People have been asking me whether those of us with Celiac Disease can eat sorghum.
A study published in Clinical Nutrition from Edinburgh, Scotland in 2007 indicates that we can. Here’s what researchers from that study wrote:
Sorghum protein digests did not elicit any morphometric or immunomediated alteration of duodenal explants from celiac patients. Patients fed daily for 5 days with sorghum-derived food product did not experience gastrointestinal or non-gastrointestinal symptoms and the level of anti-transglutaminase antibodies was unmodified at the end of the 5-days challenge.
Another study that appeared in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2013 proved through genetic evidence that the plant does not contain gluten. Here’s what researchers wrote in the summary to that study:
Aqueous/alcohol-soluble prolamins (kafirins) from different sorghum varieties, including pure lines and hybrids, were evaluated by SDS-PAGE and HPLC analyses as well as an established enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based on the R5 antibody. These analyses provide molecular evidence for the absence of toxic gliadin-like peptides in sorghum, confirming that sorghum can be definitively considered safe for consumption by people with celiac disease.
So yes, we can eat sorghum.
Recently, Margaret Duthie, the president of the Quebec chapter of the Canadian Celiac Association, contacted the Suburban to ask for help for a senior with special diet requirements who relies on social welfare and has been facing difficulties finding an affordable place to live.
I don’t suppose you know anyone with a basement 3 and a half to rent?” said Duthie. “She has lived at this address for 19 years and is stressed out. She was a good tenant and the landlady will give her a letter of reference. She has a shelter allowance, but no extra money to stick to the GFD and the FODMAP diet.”
This isn’t the first time that this woman has had to struggle. Last year, she drank only tea and coffee during a three-day surgery in the hospital because she couldn’t get safe food. Things improved during a recent checkup, but she’s terrified she’ll face the same problem again.
Duthie says that the woman’s challenges stem from the fact that gluten-free and low FODMAP food often cost significantly more than other options. She says that people with special diets spend an average of $90 more per month extra on food.
Other provinces have extra funds in their social welfare plans to cover these costs, but Quebec does not.
Only the North–West Territories, Nunavut and Quebec have no special provisions for adults who had been medically prescribed to follow the gluten-free diet by their doctors or dietitians,” says Duthie. “Other provinces provide from $30 to almost $150 per month to cover the extra costs.”
Duthie says her association has written to the Quebec Government to inform them of the challenges people with Celiac disease and other food intolerance’s face.
She also plans to create a special information package for hospitals, seniors homes and institutions to help them understand how to provide healthy safe food for everyone.
Note: This article was published in the Suburban City Edition on July 1.