|“Spelt Is Wheat”|
“Spelt is a subspecies of wheat. The genus-species of modern bread wheat is simply ‘Triticum aestivum.’ Spelt wheat is a subspecies belonging to, ‘Triticum aestivum speltoides.’ Thus, there is no basis to say spelt is different from ‘wheat.’ The proteins in spelt are essentially identical to those in modern bread wheat; only the amounts are slightly different. Protein sequences known to be toxic to persons with celiac disease have been identified at the gene level in spelt wheat.”
‘Gluten’ is the inclusive term for a complex mixture of storage proteins found in grains. There are more than 50 different protein components in hexaploid wheat. When a person with Celiac Disease becomes exposed to specific amino acid sequences of some storage proteins, the immune system is stimulated to attack the body. All members of the Triticum family contain the amino acid
The two major wheat species used for food production are bread wheat and durum wheat. However, other triticums were cultivated and consumed historically and are still marketed today. They include spelt, emmer, and einkorn.
A, B and D genomes of cultivated wheat are derived from related wild grass species of the genera Triticum and Aegilops and therefore encode the related proteins. “Consequently, it is not valid to expect any cultivated or wild wheat species to be nontoxic to those suffering from celiac disease despite claims to the contrary.”
Donald D. Kasarda and Renato D'Ovidio authored an article detailing the subject of spelt in 1999. The article is “Deduced Amino Acid Sequence of an a-Gliadin Gene from Spelt Wheat Includes Sequences Active in Celiac Disease” found in Cereal Chemistry, 1999, 76:548-551.
Michael N. Marsh, MD, DSc, FRCP, Ed. Celiac Disease Methods and Protocols, 2000. Pp 55-57. Humana Press,
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