Coffee should be avoided by those who are Celiac and many who suffer from wheat sensitivity as it contains cross-reactive proteins to gluten.
If you drink coffee, even bulletproof coffee and have gluten sensitivity or celiac, you might want to sit down for this one.
There is a surprising connection between gluten and coffee that is by and large ignored by the health community. This revelation 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, 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 for gluten. Because it is the protein in the coffee that is the trigger, switching to decaf coffee does not solve the problem. Apparently, instant coffee is the worst offender.
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.
Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences
You Probably Need to Change WHEN You Drink Coffee
Morning Coffee Fix
Caffeine and Chronic Back Pain
Healthy Coffee Substitutes
Unlike many people, my main symptom when ingesting gluten is tachycardia. But even on a gluten-free diet, I would have episodes. Since I stopped drinking coffee, they have become rare. It isn’t caffeine because I have no issues whatsoever with tea.
Dianna D Kennedy
Where’s the research article, so that I can read through it?
7. Do I have to give up coffee and corn on a gluten-free diet?
No, coffee and corn are both gluten-free. There is no scientific evidence to show that coffee or corn contain proteins that cross-react with gluten. According to Dr. Stefano Guandalini, a CDF Medical Advisory Board member, both are safe for people with celiac disease to consume.
From celiac.org I’m confused. Lots of other resources say otherwise.
listen to your body. maybe try cutting out coffee for a while, and then testing it again
What other foods cross react to gluten? I’m celiac & I can’t drink coffee anymore.
Recently diagnosed and grateful to find this article. This is one of my culprits. I realized my salad dressing was and after changing diet and drinking coffee dairy free I noticed immediately it was affecting me. Right after I drink and throughout the day with joint pain. Thank you
The issue with being celiac or gluten sensitive is that the effects from eating gluten are longterm. Also many people with celiac/a gluten sensitivity said that they were fine with 1-2 cups a morning but when they drank more they would start to feel sick so if you do decide to take the risk by drinking coffee I suggest you limit it to one cup of coffee per day. Be careful!
Many thanx – I guzzle coffee – I have problems with inflammation though massively less than when I used to eat gluten containing foods – but I think I’ll stop coffee which would be a miracle after reading your article.