Gluten Sensitivity and Microbial Transglutaminase – Meat Glue

food photography of pasta
Is it in your gluten free pasta or bread??

Studies are coming out now about the use of more and more meat glue aka ‘microbial transglutaminase’ being a possible factor in gluten related disorders. I suspect it is both a cause of them and a reason why some do not heal.

Are food additives causing celiac disease? Widely used ‘meat glue’ may be driving rise in people who react to gluten, study suggests

This is, in fact, why Cyrex added microbial transglutaminase markers to the Cyrex 3 gluten test a good few months ago now. You can see here where I wrote about it:

Cyrex 3 Gluten Test Expanded And Price Reduced!

As I explain there:

Array 3X also includes testing for microbial (non-tissue) transglutaminase in addition to tissue transglutaminase 2, 3 and 6. Microbial transglutaminase is an enzyme produced by bacteria, which can send signals impacting brain and nervous system function. Microbial transglutaminase can be exceptionally antigenic in some patients. Patients who consume gluten substitutes like gluten-free pasta may have a reaction to the non-tissue transglutaminase contained within these foods—which may initiate autoimmune reactivity against the other transglutaminases.

An important marker to look out for then, I’d say.

So, where exactly is microbial transglutaminase used? Here’s a good article with a chart from Dr O – and note the reminder that it is often used in standard gluten (gliadin) free foods like pasta, breads, baked goods and cereals. This could be a big reason why people react to these especially if the Cyrex 4 cross-contaminated foods list has come back negative. I also note it is used for gelatin and edible films on things – supplements???

Is Meat Glue Sabotaging Your Gluten Free Diet Improvements?

At the moment, microbial transglutaminase doesn’t need to be labelled – and there are, of course, calls for that to change. For now, though, it is yet another hidden additive that may be causing us problems. I would advise you avoid processed gluten free foods and buy your meat and fish from good sources where it is unlikely to be ‘reformed’ and therefore needing glue to hold it together.

 

 

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