ATI Sensitivity: What is it?

Amylase trypsin inhibitors, or ATI for short, are proteins that occur in wheat, among other things. They are suspected of increasing inflammation in the body and causing symptoms in sensitive people

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ATI Sensitivity: In a nutshell

  • Amylase trypsin inhibitors are proteins that are found in cereals containing gluten, such as wheat
  • Wheat ATIs can cause discomfort both inside and outside the intestines in patients with inflammatory diseases
  • ATIs activate the intestinal immune system and trigger inflammation, which can worsen chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatism or Crohn's disease
  • ATI sensitivity has not yet been proven with a specific blood test
  • If you want to find out whether you are sensitive to the proteins, you can do without ATI made from gluten-containing cereals for a few weeks

Bread rolls can contain substances that some people cannot tolerate: for example ATI

© Fotolia / Grafvision

What are amylase trypsin inhibitors? What foods are they in?

Amylase trypsin inhibitors, or ATI for short, are vegetable proteins that play a role in germination, among other things, and protect the plant from predators. "They occur in all types of wheat," explains Professor Detlef Schuppan. The biochemist and gastroenterologist heads the Institute for Translational Immunology at the University of Mainz and conducts research at the US Harvard Medical School.

ATI can also be found in other grains that are related to wheat: rye, spelled, emmer, barley, einkorn and khorasan wheat. "The ATI content can vary considerably depending on the location and variety," says Schuppan. Old varieties like einkorn and emmer are not generally better in this regard. Grains that are not related to wheat can also contain the vegetable proteins: for example buckwheat, teff, soy, millet. These ATIs have a different molecular structure than the wheat ATI.

Are ATIs the Triggers for Wheat Sensitivity?

Many people say they don't tolerate wheat well. If you do without it, you will feel better. The grain can be found in numerous foods these days. Not only in bread, but also in noodles, pastries, tortillas, cakes, muesli and many ready-made products. Wheat contains the adhesive protein gluten, which gives it its good baking properties. Some do not tolerate it. You have celiac disease.

In this disease, which is generally classified as an autoimmune disease, contact with even the smallest amounts of gluten can trigger an inflammation of the small intestine and lead to various symptoms. Other people are allergic to wheat, they suffer from a wheat allergy.

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