back as a high level sensitivity for me, coffee did not. Does that mean I’m home free? Or is the testing you’re referring to something different? Thanks!!

    Reply
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  102. Exactly! If you take the coffee out and don’t notice any difference, then you are lucky enough to not cross react to it. We went so far as to purchase green (unroasted) coffee beans, wash them 3 times over, dry them again and then roast them in an air popping popcorn machine. We STILL reacted, unfortunately. So no matter how much I don’t want to admit that this is real, I have to. Our last resort is to try Yerba Mate for some daily caffeine, as regular tea also doesn’t work well with us—rashes, mood swings etc. I don’t understand how our bodies can mistake coffee for gluten, but it’s true.

    Reply
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  105. Will this still affect those, like me, who have a wheat intolerance? I do find myself not feeling as well when I get lattes, but I always blame it on milk cross contamination since I am intolerant to dairy too.

    Reply
  106. Enjoying my morning cup or two while reading through Healthy Home Economist’s always-alarmist posts . . . genius does breed at the fringe, however. If coffee seems to be an issue for you, don’t drink it! If it doesn’t, then do! What is so hard about that?

    Reply
  107. Pingback: I Quit Coffee | Naturally Minimalist

  108. Thanks, Sarah, for this post. My acupuncturist has been urging me (I’m off all grains, eggs, nightshades and nuts) to kick the coffee to see if it would be helpful with my thyroid symptoms. Feeling that coffee was one of my last pleasures, I resisted mightily. There is a lot of research pro and con regarding the effects of coffee. Your post convinced me to give a coffee-free period a shot. Four days in, I haven’t died yet! Looking forward to assessing the effect of no coffee as I get further along. I appreciate your sharing the thought-provoking information. I understand why some people hate it, though!

    Reply
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  110. Thanks for sharing this Sarah. I found a similar article a little over a year ago regarding this same thing with coffee and gluten. Unfortunately I can’t remember where I found it. I have been off gluten for about 5 years but I was still having a lot of GI problems. Prior to finding this connection I had given up coffee because of the caffeine. And I noticed within a few days some of my stomach issues had gone away. I loved coffee! And have a grinder for my beans, french press, mapped out all the Starbucks etc., So I didn’t at first think the coffee was the problem. It wasn’t until I started drinking it again during the holidays when I had family visiting. I got horribly ill from it. I couldn’t believe it. So much so. I would try coffee once in awhile just to see. And every time I would get sick! For those of you who can’t see a life without coffee it can be done. I am now a tea drinker. Tea doesn’t bother me at all. It’s been about a year and half now no coffee and majority of my stomach issues have cleared up. It was last winter when I happened to come across the study about cross reactive foods. I wish I could provide a link. It very well maybe the same study you’ve shared. I feel so much better and I truly don’t miss it anymore. Believe me I would have never ever thought I would have life without coffee and here I am. I suppose at one time I would have never have thought I would have a life without gluten too. I tell everyone I know who has celiac to eliminate coffee.

    Reply
  111. Io sono italiana e ho una grave sensibilità al glutine, l’anno scorso sono stata in cura con il dottor Volta, maggior ricercatore italiano, insieme a dottor Fasano, della gluten sensitivity, lui mi ha proibito il caffè e mi ha detto di non berlo perchè fa molto ma molto male a chi è sensibile al glutine.

    Reply
  112. Cross reacting to gluten antibodies suggests that the only way coffee would create a reaction is if gluten antibodies were present. Typically 3-6 months on a gluten free diet a person with Celiac will no longer have those antibodies. So how does a protein cross react with something that is no longer there?

    Reply
  113. Amen, Ktb! Btw, I consider people who have gut issues from gluten the lucky ones (in a way) because their symptoms are overt. I have auto-immune diseases caused and/or aggravated by gluten. When I stopped the gluten my sore, puffy multi-nodular goiter shrank in size and stopped hurting. My reverse T3 levels diminished. And my aching joints ached a lot less.
    My point is that gluten is harming susceptible people in many areas of the body, not just the gut. Although, I understand that the impaired gut is probably causing the other symptoms. I guess my real point is that anyone who thinks gluten sensitivity is just about stomach issues is way off the mark. This stuff does multi-organ damage in susceptible people and is very serious. Sometimes people seem to think it’s just about having fewer gas symptoms or something. To the coffee issue I say that forewarned is forearmed.

    Reply
    • You’re absolutely right B—-the non GI symptoms from gluten are FAR worse! Out of our family of 4 Celiacs, our daughter was the only one who got overt stomach issues with eating gluten. Only with eating the GAPS diet for 6 months have our leaky gut problems healed enough that we are now ‘lucky’ enough to get gut problems first.

      Reply
      • I tried the GAPS intro and it was working but family issues came up and I got off of it. I guess I need to try the intro again. Right now I’m pretty much on GAPS but I think I need the intro first. Thanks for reminding me of how successful it can be.

        Reply
  114. What a load of crap. This topic has been thoroughly discussed at celiac.com: http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/91779-dont-drink-coffee-healthy-home-economist/page__pid__787048#entry787048 The “doctor” promoting this idea is a chiropractor. Where’s the research to back up his claim? With as much coffee as I drink, I’d know if I was still having problems. Folks need to do their homework before they jump on every internet bandwagon. Enjoy that cuppa joe!

    Reply
    • So then why do my husband, son and I react to coffee as if it was gluten??? Heartburn, itching, moodiness and more typical gluten symptoms from coffee. If it was simply some sort of CC, then switching brands should help, but in the last 2 years I switched brands continually with no changes! When I saw this report last year, I was very angry and pretty much devastated. But lo and behold, quitting the coffee really DID show my family that there really is something to this cross reactivity. Adding one cup of coffee in every day last week has left me with terrible eczema rashes all over my body, with night sweats and multiple night wakings now going away. We have not had any testing done other than our own biological testing.

      Reply
      • It means you’re sensitive to coffee, not that the problem is related to the issue with gluten. Coffee doesn’t agree with everyone, and those whose systems are compromised tend to be more sensitive to a lot. My symptoms with soy and dairy are similar to my reaction to gluten. This means I have, in addition to celiac, intolerances to dairy and soy. It doesn’t mean that dairy and soy cross react. Their protein structures are similar, however they are separate issues. If something bothers one’s system, one removes it. Not every problem is related to gluten.

        Reply
      • you gut may not be healed yet and it is reacting to the acid in the coffee it takes awhile for the gut to heal—that is why a good GI doc who is knowledgeable in celiac will say to stay away from milk for at least 6 months to allow the body to heal—-If it helps to leave coffee alone then it helps but it is NOT repeat NOT a gluten reaction on Delphi Forums the celiac community is also dealing with calming our new members down with this…..this coffee thing has been going around and around the internet for awhile now, and is false rumor it is like the false rumor on ketchup, mustard, blue cheese all of those are safe
        please remember check the source of the information not just believe everything you read on the internet.
        p.s. if coffee was a source of gluten then Dr. Fansso (the foremost authority in celiac research) would be aware of it don’t you think? and he says coffee is safe—so why listen to a doc that is not even in the field of celiac disease celiac disease research or even a GI doc?????

