At 10:29 PM 2/9/04 -0600, you wrote:
>The gluten really isn't a direct irritant. Reaction to gluten requires a
>genetic capability to form antibodies. Only about two-thirds of Caucasians
>have the gene and only about half of them have it turned on. The gene is
>rare in other races (except possibly Hispanics). I harbor the pet theory
>that the gene is Neanderthal, as an adaptation to living in close quarters
>in winter since it attacks a virus associated with winter barracks. I have
>no idea if any grazers have the gene.
According to the most recent research, Neanderthal ancestry is looking less
likely. Maybe Cro-Magnon?
>Or the function is unchanged, just species specific?
>So grass seeds are normally not toxic? Maybe the presence of a glaidin
>trigger and the relevant active genes is what it takes in the case of humans.
Could be. Poison ivy is harmless to most animals and birds eat the
berries. I've also heard that penicillin is toxic to guinea pigs. Gluten
intolerance may just be an unfoprtunate biochemical/genetic coincidence.
Good discussion, btw.