New Food for Those with Celiac Disease

Add sorghum to the menu!


The American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry recently published the results of a study that adds sorghum to the menu as a safe food for those with celiac disease.

The ancient grain was already deemed safe for those with celiac disease based on different types of lab research, but this was the first time that scientists were able to analyze the genetic makeup of the grain. They found it—without a shadow of a doubt—lacking in the gluten protein that causes problems for the 1 in 133 people with the disease.

Sufferers of celiac disease can experience stomach cramping, constipation, and diarrhea (among other symptoms) when they eat wheat and other grains containing the gluten protein.

This limits their dining options as gluten is present in thousands of commercially produced foodstuffs from breads and cookies to pastas and pies.

In Western cultures, sorghum (a grass) has long been considered animal feed, but in Africa and India, it’s been one of the ingredients commonly used in putting food on the table.

US farmers are now producing food-grade sorghum hybrids that present as a white grain that can be ground into flour for baked products, such as bread.

Not only does sorghum provide another ingredient option, it’s a highly nutritional one!

A single serving of sorghum (1 cup) has 22 grams (g) of protein (43 percent of the Daily Value), 8.4 milligrams (mg) of iron (47 percent of the Daily Value), and 672 mg of potassium (19 percent of the Daily Value).

It also contains 12 g of fiber to aid digestion, 0 g of sugar, and only 12 milligram (mg) of sodium, making it heart-healthy as well.


"Sorghum, a Healthy and Gluten-Free Food for Celiac Patients as Demonstrated by Genome, Biochemical, and Immunochemical Analyses" by P. Pontieri et al., Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, 2013