        Reply
        • Thank you for saying this. I hope everyone else sees it. What isn’t safe re coffee is the flavorings, additives, sugar and creamers that get dumped into it. Even Dr Oz, a leading cardiac surgeon, just the other day extoled the virtues of coffee. Bottom line, if you are having gastro issues in reaction to something, no matter what it is, don’t eat it until your gut has healed and you are feeling better. And always consider the source of the information you see out there. Dr Fasano may be reached at the University of Maryland, and Dr Peter Green at Columbia.

          Reply
        • Dr Fasano does NOT know it all!!! Sorry, but when I talked to him about why gluten makes my kids have severe bleeding issues, often within less than 24 hours of eating gluten— he had NO answers for me as he had never seen this problem. I was floored as our family is just one of many I know of with kids or others who get bleeding problems with gluten ingestion. A Dr. In the lab is not necessarily in touch with real humans and each persons individual reaction to gluten or these newly identified cross reactors. There simply could NOT be gluten cross contamination in the many different brands of coffee our family has tried, and this is why I am a firm believer in gluten cross reactivity, especially since we drink our coffee black. I personally would be more than happy to prove to Dr. oz or Dr. Fasano the fact that coffee IS cross reactive with my unique gluten symptoms that kick in within a couple of days to a week with daily consumption of coffee, depending on how strong it is.

          I honestly don’t understand all the whining and freaking out— if you feel rotten still even after being GF or even grain free GF for a while, just quit the darn coffee for a week, see how you feel, add it back in and see how you feel. If you feel much better without the coffee—-it’s an issue. Period.

          Reply
          • fine stay off of coffee then— but do not tell everybody to stay off of coffee because coffee is not a problem most of people who have celiac and really if you know so much then you would really quit spreading rumors of things that are not true.
            people that have had problems with coffee before DXed with celiac may not of even known they had problems with coffee because of the celiac now that they are GF and are still having problems it is the acid or alkali in the coffee not the coffee being a gluten problem. It is an issue with the caffeine not the coffee.
            Having celiac is hard enough for food with out people spreading rumors on the web about food that is safe for most people. that is a big issue PERIOD!!!!

          • Actually, having Celiac is MUCH harder when some people don’t want ALL information on cross reactivity and cross contamination out there for everyone! Who’s telling you to not drink coffee? The point being made here is that SOME people have a problem with coffee and may not realize it until they are given this ground breaking information about cross reactivity, give up the coffee, and then get much better. I never EVER had a problem with coffee, drinking a pot and a half of VERY strong black coffee every day for over 20 years—- it wasn’t until about 2 years ago i started getting many mystery glutenings that i couldnt pin down and September 2011 I could not ignore that the coffee was ReALLY a culprit—–finding this out on my own with an elimination diet before i had even read an article announcing this news. For years, we were NOT getting better on standard GF. I thought we were just crazy because all the rest of our GF friends could eat all the Chex, Betty Crocker and Kinnikinick crap that made us sick. One day a simple Google search for gluten reactions from GF foods opened my eyes to cross contamination issues. Not everyone has overt reactions to gluten and can eat small amounts of daily gluten without getting sick—-but many of us can’t and it sure is nice to know that our reactions are validated with real humans like us. Dr. Fasano would have all Celiac’s believing that there is a safe daily threshold for gluten and any symptoms you might be having are either psychosomatic or from another condition. I prefer to trust REAL pioneers in the Celiac field like Dr. Clark or Dr. Peter Osborne or Dr. Natasha mcBride who actually listen and understand that all foods are not safe for Celiacs and can offer REAL healing for all and aren’t sell outs for food manufacturers.

        • In Italia i dottori esperti come Fasano e Volta lo dicono già da tanto tempo di non bere caffè!!!
          A me lo hanno detto, io mi sto curando con loro.

          Reply
  115. I wish Dr. Clark had commenting on his blog. A friend of mine pointed me to your post on this topic, and like everything else related to wheat it got me researching. I don’t know that the protein found in coffee is a cross-reactor, I simply don’t have access to the works done. What I do know is that most (if not all) of us who are troubled by wheat have a broken/leaky gut. What that means is that the things we ingest do not get digested properly, and raw proteins hit the blood system directly. That will cause an autoimmune reaction. Heal the gut. Fermented foods and probiotics are our bestest buddies. xoxo

    Reply
  116. Let’s not be so quick to jump to these conclusions. This claim is based on Cyrex Labs’ own internal study. Not very convincing.

    Reply
    • I’ve had the cyrex lab tests done and it confirmed what I thought to be true because I personally felt like I was getting glutened while eating quinoa. Sure enough, I was reacting to it.

      Reply
      • Ashley, I’m curious; what kind of symptoms were you having that felt like you were being glutened when you ate quinoa? I have severe gluten sensitivity per genetic testing, but never notice a reaction to anything I eat. I don’t have any GI symptons, etc. thanks,Joyce

        Reply
        • Hi Joyce,

          I usually get a pain in my stomach and I don’t digest very well. I also get very lethargic and sometimes my joints will hurt the next day and I feel anxious and depressed for a few days. It has been awhile since I’ve felt that way so I’ve kind of forgotten how bad it can be!

          Reply
          • Here’s the reasonable approach, in my opinion. Outside of foods that clearly contain gluten and need to be avoided by anyone with celiac, listen to your body. None of us are going to react exactly the same to everything that someone says “could” cause a problem. If you think something is making you feel sick, do an elimination trial with a food diary to make sure you have the right culprit. If you do figure out that something truly is bothering you, don’t eat it! Pretty simple. But just because it causes a problem for you does not mean it will cause a problem for everyone, or that it is doing silent damage like gluten can. By all means if someone pops into a forum and asks if any one is bothered by XYZ and you are, say yes! Share your experience! But needlessly eliminating foods from what may already be limited diets for some of us based on potentially biased information, especially something like coffee, which has been proven by multiple unbiased studies to have many health benefits, is premature.

  117. Im celiac..and react to coffee..stopped coffee about 2 years ago
    Because of the reaction, now more reports are coming out with
    Coffee being a cross allergen..my reaction was severe dizziness, light headed, confusion..
    Also react to wine, the fining agent used in some wines, contain gluten ;)

    Reply
  118. Way to go Sarah. I appreciate that you share new knowledge. I am just discovering keys to my own health thanks in a very large part to your blog.

    Reply
  119. Read alllll the comments! Wow! This is something to consider, certainly, but I wonder if certain acid/alkaline conditions in peoples’ bodies are what cause them to be sensitive to coffee, and if so perhaps those with gluten sensitivity have an imbalanced acid/alkaline condition already, so that drinking coffee exacerbates the acidity imbalance and/or protein sensitivity. If that makes any sense. I also wonder if one drinks a brand of coffee stated to be “low acid” as I’ve seen occasionally, if they might still experience problems with coffee. I suspect coffee is one of those things that is popular but not widely beneficial to begin with.

