Analysis and clinical effects of gluten in coeliac disease

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2001 Jun;13(6):741-7. doi: 10.1097/00042737-200106000-00023.


The prolamin working group coordinates research on laboratory gluten analysis in food and on clinical evaluation of patient sensitivity to prolamins. As an observer organization to the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the group summarizes current data on analysis and effects of gluten in coeliac disease. All types of gliadin, the ethanol-soluble fraction of gluten, contain the coeliac-active factor. However, coeliac toxicity and immunogenicity (humoral and cellular) of various prolamins are not identical in coeliac patients. There are no conclusive data on the threshold of gluten sensitivity of coeliac patients. Information as to the long-term risk to coeliac patients exposed to small doses of gliadin is lacking. Therefore, every effort should be made to keep the diet of coeliac patients as gluten-free as possible. The prolamin group is currently evaluating a new enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) protocol for gluten analysis that could serve as a basis for further Codex regulations. The group recommends adherence to a single Codex limit for gluten-free foods. The current limit of 200 ppm gluten is questionable and requires reconsideration based on new information that will be available soon.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Celiac Disease / diagnosis*
  • Celiac Disease / diet therapy*
  • Diet Therapy / methods*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Glutens / immunology
  • Glutens / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Glutens