Researchers from the Voronezh State Medical University evaluated the tolerability and effectiveness of amaranth in the daily menu of children suffering from gluten intolerance. They concluded that amaranth cereals, cookies, bread, muffins not only expand the range of gluten-free products and contribute to strict dieting, but with regular use, they are able to almost completely meet the needs of a growing organism.
Celiac disease – known and little known
In modern medicine, these forms of cereal intolerance are distinguished:
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease of the small intestine that occurs as a result of a genetic predisposition mainly in children. In different countries of the world, 0.3-2% of the population is affected.
Allergy to protein contained in cereals. At the same time, sensitivity to wheat, barley, rye, oats occurs in children with asthma and atopic dermatitis.
In the last decade, scientists have identified another form – non-allergic and non-celiac gluten intolerance.
Celiac disease is one of the well-known, but little-studied diseases. Ancient Roman and Greek doctors are still in the I st. n e. accurately described the disease, the symptoms of which correspond to typical celiac disease.
William Dick For a long time after that, various doctors described the symptoms of the disease, but could not find its cause. An interesting story is the discovery that cereals contain gluten, which, in combination with a genetic predisposition, causes such a disease as celiac disease. During the Second World War in The Hague, sick children were left to survive the occupation in the hospital. Due to the lack of food supplies, even tulip bulbs went to eat. At the same time, the director of the hospital, William Dicke, noticed an amazing change in babies who had previously suffered from diarrhea — they began to tolerate unusual food. Their condition improved: the stools returned to normal, children began to develop normally, gain weight, grow. Dicke noted that after deliveries of white bread were resumed, diarrhea began again in small patients and the general state of health seriously deteriorated. These observations prompted the doctor to the idea that it is in the cereals that the substance has an adverse effect on the digestion of babies. In 1950, Dicke defended his thesis, where he substantiated the role of cereals in the development of celiac disease. In collaboration with other scientists, William Dicke introduced the world to gluten. After this, the era of a gluten-free diet began, which helped significantly reduce the rates of disability and mortality from gluten intolerance.
Diet for gluten intolerance
Gluten-free diet Today, the only and non-alternative method of gluten intolerance therapy is a gluten-free diet, that is, eating only those products that do not contain gluten.
A gluten-free diet is essentially two lists of foods. Some can be eaten, while others – is prohibited. But, unfortunately, little attention is paid to the quality of food. Observing people who have been on such a diet for many years and modern research has revealed its important shortcomings:
- psychological difficulties
- hypovitaminosis (D, E, B6, B12, folic acid),
- hypoelementoses (calcium, copper, zinc, iron),
- development of essential nutrient deficiencies.
Lack of nutrient intake and poor absorption in the intestines directly affect the physical development of children.
Amaranth is an ideal component of daily nutrition for children with celiac disease.
In the diet for celiac disease, products from amaranth grains have significant advantages over other cereals (table): they contain more lipids, fiber, proteins, mono – and disaccharides, vitamins and minerals.
In 33 countries of the world, where amaranth is a traditional culture, the production of products permitted for celiac disease and other forms of gluten intolerance is already established. At the same time, the safety of their use and the positive impact on the health of patients was noted.
The study of amaranth, as part of a gluten-free diet for children
In 2016, Russian researchers published a paper that describes the results of the first scientific approbation of domestic products from amaranth grain in the diet of children diagnosed with celiac disease.
Testing amaranth productsFamilies that adhere to gluten-free meals, it was proposed to introduce into the diet foods from amaranth. Most children (89%) consumed them without problems for 9-12 months. None of them had any allergic manifestations or digestive disorders.
The survey, conducted after the introduction of amaranth in the menu, showed that all parents appreciated its use. Among the advantages they noted:
- opportunity to diversify the menu (73%),
- local production and therefore availability (68%),
- low cost (70%).
The most important result of the study was the improvement in strict adherence to the diet.
Gluten-free diet for children. The number of children who strictly followed the diet increased by 11%.
70% of families planned to leave homemade pastries from amaranth flour in the daily ration of the child.
60% and 57% respectively would like to use cereals and products from ready-made baking mixes based on amaranth flour.
54% of families will prefer industrial products: cookies, muffins, wafer bread.
Proved the effectiveness of the introduction to the menu, which offer the child with celiac disease, products based on amaranth seeds. They are recommended for regular use in case of intolerance to traditional cereals.
Amaranth flourIt is shown that amaranth eliminates the disadvantages of a gluten-free diet and contributes to:
- variety of food
- reduction of ionized calcium deficiency,
- eliminate the deficiency of zinc, copper, iron, vitamin B6,
- normalization of growth and development disorders,
- more strict adherence to diet.
Source: Bavykina I.A. Nutritional status and optimization of diet therapy in children with gluten intolerance: dissertation for the degree of Candidate of Medical Sciences: 01/14/08. – Voronezh, 2016.