    I wonder that it has much to do with gluten at all, since the celiacs on here I think have all said they don’t have a reaction to coffee.

    Reply
  120. This couldn’t have come at a more perfect time :) I have been grain free since September of last year. If i get any grains I start retaining fluids. Recently I’d gained about 7 lbs and I couldn’t figure what it was from.. But I felt bloated and couldn’t wear my ring because of it. (I’ve been 40 lbs heavier and could wear it). I’d been drinking much more coffee recently, and now 3 days off the weight is off. Would never have guessed!!!! Thanks!!!

    Reply
  121. According to several doctors to whom I sent this information: if, in fact some people have a reaction to coffee (and not the sugar, sweeteneres, creamers or cream), it is a very rare reaction and might going away once the villi heal and the small intestine is healthy. As someone else said, coffee is a bean, not a grain. Flavored coffees may be suspect as well as instant flavored coffees which may contain barley or barley extracts. What some people may be having is a lactose-intolerance reaction to the creamor creamers, or the extracts used to flavor the beans during the roasting process. For a lab of any kind to post this information without proper medical backup and scientific testing backup, is reckless at the least and dangerous as well. Coffee actually is good for us as it contains anti-cancer benefits as well as other qualities which afford migraine relief for some people. Unless you are consuming a dozen cups a day, there is no reason to believe a cup or two a day is going to hurt anyone. The old saw applies… “don’t believe everything you see or read: or take it at face value”. If giving up coffee works for you, fine, and it relieves digestive issues, go for it. It simply doesn’t mean everyone has to. The good in coffee far outweighs the bad. Far better to give up grains which the human body was never intended to digest anyway and what with the insectices and fungicides being sprayed on crops, the grains growing in this country are kiling us. Enough said.

    Reply
  122. Stephanie Michaels April 16, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    I sent a link to the Canadian Celiac Association, because this was all news to me. I only have one cup of coffee a day, but I’d give it up, along with many other pleasures the average celiac has given up, if it meant I had one less source of ill health.

    The response was clear, “The protien content of brewed coffee is zero… so that immediately throws the accusation into doubt.”

    “At this point, I have not found scientif evidence that meets the CCA standar (publising in a peer-reviewed journal) on this topic. To be hones, I have not found any mainstream medical evidence on this topic at all.”

    This is good news, and as far as I’m concerned, I’ll continue to have my single cup a day. It is not reasonalbe that the coffee industry is so all powerful as to suppress scientific study — not anymore than the wheat industry, which has already lost the business of all celiecs.

    Reply
  123. Cyrex labs has a cross-reactivity test you can do for the 25 most common cross-reactors including coffee. I found out that Quinoa, millet, lactose and wheat are all cross-reactive for me. Coffee was all good, even though I rarely drink it anymore.

    Reply
  124. coffee does not cause gluten reactions this is an old wives tale that has been going around and around
    coffee is a bean and is no way related to the gluten found in wheat rye or barley

    those of you who have had problems: check your diet, check for cross contaminated products, toasters, wooden spoons, jelly, mayo for double dipping,

    check your OTC drugs and RX drugs

    Now that said you can be allergic to caffeine in the coffee even defac has some in it. so that is most likely the problem but if coffee were the problem then yearly tests would be bad for most of us—-I drink a ton of coffee a day but every year my tests are negative for CD if coffee had gluten in it then the tests would not be negetive

    Reply
    • I don’t think she said that coffee has gluten in it. I believe she said it was another protein and that not everyone negatively reacts to it.

      Reply
  125. This is fascinating, I have been gluten sensitive for a long time, after 2 years gluten free my symptoms (which made me originally think i was sensitive) got worse and worse and I have been diagnosed with secondary progressive MS.
    I have a relatively good diet, gluten free, lots of greens and supplements.. but I still have problems. I have long tried to ignore how bad I feel after my morning coffee because it’s what keeps me going for a few hours before I have a tea.
    I believe there is a very strong like between gluten and MS, most people with one autoimmune disease will get another.. this is my 3rd since I was 18.
    I am now giving up coffee.

    Reply
  126. While this appears to be somewhat startling news for many celiacs and those living with gluten intolerance, it may NOT apply to everyone. Keep that in mind, If you are not having gastro problems after drinking coffee, then don’t worry about it. What we do know now, according to recent research, is that gluten sensitivity CAUSES autoimmune diseases, not the other way around. We also know that most grains are harmful due to the fungicides and insecticides sprayed on the crops and the havoc those cause to hormones. So it’s entirely possible that coffee beans might also be affected by sprays, so maybe going organic might help. If we were to look at everything we consume and be so picky, it wouldn’t leave much on our plates. I am not defending or recommending giving up coffee.. I am highly gluten intolerant although not celiac, and coffee has never bothered me in any way. It is up to the individual to determine what works for them and what doesn’t and act accordingly.

    Reply
  127. I don’t understand all this talk about “freaking people out”. What is there to freak out about? That avoiding coffee might help you to feel better? I like the attitude of those who are giving it a try to see if it helps or not.

    Reply
  128. Well, I figured it wouldn’t hurt me to go coffee free until I figure out if we have a cross reaction problem. I’ve been coffee free for 4 days now – and while I haven’t noticed a difference for myself yet, my little guy who’s nursing (who’s always had eczema in one form or another) has had a total rebound on his eczema! The patches on his feet which never go away no matter what we’ve tried are almost gone – in just a few days. We haven’t changed anything else he’s eating (other than my new no coffee stance) and we’ve been GF for a year. I love, love, love coffee – but I won’t be going back to drinking it after seeing this. And I was just drinking straight up small roaster home brewed coffee with a bit of cream in it – no sugar, so creamers, no chemicals. Thanks, Sarah!
    Wendy Coffman\’s last post: Spring is here!

    Reply
  129. Pingback: Eres celiaco, no tomes café – Celiacos de Mexico

  130. “The point is if you have gone gluten free and you have not improved, then it’s time to explore this issue of cross reactivity with an elimination diet or testing, or both. The exact science behind it ie irrelevant to the gluten sufferer.”

    Well said Primo Health Coach! There’s no one size fits all. What works for one may not for another. Trial and error is very important.

    My question is whether or not the quality of coffee is an issue. Coffee bean crops are very heavily sprayed. I wonder if consuming organic coffee would be less problematic. Same idea as dairy. I don’t do well with pasteurized dairy but I seem to do fine with unpasteurized dairy from grass fed cows.

