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Facts You Should Know About Maltodextrin Gluten Free

By Adriana Seng | Gluten-Free Foods

Sep 30
Maltodextrin Gluten Free

What does maltodextrin gluten free mean? This is a rather unfamiliar term that not a lot of us would have heard about. In fact, the word maltodextrin will definitely fall under the category of medical jargons, right? The thing is, you are asking the question wrong. Maltodextrin means that a food is gluten free. There are several reasons why a person would want to look for maltodextrin food, and stick to them.


Why you would need a maltodextrin / gluten free diet

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Gluten does not cause cancer, or at least no one has claimed that it does, for now. It does not cause hypertension or increase risks of heart attack. Also, it is not yet claimed to ruin your liver and your kidney.

Since gluten is a form of protein, it is not really necessary to avoid it for weight loss, either. Despite many claims that going on a gluten-free diet can make you lose weight.

So why would you want a maltodextrin gluten free diet? Unfortunately for some of us, and I really am sorry about this, there are people who have a very strong adverse reactions to gluten. Some of these reactions are:

Allergic Reaction to Wheat

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Some people have an allergic reaction to wheat, which is one of the most popular sources of gluten. People who are allergic to wheat are often advised against any product that might have used wheat in the production which includes both beer and bread.
There is a very small percentile of people worldwide that are known to have an allergic reaction to wheat. Like most allergies, it can be inborn or acquired. Normally, people who are suffering from a wheat allergy have a higher tolerance to wheat compared to Celiac disease patients.

Fructose Malabsorption as an Adverse Reaction to Gluten

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Too much sugar is bad for everyone, which poses serious risks to our metabolic systems. Our bodies can handle moderate amounts of sugar, otherwise known as fructose. Unfortunately, people who have problems digesting wheat are presented with the risks of fructose malabsorption.

Fructose malabsorption is when our digestive systems are hard-put to absorb the fructose contents of our food. Not only is the body not able to absorb the fructose, but the fructose will start fermenting within the cavities of the stomach. People who are suffering from this are highly recommended to choose maltodextrin, gluten free diets.

The excess fructose attracts water to itself which means that by consuming high amounts of fructose, water is attracted into the small intestine, softening the stool to make it easier to pass. This is also why food with high amounts of fructose are consumed to treat constipation for individuals who are not suffering from fructose malabsorption, such as those in wheat and other grains.

Eating too much of any high fructose containing food can lead to making you feel gassy, bloated and can often lead to  painful diarrhea. People with fructose malabsorption, on the otherhand, can experience these same symptoms simply by eating small amounts of these food.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

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People who are suffering from IBS should also be careful with wheat and should try to opt for maltodextrin gluten free diets, since fructose is absorbed by the large intestine as well, not just the by the small intestines.
Signs you might be suffering from IBS:

  • stomach cramps
  • pain in the abdomen
  • feeling bloated
  • feeling gassy
  • diarrhea and constipation

Fermenting food can only make the symptoms of IBS worse rather than alleviate it. If you are suffering from IBS, try to opt for gluten free diets and have maltodextrin/gluten free on the labels.

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS)

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This is applicable to the people who are highly sensitive to gluten. While signs and symptoms seen in NCWS patients, the symptoms are not as strong as those exhibited by patients with celiac disease.
There are certain overlapping symptoms of NGCS and celiac disease:

  • abdominal pain
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • foggy brain
  • tingling/numbness

Symptoms would normally appear within hours, or even days after the ingestion of any gluten containing food.

Celiac Disease

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Celiac Disease is the more commonly known adverse reaction to wheat. Most people who are sensitive to gluten-containing food are often worried about this, though in most cases, the worrying is really unnecessary.

Celiac disease is hereditary, so unless someone in your family has been diagnosed with Celiac disease, you are probably safe. The mere existence of gluten can cause serious risks to the immune system by damaging the small intestine.

Our small intestines are covered in a fine lining of villi which are responsible for absorbing nutrients into our body before it can be distributed by our blood stream.

People with celiac disease have damaged villis which render them incapable of absorbing nutrients correctly, which can result to nutrient deficiency and higher risks of both developing and acquiring auto-immune diseases.

Maltodextrin or Gluten Free Diets for Celiac Disease patients

While people with celiac disease are suffering from damaged intestines, it is not irreversible. It can be cured by switching over to maltodextrin, gluten free diets which can make it easier for them to also absorb nutrients.

What is gluten?

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Gluten is the protein found in several grains such as:

  • wheat
  • rye
  • barley
  • spelt
  • kamut
  • einkorn
  • emmer
  • dinkle

While it may be found in most of our foods, it is considered toxic to people who are following a gluten-free diet. The word gluten itself is rarely indicated on the labeling of the food. Rather. You will see it specified as either wheat gluten, rye gluten and so forth.

Since gluten may also be found in both corn and rice, keep in mind that whether or not it contains gluten, if you are capable of eating the food itself, then you should not be overly worried about it being an ingredient in other foods, even if it does say gluten.

FDA Regulations for Maltodextrin Gluten Free Food

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As far as the US FDA is concerned, as long as you steer away from products that contains grains (e.g. wheat, rye and barley), then you should be fine. Remember that most grains are gluten-containing so before consuming any sort of grain, make sure that they are free of gluten to be on the safe side.

Malt, corn and rice, while not necessarily grains also contain gluten. Even modified starches can contain gluten, except for those that are specifically indicated as gluten free.

Majority of the food manufacturers in the market are correctly labeling their products so the risks of running into a gluten containing product that is not indicated is very low. There are, however, several arguments how certain products like beer can be completely gluten free.

Others would argue that while certain products may contain very little gluten, there is no actual technology yet to check for the smallest amounts of gluten.

Understanding Maltodextrin

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Maltodextrin is known to be gluten-free ingredient and is under the regulation of the FDA. Despite the fact that maltodextrin is gluten-free, you should still look out for other ingredients that may contain gluten, for possible adverse reactions.

Innovative processes have made it possible to derive maltodextrin ingredients from gluten containing grains. Gluten free beers and gluten free cereals are even available in the market these days.

FDA vs ADA Regulations of Maltodextrin Gluten Free Products

Another organization that provides guidelines as well as regulate maltodextrin labeling is the American Diabetic Association (ADA). While both the ADA and the FDA both aim for accurate labeling, there are several differences that you should be aware of so you can decide for yourself which ones you would like to follow.

Note that while you may be able to get a copy of ADA guidelines, finding ADA labeled products is going to be difficult. You may, however, search for ADA recommended products.

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Act (FALCPA) of 2004 requires all food regulated by the FDA to have accurate labeling. This act has been implemented to specifically indicate the major allergy causing foods like eggs, milk, nuts and gluten.

There are some gluten containing food that are not required by the FDA to be indicated such as malt, brewer’s yeast and oats. Since Celiac Disease is very sensitive to all gluten containing food, following the FDA guides can be very detrimental.

If you are suffering from any sugar, fructose or any gluten sensitive diseases, it is definitely more advisable to check each ingredient contained to be sure none of them will be a possible gluten source.

Food Tips Regarding Maltodextrin Gluten Free

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While there are several reasons why you might have decided to opt for a gluten free diet, it could be for weight loss, allergic reactions, serious conditions like diabetes and celiac diseases, or may be a paleo diet, remember that foods labeled as maltodextrin will be a good indicator of safety for you. Be sure to check for any other ingredients that may be classified as allergens to prevent any problems.
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