    Reply
  131. Pingback: Gluten Issues or Celiac? Don’t Drink Coffee! — The Healthy Home Economist « gluten free support tree

  132. Primo Health Coach April 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I find that the people that get angry at new information like this are those that wish they had the info first. None of the naysayers have revealed their identities nor credentials. In essence they have not substantiated there own comments. They are guilty of the very thing they are complaining about. Self proclaimed Internet police should be ignored in my opinion. Sarah thank you for raising awareness about the complexity of gluten sensitivity. For those of us who work very hard to feel better, it’s a relief to know we are not crazy for still feeling symptoms even after going gluten free. The point to make here though isn’t that all Celiacs should give up coffee. If coffee is not a problem for you then you don’t need to. Coffee isn’t the healthiest food anyways. It is typically full of pesticides and wreaks havoc on the adrenals. The point is if you have gone gluten free and you have not improved, then it’s time to explore this issue of cross reactivity with an elimination diet or testing, or both. The exact science behind it ie irrelevant to the gluten sufferer.

    Reply
  133. Pingback: Gluten For Dummies: Real Tips From a Nutritionist - Gluten Free News Update | Gluten Free News Update

  134. I have to say I agree with Jen on this. No need to freak people out. If there was substantial enough research we wouldn’t have heard it on this blog first & not found anything to back it up. I don’t want to contact a lab, I want decent references before I believe anything. It is one thing to inform people, and completely different to scare them. I normally love the home economist blog, but I am highly disappointed in this post. And I think primo health coach needs to relax and stop calling people bullies.

    Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I find it interesting how you keep harping that there is “nothing” to back it up, yet you refuse to contact Cyrex Labs and talk with them about their leading edge research. Just because you can’t google a peer reviewed study on it doesn’t mean it’s not in fact a substantially important piece of health information.

      If leading edge research is something you don’t enjoy, there’s always WebMD.
      Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist\’s last post: Barbecue Chicken Wing Marinade

      Reply
      • It’s very easy to find more information on this. First, try Googling “gluten cross reactive foods coffee” and similar search terms.

        One website explains how the body often reacts to proteins that are similar in shape to the gluten protein, including the coffee protein in some people. As with all of these health and auto-immune issues, each individual’s body responds somewhat differently depending on many variables.

        People who want to do an in depth study of the medical literature can always try PubMed.com.

        It does seem strange how people are getting so demanding and irritated about this. I for one am glad to know of the POSSIBILITY that coffee might create a cross reaction. This allows me to look into it further and pay closer attention to any reaction I might have to it. Although I almost never drink it anymore anyway.

        Reply
      • Sarah, it’s your responsibility as the one posting the blog to post where we can find research. It’s not worth my time to contact a lab when you are sitting here trying to freak people out. I have Celiac and no issues with coffee. Check to make sure your coffee is gluten free, if you have issues with acidic foods, then check with your Dr. to see if you don’t have another stomach issue. People are too quick to add all stomach issues onto Celiac disease. Your thoughts are merely opinions Sarah, just like everyone elses :)

        Reply
  135. My point is if you have an issue with it, take it up with the big guys. Are you afraid to call Cyrex Labs and request their research? Or Dr. O’Bryan? This blog post I took it as a report of what she heard. That’s all. The news does this every day, all day long. She does not need to substantiate this blog because she never claims this blog is meant to dish out medical advice. If I’m wrong in assuming that, then someone please point out to me where this blog is meant to provide medical advice? It’s a blog. It’s free speech. There’s a lot worse things being posted out there that are completely dumfounded. Funny thing is your bringing this blog more traffic by commenting.

    And thank you, I do know what bullying is. I was a victim of bullying in my childhood and I will stand up and defend when I see others being bullied as well.

    Reply
  136. I’m not the bully freaking out a bunch of people with celiac disease! Sarah is playing on people’s fears to get blog hits by repeating what amounts to an urban legend. I looked up all the coffee references in Tom O’Bryan’s article. None mention any connections to celiac disease or gluten.

    Reply
      • You really find it ethical to freak a bunch of people out over unpublished, private data? We’ve been calming folks down who got really upset after reading your blog post on celiac.com all day now. You scared and upset a bunch of people with this and you can’t even provide a link to the putative data? I’m sorry but this is heresay and what you are doing is very damaging to the celiac community. Not everyone who is reading the Internet understands that you are reporting nothing more than heresay and they shouldn’t worry.

        Reply
        • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          I think it is great to get this information out there and I am very proud to have done so. This blog is for those who are on the leading edge and who are out of the box thinkers. Best to know this now rather than suffer for another bunch of years until it becomes “mainstream knowledge”. You of course may choose to ignore it. That is your prerogative. Many – actually most – who have commented are happy I posted this post.
          Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist\’s last post: Barbecue Chicken Wing Marinade

          Reply
          • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

            And, yes it is HIGHLY ethical to have posted this post. To know what I have learned and NOT posted it would be extremely unethical. Let people choose for themselves how they want to respond to this information. It is their personal choice. My choice as it is my blog after all, is to post the best and most leading edge stuff I come across.
            Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist\’s last post: Barbecue Chicken Wing Marinade

  137. Jen, in defense of the author, this is not a scientific journal. It is a blog. A blog is a place to have a conversation, share ideas and opinions. And sometimes its about reporting facts. Without ideas and unsubstantiated (non-peer-reviewed) conversations, we would never progress. If you have a problem with this concept of cross-reactivity, then take it up with the big guys. Contact Cyrex Labs and ask for references (they have them). But bullying people who write blogs that are trying to report information they hear out in the world is unacceptable in my opinion. Your tone in your comment sounds like bullying to me.

    Reply
    • Primo, your response to Jen makes me wonder if you’re familiar with what bullying is, because her comment is perfectly respectful. She’s just asking for actual proof, which makes sense given that this blog post is written about a link between gluten and coffee as if it’s fact, which it is not, at this point. There’s everything right about expecting scientific proof of a claim that an author (blogger or otherwise) purports to be scientific.

      I wish this blog post were written as, “Is There A Link Between Gluten and Coffee?” instead of, “Here are the facts! Coffee is like gluten! Get rid of coffee now!” That would be more appropriate for a ‘conversation,’ as you say this is.

      And Jen is right that the page you linked to, in its list of citations, does not include proof of coffee and gluten being linked. Plus, the author of the post you linked to is employed by the testing lab that claims that coffee and gluten are linked–he’s hardly an independent source. http://www.cyrexlabs.com/Meettheteam/tabid/165/Default.aspx

      As far as I can tell, everyone writing about this is ultimately linking back to Cyrex Labs, but Cyrex Labs hasn’t released any studies indicating the link between gluten and coffee.

      Reply
  138. Can you provide a scientific reference for this? A link to a commercial testing service is hardly scientific proof. As far as I can tell, there have been no peer-reviewed studies on celiac cross-reactions to coffee. Allergy or intolerance are certainly possible but that has nothing to do with shared epiptopes and is not evidence on which to write a sensationalist article on celiac and coffee.

    Reply
  139. I think you need to try digestive enzymes if you have burping and such after eating before calling it a gluten problem. Gluten destroys the villi in the intestinal lining it is best to stay away from it anyway.

    Reply
  140. Sarah @ Real Food Outlaws April 12, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Definitely sharing this with my celiac friends and family. It’s worth looking into further for sure!

    Reply
  141. Does anyone know the medical research that shows this effect? I’m not questioning it (as I can see the negative effects of coffee in my own life), but I would like to know more about it.

    Any link to a journal article or a specific MD website would be extremely helpful.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  142. I just have to chime in and say that just because you eat gluten free doesn’t mean you’re not being cross-contaminated, etc, as such would cause your body to have the antibodies that would cross-react with the coffee. I’ve been diligently gluten free for 6 years and still occasionally get ‘glutened.’ I DO drink daily coffee and will be quitting it today in order to see if it’s a problem for me.

    Reply
  143. What I am saying is just my personal experience. HOWEVER, I have found decaf coffee to be beneficial for my gluten intolerance coupled with low stomach acid issues. I supplement with Betaine HCL/ pepsin also, but I find that due to the acidic nature of coffee it settles my stomach when I drink it with food.

    Reply
  144. I’m Italian and I suffer from GS, I can not drink coffee because it causes me great agitation and confusion. But I think that, unfortunately, is a party also magnesium, can not eat almonds, which contain much. Some of you is?
    you could do a test then refer to me the effects?
    mail: giuliadegiulia@yahoo.it
    (I am sorry for the translation)

    Reply
  145. I would like to see facts and research on this, 8 Oclock coffee is gluten free and I have Celiac & my gut is fine after I drink it, and I have non of the issues that I did when eating gluten. I would like to see proof of your claims. Seems as though people are alarmist about coffee lately, I want to make sure this isn’t another one of those posts.

    Great site, I just want research not someones personal opinion. Thanks!

    Reply
  146. I would hope people continue to drink coffee and ignore this pseudo-science. Stop encouraging orthorexia. This whole story is designed to increase cyrex lab’s bottom line. There is no scientific literature backing up your claims.

    Reply
  147. Pingback: No wheat, no dairy and now, no coffee

  148. This is very interesting! Explains why I started having “reactions” to coffee, including decaf. Occurred before I worked out that gluten was problematic for me though. And I have a similar, less pronounced reaction to green & black tea too, any chance of a link with those too?

    Reply
    • Can’t do coffee or green or black tea here too. I’ve been a heavy coffee drinker since I was 18, but since going GF with Celiac diagnosis in 1995 I began to,have problems with coffee. I at first thought it was CC problems with coffee and would switch brands regularly, usually to the more expensive small organic rosters who would guarantee no gluten ever near the beans. Many switches were to no avail, with glutening symptoms showing up within a few days and then I would have to give away my expensive coffee because it had ‘gluten’ in it. Saw this news last summer and did NOT want to believe it, but after starting on GAPS to deal with severe leaky gut problems and stopping coffee, it IS true!! I have given the coffee trials 3 times now in 6 months, and my body most definitely cross reacts to coffee as if it was gluten. The stronger the brew, the faster and stronger the reaction. This is also proven in my son and my husband, who also gave up the coffee to see if it was problematic—-and coffee drinking trials in them prove it is also. For all the naysayers—-try it yourself before you debunk someone else’s personal physical response. I still LOVE coffee, but am so grateful I now have another key to my health solved.

      Reply
  149. I figured it out myself. I get sick on coffee and tea. I am sick a hell a lot even not eating gluten. Now I am fighting stomach issues. Stress is for sure a factor.

    Reply
  150. Coffee is my socially accepted, comforting drug. I think I’d rather die early than give it up.

    Thanks for more great info …. I’ll think about it :)

    Reply
  151. I had a cup of coffee the other day and I paid for it soon after. I will not be drinking coffee umtil finished with Gaps. Green tea is for me.

    Reply
  152. You Gluten Free people are a cult. You’ve convinced yourselves of this disorder just to ruin the dining experiences of your respective boyfriends.

    Reply
    • Yes! And as an actual Celiac it is annoying to no end. I’ve had enough of my “natural health” friends sending me links to dubious information such as this. And all the people who look at me and think if they go gluten-free they can be thin like I am. I’m thin because I’m a gym rat, not because I have Celiac Disease.

      Reply
      • I agree that many jump on the bandwagon for various reasons, one of them being losing weight. I was diagnosed as ‘gluten intolerant’ which basically means I can’t digest it well. Eating more than a few crumbs results in stomach pains, cramps, headache, etc. No, I’m not celiac and I don’t ever claim to be. For a quick answer I say I’m allergic to gluten – but if someone is inclined to listen and understand I go into details about digestion, etc. I wish I could go back to eating gluten, even if only on a regular basis, but I can’t unless I want to be in pain. And I don’t.

        Reply
    • Wow-you sound like a real catch there Jim….not! It’s a real condition. Just live with a household like ours for a few weeks and you won’t be able to stick your selfish head in the sand and deny gluten is deadly for some. Thank God my dauter’s found an incredible boyfriend who sees what it does to her and is supportive and caring enough to be her partner in this lifestyle as opposed to a selfish jerk who can’t see past his own nose. Do you say the same thing to diabetics??

      Reply
    • really a cult? Then how do you explain my positive biopsy? and blood work? Having celiac disease is not a cult but an autoimmune disease is diabetes also a cult? because it is also an auto immune disease.

      Reply
    • Go tell that to Dr Fasano. Dr Green and other world -rekown researchers who lead the research on Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance. Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of children who “fail to thrive” some near death before finally being diagnosed; tell that to the women who can’t get pregnant and don’t know why; tell that to migraine sufferers, those with fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses who finally get relief when they stop eating gluten. It’s people like you who ruin it for 1 in 100 who have the condition. I feel sorry for your girl friend that she has to put up with the likes of you! You sound like a mean-spirited grouch!

      Reply
  153. Pingback: The Correlation between Gluten Sensitivity and Coffee | Gluten-Free Couponing

  154. I’ve experienced migraines for most of my life, but have seen much improvement in the last year while experimenting with a grain and sugar free diet. However I do use coffee, but only as a medicine. I never drink it otherwise, but when I have a migraine, the headache can often be resolved or lessened by drinking a cup of coffee. Seems strange given the new information in this blog post. Maybe the coffee isn’t bad for me because I’m not actually enjoying it lol!

    Reply
  155. This effect is called cross reactivity of gluten with other foods. There are at least 24 other foods that are known to cause the same reaction as coffee in people with thyroid and other autoimmune diseases. Does it mean you should stop eating all of them? NO, it means you should get tested and find out what foods YOU are reacting to and can have cross reactivity similar to gluten. Everybody is different and there are NO one fits all dietary approach to thyroid disease and autoimmunity.
    Thyroid Blog\’s last post: Are You Depressed? Here Is Why It Could Be Your Thyroid

    Reply
  156. What’s the name of this problematic protein?

    This is ‘internal research’ from a testing facility that will, conveniently, let you order the test from them to see if you are reacting to the coffee? Not peer-reviewed research, not even publicly accessible research?

    I’ve heard about this several times lately, and I’m skeptical. And I’m not a coffee drinker, so I’m not invested in it being untrue.

    But let’s say the research is true. If you’re on a strict gluten-free diet, you should stop making anti-gliadin antibodies as you stop stimulating your immune system with gluten. If you are gluten intolerant and continue to eat gluten, you will continue to make antibodies and will continue to react. So if you’re on a strict gluten-free diet, at least six months into the diet, the coffee should no longer be reactive, right? Because there are no anti-gliadin antibodies to attach to this coffee protein.

    Reply
    • Exactly! Someone posted this on facebook and being a Celiac, I was curious so followed the link. I’m extremely skeptical. I will not stop drinking coffee based on a company trying to sell me tests.

      Reply
    • I’m skeptical also, and not because I happen to like (decaf) coffee. I’m celiac, and in all my years of research have never come across any info relating to coffee being cross-reactive. Not that it can’t be, just… well, a research paper would be helpful! I looked at Dr. Clark’s site, but didn’t see a link to one.

      And like Sally said, if I’m not pumping out antibodies – what’s the problem? Just like I’m not longer pumping out anti-transglutaminase antibodies (since I’ve not eaten gluten in over 6 years), why would I start reacting to this nameless protein in coffee? Or are they referring only to newb g-free folks?

      Reply
  157. Sarah,
    What is the best way to come off coffee without the withdrawal headaches?
    I kind of thought coffee might be triggering my joint pain in my fingers from inflammation but didn’t want to accept it. Now I am going to give it up to see if I get better. I have an immune disease but am not gluten sensitive. Did I understand that the Dr. You spoke of says all auto immune conditions/diseases comes from the sensitivity. I think I might be a little confused but want to understand. ( I love coffee too but want to get well)
    Thank you for all your research!

    Reply
  158. Great read!!! I have been dealing w/Fibromyalgia & Chronic Myofascia Pain for 10 years now. Just last year is when things became clear to me that I am healing in layers. A lot of my symptoms have disappeared. But this inflammation thing comes & goes!! I did not take the gluten test but since I’ve removed it from my diet, I can feel the difference! But I need to be more disciplined.

    But what about coffee enema. I just recently started an enema program to help clean my liver. Does it have the same effect?

    Reply
  159. Oh my – I so love coffee, but I’m giving it up today cold turkey. It was my last big vice – I’ve been drinking it plain with some raw milk in it. After doing some more digging, the Dr. says similar things about dairy products as well – but doesn’t specify if he means conventional dairy or if we need to cut out the raw milk dairy we’re getting from our farm as a cross-reactor. I’ve not been able to find anything further…and i know you’re a big propronent of the Raw Milk…any thoughts?

    Reply
  160. I think most of our celiac/ gluten issues come from the large companies genetically messing with our grain. Personally, I believe Mother Nature knows best. Especially since She listens and takes direction from our Heavenly Father. I wish conspiring men would leave our food supply to those that actually care about doing things the right way.

    Reply
    • Seemingly ironically — but not if you understand homeopathy — homeopathic coffea promotes sleep. And don’t worry that it’s like consuming coffee because the dose in homeopathic remedies is so very, very tiny that it is not akin to consuming the real thing.

      Monica, please report back here and let us know if it helps.

      Reply
    • I love Natural Vitality’s Natural Calm. It is a water soluble form of magnesium citrate. In my experience it works much better for muscle cramps and relaxation than pill forms of magnesium citrate. I just discovered it a few days ago. I will never go without it now! It knocked out my horrible leg cramps that were not budging with magnesium in pill form. It makes me feel very relaxed. It doesn’t knock you out like a drug would, but I think if you dim the lights in your home for an hour or so and then drink the Natural Calm around 15 minutes before bedtime you will sleep like a baby. They have it at Whole Foods, Lucky Vitamin, Amazon, and VitaCost. I tried the raspberry-lemon flavor, which has organic raspberry, organic lemon, and organic stevia, but they do have an unflavored version.
      Nicole, The Non-Toxic Nurse\’s last post: Monsanto Threatens to Sue Vermont Over Bill to Label Genetically Modified Foods: Vermonters Stand Strong For Their Right to Know What They Are Eating

      Reply
  161. I’ve been wanting to try choffy (made from cocoa beans) for a while now. Does that have the same issue? If not, guess that is next on my grocery list as it is supposed to have many health benefits.

    Reply
  162. I have been diagnosed Celiac for 10 years now and the diagnosing doc ( Dr. Luciani) told me then- no more coffee for these reasons. It makes a world of difference. Like Sarah says – it takes your health to the next level. Especially after going through GAPS to heal the gut. Between kombucha, oolong tea and my handcrafted coffee substitute I am a happy camper and so is my gut.

    I thought I would go though coffee withdrawls, but my body felt such relief from not ingesting the coffee. Perhaps sipping on tea helped with that, I don’t know. It was hard to make the choice to let go of coffee, I can’t lie there as I loved and still do love the aroma. But it really is a no brainer given the science to back it up. I would rather live a long healthy life than have a cup of joe and tear my body up again.

    Reply
  163. Well this makes sense because I never had a problem with coffee or wheat. I actually never have any reaction to coffee at all! My husband has all of the things that you mention; migraines, hyperactivity, upset stomach, etc. it makes sense that it could be both things causing problems. I’ve been trying to get him to do gaps for a while.

    Reply
  164. Very interesting, Sarah! I’ve always known that coffee is bad for you due to the caffeine addiction, but now I know it can have the same affect as gluten. It seems like this coutnry is determined to get addicted to anything it can all while making it worst.

    Reply
  165. sadhu vedant muni April 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    really it is a very informative information regarding gluten and coffee.in the coffee what they are pouring in .

    Reply
  166. not to sound stupid, but does that mean that you get to eat whatever you want after that, like gluten even if you have tested positive for gluten sensitivity?

    thanks, Joyce

    Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      There are no hard and firm answers to this. Some people were born with a gut in such lousy shape that they may need to eat very carefully their entire lives even after healing on GAPS. If you were born to a mother with no gut dysbiosis herself you have an excellent chance of full recovery. Everyone is different. But, you can’t “eat whatever you want” as in the standard american diet. You can “eat whatever you want” from the smorgasboard of traditional foods and grains that are properly prepared – yes.
      Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist\’s last post: Gluten Issues or Celiac? Don’t Drink Coffee!

      Reply
  167. So Sarah when you say that most people are probably gluten sensitive do you mean most people who have a damaged gut wall or is it possible that those without a damaged gut wall may be gluten sensitive as well?

    Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Since gluten sensitivity is linked in the research to basically all health and disease conditions and all disease begins in the gut, this is why almost everyone should avoid coffee since it would very likely trigger the gluten antibodies present in the bloodstream to launch an immune response which would be inflammatory somewhere in the body. If your gut is healed and sealed, then you are good to go. It would still be wise to avoid coffee though as it has little to no redeeming value other than a few antioxidants which is no way overcomes the negative downside of this health robbing drink. Drinking coffee to me is one of the worst things you can do to your body and will rapidly age you.
      Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist\’s last post: Gluten Issues or Celiac? Don’t Drink Coffee!

      Reply
  168. If it’s all about the protein, how can we know if other proteins (meat, etc.) are cross reactive with gluten?

    A past doctor of mine told me to take betaine when I eat a high protein meal. I wonder if it has something to do with this. (This doc is the one who diagnosed me with gluten intolerance.)

    Reply
    • If you are sticking to the gluten free diet, then you should not be making antibodies to cross-react, so coffee would be safe. I am a biopsy diagnosed Celiac, a classic case with flattened villi. I get followup endoscopies and biopsies every few years. I have been all clear with no flattened villi and no detectable antibodies for three years now. I drink coffee like it is water. I’m extremely skeptical of this assertion.

      Reply
      • I would totally agree with Marie. I also am an endoscopy diagnosed coeliac who has yearly check ups. I was diagnosed in 1995 & have never stopped drinking coffee & have had no problems. When i went onto my gluten free diet my migraines ceased despite regularly drinking coffee. I am very sceptical about this research & will continue with my 2/3 cups of coffee a day. When i lived in Australia for 5 years I did try the alternative to coffee, when on a health food kick, but I must say that I thought it was horrid. That was in the late 70′s early 80′s & found that i benefitted in no way from drinking it.
        Please leave us some pleasures in life & remember that a lot of coeliacs cheat with their diet!

        Reply
      • Can someone please point us to a clear description of what is meant by “cross reactive”? After reading these comments I’m just more confused.

        Reply
        • So glad to see some informed common-sense and healthy skepticism re these very sweeping assertions. We all might all be coeliac, but generalizing beyond that common ground is foolish at the very least. Individual experiences and “side effects” can vary considerably, even in the one family, my own extended family – across five generations – included.

          Reply
      • was an Internal Medicine doc for 7 years, and I too am “extremely skeptical” about this. I see no peer-reviewed medical literature on this at all. nothing but a blog entry from a chiropractor citing “internal research.” sketchy.

        “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.” – Benjamin Franklin

        Reply
  169. Lslie Hamud, NTP April 11, 2012 at 11:28 am

    It’s not to late to get creative in the kitchen a product called Dandy Blend is a great place to start. A coffee flavor made from dandelion roots, you add hot water and enjoy. And while you are at it add in a little Shilajit for it’s mineral content and support action in the bladder area. Any Mum who has delivered a child or two will understand. Those sneezes get us everytime! It also has a great deep fresh smell of coffee when it is not. The key to using this ingredient is to have a fat with it. Coconut, raw milk are good choices. Ah heck a kittle whipped cream with a dash of raw cocoa on top.c Enjoy!

    Leslie Hamud, NTP

    Reply
    • Dandy Blend states that the gluten from the barley and rye in their product is removed because it is water soluble. According to some sources, gluten in barley and rye is not water soluble. Therefore it is reasonable to assume it would not be removed from the product.

      I will err on the side of safety and not drink a product that contains rye and barley as Dandy Blend does.

      Reply
      • Actually, the Dandy Blend consistently tests at or below 5ppm gluten and gliadin in the ELISA testing. It’s on the website, along with links to the test results.

        Reply
    • Yes, I love my roasted dandelion root “tea/coffee”! Have not tried the product, but enjoy harvesting dandelion roots, roasting them and boiling 1 TBSP in 2 cups water for 15 min for a delicious hot drink with a bit of local honey and raw milk. :) Love it!

      Reply
      • Thanks for the recipe for dandelion root tea without the rye and barley :) I’m looking for a coffee substitute for my husband but couldn’t find a commercial dandelion one without rye and barley.

        Reply
        • B, I would try some chicory root. I am lucky enough to live in an area where it grows profusely and can make my own. However, I also sometimes run out or like the convenience of purchasing it somewhere else. I get a 1 # bag from Mountain Rose herbs for about $9 and it lasts me for a very long time. Since it’s a root you don’t brew it, but instead ‘decoct’ it by simmering it on the stovetop gently. I make myself a concentrate blend with about 4 rounded tablespoons of roasted chicory root and simmer it for 30 minutes. When it’s cool I put it in a gallon jug along with some vanilla, 1 TB sugar, stevia to taste, 1 quart half and half, and water to fill it. I add the sugar because just a tiny amount cuts the bitterness of the stevia and makes it taste more like plain sugar. This is my ‘iced latte’ blend that is always ready to drink. In the winter I just keep the plain concentrate on hand and add it to some warmed milk and water for a hot drink. Very versatile and no gluten reactions of which I am aware. Plenty of inulin fiber and minerals. You can always cut it half with coffee and gradually phase the coffee out if your husband is resistant and/or addicted to the caffeine jolt. Hope this helps!

          Reply
      • Yes, thanks! I am going to have to try this. I used to love Roastaroma from Celestial Seasonings, but that has barley in it.

        Reply
  170. Pingback: E tu coffee? Some are saying coffee does the same as gluten | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page

  171. Dear Sarah: I really appreciate so much your insight about nutrition. I agree with you in all you practice. I come from a father who died at 46, and i determined not to go that road. If i do not take care of my health the way i do, i would be in a very bad shape or maybe dead, as two of my siblings, younger than me already succumbed to autoimmune diseases. Your bloggs are like gold to me. God bless you. I live in Homestead, and i do not find good places where i can purchase raw milk, find organic poultry, organic raw livers; certified grass fed beef and livers too, which i believe would improve my health in a very great manner. I can only count on Whole Food, wich i really know it is not the best. I would appreciate any advice.

    Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      If Whole Foods is all you have, then that is what you must do. I do think there will come a day when folks have to pick up and move to be healthy .. in other words move to areas that are friendly to the production of nutrient dense local foods and have freedom to practice nontoxic, holistic healthcare. Perhaps moving might be an option for you? Something to consider at least even if not an option at the present time.
      Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist\’s last post: Gluten Issues or Celiac? Don’t Drink Coffee!

      Reply
  172. So what is the implication for those of us who use coffee enemas for recovering livers, etc….. Do you have an alternative to coffee that would open the bile ducts like coffee? Thanks! Your site is a godsend.

    Reply
    • I know what you mean there! I really don’t want to hear it but maybe I should. I have an auto immune disease that made me loose my kidneys but I still drink my morning coffee– think its time to give it up. So sad!

      Reply
  173. I’d like to read the research on this if you have a link handy. Coffee is one of the very few things I allow myself so it would be very hard to advise others to give it up… Lol However so many people don’t want to associate an allergy of any sort (food or otherwise) with gluten sensitivity so it’s sometimes a struggle to help them understand.

    Good post!
    JasonJLHealth\’s last post: Coconut Oil & Alzheimers

    Reply
      • Does it raise a b.s. flag for anyone else that the people who did this ‘research’ (and the only place you can get the research results from) are the very same people who offer “some expensive” testing to see if you’re one of small group of people who don’t react to coffee?
        Amanda G\’s last post: Support Gluten Free & Tasty!

        Reply
        • It’s not necessarily BS just because the lab offers testing for this condition. I couldn’t find a lot about this subject, but I did find a study that showed that drinking coffee is followed by effects mediated via opiate receptors. That’s the same thing that happens for some folks that are allergic to gluten or casein when they consume those foods. It’s why many people crave these foods when they are allergic to them. This would seem to add more weight to the findings that gluten-sensitive people can cross-react to coffee.

          Reply
  174. Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

    You have to wonder if America’s coffee addiction has a lot to do with the autoimmune epidemic. When one has sensitivity to certain foods, those are the foods that are craved hence the very difficult time folks have getting off coffee particularly if they have gone grain free from what I’ve noticed.

    Better to know this and move forward and reclaim one’s health. While coffee is certainly a pleasure for some, getting out of bed in the morning and feeling fantastic would be an infinitely better pleasure for sure!
    Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist\’s last post: Gluten Issues or Celiac? Don’t Drink Coffee!

    Reply
    • That’s funny that you mention &&&&bucks. I feel THE WORST after drinking one of their brews. My non-gluten-intolerant husband has noticed that too. I winder if some beans have a higher percentage of the cross-reactive proteins…

      Reply
      • Starbucks roasts their beans until the pop twice. I’m not sure if that has anything to do with it but they also brew their coffee like 2x as dark as an average person. It is VERY darkly brewed. Other than that- they take pride in how perfectly cared for their beans are compared to the products sold by most large commercial companies. I’m guessing it’s the concentrate. I love my morning cup and worked for the for 2 years and couldn’t drink their regularly brewed coffee unless cut in half with steamed milk.

        I visited that guy’s link. It does not seem very… professional. Though this research seems easily testable. I have a gluten intollerence and it’s obvious, as I’m sure it is to the rest of you, what my symptoms are. If you cut it out and don’t see any difference then there is no reason to not enjoy your habit. Sometimes in an effort to achieve perfection we take out pleasure unnecessarily. Perfection isn’t always attainable.

        Reply
    • I agree with you Sarah…How many times have you read…”OMG I cannot give up my coffee, anything but the coffee!!

      Reply
  175. Huge bummer. As a person who lives with celiac, coffee has been the only thing I’ve dared to order if I find myself in a cafe or restaurant. Guess I can’t even have that treat any more. :-(

    I’m so glad I recently cut out coffee consumption at home, otherwise I would be a total wreck right now reading this!

    Reply
  176. I would imagine that tea is totally different than coffee, beans vs. leaves, but given they both have caffeine I’m wondering if the proteins would be similar also. Do you know if tea would be a likely problem also?

    Reply
  177. Thanks so much for the information. But I’m also very sad. :-( Coffee is one of the great pleasures in my life, I look forward to my cup every morning. I am gluten/wheat sensitive though and although I have been strict with my diet I find my symptoms creeping back. Headaches, constipation, itching and rashes, and insomnia. The insomnia is getting especially hard to take, I only sleep 2-4 hours most nights despite the fact that I only drink coffee before 10 in the morning, eat a good traditional diet, exercise regularly, supplement with cod liver oil and magnesium soaks and supplements, keep a regular schedule, destress my life as much as possible, etc etc etc. Sigh, I guess I’ll have to cut out coffee now also.

    Reply
    • Tina, a lot of times, people who have gluten intolerance will cut out gluten and increase the other foods that are most likely to be reactive–such as eggs and dairy–either to eat as themselves or to use in gluten-free, grain-focused baking and cooking. (Gluten-free recipes tend to use a lot of those.) Given your list of symptoms, you may want to take a couple of months to do an elimination diet to figure out what else is bothering you.

      Reply
      • I agree. I found out through a traditional allergy doctor that I have several food allergies, and one of those is rice. So I gave up wheat and switched to rice as most people do…..I was still having migraines and was sick and lost at that point of what to even eat. I think the gluten messes with your stomach and causes the food allergies. Everyone should be food-allergy tested if you have stomach issues. The weight just started dropping off me too, so that was a big plus.

        Reply
    • I suppose that if we didn’t have such issues with gluten that our bodies would be able to handle the coffee. Too bad all of that hybridization happened to wheat to make it so….well…..crappy! I LOVE my morning Joe. Sigh!

      Reply
  178. It’s seems these reactions are exacerbated when the body is in a state of low blood sugar. I’ve known one person (celiacs) who can’t drink it unless she has had a meal or drinks it with a liberal amount of sugar and cream.

    Reply
  179. Thanks for the reality check, Sarah :( I’ve known this for awhile now (Dr. Tom O’Bryan mentioned it on a podcast), and even tested sensitive for coffee and wheat on an MRT test (okay with caffeine and tea, though). Guess it’s finally time to give up my daily homemade coconut chai latte in favor of some herbal tea…Maybe that will be the missing link to help calm the remaining inflammation and joint pain from 35 years of rheumatoid arthritis!

    Reply
  180. I am gluten intolerant and I didn’t know this! I was drinking Decaf and thought it was okay but I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling the same as on regular coffee. Enterolab does stool testing for gluten intolerance that is a little pricey but all worth it. People who don’t exhibit extreme Celiac’s symptoms can still be tested for gliadin response which indicates a gluten intolerance. I would not do saliva tests because these don’t test what is in your intestines where most of the response occurs (I wasted my money on that one). Thanks for the info… time to give up my morning decaf!

    Reply
  181. Thanks for this information! I had *no* idea. A once a week decaf coffee sans sugar is my treat. Since I have a long history of migraines I’m thinking I may not be helping myself!

    Reply
    • Okay, okay, bou have to also factor in the number of people who are still alive, simply because I drank my coffee in the morning before having to deal with them!!!!! You don’t think THAT’s a health issue?
      BUT… now that I’ve discovered how Roasted Mesquite beans (a) taste better than coffee, (b) deliver more caffeine; and (c) there are no know side-effects (there being no studies done yet), I think I’m safe until the studies come in!!!
      AND since I own about 90 acres covered with Mesquite trees, I’m rich!!!!! Will never have to buy coffee again!

      Reply
      • Okay, Angus. You have me intrigued! Please tell me more about roasted mesquite beans … do you make them into a “coffee” ground or just eat the beans? I’ve Googled them, but I’d like to know your experiences with them.

        Thanks!

        Reply
      • Angus, what is the process for harvesting and roasting mesquite beans? I would love to be able to do something besides rake them up and compost them every year! :)

        Reply
  182. It is all starting to make sense now. In college I drank coffee (with a lot of cream and sugar… ugh) and would always end up with gastro issues a few hours later. I thought it was the caffeine… as I was also jittery and shaky after drinking it, too. I could drink black tea, and though I would still be jittery and shaky afterward, I wouldn’t have the gastro issues. I bet it was the COFFEE, not the caffeine that caused it! Unbelievable. Thanks for sharing! xoxo
    Annie D @ Annie’s Simple Life\’s last post: And the winner is….

    Reply

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